Brew the Perfect Coffee at Home

Whether you like French press, drip machines, cold brew, or espresso, we can all agree that there’s nothing like a good cup of coffee.


his week we’ve gathered our favorite kitchen equipment for brewing a perfect cup of coffee at home. Our favorite cold-brew system yields rich, full-flavored concentrate. Our compact, well-designed smart coffee system uses Wi-Fi-enabled technology to master the perfect brew from a smartphone. And our winning espresso machine brews espresso with the push of a button. What pairs perfectly with coffee? A sweet treat, of course! Our newly printed Cook's Illustrated Baking Book is packed with more than 450 delicious recipes, including cookies, cakes, pies, tarts, and more. Filled with countless test kitchen tips and techniques, you’ll always have a delicious dessert to pair with your cup of joe.

Baking Demystified with 450 Foolproof Recipes

The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book

$24.00 $40.00

This compact, well-designed machine brews good coffee that our tasters enjoyed, and its app is fairly simple to use after a short learning curve. We enjoyed sampling different recipes for brewing from the app, changing the water temperature and preinfusion time, delaying brewing, and turning on the machine from a distance (as if we were in bed and wanted to get up to freshly brewed coffee). We also appreciated that you can work the machine without the app. Because the water must fully heat before brewing commences, it takes nearly twice as long as our top-rated automatic drip brewer. On the plus side, like many Wi-Fi-enabled products, it allows you to download firmware updates, so the machine can improve over time.  More on this test

Our winner is the only carafe that has extra insulation in addition to the standard double-wall vacuum seal. The thin sheets of copper and aluminum foil worked: After 4 hours, coffee was still piping hot at 152 degrees. Testers loved its snap-on lid, which sealed with an audible (and reassuring) click and can be completely disassembled for cleaning. It also boasts a comfortable handle and a responsive button and pours with a steady, even stream that cuts off without dribbling.  More on this test

This compact, well-made machine consistently produced excellent espresso at the push of a button and readily let us adjust the flavor, temperature, and strength of a shot. The thoughtfully designed controls and a clear display that showed what was happening made it simple to brew espresso or froth milk without consulting the manual. A simple attached steam wand with a silicone grip was comfortable to use and popped off for cleaning.  More on this test

This handsome machine is perfect if you want the convenience of built-in grinding and automatic weighing of coffee, as well as push-button brewing, but you don’t mind some hands-on work. You must learn to tamp properly and move the portafilter of grounds from the grinder to the brewing position. This process soon became intuitive and easy, thanks to a simple gauge that provides excellent feedback. We loved that the machine came with everything you need—tamper, milk frothing jug, and portafilters for single and double espresso—and had a hidden drawer to store it all.  More on this test

Made of shatter-resistant, BPA-free plastic, this pour-over coffee device allows us to control water temperature and steeping time and eliminates the need for paper filters. It produces 2.5 cups of full-bodied coffee and has a drip tray and cover, making it convenient for keeping our coffee warm and our counters clean.   More on this test

With just a few large plastic parts, a stable, widemouthed glass carafe with an easy-to-seal lid, and straightforward instructions, this classic brewer was simple to use and clean up and yielded a generous amount of “rich,” “chocolaty,” “full-flavored” concentrate that still tasted good after two weeks in the refrigerator.  More on this test

By far the darkest roast in the lineup, this sample came across as “extremely smooth” and “bold-tasting,” with a “stronger finish” than other samples. It tied for the smallest number of defective beans and had low acidity and optimal moisture. Its “rich,” “chocolate,” and “toast” flavors make it the perfect brew for those who want a break—but not too much of one—from ultradark French roasts.  More on this test