The 5 Best Coffee Maker for Hard Water: How to Choose the Right One
If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you understand how important water quality can influence your coffee.
Many factors can affect the quality of your coffee, from the freshness of your coffee beans down to the water temperature.
Even with a coffee maker, hard water can affect your first cup in the morning and even its lifespan.
That’s why we’ve curated 5 of the best coffee maker for hard water to give your coffee’s taste and quality the consistency it deserves!
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Best Budget Pick
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5 Best Coffee Makers for Hard Water
1. Cuisinart DCC-1150BKP1 Classic Thermal Coffee Maker – Best Overall
Coming in as our number one spot, Cuisinart is a well-revered brand loved by many users for its reliability and quality.
Great thermal insulation
The Cuisinart DCC-1150 BKP1 comes with a double-wall insulated thermal carafe, which allows you to keep your coffee piping hot for hours.
Rather than reheat your coffee in a microwave, it’s as simple as pouring yourself a second, third, or fourth cup of coffee that’s just as hot as your first brew in the morning.
Instead of waiting for your coffee to fill the carafe to the brim, you can enjoy a single serve of coffee through the brew-pause function.
If you’re in a hurry to leave, you can spare a few minutes to get just enough coffee before you head out rather than wait for the whole carafe to fill up.
Since hard water can cause limescale buildup, strict & proper maintenance is vital to your coffee maker’s lifespan. However, a self-cleaning function saves you the hassle and struggle to make the cleaning process easier.
Ensures the freshness of your coffee
Coffee machines still require filters to separate any coffee sediments from passing through into your cup.
Not all coffee makers are as effective in filtering these sediments out, yet Cuisinart is one of the few who can.
Thanks to its gold-tone and charcoal water filter, you’re guaranteed the freshest coffee flavor without any sediments appearing in your carafe.
Brews up to 10 cups
With a coffee maker allowing you to brew 10 cups maximum, hosting a party, or even having this in your office pantry is worth spending!
As much as we love the Cuisinart DCC-1150 BKP1, it’s not a perfect coffee maker and comes with its drawbacks.
The most common and mentioned among users is the size of the water reservoir. Users mentioned experiencing coffee spills due to its small water reservoir.
The auto-timer feature can also be annoying at times to use since you have to switch from brew to auto-brew for it to start working.
Is Cuisinart For You?
If you’re someone who prioritizes brand reputation and want a reasonably priced coffee maker, the Cuisinart DCC-1150 BKP1 is perfect for you to have!
The Cuisinart DCC-1150 BKP1 comes with several features, easy-to-use operation, and quality parts that make it a highly recommended coffee maker for hard water.
2. BUNN BX Speed Brew Classic 10-cup Coffee Maker – Best Value
Maybe our top spot wasn’t enough to convince you just yet. If that’s the case, having a second option doesn’t hurt, right? Enter Bunn BX Speed Brew Classic – a coffee maker that will never let you down.
Fast Brew Time
After 3 minutes, expect to have a carafe enough for serving 10 cups of coffee at an optimal temperature.
We expect no less from the fastest home 10-cup coffee maker.
Stainless Steel Design
Sure, a stainless steel design might not sound as fancy as the label, but for a coffee machine, keeping your coffee or carafe at the optimal temperature is crucial to having the best quality in every cup.
Additionally, maintaining the temperature of hot water is just as vital.
It’s so easy to operate that even your grandparents wouldn’t have a hard time using it! We all know technology can be difficult for older generations to understand.
The Bunn BX Speed Brew Classic eliminates that gap.
Now, if you’re worried about coffee spills, the Bunn BX is a game-changer. Its innovative sprayhead ensures a clean pour of your coffee into the container and not in your countertop.
Maintains optimal temperature
One of the best benefits to the Bunn BX is its porcelain-coated warming plate. It ensures that your carafe stays at the optimal temperature so you can enjoy every serving of your coffee.
The biggest drawback we found in the Bunn BX was the heavy maintenance it requires for optimal functioning. You’ll most likely have to clean this more often to maintain its lifespan.
Don’t worry too much, though. The Bunn BX comes with a 3-year warranty, so you’re in good hands.
Another drawback is the absence of an automatic shut-off feature. Now, that’s not as bad as it sounds. However, when it comes to saving a few electricity costs, the Bunn BX falls slightly short in this category.
Is Bunn BX Speed Brew For You?
What makes the Bunn BX Speed Brew stand out is its drip coffee function. Unlike regular coffee makers, the Bunn BX Speed Brew is the best coffee maker for hard water and folks who enjoy extra strong coffee.
A drip coffee maker provides 120 mg of caffeine compared to an espresso shot with only 40 mg of caffeine. If you’re looking for a strong kick to jolt you in the morning, a drip coffee maker is one of the best investments you can make.
Take note, though, a drip coffee maker lacks the richness an espresso shot has. If this doesn’t bother you, then going for a drip coffee maker suits you perfectly!
The best part? It’s one of the few drip coffee makers that comes at a reasonable price!
3. Chulux Single Serve Coffee Maker – Best Budget Pick
Budget picks always have their unique appeal, and when it comes to Chulux, you’re looking at a coffee maker you can purchase under $50.
Single Serve Brew
Single-serve brew coffee makers are excellent for one primary reason: personal use. Investing in a 10-cup coffee maker might be costly and even a waste of money if you’re living by yourself or with one roommate.
The simplicity of having a single-serve coffee maker gives you the advantage of an even faster brew time in just under 2 minutes.
Easy to Clean
The Chulux single-serve coffee maker doesn’t include any fancy features or bulky parts that would make it hard to clean at all.
It even comes with its cleaning function for handling limescale buildup, which is crucial when choosing a hard water coffee maker.
Most coffee makers fall into the category of medium to heavily weighted appliances.
Essentially, keeping a coffee maker in a certain spot in your kitchen counter is ideal, so you don’t have to keep lifting the damn thing.
For the Chulux single-serve coffee maker, lifting this beaut takes less effort than lifting a 2L soda bottle.
You can bring this with you on a few adventurous trips and if you’re serious about your coffee game, even when you travel! Although we don’t recommend it for safety’s sake.
A simple cup of coffee is enough to bring happiness to your day, especially for those who never go to work without one!
The best advantage of a single-serve coffee maker is the ease of operation it provides for any user.
Two main drawbacks we found with the Chulux coffee maker were its holding plate and filter performance.
The holding plate wasn’t as sturdy as we had thought it to be, although it’s not as bothersome as the filter performance.
We noticed that the filter wasn’t able to completely prevent any coffee sediments from falling into your cup of coffee. Although we found only small traces of it, not everyone enjoys the feeling of sipping a few solids from their coffee.
Is Chulux For You?
Apart from its appealing price tag, Chulux is the best coffee maker for anyone who enjoys k-cups.
K-cups come in all sorts of varieties and flavors, so if you’re a K-cup lover and want a ridiculously budget-friendly coffee maker, Chulux is for you.
4. BUNN GRB Velocity Brew 10-Cup Coffee Maker
For a simple coffee maker with similar quality performance as the Bunn BX Speed Brew, the GRB Velocity model doesn’t disappoint coffee lovers.
Fast Brew Time
You shouldn’t be surprised by now that Bunn coffee makers have a reputable performance when it comes to brewing your cup of coffee quickly.
Like the Bunn BX, the GRB Velocity Brew 10-cup is just as fast as giving you the caffeine you need when you’re in a hurry.
A full pot of coffee that can serve you 10 cups just after 3 to 4 minutes is a steal! Whether you’re hosting a party or a small gathering, how could this not be useful?
With 10 cups of coffee to brew, you might be worried about achieving an even flavor for each cup you serve. That’s what the multi-stream spray does!
Rather than just dump all the hot water in a single spot, the multi-stream spray evenly distributes the hot water over your coffee grounds. As a result, your coffee grounds don’t go to waste, and you get an even extraction of flavor.
Users reported smelling burnt plastic after some time of use. Some even mentioned a few leaking incidents. Apart from that, we’d say the Bunn GRB Velocity is an excellent coffee maker for hard water.
Is Bunn GRB Velocity Brew For You?
The main difference between the GRB Velocity and Speed Brew Classic comes down to aesthetics and material design.
If you prefer a simpler look and aesthetics don’t bother you as much, the GRB Velocity is your ideal pick coming in slightly cheaper than the Bunn BX.
5. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Coffee Maker
If you are looking for a coffee maker that provides options to brew all types of coffees and quantities, look no further than the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew coffee maker.
If there’s one thing you’ll love about the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew, it’s being able to make a single-serve and a full pot of coffee up to 12 cups!
Consider this to be your very own 2-in-1 coffee maker perfect for personal use or if you feel like hosting a gathering of friends and colleagues!
Great Mid-range Value
For this 2-in-1 deal, the FlexBrew comes at a price with great value for the features and accessories it offers. If you’re looking for balance in a coffee maker, this is it!
Extra features & accessories
The FlexBrew coffee maker comes with a programmable timer, auto shut off feature, and auto-pause function to give you more functions when brewing your coffee.
Even better, you get a separate pod holder for your K-cups and a basket for your coffee grounds.
We would have preferred the FlexBrew to have a hot plate to keep the coffee’s temperature at its optimal level. The lid on the carafe also has a design issue wherein it opens when it shouldn’t, which causes spills.
Is Hamilton Beach FlexBrew For You?
For a reasonable price, the FlexBrew is an excellent choice for anyone looking to have a mix of single serves and enjoy a K-cup brew whenever they desire.
How to Choose the Best Coffee Maker for Hard Water
Before we dive into choosing the best coffee maker for hard water, let’s understand how hard water can affect your coffee’s taste and coffee maker.
Hard Water Vs. Your Coffee
Roasted coffee beans contain compounds that produce its distinct flavor, aroma, and taste.
Eugenol, citric acid, and lactic acid are just some of the few compounds that bring the mouthfeel sensation.
However, roasting your beans isn’t the only factor that can affect your coffee. The quality of your water has its respected place among coffee enthusiasts.
Hard water contains “sticky” compounds that grab onto certain coffee compounds during the brewing or extraction process.
If, for example, the water “sticks” more to eugenol, you’ll get a more woody taste. Water with high magnesium levels also elevates your coffee’s strength, giving it a stronger kick and more caffeine.
Hard Water Vs. Your Coffee Maker
Although hard water gives your coffee an added flavor boost, the solids that form from the mixture of coffee and hard water compounds cause a limescale buildup in your coffee maker.
How bad does it get, you might wonder? There are three possible outcomes:
- The limescale will clog the flow of water into the coffee maker, which will break your machine down eventually
- Your coffee won’t be as hot
- Without your coffee achieving the optimal temperature, you won’t be able to extract the full flavor of your coffee beans
Does this mean you should never use hard water? Not quite.
Using hard water shouldn’t be a problem, so as long as you rigorously clean your equipment thoroughly. Speaking of cleaning, coffee makers exposed to hard water require descaling.
Descaling is a specific cleaning process that targets mineral buildup or limescale through a descaler or even a DIY solution of citric acid and water.
Here’s a quick video on the differences between hard and soft water.
The Best Type of Coffee Maker For Hard Water
The types of coffee makers available today come with their strengths and weaknesses. You have traditional coffee makers, espresso or Keurig machines, single-cup coffee makers, and drip coffee makers.
Among all types, espresso or Keurig machines and single cup coffee makers are the most vulnerable to hard water and most susceptible to mineral and limescale buildup.
That doesn’t mean it should never be used with hard water. It simply means taking extra care and descaling than usual. Also, if you can, it’s better to alternate between distilled and hard water.
The best coffee maker types for hard water are none other than traditional coffee maker types. Its sturdiness and reliability is something of note up until today.
Drip machines are also just as excellent a choice and have evolved over the years, making it more efficient, easier to clean, and longer-lasting.
What is the average lifespan of a coffee maker?
The average lifespan of a coffee maker should last you between 6 to 10 years. Drip machines at best will last you for about 6 years while espresso machines should last you for a decade!
Should I use distilled water for my coffee maker every time?
If you can, it’s preferable to use distilled water to prolong your coffee maker’s lifespan and ensure its mint condition.
Using distilled water frequently is a costly expense, so alternating between hard water and distilled water isn’t a bad decision.
If you want a serious upgrade and willing to spend extra, you can install a water filtration system.
The Best Coffee Maker for Hard Water
The crown goes to none other than Cuisinart DCC-1150 BKP1 for its excellent thermal insulation, filter performance, and, most of all, the self-cleaning function.
Brewing a full pot of coffee every day with hard water can reduce your coffee machine’s lifespan. With a self-cleaning function, though, you’d be investing in an appliance that’s built to last.
Just to be sure, we still recommend descaling your machine every month.
Have you decided on the best coffee maker you’ll choose?