The Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee Maker makes deliciously flavorful coffee, but it's an imposing machine that may be overpriced for the features on offer.
Brews flavorful coffee
Built-in coffee scale
Adjustable brew strength
Tricky to pour
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If you make coffee every morning, a high-quality coffee maker is a worthwhile investment for your home. The best drip coffee makers deliver rich, flavorful brews that rival the drinks from your favorite local café, and the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee Maker promises to make it quick and easy to brew a delicious cup of joe each day.
Wolf is a popular brand that’s known for its high-end kitchen appliances, and the Wolf Gourmet line includes a variety of countertop appliances and kitchen tools. The products all have the sleek stainless steel design that the brand is known for, and most of the appliances are on the higher end of the price scale, with costs starting around $500.
We wanted to see how the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee Maker stacks up against other popular coffee makers, so we put it to the test over the course of several weeks. Using it on a daily basis, we assessed both its strengths and potential drawbacks, determining whether it’s worth the splurge. Here’s what we found.
- Water tank capacity: 50oz / 1.5 liter
- Carafe size: 10 cups
- Dimensions: W11.5 x H14.5" x L10.5"
- Weight: 13.56 lb.
- Filter type: #4 cone
- Settings: Accubrew, Manual and Clean
- Warranty: 5 years
- Includes: Coffee maker, thermal carafe with lid, 6 cone filters, 3 water filters
Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer and product reviewer who has been testing coffee makers for years. She’s tested everything from toasters to oil infusion machines, and she drinks a cup (or two) of coffee every morning to help power through her days, so she can easily tell the difference between a good and mediocre brew.
Camryn does her product testing from her small homestead in beautiful Rhode Island. When she’s not tinkering around with the latest home gadgets, she spends her time tending to her animals, working in her garden, or crafting.
Unboxing and setup
The Wolf Gourmet Coffee Maker arrived in a fairly large package, and there was very little assembly required. I had to remove a whole lot of plastic packaging from all the different components, as well as the small pieces of tape that held everything in place during shipping. However, once that was done, it was just a matter of putting the carafe in place and plugging in the unit.
I was quite surprised at the large size of this coffee maker—once assembled, it measures around 11.5 x 10.5 x 14.5 inches. The appliance is cube-like in shape, and it’s more than twice as big as the 5-cup Mr. Coffee pot that we own. The design is quite sleek and modern with a stainless steel exterior and bold red knobs, but it definitely takes up a lot of room on the counter and probably isn’t ideal for smaller kitchens.
Before using the coffee maker for the first time, I washed out all the pieces, including the water reservoir and stainless steel carafe. You also have to install the water filter before use. The machine comes with three filters, which look like small fabric pods. The instructions say to soak the pod in water for 15 minutes, then install it into the filter housing in the reservoir. It was quick and easy to do, and I appreciated that the appliance comes with replacement filters.
Manual Brewing in the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee Maker
The first time I used the Wolf Coffee Maker, I used manual mode, and the process was very straightforward. I removed the water reservoir, which is located on the left side of the machine, and filled it up to the 4-cup mark, which is clearly labeled on the clear plastic. From there, I pulled out the coffee drawer, which is above the carafe, and loaded in one of the included #4 cone filters. I measured four scoops of Folgers ground coffee into the filter and closed the drawer.
Once that was done, I used the machine’s knobs to set the machine to brew four cups at a moderate strength. The top knob adjusts the brew strength, and the lower knob changes the number of cups. The changes you make are detailed on the LCD control panel, and once you’ve adjusted the settings, all that’s left to do is press the “Start” button.
The Wolf Coffee Maker started brewing right away, and it only took a few minutes to make the four cups.
Once the machine finishes making coffee, it starts a timer on the screen that lets you know how much time has passed since brewing. When I poured coffee out of the thermal stainless steel carafe, I was extremely impressed at how hot it was! However, we did find that the four cups wasn’t quite enough coffee for two large servings—we typically use sizable 16-ounce mugs, and they often can hold two or three “cups” worth of coffee.
Using the Accu-Brew mode
While you can easily brew coffee manually, one of the special features of the Wolf Gourmet Coffee Maker is its Accu-Brew mode. This setting streamlines the process of measuring coffee grounds, making it easier to start brewing your morning cup of joe. There’s actually a scale integrated into the coffee drawer, and it saves you the hassle of having to measure out coffee grounds by hand.
The first time I used the Accu-Brew mode, I had to consult the manual for directions, as it’s not totally intuitive. You fill up the water tank the same way, but after you put the filter into the coffee drawer, the process is a bit different. At this point, you’ll want to set your desired number of cups and brew strength, then you press the “Zero” button on the control panel. A little scale icon will show up on the left side of the display screen, and from here, you simply pour ground coffee into the filter until the icon is filled up to the top. If you add too much, the display icon will flash at you.
What’s cool about this mode is that it automatically adjusts itself based on the settings you select. If you turn up the brew strength or increase the number of cups, the machine will automatically have you add more grounds. After I got the hang of the process, I found it was quick and easy to get our morning coffee going using this setting. I used the Accu-Brew for the majority of the time I tested the Wolf Coffee Maker, and it always yielded extremely rich, flavorful coffee, no matter whether I brewed just a few cups or a full pot.
One thing I did notice about this coffee maker after several weeks of use is that its carafe can be tricky to pour from. After brewing, there’s often a small amount of coffee stuck in the lid that dribbles out unexpectedly on the first pour, often ending up on the counter, and if you don’t brew a full pot, you generally have to tilt the carafe extremely far—nearly perpendicular to the counter—before anything comes out. However, we did find that the thermal design keeps the coffee warm for quite a while after brewing. My partner often gets up an hour or so after me in the morning, and the coffee is generally still at an ideal temperature.
Programmed brewing in the Wolf Coffee Maker
The Wolf Coffee Maker is programmable, meaning you can set it to brew automatically at a set time of day. I personally don’t mind brewing coffee when I get up in the morning, but it’s a nice option if you like to have a fresh pot waiting for you when you wake up.
I did test out the programming feature just to see how it worked, and the process is similar to other coffee makers I’ve used in the past. After you press the “Prog” button, it will prompt you to select a brew time. (It’s important that the unit’s clock is accurate to ensure it starts on time.) From there, you simply select your preferred settings, fill the water tank and filter basket, and you’re done. When I tested this feature, it worked as expected, starting the brew cycle exactly at the time I had selected.
How to clean the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee Maker
I cleaned the Wolf Gourmet Coffee Maker after each use, and the process was similar to other drip coffee makers I’ve used in the past. I generally left the lid to the water reservoir propped open to ensure any lingering moisture can evaporate, and I dumped out any extra coffee that’s in the carafe. With the sole exception of the filter basket, which can go in the dishwasher, all the pieces of this coffee maker need to be hand-washed. For daily cleaning, I typically just wiped down the lid and carafe interior with a soapy sponge. From there, it’s just a matter of tossing the used filter and grounds into our compost bin, and the machine is ready to use again.
After 300 cycles, the brand recommends running the machine’s cleaning cycle to flush out the interior—an icon will show up on the control panel to let you know when this needs to be done. To run the cleaning cycle, you simply fill the reservoir with water and distilled white vinegar, and the coffee maker will run a 20-minute cycle that removes any mineral deposits from the inner components.
How does it compare?
My everyday coffee maker is the Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ LatteGo, which is another one of the best coffee makers we’ve tested. The LatteGo retails for around $800, compared to the Wolf’s $600 price tag, but the LatteGo is much more versatile. In addition to regular coffee, it’s able to make espresso and even milk-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, and it has a built-in grinder that processes fresh beans for each drink.
I think the LatteGo gives you more for your money, but I will say that the Wolf is the winner, hands-down, when it comes to coffee quality. Even though it uses pre-ground coffee, the drinks were much stronger and more flavorful than the coffee from the LatteGo.
Should you buy the Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee Maker?
The Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee Maker retails for $600, which is definitely expensive as drip coffee makers go. The machine easy to use and makes a great cup of coffee, but its only special feature is the Accu-Brew setting, which uses a built-in scale to measure your coffee grounds. For comparison, other coffee makers at this price point often have built-in grinders and/or the ability to make multiple types of coffee drinks, so I do think the price of the Wolf is high for its limited functionality. However, if you don’t mind spending extra for the brand name and modern design, this machine.
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Camryn Rabideau is a writer and product reviewer specializing in home, kitchen, and pet products. In her five years as a product tester, she's tested hundreds of items first-hand, including many, many kitchen appliances for Homes & Gardens. Camryn does her product testing from her small homestead in beautiful Rhode Island.
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