Fastest Coffee Makers From Consumer Reports' Tests

6 models that are great for hurried mornings

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coffee makers Consumer Reports, manufacturer

When it’s time for coffee, it’s time for coffee.

The experts at Consumer Reports recognize the importance of speed when it comes to brewing a fresh pot. They're human, after all.

“We time how long it takes drip coffee makers to brew a pot of coffee with 40 ounces of water, which yields about eight cups of coffee,” says Ginny Lui, CR’s test engineer for coffee makers. (A coffee cup is typically 5 ounces instead of the usual 8 ounces of a standard measuring cup.) “And for pod machines, we time how long it takes to brew the first cup of coffee as well as subsequent cups.”

But we don’t stop at brew speed. For drip coffee makers, we conduct a brew-performance test to measure the brew temperature and contact time—that is, how long water stays within the sweet spot of 195° F to 205° F for brewing. (CR shows you how to brew the perfect cup of coffee.)

For pod coffee makers, our engineers evaluate the consistency of temperature and size of each individual cup. Then our expert coffee taste tester weighs in.

Both types of coffee makers also undergo convenience tests to evaluate how easy it is to set timers, fill the reservoir, clean the machine, and more. We also factor in ratings for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction of brands into each model's Overall Score. All this means you can trust our coffee maker ratings to find a fast coffee maker that’s right for you.

The quickest drip coffee makers brew a pot in 5 minutes. As a point of comparison, the slowest coffee maker in our ratings takes 14 minutes to brew a full pot. Here are six of the quickest that also earn top scores for brewing. CR members can click on each model name for detailed ratings.

Brew time: 5 minutes
CR’s take: The Bunn CSB3T Speed Brew is one of the fastest drip coffee makers in our ratings. It offers decent—but not outstanding—brew performance and carafe handling. Its feature set is a bit bare-bones, with only auto-shutoff and a thermal carafe. But CR members seem to really like their Bunn brewers, giving them an Excellent rating for owner satisfaction in our latest member survey.

Brew time: 8 minutes
CR’s take: If you prefer a self-serve reservoir over a carafe, the speediest machine you can get is the Hamilton Beach BrewStation Summit 4846[4]. This brewer can hold 62 ounces of coffee (or just over 12 cups) in its reservoir and offers a dispenser to fill individual cups. The model has a programming feature, auto-shutoff, brew-strength control, a cleaning indicator, and more. It earns a Very Good rating for convenience and has top-notch brew performance, too.

Brew time: 8 minutes
CR’s take: For coffee aficionados who prefer grinding whole beans over buying coffee already ground, the Cuisinart Next-Generation Burr Grind & Brew 12-cup DGB-800 is the machine to buy. While a Black+Decker model technically beats it by a hair for speed, this Cuisinart offers much better brew performance (earning a Very Good rating) and carafe handling. This Cuisinart also features a permanent filter, a water filter, auto-shutoff, programming, and brew-strength control.

Brew time: 6 minutes
CR’s take: If you like being able to offer guests multiple options—such as hot coffee, iced coffee, lattes, cold brew, and tea—check out the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System CP307. (The 6-minute brew time applies only to traditional hot coffee.) This combination machine brews all those drinks and comes packed with features, including auto-shutoff, a permanent filter, a removable reservoir, programming, a thermal carafe, small-batch settings, and brew-strength control. In our tests, it earns high scores for brew performance and convenience, and a Very Good rating for carafe handling. It performs well as an automatic cold-brew coffee maker in those ratings, too.

First-cup brew time: About 1 minute
Repeat-cup brew time: About 30 seconds
CR’s take: The speediest pod machine in our ratings is the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker in Aluminum EN125S. It earns high marks for first-cup speed, repeat-cup speed, and cup-size consistency. And it earns a rating of Very Good for brewing range, which means you have plenty of control over the strength of your brew. The Pixie has a removable water reservoir, a height-adjustable drip tray, and an adjustable brew temperature feature. It’s simple to use, and it can also brew three types of coffee—lungo (an Italian version), espresso, and ristretto (a more concentrated espresso)—depending on the capsules you buy.

First-cup brew time: About 1 minute, 30 seconds
Repeat-cup brew time: About 1 minute, 30 seconds
CR’s take: For the Keurig K-Cup faithful, the Cuisinart Coffee Center SS-15 offers a zippy brew time. This K-Cup brewer also doubles as a 12-cup drip coffee maker and features auto-shutoff, a height adjustable drip tray, a built-in water filter, and a removable reservoir. In terms of performance, it earns an Excellent rating for first-cup speed, with great temperature consistency and cup-size consistency, and has easy-to-use controls.

Home Content Creator Daniel Wroclawski

Daniel Wroclawski

I'm obsessed with smart home tech and channel my obsession into new stories for Consumer Reports. When I'm not writing about products, I spend time either outside hiking and skiing or up in the air in small airplanes. For my latest obsessions, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@danwroc).