One of the biggest challenges that small coffee shops and office buildings face is finding a suitable coffee maker that can accommodate the needs of more than 10 people at a time. Standard coffee makers can accommodate a maximum of 5-6 people, so running through two brewing cycles or more is a must. Sadly, some machines take a lot of time to make coffee, so they’re not an option for many.
If you’re willing to invest in a superior coffee maker, then a 12-cup one is your best bet — and below I’m reviewing the best models on the market. But be ready to spend your money — some aren’t that cheap!
Cuisinart DCC-2650 Brew Central 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
- 12-cup carafe
- 1-4 cup setting
- 24-hour programmability
- Adjustable carafe temperature control with high, medium & low settings
- Adjustable auto shut-off
- Backlit LCD
- Charcoal water filter
The quality of Cuisinart coffee makers has improved substantially, and I’ve been quite pleased with the last machine I’ve tried. The Cuisinart DCC-2650 is a programmable coffee maker that brews up to 12 cups of coffee at a time. While you can’t expect barista-style coffee with this machine, the aroma is fairly good, and this is especially due to the unit’s charcoal water filter, which removes bad odors and tastes from the beverage. The filter is removable and can be replaced with a new one easily, and Cuisinart recommends changing it every 60 days. If you have hard water, you’ll need to change it more frequently.
However, the 12-cup capacity doesn’t mean you can’t make coffee for fewer people. The machine is equipped with a 1-4 cup setting that lets you make enough coffee for up to 5 people at a time. Just press the 1-4 cup button on the unit, and you’re all set!
Another thing I really like about the Cuisinart DCC-2650 is programmability. You can set a desired daily start time using the “HR” and “MIN” buttons placed on either side of the LCD screen. This is a convenient feature if you want your coffee to be ready when you wake up or get to the office. The unit also has an Auto Shut-off setting, however, it isn’t as flexible as the 24-hour programmable start time — you can set the timer to a maximum of 4 hours. Meaning, you can brew coffee now and set the Auto Shut-off to turn off the machine automatically after one, two, three, or four hours.
All in all, this Cuisinart coffee maker is an ideal choice for those who need to serve a small army of people at a time, and want to do it conveniently and in a timely fashion.
Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Programmable Brewstation Dispensing Coffee Machine
- 12-cup capacity
- Insulated inner tank and no carafe
- Dispensing bar for one-handed serving
- Keep-warm mode
- Auto shut-off
- Bold, regular, iced-coffee, or small-batch brewing options
- Digital LCD display
- Removable water tank
- Water-level indicator
With a sleek design and 12-cup capacity, the Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker is one of the most visually appealing and convenient brewers of its kind. While I’m not a big fan of Hamilton Beach, this machine turned out to be quite impressive in terms of performance. The taste of the coffee is somewhat watery, and you’ll need to run through a few cycles with water only so your cup of bliss doesn’t have a plastic smell or taste.
One thing I like is the ability to choose between bold, regular, and iced coffee — it’s a desirable feature if you want to enjoy other types of beverages, or want to be able to serve more than just regular coffee to your customers. The dispenser can be quite difficult to use — if you’re not careful, you’ll spill coffee all over your countertop. The secret is to approach the machine at a straight angle, and press the lip of the mug against the bottom-most portion of the bar. Hamilton Beach should have placed the dispenser just a few millimeters out so there isn’t any spillage, but as long as there’s a workaround for it, I’m perfectly fine.
The keep-warm mode of the unit will keep your coffee hot for a maximum of 4 hours. If you’re the type of person who drinks two cups of coffee in 4-5 hours, then you’ll absolutely love this feature. You can also set up a daily start time and auto shut-off, which is another convenient feature if you want to wake up to freshly brewed coffee.
What I don’t like about the Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker is the flimsy build. There are lots of dimples, seam lines, and other irregularities that reflect the poor fit and finish, making the design much less attractive. But all in all, a good 12-cup coffee machine.
Mr. Coffee BVMC-PSTX91 Optimal Brew 10-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker
- 10-cup capacity
- Water filtration system
- Stainless steel thermal carafe
- Cleaning cycle
- 2-hour auto shut-off
- Pause ‘n Serve
- Removable water reservoir
- Fresh brew timer
Mr. Coffee machines have become increasingly popular — and it’s no doubt why, given their convenient features and even more convenient price tag. Sure, you’ll need to compromise on the quality of your cup of Joe since the machine produces coffee that’s mediocre at best, but I’m confident many coffee drinkers will find it very tasty.
The carafe can make enough coffee to serve about 10-11 people at a time, so it’s an excellent choice for households, small shops, and office buildings alike. The unit reaches a brewing temperature of about 205 degrees, which allows for a somewhat good flavor extraction — although it’s far from my liking. One of the things I personally enjoy about the Mr. Coffee BVMC-PSTX91 Optimal Brew 10-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker is the carafe — it’s made of stainless steel, and is double walled to offer extra insulation. The coffee remains hot for over five hours, but not blistering hot.
The water filtration system helps remove up to 97% of chlorine, which dramatically impacts what the coffee tastes like. The unit is programmable through its Delay Brew feature that lets you set up a daily start time so you can wake up to fresh coffee. The auto shut-off setting turns off the unit automatically after 2 hours, but keep in mind it won’t work when you use the Delay Brew timer. The Pause ‘n Serve feature allows you to pause the brewing cycle when you want to enjoy your cup before the whole carafe is filled. The stainless steel exterior gives the machine a sleek appearance, so it will look marvelous in your kitchen!
Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee-on-Demand 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
- 12-cup capacity with no carafe
- Removable double-wall coffee reservoir
- Charcoal water filter
- Programmable start time
- 1–4 cup setting
- Backlit LCD display
- Ready tone
The last 12-cup coffee machine on my list is the Cuisinart DCC-3000 — which does a good job at making coffee for a small army of people. Compared to the DCC-2650, this model uses a dispensing system that lets you fill one cup at a time. It’s particularly convenient for offices — the coffee reservoir can hold up to 12 cups of coffee, and everyone can fill their cup whenever they want. The control panel displays the amount of coffee left in the unit, so you know when to make more.
The Cuisinart DCC-3000 integrates a convenient programmable brewing feature that allows you to set a start time for the brewing cycle. The “HR” and “MIN” buttons let you set the time, and the backlit LCD displays “pm” so programming the unit is easier. There’s no need to worry about the unit running continuously — use the Auto Off feature to program it to turn off automatically 0 to 4 hours after brewing your coffee. Keep in mind that, once turned off, the reservoir won’t keep your coffee hot anymore.
I find the 1-4 cup setting really useful if you need to make coffee just for one or two people instead of 12. Just put water and coffee in the machine, press the 1-4 cup button, and you’re all set.
Worried about cleaning this unit? The Cuisinart DCC-3000 comes with a clean setting that lights up when the coffee maker needs to be cleaned. Both the water tank and coffee reservoir are removable, so cleaning is a fairly easy job. It takes me less than five minutes to have them fully washed and back in the unit. The gold-tone paper basket is removable as well.
Given the similarities between models, it’s hard for me to pick a winner. If you don’t want to risk spilling coffee and making a mess every time you run the machine, stay away from the coffee makers with dispensing systems — you’re better off with either the Cuisinart DCC-2650 or Mr. Coffee BVMC-PSTX91. But if the dispensing concept appeals to you, I definitely recommend the Cuisinart DCC-300 since you don’t have to worry about the coffee dispensing in your mug and not on the sides.