The pandemic changed the face of the modern workforce. However, even before the COVID-19, the shutdowns and recommendations for social distancing, those choosing to work remotely had increased exponentially.
In fact, over the past 12 years, there has been a 159% increase in remote workers. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, more employers mandatorily or voluntarily allowed employees to begin working remotely. Now, those who moved to the remote setting are so satisfied with the work environment, up to 97% of them don’t want to return to the traditional office setting.
Having the ideal home office setup is a top priority for those working from home. While you may have the desk, chair, and computer covered, what about the coffee?
According to one study, 85% of professionals reported drinking a minimum of three cups of coffee each day. If you enjoy a cup of Joe in the morning, afternoon, or at any point during your workday, having the best coffee maker is a must.
Unfortunately, you may wonder what coffee maker is right for you and your work-at-home set up with so many options.
Here you can find a comprehensive buying guide to ensure you find the best of the best when it comes to coffee makers for your home office.
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Innovative and Exciting Options
The latest coffee makers on the market offer you barista-quality beverages right from your kitchen. In fact, with the right coffee maker, you can get coffee that is better (and cheaper) than what you could purchase at the local coffee shop.
The coffee renaissance started in 2015 when the Ninja Coffee Bar was introduced. This versatile product allows you to make all types of coffee – from iced brews and lattes to classic black and frappes – all from home. Today, this is just one example of many brands that provide these capabilities.
Not only do coffee makers do more today, but they are also designed to match the style and décor of your kitchen. Newer machines offer stainless steel accents and sleeker lines to help complement the other elements of your kitchen or office.
It’s easy for a home office to seem cluttered and overwhelmed by the “stuff” you have in it. Because of this, you don’t want to add to the problem with a large, bulky coffee maker. The good news is that you can find small coffee makers that still provide a quality and tasty brew. You just must know where to look and what to look for.
Unsure of how to get started? If so, don’t worry. We have you covered. Here you can find a complete buying guide to find the perfect coffee maker for your home office and get to know some of our top picks. With our help, you will be enjoying freshly brewed coffee from your home office in no time.
What Type of Coffee Do You Enjoy?
One of the first things to consider when choosing a coffee maker is how you like your coffee. Some considerations include:
Cold or Hot?
Do you prefer hot coffee, cold brew, or iced? Does your preference change based on the weather outside? Some pod and drip coffee maker models provide a “brew over ice” mode or cold-brew mode. If you like a more concentrated brew, consider a cold-brew coffee maker.
How Many Cups Do You Want to Make?
If a single cup is all you need to get started in the morning, then choosing a one- or two-cup drip model or even a single-serve machine may be a good fit. However, if you drink more, choosing a bigger automatic drip machine with a carafe or even a self-serve reservoir may make more sense. The larger models available usually brew between 10 and 12 cups; however, a cup is usually measured at just five or six ounces rather than eight.
How Often Do You Drink Coffee During the Day?
Do you tend to drink coffee throughout the day? If so, you want to ensure it stays warm and fresh, right? In this situation, be sure to purchase a coffee maker that comes with an insulated carafe or mug. With this type of maker, you can feel confident your coffee will remain fresh and hot for several hours. However, remember that the thermal carafes aren’t perfect. Sometimes they dribble, and some are difficult to handle.
Do You Need Automatic Brew Capabilities?
If you are like many, you may find that making coffee first thing in the morning is just too much. If this is the case, consider a unit you can program to start brewing automatically every morning. All you must do is set things up the night before. Having a coffee maker with an automatic shutoff feature is also beneficial if you are forgetful.
Size and Height Needs
Be sure to consider the amount of counter space you have available when choosing a coffee maker. You can find all types of sizes and heights, but just consider the height of your cabinets to ensure everything fits properly.
Look and Style
If you care about how your home office looks (and most people are), it’s important to find a coffee maker that goes with your other décor. Thankfully, coffee maker manufacturers are aware of this and offer machines in all styles, colors, and materials. You can find stainless steel units, all black, and various vibrant colors such as red, teal, and yellow. In fact, the options for coffee makers available today are virtually endless, which means you can easily find one to work within your home office setting.
Choose a Coffee Maker That Works for You
If you go to the store or look online, you can find all types of coffee makers. Finding the right type for you is a must, from single serve pod machines to manual drip systems, cold-brew makers, and more. The first step in the process is to learn what types of coffee makers you have to choose from.
The most popular types of coffee makers include:
Drip Coffee Makers
If you choose a drip coffee maker, you will fill up a reservoir or chamber with water, put a filter and coffee into the basket, and hit a button to heat up the water and send it through the grounds into the pot below. The best drip coffee maker offers other features, too, such as the option to grind fresh beans right in the pot. Others brew into a self-serve reservoir that features a tap to fill several mugs. Standard drip machines will reach between 195 degrees to 205 degrees Fahrenheit in five to six minutes. This is considered the industry standard for superior brewing.
Single-Serve Pod Coffee Makers
Pod coffee makers have become more popular, especially for home offices. Water is sent through a small packet called a pod with this machine. You can also find machines that have containers to hold your favorite type of coffee grounds. Most pod machines do cost more to operate than drip coffee makers; however, they are preferred because of the single-serve option. You also must consider that there is quite a bit of waste that winds up in the landfill with a plastic pod. You will find some pod options you can recycle, but these also come at a higher cost.
Cold Brew Coffee Makers
This machine uses room-temperature or cold water to brew a concentrated coffee. Once brewed, it is diluted using ice, cold water, or hot water if you want hot coffee. You can find manual models, which are simple to use. With these, you can brew your coffee in your refrigerator or even on the counter for 12 to 24 hours. You can also choose an automatic model, which will sit on your counter and plug into a wall outlet. Depending on the model, there are ways to reduce total brewing time to just four to 45 minutes.
One- to Two-Mug Drop Coffee Makers
This is a good option if you want a home office coffee maker that will provide you with a few cups of coffee per brew. You can find both pod and drip models. In some cases, you can use the mug that comes with the machine, and in other situations, you can use your favorite mug from the kitchen.
Features and Extras
Before purchasing any coffee maker, it’s a good idea to look at what features and extras it comes with. Some features will make the machine easier to use, while others may just be confusing and pointless.
Some of the most popular features you are likely to encounter on modern coffee makers include:
Brew strength control: This feature allows you to change the speed of the water flowing into the pot, which adjusts the brew strength.
Steal-a-cup (pause and serve): Some machines allow you to pull the carafe out of the making area to fill without spilling coffee. This is commonly referred to as “steal-a-cup.”
Self-serve: With this model, your brewed coffee is stored inside rather than being stored in a mug or carafe. You can fill up your cup from the machine and feel confident the coffee will remain hot.
Self-clean cycle: With this feature, you don’t have to worry about manually cleaning your machine. Several models will request that you add water and white vinegar to it for cleaning the brewing device. Others will just let you know to clean the unit on the display.
Water filter: A water filter will help eliminate strange-tasting coffee and bad odors. It’s necessary to replace the filter after several pots to help prevent bacteria buildup. If you are concerned about overall water quality, choosing a filter mounted or whole house water filter may be smarter.
Built-in grinder: Do you want coffee that is as fresh as possible? Do you have minimal counter space for more devices? If so, a built-in grinder can be beneficial. The main downside of this is that some grind-and-brew makers are hard to use and clean. If you love using whole beans, it may be best to purchase a separate grinder.
Each of these features can enhance your coffee-making experience. Just remember, if you will use the machine in a home office setting, keeping things simple may be preferred. It’s really up to you to decide what are must-have features and what you can live without.
After determining the type of coffee maker, features, and extras you would like, you should start shopping. However, don’t just go online scrolling through options or run to the store yet. You will find hundreds (if not more) of coffee makers available for purchase. This makes it quite daunting to figure out which one to buy.
A good strategy is to look at the manufacturer’s websites, like those for the top name brands you are considering. Find out if they have models that will meet your needs. If you aren’t sure what brands are best for you, just review some of the options highlighted above.
You can also narrow down the choices by looking at factors like reliability and performance, which you can learn more about by reading past customer reviews.
Once you have settled on a specific model, be sure to compare prices at various retailers. If you can purchase the coffee maker that you have selected at a nearby store, it may be a good idea to look at it in person. You may also be able to find in-store discounts that aren’t available online.
If you need the coffee maker right away, you may need to go ahead and purchase it. However, if you can wait, you may want to see if there are discounts around the holidays.
When shopping for a coffee maker for your home office, prioritize a few things. By doing this, you can narrow down the field and find the coffee maker that best suits your needs. These three things include:
- Ability to reach the desired brew temperature between 195 degrees and 205 degrees.
- Ability to sustain the brew temperature for the entirety of the brew cycle.
- Ensures the water contacts the coffee grounds for the proper amount of time.
Usually, a “typical” coffee maker will brew too hot or too cool, has extreme temperature fluctuations during the brew cycle, and doesn’t have brew cycles that last long enough. While this is true, some options exceed expectations, like those highlighted below. With these, you can feel confident you are getting a quality brew each time you use it.
The Top 11 Coffee Makers for Remote Workers
Now that you know what to consider when choosing a coffee maker, it’s time to dive into some of the best options available. Each one offers features that someone working from home will appreciate and can help ensure you get your java fix every day.
1. Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System
Don’t balk at Ninja, this machine is an SCA-certified coffee maker, meaning it most importantly, can hit the correct temp for a bright brew. More broadly, it means it meets the “Golden Cup” standard, which means you can feel confident you will get a perfect cup of coffee every time.
It doesn’t matter if you are new to remote work or a seasoned pro; being able to handle early morning emails and reports from your couch may seem difficult and daunting if you don’t have coffee in hand.
This is especially true if you are used to stopping by the coffee shop for a latte or cappuccino. However, the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System solve all these problems. It’s considered one of the most versatile coffee makers that can make café-style drinks and doesn’t require barista skills.
At the push of a button, you have access to your favorite coffee drinks. Even better, the machine can brew your coffee cold or hot, which means you get what you want when you want it.
2. Cuisinart Perfectemp Coffee Maker
A safe bet.
Not too long ago, there was a saying “no one ever got fired for hiring IBM”. In the at-home appliance world, something similar can be said about Cuisinart.
You have likely heard of Cuisinart coffee makers in the past. It’s a great addition to any remote worker’s daily routine. In fact, it is considered one of the top appliance names in the U.S. and the world.
Well-known for creating products that last, this brand is a safe bet for buying a coffee maker.
This coffee maker is a 14-cup programmable coffee maker that will allow you to brew plenty of coffee to last, all while taking up minimal real estate on your counter or desk. Thanks to the sleek design, you will have more room for other office essentials.
Some of the other features offered by this coffee maker include a one to four-cup setting, adjustable controls to ensure your coffee stays warm, auto-shutoff, and a self-clean option. You can program your Cuisinart brand coffee maker to start brewing your coffee in the morning, at a time you choose, thanks to the programmable features.
3. Zojirushi Zutto Drip Coffee Maker
Set it and forget it.
Shorter commute means more time in bed in the morning. Let the Zojirushi brew and keep your coffee ready, for whenever you roll out of bed.
Do you want to have your coffee making while you get ready in the morning? If so, the Zojirushi Zutto is a smart option.
This compact machine won’t take up too much real estate on your desk, counter, or inside a cabinet if you want to store it when not in use. The water tank can be removed, which is convenient for refilling purposes.
The unit’s hot plate comes on when the machine is activated, which means you don’t have to worry about coming back right away. It will stay hot if the machine is one.
The machine features a conical dripper, which looks like a cone, and will brew a great-tasting cup of coffee to enjoy during the day, afternoon, or any time you need a pick-me-up. The machine brews coffee quickly and is simple to clean, which is great if you want to focus on your coffee maker’s work.
Total sidebar: the Zojirushi Rice Maker is awesome.
4. Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Brewstation
Easy to clean.
The beauty of coffee shops? Someone else cleans them, this machine reduces the burden by brewing straight into your mug.
Hamilton Beach is another well-known brand name when it comes to coffee makers. Not only is it affordable, but the sleek design is also perfect for any home office. This innovative machine offers users an enclosed brewing system, and when you are ready for a quick pick-me-up, all you must do is press the lever and get a cup at a time.
Compared to other coffee makers on the list, this coffee maker is much more sanitary. Instead of using a carafe and worrying about germs. Since there is no carafe, you can easily sanitize the lever each time you use the coffee maker, ensuring no issues or germs.
5. Nespresso Essenza Mini Coffee and Espresso Maker
Fast with a small footprint.
The perfect machine for the quick, in between back-to-back meetings pick me up (so small you might be able to fit it on your desk).
Working from home comes in many forms. You may have a set schedule you follow or follow more of a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” schedule. This coffee maker is a great addition to your office in either case.
To brew a cup, you must insert a coffee capsule and then push a button. The entire process of making your coffee will not take more than a few minutes. This means you don’t have to waste your time, and you are ready to go as soon as something else pops up.
Note: If you’re leaning towards the Nespresso, check out our in-depth guide updated for 2022.
6. Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker
Gets the job done.
Look, it’s a cheapo coffee maker that will make you coffee. This is a good pick if you’re unsure how long you’ll be WFH, and just can’t wait to get back to the coffee shop.
Making a change from a spacious corner office to your home office is not easy. One of the first things you may realize is that you are probably working with a much smaller space. However, just because you have a smaller office space does not mean you can’t enjoy a cup of coffee when you want during the day.
This coffee maker from Mr. Coffee is the perfect desktop or countertop unit for your home office. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles like some of the other options, and you can’t make fancy lattes or espressos; however, if you need coffee to keep going, this pot will deliver everything you need and then some.
The coffee maker includes a 12-cup carafe that holds plenty of coffee to last you throughout the day. Even better, all the components are dishwasher safe. Also, the little things provided by the coffee pot make you feel like you are using a more expensive option, such as the water window and the appealing feature that lets you “steal-a-cup” while the coffee is still brewing.
7. AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
Quick and rich. Will travel.
It seems strange to put the Aeropress on a WFH list when it also travels so well. This is one of the quickest ways to brew, and is easy to cleanup. And when things open up, pack it in your bag and bring it along.
AeroPress is a convenient, portable device that’s ideal for any office environment – especially your home office, where space may be limited. Even better, this is one of the most affordable options on the list.
The AeroPress is a manual, single-serve device that is lightweight, compact, and affordable. It’s made using durable materials, so taking it on the go is possible. If you have access to hot water and ground coffee, you can easily use the AeroPress.
It works like a combo of a French Press and syringe. Add finely-ground coffee and some hot water to the chamber, insert the plunger, and press down until the coffee appears. You can serve a hot cup of coffee in no time, with minimal work involved. This makes it perfect for the home office environment, especially if you are in a hurry or need to get back to a Zoom call.
Note: The Aeropress is just the start, there’s a lot of good equipment to go along with it to make the best Aeropress ever, check out our guide.
8. Amazon Basics 5-Cup Coffee Maker
Not sure yet?
This is a very cheap option if you just want to test the waters on brewing at home. YMMV
If you only drink coffee from time to time and only require a cup or two during the day, then the Amazon Basics five-cup coffee maker is a great choice. If you work alone, you don’t need anything larger in your home office, which will create great-tasting hot coffee every time it is used.
Even though the coffee maker is small, it doesn’t mean it’s not effective. It comes with a reusable filter, which helps you save money and helps you avoid having to return to the store for more filters. There’s also an auto-pause feature, which allows you to grab coffee even while it’s still brewing.
All Amazon Basics products come with a one-year limited warranty, which means if something goes wrong, you can get a new pot!
9. Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffee Maker
Great for couples/roommates!
This is my absolute favorite. The brightness of a pour over, with the batch brewing possibilities enough for you and a friend / spouse / roommate. If you’re both working from home, trade off brewing with this little guy.
The Chemex coffee maker has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. However, it does require a bit more expertise than the automatic drip makers require.
This coffee maker is known as the original batch coffee brewer. It is a basic and simple device featuring an hourglass-shaped glass carafe and handles. You place your paper filter in the top portion and pour-over. Instead of making a single mug-sized cup of coffee, you are making two to three cups, which is great if you have a long meeting or something else that’s going to keep you in your chair for a while.
If you want to use this coffee maker to create coffee that is considered “barista quality,” you must have a 0.01-gram accurate scale, consistent grinder, and pouring kettle.
10. Bunn Quick Brew Coffee Maker
Just like your coffee shop.
Your coffee shop most likely uses a souped up version of this machine. If you miss grabbing your drip, black… this one’s for you. Read on to find out why.
Do you have to have your cup of coffee to get going in the morning? Or do you need cups throughout the day to re-energize yourself? If so, there are plenty of options on this list; however, if you want to enjoy all the delicate flavors in different types of coffee, then the Bunn coffee maker is a great option.
Do you have a refined palate that allows you to tell the difference in coffee brewed in a drip maker, press pot, and percolator? If you want to taste all the flavors of the brew, then a Bunn coffee maker is great. It keeps hot water ready to go, which allows you to enjoy a cup of hot coffee in under three minutes.
Also, thanks to the multi-stream spray, you can feel confident your grounds will be covered evenly throughout the brew, and the flat bottom filter highlights all the flavors of your coffee even more.
Note: Another benefit of Bunn that makes this an appealing coffee maker to purchase for your home office is that it gives back to the community. Via the Bunn Community Outreach Program, employees can volunteer for various non-profit organizations.
11. Keurig 12 Cup and Single Serve Coffee Maker
This is by far the easiest way to have a coffee at home. Easiest, and maybe the least good tasting. That said, if you like diner-style coffee, you may just love this one.
When you are working from home, you may just want a single cup of coffee. However, you may also have a day where you want a pot, ready to go when you need it. With this Keurig coffee maker, you get the best of both worlds thanks to the 12-cup coffee maker and single-serve maker. It features a single reservoir shared between the two, ensuring you can make any size cup or pot you want.
When you purchase a Keurig for your home office, you are also doing something good for the environment and humanity, thanks to Keurig’s ongoing use of responsible practices. From the packaging that is used to the way Keurig products are constructed, the safety of the planet and the rights of others are always considered.
If you are concerned about using the available plastic K-cups, you can choose refillable and biodegradable pods if you prefer. Find a flavor you love and enjoy a single cup of coffee or an entire pot any time you like during your at-home workday.
Increase Work-at-Home Productivity with the Right Coffee Maker
Working remotely comes with unique challenges. Because of this, it is important to find the right coffee maker to help you get started in the morning and power through the day without any lulls. The coffee makers highlighted here are ideal for the home office and will provide you with the quality coffee you want and need to get through the day. Be sure to use the included buying guide to find the coffee maker that best suits your needs and wants when it comes to coffee.
In the long run, putting time and effort into finding the right coffee maker can help you be a more productive and efficient remote worker. When it comes to coffee makers, there’s a lot of options. You can make an educated decision regarding the best one for your home office with the tips and information found here. Being informed will ensure you enjoy fresh coffee every day.