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Best Plumbed Coffee Maker (7 Water Line Machines Reviewed)

Short on time? Our top choice is the Brew Express – BEC-110!

What is the best plumbed coffee maker?

Well, that depends on your preferences and how you’ll use it.

Let’s break down the best plumbed machines for a variety of different uses.

I’ll even include a section on how you can go about making a decision on one.

Let’s get to it!

Best Plumbed Coffee Maker: Top 7 Picks

Brew Express – BEC-110

Plumbed coffee machines are usually big, bulky, and heavy. After all, they’re meant for office or commercial use.

But the Brew Express BEC-110 bucks that trend. It’s a relatively light, yet still capable machine that works just as well at home as it does in an office.

It has a carafe option that can brew up to 10 cups at a time. That’s usually plenty for an office or gathering space.

Plus, it self-fills the internal water tank from the plumbed line. That means you can brew multiple carafes at a time without worrying about losing efficiency.

But you can brew more than just carafes. You can also brew by the cup instead. That adds a lot of versatility that’s great for using at home.

Speaking of home use, you can actually program this machine up to a day in advance.

It’s just not compatible with pods or capsules.

Pros

  • The carafe is pretty big at 10 cups, that’s usually plenty for a small office or gathering space
  • It self-fills the water tank from the plumbed line, which means you can brew a few carafes at a time without losing efficiency
  • While it brews by the carafe, you can also brew by the cup instead, which adds a lot of versatility to the machine
  • It’s small enough to fit most countertops, which is great for smaller spaces or for personal use at home

Cons

  • It isn’t compatible with coffee pods, so you need to use ground coffee and a filter
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Keurig K-3500 Commercial Maker Capsule Coffee Machine

The Keurig K-3500 is maybe the simplest plumbed coffee machine I’ve come across.

Simplicity is maybe the biggest selling point. It’s compatible with K-Cups and can brew in a range from 4 – 12 oz. It also accommodates travel mugs.

That means no matter what size coffee you’re looking for and no matter what mug you’re using, you’ll be able to use this Keurig.

It also features a “Strong” button for brewing a more intense cup.

The actual interface is also easy to use. It has a OneTouch display, which means you can start brewing using only one button.

If you do end up needing to move this machine, the internal water tank is easily drainable. But I think once you set this up, you won’t need to move it often.

The only downside is that it might be too simple. As in, it only brews K-Cups.

Pros

  • It has five sizes from 4 – 12 oz and can accommodate a travel mug, which gives you a big range of drink sizes and receptacles
  • The touchscreen is intuitive and easy for anyone to use, which means there’s no confusion about how to operate this machine
  • The internal water tank is drainable, which makes transporting this machine easier
  • The hot water dispenser makes it easy to brew loose-leaf tea or hot cocoa without having to use a K-Cup

Cons

  • It doesn’t have any functions besides brewing K-Cups, so unless that’s all you drink, there are better options
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Bunn 38700.0011 Axiom-DV-TC Dual Voltage Commercial Thermal Coffee Brewer

When I think of classic commercial-style coffee machines, I honestly think of the Bunn lineup.

They have a classic, steel design that seems to never fall out of favor.

This particular model is one of the smaller ones. It’s perfect for a small office or gathering space.

The internal, 200 oz water tank means you can brew back-to-back pots without losing heat or efficiency.

But it also means that the water pressure coming into the machine doesn’t matter. So even if you have light water pressure, this machine will operate as normal.

And if you have hard water, this machine detects and adjusts to the water. It changes the brewing parameters, so you still get delicious coffee.

The actual interface is simple. Only a couple of tactile buttons on the machine means anyone can use it with minimal training.

You do have to buy the carafes separately, however. But there are a few to choose from.

Pros

  • The 200 oz internal water tank makes brewing back-to-back pots easy and effective, so you don’t lose heat or efficiency
  • The interface is easy to use, so with only a couple of tactile buttons, anyone can use the machine without any training
  • If you use hard water, this machine calculates and adjusts its brewing parameters, so you still get delicious coffee
  • The plumbed line adjusts to changes in water pressure, meaning you don’t have to worry about the water pressure going into the machine

Cons

  • The thermal carafe for this brewer is sold separately
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Bunn MyCafe Commercial Use

If you’re looking for a K-Cup-compatible machine for your small office, then the Bunn MyCafe is a great choice.

The K-Cup compatibility means you don’t have to deal with filters, baskets, or carafes. And who wants to deal with cleaning a coffee maker while at work?

The thing I like most about this machine is the versatility of cup sizes. You can brew anything from 4 – 16 oz. But the best part is that you can adjust that in increments of 0.25 oz.

And after brewing, the pod is automatically ejected. The machine holds about 25 used pods.

That’s a lot of sizes.

You can also flip the drip tray to accommodate most travel mugs. So regardless of what size coffee and in what mug, anyone will be able to brew great coffee.

The downside is that this machine is only compatible with K-Cups. So you can’t use any third-party pods.

Pros

  • This model is compatible with K-Cups, which means you don’t have to deal with filters, baskets, or carafes
  • You have a ton of control over cup sizes, anything from 4 – 16 oz going in .25 oz increments
  • The drip trays flip to accommodate pretty much any size mug or travel mug, so everyone can use this machine regardless of the receptacle
  • The water tank gets refilled through the plumbed line, which means you can brew back-to-back without losing heat or efficiency

Cons

  • It’s only compatible with K-cups, so you can’t use any third-party pods or capsules
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Nuova Simonelli Musica Espresso Machine

There are two types of home espresso machines: reservoir machines and plumbed machines. Plumbed machines are less hassle.

This Nuova Simonelli is a great plumbed option. It features a steam wand for creating frothed milk for espresso drinks. And a hot water spout for pulling hot water for tea or hot cocoa.

It can also pull single or double shots, and has an option for brewing an Americano-style long espresso shot.

You can program up to three different dosages. That means you can program three settings for your espresso shots. You have a lot of control over your coffee’s parameters.

What I really like about this machine, though, are the options you can include. Yes, it does jack up the price, but it adds versatility.

There’s an option for pod compatibility, a water softener, and more advanced LEDs for the display.

The only downside is that it can’t brew carafes. So you need to really enjoy drinking espresso.

Pros

  • There’s a steam wand on this machine for frothing milk for lattes, cappuccinos, and other specialty drinks
  • You can brew single or double espresso shots, or an American-style long shot, that adds versatility to a compact espresso machine
  • There’s a hot water spout for pulling water for tea, hot cocoa, or anything else
  • It is programmable for up to three manual dose settings, giving you a lot of control over how your espresso tastes

Cons

  • It’s an espresso machine, so if you want brewed coffee, this isn’t the machine for you
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Keurig K-150P Commercial Brewing System

Simple is the key when it comes to plumbed machines. After all, using a water line means you don’t have to deal with a reservoir, so why complicate anything else?

The Keurig K-150P is a great budget choice for either home or commercial use. It has a built-in water filter that allows you to use even hard water and still get good results.

It also features an intuitive and easy-to-use display that anyone can learn to use quickly. Basically, you can start brewing at the touch of a button.

Plus, it uses K-Cups and brews in sizes from 4 – 12 oz. That’s plenty of versatility for pretty much any scenario.

And the K-Cups mean you don’t have to deal with cleaning up filters, grounds, or baskets.

The one downside is that this machine doesn’t come plumbed standard. You have to buy a separate kit to make this a plumbed machine.

Pros

  • There are brew sizes from 4 oz up to 12 oz, which gives you a lot of versatility for brewing
  • The display is really intuitive and easy to use, meaning that anyone can operate this machine with minimal training
  • It uses K-Cups, which means you don’t have to worry about cleaning filters, grounds, and baskets all the time
  • There’s a built-in water filter, so even if you use hard water, you will still get delicious coffee from this machine

Cons

  • You have to buy a kit to make this a plumbed machine
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La Pavoni Bar-Star Espresso Coffee Machine

Let’s talk about where most plumbed machines are found: in coffee shops.

Coffee shops use plumbed machines so that they can constantly pull shots without running out of water.

This La Pavoni Bar-Star is an example of the type of plumbed machine you might find in your local specialty shop.

It features two ground heads that allow you to pull multiple shots of espresso at once. And it has two steam wands, so you can create milk for two drinks at the same time.

You can also choose to either program your parameters beforehand or let the machine decide the parameters for you.

Finally, this machine has a water softener built in. That means that you can use just about any kind of water.

Just know that it’s too much machine for casual home use.

Pros

  • The dual group heads mean you can pull multiple shots at once instead of waiting for one to finish before starting a new one
  • Dual steam wands allow you to create separate milk at the same time for different specialty drinks
  • You can choose between programmable or automatic dosing, so you can either set up your parameters or let the machine decide for you
  • The water softener means it doesn’t matter what water you use in this machine, it will get filtered, and your coffee will still taste good

Cons

  • This is way too intense of a machine for casual home use and should only be bought for use in a coffee shop
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How To Choose A Plumbed Machine

Let’s go over a few of the biggest things to consider when buying a plumbed coffee machine.

After all, it’s a big purchase, so you want to get it right the first time.

What type of machine should you look for?

This is mostly personal preference. But there are really two types of plumbed machines: brewers and espresso machines.

Brewers are machines that make carafes or single cups. They are typically bulkier and have fewer frills.

Plumbed espresso machines get really expensive. That’s because of all the technology and plumbing required to produce true espresso. But they do give you the highest ceiling in terms of the quality of the coffee.

BOTTOM LINE
If you mostly drink brewed coffee, get a plumbed brewer. If you mostly drink espresso and have the budget, get an espresso machine.

How much coffee should it be able to produce?

Like I said in the section above, you really are choosing between brewed coffee and espresso.

But let’s say you choose brewed coffee. There are still a few options to think about.

Do you need whole carafes at a time or single cups? Do you prefer coffee pods or filter baskets?

Think about where this machine will get the most use. Is it for at home, at the office, or in a commercial setting?

BOTTOM LINE
If you’re serving multiple people at the same time, you’ll need a carafe brewer. But if it’s just you, go for a single-cup machine.

Do you need a grinder?

freshly grinded coffee

Most plumbed coffee machines don’t have an integrated grinder. But also, there are a lot of plumbed coffee machines that use pods instead of the coffee ground.

If you prefer carafes of coffee and using grounds, then you’ll need a good entry-level grinder to get the most out of your machine.

But if you prefer using a coffee pod instead, then you certainly don’t need to think about getting a grinder.

BOTTOM LINE
Only worry about a grinder if you’re getting a basket-style coffee brewer. Otherwise, there’s really no point.

Do all machines come ready to attach to a water line?

No.

Most machines will come equipped to hook up directly to a water line. But there is a handful out there that will need a separate kit.

Usually, the kit is sold separately and will come with instructions on how to hook it up and what you need to change.

Sometimes, a professional will come and help you install the machine in whatever space you’re working with. But that usually only happens with more intense and bigger machines.

But if you don’t want the hassle, then buying a machine ready to hook into a water line is definitely a great option.

BOTTOM LINE
Some machines require an extra plumbing kit. Double-check if you’ll need to buy a separate plumbing kit for a machine you have your eye on.

How easy are they to clean?

In general, plumbed machines are super easy to clean. After all, water doesn’t sit in a tank for days at a time.

And all the inner tubing gets flushed whenever you brew.

So, the only thing you really have to worry about cleaning is the basket, spout, and outside of the machine.

Unless, of course, you use a pod machine instead of a brewer.

Then cleaning is even easier.

BOTTOM LINE
Cleaning is really simple with most plumbed machines. All you have to worry about are the pieces on the outside.

How easy are they to use?

woman using coffee maker

The bottom line is that most plumbed machines are really easy to use.

But if you’re going for a heavy-duty espresso machine, then it’s a different story.

With most brewers, all you need to do is fill the basket or insert a pod and press a button. The machine does the rest.

With espresso machines, you’ll need a basic understanding of how to pull a good espresso shot to get good results.

BOTTOM LINE
Plumbed machines are usually easy to use. Most of them only require that you press one button.

My Final Verdict

I’m sticking with the Brew Express – BEC-110.

It’s got everything you could possibly want in a plumbed machine. It brews carafes and single cups.

And it brews 10-cup carafes. That’s big enough for almost any setting.

It’s small enough to fit most countertops but sturdy enough to withstand a lot of use.

Plus, it refills an internal tank automatically. That means you can brew a few carafes back-to-back without losing efficiency or heat.

It’s a really great option for anyone looking for a plumbed coffee machine.

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Craig Carey
Craig spent a year as a barista in Denver's specialty coffee world. He spends his days rock climbing, cycling, drinking espresso, and hanging around the Rocky Mountains. He still lives in Colorado.