Cuisinart Brew Central DCC-1200 ($80)
Coffee snobs, this fully programmable machine is just for you: It tested the highest out of 36 coffeemakers in its ability to reach the exact temperature needed to extract the most flavor from coffee.
Runner-up: Barista wannabes may prefer the easy-to-clean Emerson CCM901 ($90) — it makes consistently high-quality coffee and espresso.
Vita-Mix 5200 ($450)
Reclaim some kitchen counter space with this blender that can double as a food processor. The Vita-Mix crushes ice, purees vegetables, and blends smoothies. Plus, it makes ice cream, heats soup, and pulverizes nuts, seeds, or rice in seconds.
Runner-up: For a blender that simply blends, the Oster BCBG08 ($40) is an exceptional basic model with eight speeds and 450 watts of ice-crushing power.
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