There have been times when I have experienced the unappetizing, distinct taste and smell of plastic in my coffee. That certainly isn’t coming from that nice aromatic coffee I used. It is often dismissed as something to be expected from occasionally from new coffeemakers.
I think it is fair to say that none of us want the smell and taste of plastic in our coffee. The solution, of course, is to buy the best plastic free coffee maker. That is easier said than done. Plastic free coffee makers are difficult to come across, so here are the best finds.
- Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker
- OXO On Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Maker
- Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe
- French Press Double-Wall Stainless Steel Coffee/Tea Maker
- Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper
- Chemex Classic Series, Pour-over Glass Coffeemaker
- Coffee Gator Pour Over Brewer
- Bodum Columbia Thermal French Press Coffee Maker
- Bialetti Moka Stove Top Coffee Maker
- BUNN VP17-1 Pourover Coffee Brewer With Warmer
About Plastic Free Coffee Makers
Plastic is a very versatile material. And that has led it to be practically omnipresent in all aspects of modern human life and technology. It’s no wonder that plastic is also widely used in manufacturing coffee makers, often leading to that unpleasant smell and taste we so despise.
A bigger problem with plastic is BPA. This chemical is an endocrine disruptor, and can cause many health problems. That should be reason enough to chuck the plastic coffeemaker into the trash.
Manufacturers are moving to BPA-free plastics. Still, consumers (rightfully) continue to be wary of plastics and the chemicals that may seep into their coffee.
Finding a machine entirely without plastic parts is a tall order. Using plastic itself isn’t that big a problem, compared to where the plastic is used. So I’ll keep our focus on coffee makers where hot water does not come into contact with plastic.
Stainless Steel Coffee Maker
Stainless steel is a robust material that should be an obvious choice for a good coffee maker. However, the metal is more expensive and heavier compared to plastic. That, along with a few other concerns means that plastic parts are often chosen over stainless steel.
Steel is used extensively in higher-end coffee makers, like super automatic coffee makers, but plastic rules over the entry-level and cheaper coffee makers.
When I say stainless steel coffee maker, I don’t mean those with steel body panels or steel carafe. The innards of the coffee maker are what matter. The reservoir and the point where the water is heated must be steel. Heated water should not come into contact with plastic inside the machine.
Glass Coffee Maker
Somewhat rare but gaining in the market, the glass coffee maker is an excellent option as well. Glass doesn’t alter the taste of the coffee and can work very well with hot water. While it has been around forever with French Press and Pour Over coffee, its use in drip coffee makers has been somewhat restricted. That is changing, and there are some excellent coffee makers that use glass reservoirs.
BPA Free Coffee Maker – Non Toxic Coffee Maker
BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical used to make certain plastics. The chemical is toxic to humans and can cause several health issues. If a food container is made from plastic containing BPA, there’s a good chance the chemical will seep into food and contaminate it.
Of course, coffee machine manufacturers are not oblivious to the problem. BPA-free plastic is widely used for coffee makers. Any plastic that comes into contact with your beverage must be BPA free. Before you purchase a machine, ask and be sure that it is a BPA free coffee maker. That’s good advice for any container in general that will come into contact with your food or beverages.
Top 10 Plastic Free Coffee Makers For 2019
1. Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker
Simple and straight to the point, the Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker is a no-frills coffeemaker. It can be used to brew anywhere from between 2-12 cups of coffee and is fairly fast in getting the job done.
A signal light at the bottom of the container switches on as soon as it goes into action, and turns off when the coffee is ready. All you have to do is pour water into the coffee maker and add coffee grounds to the filter basket. The coffee maker body, as well as the filter basket, are made from stainless steel.
Once the coffee is ready, you can use the Presto as a kettle to pour coffee directly into cups. The easy pour spout makes pouring the coffee easy, adding convenience. The coffeemaker is insulated, so you don’t have to worry about your beverage cooling down quickly.
Presto’s ease of use and simplicity are its biggest draws. The no-frills approach may also be seen as a drawback since there is no way to finetune the brewing process. It’s a sturdy coffeemaker that will last years. Since the water and coffee never come into contact with anything plastic, this plastic free coffee maker is a good choice.
- Sturdy stainless steel construction
- Easy to brew and pour coffee
- Simple operation
- Brews 2-12 cups
- No user control over the brewing process
- Aluminum nut at the bottom of the inner assembly can significantly lower lifespan of this coffeemaker
2. OXO On Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Maker
OXO On Barista Brain has been a popular coffee maker. The machine has a claim to boast its commitment to good coffee. It has been certified by the rigorous standards of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). A microprocessor-controlled cycle manages the brewing cycle and ensures it stays up to the optimum standards.
Water is heated to the optimum temperature for extraction. From there, it travels to the rainmaker showerhead which then pours it over the coffee. It cooks up an excellent cup of pour over coffee, and the hot water does not come in direct contact with plastic.
Minimalist, modern looks are another draw of this sleek coffeemaker. The LED interface is simple and well-integrated with the body of the coffee maker. A single dial at the base of the LED interface can be used to select the number of cups to brew. It can also be used to control the 24-hour programmable cycle of the machine.
After selecting the number of cups, simply push the button on the dial and the Barista Brain springs into action. Coffee is poured into a sealed thermal carafe, which will keep your drink warm for a long time.
- Excellent looks and sleek design
- Keeps water at the right temperature for good extraction
- The thermal carafe keeps coffee hot for longer
- Programmable functions for easier use
- Rainmaker showerhead works well with pour over coffee method
- It can be a bit slow to brew the coffee
- Numerous consumer complaints about product durability
3. Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe
Coffee quality and construction quality come together in this coffee maker. Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Coffee Maker is more expensive than other options on this list, but it sure makes a mean cup of joe. It is one of the best drip coffee makers available on the market. The stainless steel construction, including filter assembly and carafe, keeping coffee away from any plastic taste.
The SCA certified coffeemaker heats water and keeps it at the right temperature using PID system. If you prefer to finetune the coffee to your taste, the machine has options that allow customization of flow rate and contact time. Or you could simply go with the preset brewing modes and trust the machine to deliver a good cup.
Amongst the preset modes is the “Gold Cup”, where the Precision Brewer matches your coffee to SCA standards. The packaging includes flat bottom and cone filter baskets. It is also compatible for use with popular pour over coffee makers like Hario V60 and Kalita Wave.
The feature-rich machine has a lot to offer. A small digital display makes the selection of the customization options easier. It displays the current brewing mode. A visual display of the changes being made makes things more convenient.
- Excellent, high-quality construction
- SCA certified
- Allows fine tuning brewing process to match custom requirements
- Several preset coffee brewing modes
- Can work with popular pour over coffee makers
- The carafe is not completely sealed by its lid
4. French Press Double-Wall Stainless Steel Coffee/Tea Maker
The simple design of this coffeemaker and the double stainless steel body makes it an excellent pick. Double walls offer insulation and also make it convenient to handle this all-steel coffee maker. The interior wall keeps your beverage warm, while the exterior stays cool to the touch.
Going the same way as the walls, the machine uses a double screen filter. The filter effectively blocks any coffee grounds from getting into your beverage. French Press Double-Wall Stainless Steel Coffee/Tea Maker is rust-resistant and dishwasher safe. You’ll use this coffeemaker for several years!
This French Press also picks up some points for versatility. You can use it to make tea, hot chocolate, even use it as a fruit infuser! The spout makes it easy to pour your beverage. It can take a few tries before you get the best coffee out of this coffeemaker.
That’s simply because it is made from steel and you can’t see the process happening. So it’s a bit of a guessing game. Won’t be much of a problem for experts, but novices might need some time to adjust. Another thing is the “screeching” noise it makes. It isn’t very loud, and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just a side-effect of the steel plunger/filter rubbing against the steel walls.
There are absolutely no plastic parts in this French Press.
- No plastic parts
- Robust and lasting construction
- Can also be used for tea, hot chocolate, and as a fruit infuser
- Filters and plunger can be difficult to clean
- Can be weirdly noisy
5. Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper
Hario V60 has been at the center of the pour over coffee phenomenon. It has stayed on as one of the best coffee makers, and for good reason. The simple design of the V60 allows it to be better at extracting flavors from coffee.
Its design enriches your coffee by helping extract floral or fruit flavors, while also bringing out the right amount of acidity. There’s a single hole at the bottom of the dripper to allow coffee to drip into a carafe. The vortex arrangement of ribs on the coffeemaker stops the filter from sticking to the walls. It also encourages better flavor extraction from the coffee.
Hario V60 is available in several materials, sizes, and colors. The materials available are ceramic, metal, glass, and plastic. I’d say plastic is a no-go, but the other materials will work great.
- Well-designed for an excellent pour over coffee experience
- Available in several materials, shapes, and colors
- Easy to use
- Single hole at the bottom is oversized, and can sometimes cause coffee to drain too quickly to the carafe
6. Chemex Classic Series, Pour-over Glass Coffeemaker
Chemex is an interesting, and good looking touch on the pour over coffeemaker genre. Stylish and well constructed, Chemex is slightly more expensive than conventional pour over coffeemakers. The high quality of the product, however, more than makes up for the price.
It is made entirely from borosilicate glass, which offers excellent heating properties. Additionally, the glass does not absorb any flavors from your coffee. It won’t bring any of its own chemicals to the coffee either. You can use conventional paper filters, but it is worthwhile to invest in a good quality metal mesh filter.
The wooden collar along the neck of the Chemex serves two purposes. First, it provides some insulation to the filter assembly. Second, and more important, is that it provides a convenient place to hold the hourglass-shaped Chemex.
In case the wooden collar doesn’t look good enough, you can also buy the Chemex in a more conventional glass handle variant. I am partial to the wood and leather collar, but it has its downsides. They make cleaning tougher and have to be removed before the unit can be properly cleaned. Also, you have to be careful that they don’t stay moist. Wood and leather certainly aren’t mold free.
- Great looks and quality construction
- Borosilicate glass is non-porous and does not affect the flavor of coffee
- Can be tough to clean
- Can feel more delicate compared to coffeemakers with robust metallic construction
7. Coffee Gator Pour Over Brewer
Another pour over coffee maker, Coffee Gator has a glass carafe with a metallic mesh filter. The filter fits over the hourglass-shaped carafe. Coffee Gator encourages the use of metal filters over paper filters, claiming that reusable metal filters are more eco friendly than single-use filters.
The filter they use is made from dual layers of micro-mesh, laser-cut steel. The filter is sturdy and well-built. And of course, it is pretty good at its job! That said, using this pour over coffeemaker is pretty simple and straightforward. Add coffee, pour water. Your skill does play some part, but the Coffee Gator removes most complexities.
- Simple and easy to use
- Include a good quality metal filter
- Well constructed
- The glass carafe is delicate and risks being broken
8. Bodum Columbia Thermal French Press Coffee Maker
Bodum Columbia Thermal French Press Coffee Maker has a sleek design and good looks. It has been built around its use as a French Press and takes an excellent approach to better coffee.
Built entirely out of stainless steel, Columbia has a double-wall stainless steel construction. This gives it better insulation and also helps keep your coffee hot for longer. The exteriors remain suitably cool and you can touch the French Press without worry. Bodum says the coffee will stay warm for up to 2 hours.
The plunger is stainless steel as well, with a mesh filter at the end. The sealed lid ensures that there are no accidental spills as you make coffee. You can also use the Columbia to make tea. Its only drawback is that the coffeemaker can feel bulky. The 17oz version can feel too small, while the 51oz gets heavy. Perhaps we should get some inspiration from Goldilocks and pick the 34oz version!
- Well crafted and sturdy
- Stainless steel construction
- Can feel bulky
9. Bialetti Moka Stove Top Coffee Maker
Bialetti coffee makers are often the go-to choice for Moka coffee lovers. Given that the coffee is made on the stove, there is no room for any plastic parts. Bialetti Moka stovetop coffee maker is often made from aluminum, though there is a stainless steel version available as well.
It does have a plastic handle, which makes it easier to place/remove the Bialetti on the stove. Since the plastic never touches your coffee, it is no problem at all. Bialetti Moka coffee makers are available in several size, color, and material options. I remain partial to the classic octagonal shape, but hey, that’s just looks. Pick whatever design speaks to you!
- Well constructed
- Good looks
- Available in several color, shape, and volume options
- Can be tough to clean
10. BUNN VP17-1 Pourover Coffee Brewer With Warmer
BUNN VP17-1 has a somewhat dated look. Perhaps something that would look at home in the ‘90s. The controls are managed by a switch at the top, which you can flick to turn the brewer on/off. Though the design may feel dated, this is a decent-looking product. More importantly, it’s one hell of a coffee maker.
It is somewhat expensive for a barebone coffee maker. That is probably because BUNN lists it as a commercial coffee maker. As such, this one is built to be sturdy and last a long time. It’s also great for office use. The listed coffee volume for this machine is 14.4-liters per hour. That should be enough for a fairly busy office.
Interiors for the VP-17-1 are stainless steel, and your coffee won’t come into contact with anything plastic. Its plastic filter basket puts a bit of a damper on things. However, BUNN offers stainless steel funnel assembly kit that can come in handy.
- Excellent, sturdy construction – built to last
- Easily available replacement parts
- Plastic funnel assembly
FAQs For Plastic Free Coffee Makers
Do Bunn coffee makers have plastic parts?
Like most coffee makers, Bunn coffee makers do have plastic parts. The important part is the placement of plastic. For Bunn VP-17-1 coffee maker, interiors are stainless steel from the reservoir to the showerhead. The only non-metal material water touches in this machine is food-grade silicone. Some other models, however, do have a plastic problem. Customers of BUNN BX Velocity often complain about the plastic smell for the first few weeks.
Is plastic in coffee maker safe?
Any plastic that comes in contact with water or your coffee should be BPA-free (at the very least). Check the labeling of your coffee maker to ensure it is BPA-free. If you have any doubts, it’s better to go with a plastic free coffee maker.
Is there an automatic drip coffee maker without plastic parts?
Yes, in fact, there are several. Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer is an excellent choice, so is the BUNN VP17-1. Technivorm Moccamaster is a good drip coffee maker, but it has a plastic filter assembly.
What kind of plastic is used in coffee makers?
The troublesome plastic to use for a coffee maker is one that has been treated with BPA. It is a chemical that is used to harden plastic, and may be used in the inner parts of the water tank or filter basket. Responsible coffee machine manufacturers make it a point to use BPA-free plastics.
What is the healthiest coffee maker?
Pick one that has no plastic that comes in contact with hot water or coffee. Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer is a good drip coffee maker. Bodum Columbia French Press, Bialetti Moka Pot are good examples. Stainless steel french press or percolators should be better than those that use plastics.
Do K cups have BPA?
No. Keurig has confirmed that K cups are BPA-free.
Is the Hamilton Beach BrewStation BPA free?
Hamilton Beach has confirmed that all parts of the BrewStation that come in contact with water or coffee are 100% BPA free.
Choosing The Best Plastic Free Coffee Maker
While the use of plastics is common, their use in your coffee maker can contaminate your coffee. Many companies are now offering BPA-free coffee makers. However, it is fair to assume that the alternative process used, though it may be better than BPA, is unlikely to be the safest. Choosing the best plastic free coffee maker takes those worries off your mind, and you can have more confidence in your beverage.