Unfortunately, the majority of coffee makers available today are made of cheap plastic parts full of harmful chemicals, with BPA topping the list of offenders. But there's good news: you don't have to give up drinking coffee to steer clear of these health-compromising chemicals. In this article, we will tackle why you should avoid coffee makers made of plastic and why BPA is not good for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top Pick for Best BPA Free Coffee Maker
- 2 Why You Should Avoid Plastics in Your Coffee Maker, Or At Least Most Plastics
- 3 Why BPA is Bad
- 4 Your Non-Toxic Coffee Maker Options
- 5 The 3 Best BPA Free Coffee Maker Brands
- 6 Honorable Mentions
- 7 What is the Best BPA Free Coffee Maker Without Plastic?
We'll go over the options available to brew coffee in the most non-toxic way possible. Plus, we will include some top recommendations for the best coffee maker without plastic and the best BPA free coffee maker.
Top Pick for Best BPA Free Coffee Maker
Technivorm Moccamaster Plastic Free Coffee Maker
The Technivorm Moccamaster plastic free coffee maker electric is amazing for multiple reasons. Not only is all of the plastic used in its construction guaranteed BPA-free by the manufacturer, but it's also one of the few coffee makers certified by the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) by meeting their Gold Cup Standard. Why is that a big deal you might ask?
The Gold Cup Standard means the machine brews coffee within a precise temperature range for optimal extraction, between 198 and 205 degrees. In coffee brewing, the more stable the temperature, the more even the extraction, the better the coffee tastes.
The Moccamaster maintains a consistent temperature of 200 degrees for the entire duration of the brewing process, which few other machines can do. The Technivorm Moccamaster is built by hand in the Netherlands and is available in several different styles and sizes. The particular model we've included here has a stainless steel insulated thermal carafe with a full stainless steel interior. All of the Technivorm Moccamaster models feature heavy-duty copper boilers and simple one-button operation.
Why You Should Avoid Plastics in Your Coffee Maker, Or At Least Most Plastics
The trouble starts when hot water comes into contact with plastic that has a compound called Bisphenol A (BPA) within its chemical makeup. In numerous studies, BPA has been proven to leach into food and beverages upon contact. The primary concern for coffee drinkers is that BPA leaches up to 55 times faster in hot water than it does in cold water. Since hot water is required to brew coffee, this finding is quite alarming.
Why BPA is Bad
By now, you've probably heard all about the adverse effects of BPA, but in case you haven't, here's the short version:
BPA is a component of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins frequently used in food storage containers and other plastic products. It’s an endocrine disruptor that mimics the function of naturally occurring hormones in the human body, and can trigger significant physiological changes.
Studies have found that exposure to BPA in coffee makers can produce structural damage to the brain, increased fat formation, and altered immune function among many other negative effects.
So not only do cheap plastic coffee makers give your coffee an unpleasant plastic taste, but they can also put your health at risk. With that in mind, let's move onto the solution: coffee makers without plastic and coffee makers made with BPA free plastic.
Your Non-Toxic Coffee Maker Options
If you're willing to kick your old (or new) BPA-ridden coffee maker to the curb, a whole new world of fantastically delicious and healthy coffee awaits you. But first, a quick disclosure:
There is no perfect solution when it comes to finding a coffee maker without plastic. Automatic drip brewers intended for home use without any plastic parts are practically non-existent. Any machine on the market today, even the most expensive commercial brewers, have some amount of plastic, rubber, or other composite materials in their construction.
So just know that the perfect solution might not yet exist, but there are some great options worth exploring in the meantime.
Best Coffee Maker Without Plastic: Manual Brewing Methods
If you're willing to put a bit more physical effort into your morning cup, several manual brewing methods can brew fantastic coffee and have no plastic whatsoever.
Manual coffee brewing involves adding hot water to ground coffee with a kettle, letting it steep, and then filtering the coffee. You may have seen baristas using these methods in fancy specialty coffee shops where the quality of taste is paramount, and style points are a serious bonus.
Manual brewing allows you, the brewer, to have full control over the coffee extraction process. With some attention and care, the results can be incredibly delicious. And best of all, no BPA.
French press and pour over are by far the most traditional methods of manual brewing. A grinder, hot water kettle, and brewing device are all you need to get started. The following brewing devices listed here are completely plastic-free, and when used correctly, brew coffee of the highest quality.
Best French Press: Freiling Polished 18/10 Stainless Steel French Press
There are certainly less-expensive French presses available, but if you're looking for a coffee maker without plastic to replace your current brewer, why not get the very best?
Unlike many other French press models, the Freiling Polished French Press coffee maker without plastic parts is made entirely of heavy-duty stainless steel and every part is completely dishwasher safe for easy clean up. With fully insulated walls, your coffee stays hot, and with no glass or plastic anywhere, the press is virtually unbreakable.
A french press is by far the easiest manual brewing method to master. Simply pour in your coffee grounds, add hot water, and steep for 4 minutes. Plunge the filter and your coffee is ready!
French press brewed coffee tends to be more full-bodied than other brewing methods as the coffee oils are allowed to pass through the stainless steel mesh filter.
However, a common complaint among french press users is that fine coffee particles sometimes pass through the mesh filter resulting in sediment at the bottom of the cup. To minimize the coffee grounds passing through, the Freiling uses one of the finest mesh filters you'll find in any french press.
Best All-Glass Pour Over Coffee Maker: The Chemex Coffee Maker
You won't find any plastic or metal anywhere on the Chemex Coffee Maker. Made entirely of heat resistant borosilicate glass, the Chemex is naturally 100% BPA-free and brews one heck of a cup.
The Chemex is available in several different sizes, and you can choose either a glass handled model or the classic model with a wood collar and leather tie.
The Chemex uses proprietary coffee filters made of thick, bonded paper that filter coffee to a high degree, resulting in a very smooth, clean-tasting cup of coffee with little to no sediment.
Brewing coffee with a Chemex is slightly more involved than the french press, but not by much. Fold and place a Chemex paper filter in the brewer, then add your ground coffee. Pour hot water, just off boil, over the grounds in a slow, circular pattern. Pour over brewing is all about the pour, and an even, steady pour done in several stages produces the best tasting coffee. After all the water drains through the coffee grounds, discard the filter and your coffee is ready to drink.
The 3 Best BPA Free Coffee Maker Brands
If you like the idea of manual brewing but want your morning coffee routine to be more hands-off, a BPA-free automatic drip coffee maker may be the best option.
Although there is still a fair amount of plastic within the BPA-free machines, all of the plastic, or at least the plastic that comes into contact with water and coffee, is BPA-free and designed for high-heat use. Is this the perfect solution? No. But until coffee machine manufacturers create a coffee maker without plastic parts, this really is as good as it gets, that is, if you want a machine to brew coffee for you.
Keep in mind that these BPA-free coffee makers tend to run more expensive than average coffee makers, but if your health and the taste of your coffee are important to you, they're worth every last penny.
How These Models Were Selected
Determining whether or not a particular coffee maker uses a BPA free plastic can be quite daunting. So, to provide you with the absolute best recommendations for BPA free coffee makers that brew delicious coffee and are safe to use, we've only selected models that the manufacturer explicitly states as BPA-free.
If you're looking for a new machine that doesn't have coffee maker plastic taste and one that you can fully trust, the following three are the finest available on the market today.
The Bonavita BV1900TS 8 Cup BPA Free Coffee Maker is another incredible coffee maker that happens to be 100% BPA free. And, it's also SCAA Gold Cup Certified! This machine brews coffee on par with the Technivorm Moccamaster, only at a considerably lower price point.
Precision Brewing is the name of the game with the Bonavita. Maintaining the sweet spot temperature of 200 degrees, the Bonavita brews coffee evenly and consistently every time.
And when it's done brewing, the coffee stays nice and hot in a double walled, thermal carafe, made of stainless steel inside and out.
One thing the Bonavita has that the Moccamaster doesn't is pre-infusion capabilities. To use pre-infusion, you simply push and hold the power switch for about 5 seconds until the light flashes.
A small amount of water will pre-soak the coffee grounds before initiating the full brew cycle. This helps achieve an even extraction throughout the brewing process, resulting in more aromatic and nuanced coffee.
The Bonavita model featured here is the 8 cup model, but there is also a 5 cup model available for those who brew less coffee or are short on counter space.
The Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker
The Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker is by far the most "hands-off" of all the BPA-free coffee makers available. Featuring a built-in grinder with machined stainless steel flat burrs, and programmable volume and strength control, this BPA free coffee maker brews high-quality coffee to your exact specifications.
Once you've set your brewing preferences using the user-friendly LCD screen, all you have to do is add water and a new coffee filter and the machine does the rest.
One of the most noteworthy features of the Breville Grind Control is that you can brew any volume of coffee, from a single cup all the way up to a full 60 oz pot — one of the largest available. The carafe is double walled stainless steel and thermally insulated, keeping your coffee nice and hot. The Grind Control also allows you to brew directly into a travel mug up to 7.5 inches tall.
Unlike the Technivorm Moccamaster and the Bonavita coffee maker, in the Breville Grind Control, only the plastic that comes into contact with water and coffee is BPA-free.
So, if you're looking for a machine that's completely BPA-free, this isn't it. But, in terms of real-world functionality, the Breville Grind Control will produce coffee completely free of any BPA contamination.
In the spirit of thoroughly presenting as many non-toxic coffee maker options as possible, here are two coffee makers that meet the criteria for being either a coffee maker without plastic or BPA-free coffee makers. These machines may appeal to some but aren't ideal for the average home coffee brewer.
The Presto 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker No Plastic Parts
The Presto 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker BPA Free is made almost entirely of stainless steel, except for the plastic base, handle, and lid knob. No plastic touches th
While many die-hard coffee drinkers swear by percolators for producing strong, piping hot coffee, percolators have a few inherent flaws that prohibit them from brewing coffee of comparable quality to a good automatic drip brewer, french press, or pour over brewer.
First, percolators brew coffee by boiling water which creates a vacuum sending water up through a tube and a dispersal screen sprayed over the coffee grounds. As previously mentioned, the optimal water temperature for brewing coffee (according to the SCAA's Gold Cup Standard) is between 198 and 205 degrees.
Since a percolator must bring water to a boil (212 degrees), the water is far beyond the optimal temperature range. The result? An over extracted coffee that's bitter and astringent. But, some coffee drinkers like bitter coffee...
The second downfall of a percolator is that the brewing water is continuously re-circulated over the coffee grounds. This action is the equivalent of brewing a pot of coffee in a drip brewer, then adding the brewed coffee back to the water reservoir and brewing another cycle over the spent grounds. The result? Over extracted, bitter coffee.
Now, coffee percolators have been around for a long, long, time, and aren't all bad. While they may not bring out all the incredible nuances and subtleties of an extraordinary variety of coffee, they often make coffee of very poor quality drinkable. So if you drink coffee just for the sake of caffeine, the Presto Stainless Steel Coffee Maker will give you piping hot, drinkable coffee, completely plastic and BPA-Free.
Bunn VPR 12-Cup Commercial Brewer
At first glance, the Bunn VPR 12-Cup Coffee Maker BPA Free appears to be a nearly perfect coffee maker without plastic parts. But, a closer examination of the machine's service manual reveals that while all of it's internal components are made of stainless steel and copper, it has a filter basket made of black plastic and is not BPA-free.
But, all is not lost: Bunn sells a separate stainless steel filter basket that is compatible with the machine, making the entire coffee maker as close to plastic-free as it gets.
The Bunn VPR is, however, designed with commercial use in mind, and may not be ideal for the average home coffee drinker. The machine has a large stainless steel boiler that must be kept full at all times and is designed to stay on and hot continuously.
The machine takes a considerable amount of time to heat up, and would not be practical to turn on and off as typical home coffee brewers are intended to be used.
However, the Bunn VPR would make an excellent plastic-free coffee maker for office break rooms, hotel lobbies, churches, or any other place that requires high-capacity brewing.
What is the Best BPA Free Coffee Maker Without Plastic?
If you're shopping for a new coffee maker, it's in your best interest to get a machine that brews great coffee and won't harm your health in any way. Maybe you want to slow down and explore the world of manual brewing with a french press or pour over. Or maybe you want the convenience and consistently delicious results of an SCAA certified BPA free coffee maker.
Either way, we hope our recommendations and insight about the best coffee maker without plastic and the best BPA free coffee maker were beneficial and helped you find the right machine for you.