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Best 4 Cup Coffee Maker

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By Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

Coffee makers, like so many things in life, keep getting bigger and better. But what if you don’t want bigger? You still want better but in a smaller package? Many small-capacity drip coffee machines are pretty bad so we had to test a lot in the pursuit of the best 4 cup coffee maker to share here.

For us, the Gevi 4 Cup coffee maker comes out on top for flavor, convenience, and for being insanely compact. Just remember that ‘a cup’ refers to a tasse à café which is 4 US fl oz (around 120 ml) so you’ll get around 2 mugs of coffee from all the options we’ve reviewed here.

To help in your search for the ideal small coffee maker, we’ve done the hard work so you can get on with the important stuff: drinking great coffee. Whilst we’ve focused on electric drip coffee machines, we’ve also included some alternative styles of coffee makers – variety is the spice of life, after all.

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TL;DR Best of the Best

Best Overall: Gevi 4 Cup

Gevi 4 cup coffee maker

Coffee Quality: 8/10

Ease of Use: 9/10

Value for Money: 8/10

Most Stylish: Brentwood 4 Cup

Brentwood 4 cup coffee maker - teal

Coffee Quality: 7/10

Ease of Use: 7/10

Value for Money: 7.5/10

Most Flexible: Braun BrewSense

Braun BrewSense 12 Cup Drip Coffee Maker

Coffee Quality: 9.5/10

Ease of Use: 9/10

Value for Money: 7/10

The Cuisinart DCC-450BK used to be our favorite 4 cup coffee maker; it was a great combination of quality, convenience, size, and price. So we were gutted when it was discontinued, though they make a great 5 cup coffee maker so all’s not lost.

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Our Top 4 Cup Coffee Makers

1. Gevi 4 Cups

Gevi 4 cup coffee maker


  • Compact & lightweight
  • Reusable filter
  • Overheating protection
  • Overflow hole to avoid leaking


  • Slow (takes 4-5 minutes)
  • Leaks when pouring

Testing Scores

  • Coffee Quality: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10
  • Value for Money: 8/10
  • Overall Rating: 8/10

There is beauty in simplicity and that’s what Gevi has gone for with their 4 cup coffee machine. Reusable filter, simple to fill water tank, pause brewing feature, and overheating protection. All this in an extremely small package.

It’s not quite perfect:

The carafe tends to drip, which is annoying though I found that pouring with the lid open actually made less mess. Plus, the reusable filter means more cleaning needs to be done but the mesh does make this slightly easier. For me, it’s still preferable to paper filters but it might not be your preference.

The “pause brewing” feature needs to be caveated too:

These machines don’t brew 1 perfect cup at a time. They brew a full pot with the correct coffee-to-water ratio so if you pause that midway through, you’ll get a sour, under-extracted cup of coffee. This isn’t an issue unique to Gevi but also not the selling point it might appear to be.

These are all extremely minor niggles on an otherwise excellent little coffee maker that’s very affordable and ideal for those with limited space.

2. Brentwood 4 Cup Coffee Maker

Brentwood 4 cup coffee maker - teal


  • Pop of color (also available in black or white)
  • Reusable filter
  • Tempered glass carafe
  • Budget-friendly


  • Hot plate burns coffee after 10 minutes
  • No auto-off feature
  • Feels flimsy & cheaply made

Testing Scores

  • Coffee Quality: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Value for Money: 8.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 7.5/10

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly coffee maker that doesn’t cut corners, the Brentwood is a great pick. It also comes in a bright pop of teal to brighten up your kitchen (though it’s also available in black or white if it doesn’t match your aesthetic.)

There’s no complicated user interface to learn to control – there’s just an on/off switch. You do need to remember to turn it off, however, as it doesn’t have an auto-off function.

The warming plate is good if you want to brew your coffee while you’re busy with other tasks. Just don’t leave it for too long as it’s not temperature controlled so after 10 minutes, your coffee will be burnt, over-extracted, and undrinkable.

It’s quicker than some of the others and makes a good, if not spectacular, cup of coffee.

3. Braun BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker

Braun BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker


  • Brew 1-4 cups, or 12 cup pot
  • Auto-off function
  • Delay timer for coffee when you wake up
  • Premium design
  • Vacuum locked carafe


  • Expensive

Testing Scores

  • Coffee Quality: 9.5/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10
  • Value for Money: 7/10
  • Overall Rating: 8.5/10

OK so technically this is a 12 cup coffee machine. However, one of its main features is that you also brew just 1-4 cups. Usually, coffee makers with this option aren’t great at lower volumes as they weren’t specifically designed for this, but I was really impressed with the BrewSense.

So you get the best of both worlds: 4 cup brewing for your everyday coffee needs, plus a big pot for when you have guests. This does mean it’s more expensive than some of the best 4 cup coffee makers we recommend here, but the Braun Brewsense has some great features that set it apart from the competition.

In addition to the 1-4 cup function, you can:

  • Pause mid-brewing to pour yourself a cup before the full pot is ready. I don’t recommend it though unless you *really* need that caffeine as the first drops are usually weak and watery.
  • Use the time delay so you can program your coffee to be ready and waiting for you when you walk into the kitchen in the morning.
  • Ditch the paper filters thanks to Braun’s reusable “gold-tone” filter.
  • Adjust the cleaning function to suit your water hardness.
  • Enjoy rich, full-bodied coffee thanks to the charcoal water filter which purifies the water.

This is well beyond the functionality of most 4-cup machines. And, most importantly, it made the best tasting coffee of all those we tested.

It’s usually priced around $100 so it really depends on whether you think the extra features are worth the extra cost.

4. Mr Coffee 4 Cup with Stainless Steel Carafe

Braun BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker


  • Stainless steel carafe
  • Reusable filter
  • Closer to 20oz capacity


  • Brews lukewarm coffee
  • More expensive

Testing Scores

  • Coffee Quality: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Value for Money: 6.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 7/10

The Mr Coffee 4 cup coffee maker is a tale of two halves for me.

On the one hand, I like the stainless steel carafe compared to all the other glass options. It’s a lot more durable and better at temperature retention.

But on the other, the coffee is lukewarm and thin in flavor, and the coffee maker feels cheap despite being more expensive. (It’s the stainless steel carafe that pushes up the price.)

So it falls under good, but not great for me.

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Alternative Small Capacity Brewers

If you’re willing to branch out from the traditional drip coffee makers, you can get better flavor from alternatives brewing styles in the ‘4 cup’ category. Here are a few of our favorites:

Manual Drip: Hario V60

Close up of the Hario V60

Coffee Quality: 10/10

Ease of Use: 6/10

Value for Money: 10/10

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

Or read our full Hario V60 Review

Using a manual drip coffee maker is a lot more time-consuming than an electric machine. It also takes time to nail your technique (our V60 recipe will help!) But, once you do, the potential coffee quality is exponentially better.

The V60 Size 02 is great for making 1-4 cups of coffee. I appreciate it might be a little too involved for a busy weekday morning, but for lazy weekends, you can’t go wrong. Plus it’s dirt cheap and takes up very little room.

Espresso: Capresso 303.01 4 Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Machine

Capresso 303.01 Budget Espresso Machine

Coffee Quality: 6/10

Ease of Use: 7/10

Value for Money: 7/10

Overall Rating: 6.5/10

Or read our full Capresso 303.01 Review

If you’re after an espresso machine for less than $100, the Capresso 303.01 is a good option. Using the manual steam wand, you can make cappuccino or stick to full-bodied espresso shots. I’d describe the espresso as closer in style to Moka coffee. It’s a little too bitter for me but if you like very dark roast coffee, this will be ideal for you.

Steam-powered espresso machines went out of fashion as steam has a nasty habit of burning coffee. But they do have one thing going for them: they’re significantly cheaper than pump espresso machines. So as long as you go in understanding its limitations, you’ll have fun making your drinks.

French Press: Bodum 4 Cup French Press

Bodum Chambord - classic French press coffee maker on kitchen counter

Coffee Quality: 8/10

Ease of Use: 7/10

Value for Money: 8/10

Overall Rating: 8/10

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Why overcomplicate things when you can go for a classic: the French press?

The simple carafe and plunger design delivers rich, full-bodied coffee with all those delicious oils from your French press coffee beans adding an extra punch. But not everyone loves the texture so it has to be a style of coffee you love.

You’re in control too – you’ll need to measure the coffee, heat the water, time the extraction, and plunge when you’re ready. Nothing is complicated but if convenience is what you’re after, then this won’t be the best 4 cup coffee maker for you. For flavor though, it’s a great option and our handy French press ratio calculator will help you on your way.

You can also use the Bodum French press for cold brew.

Single Serve

Single-serve coffee makers are often the first choice for people looking at smaller coffee pots. But, what they offer in convenience, they take away in extra running costs – coffee pods are expensive and often not as good flavor-wise.

We haven’t included any here as they tend to make 8, 10, or 12oz of coffee per pod which is a smaller capacity than a 4 cup coffee maker.

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What To Look for in a 4 Cup Coffee Maker

When shopping for the best 4 cup coffee maker for your needs, make sure to consider these factors to help narrow down your choices. There are some features that separate the good from the terrible, and sometimes the features you want mean you’ll need to fork out a little extra money to get what you need.

1. Brewing Method

When we talk about 4 cup coffee makers, we’re usually referring to traditional drip coffee machines. But they’re not the only option in small capacity (around 16oz) coffee makers. If you’re willing to put in a little more work, you can get better tasting coffee from a French press or pour over instead.2.

2. Programmability

Budget-friendly, compact coffee makers often don’t have many (or any) additional features. And when they do, they’re frequently more annoying than actually helpful. Sadly, it’s the price we have to pay for paying less.

However, one fairly common feature is a time delay setting that allows you to set it up the night before and have your coffee ready when you walk into the kitchen in the morning.

3. Filters

Some machines have permanent filters, others use disposable paper filters. As it’s such a key component to flavor extraction, consider what is best for you:

  • With paper filters, you have to keep a constant stock but they’re easy to just throw out when you’re done. They filter out most of the oils and micro-grounds, meaning you get a bright, cleaner flavor of coffee.
  • Reusable metal filters allow more texture through into your brewed coffee which will taste heavier and richer. They need to be cleaned by hand too which isn’t always the easier.

4. Temperature

The temperature that your coffee is brewed, and subsequently kept warm at, will not only impact the flavor of your coffee but also how convenient the machine is to use. Most 4-cup coffee makers have basically the same heating mechanism for the water so that part isn’t much of an issue.

The real thing to focus on here is the warming plate: It needs to be able to keep the coffee warm without burning it.

5. Carafe

What the carafe is made from will make a big difference to your coffee’s temperature, your machine’s durability, and your own sanity when it comes to cleaning.

Glass carafes allow you to stare longingly as your coffee slowly fills the pot and they’re incredibly easy to clean. But they’re prone to breaking.

A double-walled, thermal stainless steel carafe will keep your brewed coffee hotter for longer (meaning the hot plate needs to do less work) and won’t break. But it costs more.

6. Cleaning

Cleaning your coffee maker is a necessary evil. So it’s worth looking out for removable filters to make it easier to empty the used grounds or the magic words “dishwasher safe”. The carafe needs to be cleaned after every use too.

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Final Thoughts

In recent years, we’ve noticed many of the best 4 cup coffee maker models being removed from the shelves. Big manufacturers seem to moving towards 5 cup options instead for those of us who want something small and low volume.

That said, there are still some great options you can pick up.

If you’re after a simple, 4-cup-sized coffee maker to sort out your coffee needs then the Gevi GECMD008-U is a dependable machine that will almost certainly satisfy your needs.

If your budget can stretch a little further and you like the flexibility to brew a big pot when the need arises then we highly recommend the Braun BrewSense as an all-around brilliant coffee maker.


Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

Matt's coffee obsession started in 2006 when working as a Barista. A tendency to turn up to work hungover kickstarted his coffee journey which quickly turned into a love affair. As he moved on to work as a Restaurant Manager and Sommelier, the obsession continued to grow. Now, his passion is helping others to enjoy better coffee at home.

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