How to Pick the Best 4 Cup Coffee Maker Available on the Market in 2021

Coffee is something we all enjoy, especially in the morning. Once you’ve had a superb cup of coffee, you’ll never want to drink an ordinary one again. Coffee has become the most popular drink in the United States with the expansion of culture. With the growing demand, coffee machines have become more affordable, smaller, and capable of brewing a high-quality fresh cup in just a few minutes.

However, most drip coffee machines today can brew a batch of 12 cups of beverage in one go, which is overkill for a household with just one or two coffee enthusiasts. As a result, 12 cup coffee makers are more suitable for larger families or workplaces. On the other hand, smaller families mainly prefer smaller and more economical 4 cup coffee makers that are easier to use and maintain.

Why Brew Your Coffee at Home?

You can describe the profile of a cup of coffee based on multiple factors. This includes the region where coffee beans are sourced from, their fragrance (smell of ground coffee before brewing), roast profile, body or feel, flavor, acidity, aroma (smell of brewed coffee), and aftertaste. Assuming that you drink several cups during the day, you may understand that it is not exactly convenient to wait in line outside a coffeehouse in the morning for that mass-produced $5 cup.

So, how about “instant coffee” as a substitute? Well, most coffee connoisseurs aren’t its biggest fans. In their opinion, coffee prepared at home is far superior in terms of freshness and quality.

Why Grind Your Coffee Beans at Home?

If you are brewing coffee at home, you might want to grind it too. Here are a few reasons why:

  • You can never be sure if you’re buying 100% powdered coffee since several companies mix chicory to add a woody and nutty flavor
  • The smell of ground coffee before brewing is lost if there is a gap of more than a few minutes between the grinding and brewing process
  • You can tweak the consistency, body, or feel of coffee to your liking by changing the settings of the coffee grinding process
  • You do not have to buy separate coffee powders for espresso (finely ground) and French-press (thick/coarsely ground) if you grind coffee beans yourself
  • Not all coffee makers come with inbuilt grinders. You can buy a grinder and a coffee maker separately and even save some money as a drip coffee maker with a grinder is significantly pricier. When that delicious brain juice does its thing in the morning, you’ll appreciate the value of this investment
  • If you brew coffee with store-bought ground coffee, your cup will end up lacking freshness as the oils released from the beans during the grinding process will not impart the authentic flavor to your cup

So, the crux of the matter is that you need to pick the best 4 cup coffee maker, get a grinder, and buy the right beans to enjoy aromatic and refreshing coffee throughout the day.

How to Pick the Best 4 Cup Coffee Maker?

There is more than what meets the eye when picking the right coffee maker as there are so many features, functionalities, and other variations in different models. Let us check out some of the best 4 cup coffee makers for you to pick from:

1. Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Carafe

Editor’s rating: 4.5 Star Editor's Rating

Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Carafe, Black Key Features

  • Easy to use drip coffee maker
  • 4-Cup Stainless-steel carafe with knuckle guard
  • Brew-pause feature for pouring a cup mid-brew
  • Indicator light on ON/OFF rocker switch
  • Scratch-resistant warming plate
  • BPA Free

The first product on our list comes fitted with a showerhead that evenly sprays water on ground coffee for enhanced brewing and outstanding coffee flavor. This drip coffee maker is incredibly simple to use and comes with a heat-resistant stainless-steel carafe to keep your coffee warm.

If you forget to turn it off by accident, the scratch-resistant warming plate automatically shuts off 30 minutes after brewing, preventing the coffee from smelling burnt. If you can’t wait while the coffee is brewing, the brew-pause option allows you to take a cup.

The brewing process continues, but pouring will not restart for another 30 seconds, during which time you must replace the carafe so that the machine may finish its brew cycle.


One button operation

Heat-resistant stainless-steel carafe for safe and easy pouring

Warming plate with nonstick coating

Keeps coffee in the carafe warm and automatically shuts off after 30 minutes



No clock or timer

No beeping after finishing brewing

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2. Mr. Coffee 5-Cup Programmable, Brew Now or Later, Coffee Maker

Editor’s rating: 4.5 Star Editor's Rating

Mr. Coffee 5 Cup Programmable 25 oz. Mini, Brew Now or Later, with Water Filtration and Nylon Reusable Filter, Coffee Maker, Black Key Features

  • Brew later feature to wake up to freshly brewed coffee
  • Brews 5 cups in one go
  • Grab-A-Cup Auto Pause feature for pouring a cup before finishing the brew cycle
  • Transparent water window on the side to avoid overflow
  • It includes a water filtration disk and frame
  • Removable filter basket for easier filling and cleanup
  • 650-watt stain-resistant hot plate

Mr. Coffee’s 5-cup coffee machine will significantly reduce, if not eliminate, your visits to the local barista. Its Brew-Later feature allows you to program your coffeemaker to prepare a batch of freshly made coffee the following morning when you wake up. This feature is convenient for individuals who never have enough time to make coffee in the morning. In addition, they can avoid ordering outrageously expensive coffee at work if they use the brew later feature.

A batch of 5 cups takes roughly 5 minutes to brew, and if you need a cup while it’s still brewing, simply grab the carafe and pour your cup; the machine will automatically pause and resume brewing if you return the carafe within 30 seconds. This tiny appliance is well worth the money because of the Grab-A-Cup Auto Pause feature and the delicious coffee it brews.

If you left home in a hurry and forgot to turn it off, don’t worry; it will turn off automatically after two hours.


Brew later feature to set it ahead

Ergonomic glass carafe with measuring markings

Compact design

Nylon Reusable Filter

It takes up minimum space

Easy to clean hot plate

2-hour automatic shut-off


It does not notify you with a beep after brewing

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3. BLACK+DECKER 5-Cup Coffeemaker DCM600B

Editor’s rating: 4.5 Star Editor's Rating

BLACK+DECKER 5-Cup Coffeemaker, Black, DCM600B Key Features

  • Basic ON and OFF operation
  • Brews 5 cups in one go
  • Transparent water window on the side to avoid overflow
  • Removable filter basket for easier filling and cleanup
  • Perfect for solo or small households
  • Scratch-resistant warming plate

This excellent drip coffeemaker is confirmation that you do not need to burn a hole in your pocket to brew a decent cup of coffee at home. However, it lacks most of the extra features that come with the more expensive models. This Black+Decker 5-cup coffee maker has no display, no programming, no clock, no-frills, and takes up very little room on your kitchen shelf. In addition, when you remove the carafe from its place while the brewing is in progress, it does not instantly pause.

It’s for budget-conscious shoppers who can’t imagine giving up their morning cup of freshly prepared coffee. You may also use it as a single-serve machine by filling the reservoir with water and putting the necessary amount of ground coffee into the filter.


No-fuss, no-frills appliance

No brew-pause functionality

Reinforced dura-life glass carafe with coffee and water level markings

Aesthetic design

Extremely Affordable

It takes up minimum space

Nonstick hot plate


No clock or timer

Not BPA free

It does not notify you with a beep after brewing

The hot plate doesn’t shut off automatically

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4. Zojirushi EC-dac50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker

Editor’s rating: 4.5 Star Editor's Rating

Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker,Silver Key Features

  • This 650-watt drip coffee maker brews up to 5 cups of coffee
  • Glass carafe houses filter cone
  • Charcoal water filter for better taste
  • Removable water tank with separate hot/cold measure marks visible from outside
  • Automatic keep-warm function for the glass carafe

Zutto (Zoot-tow) means “forever” in Japanese, and we assume the goal behind the name is to convey to the consumer that you will adore it forever. The Zutto has been around long enough for customers to recognize that its elegant form not only adds beauty to your kitchen but also works seamlessly. Its one-of-a-kind glass carafe houses the filter cone, allowing water to meet coffee outside the machine, which is far less messy. It is ideal for households with up to two coffee drinkers, a tiny kitchen, and a lack of interest in bells and whistles such as programmed and automated features. It’s very satisfying to take out the water reservoir and clean it.

The option for iced coffee is a welcome surprise, as other coffee makers lack this easy feature. However, since this machine does not allow you to choose the strength of your coffee, if you prefer your coffee to be very strong, use the measurements recommended for iced coffee.


One button operation

Replaceable charcoal water filter

Easy to clean removable water reservoir

Coffee in the glass carafe stays warm automatically

Sleek and compact design

Option for a more potent brew for iced coffee

Worth the price


No clock or timer

The warmer does not turn off automatically

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5. Capresso 303.01 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

Editor’s rating: 4.5 Star Editor's Rating

Capresso 303.01 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino Machine Key Features

  • Built-in safety valve to prevent hot steam from escaping
  • Portafilter with filter holder and plastic handle
  • 4 cup glass carafe with level marking
  • Adjustable steam output for frothing or steaming milk
  • ABS plastic and stainless steel accent

For those who enjoy cappuccinos, in addition to espresso coffee, we have included a machine that can also make cappuccinos. In many ways, these drinks differ from those made with drip coffee makers. For example, crema/foam, insoluble portions of coffee beans, and oil are all present in espresso coffee. Also, because espresso receives less filtration than drip-brewed coffees that pass through a paper filter, it is significantly more robust, rich, and strong.

It’s a quick coffee maker that lets you adjust the strength of the coffee and the amount of steam it produces. This four-cup espresso and cappuccino maker features simple frothing and brewing controls.

You can use the steamer wand to froth/steam milk for cappuccino and latte beverages. The filter holder, filter basket, and glass carafe can all be washed in the dishwasher or by hand. To remove any milk deposits, rinse the frother nozzle with warm water and wipe the metal frother pipe with a moist piece of cloth.


Built-in steam frothing wand

Strength adjustment knob to personalize the taste

Detachable permanent filter

Steam-pressurized cap

Easy-clean, easy-pour



The steam wand sputters at startup

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Buyers’ Guide – Things to Consider Before Buying a 4 Cup Coffee Maker

There are several essential things to look for in a 4 cup coffee maker to make sure that you make the right choice. Read on for a quick list of basic considerations before you make the purchase:

  • Budget

Let’s begin with the most obvious of all factors: the cost. Apart from ensuring that the coffee maker is within your budget, you also need to ensure that it has all of the functions you need. Also, you may not want to spend money on things that you will never use. You must examine the appliance’s energy consumption as well as the cost of its accessories. Budget-wise, a coffee maker with a reusable filter is preferable to disposable paper filters, as buying disposable paper filters can add to the cost over time.

  • Brewing Temperature

The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is 205°F, and the minimum temperature to extract the aroma and flavor of coffee optimally is 195°F. So, make sure that the coffee maker you are planning to buy can consistently maintain the recommended temperature while brewing.

  • Ease of Use

The majority of people prefer simple, user-friendly devices. Some of the best 4 cup coffee makers are programmable and start brewing automatically at a set time. However, you must decide whether you require such capabilities or prefer a coffee maker with a simple on/off switch. Also, make sure it’s simple to use, clean, maintain, and reuse.

  • Brew Speed

A batch of coffee might take anything from 5 to 14 minutes to brew in a coffee machine. Before purchasing, you might want to double-check the brew speed. If you’re rushing out the door every morning, choose one that has an automated start option and a brew timer to save time. For example, you can schedule it to automatically start brewing coffee at 8:20 AM the night before because you have to leave for work at 8:30 the following day.

There are also additional factors to consider, such as space efficiency and the type of coffee filter. Whether or not the accessories are dishwasher safe, the plastic components are BPA-free, among others. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Should I Prefer a Glass Carafe or a Stainless-Steel Carafe?

In many coffee makers that come with stainless-steel thermal carafes, there is no warmer as they can also keep your coffee warm through insulation. Thermal carafes can keep your coffee somewhat warm this way, but glass carafes need to have a hot plate fitted underneath. So, whether you opt for a coffee maker that comes with a steel or glass carafe, make sure that it also has a hot plate instead of a simple holder.

2. Does My Coffee Maker Need Descaling?

There is often some degree of hardness (higher mineral content) in water. The dissolved mineral content leads to the build-up of calcium, magnesium, and limestone over time in your coffee maker. As a result, there can be visible white residue, blocked holes, a decline in taste, and your coffee maker can even cease to function. The harder the water is used, the sooner the formation of scale will occur. A pricey but easy solution is to switch to softened water or distilled water instead of tap water to delay scaling drastically. A better solution is to periodically use either vinegar water solution or commercial descaler to avoid this problem.

3. Should I Buy Ground Coffee or Coffee Beans to Brew Coffee in These Coffee Makers?

All of the coffee makers reviewed above run on ground coffee. It is recommended to get a coffee grinder and grind coffee beans fresh at home. Store-bought ground coffee can never match up to freshly ground coffee. However, if you don’t own a grinder and have no plan to buy one in the near future, you might want to buy ground coffee in smaller packets with a quicker reorder to have access to freshly ground coffee.

4. Should I Prefer a Disposable Paper Filter or a Reusable Filter?

It all depends on your personal preferences. Oils and micro-fines are frequently left at the bottom of the carafe when using a reusable filter, which some people don’t mind while others despise. A disposable paper filter captures even the tiny granules of coffee, as well as the majority of the oils. In addition, the cost of utilizing paper filters accumulates over time, whereas their reusable counterparts do not require regular replacement. Paper filters are for individuals who desire their coffee to be sediment and oil-free and value the ease of disposal over the cost of the filter. A reusable filter is for people who prefer a darker, more robust coffee with oils and micro-fines and who are willing to clean the reusable filter regularly.


There are numerous coffee makers available on the market, ranging from single-serve models to those capable of brewing dozens of cups at once. This quick guide will assist you in narrowing down your options and selecting a machine that best suits your requirements.

Do some additional research, consider your unique needs, and evaluate the products carefully to make the best decision. If you don’t believe these smaller coffee makers with built-in grinders are for you, take a look at the best coffee makers with grinders.

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