Getting a 12 cup coffee maker makes total sense if you have a medium or large family to brew for. Even if you live alone and are not an avid coffee drinker, having a large coffee maker would come in handy when you have a bunch of guests at home.
I can’t imagine myself living without the convenience of an automatic drip coffee maker. One push of a button and you get a nice steaming cup of Joe when you can barely keep your eyes open in the morning.
Finding a good 12 cup coffee maker will be a lot easier with a little help, won’t it? That’s why I’ve listed out and reviewed 7 best 12 cup coffee makers to help you make a calculated decision.
7 Best 12 Cup Coffee Maker Reviews 2021
Don’t want to read the whole piece to find out what’s the perfect 12-cup coffee maker for you? No worries. Here’s a quick overview of what this article is about to elaborate in the following section:
- Best Overall: Mueller Ultra Coffee Maker
- Most Feature-packed: Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker
- Best Value for Money: Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central
- For Coffee Extra Hot: Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer
- Best Budget Auto Drip Coffee Maker: Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker
- Perfect Gift for a Coffee-geek: Bonsenkitchen 12 Cup Drip Coffee Maker
- Best Stainless Steel 12-cup Coffee Maker: Braun Brew Sense
1. Mueller Ultra Coffee Maker, Programmable 12 Cup Machine
Reasonably priced, delightfully easy to operate and clean, Mueller is a fine specimen of a 12 cup programmable coffee maker. The polished stainless steel front amazingly blends aesthetics withdurability.
It’s neither too heavy nor does it take up a lot of counter space. So if your goal is getting a compact unit for your small kitchen countertop, this model is definitely worth considering.
It has a programmable timer along with a “delay brew” function. Use this function to activate automatic brewing at your set time. Say you want your coffee at 8 AM tomorrow morning. Set the timer tonight, hit the “delay brew” button, and walk away.
A fresh pot will be ready tomorrow at 8 AM sharp. I also loved the “pause and pour” function that lets you pause the brewing cycle at any time you want. You can pour yourself a cup without having to wait for the pot to fill and it doesn’t even affect the taste.
Speaking of taste, this bad boy makes some seriously good coffee as long as you’re using the right roast, grind size, and amount. In my experience, you will get much better decoction with medium-coarse grounds. Too fine a grind can easily clog such machines.
You can also select your desired strength to customize your cuppa exactly to your liking. It also offers an auto cup warmer function that keeps the brew nice and hot for up to 2 hours.
The unit with a permanent filter, that’s way more economical than paper filters. However, you can use a paper filter on top of the built-in filter if you get a rough taste and slightly pungent taste in your coffee. Size 4 filters will do the job.
2. Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker
No list of automatic coffee makers is quite complete without the mention of a Keurig product. The K-Duo is a versatile machine that lets you brew in batches of 6, 8,10, 12 cups on the carafe side, and a single cup on the other side. The single-server side has enough clearance to fit a 7 Inch tall travel mug.
You won’t have to be limited to k-pods for this unit, any pod will work just fine. What’s even better is that it has a Strong Brew button for the pods. If you want stronger brew in your carafe, simply adjust the coffee to water ratio.
To make sure you always have a fresh pot ready without having to fiddle with the settings, it offers an auto brew function for the carafe side. You can disable it too if need be.
The brewing process is pretty simple and straightforward. Mind you that you’ll need to separately purchase a filter basket for it. If you don’t want to buy a reusable basket, you can always go for paper filters.
If you consistently get weak-tasting coffee or it’s taking forever to fill the carafe, use a slightly coarser grind than espresso grind, don’t use too much and you’ll be fine.
About the cleaning, washing the glass carafe with a wet cloth/ sponge and dish after every use should be enough. You’ll have to descale it every 3-6 months. Just follow the manual to the T for the descaling. It might sound like a lot of work at first but it’s actually not.
3. Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central 12 Cup Programmable Coffee maker
This brushed stainless steel machine with pitch black top and back looks straight outta a ‘50s cafeteria in Manhattan. It quietly brews a big pot of rich and acceptably hot coffee. It’s about 14” tall and very lightweight since it’s not a 100% metal.
Essential features like brew pause, timer, and programmable shut-off-all the present in the machine. What stands out is that you can adjust the temperature of the warmer plate. The built-in charcoal water filter is another great addition to the unit.
Filtered water results in great tasting coffee as the charcoal removes foul-smelling chlorine and other impurities from the water. It also eliminates calcium which prevents mineral buildup inside the brewer.
The carafe itself offers 3 temperature settings namely Low (140 degrees), Medium (160 degrees), and High (180 degrees). The highest setting raises the decoction temperature to about 195-200 degrees, so if you are sick of using coffee machines that don’t get the coffee hot enough, here’s your “hot enough”.
195-200 degrees F is considered to be the correct temperature for optimal extraction. The unit needs size 4 paper filters. However, I’d highly recommend getting the mesh screen filter basket. It’s sustainable and economical. Plus, the mesh filter yields a more robust decoction and leaves very small amount of sludge at the bottom of the pot
4. Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer with 12 cup Glass Carafe
The high-quality, food-safe aluminum boiler integrated into this coffee maker makes all the difference. It brews the coffee at an optimal temperature range 200-205 degrees F which helps to squeeze out all the oil and flavors. This results in a full-bodied, decadent cup of coffee.
Brew a whole pot for your family, 4 cups for your squad, or just one cup for yourself. The Ninja 12-cup programmable coffee maker lets you customize both the brew size and strength exactly to your liking.
I loved the fact that you can detach the reservoir for easy refilling and cleaning. The quality of the carafe is impressive too. The lid locks shut, so you won’t have to hold it down with one hand while pouring the coffee. The spout size is just right, so you get a perfect pour every time.
If you can’t wait long enough for the entire pot to fill, simply press the mid-pause button, remove the pot from the tray without any spillage, pour yourself a cup, and put it back.
It features a 24-hour Delay Brew so you can program the unit one day in advance and walk away. It will automatically start brewing any time you want it. It’s okay if you wake up a bit late. The warmer plate’s default auto-shut off time is 2 hours but you can extend it to 4 hours by pressing the hour button.
My only gripe with the unit is that there’s no auto shut-off for the carafe. You will have to manually turn off the brewing every time.
5. Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker
Even though it doesn’t offer more high-end features like brew strength selector, temperature control, or auto on/off, the coffee temperature and taste remain top-notch as long as you are using the right grounds.
It’s nice to have a transparent reservoir with measurement marks on them. By manually adjusting the amount of water this way, you can easily control the brew smart. Clever, isn’t it?
You can also pause the brewing cycle midway, grab yourself a cup, and unpause the cycle without any spillage issue. I loved the design and quality of the carafe of this model. It has a clear spout, so the coffee goes right into the cup without spilling some on your countertop.
The unit is roughly 12” tall with a rounded top, meaning you can neatly tuck it under your kitchen cabinet. You will get a standard filter basket with the machine but you can add round paper filters in it if you seek a brighter cup of coffee.
Only using the filter basket will result in a much darker, full-bodied brew as it lets most of the coffee oil seep into the decoction. The 12-cup Coffee Maker model has a 2-hour auto shut-off carafe warming function.
You can’t switch off the plate warmer if the machine is still on. Just power off the machine after the brewing cycle is complete if you don’t need the warmer.
6. Bonsenkitchen 12 Cup Programmable Stainless Steel Drip Coffee Maker
This is not one of those cheaply made stainless steel coffee makers which hardly has any steel in it. The solid and shiny stainless steel body of this model is clearly built to last. The streamlined backlit buttons and the blue LCD panel on the top front nicely rounds of the design.
The no-nonsense unit sports a 24-hour programmable timer, so you can set the auto-brewing time up to one day in advance. With 1-minute auto shut-off, you won’t have to worry about your smoke alarm going off or energy waste if you ever forget to turn off your coffee machine.
Nonetheless, it’s the efficient brewing that makes this drip coffee maker a true keeper. The unit beeps loudly the moment your coffee is ready and the decoction it yields is pretty decent, if not mind-blowingly awesome. You won’t have to wait for more than 12 minutes to get a pot of piping hot coffee ready.
The warmer plate stays on for up to 4 hours (adjustable) and offers 3 adjustable temperatures to make sure you never have to deal with a travesty that is burnt or lukewarm coffee. Thanks to the see-through window on the reservoir, you can easily control the serving size.
Giving the machine a thorough cleanup is just as easy, thanks to the automatic self-cleaning option. The unit alerts when it needs to run a cleaning cycle to leave out the guesswork.
Coming to the downsides, even though the setup is pretty straightforward, the instructions on the manual aren’t. Ditch the manual and use your common sense instead to figure out the settings. It will be much easier that way.
7. Braun Brew Sense 12 Cup Touch Screen Drip Coffee Maker
It’s chiefly made of stainless steel and is tough enough to stand the test of time. The sleek black touchscreen panel at the front takes the design to a whole new level of awesomeness. You can set the 24-hour timer, switch between brewing modes, and even monitor the freshness of your coffee with the help of the 3 bean-shaped icons on the control panel.
To juice out maximum flavors and sweet aroma from your coffee grounds for a full-bodied brew, the unit employs a FastBrew and PureFlavor technology. Simply put, the combination of these two cutting-edge technologies enables this unit to fill the carafe with aromatic, flavorful coffee in about 9-10 minutes.
That’s quite fast for a 12-cup coffee maker. Operation is as simple as it can get. Moreover, this thing remembers previously chosen settings, which further adds to the convenience. The warmer plate keeps the brew piping hot for two hours and then automatically shuts off to save power.
Like all tech-rich drip coffee machines, this one too has a “Clean” LED indicator which turns solid when it’s time to run the cleaning cycle.
Make sure to run the cleaning cycle with a descaling agent to keep the machine in top condition. The only underwhelming aspect of this appliance is the anti-drip feature. It does drip a little when you remove the carafe. Not a big deal, though.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much coffee do I use for 12 cups?
Ans: Even though it says 12-cup, the actual “cup” size on an auto-drip machine is 6 oz, compared to the 8 oz. cups we are used to.
Here’s a general guideline to help you nail the coffee to water ratio in a drip coffee maker. Use 8.5 grams of grounds for every 6 oz. of water. That’s about 70 grams for a 12-cup pot.
2. How do I make my coffee taste better?
Ans: Here are 5 tried and tasted, barista-approved hacks that elevate the coffee taste, irrespective of the brewing method:
1. Ditch the pre-ground coffee. Instead, get yourself a burr grinder and grind the beans right before brewing.
2. Try two tablespoons of freshly ground coffee in every 6 oz. of water.
3. Always use filtered water for brewing.
4. Brewing at a temperature of 205 degrees F will result in a burnt, bitter-tasting brew.
5. Clean the coffee machine after every use.
3. What is the best grind for a drip coffee maker?
Ans: Use medium-fine grounds for cone-shaped filters and medium coarse (slightly finer than granulated sugar) for filter baskets and gold-tone permanent filters.
4. Why is my coffee maker making weak coffee?
Ans: Low water temperature is almost always the key culprit for feeble coffee. The next reason could be incorrect coffee to water ratio. Too little coffee with too much water leads to a weak brew.
If you are sure none of these are factors have any part to play in this, check for calcium buildup inside your coffee machine. Run a cleaning cycle with a descaling agent and it should be back to brewing strong, delicious coffee again.
So that was my take on the best 12 cup coffee makers doing the rounds of the market today. Despite being a staunch Espresso drinker, my programmable drip coffee maker is an indispensable part of my life. I need a huge amount of coffee to satiate my caffeine fix, so a 12 cup machine was the obvious choice for me.
I also love how quickly I can brew a large pot while hanging out with my friends at home on weekends. So don’t wait up too much, quickly get yourself a coffee machine and make adulting a bit easier maybe.