What is the best coffee maker for under $50 and can you even buy a quality coffee maker for that price? It is a good question and the answer is absolutely yes! Doing coffee on a budget is very possible but may require more discernment than you think. In the under $50 coffee maker range there is a heck of a lot of junk but there are also some hidden gems which make superb coffee.
So we have done the hard work for you and sorted through the rubble to find the gems. The list below contains a wide range of different coffee brewers all of which are under $50 and if used properly can make a surprisingly delicious cup of joe.
What Can You Expect From A Budget Coffee Maker?
While you can buy coffee makers for under $50, the range is somewhat limited. So for example at this price range espresso is really out of the question. For espresso machines $100 really is the bare minimum and even that will be of questionable quality.
There are a range of electric coffee makers in this category but they will be of a somewhat cheap build quality, with a lot of plastic in the design, and can’t be expected to last for too long. If you are looking to invest in a manual coffee maker under 50 you will find that the quality of construction, and the quality of coffee produced is going to be better.
In this price range we recommend going with manual rather than electric.
What Kind Of Coffee Maker Should You Get?
We have put together a brief buying guide to help you think through what type of coffee maker would suit you. When it comes to coffee makers you can basically break them down into 2 categories: Electric or Manual.
Electric Coffee Maker
Electric coffee makers at this price range are generally drip coffee makers or single serve (Keurig compatible) coffee makers. The coffee produced is your basic brew; with a weak, light flavor profile. The quality of the coffee produced depends on the machine and the coffee you are using. However, at this price range don’t set your hopes too high! Electric coffee makers are a great option if you are wanting a machine that is easy and convenient to use. Machines are often fully automated, so you only have to put your ground coffee in the filter (or a K-cup in the machine), flick a switch and voila your coffee is brewed! Electric machines have a whole range of extra features, while you can’t expect too much at this price range we have listed a few things to consider below.
Manual Coffee Maker
You can get a wide range of manual coffee makers at this price range, from an Aeropress, to a French Press or Pour Over coffee maker. Manual coffee makers require more effort to brew but produce nicer tasting coffee. Generally if you are going to brew with manual methods you want to get high quality beans as it is a great way to showcase the different nuances of single origin coffees. Manual brewing is a great option for those who love drinking black coffee and love to experiment with different beans. Manual coffee makers are generally of a higher quality and more durable as they have less parts that can break down. You can get either a single serve coffee maker like the Aeropress or a multi serve one such as the French press or Chemex.
Electric vs Manual Coffee Makers
The Best Coffee Maker Under 50
The Aeropress is really in a category of its own when it comes to coffee makers. It is the brainchild of Stanford professor Alan Adler and on first impressions looks rather like an oversized syringe. However, this unique brewer has gained almost a cult following over the last few years and for good reason. It is the coffee maker we use almost every day without exception.
Perhaps the greatest strength of the Aeropress is its flexibility as a coffee brewer. There are almost limitless different ways this coffee brewer can be used. It can make coffee that is light and bright like pour over or heavy bold like French Press. It typically takes 2-4 minutes to use and is relatively easy to get good results with. Also with a bit of practice and experimentation it can make some of the best coffee out there!
The other major advantage of the Aeropress is that it is remarkably portable coffee maker. It is made of hardened plastic that can deal easy with a few knocks and is light. This makes it ideal either for those who travel regularly or for hikers who are looking for the best camping coffee maker. It is hard to recommend the Aeropress too strongly, this is a superb coffee maker that is also just really fun to use. You can read more about it here.
This elegant looking pour over coffee maker is a winner in almost every regard. It makes superb tasting coffee, is ideal for larger batches of coffee, and does just have a very modern feel to it. In fact the aesthetic appeal of this coffee maker isn’t just a subjective feeling but a proven fact; the Chemex is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In terms of taste, the coffee it produces is very light and fruity with a tea-like texture like many pour over coffee makers. It uses quite thick paper filters which further add to the lightness of the taste. If you enjoy pour over and Aeropress coffee chances are you will like the Chemex. However, if you like your coffee more heavy and bold like French Press then this elegant brewer may not be for you. Another great advantage of the Chemex is that it has the brewer and decanter in one so that you don’t need to buy a separate carafe.
The Chemex does have a learning curve to use well but let’s be honest, so do all good things in life. This brewer is particularly good at making larger batches of coffee, so if you regularly brew for friends or guests then this is a great option.
Chances are the Bodum Chambord is what comes to mind when you hear the word French Press or Plunger. This iconic French Press is a no frills coffee maker that has now been tried and tested for years. It basically does what it claims to do, makes good French Press coffee reliably and consistently. It is made of heat resistant borosilicate glass with a metal sheath and a stainless steel filter.
We have owned the Chambord for years now and have never had any issue with ours. As a French Press the coffee it produces tends to be very heavy-bodied, with a bold flavor and plenty of coffee oils in the cup. This works particularly well with medium to dark roasted beans. It is the sort of coffee that gives you a kick in the right way. However, because it uses a metal filter rather than a paper one it will let some coffee grit into the final cup which will frustrate some people.
One of the abiding advantages of French Presses and the Bodum Chambord is that they excel in making large batches of coffee with minimal effort. So if guests turn up unexpectedly and need a cup of joe the Chambord will quickly prove its worth. It is remarkably easy to use, hard to stuff up, and doesn’t require the meticulous attention that some other coffee brewers do.
The Bialetti Express Moka Pot is really the father of all Moka Pots. Invented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti, it was the first Stovetop coffee maker to be produced and quickly came to be loved around the world. Moka Pots use pressure to extract the coffee so it produces concentrated coffee similar to espresso that is strong, dark and rich.
The Bialetti coffee maker is made of high quality aluminium in Italy and retains the classic octagonal shape as this allows for optimal heat distribution. Because it is made of aluminium it tends to brew quicker than stainless steel resulting in a great cup of brew in a short length of time.
It is worth noting however, as many customers have found out the hard way, that heating too hot or too long can damage this model as can putting it through the dishwasher. The model comes in various sizes and colors although most people go for the 6 cup model (which is really 1-2 cups). Finally it really is just cheap as chips for the quality you get, quality that has been almost a century in the making!
If you love iced beverages or Cold brew we highly recommend the Oxo cold brew coffee maker. This affordable coffee maker is the perfect companion for those hot summer months, allowing you to produce concentrated coffee that can be poured over ice or milk and enjoyed.
The Oxo Cold Brew coffee maker is very simple to use and produces a smooth cup of coffee that has low acidity. You simply fill the brewing container with your coarsely ground coffee, pour water over the top and leave it to ‘steep’ for 12-24 hours. Once your coffee is ready the oxo has a handy brew release switch which allows your coffee to flow through into the glass carafe below.
The Oxo features a rainmaker top that helps distribute water evenly over the coffee grounds. It comes with a reusable mesh filter or you can use paper filters if you prefer a lighter cup of coffee with less oils. This is a great well-made coffee maker that will last a long time and produce countless cups of smooth, well balanced coffee.
The Chulux is an affordable single serve coffee maker that is less than $50. It has a stylish design and is available in 7 different colors allowing you to match your kitchen decor. The Chulux is also very compact, it only stores enough water for each cup of coffee, so there is no bulky water reservoir to factor in. This makes it a great option if you are lacking bench space or looking for a coffee maker that can easily be stored away when not in use.
The Chulux is compatible with first and second generation K-cups, making it a versatile choice for caffeine lovers. It can also take ground coffee to give you a convenient, eco-friendly brewing option. Its single-cup design makes it ideal for individual use without having to worry about waste.
The Chulux is a simple coffee maker that is extremely easy to use. You simply add water, add your coffee, turn the lock and hit the power button and the machine will brew you a cup of fresh coffee in 3 minutes. While the coffee produced from it doesn’t taste the best, if you are in the market for a convenient, cheap single serve coffee maker this is a great option.
This coffee maker has a simple, no-nonsense design that’s easy to use for coffee enthusiasts of all skill levels. It comes with a 5-cup glass carafe that sits on a hot plate that can keep your coffee warm for up to an hour after brewing. The coffee maker also has a handy sneak-a-cup feature where you can pause brewing to pour yourself a cup of fresh coffee rather than wait for it to brew a whole pot full.
The Black and Decker coffee maker also features a water window with markings of how much water to fill it for each cup size. This is great if you are just wanting to make a couple of cups of coffee rather than the full 5 cup capacity. The coffee maker comes with a permanent coffee filter that is easy to clean.
When it comes to the quality of the coffee produced, there are some reports of it being rather weak. This is because of the design of the coffee maker, where the water runs quickly through the coffee grounds (but what can you expect at this price!) Overall this is a great option if you are looking for a compact, affordable coffee maker that is convenient to use and can cater to larger groups.
What Is The Best Coffee Maker Under $50?
If you are looking for a coffee maker under $50 we highly recommend opting for a manual coffee maker rather than electric. These coffee makers will be a lot higher quality, produce nicer tasting coffee and are fun to learn to use and experiment with. The Aeropress is our pick for the best coffee maker under 50, it is easy to use, can make some great coffee and is super easy to clean. As an extra bonus it is great for travelling with.
If you are looking for a multi-serve coffee maker we would recommend the Bodum Chambord French Press. You can never go wrong with a French Press!