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KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208 Drip Coffee Maker review

Does this retro-inspired coffee maker have style and substance?

KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208 Drip Coffee Maker
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208 Drip Coffee Maker is a stylish machine that brews quietly and creates smooth and tasty coffee. It is big though so be prepared to clear some room for it, and it’ll take its time to brew large quantities of coffee too.

Pros

  • +

    Operates quietly

  • +

    Pause and pour setting

Cons

  • -

    Takes up a lot of space

  • -

    Works slowly

30 second review 

The KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208 Drip Coffee Maker has the brand’s retro-inspired design and creates smooth ground coffee. It has the capacity to brew 10 cups of coffee at once, although this will take several minutes. 

Handy features include a keep warm plate, a timer, and a pause and pour function which allows you to enjoy a cup of coffee while you’re waiting for the rest of the carafe to fill. While you make the most of the pause and pour feature, the machine won’t drip coffee everywhere, and cleaning the machine, in general, is a super easy task. 

The KitchenAid coffee maker is big and will take up quite a lot of space on your countertops but once it’s in place, you’ll barely notice it brewing since it works so quietly. 

If you’re looking for a budget drip coffee maker, this model won’t tick your boxes because it’s certainly not cheap but it’s bound to make an impact and will be ideal for when you need to make lots of coffee and keep it warm. For other options, don't miss our guide to the best coffee makers.

KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208 Drip Coffee Maker price and availability

  • List price $109.99 / £119  

The KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208 Drip Coffee Maker will set you back $109.99 / £99 and is available in the US and the UK from KitchenAid's website or online retailers including Amazon. 

This makes it good value for money when you compare it to the Smeg Drip Filter Coffee Maker, which is available for $199.95 / £179 / AU$305.67, even though KitchenAid appliances often are positioned at the more expensive end of the market. 

Design

  • Spiral shower head 
  • 24-hour programming 
  • Pause and pour function 

This coffee maker has a 57 fl oz / 1.7-liter capacity, which the brand states means it can hold 12 cups of coffee at full capacity, although we found it was slightly less in our tests. The water tank is positioned at the back of the machine and can be removed so you can top it up. A handle is attached to the water reservoir which makes the filling up process much easier so that you don’t have to struggle to lift the tank away from the machine. Many drip filter coffee makers don’t have removable tanks so we were pleased to find the KitchenAid did. 

One of the main things to note about the KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208, however, is how big it is. This machine is so big, we couldn’t fit in under our wall-mounted cabinets so factoring in where you would keep it will be important. 

This coffee maker features KitchenAid’s signature retro design and it’s available in a range of colors including gray, black, and white. 

The KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208 has a shower head that releases water onto the ground coffee to start the brewing process, rather than a basic pour function like most drip filter machines have. The shower head has 29 holes that allow the water to flow onto the ground coffee below it more gently, a process designed to extract the full flavor from the coffee. 

You can set this coffee maker up to brew coffee to your taste using the 24-hour timer setting. Once the coffee has finished brewing, a warming plate will maintain the temperature for up to 40 minutes. You can also choose from two different temperature settings on the warming plate. 

Inside the coffee maker, you’ll need to add your ground coffee but this KitchenAid machine does come with a reusable filter which is also dishwasher safe. The reusable filter has a built-in level marker which shows you how much ground coffee to put in the filter depending on how many cups of coffee you want to brew. If you’re making a large amount of coffee but don’t want to wait for the entire pot to fill up, you can use the pause and pour function to serve yourself a cup of coffee before waiting for the rest to brew. 

KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208 Drip Coffee Maker

(Image credit: Future)

Performance

  • 15 seconds to warm up 
  • Very quiet 
  • Choice of brew strengths  

The KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208 is incredibly easy to set up. You simply plug it in, fill the water tank, and let the water brew through the machine to give it a rinse. We tested the machine first by placing enough coffee into the filter for six cups of coffee. The machine took 15 seconds to warm up before it started to dispense water through the coffee and into the carafe below. Brewing overall was quite slow, however, and it took one minute per cup to brew. 

During the brewing process, the machine worked very quietly but produced a fair amount of steam above the filter basket lid. This isn’t a huge issue but worth bearing in mind if you’re going to place the machine under wall-mounted cabinets. 

This KitchenAid coffee maker is designed to brew 12 cups of coffee in one go, but we found that one cup is actually only 145 ml which is much smaller than a standard size cup which measures around 230 ml.

There are a number of handy features that make the brewing process easier and these include the Pause and pour function, which as the name suggests, allows you to pour a cup of coffee before the machine has finished brewing an entire carafe. We found this helpful for when we just wanted a coffee quickly but knew we’d be back for a second coffee after. The machine will keep the valve closed where coffee drips into the carafe for 25 seconds, giving you plenty of time to fill a cup or two without making a mess. 

In terms of taste, the coffee we made with the KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208 was smooth and after following the filter baskets suggested serving for ground coffee, we found the brew was strong and piping hot. 

The real benefit of a drip filter coffee maker like this is that you can make large quantities of coffee and keep it warm for when you need it. We tested out the KitchenAid’s keep warm function and found the digital screen on the machine showed a countdown for how long was left of the keep warm period. Even after 30 minutes of using the keep warm function, the coffee was still really hot and we had to leave it for a few minutes before we could drink it. 

We also tried the coffee maker’s auto-brewing function and found it to be really accurate - making our coffee at exactly the time we’d asked it to. Finally, we wanted to see how easy the KitchenAid Drip Coffee Maker is to clean and were pleased to find the filter basket and the permanent filter can be placed in the dishwasher. We did have to handwash the carafe in soapy water but this only took a couple of minutes. The manual included with this coffee machine gives full instructions on how to descale the machine and a button on the digital screen will alert you when it’s time to do so. 

KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208 Drip Coffee Maker

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the KitchenAid Classic 5KCM1208 Drip Coffee Maker?

Buy it if… 

You want something that looks retro
This KitchenAid coffee maker is true to the brand’s style and is best suited for those that love a vintage look for their kitchen appliances. 

You want piping hot coffee
This machine makes coffee that is really hot, even after being sat on the keep warm plate for 30 minutes. 

You don’t want to wait for the entire pot to brew
The pause and pour function on this machine means you don’t have to wait for the entire carafe to fill up before you can have a cup of coffee. Plus, the machine won’t leak while you pour your brew.  

Don’t buy it if… 

You’re short on space
This machine is big and definitely needs quite a lot of room, so if you need something small and compact, this won’t be the coffee maker for you.  

You want large quantities in a hurry
KitchenAid’s coffee maker takes around a minute to brew just one cup of coffee, so be prepared to wait a while before you can serve multiple cups at once.

You want a cheap coffee maker
At around $100 / £99, the KitchenAid Classic isn’t cheap so if you just need something to get the job done, you could find a budget alternative. 

First reviewed: July 2021

Sophie writes about all things appliance-related and is currently the Home Editor at TechRadar's sister site, Top Ten Reviews. When she's not testing coffee machines and appliances, Sophie is thinking of eating delicious food, and asking people what they're having for dinner.