I recently bought a Zojirushi EC-BD15 Coffee Maker to replace my old coffee maker. The problem I had with the old one was that it kept coffee warm by continuously heating it, which quickly “burns” the coffee and makes it somewhat unpleasant. I’m the kind of person who will hit snooze a few times in the mornings, so if the coffee maker starts a little too early, the coffee will be lousy by the time I get to the kitchen.
The Zojirushi and other thermal carafe coffee makers don’t use a hot plate at all. It heats water to a higher temperature and funnels it into a vacuum bottle-like carafe, which keeps the coffee hot for hours. So it doesn’t matter if I’m not around to pour off a cup right after it’s done brewing, it stays pretty consistent throughout the morning. An added bonus of this model is that it seems to be pretty good about not spilling a drop from either the basket or the carafe. My old coffee maker consistently dripped from the basket onto the hot plate or from the carafe onto the counter.
Of course, if you happen to set the coffee maker going without having the carafe under it like we did this morning, you’ll just get a big mess all over the place. But at least you won’t have a hot plate covered in layers of burnt coffee and peeling paint.