Each coffee maker that I review is based on 10 rating categories using a 5 point scale that I convert to a 100 point scale. For example: if a category is rated 4.5 stars, the converted score is a 90 on a 100-point scale.
The coffee maker's overall rating is then based on the average of these 10 rating categories.
Additionally, readers are welcome to submit their own review and ratings in the comments section of all products I review here at The Coffee Concierge. Reader reviews carry 50% of the current rating's overall score.
Here are the 10 rating categories I currently use for coffee maker reviews:
5 stars means the coffee maker is on the cheaper side. 1 star means the coffee maker is quite expensive in comparison to similar models. For a comparison of the lowest price, best rated coffee makers, click here.
Coffee Maker Quality
Does the coffee maker do what it's supposed to do? Does it function correctly with few reported issues? Is it made from quality materials? These are the questions I ask when rating quality. 100 points means top quality. 10 points, not so much (you won't find me reviewing too many of these).
To most people, coffee taste is going to be an essential factor in choosing a coffee maker. Some machines happen to produce better tasting coffee than others, irrespective of the coffee's quality before brewing.
Some things I look for when determining coffee's quality is: the water temperature, the level of bitterness, and the overall flavor profile. If the coffee falls in the 195-205˚F temperature range, has low bitterness, and pleasant tastes, it will very likely be rated highly. Low temperature, high bitterness, and weak flavor will land the coffee maker on the poor quality side of things.
Ease of Use
Many coffee makers these days come equipped with lots of bells and whistles. Sometimes however, this can make them difficult to use. 100 points means the coffee maker is easy to use. 10 points…get out your instruction manual.
Will this coffee maker look good on your kitchen counter? While this may be subjective, I go with consensus here. Still, your aesthetic eye will likely take precedence over what I rate as good looking.
100 points is a beautiful coffee maker. 20 points…your coffee maker won't find itself in the MOMA anytime soon (yes, the Chemex coffee maker can be found in the MOMA).
Usually something is either easy to clean or not easy to clean, but I decided to rate this category on a 100 point scale as well. 100 points and the coffee maker couldn't be easier to clean. 10 points and could be a very tedious cleaning process.
How long will your coffee maker last? This is probably the most important rating category, as nobody likes things that break after a few weeks or months. If users aren't reporting malfunctions after prolonged periods of use, you are likely going to see me rating the coffee maker for 100 point durability. Lots of problems reported? 10 points wouldn't be far-fetched.
When you are running out the door to get to work you can't afford to spend 20 minutes making your coffee. This is why the brew speed is an extremely important rating category when it comes to reviewing coffee makers. A 100 point brew speed will fall in the 3-5 minute range. A 10 point rating may take you more than 15 minutes.
I usually only rate versatility for automatic coffee makers and espresso machines, as manual drip, french press, and percolators don't usually come equipped with many features. Having said that, a machine with 4 or more kick-butt features will generally be rated with 100 point versatility. A machine with no extra features will score low.
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