Filter Coffee Machine Review: 5 of the Best Batch Brewers

Filter coffee machine review 5 of the best batch brewers

I love coffee.

If you’ve read the Barista’s Guide to Filter Coffee, then you know that I. Really. love. Filter. Coffee!

As the name suggests, a batch brewer is a device that allows you to brew a batch of coffee at once rather than one cup at a time (like say, a v60 pourover or an Aeropress). They’re popping up in Australian cafes & home kitchens all over the place because they’re simple to use, extremely consistent and make enough coffee for the whole family (or one massive coffee addict).

Don’t be mistaken – while some filter coffee machines look like they came straight off the set of Friends, the quality of coffee from the line-up we’re reviewing here is in a completely different league.

What we tested

In our tests, all 5 of these brewers made great tasting coffee, but what about their other attributes?

Useability: How easy is this machine to use? Is it a simple button press, set and forget or something more reminiscent of a 90’s VCR?
Features: Does this brewer only have one setting? Can you change variables? Are there any quality of life features?
Build: What is it made out of? Are we talking aircraft grade aluminium or plastic? Will it break if I’m too rough before I’ve had my coffee?
Bonus points: Would I use this in a café?

So, without further ado, let me introduce to you five of the coolest filter machines on the market at the moment:

Delonghi Clessidra

Delonghi Clessidra Filter Coffee Machine on Bench

Image: Delonghi

The Clessidra (Italian for hourglass) is the cheapest option on our list, retailing at Myer for under $200. The see-through design looks great on the bench and provides some entertainment while you wait for your morning fix.

The Clessidra has two options for brewing. The first is where the water is dispensed at intervals, allowing the water time to work its way through the coffee without overflowing. The other is a simpler, single pulse to bloom the coffee, and continuous flow for the rest of the brew.

For me, the biggest downside of the Clessidra is the extremely large, glass carafe. Allowing the brewed coffee to be exposed to the air could mean that the coffee won’t hold its flavour for as long as an enclosed system. Not a problem if you drink it fast, but it be nice to have the option. Also, as nice as glass looks, it’s not very friendly in a café environment – so I’m going to say this bad boy is best suited for home and not behind the bar.

Pros: Easy to use / Looks great / Affordable
Cons: Breakable

Useability
Features
Build
Home or Café   Home

Moccamaster Classic 1.25 litre

Technivorm Moccamaster Classic filter coffee machine

The Technivorm Moccamaster is probably the most recognised batch brewer in Australian cafes. Handmade in the Netherlands, the Moccamaster brand, design and quality of build comes at a premium…and in just about every colour under the sun.

To be completely honest, I have never had a particularly good experience using the Moccamaster in a café environment. The fast water flow and small hole for the coffee to drain through has resulted in a lot of overflowing filter baskets and wasted coffee. There are ways to work around this, such as never doing a full 1.2 litre brew or manually starting and stopping the water flow throughout the process. Unfortunately, the Moccamaster only comes with the option to turn it on and off, so if you want to bloom your coffee first or have more option, this isn’t the brewer for you.

Again, a glass carafe is no Bueno for cafes. While some of the other models solve this particular issue, they’re even more expensive. Moccamasters are guaranteed to be made from only recyclable materials and are certified by the Speciality Coffee Association and the European Coffee Brewing Centre.

Pros: Tried and tested / Easy to use / Great Colours
Cons: Full batch tends to overflow / glass carafe in basic model

Useability
Features
Build
Home or Café   Home

Behmor Brazen Plus

Behmor Brazen Filter Coffee Machine

Image: Behmor

When I was a kid, I’m almost certain I had a stereo with the same interface as the Behmor Brazen Plus – a simple LCD display and a few plastic buttons. However, don’t let its looks fool you, this little guy has a lot of options for the brewer who likes to experiment.  Featuring an auto start timer, programable temperature, programable bloom time, clock, and manual mode for single cup pour over devices, the Behmor has all the things you could ever want in a brewer.

It comes standard with an insulated carafe as well, which is definitely a bonus in my book. The Behmor comes in at a very reasonable $250-$300 through online retail. It’s also certified by the Specialty Coffee Association, so feel free to casually mention that fact to your friends.

Pros: Functionality / Quality of brew / Small footprint / Price
Cons: It looks functional

Useability
Features
Build
Home or Café   Both

Ratio 8 by Ratio

The Ratio puts style first…and also coffee first.

Made from high quality aluminium and (optional) lab quality glass, it weighs a metric tonne which is fine because once it’s on your bench, you won’t want to move it anyway. This is the only brewer on our list without a plastic shower head, which could lead to some corrosion where plastic wouldn’t. However, it comes with a 5 year warranty through Ratio themselves – so you might not need to worry. The Ratio comes standard with a glass Chemex style brewer/ carafe, however you can choose to get an insulated carafe with a separate cone if you prefer.

The Ratio retails at almost $500 USD (on their website) making this the most expensive on our list.

Pros: Looks Awesome / Warranty / Quality Build / Simple to use
Cons: Expensive

Useability
Features
Build
Home or Café   Both

Breville precision brewer

Breville Precision Brewer Filter Coffee Machine

Image: Breville

This bad boy has been making waves in the coffee scene with its impressive volume and functionality. One reason is the unique way that it works. Instead of using a heat exchange to push water through the brewer as it heats up, the precision brewer has a vibration pump that moves the water as it heats to the right temperature, meaning you can set the temp how you like rather than being stuck with one setting (like with the Moccamaster). That also means it’s faster than brewers like the Behmor, which need to heat the water up first.

The Breville precision brewer also comes with more attachments then you can shake a stirrer at. Including but not limited to: Small cone attachment for smaller brews, second silicone shower screen, and pour over (like a V60 or Kailita pourover) attachment. You can manually program temperature and bloom time or use pre-set functions such as ‘Gold Cup’, fast brew, and cold brew.

Pros: Large volume / Thermal carafe standard / Customisable
Cons: Fiddly interface

Useability
Features
Build
Home or Café   Both

If quality filter coffee is what you’re after, all of these machines combined with quality, freshly ground coffee will give you a great cup. There is no wrong answer and I would try to think about what is right for you. Are you conscious about price? Is design important to your morning aesthetic? Whatever your needs, batch brewers are great if you want to save money, stop drinking milk or experience interesting single origin coffees at home. You can even chill it for cold brew! Thank you for listening to me Ted Talk.


 

Josh Bowen
Josh is a coffee master, pulling shots, perfecting brews, and troubleshooting like a pro. Motivated by the buzz of the industry Josh traded a lucrative career in psychology to follow his love of all things coffee. As part of the Coffee Science & Education Centre (CSEC), Josh spends his time educating baristas & testing new equipment. Not only that, he still finds the time to use his skills in our Manly Vale espresso bar.