Best Retro Coffee Makers [Vintage Style]

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Creating the perfect retro kitchen aesthetic really comes down to the details and an often overlooked detail is the coffee maker. What if we told you that you can have the retro coffee maker of dreams without sacrificing any modern-day features or conveniences? It’s time to say goodbye to your standard Mr. Coffee machine and add a little ’50s pizazz to your morning brew.

We’ve rounded up a list of the best retro coffee makers and also created a buyers guide FAQ to help you make the best purchase possible. Let’s get to it.

Recommended Vintage Coffee Makers

Our Pick – Smeg 50’s Retro Style Coffee Machine

What We Like: dome-shaped design, pastel green color, and auto-start feature

Not So Much: Capacity labeling

Capacity: 10 cups

Programmable: Yes

Size: 9.75″ in width, 10″ in-depth, and 14.25″ in height

Weight: 7 lbs 8 oz

The Smeg brand has a reputation for its retro aesthetic and quality products, which is precisely why this drip retro coffee maker tops our list. The dome shape, pastel green hue, and stainless steel accents all scream 50’s diner. Don’t let the simple design of this coffee pot fool you, it’s packed with modern-day functionality including a digital control panel, which blends into the overall design.

We love how you can program the autostart feature to brew your coffee when you want it. Once your coffee brews, the warming plate will keep it nice and hot for up to 60 minutes, which is great for those mornings when it’s a little hard to get out of bed. The digital control panel also allows you to choose the strength of your brew as well as the amount of coffee brewed. You have the choice of light or intense coffee strengths.

The capacity is a little unclear on the seller’s page, so we thought we’d clear it up for you. The coffee maker itself has the capacity to brew between 1 and 4 cups of coffee at a time. The glass carafe has the capability of holding 10 cups of coffee. If you’re expecting company or need a large quantity of coffee on hand, simply run the brewing process more than once to fill the carafe to your desired amount.

Another feature we really enjoy is the optional alarm. You can choose to have an alarm sound when your coffee is finished brewing. In addition, when it comes to maintenance, an indicator light will come on when it’s time to descale the machine.

Overall, when it comes to retro aesthetics, Smeg can’t be beaten. You can also purchase other matching Smeg products in this same pastel green color to create the retro 50’s kitchen of your dreams.

Best Bang for Your Buck – Nostalgia New & Improved Retro 12-cup Coffee Maker

What We Like: pause & pour feature and automatic shutoff

Not So Much: lid height when open

Capacity: 12 cups

Programmable: Yes

Size: 7.75″ in width, 10.25″ in depth, 14.25 inches in height

Weight: 7 lbs

If you’re looking for a retro aesthetic and bang for your buck, then you should highly consider this aqua-colored Nostalgia Electrics retro coffee maker. Even though it looks straight out of the ’50s, it has all the modern conveniences you could want in a coffee maker including a programmable clock and a timer to schedule brewing.

Perhaps our favorite feature though is the pause and serve a function. This allows you to pause the brewing process, pour yourself a quick cup of Joe, and then resume the brewing process. Once your coffee is brewed, the warming plate will remain on for 2 hours, after that it’ll automatically shut off, this feature is great for peace of mind when running out the door to the office.

This vintage coffee maker has the capacity to brew up to 12 cups of coffee, which is great for people who love to entertain, however, if you live by yourself and only have a cup or 2 of coffee a day, this might not be the old-style coffee maker for you.

When it comes to overall use, this machine is very simple to use. The water reservoir has clear markings so you’ll never have to question if you put the correct amount of water in. Another great feature is the reusable coffee filter.

However, if you prefer using disposable paper filters, they work just fine with this machine as well. If you’re short on space in your kitchen, this coffee maker might not be your best option. The lid on top opens pretty high. It needs to be able to fully open in order to fill the water reservoir and insert the coffee grounds.

This old-school coffee maker is much more suited for someone who has a good amount of counter space. Overall, if you’re looking for a quality retro coffee maker on a budget, this one wins the award for the best bang for your buck in our book.

Smeg ECF01 Espresso Machine

What We Like: customizable beverages and full temperature control

Not So Much: time-intensive brewing

Capacity: Can Brew 2 drinks at one time.

Programmable: No

Size: 6″ in width, 13″ in depth, 12″ in height

Weight: 11 lbs

This espresso machine absolutely delivers a retro aesthetic with the pastel green color and rounded design. We’d like to note from the start that this is a manual vintage-style espresso machine. This means you will have to do all of the work including grinding your espresso beans, steaming, frothing, and tamping.

While some might consider this a negative, others love the amount of control it gives them over the brewing process. This espresso machine features a 3 button control panel that allows you to activate the steam and choose between a single shot or double shot beverage. In addition, this machine gives you full control over the temperature of your coffee.

Now, perhaps our favorite design feature is the removable steel cup tray. This makes it possible for you to brew your coffee straight into your taller glasses and travel mugs. This Smeg espresso machine is the same light green hue as the previously mentioned Smeg drip coffee maker on our list.

If you’re really a coffee connoisseur and enjoy drinking a variety of caffeinated beverages, you could purchase both the drip coffee maker and espresso machine and have a matching set. Overall, this espresso machine is really great for people who either already know how or want to learn how to brew espresso.

There is a little bit of a learning curve in figuring out how to properly use it, but the overall customization you’ll be able to accomplish with your coffee drinks will make it well worth it

Brentwood 4 Cup Coffee Maker

What We Like: simple to use and compact size

Not So Much: no automatic shutoff feature

Capacity: 4 cups

Programmable: No

Size: 8.5″ in width, 6.25″ in depth, 10.5″ in height

Weight: 2.45 lbs

This cool blue retro coffee maker takes us back to the basics. It is the lowest priced machine on our list, and yet even with the low price point, there’s no sacrifice in quality. It’s a pretty standard machine with only one button which is used to turn it off and on.

So with that in mind, please note that there is no timed function or automatic shutoff feature. You will be responsible for remembering to turn it off before running out the door. Having said that, this may not be the best machine for those who are a little forgetful in the mornings.

While it may not have all the bells and whistles of the previously mentioned old-style coffee makers, this machine is perfect for those who just want a quick cup of Joe. It’s very simple to use, just fill the water to your desired cup amount, add your grounds to the reusable filter, switch on the button, and let it do its thing.

The carafe itself is made out of tempered glass and has a plastic handle and lid in the same electric blue shade as the rest of the retro coffee maker. The Brentwood coffee maker is very compact in size, which makes it ideal for those with minimal space. Overall, if you’re looking for a retro vibe on a budget, this easy-to-use coffee maker might be the best pick for you.

Russell Hobbs Retro Style 8 Cup Coffee Maker

What We Like: brewing gauge and showerhead technology

Not So Much: not programmable

Capacity: 8 cups

Programmable: No

Size: 9.25″ in width, 7.2″ in depth, 13″ in height

Weight: 4.4 lbs

Probably the first thing you’ll notice about this vintage coffee maker is the eye-catching brewing gauge. It’s fun to look at, but more importantly, it allows you to track where in the brewing process your coffee is at.

It also keeps track of how long the carafe has been sitting on the warming plate after the brewing process is complete. We really love this unique way of keeping track of things.

Another feature that sets this coffee maker apart is the showerhead technology design implemented to distribute the water into the grounds. The water is released through a showerhead in order to saturate the grounds evenly for optimal coffee flavor extraction.

This old-school coffee maker has the capacity to brew 8 cups at one time. The water level indicator is clearly marked on the water tank making it easy for you to pour in just the right amount for the number of cups you’d like to brew. We also love that this coffee pot has a pause and pour feature allowing you to temporarily pause the brewing process to pour your first cup.

This feature is really simple to use. Just remove the carafe, pour your coffee, and replace the carafe within 20 seconds to resume the brewing process. The Russell Hobbs coffee maker comes with a glass carafe as well as a reusable and easily removable coffee filter. As an added safety feature, the warming plate automatically shuts off after 40 minutes.

BELLA Dots Collection 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker

What We Like: pause and pour feature and dishwasher safe removable parts

Not So Much: large size

Capacity: 12 cups

Programmable: Yes

Size: 12.83″ in width, 9.92″ in depth, 15.55″ in height

Weight: 7.38 lbs

The boxy design of this vintage-style coffee maker keeps everything compact and tidy on your countertop. It even has a handy built-in compartment to keep the chord tucked away when not in use. The design also has a raised dot pattern on the exterior, which gives it even more of a retro flair.

It’s offered in a bright teal or electric green color with stainless steel accents. Perhaps its greatest feature is its programmable settings. Perhaps its greatest feature is its programmable settings. This coffee maker lets you program the timer up to 24 hours before you’d like your coffee to brew, this is great for those who want their coffee already brewed and waiting for them in the morning.

Like several of the other retro coffee makers on this list, it also has a pause and drip-free pour feature. There is no button to activate this feature, just pour your coffee and replace the carafe. The brewing process will resume as soon as the carafe is set underneath the spout.

Along with the programmable features, the BELLA coffee maker has an automatic shut-off feature. The warming plate will shut off automatically after 2 hours of use. The warming plate is both non-stick and stain-resistant, which is great for cleaning purposes.

The rest of the coffee maker is just as easy to clean thanks to the removable and reusable coffee filter and glass carafe. All removable parts are dishwasher safe, however, the manufacturer recommends that all parts be washed in the top rack of the dishwasher.

This retro coffee maker has the capability to brew 12 cups of coffee, which is great for entertaining or households with multiple coffee drinkers. However, if you live by yourself, you might want to opt for something a little smaller.

KitchenAid 12-Cup Coffee Maker with One-Touch Brewing

What We Like: automatically adjusts temperature based on the brew size and 24-hour programmability

Not So Much: no complaints about this machine

Capacity: 12 cups

Programmable: Yes

Size: 9.7″ in width, 11.7″ in depth, 15.2″ in height

Weight: 7 lbs

KitchenAid has a reputation for being a reliable and well-trusted brand. Fun fact, KitchenAid modeled this old-style coffee maker after their popular stand mixer. It features 24-hour programmability meaning you can program your machine to brew your coffee at a time of your choosing and at your desired strength of the brew.

With this coffee maker, you have your choice between a regular strength brew and a bold strength brew. At first glance at the name of this vintage coffee maker, you might be thinking you don’t need something that brews 12 cups of coffee, however, KitchenAid included a small batch brewing mode. This allows you to brew between 2 to 4 cups of coffee. What’s even greater, the machine will adjust its heating and brewing settings for the brew size of your choosing.

Like several of the other coffee makers, this one also includes a pause and pour feature so you don’t have to wait for the full pot to finish brewing before taking your first sip. It also has an automatic 2 hour shut off for added safety. Overall, this coffee pot is versatile in that you can brew small or large batches of coffee without sacrificing flavor or the quality of your brew.

DELONGHI Espresso Machine

What We Like: can use espresso pods or regular coffee grounds and ability to brew 2 drinks at once

Not So Much: Large size

Capacity: Can brew 2 drinks at one time

Programmable: No

Size: 10.24″ in width, 9.06″ in depth, 11.81″ in height

Weight: 10 lbs

What automatically sets this espresso machine from the others on this list is the dual function filter. This gives the machine the ability to use either coffee grounds or espresso pods to brew your drink.

Having that feature might make this the perfect espresso machine choice for people who want to brew espresso beverages but don’t feel quite ready for the other more DIY machines. It features two thermostats, which measure the temperature of the water and steaming separately.

You also have the option of brewing one or two beverages at the same time. It’s quite simple to use, just make sure you’ve filled the water tank, pack the grounds or pod into the tamper, and push the power button.

The sleek black design with stainless steel accents gives this machine a classy retro vibe. DeLonghi makes note of their patented cappuccino frother, which they say mixes the steam perfectly with the milk of your choice to create the perfect froth.

Should you have any issues with your machine, DeLonghi also provides a phone number to their call center for any questions regarding usage and maintenance of the machine. Overall, this espresso machine might be the best choice for someone looking to learn more about the art of espresso drinks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of coffee machines?

There are actually 15 different types of coffee machines.

Drip Coffee Makers

Water is heated and then passes through a filter holding the coffee grounds. The brewed coffee drips into a carafe.

Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker

Coffee is brewed in the same way as a drip coffee maker. However, instead of the brewed coffee dripping into a glass carafe, it drips into a thermal carafe.

Pour-Over Coffee Makers

Coffee grounds are placed in a filter inside of a funnel. Water is poured over the grounds and the filter then drips the brewed coffee into a mug below.

Single-Serve Capsule Coffee Makers

Think Keurig or Nespresso. These coffee makers brew coffee that’s already ground and encased in a pod.

French Press Coffee Makers

Coffee grounds are placed in the carafe with boiled water. The coffee maker has a plunger, which is pushed down to remove the grounds from the brewed coffee.

AeroPress Coffee Makers

This coffee maker is placed on top of a mug. The grounds are inserted in the base and hot water is then poured on top. A plunger is used to push the brewed coffee through the filter in the bottom and into the mug below.

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Coffee grounds are placed in water and allowed to soak overnight.

Espresso Coffee Maker

Water is forced through coffee grounds with high pressure.

Stovetop Coffee Maker

Water is placed in the basin of the kettle, the heat causes the water to rise through the grounds in the center compartment. The brewed coffee then rises to the top compartment of the kettle.

Grind and Brew Coffee Maker

Essentially the same as a drip coffee maker, however, it grinds the beans for you and dispenses them into the filter for the brewing process.

Turkish Coffee Maker

Coffee grounds and water are boiled in a small pot and then poured into a mug. The grounds are not filtered out, they’re left to settle at the bottom of the mug.

Steeped Coffee

The same as brewing a cup of tea. Simply place the coffee sachet in hot water and allow it to steep for the directed amount of time.

Vietnamese Coffee Maker

Very similar to the pour-over, however, the brewed coffee traditionally drips into a mug of condensed milk.

Siphon Coffee Maker

Perhaps the fanciest method on this list. Water is boiled until it turns to a vapor which then mixes with the grounds. The vapor cools enough to return to a liquid state while mixed with the grounds, this creates the brewed coffee.

Percolator Coffee Maker

Water is placed in the lower compartment of the kettle. Coffee grounds are placed in the main compartment. Once the water is hot enough, the pressure from the steam forces the water up into the compartment with the grounds through a central tube.

What makes a good coffee machine?

The answer to this question will vary depending on your personal needs. We recommend first and foremost that you consider which features are important to you.

For instance, do you need a programmable coffee machine that will have freshly brewed coffee ready-made for you in the morning?

Perhaps you want a coffee maker with an automatic shut-off for safety purposes and peace of mind. Consider the amount of coffee you consume, the types of coffee drinks you enjoy whether it be a standard cup of coffee or a shot of espresso.

Once you take stock of your personal needs, then you can narrow down what coffee machine is best for you.

How often should I clean my coffee maker?

You should clean your coffee maker after every time you use it. Wash the carafe and clean out the grounds. About every three months or so, you should perform a deeper cleaning often referred to as de-scaling.

This can be done by running vinegar through the brewing process to break down any mineral deposits that might be affecting the quality of your coffee.

Last update on 2022-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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