A hand-built European coffee maker sporting a striking design
One minute review
If you’re looking for one of the best coffee machines (opens in new tab), choosing a capsule coffee maker won’t necessarily guarantee you the best-tasting coffee. But what you can count on is that you’ll get consistent coffee that’s quick and easy to make and with minimal mess.
The Moccamaster KBGV Select (known simply as the Select in Australia or the KBG Select in the UK) is a product of thoughtful design inside and out, making it a sure-fire contender for our best coffee maker list. But Moccamaster isn’t one of your run-of-the-mill generic brands; in fact, it may not be a brand that you’ve even heard of, so let us enlighten you.
Moccamaster is made by European brand Technivorm, and its coffee makers are all hand built in the Netherlands. This is a brand that values quality and longevity, offering only a handful of coffee makers in its range. The shape and style of this coffee maker is unique. Notably, Moccamaster offers the KBGV Select in up to 21 colors, so it can add a stunning pop of color to your kitchen. But if that isn’t what you’re looking for, you can opt for one of the more subtle tones and let the appliance speak for itself.
The coffee machine has a 10-cup or 40oz / 1.25-liter capacity and requires paper filters. There are just two switches and an automatic hotplate, so you really can’t go wrong when brewing coffee in this appliance. We enjoyed deliciously tasty coffee at the flick of a switch. Those looking for automatic timers and an array of adjustable settings should look elsewhere.
The Moccamaster Select is an expensive choice; but, in our opinion, its excellent build quality and visually pleasing design make it worth the investment. Plus, since it meets the European Coffee Brewing Centre standard as well as the Speciality Coffee Association “Gold Cup” standard, you’re virtually guaranteed a top-notch cup of coffee.
Moccamaster KBGV Select price and availability
- List price: $359 / £229/ AU$515
The Moccamaster KBGV Select is listed as the KBG Select in the UK or just the Select in Australia. It’s available direct from Moccamaster and Amazon in the US for $359. In the UK, the price varies depending on the color you opt for, but starts at around £229 from Amazon.
If you’re in Australia, it’s available direct from Moccamaster but there are fewer color choices on offer, with only six colors listed at the time of writing.
The price includes a five-year warranty and spare parts are readily available, so despite being a pricey option, there’s no reason that this coffee maker shouldn’t last a long time.
Price and availability score: 4.5/5
Moccamaster KBGV Select design
- Lots of color options
- Minimalist modern design
- Spare parts readily available
It’s probably fair to say that its style is one of the biggest selling points of the Moccamaster Select coffee maker – although we’d describe it as a love-it or hate-it design. For those who love it, the vast selection of color options will be a delight. We won’t list all the available colors here, but with up to 21 to choose from, depending on the region from which you’re buying it, there’s certainly something for everyone. And with the right color choice, this coffee maker can become a real talking point of your kitchen counter.
When we removed it from the box, the Moccamaster was more compact than we expected at 14 x 12.75 x 6.5 inches / 36 x 32 x 17cm (h x w x d). It has a 10-cup brewing capacity, or 40oz/ 1.25 liters, and there are clear markers on the water tank at 2-cup intervals.
There isn’t much to say about the controls: you have only two switches to get to grips with. There’s an on/off switch and one where you can select whether you’re brewing a half or full carafe. At the end of brewing, the hotplate stays on for 100 minutes (40 minutes for the UK and Australia versions), then automatically switches off, although you can flick the power switch back on if you want to keep it on for longer.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this coffee maker is all about the pretty colors and quirky shape, though; there’s plenty going on under the hood. Equipped with a copper boiling element that rapidly heats the water, the resulting boiled water flows up a glass tube to the stainless-steel outlet arm. Water pulses over the coffee grounds, blooming them in what Moccamaster says is a “manual pour over” style.
In terms of setup, the stainless steel water-outlet arm has to be pushed into place, after which the lid can be put on the water tank. Next, the removable filter holder and lid, as well as the carafe, are slotted into their respective positions. Before use, the manual advises running through a couple of brew cycles with water only – without coffee or filter paper – but after that you’re good to go.
We were pleased to see three filter papers included to get you started, plus there’s also a coffee scoop in the box. In the manual you’ll find details about the ideal amount of coffee grounds to add for the perfect brew.
Not only is the Select a hand-built appliance of great quality, but Moccamaster prides itself in offering spare parts, so that you can keep it going for years.
Design score: 5/5
Moccamaster KBGV Select performance
- Easy to use
- Fast brewing
- Tasty coffee
This is quite possibly the simplest coffee maker we’ve used. The instruction manual offers guidance on the amount of coffee grounds you’ll need to brew a full carafe, so that’s what we went with. The filter holder is removable, making it easy to add the filter paper and grounds; you could even pop it on the scales, should you want to weigh out the correct quantity of coffee. We added 2.65g / 75g, which is the recommended amount of coffee for a full carafe, based on the European Coffee Brewing Centre standard.
A full carafe takes just under six minutes to brew. The coffee temperature immediately after pouring was 181ºF / 83ºC. A drip stop enables the removal of the carafe immediately at the end of brewing without any coffee drips hitting the hot plate.
We poured out one large mug and came back 30 minutes later, at which point the temperature of the coffee had dropped slightly to 171ºF / 77ºC. Since the hotplate stays on for only 40 minutes (we tried out the UK model), when we came back for our third mug of coffee an hour after it had originally brewed, the temperature was down to 136ºF / 58ºC. Leaving coffee on a hotplate for hours isn’t recommended since it can make the coffee bitter. As such, it’s best to brew smaller amounts more often; but you can flick the power switch back on if you want it to stay warm for longer.
We thoroughly enjoyed the delicious flavor of the coffee, which was fruity with smoky hints of licorice, but neither burnt, bitter, nor too sour – and we were only using regular store-bought ground coffee. If you use freshly ground coffee, the results will be even tastier.
As you’d expect from a well-designed coffee maker, the carafe pours cleanly without dripping. Our only complaint is that when pouring out the last of the coffee, the lid of the carafe tends to flip open. Also note that if you have decent-sized mugs like ours, then you’ll only get four mugs of coffee from a full carafe.
Brewing half a carafe takes just 3 ½ minutes. Coffee temperature immediately after pouring was around 176ºF / 80ºC. We used half the amount of coffee grounds over brewing a full carafe, but the coffee did taste a bit stronger, so you may have to play around with quantities.
Brewing is a quiet process, with sound levels around the 50dB mark on our noise meter. In fact, you’re only likely to hear a bubbly low-pitched hum of the water passing through the coffee maker.
The grounds are easy to remove from the coffee maker thanks to the filter paper, which keeps them contained, but also because the removable filter holder can be upturned directly into your trash or compost. None of the parts of this machine are dishwasher-safe, so you’ll need to wash out the carafe by hand. And after every 100 cycles / 3 months, it will need descaling to remove minerals from the heating element. It’s a simple process that just requires you to run a cycle with a descaling solution in the water.
Performance score: 5/5
Moccamaster KBGV Select score card
|Price & availability||An expensive coffee maker but it’s hand-built with a five-year warranty and well-designed, plus it’s widely available in a range of colors.||4.5/5|
|Design score||This design-led coffee maker is well-built and sturdy with straightforward controls.||5/5|
|Performance score||It’s fast, quiet and effortlessly brews tasty coffee.||5/5|
Should I buy?
Buy it if…
You want a great-looking modern coffee maker
Yes, it looks great, but pleasingly this coffee maker isn’t a case of style over substance. It’s well built and meets the European Coffee Brewing Centre as well as the Speciality Coffee Association “Gold Cup” standards.
You want a choice of colors
Rarely do coffee makers arrive in more than a couple of color options, but with up to 21 to choose from, you can opt for a statement pop of color – or one that fades into the background.
You want the simplest possible settings
Coffee makers don’t come more straightforward than this, with the Select featuring just two switches. Your choice is over brewing a half or full carafe – other than that you have to rely on Moccamaster’s settings to brew the perfect coffee.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re on a budget
While we do think the price is justifiable, given the build quality, design and coffee brewing standard, this isn’t the best option if your budget is tight.
You want a timer and selection of brewing options
As mentioned, the Select offers very few settings. You can’t adjust coffee temperature, strength, or set a timer for early morning automatic brewing. If you want more input, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
You want a hotplate that keeps coffee hot for hours
To avoid burning and stewing the carafe of coffee, the hotplate switches off automatically after 100 minutes (40 minutes for the UK and Australia models). But if you’re looking for a machine that will keep your coffee hot for hours, you’ll have to switch it back on again.
- First reviewed: November 2022