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You might think it’s impossible to get the same quality of coffee from an automatic drip coffee maker as you do from popular third-wave brewing methods such as pour-over or AeroPress.
However, two particular drip machines on the market brew an incredibly robust and nuanced pot of coffee.
The Breville Precision Brewer and the Technivorm Moccamaster are among the best drip coffee makers out there. You’ll pay for their quality, but they deliver in spades. Both of them brew an outstanding pot of coffee, and they come in at almost the exactly same price.
Breville Precision Brewer
So, which one is better and how are they different?
The key difference is that the Breville Precision Brewer is loaded with features. It’s perfect for the coffee aficionado who wants control over their process, and the ability to brew both iced coffee and cold brew. These additional features are what make the Breville my top pick. I love its versatility, and feel there’s room for my coffee skills to grow.
The Moccamaster, on the other hand, is a solidly built machine with an incredible warranty and easily replaceable parts. It’s much more simple and straightforward to use, but the result is also simple. It will, however, make an excellent cup of coffee for years.
You won’t be disappointed with either of these machines. They may not give you same hands-on control over brewing variables that you get with more hipster brewing methods, but there is something to be said for the simplicity and ease of a classic drip coffee machine. Which one is right for you really depends on how you like to brew.
Let’s compare them.
A Head-to-Head Comparison
The most important factor in any coffee maker is the quality of flavor. That is the area where these two machines differ the least. Both make an exceptional cup of coffee, so we won’t dive too deeply into flavor or consistency. That won’t help you decide which is right for you. Let’s look instead at how they each stack up in build quality and features.
Design and Durability
The Precision Brewer and the Moccamaster are both fairly stylish machines, but the Moccamaster wins out for its funky retro design and incredible durability.
The Moccamaster remains a simple, functional, stylish machine. It’s barely changed since its inception in 1968, because there really isn’t any reason for it to change. It’s built to last, with a five-year manufacturer’s warranty, and it comes in an array of fun colors.
The composite design may seem like a lot of separate parts to deal with, but this makes it easy to clean and maintain. Replacement parts, as well as servicing, are extremely easy to come by and Technivorm is known for its exceptional customer service.
Many users report brewing with the same Moccamaster for decades with little to no service required.
The copper heating element allows it to heat up in just a minute or two and maintain a stable brewing temperature.
You can get a model with glass carafe and hot plate, or one with a thermal carafe to keep your coffee hot. Either way, a slightly funneled lid encourages an even blend while brewing.
The nine-hole brew arm protrudes from a side-mounted water reservoir and provides fairly even grind saturation. In response to user feedback, Technivorm recently updated the design of the brew arm to improve flow consistency and reduce channelling.
If you’re looking for a simple, quality, durable machine, the Moccamaster will be by your side for years.
Breville Precision Brewer
The Precision Brewer isn’t quite as stylish as the Moccamaster, but hey, what is? Breville’s machine has a much more modern stainless steel and black design, but it is slightly bigger and a touch bulkier.
The LCD screen is easy to read and navigate, and is the portal to the Precision’s treasure trove of features which we’ll dive into in the next section.
Although the Precision has a thermocoil heating system rather than a copper boiler, it still reaches optimal temperature quickly. The PID temperature controller ensures temperature stability and allows for precise adjustments. With an impressive 60-ounce carafe, the Precision can easily brew for a large household, dinner party, or even a small office.
Unlike the Moccamaster, the Precision only comes with a two-year warranty, and replacement parts can be somewhat difficult to come by. Users have also reported frustrating customer service, which is a big reason why the Moccamaster takes this category.
Winner: Technivorm Moccamaster
The Breville is absolutely loaded with fun and useful features, making it a versatile and high-performing machine. This is why it’s my top pick.
The Moccamaster doesn’t really have many features, aside from auto-shutoff. It simply brews a great pot of coffee, every time, for years on end. If that’s all you’re looking for, then you’ll be perfectly happy with it.
It can brew a fantastic pour-over as well, by simply removing the filter basket and placing your pour-over set up under the brew arm. If you do like to brew smaller amounts whether through this method, or by brewing a smaller pot, make sure you opt for one of the models that now feature the half pot option, such as the KBT or KBGV. Models without this option struggle to brew quality smaller batches, as water flows too quickly with fewer coffee grounds present—the result being an under-extracted brew.
Check out another one of our articles for a full rundown on the many Moccamaster models and their features.
Breville Precision Brewer
The Precision is packed with features. Since the quality, price point and brew speed are all on par with the Moccamaster, it’s the customizability of the Precision that makes it my top pick.
If you just want to brew a simple, delicious pot of coffee, hit that “gold” option and the expertly pre-programmed settings will provide a perfect pot every time. You can also choose from iced coffee, cold brew, a strong pot, or a fast pot. Or use the “my brew” setting to personally adjust the temperature of your hot water, flow rate, brewing time and even bloom time. This allows you to experiment, adjust your settings depending on your coffee beans, and generally refine your brewing process as you grow with your machine.
The Precision in so much more than your average drip coffee machine, and it really takes the home experience to the next level.
The Precision comes with both a flat bottom and cone filter basket. You can use either paper filters or a reusable metal filter. This allows you to further customize your brew, making the Precision even more versatile.
There’s a handy pour-over attachment available as well, but it’s an additional add-on which is a bit disappointing at such an already high price point.
The Precision has fully programmable on and off options, and will automatically turn off if not programmed for a certain time. This is extremely handy for those of us who like that fresh brew ready as soon as we get out of bed, and the programmable off is great for offices where you want it to stay on during business hours, and turn off at the end of day.
I feel like I could wax on for hours about the Precision’s many features, but the final note I’ll add is the very cool addition of water hardness testing and adjustment. Your water’s hardness is essentially the particular combination of minerals in your water. What’s in your water tank can significantly affect the flavor of your coffee. Your Precision comes with a simple water sampling kit and easy-to-follow instructions to test your water and adjust your machine accordingly. This is a next-level feature in my opinion, and means you’re not relegated to mediocre coffee if you have particularly hard or overly soft water.
Winner: Breville Precision Brewer
Both machines are fantastic. Neither will disappoint. If you want a very stylish workhorse that will brew consistently great cups of coffee for years to come, go for the Moccamaster. If you want a super cool, feature-rich coffee brewer that you can learn and grow with, opt for the Breville Precision Brewer.
Keep in mind the excellent customer service of Technivorm, and easy replacement and servicing of the Moccamaster. If that’s important to you, it might make your decision a bit tougher.
For me personally, the versatility of the Precision still makes it the more desirable and exciting machine.