Are you on the hunt for a new coffee maker?
One with a stainless steel reservoir?
Is it because you are concerned about the harmful effects of plastic or just that you are fed up with your coffee tasting of plastic?
The good news is that coffee makers with stainless steel reservoirs are available.
The bad news is that they are few and far between.
In this review, I have five alternatives for you.
And for those of you in a hurry, here is my overall winner.
*10 Cup stainless steel water tank
*Coffee made in 3 minutes
*Water heated to 200 °F
*Vacuum insulated carafe
And the selection is so small that I have included two coffee makers that use a glass reservoir instead of a steel one!
But before I start looking at these products in any more detail, I want to think about stainless steel and plastic.
Life in Plastic?
Like it or loathe it, plastic is here to stay.
It is cheap, lightweight and very ugly.
Every modern gadget or machine contains it- even coffee makers.
But for many coffee lovers, the real concern about the plastic centers on plastic water reservoirs.
And whether over time the plastic starts breaking down resulting in harmful chemicals dissolving in the water.
The roots of the concern can be found in the BPA crisis.
BPA or Bisphenol A is a synthetic chemical which was an important part of polycarbonate- a tougher and more durable form of plastic.
What is BPA?
First used commercially in the 1950s nowadays over 3.6 billion tons of it are made every year.
Which makes it one of the biggest chemicals in the world.
The trouble with BPA is that can be absorbed by into the body and this has been linked to infertility in men, impaired kidney function and even type 2 diabetes.
It was banned from being used in baby bottles by the FDA in 2012.
It is no wonder that consumers are looking for alternatives.
If you are one of those consumers then hold tight because in the next section I will look in more detail at stainless steel.
Plastic Tasting Coffee
But before I do, I want to help other coffee nuts who have concerns about plastic.
That their coffee tastes of the frickin’ stuff!
Some of the best advice that I have found, involve “deep” cleaning your coffee machine with various different solutions.
These solutions include a;
* vinegar and water mix
* baking soda and water
* lemon juice
These solutions are placed in the water reservoir and then just press the start or brew button on your machine and the solution works its way around your coffee maker.
Just remember to not use any ground coffee when you do this.
More details on all of these tips can be found here.
But now, it is the turn of stainless steel.
Although stainless steel is heavier and more expensive to make than plastic, it is has been used in the food and drinks industry since 1913, when it was “invented” by Harry Brearley.
It has stood the test of time and it is known to resist corrosion, heat damage and chemical damage.
It is perfectly safe when used with water- just think about your cutlery or your sink unit (if you have a stainless steel one.)
It does not contain any BPA and like plastic, it lasts forever.
Now that we have looked in detail at stainless steel and plastic water reservoirs, let me describe to you some of the other features that you can expect to find in coffee makers with stainless steel reservoirs.
So what kind of features can you expect to find?
Not all of these features are available on all of the coffee makers in my comparison but the most common features are discussed first.
Many of the coffee makers are large capacity- they can make up to 8 cups or over in one brewing. The maker with the smallest capacity is the Gourmia GCM 9400, which can make between 2-4 cups.
Pause and Brew
Related to capacity, pause and brew means that at the touch of a button the brewing process can be paused and then re started.
This feature comes into its own when a whole pot of coffee is being brewed but before the whole pot has been made, you want to drink a single cup.
The brewing process can be paused and restarted.
If a coffee maker is programmable, this normally means that it can be set to turn on and start brewing at a specified time of day.
I use this feature on my coffee maker to start brewing just as I am getting out of bed in the morning
Temperature Control Brewing
Temperature controlled brewing allows the user to choose the temperature that their coffee is brewed at from a choice of different set temperatures.
Experts believe that coffee should be brewed using water which is between 195 °F (91 °C) and 205 °F (96 °C) and the set temperatures are within this range.
Shower head describes how the hot water is poured over the coffee grounds.
Older coffee makers tended to just have a spout- water came out as it would from a faucet.
The obvious issue with that is that there is a flow of water that is only “hitting” the coffee grounds in one place.
A water spout that has a shower head as opposed to a faucet head, allows the water to be more evenly spread across all the coffee grounds and the spray of water is gentler which will also disturb the coffee grounds less.
The Bunn, Redline and Oxo coffee makers in this comparison all have a showerhead.
The Behmor uses a pulsed water technique which aims to saturate all the coffee grounds as efficiently as possible.
The Gourmia, as a pour over coffee maker, uses a circular technique in order to soak the coffee grinds in water.
Lightning Fast Coffee
This needs very little explanation.
Standard drip coffee coffee makers tend to take about 5 minutes to brew a 10 or 12 cup carafe.
The Bunn coffee maker in my comparison only takes about 3 minutes.
SCAA Coffee Makers
A coffee maker that has a SCAA certification is a coffee maker that is guaranteed to make an almost perfect cup of coffee.
SCAA is the Speciality Coffee Association of America.
It is the organisation that represents thousands of coffee professionals (from producers to baristas) and so they are the expert in defining what makes a great cup of coffee.
In order to gain SCAA certification, a coffee maker must pass a rigorous testing process with about nine different criteria.
Oxo and Behmor
Beautiful Coffee Makers
Beauty is a very subjective term.
What is beautiful for one person is butt ugly to another.
However, I think that my comparison contains three coffee makers that might be considered beautiful.
Oxo, Gourmia and Redline.
Perhaps the Behmor might be considered a real beauty if you are a keen fan of plastic?!
One Touch Brewing
Instead of having to press a series of buttons and wade through menus, a cup of coffee can be had at the press (of one) button.
It is the ultimate in convenience.
This is the future!
This is the ability to connect a coffee maker to Amazon’s smart speaker such as the Echo.
And then you can start and stop your machine with your voice.
There is one coffee maker in my comparison that can be connected to the Amazon smart speaker and that is the Behmor machine.
What kind of features do you miss out on?
As well as highlighting some of the features that the coffee makers in my comparison have, in this section I will quickly mention some features that these coffee makers don’t have.
Just to be clear, these missing features are ones that you might find on all sorts of good quality coffee makers but not on any coffee makers that have stainless steel reservoirs.
Color Touch Screen
Beans to cup
Removable water reservoir
#1. Bunn BT Velocity 10 Cup
Ideal for buyer who wants high quality coffee made in a flash…
The Bunn Velocity Brew is all about speed and performance.
And like most other Bunn coffee makers, it has a stainless steel water reservoir.
The reservoir has a 1.4 liter (50 oz.) capacity.
So much so, that you will notice its incredibly simple and efficient one-button design.
This modern looking black and steel machine literally has one button – an on / off switch – to brew your coffee.
Coffee is brewed in a stainless-steel water tank and drips down into a very cool looking black carafe.
The stainless-steel water tank is not only free of harmful carcinogens that can be found in plastic containers, but can bring water up to temperature quickly so you can enjoy your coffee in no-time.
Without being slowed down by any additional features that could possibly take away from its efficiency, the Bunn Velocity Brew can brew a 10-cup pot of coffee in just 3-minutes!
This machine, priced in the mid-range area, comes with a 3-year warranty and is perfect for someone that is after one thing and one thing only. Speed!
The lack of control or options for – well – anything except brewing coffee fast definitely makes this a specialist’s machine.
But if you want your coffee brewed fresh and fast, you can’t expect it to have a bunch of extra features that will slow it down.
That would be like the pot calling the kettle – or carafe – black!
Interested? Buy from Amazon
#2. Behmor Connected
Ideal for a coffee drinker who lives in a smart home
The Behmor Connected is another machine that is all about technology and this is immediately apparent when looking at it.
It comes with a stainless steel water reservoir that has a capacity of 1.2 liters or 40 oz.
At first glance, this moderately high-priced machine offers a simple yet futuristic looking one-button design, surrounded by LED lighting.
But on further investigation, there is really nothing simple about this machine.
With features such as temperature control (via a smartphone-based app), integrability with your at-home Alexa device and Amazon Dash this “Certified Smart Brewer” truly is the future!
As named such, by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), this machine offers state-of-the-art technology and superior capabilities to that of almost any coffee-maker in its class.
You can use such features as Alexa to brew coffee from anywhere in the house and select from a list of saved ‘brew profiles’ from your smartphones library.
Its integrability with Amazon Dash will make sure you never run out of coffee again by automatically ordering coffee beans for you when you run out!
Besides these ‘techy’ features, the Behmor Connected brews coffee correctly at the optimal temperature of 190 – 210 degrees Fahrenheit, uses a pulse-flow brew method to make sure all of your coffee is saturated with water and uses a stainless-steel water reservoir for clean and pure water.
Plus, it’s backed with a 1-year warranty!
This is perfect for the tech-loving and tech-savvy but may not be the best option for someone who likes to keep things simple.
If state-of-the-art, space-aged or anything ‘smart’ excites you, then the Behmor Connected is a great option for you!
Interested? Buy from Amazon
#3. Redline Mk 1
Ideal for the coffee lover who wants a coffee maker that looks the part
The Redline MK1 screams minimalism in every way possible.
This coffee maker has a BPA free plastic water reservoir where you pour the cold water into. It is then fed into the stainless steel chamber below where it is heated.
Its elegant, uncomplicated design offers a single brew-start switch, spill-free pouring and a wide-mouthed water reservoir.
The manufactures of this machine wanted to keep the design simple and focus on spreading the great joy of coffee around the world.
To go along with this vision, they passed on such additions as LED screens or large numbers of buttons / brew options.
Instead they focused on designing a vintage-like machine modelled after vintage cars.
In terms of features it only has what is absolutely necessary in order to brew great coffee.
These features include a ‘pre-infusion’ mode; allowing your coffee to bloom better by allowing coffee to de-gas, and a ‘parking brake’ in which you can pause your brew.
Coffee is also brewed at the optimal temperature of 195 – 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Redline believes in world class coffee for everyone and that is why this machine is so reasonably priced and backed with a 2-year warranty.
If you are a minimalist, love a few key features and believe that the focus should always be on amazing coffee, then the Redline MK1 may just get your engine revving!
Interested? Buy on Amazon
#4. OXO On Barista Brain 12 Cup Coffee Maker with Removable Kettle
The Barista Brain is a high-end, highly scientific and precise machine.
There is no steel water reservoir but instead there is a glass kettle with a capacity of 1.8 liters or 60 oz.
If purity is something you value along with great quality, you’ll love the BPA-Free glass kettle.
A glass kettle means no harmful chemicals from plastic leeching into your coffees water and no chemical taste!
The combination of intuitive design and precision features make it an obvious choice for anyone that values the quality of their coffee.
On the higher end of the pricing scale, it brews coffee at the ideal temperature of 197 – 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is also equipped with an ‘Intelligent Microprocessor’ and internal scale that is able to monitor your coffee throughout the entire brewing process for temperature and consistency; giving you the taste and quality of perfectly hand-crafted coffee at home!
The aesthetic of this machine matches that of its high-end features, but just like with anything that has a lot of high-end, fancy features, sometimes the more there is to go wrong…the more that goes wrong!
This has been one criticism among buyers; issues with the microprocessor.
Although this machine is beloved for its scientific approach to perfection when it comes to brewing coffee, its seeming lack of consistency when compared to other machines of its price range have left some customers wanting more.
If you are scientifically minded, technologically savvy and love great, tried-and-true coffee, then – it’s a no brainer – the Barista Brain 12 Cup coffee-maker is the right choice for you!
#5. Gourmia GCM 4900
Ideal for a lover of pour over coffee
This is a very neat and funky looking machine for those who love a good old-fashioned pour-over coffee.
Hidden out of sight at the back of the machine is a 1.8 liter (60 oz.) glass water reservoir.
It’s a sleek, minimalists dream that offers hand-crafted pour-over coffee from a machine… confused?
The fully automatic machine, gently saturates coffee grinds with water using a circular motion, pausing intermittently to let the coffee bloom and extract the best flavour.
This perfectly mimics that of an authentic hand-pour.
The water then drips through a stainless-steel water filter and down into a neat looking carafe – thus completing that of a perfectly authentic, hand-made pour-over coffee.
Although an old-fashioned technique, the pour-over is all the rage right now and has been re-adopted by many trendy coffee shops and baristas alike.
The stainless-steel coffee filter and glass water reservoir of this machine fit its sleek aesthetic and keep the taste of your coffee pure.
The machine follows a simple ‘One-Touch’ brew method and is ‘ETL Certified’ – so you can be assured of its safety and quality.
The machine is very small and affordable.
On the flip side, some buyers have expressed its lack of durability when compared to that of more expensive machines in its class.
Others noted the fragility of the glass carafe.
All in all, if you love the idea hand-crafted, pour-over coffee and love the idea of it being brewed automatically, then this machine is the way to go.
Interested? Buy from Amazon