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Coffee addicts save by spending more on home brewers

If you want to brew your coffee at home, the possibilities are endless. TODAY consumer correspondent Janice Lieberman and Lisa Lee Freeman of ShopSmart get the scoop on some popular home brewers, letting the TODAY anchors do a taste test.

We are an addicted nation when it comes to caffeine.

Eighty-three percent of the U.S. adult population now drinks coffee, according to a survey by the National Coffee Association of U.S.A.

We love our coffee and are willing to pay for it. But making it at home is the best option if you want to save money.

Houseware retailers such as Sur la Table have seen a double-digit increase in sales of coffeemakers and accessories over the last year.

“You can make a fantastic espresso at home, cappuccino, whatever your favorite drink is,” said Mary Janice Reisdorf of Sur La Table.
Price ranges and complexity have increased in recent years.

“You can go up towards, you know, $6,000 for these full-automatic bean-to-cut machines,” Reisdorf said. Alternatively, a manual press sells for about $35.

The true stars in the industry are the single-serve pods. Americans spent $1.8 billion on pods this year. That’s five times as much as three years ago.

“If you're really all about convenience you don't want to have to mess with any beans or grinds,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, the editor in chief of Consumer Reports’ SaveSmart site.

The pods are popular because of their ease, variety and speed. Each cup costs about 50 cents  to 80 cents.

But for a stronger cup of coffee, you will have to brew the old-fashioned way in a conventional drip pot, which requires more coffee and less water. It’s also a lot less expensive per cup when you brew your own.

"Before you choose any coffeemaker, make sure you have room for it in your kitchen, check out how easy it is to clean, and if buying a pod model, make sure you know which pods it will accept and how much they cost,” TODAY’s consumer correspondent Janice Lieberman said.

Freemen offered an overview of some of the best choices for homebrewing, based on Consumer Reports’ test of 110 models.

With a retail price of about $200, the Consumer Reports top choice overall was The Cuisinart Crystal SCC-1000 Limited Edition Perfec Temp, Freeman said.

Other options include a $40 Black & Decker CM4000S carafe-style coffee maker, which is the most economical choice for making multiple cups.

For the grind-and-brew crew, the Krups Grinder & Brewer KM7000 is a good option at  $180.

Freeman had several picks for good pod-style makers:

  • Delonghi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo EDG200T - $100
  • Mr. Coffee BVMC-KG5 - $80
  • Starbucks Verismo 580 -  $200

Lieberman also showed off the Jura® GIGA 5 Automatic Coffee Center with Cup Warmer and Stand, which is on sale at Sur La Table for nearly $5,500.