I, regretfully, am a coffee snob. Whether it’s the actual coffee itself or the method in which its brewed, my palette has been conditioned over the last decade to enjoy pour-over coffee with the finest whole bean coffee. Those beans are ground seconds before the water hits them and are stored in vacuumed-sealed containers to ensure freshness. Every single step is as high-end as I can replicate in my own home.
Overlong backstory aside, I preface this to say: finding an automatic coffee maker that’s capable of providing a taste reflective of the palette I’ve developed is often tricky. (Don’t even get me started on Keurig coffee makers.) However, far and way, the Wolf Gourmet Automatic Drip Coffee Maker (Wolf sent us a version of the coffee maker to test) quickly satisfied this coffee snob in pretty much every single way.
While it’s hard to beat a pour-over coffee brewed to perfection, the Wolf comes pretty close, and providing that level of quality in a 10-cup pot isn’t easy. In fact, this may just be the best drip coffee maker for sale in 2020.
What We Liked About the Wolf Gourmet Automatic Drip Coffee Maker
At first brush, the machine looks pretty standard to that of your typical automatic drip coffee maker; there’s your traditional coffee pot and basket for filter and grounds. A deeper dive, however, provides all kinds of smart features that quickly turn this simple-seeming machine into something extremely worthy of its big price tag. The significant standout feature is the built-in Accu-Brew functionality. One of the more difficult things to figure out when brewing coffee is the perfect coffee-to-water ratio, as it’s a delicate balance; too many grounds and your coffee will be too strong while not enough makes it not strong enough. Wolf’s Drip maker avoids this all together with Accu-Brew, as it lets you set the preferred boldness level and cup amount. From there, the machine’s integrated scale automatically figures out how much water to add and displays that amount on the machine’s included LCD screen.
The resulting taste? Well, it’s about as close to a perfect cup of coffee as you can get without doing a pour-over. Not only does it take extra brewing accessories like a coffee scale out of the process, but it eliminates the guesswork. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ruined a pour-over because my ratios were off; that’s not the case with the Wolf. My brews were easy, simple, and good-tasting right out of the gate. The time saved alone is almost worth its price. Plus, once you add in programmable features like keeping prior settings (the machine automatic saves this) and wake-up ability, only add to an overall wonderful experience.
While the Accu-Brew is the showest and splashiest feature, other little details make an impact as well. An included water reservoir and filtration system ensure there’s enough water for your brew and that it’s safe to drink. A timer keeps track of how long the coffee has been sitting in the pot since it was brewed to help provide context around its freshness, and there’s a built-in cleaning mode for when the machine and pot are a mess. Finally, instead of a confusing panel full of buttons, Wolf added two simple-to-use knobs so you can get your brew just right.
What We Didn’t Like About the Wolf Coffee Maker
The thing about the Wolf that’s going to be the hang-up for some people is that previously mentioned price. We’ve avoided mentioning the price so far because we know that $500 price tag is going to give most people pause. But this isn’t your average coffee maker; this is the Rolls Royce of drip coffee makers, one that’s meant to provide a superior coffee-drinking experience. It combines that rich taste of an expertly crafted pour-over with the ease of using a machine drip into one elegant product.
The Verdict: For Coffee Snobs, a Dream Come True
If you’re a coffee snob looking for the finest drip coffee maker known to man, the Wolf coffee maker is the perfect option.
Even a snob needs to be humbled now and again. Thankfully, the Wolf Gourmet Automatic Drip Coffee Maker did that for me in spades by providing a machine that’s just capable of making a fantastic tasting cup of joe.
Here’s the bottom line: if you want the quality of a pour-over brew with the convenience for a premium drip coffee maker, this is the machine you’ve been waiting for.