The 5 Fastest Coffee Makers
The worst morning isn’t waking up late for work and rushing to get yourself together. It isn’t skipping the shower and drenching yourself in cologne. It isn’t running for the bus, or yelling at red tail lights that never seem to move fast enough. No, the worst morning is doing all that without a cup of coffee.
Besides death and taxes, tardiness may be the only other certainty in this life, but just because your alarm is giving you the silent treatment doesn’t mean you have to rush on without coffee. Therefore, today I will be reviewing the fastest coffee makers on the market.
Technically, the Aeropress is not the fastest coffee maker there is, but it is still damn FAST.
With this manual brewer, you can control every step of the brewing process, thus, helping you make great coffee without burning a hole your bank account.
What to Look For if You Need Caffeine in a Rush
…A handmade cup of coffee will always be more special, but sometimes, we all feel the need to press a button and let the gentle hum of modernity ease our busy, bothered minds.
To be fair, I’ve overgeneralised the type of person who would need or want a fast coffee. That person may not be a consistently late-type; that person may be someone who occasionally gets tired of the drawn-out process of manual coffee or someone who entertains guests. Whoever you are, and whatever specific need a fast coffee brewer would fulfil for you, there are four things to consider before buying:
After speed, convenience may be the most important aspect of a fast coffee machine. Let’s say you are the forever-late type, rushing in the morning to get your shit together and make yourself office ready. Fear not, there are some speedy manual machines out there and the time you don’t spend nannying your brew is time spent brushing your teeth or relieving yourself of last night’s Thai dinner (no one wants to walk into work with Pad Thai gurgling in their bowels).
A coffee machine that’s quick and requires the least amount of effort is a major time-saver.
Additionally, convenience could apply to any other scenario that necessitates quick coffee: serving your grumpy grandfather on Christmas morning, appeasing a possible business partner without interrupting the meeting, or urgently nursing a crippling hangover. Luckily, when it comes to coffee machines, speed and convenience often go hand in hand. There are many one-touch machines that can churn out a piping-hot cup of coffee in under a few minutes.
Unfortunately, as with most things, saving time typically leads to reduced quality, so you’d be wise to accept that quality is almost always sacrificed for speed.
Coffee is a delicate commodity, and without proper provocation (1) will refuse to relinquish its closely guarded flavors. However, like Henry Ford (the factory line magician), some creative inventors have found expeditious ways to unlock the delicious oils trapped in your coffee beans. Thus, there are coffee machines capable of producing not only a quick cup, but a tasty cup as well (2). The question of quality typically comes down to process, as only some methods work well with speed-brewing.
- Pressure brewing, like the AeroPress.
- Some automatic drip brewers (but not all).
- Immersion brewing, like the French press.
- Capsule brewing, like the Nespresso and Dolce Gusto.
- Pour over brewing. (like these)
- Vacuum brewing (siphon coffee brewers – they are cool, but very slow)
Though you may be inclined to think so, speed does not necessarily mean reduced quantity. Many quick coffee machines are single cup brewers, but there are some that can fill an entire carafe just as quickly.
Whether you go with a 12-cup or one-cup brewer is (more or less) a matter of personal preference.
Virtually all of the fast, large batch coffee machines are automatic, and will suffer from the same issues as automatic single cup machines: inadequate temperature, malfunctions, leakages. Despite these issues, there are many quick, automatic coffee makers that manage to consistently pour out steamy, flavorful coffee.
The only surefire way to avoid the inherent complications of automatic brewers is to go with a manual brewer, which gives you complete control over each step of the brew process (3). Believe it or not, there are some manual brewers out there that can keep pace with some of the quickest automatic brewers.
As you may have already guessed, some of these machines will be a bit expensive. After all, they do feature the holy trifecta of highly valued consumer goods: speed, convenience, and quality. That said, there is one aspect that impacts price more than all the rest, and ironically enough, it’s not quality.
Convenience, in today’s fast-food-saturated world, is the clearest determinant of price, and the more bells and whistles your coffee machine comes with, the more expensive it will be. However, as I’ve noted, convenience doesn’t always accompany superior quality.
There is a clear limit to how good of a cup an automatic machine can make. Manual coffee brewers, on the other hand, have a less defined limit, and, given proper use, can far exceed their robotic cousins.
For those purely interested in quality, good news, because manual is almost always less expensive – by a wide margin – than automatic. However, manual brewing requires a great deal more attention and devotion than automatic brewing (4).
The 5 Fastest Coffee Makers Available in 2020
With a better idea of how to judge the fastest-of-the-fast coffee makers, let’s dive into my top picks – from machine, to manual – and all delivering a great cup of joe:
1 – The AeroPress
“Best suited for travellers and campers”
- As a manual brewer, you have complete control over each step of brewing
- Small and easily portable.
- Makes an unparalleled cup of coffee.
- Requires complete attention, leaving little room for multitasking.
- Only a single-cup brewer.
Kicking us off is one of the newest additions to manual coffee brewing: the AeroPress. This little gizmo is basically a hydraulic pump for coffee, which uses pressure to quick-brew some of the tastiest coffee you’ll ever enjoy.
Using the original brewing method laid out in the instruction manual, you can brew up a single cup of delicious coffee (or 2 cups if you use the inverted method) in just a few minutes. The unique pressure method, used only in a handful of other brewers, is very efficient at unlocking the flavors and oils trapped within your grounds.
Check out this hilarious video on how it’s done: GO FASTER, MOMMY: The beauty of the AP is that you can use a wide range of grinds, and still brew a damn fine coffee simply by changing the brew time. If you are really in a rush, use a fine grind, and brew for 1-2 minutes.
Given its outstanding brew quality and tolerance for tweaking, the AeroPress has quickly become a favorite for many brewers (including us). However, it is not without its drawbacks. For one, the AeroPress requires constant attention throughout the entire brew process. Another limitation is that it was designed, in our opinion, to only brew one cup at a time, though that single cup is damn delightful.
2 – The BUNN BXB Velocity Brew
“Best suited for big households”
- For large batch brewing, the Velocity is the lightening fast
- The sprayhead helps to ensure even extraction
- Features a ceramic warming plate to keep your coffee hot as long as you want
- Delicate parts make for a short lifespan
- Under-brews your coffee every time
- Hard-to-get-rid-of plastic smell will inhibit the pleasant coffee aroma
Despite its oh-so-clever name (probably the result of countless focus groups), the BXB Velocity really is a fast coffee maker. This speed demon can brew a ten-cup carafe in about three minutes – an unmatched record – which would make it a good choice for someone entertaining guests.
It uses a unique sprayhead to help ensure an even extraction of your beans, as well as a ceramic warming plate to keep your coffee warm. However, there has been some serious sacrifices made to create such a quick coffee maker.
Coffee should be brewed somewhere within the range of 195-205°F (5), but the BXB Velocity only brews at about 170-180°F. Although the Velocity is consistent, it is consistently under-brewing your coffee. Whoops.
3 – The Keurig K55
“Best suited for people who want coffee at the push of a button”
- At about $100, the Keurig is the least expensive automatic machine on the list
- Makes coffee in less than two minutes
- Can purchase reusable K-Cups
- Creates a lot of waste and extra expense (if you don’t use the reusable K-Cup)
- Inconsistent manufacturing quality – some are great and some crumble
- Only brews one cup at a time, making it unsuitable for large groups
I know what you are thinking, I can almost hear it as I type: “what is a pod coffee maker doing on a self-proclaimed coffee snob’s website?” If it makes you feel any better, I spent many sleepless nights on that very same thought. However, the answer to that question is that the Keurig is fast.
The time between filling the reservoir with water and sipping on a fresh cup of pod-coffee comes in just under 2 minutes. Although the Keurig K55 only makes one cup at a time, there really isn’t a faster way to brew coffee.
One of the major issues with Keurig coffee machines is the massive amount of waste it produces and cost it incurs.
Keep in mind that each cup of coffee requires its own individual plastic pod, and each of those plastic pods cost about $0.70, and each is going into the trash (not recycled). Let me save you the math, and tell you that the outcome of that formula is bleak at best. However, kudos to Keurig for making the reusable K-Cup, which allows you to fill the basket with your own grounds and lighten your trash bags.
We’ve rounded up the “best” Keurig machines depending on your needs. But can we ask a favor of you? Please consider a machine that is not a Keurig – the world has enough waste problems as is – we’ve just listed it here for arguments sake.
4 – Bodum Brazil French Press
“Best suited for people who like rich and flavorful coffee”
- The least expensive coffee maker on the list
- Simple and easy to use (for a manual brewer)
- Makes a rich and well bodied cup of coffee.
- Takes seven minutes to use, the longest on this list
- Requires more attention than automatic brewers
The only other manual brewer to grace this list is The Bodum Brazil French press. Although manual like the AeroPress, this French press doesn’t require as much nannying. Summed up in about three easy steps: pour in hot water and grounds, steep for two minutes, press et voila!
All in all, this process takes about seven minutes – four to five minutes to heat your water and grind your beans, and then two minutes of steeping time – but compared to many other manual methods it’s both- fast and simple. However, with a brew time at about seven minutes, the French press is the slowest of the fastest. Additionally, though it’s easier than the AeroPress, it still isn’t quite as convenient as the one-push automatic brewers.
5 – The Moccamaster KBT
“Best suited for people who want the best of the best”
- SCAA approved brewer.
- Brews between 196-205°F, a better temperature than most automatics coffee makers.
- Includes a stainless steel thermal carafe.
- At $300+, it is the most expensive coffee maker on the list.
- Taking about six minutes to brew a half-carafe, it is the slowest automatic brewer.
Technivorm is well known for its high quality coffee makers, and the KBT741 does not disappoint. This brewer is competent, quick, and sexy (personal opinion). Although it won’t completely fill the carafe as quickly as some of the other ones on this list, it will fill a half carafe (enough for three cups of coffee) in no more than six minutes.
Compared to the other automatic brewers on this list, the KBT is relatively slow; yet, what it lacks in speed, it makes up for in performance.
The KBT will last for a long time, and it will consistently brew between 196-205°F. It utilizes a unique immersion-drip method to ensure that you get an even extraction. In fact, it extracts your coffee so well that its part of the ‘Speciality Coffee Association of America’s’ (SCAA) approved coffee maker – see the full list here.
Unlike the other automatics, the KBT will not come undone after repeated use. Besides the comparatively long brew time, the only other negative mark against the KBT is its high price point. However, considering its excellence and convenience, it is worth every penny.
As difficult as it was, I have chosen a winner for the fastest coffee maker of all time: the AeroPress. Although the AeroPress isn’t the fastest coffee maker, it is still damn fast.
Furthermore, as a manual brewer, it is entirely open to modification, and every step is under your complete control. This means you can achieve the same quality brew as the Moccamaster KBT without burning a hole your bank account.
The AeroPress is the most balanced choice of speed, quality, and cost. Any reservations you have over convenience or quality will soon be dispelled once you taste the near-perfect cup of coffee this brewer can pump out.
The best home coffee maker is the one that suits your particular coffee drinking needs and brewing habits. If you enjoy creating your morning cup from scratch and want complete control over the brewing process a manual espresso machine might be the best option for you. If time is of the essence, an automated machine or AeroPress might tickle your pickle. Or, if you’re the conventional type, the good ol’ French Press may be the perfect fit.
Here’s a list of the best rated home coffee makers.
An expensive coffee maker may produce better tasting coffee due to high-quality material and advanced features. Coffee makers can vary greatly in terms of the quality, consistency and brewing control they offer. Of course, higher quality and technology will result in a higher price tag. For example, a bigger shower head is a great feature ensuring even extraction of your coffee beans resulting in better flavor, but it does come at a price.
Yes, some coffee makers will make better coffee than others. The quality of material used to produce the machine as well as its features will influence the taste of your coffee. Coffee makers that include a burr grinder, brew at a consistent temperature and ensure an even extraction of coffee beans will gift you with significantly better-tasting coffee than the ones that don’t offer these features.
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- Mazzarello, B. (2016, March 12). 5 Mistakes You Made Brewing Your Coffee This Morning. Retrieved July 3, 2019, from https://blog.bluebottlecoffee.com/posts/coffee-brewing-tips
- Black Bear, How to Brew “The Perfect Cup” of Coffee. (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2019, from https://blackbearcoffee.com/resources/87