A streamlined coffee maker that brews tasty coffee
One minute review
German brand Zwilling has long been a go-to brand for knives and kitchenware, but its recently launched range of electricals is making waves in the kitchen appliance market. At the time of writing, there’s only one coffee maker in the lineup, but it’s a hot contender for a place on our list of best coffee makers.
The Zwilling Enfinigy Drip Coffee Maker is a good-looking appliance. It has the kind of subtle yet stylish look that isn’t always easy to find, particularly in a kitchen appliance. But this level of thoughtful design doesn’t come cheap, with the Enfinigy a pricey choice compared to many drip coffee makers.
It features a simple dial control with minimal adjustable settings, and while this makes it an uncomplicated machine to get to grips with, for some, it won’t offer sufficient settings to customize their morning brew. Furthermore, the hotplate that automatically comes on at the end of brewing switches itself off after just 30 minutes.
On test we found the drip coffee maker easy to use, and it produced deliciously fruity coffee without a hint of bitterness. But given the price, it lacks a certain robustness that we think is important for an appliance you’ll use daily. While it will be perfect for people looking for a design-led coffee maker that makes great coffee, if you’re clumsy in the kitchen then we dare bet you’ll break it faster than you’d like –and Zwilling doesn’t offer replacement carafes.
Zwilling Enfinigy Drip Coffee Maker price and availability
- List price: $270/ £159
The Zwilling Enfinigy Drip Coffee Maker is available direct from Zwilling as well as through Amazon in the US and UK; it isn’t currently available in Australia.
In the US, Zwilling also sells a matching coffee grinder for $190 as well as a milk frother for $135. But these extras aren’t available in the UK.
Price and availability score: 3.5/5
Zwilling Enfinigy Drip Coffee Maker design
- Looks beautiful on the counter
- Not very robust
- Simple control panel
The Zwilling Enfinigy coffee maker doesn’t take up much space on the counter and will happily sit pushed back against the wall, leaving you plenty of free space in front of it. It measures 13.7 x 12.8 x 6.02 inches / 34.8 x 32.5 x 15.3cm (h x w x d) and the subtle, high-end design means it isn’t at all intrusive or bulky.
In the US, it’s available in a matte black or matte silver finish, but only the silver option is available in the UK. It features a corrosion resistant stainless-steel boiler as well as a wide stainless-steel shower head that’s integral to the blooming process. Blooming is an important first step in getting the best brew; it moistens your coffee grounds to release carbon dioxide before the main brewing gets underway.
The 12-cup glass carafe comes with an integrated drip circulator – a plastic device designed to circulate the coffee as it drips into the pot. The drip circulator and lid are removable for cleaning in the dishwasher. The carafe itself isn’t dishwasher-safe and neither is it the most robust we’ve used, so we’d advise taking care with it.
The carafe sits on a hotplate and, as we’ve already mentioned, this comes on automatically for 30 minutes at the end of brewing. However, it can’t be switched on for longer periods, which is a potential deal breaker for those who rely on the hotplate for hot coffee refills throughout the day.
Above the carafe is a removable filter funnel accessed via a hinged plastic lid. You’ll need to buy filter papers; we were disappointed that Zwilling doesn’t provide any to get you started. What’s more, Zwilling doesn’t give information in the manual about which ones to buy, so if you’re unfamiliar with coffee filters then you may be left scratching your head. We used cone filters in size 4 and they were a perfect fit.
The backlit display on the front of the unit features a clock, and the settings are all accessed via the central dial. There are five options on the dial: descaling/ clean, water hardness, blooming, timer, and start brewing. In the water hardness setting you can select one of three water hardness levels, depending on the type of water you’re using. This will then influence when the descaling light starts to flash to notify you that it’s time to descale the appliance.
The blooming function can be switched on or off. When it’s on, and you turn the dial to start brewing, you’ll be prompted to select the number of cups you’re brewing, thereby optimizing the amount of water used in blooming.
The final setting is the timer, which allows you to pre-load the coffee machine and set up a delay timer so that it will automatically start brewing at your specified time. It’s a handy feature for those with busy morning routines. It’s simple to set and, reassuringly, the symbol stays lit so that you can see at-a-glance that it’s set.
The initial setup simply requires you to select your water hardness, and then run a brew cycle with the maximum volume of water – without a filter paper or any grounds – then you’re good to go. Setting the clock is quick and easy, but if you regularly unplug it from the wall, there’s little point.
Design score: 4/5
Zwilling Enfinigy Drip Coffee Maker performance
- Coffee quantity requires experimentation
- Carafe lid flips open as you pour
- Makes delicious coffee
Since there are few adjustable settings, the strength and quality of the coffee brewed relies on the quality of your coffee grounds as well as the amount you use. We used a pretty run-of-the-mill medium roast, store-bought ground coffee. But with little guidance in the manual on how much to use, we had to rely on information given on the coffee pack. After a bit of trial and error, we landed on seven dessert spoons of coffee when brewing a full carafe.
We switched on the bloom function every time, and despite being store-bought as opposed to freshly ground, this coffee maker really did extract the optimum flavor. We enjoyed a fruity, citrusy coffee that was free of any burnt or bitter flavors. And while it will annoy some that the hotplate times out after 30 minutes, this stops your coffee stewing and developing an unpleasant flavor.
Brewing a full carafe takes roughly nine minutes; a half carafe takes five minutes; two cups will take around 3 minutes. But be aware that the cup volumes displayed on the carafe aren’t equivalent to a decent-size mug. We got five good-size mugs from a full 12-cup carafe and 2-3 from a half carafe, depending on whether you take it black or leave space for milk. The carafe pours cleanly into cups without dripping, but as you pour out the last of the coffee, the lid flips open – which is a little annoying.
The water tank isn’t removable, so you’ll need to fill it with a pitcher or the coffee carafe. The lid removes for easy filling, and cup marks down the side of the tank correspond to the marks on the carafe. However, it’s worth noting that the coffee grounds and paper soak up some water, so the coffee brewed will be slightly less than the volume of water you added. For example, when we filled the water tank to the six-cup mark, the coffee dispensed into the carafe came halfway between the four- and six-cup lines.
The coffee temperature varied depending on the volume of coffee we made. A full carafe was around 180ºF/ 82ºC, whereas two cups came out cooler at 158ºF/ 70ºC. And when we left a half-full carafe sitting on the warming plate for 30 minutes, the temperature dropped by around 55ºF/ 13ºC; but the temperature here will also depend on the temperature of your home.
Cleaning out the grounds proved easy and mess-free, thanks to the paper filters that keep the grounds contained. You can lift them out easily and dispose, while everything else just requires a quick rinse. Note that the shower head does become splattered with coffee grounds, so you’ll need to pay attention to this area to clean it thoroughly. Descaling will also be necessary periodically, which is a simple automatic process with clear instructions in the manual.
In terms of noise, the Zwilling Enfinigy coffee maker doesn’t really go above 55dB for the majority of the brewing process, and since it’s the gentle bubble of coffee percolating, it isn’t an offensive sound; it’s really only background noise. In addition, the machine doesn’t beep at the end of brewing and the controls don’t beep, either.
Performance score: 5/5
Zwilling Enfinigy Drip Coffee Maker score card
|Price & availability||It’s widely available but expensive, and you can’t buy a replacement carafe if yours breaks||3.5/5|
|Design score||It looks fantastic and is easy to use, but for some there may be a few features lacking||4/5|
|Performance score||It’s simple to use and very easy to make tasty coffee , even with store-bought ground coffee||5/5|
Should I buy?
Buy it if…
You want a stylish coffee maker
This is a coffee maker you won’t want to hide away; it offers a sleek, streamlined design that places it head and shoulders above most of the competition in the style stakes.
You want great-tasting coffee
Don’t just take our word for it – this coffee maker is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association and has been awarded the Golden Cup Standard, meaning even the professionals agree that this appliance makes great coffee.
You’re looking for an uncomplicated coffee maker
The easy-to-use dial control offers a limited range of settings, but makes this coffee maker effortlessly simple to use.
Don’t buy it if…
You want to leave coffee on the hotplate
If you like to make a large carafe of coffee and leave it on the hotplate for refilling your mug throughout the day, this isn’t the one for you. The hotplate switches off after 30 minutes and can’t be switched back on.
You want a coffee maker with an integrated grinder
This coffee maker can’t grind up your coffee beans like some others. Zwilling does make a standalone grinder to match, but it will set you back $190 (not available in the UK).
You want strength and temperature controls
The fuss-free control panel makes this coffee maker brilliantly simple to use, but the downside is that it lacks some functions – such as strength and temperature adjustment – seen on rival coffee makers.
- First reviewed: October 2022