Carafes are pretty much ubiquitous with coffee makers. If it’s not a Keurig-style single-serve machine, we pretty much assume the presence of a carafe. However, there are situations where you don’t explicitly need or want a carafe with your coffee maker.
Those are the situations perfect for a coffee maker without carafe. These coffee makers are also known as dispensing coffee makers. They brew coffee and hold it inside the machine, rather than pouring it into an external carafe.
The touch of a button lets the coffee flow into your cup. In a way, these are quick-serve machines that have all the benefits of a carafe. There simply isn’t a requirement to have an external accessory.
Top 5 No Carafe Coffee Makers For 2020
- Cuisinart DCC-3000
- Cuisinart DCC-2000
- Hamilton Beach (47950) Coffee Maker
- Hamilton Beach (48464) Coffee Maker
- Krups KM9000 Cup On Request Coffee Maker
Editor’s Choice: Cuisinart DCC-3000
This coffee maker is, without a doubt, the best coffee maker without carafe currently available. Cuisinart DCC-3000 is a fairly compact, programmable coffee maker with a 12-cup carafe. The carafe is hidden inside the machine and works with an easy to operate lever.
The internal carafe on this machine is double-walled and will keep your beverage hot for several hours. It’s an excellent machine for home and office use. The feature-rich coffee maker also has an economical price tag.
Reviewed: 5 Best Coffee Makers Without Carafe
1. Cuisinart DCC-3000 — Editor’s Choice
As we just saw, this coffee maker is the editor’s pick as the no carafe coffee maker. This one is a feature-rich machine that offers several advantages to make itself more likable. Its overall design is sleek and clean. Buttons, clock, and the dispenser lever/actuator on the coffee maker are easy to access.
Cuisinart DCC-3000 is a 12-cup coffee maker, based on the average cup size of 5 oz. So those of us who consider the average cup size at 8oz won’t get 12 cups out of this carafe. I feel it’s more accurate, though it doesn’t have the same ring as a 12-cup coffee maker.
As a fully programmable coffee maker, the DCC-3000 allows setting up the brewing time up to 24 hours in advance. Once it is done brewing, the coffee makes its way to the built-in carafe. Double-walls of the carafe provide it some insulation so the coffee remains hot for longer.
The clock is small in size, but clear enough to show off the time and manage settings. Daily maintenance is easier thanks to the presence of the “Clean” button. A press of that button will set off the internal cleaning cycle of the machine.
Should you want to brew a smaller batch, press the “1-4” button and the machine will brew 1-4 cups of coffee. An easy to use actuator/lever is available at the front of the coffee maker for easy dispensing.
The front of the machine also includes a meter to show the quantity of coffee available in the carafe. It’s a nice touch, but often inaccurate. It’s better to consider the meter reading a suggestion rather than an actual account of the volume.
- Very well priced with excellent value for money
- Includes a 60 oz water reservoir and 60oz internal carafe
- Fully programmable
- Possible to brew small batch (1-4 cups) of coffee
- Convenient actuator for dispensing coffee
- Built-in carafe is removable to make cleaning easier
- The meter reading for available coffee volume is unreliable
- At 60oz, this isn’t an average 12-cup coffee maker
4. Cuisinart DCC-2000 — Most Reliable Dispensing Coffee Maker
Cuisinart DCC-2000 is the most reliable no carafe coffee maker. It is the predecessor to the Cuisinart DCC-3000 and though it is out of production, it is still sought after. Aesthetically, this is an old design, and it shows. Comparatively, the Cuisinart DCC03000 look has a more pleasing, modern aesthetic.
The machine is housed in a brushed metal body, which gives it a great look. I see the metal body as a strength, especially since for modern coffee makers, Liberal use of metals is practically a “premium” feature.
This fully-programmable machine allows setting up brew times up to 24 hours in advance. Auto-shutoff and self-clean features are available to make things easier. A meter at the face of the machine represents the amount of coffee available in the carafe. Unfortunately, this one too isn’t very accurate, though it is useful.
Its brew basket has a permanent gold-tone filter that is pretty strong and works well for cleaning too. On that front, the drip tray, water reservoir, and built-in carafe are removable to allow easier cleaning. Cuisinart has included a charcoal water filter in the reservoir to ensure better water quality for the coffee.
- Large, 60 oz water reservoir
- Quality construction with steel body
- Programmable auto on/off functions
- Double-walled carafe keeps your coffee hot for longer
- Easy to clean
- High-quality construction
- Old model that is no longer in production
- Dated looks
3. Hamilton Beach (47950) Coffee Maker — Ease Of Use
Hamilton Beach (47950) Coffee Maker keeps its overall form quite similar to a “regular” coffee maker. In terms of design, there is nothing to suggest that this is a dispensing coffee maker. With that familiar design comes an inherent ease of use. And convenience is one of the biggest factors in decision-making.
This one too calls itself a 12-cup coffee maker. The measurement count here is a 6 oz cup average, which is still lower than the average 8 oz cup. It’s not a dealbreaker, but something useful to know to avoid confusion later.
Its fully programmable functions enable setting the auto-brew function into action at a set time within the day. The auto-off function automatically switches off the coffee maker after 0-4 hours of inactivity, depending on selected options.
Brewed coffee is stored within a built-in carafe. Hit the actuator and you can get your cuppa. It does a remarkably good job of avoiding any spills or drips. A “keep warm” system is included with the carafe to keep the coffee hotter for longer.
An interesting option here is the possibility of brewing iced coffee. When using this option, fill only half the water reservoir. Additionally, fill the carafe up to half its volume with ice. The coffee maker works to get you a stronger brew that is poured into the ice-filled carafe.
- Large water reservoir and built-in carafe
- Excellent value for money
- Fully programmable coffee maker
- Easy to use actuator to dispense coffee
- Coffee brew strength varies from regular to bold
- Includes option for brewing iced coffee
- Questionable longevity
- Slightly lower carafe volume than classic 12-cup coffee makers
4. Hamilton Beach (48464) Coffee Maker — The Budget Pick
Well, coffee makers on this list aren’t particularly expensive. Even so, this one takes the prize on being on the cost-efficient side. Functionally and aesthetically, the Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker (48464) is similar to the Hamilton Beach (47950) we just saw. However, it makes some cost adjustments.
There are somewhat fewer functions available here. A big change is that the machine loses the “iced coffee” option. It includes the regular and bold options for brew strength. Keep Warm function for the internal carafe is available as well and will keep your coffee warm for 4 hours.
Its programmable functions are limited as well and apply only to the auto shut off and keep warm options. This is a 12-cup coffee maker, considering 6 oz cups for measurement.
- Large water reservoir and built-in carafe
- Excellent value for money – lowest cost coffee maker on this list
- Actuator enables easy coffee dispensing
- Coffee strength control includes regular and bold options
- Questionable longevity
- Limited programmable options
5. Krups KM9000 Cup On Request Coffee Maker — Premium Options
Krups KM9000 Cup On Request Coffee Maker is the best-looking coffee maker in this category. It is also a premium option with a price tag that goes far above the competition. The coffee maker looks modern and sleek.
Its well-placed controls are both easy to manage and ergonomic to use. Coffee dispensing from the machine can take the manual or automatic route. Pressing buttons for the “large” or “small” brew will lead to a preset amount of coffee flowing into the cup.
Alternatively, you can press the manual button to pour the coffee needed. As long as the button is pressed, coffee will continue to flow into the cup. The coffee reservoir here is a removable stainless steel cylinder. Being removable, it is easy to clean. And since it is the same volume as the reservoir, refills become far easier.
A keep warm option is available to maintain the temperature of the coffee in the internal carafe. Krups KM9000 has a 12-cup carafe, its drip tray is adjustable to three sizes, and a DuoFilter water filtration system keeps the water at a good quality.
This is a fully programmable machine that pushes beyond the generally available functions. You can program it 24 hours in advance like regular coffee makers. You can use more of its programming functions to set different brewing/programming options for weekends and weekdays.
- Advanced programming options
- High-quality construction and design
- Easy to manage and use controls
- Removable coffee reservoir
- Questionable longevity
Points To Know When Buying A No Carafe Coffee Maker
To Carafe Or Not Carafe?
The only distinction between carafe and no carafe coffee makers is the implication of their name. Technically speaking, no carafe coffee makers do include a carafe.
The difference is that the carafe is placed inside the machine. Therefore, the coffee maker works like a dispensing coffee maker, rather than the usual coffee-in-carafe approach.
Benefits of the presence of a carafe are subjective and depend on your personal preference. In a lot of cases, a dispensing coffee maker may indeed be more convenient. The no-mess, easy approach is fairly useful.
Heating Plates And The Flavor Of Coffee
Those of us who use carafes, often let the brewed coffee sit at the tray. A heating plate is available, and ensures that the coffee stays at the right temperature.
However, if the plate has been in action for a few hours, the taste of the coffee begins to change. It goes progressively bitter, feeling anywhere between stale to undrinkable.
This is because heat from the plate encourages over-extraction from the coffee, which in turn makes the brew bitter. If you are going to use a plate, avoid letting your coffee sit there for 30 minutes.
No carafe coffee makers try to find a way around this problem. Of course, there is an immediate need for keeping the coffee hot. Many of these coffee makers include the Keep Warm function. Essentially, Keep Warm is quite similar to the job accomplished by hot plates. It also has the same risks of over-extraction.
Personally, I prefer the double-walled approach to carafes. You’ll still get coffee at a hot temperature and the chances of over-extraction are greatly reduced. Of course, the temperature of coffee will fall the more time it spends in the carafe. But it remains a viable and useful option regardless.
Finalizing Our Pick For The No Carafe Coffee Maker
A carafe with a coffee maker is the default choice and image we have in our minds. However, a coffee maker without carafe is as useful. It holds the carafe internally and makes sure you get fresh and delicious coffee whenever you want. Other than that, there is no major difference between the two categories.
My choice here is the Cuisinart DCC-3000. The next best option would be Hamilton Beach (47950) Coffee Maker.