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Black+Decker 5-Cup Review

Simple and affordable, this compact brewer is conveniently sized and makes acceptable coffee for the typical consumer
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Black+Decker 5-Cup Review (This simple, straight-forward machine makes an ok cup of coffee, though we think there are many better options out...)
This simple, straight-forward machine makes an ok cup of coffee, though we think there are many better options out there.
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $33 List
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Manufacturer:   Black+Decker
By Kendra Ridenour ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 10, 2024
49
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 13
  • Brew Quality - 35% 5.5
  • User Friendliness - 30% 4.0
  • Ease of Cleaning - 20% 4.0
  • Consistency - 15% 6.3

Our Verdict

The Black+Decker 5-Cup is a straightforward, no-nonsense drip coffee maker. While it's not the fanciest machine on the market, it is definitely one of the more affordable models for someone who is just looking for their caffeine hit in the morning. There is simply an on and off option, no bells and whistles, just hot coffee. We did like that the machine is small and cute, unimposing for a small space like a dorm or a smaller apartment. On the other hand, the hot plate also tends to heat the coffee up, making its pretty average coffee end up tasting a bit burnt. Couple that with a hot plate that doesn't automatically shut off and it could prove a bit of a hazard for folks who like to grab their coffee and run in the morning. See our full drip coffee maker review to see how this model stacks up against its rivals.
REASONS TO BUY
Nylon mesh basket instead of metal
Average-tasting coffee
Compact size is very convenient
Consistently hits the right brew temperature
REASONS TO AVOID
Doesn't automatically turn the hot plate off
Splatters quite a bit
Long average brew time

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Black+Decker 5-Cup
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Price $33 List
$23.99 at Amazon
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Bottom Line This brewer is a small and straightforward, inexpensive, and an all-around average drip coffee makerThis inexpensive machine gives you a few key features without breaking the bankAn inexpensive brewer that makes decent coffee with programmable functionsWhile we think this machine gives a mediocre cup of coffee, it is convenient to use and affordableAn affordable option with consistent brew times and temperatures
Rating Categories Black+Decker 5-Cup Hamilton Beach 2-Way Black+Decker 12-Cup... Mr. Coffee 5-Cup Mi... Mr. Simple Brew 12-...
Brew Quality (35%)
5.5
3.5
4.5
4.1
4.0
User Friendliness (30%)
4.0
6.1
5.4
6.1
3.9
Ease of Cleaning (20%)
4.0
6.9
4.5
4.5
5.8
Consistency (15%)
6.3
6.1
6.2
3.6
2.3
Specs Black+Decker 5-Cup Hamilton Beach 2-Way Black+Decker 12-Cup... Mr. Coffee 5-Cup Mi... Mr. Simple Brew 12-...
Average Brew Temperature 199.6 °F 191.9 °F 192.2 °F 194.1 °F 194.8 °F
Average Time to Brew 6 Cups of Coffee (minutes) 8.95 7.9 7.88 8.09 8.85
Scheduled Brewing No Yes Yes No No
Preinfusion No No No No No
Footprint Dimensions (H x W x D) 10.8" x 7.4" x 8.3" 13.9" x 12.2" x 11.1" 8.2" x 12.2" x 11.0" 10.0" x 6.5" x 8.0" 12.3" x 9.3" x 13.8"
Cup Capacity 1 - 5 cups 1 - 12 cups 2 - 12 cups 1 - 5 cups 2 - 12 cups
Single Serve Yes Yes No Yes No
Filter Shape Flat Flat Flat Flat Flat
Power Draw 650 watts 950 watts 975 watts 650 watts 975 watts

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Black+Decker 5-Cup is an acceptable machine, affordable and reliable for the average consumer. The simple interface and included nylon mesh reusable filter basket are what we think make it stand out the most. Unless you're specifically in the market for a very small coffee machine, there are plenty of other options in our best drip coffee maker review that do a better job.

Performance Comparison


black+decker 5-cup - this 5-cup machine is the perfect size for a small space, and we...
This 5-cup machine is the perfect size for a small space, and we like the way it looks. However, it does tend to splatter while brewing.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


Brew Quality


To determine brew quality, our coffee connoisseurs tested the brewing temperature in the basket, checked the water distribution after brewing, noted brewing and temperature features, then poured themselves a hot cup and had a taste. The Black+Decker did an alright job for a lower-end drip coffee machine. While there is no option to adjust or change your water temperature, the Black+Decker did manage an average brew temperature of 199.6°F, which is within the ideal range suggested by the SCA for optimal flavor extraction (195°F to 205°F). There is no pre-infusion option, and the manufacturer's recommended measurement of coffee grounds is just under half our standard ratio, but it didn't have a problem handling our preferred amount.

The Black+Decker 5-Cup brews at the standard recommended temperature, more optimal for extracting all the great flavor from your grounds.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

As far as features go, this machine is limited. There is simply an on/off switch, giving you no control over your coffee experience other than when it happens. The included reusable basket is plastic, but it does have nylon mesh, which helps protect the flavor better than the metal mesh most reusable baskets employ. The basket is mini but will fit standard filter paper if you shove it in there just right. As far as taste, the Black+Decker gave us coffee that doesn't stand out as particularly horrible but a bit underwhelming. The flavor would be acceptable for folks who just want their caffeine or intend to put their favorite creamer in it and run.

black+decker 5-cup - though the filter basket is small, it can fit a standard size filter...
Though the filter basket is small, it can fit a standard size filter if you put it in just right, but it also includes a reusable nylon basket.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

User Friendliness


The Black+Decker is pretty user-friendly if you're looking for a machine that isn't complicated. There are no programmable features to learn, which also means the machine is not going to offer you a hot cup of joe first thing in the morning as it lacks an automatic brew feature. It is also important to note that the machine made a bit of a mess. We did have to clean the shower head after we were finished, and there was a lot of splatter while brewing. We had to wipe the counter down and do some cleanup when we were through.

It takes quite a while for that last bit of water to drip through the grounds, but with the sneak-a-cup feature, you can pour a cup if you just can't wait for the thing to finish brewing. Be sure to replace the carafe within 30 seconds, or the brew basket will overflow.

black+decker 5-cup - it's important to be able to see how much water is in the reservoir...
It's important to be able to see how much water is in the reservoir, as this machine will brew all of it. We like that there are measurement markings on the water reservoir as well as on the carafe.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The water reservoir is on the left side of the machine. It has a pretty small opening, though we did appreciate the semi-transparent window with measurement markings. You get what you put in with the Black+Decker, so it's important to see how much water you're using. With a very cute glass carafe (reminiscent of a science beaker), the Black+Decker, on average, gave us a piping hot 178°F pot of coffee. After sitting on the hot plate for an hour, the coffee hit 182°F, which is not ideal for flavor retention but is far from the worst offender we tested when it comes to heating up already-brewed coffee. That increase in temperature makes the coffee oxidize faster, tasting burnt and more acidic.

black+decker 5-cup - the grounds after brewing were fairly evenly saturated, meaning the...
The grounds after brewing were fairly evenly saturated, meaning the flavor was extracted from the grounds more evenly.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Cleaning


We like that the Black+Decker has a top rack dishwasher-safe carafe, but we did not enjoy the mess and splash around the machine that we had to clean up after brewing. There was quite a substantial amount of splatter on the counter, and the showerhead was a bit of a mess. The Black+Decker does not include a descaling liquid and instead recommends using vinegar. After the vinegar, the manufacturer vaguely states that you “may want to” run water through several times until the vinegar smell and taste are gone. It took us four additional rinse cycles to get the vinegar smell and taste out. It wasn't the most convenient of tasks, but it could have been worse.

black+decker 5-cup - we think the carafe is cute, it's also conveniently dishwasher safe...
We think the carafe is cute, it's also conveniently dishwasher safe, pours nicely, and has measurements on the side.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Consistency


To gather our temperature data, our testers hauled the Black+Decker to sea level and got to work. After five measurements taken in the carafe, the average temperature was found to be about 179.4°F, though it did vary a bit widely from one batch to another. The Black+Decker did manage to stay in a range of 198.8°F to 200.7°F in the brew basket during brewing, right in that sweet spot that results in optimal flavor extraction from your grounds. The average brewing time was fairly consistent, sitting at 8 minutes 57 seconds. This is on the high side of average — even higher when considering that most machines took less time to brew six cups, while the Black+Decker maxes out at five cups.

black+decker 5-cup - there is only one switch and no options for customizing your...
There is only one switch and no options for customizing your experience, but this machine does brew at an optimal temperature for flavor extraction.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Black+Decker 5-Cup?


While the Black+Decker is certainly not one of the fanciest models on the market, it would be a good buy for someone who lives in a smaller space and just needs a standard cup of coffee in the morning. Its simple interface is pretty foolproof — if potentially hazardous without an auto shut-off. If you don't need a lot of coffee and aren't too picky about dialing in an in-depth brewing process, this may be the machine for you.

What Other Drip Coffee Makers Should You Consider?


For those on a really tight budget, the Mr. Coffee might be an option, though it does brew a less impressive pot than the Black+Decker 5-Cup. If you can afford to spend more, we really liked the Ninja 12-Cup — it gave a far more enjoyable brewing experience and well-rounded flavor in every cup.

black+decker 5-cup - there are plenty of other models that you can consider, if the...
There are plenty of other models that you can consider, if the Black+Decker 5-cup doesn't sound right for you.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Kendra Ridenour