If you’re hunting for a new coffee machine, confusion might already have set in…
Maybe you fancy giving the pour-over method a try but you haven’t got the time or the patience for a dripper. If you prize speed and the ultimate in push-button convenience, why not try a single serve coffee maker?
In today’s single cup coffee maker reviews, we’ll break down 13 of the finest machines up for grabs. We’ll frankly highlight any negatives since no product is without its drawbacks.
Table of Contents
I. The 13 Best Single Serve Coffee Maker Reviews
Our #1 Pick: Keurig K-Elite - The Best Single Serve K Cup Coffee Maker
With a wide choice of K-Cup pods at your disposal and the ability to make hot or iced coffee, you can enjoy affordable gourmet coffee at home with the Keurig K-Elite. Our overall # 1 pick for a combination of looks, performance and value for money, this is one of the very best single serve coffee makers on the market.
One of the main drawbacks of any single serve coffee machine is that you generally won’t get too much input into the brewing process. The K-Elite goes some way to addressing that issue and delivers a very flexible experience for a one-cup coffee maker.
Keurig has retained the classic features of various other models while introducing some tweaks like the iced coffee option allowing you far more versatility than many single serves.
The choice starts with your drink size. You’ve got 5 options ranging from a 4oz shot through a 12oz mug so there’s something for all the family.
Thinking of the family, the choice extends into the types of drinks you can make. If not everyone is a caffeine fiend, you can also make hot chocolate, tea or any kind of infusion.
Whatever style of coffee machine or brewing method you use, you won’t get great coffee if the foundation is wrong. That foundation starts with the optimum water temperature. You can adjust this in the band from 187 to 192 degrees since not everyone wants their drink scalding hot.
The auto-off feature conserves energy while making sure your machine won’t overheat and burn out.
You can get still further customization with the strength of your brew and if the mercury is rising and you’re desperate for a cool beverage, get iced coffee at the push of the button.
Using the K-Elite is very simple. The see-through water tank lets you see at a glance when it’s time to refill and colored LED lights are a nice touch. The drip tray and reservoir both detach for ease of cleaning. Beyond that, using this Keurig is as simple as navigating the basic interface and hitting a few buttons.
While the second generation of Keurig single serve coffee makers (the 2.0 series) are fantastic at what they do, you’ll run into some limitations with the pods. A barcode system is in place forcing you to use only specific capsules. You’ll be free to use just about any K-Cup pod with the K-Elite giving you far more freedom.
For arguably the best single cup coffee maker on the market, the Keurig K-Elite is a great example of slightly tweaking a winning formula to even greater effect. Try one today and you won’t look back.
- Outstanding Choice of Pods: Unlike the 2.0 series, there are no barcode limitations pegging you to a limited choice of capsules. Pop in any kind of K-Cup pod and enjoy a huge selection of coffee at its finest
- Oversized Water Reservoir: You’ll get 8 large mugs of coffee from a single tank making the K-Elite perfect for large families
- Change Drink Sizes With Ease: Whether you want a dinky 4oz shot, a 12oz mug or even a taller travel cup to fuel your commute, get the size you want with ease
- Hot and Cold Coffee: Alongside the usual selection of hot coffee, you can also get iced coffee with the K-Elite
- Expand Beyond Coffee: Thanks to hot water on demand, you can widen you scope to serve up tea, herbal infusions or hot chocolate
- Ergonomics: The design means you’ll need access to the top of the machine making things somewhat troublesome if you are storing your Keurig in any kind of cabinet
See Also: 7 Best Keurig Coffee Makers
2) The Best Single Serve and Drip Coffee Maker - Hamilton Beach (49976)
Hamilton Beach has produced cost-effective kitchen appliances for decades with their fuss-free design delivering performance and build quality not just value for money. This FlexBrew coffee maker, also known as the 49976, is a fine example of this.
If you’re not absolutely certain you want to commit to a single serve machine, the FlexBrew, as the name suggests, gives you plenty of freedom. The single serve side of the coffee maker is simple but effective. If you fancy rustling up a large carafe using pre-ground coffee rather than pods, you can take care of that no problem. You’ll get the filter you need for this thrown in.
The payoff of this double functionality is that the machine is slightly bulkier than much of the competition. It’s not ridiculously large but if you’re struggling for space in the kitchen, you might want to rethink.
You’ve got several variants of this machine available. There’s a slimline version which doesn’t include the carafe, there’s a glass and thermal option with the carafe and also a bundle offering an extra filter. We opted for the glass carafe and recommend that as best overall value.
While you won’t be able to alter any variables on the single serve side of the Hamilton Beach, you can hit pause when you’re brewing a carafe if you want to snatch a quick cup while the rest is brewing and you can also program your machine to power down. That aside, this is a very limited machine in terms of customization.
If you’re looking for an entry-level single serve coffee maker but you don’t want to compromise on quality, the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew is well worth popping on your shortlist.
- Choice of Drip-Free Carafe: Available with a glass carafe for the purist or a thermal alternative if you want to keep your drinks hotter for longer with both carafes designed to prevent spillage
- 2-in-1 Functionality: On one side you can make a 12-cup carafe with fresh grounds while the other offers up single-serve pod convenience
- Separate Transparent Water Tanks: The dedicated reservoirs allow you to operate both sides of this coffee machine independently while keeping an eye on when it’s time for a refill
- Some Automation: From auto-off to auto-pause, you’ll enjoy some ability to program the 49976 even though it’s slightly restricted
- Outstanding Overall Value: Hamilton Beach prove time and again that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get the best kitchenware and this FlexBrew system is no exception
- Limited Programmability: You’ll get no leeway with the single serve side in terms of programmability
- Occupies Large Footprint: The trade-off for getting 2 brewing systems in 1 is the size of the unit. The Hamilton Beach is not ideal if you live in a smaller apartment
See Also: Top 20+ Best Coffee Makers
3) The Best Single Serve Coffee Maker for Small Office - Cuisinart SS-10
Next up in our single cup coffee maker reviews is a commanding chromed machine from the kitchenware giant Cuisinart.
This model, the SS-10, replaces the crushingly popular SS-700 but is it any good?
At first glance, you’d imagine the Cuisinart costs more than it does. Further investigation yields plastic but the effect looks more like modernist stainless steel. The machine is compact but feels solid and built to stay the distance.
Drinks-wise, you can use almost any K-Cup pod giving you the choice of hundreds of specialist brews without being hemmed in. With hot water on demand, you can broaden your scope beyond coffee so you’re spoiled for choice.
Using a simple interface displayed on a backlit LCD, you can program your SS-10 so it’s fired up and ready for action when you wake up or return home later in the day. It’s a very user-friendly machine and you’ll have no problems even if you’re not a tech-lover.
On the downside, the SS-10 lacks the raw pace of some of the very best pod coffee makers. It’s not a deal-breaker but it feels slightly pedestrian compared to more quickfire units.
You can select from 5 sizes so you can enjoy your short espresso while the rest of the family can choose their preferred size from 4oz to 12oz.
There’s a charcoal water filter included so you can make sure your water is as chlorine-free as possible ensuring the best end result from your coffee.
If you want a reliable and simple single serve coffee machine at an extremely reasonable price, the Cuisinart SS-10 is an impressive if limited model worth a road test.
- Compatibility: Unlike many machines that tie you in to a narrow spectrum of pods, the SS-10 lets you use just about any K-Cup pod
- Generous Capacity: The 72oz water tank means you won’t be constantly scurrying to the faucet to refill your machine. Serve 6 to 8 coffees on a single fill
- Striking Design: Although there’s a lot of plastic on the Cuisinart, the sleek silver design means it’s still a winner in the looks department
- Hot Water on Demand: This function is invaluable with single serve machines and allows you to broaden your choice of drinks to tea, hot chocolate or any infusion
- Programmability: You can program your SS-10 up to 24 hours in advance so make sure you’ve got your coffee even quicker in the mornings and when you return from work
- Slightly Slow: While you’ll still have coffee in your cup in a matter of minutes, this is not the most shotgun brewing system on the market
- No Backlight on Water Reservoir: Although it’s a minor gripe, this is worth being aware of if you have a dim kitchen
See Also: Top 7 Best Coffee Makers With Grinder
4) The Best Single Serve Coffee Maker Without Pods - Hamilton Beach 49981A
Hamilton Beach always have clinical numbers for their coffee machines and this single serve is the 49981A, also known as the Scoop.
If you thought investing in the best pod coffee maker needed to be expensive, think again. The Scoop is available for not much more than a round of large coffees in Starbucks and you’ll get an incredible return on your investment.
Not only is this machine incredibly inexpensive off the bat, the fact you use pre-ground coffee means you’ll spend far less than if you were running a pod-based machine.
Despite it’s budget price tag, the Scoop is fashioned from stainless steel and it’s a rock-solid piece of kit that punches above its weight.
Speed is as much of a selling point as price. The simplicity of the brew means you’ll have fresh coffee in your cup in as little as 2 minutes which is damn near unbeatable.
Like any cheaper product, the Scoop is not without its downsides…
If you like your coffee to pack a real kick, you should probably consider one of the other machines we review. While you can nominally go for Bold coffee, this is at best medium-strength so be aware of this before committing to purchase.
Unless you keep a close eye on proceedings, the machine tends to overfill causing coffee to cascade over the counter top. Monitor the brew and you can avoid this.
Overall, the gripes we have with the Hamilton Beach Scoop are extremely minor when set against the incredible value for money, durability and convenience of this excellent single serve coffee maker. If cash is tight but you don’t want to sacrifice the finest coffee, check out the Scoop today!
- Exceptional Value: You’ll do a double-take when you see the price tag but you won’t be stiffed in terms of performance or build quality
- Low Ongoing Costs: Since you’ll be using pre-ground coffee in the filter rather than pods, your ongoing running costs will be much lower without compromising the coffee in your cup
- Rugged and Built To Last: Despite the low cost, the stainless steel Scoop is solid and durable so you’ll get plenty of service if you look after it
- Adjustable Strength and Size: Tweak the boldness of your coffee and brew drinks as large as 14oz travel mugs so you’ve got plenty of choice
- Auto Shut-Off: Keep safety uppermost while saving on your power bill into the bargain thanks to auto shut-off functionality
- Not The Strongest Coffee: Even on the bold setting, don’t expect the most robust coffee from this machine
- Questionable Filtration: Watch out for some sediment in your drink due to a less than effective filter
- Prone to Overflowing: Be careful for the coffee spilling over
See Also: Top 10 Best French Press Coffee Makers
5) The Best Single Serve Coffee Maker Using Ground Coffee - Ninja Pod-Free Coffee Bar
Next up, we’ve got another keenly priced single serve coffee maker from Ninja.
At a glimpse, this machine looks anything but entry-level. Sure, there’s plenty of plastic but we love the classic look and it’s also designed to be extremely user-friendly.
One of the inbuilt flaws of most single serve coffee makers is the lack of control you’ll have over the brewing process. This is the simple trade-off made to achieve the speed and convenience these machines are famed for. The Coffee Bar breaks the mold and you’ll be able to serve up a bewildering array of hot and cold drinks to liven up any gathering.
And yes, we did say cold drinks. Hit Over Iced Brew and you’ll get your coffee served hot all over the ice in your glass so you’ll get a cold drink that never feels watered down.
If you want more than a short, strong dose of espresso from your coffee maker, the onboard frother is a boon. You’ll be able to whip up all manner of creamy, long drinks, hot or cold with the minimum of fuss. The frother doesn’t steam the milk so if you prefer your foam hot, you’ll need to pop it in the microwave.
Whatever type of coffee you prefer, it’s the press of a button away with the Coffee Bar.
Ninja sell a range of worthwhile accessories from a caddy to keep your beans or ground coffee fresher for longer along with tumblers to keep both hot and cold drinks at their very best.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective single serve coffee machine that delivers a staggering amount of flexibility, the Ninja Coffee Bar is a must. You’ll get all the speed and convenience of a pod coffee maker without the usual restrictions.
- Get Hot and Cold Coffee: If you’re torn between steaming espresso and iced drinks, get the best of both worlds with the Ninja Coffee Bar
- Onboard Milk Frother For Longer Drinks: Broaden the range of your drinks menu with the integrated frother ideal for latte and cappuccino
- Striking Design: Although it’s a plastic-based machine, everything is BPA-free and the design looks anything but budget
- Specialty Drinks: Go for a concentrated shot of coffee and concoct specialty drinks to impress your guests. There’s a recipe book thrown in if you’re stuck for ideas
- Classic or Rich Brew: Up the ante to a rich brew if you like your coffee strong and with maximum body. Classic brew will cater for everyone else
- Overbrewing Can Mean Bitter Coffee: You’ll get plenty of strength from the coffee with the Ninja but Overbrewing due to super-hot water can impart a bitterness if you’re not careful
- Bulky Unit: You get plenty of bang for your buck with the Coffee Bar but it takes up as much counter space as a small coffee bar so be wary if you have a smaller kitchen
See Also: Best Ninja Coffee Bar
6) Keurig K55 K-Classic Single Serve Coffee Maker
For many satisfied customers in American and around the world, single serve coffee maker is synonymous with the Keurig K55. This enduring icon shows no signs of fading in popularity.
Straight off the bat, you should be aware that the K55 runs on 110/120 volts only. If you’re hooked up to a 220-volt supply, you’ll need to invest in a transformer. If you’re all good on the voltage front, there’s very little else we can say to knock this classic.
Although there’s rather too much plastic to deliver a truly premium feel, the K55 has an iconic and understated design but the amount of plastic does impact on the aesthetic as well as the lifespan.
As with any single serve coffee maker, the K55 ensures you get your drink in a hurry. If you’ve got a busy lifestyle and no time in the morning when you’re rushing around, wait a few minutes for the water to get up to temperature then you’ll have coffee in your cup within the minute. For all the limitations of even the best pod coffee maker, speed more than makes up for it.
Are you absent minded when it comes to reordering your K-Cup pods? If so, you should consider one of the Dash add-ons… Available in both black and red, the Dash package comes with a dinky WiFi-enabled device that you can set up to reorder your preferred pods at the press of a button through a free app. Although this puts a few bucks on the price tag, this is reimbursed in the form of free pods when you’re up and running.
With none of the DRM chicanery of the 2.0 Keurig machines, you’re free to use just about any K-Cup pod so you’ll be able to choose from hundreds of gourmet brews.
If you’re looking for a simple and affordable single serve coffee maker from a brand you can trust, you can’t go wrong with the Keurig K55, arguably the best cheap Keurig single serve coffee maker in the impressive range.
- Get Your Coffee Quickly: As with any single serve coffee machine, you’ll need 4-5 minutes to preheat the water when you power on. Once it’s ticking over, a 15 second
- First-Rate Filtration: There’s a water filter included so you can start your brew the right way by eliminating the impurities that pollute tap water the world over
- Order With Amazon Dash: A WiFi-enabled device lets you order your favorite pods from Amazon at the push of a button
- Easy To Clean: Remove the detachable components and rinse them every week or so. There’s an onboard descaling procedure you should carry out every few months. That aside, the K55 is blissfully maintenance-free
- Drink Sizes For All The Family: You’ve got 3 brew sizes from a powerful 6oz shot to a longer 10oz
- Voltage Limitation: If your mains supply is 110/120volts, you’ll have no issue at all but for anyone else, this restriction means you’ll need a transformer
- Too Much Plastic: not only does this impact the aesthetic, it’s also responsible for some complaints about durability and longevity
See Also: Best Pour Over Coffee Maker
7) AdirChef Grab ‘N Go Personal Coffee Maker
If you’re looking for a single serve coffee maker for less than you’d spend in a week at Starbucks, the Grab ‘N Go from AdirChef is an incredible steal.
Obviously, it’s no use getting what seems like a great deal if you end up stiffed on the performance front so is the Grab ‘N Go any good?
Rather than using pods, the eco-friendly Grab ‘N Go has a permanent filter. This saves you the expense of buying either expensive capsules or replacement paper filters, the cost of which can rapidly mount up. You can help the environment and your bank balance while enjoying your favorite pre-ground coffee.
A 14oz stainless steel travel mug steps in as the carafe so you’ll get a tall, steaming drink in 5 minutes or so which means it’s not the quickest machine out the blocks. The insulated mug lets you enjoy coffee on the go without worrying about spillage or your drink being cold in minutes flat. The mug is designed to slot neatly into most car cup holders and its anti-slip nature should prevent any accidents on the morning commute.
There’s no messy clean-up needed either. Pop the components in the dishwasher from time to time and you’re good to go.
Evidently, this machine is limited in terms of functionality so if you’re looking for a wide choice of drinks, this is clearly not the model for you. If, however, you’re hunting down a super-simple single serve coffee maker that’s highly affordable to buy and run, we can’t recommend the AdirChef Grab ‘N Go strongly enough.
- Unbeatable Value: This single serve is among the cheapest single cup units on the market without sacrificing quality
- Simplicity: Obviously, a budget coffee maker will have limited functionality. This simplicity becomes a strength with the AdirChef, though. It does one job and it does it very well
- Permanent Filters Reduces Ongoing Costs: Not only is this coffee machine an incredible bargain, you’ll save money over time using ground coffee rather than capsules
- Travel Mug Included: Your coffee decants directly from the machine into the insulated travel mug ideal if you love to drink on your way to work
- Super-Simple To Clean: All parts of this coffee machine are dishwasher-friendly and a regular clean is about the extent of the maintenance required
- Sluggish Brewing Time: If you place speed uppermost on your priorities, this is not the machine for you. If you don’t mind waiting a few minutes for a great cup of coffee, you can leave the machine brewing and it will shut off when the mug is full
See Also: Top 20+ Best Espresso Machines
8) BUNN Single Serve Coffee Maker
The BUNN My Café is a utilitarian single serve coffee maker with a very small footprint. If you don’t mind the stark and aggressive looks, this might well be one of the best single cup coffee makers on the market. If you act quickly, it’s currently available at a steep discount.
Most single serve coffee machines, whatever their many advantages, are sorely let down by the limited input you’ll get. With My Café, you’ll be able to use whatever coffee best suits, whether that’s any K-Cup pod or your favorite roast freshly ground. If your husband prefers tea and your kids love hot chocolate, the cup drawer accepts these, too.
The water is pre-heated no more than 2 minutes after firing up the machine with coffee served in less than a minute. If you’re looking for the perfect combination of speed and quality, the piping hot coffee will not disappoint on the taste front.
The water can be kept ticking over at the required temperature for up to 6 hours before it automatically shuts down.
A pulse brew option allows you to extract even more flavor and aroma from your brew so hit the switch if you insist on a more extreme and bolder coffee.
While a great all-rounder, the BUNN is not perfect. It’s pretty noisy when it’s running so be aware of this before you buy. Overall, though, if you’re looking for a rugged and durable single serve coffee machine that gives you complete freedom when it comes to the drinks you brew, the BUNN My Café deserves a place on any shortlist.
- Flexibility: Whether you want to use K-Cup pods or ground coffee, enjoy both with the BUNN. You’ll also be able to make tea or hot chocolate so it’s a highly versatile machine
- Rapid Brewing Time: Even from a cold start, your BUNN will be heated up in no more than 2 minutes with your coffee the press of a button away. If you want great coffee in a hurry, My Café delivers
- Pulse Brew For More Flavor: If you want your coffee to have a really powerful kick, activate the pulse extraction to get an even fuller drink
- Multiple Brew Sizes: Whether you want a cheeky 4oz shot of espresso or a 14oz travel mug of Americano, you’ve got a wide range of options with the BUNN
- Excellent Investment: If your weekly coffee shop bill is spiraling out of hand, trim those costs by investing in My Café and bring the café into your home. You’ll recoup your money in no time
- Noisy: All coffee machines kick out some degree of noise but the BUNN is particularly lively so be warned
- Design Polarizes Opinion: While we’re fans of the minimalist, almost brutalist design, the industrial nature is not to everyone’s taste
9) Keurig K575
Ratcheting things up a notch from the K55 Classic, the Keurig K575 is a strong contender for The best Keurig single serve coffee maker.
The jumbo water reservoir gets things started just right. With an 80oz capacity, you’ll be able to brew a carafe with up to 10 cups ideal even for larger gatherings. You can slip the tank off for easier cleaning and refilling. There’s a multi-colored nightlight which is a nicer touch if you don’t like the harsh glare of neon first thing in the morning.
Once you’ve topped that tank up, choose from 5 temperatures to get your coffee just the way you like it. Not everyone wants it lip-burningly hot!
The control center is a simple LCD touchscreen allowing you to navigate the intuitive menu and punch in your preferences. You’ve got everything you need and nothing you don’t need here.
Choose from the ever-growing range of hundreds of K-Cup pods. All major brewers are represented in this range and you’ll have no shortage of choice however you like your roast.
Size-wise, you can choose anything from a 4oz espresso shot through to a 30oz carafe at the upper end. If you want something more than straight coffee, the hot water on demand allows you to branch out into tea, infusions and hot chocolate or cocoa.
While you’ll get a reliable and cost-effective machine with the K575, what you won’t get is coffee to make your eyes pop. Even on the stronger settings, Keurig coffee machines simply don’t excel in terms of raw potency. It’s worth knowing this to avoid possible disappointment.
Overall, the advantages far outweigh the very minor drawbacks with this fine single serve coffee machine. If you have a more fluid budget and you’re looking for a machine for all the family, the K575 is well worth further investigation.
- Supersized Tank For 10 Coffees: The whopping 80oz water reservoir will give you enough for up to 10 large coffees before needing to refill
- Customize Water Temperature: The foundation of all great coffee is water at the proper temperature. There are 5 temperature settings to choose from on the K575 so tweak to taste
- Top-Notch Filtration: With a charcoal filter included, you’ll cut through all the impurities in your water helping you toward that perfect golden cup
- Touch-Screen Programmability: A large color screen lets you program your Keurig with ease even if you’re not a tech-fan. This is push-button coffee at its easiest
- Wide Choice of Drinks Including Carafe: Whether you want to use K-Cup pods or K-Carafe pods for a more substantial batch, choose from 4oz to 12oz and opt for 1 of 3 carafe sizes (sold separately)
- Not The Cheapest Single Serve Machine: Although you’ll be rewarded with a great deal of functionality and enormous convenience, the K575 is certainly not the cheapest single serve coffee machine
- Even Strong Setting Slightly Weak: If you’re a fan of super-strong coffee, Keurig is not the brand for you. Even with the Bold setting, coffee is underwhelming in its intensity
See Also: Top 10+ Best Coffee Scales
10) Keurig K-Select
As we edge to the end of our single cup coffee maker reviews, we’ve got yet another Keurig for you in the form of the K-Select. Pioneers of the single serve movement, it’s no surprise that Keurig continue to dominate.
The K-80, more commonly called the K-Select, is a lower end Keurig which is relatively limited in terms of functionality. The payoff is a very competitive price tag so if you’re hunting down a bargain, read on…
Despite being named Select, you won’t get too much choice with this single serve coffee maker. You can decide what size drink you prefer and you can opt for it a little stronger than normal but, that aside, it’s coffee that comes as it’s served. If you don’t mind relinquishing control and letting the machine do the work, you’ll appreciate the convenience.
You’ll also get speed in abundance. After warming up in less than 5 minutes, you’ll have coffee in your cup in 60 seconds flat. Speed of delivery is one of the driving reasons most people purchase pod coffee makers and the K-Select doesn’t disappoint.
The 52oz water tank is not the largest but it’s good enough for 5 coffees so fit for most purposes.
Easy to clean and maintain, the water tank and filter remove for your convenience. There’s an integrated descaling procedure that’s a cinch to follow. Use either Keurig descaling solution or a mixture of water and vinegar every 3 to 4 months. This will keep your machine running optimally and your coffee tasting its best.
If you’re quite happy to enjoy coffee from K-Cup pods exactly as it comes, the K-Select would make a great entry point into the world of single serve coffee makers. This machine is perfect for beginners or anyone who dislikes overly complicated appliances.
- Extremely User-Friendly: There’s no nifty touch screen on the K-Select but if you just want a simple and effective machine, this lack of technology actually serves to your advantage
- Speed of Delivery: If you forego the control offered by other brewing methods, you want speed in return. You’ll have coffee in your cup within 1 minute once the Keurig is properly warmed up
- Wide Choice of Beverages: You can choose from hundreds of classic K-Cup pods so there’s coffee however you like it, guaranteed
- Multiple Color Schemes: If you’re tired of all kitchen appliances being the same black or gray, the K-Select comes in a handful of different color schemes so you can match your machine to your kitchen decor
- Accommodates Travel Mugs: For coffee on the hoof, simply remove the drip tray and you can slip in a travel mug up to 7 ½ inches tall
- Lack of Programmability: You’re not going to be able to tweak much with this machine and it’s push button only with no touchscreen at all
- Not Much Flexibility: Aside from brew size and strength, you won’t be able to adjust many other variables so be sure you’ll be content with pods only and limited control
11) Homia Kafo Coffee Maker
Another budget single serve coffee maker steps up next, the diminutive Homia Kafo.
Weighing just over 3 pounds and occupying very little space on the kitchen counter, this single serve machine is tailor-made for apartment living. It measures up at just 5 x 10 x 8 ½ inches.
Most single serve coffee makers are quick on the brew but the Homia Kafo is turbo-charged with your drink ready in as little as 3 minutes from a cold start.
The brewing system allows you to make use of just about any K-Cup pod if you like capsule coffee and can withstand the ongoing expense. If you want to slash your running costs considerably, consider refilling the reusable pods provided with your favorite pre-ground and get the taste without the stiff price tag.
The one drawback of these reusable pods is that they measure up slightly smaller than K-Cup pods and you’ll end up with a rather weak brew. The coffee is not bland or insipid but it’s certainly not going to win any prizes for strength. These reusable pods are also rather tough to close.
Cleaning and maintenance is at a minimum with this single serve coffee maker. Using either citric acid mixed with water or a dedicated descaling solution, follow simple instructions for a rinse that will clear up any accumulation of sediment through minerals in the water. Other components slip out fuss-free and you’ll be able to wash them by hand or whip them in the dishwasher.
For anyone on the trail of a rapid brewing system at an affordable price, it might be worth sidestepping the usual big names and trying your hand on an outsider. The Homia Kafo is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
- Rapid Brew Time: The potent 1000-watt heater has the water up to temperature and coffee in your cup in 3 minutes
- Unrestricted Choice of Pods: With no DRM restrictions, you can use just about any K-Cup pod and you’ll get 3 reusable capsules chucked in. You can also opt for tea or hot chocolate so it’s a versatile machine
- Ultra-Compact: Get heavyweight performance in a scaled-down package so ideal if you live in a smaller apartment
- Low Maintenance: It’s senseless buying a coffee machine for the sake of convenience if you end up facing the clean up from hell. This single serve machine is a breeze to clean
- Quiet Operation: Kicking out less than 60 decibels, this machine won’t end up disturbing the neighbors as you rustle up your morning coffee fix
- Small Pods Lead to Weaker Coffee: The pods provided are slightly smaller than K-Cup pods meaning if you prize very strong coffee, this is not the machine for you
- Some Issues Closing Reusable Pods: Many users have described needing to use considerable force to close the reusable pods provided so be warned if you struggle with this kind of thing
12) DeLonghi Vertuo Evoluo (Nespresso)
We’ll round out our single serve coffee maker reviews with a pair of Nespresso machines from the legendary DeLonghi.
None of the Nespresso machines are particularly cheap but the Vertuo Evoluo sits near the top of the range so the price tag reflects this.
As with all these machines, you’ll be forced to use the Nespresso capsules. Make sure you can source a supply, online or in the store, before committing to purchase. It’s senseless investing in a machine like this only to find you can’t get the capsules easily close to home.
You can opt for large or small pods according to the drink you want to make but that’s where the customization ends. Although the push-button functionality makes this machine a pleasure to use, it also affords you very little by the way of latitude so you’ll have to take your drinks as they come.
You’ll get a starter pack of capsules included so you can get a taste for what’s on offer before laying in a good supply. Consider joining the Nespresso Club for great value capsules that are easy to order and quickly delivered.
Nespresso have developed a patented Centrifusion Extraction Technology which spins the capsule rapidly to create the perfect blend. This means that even though you won’t be able to alter much while you brew, you won’t need to with this system.
There’s a frother included so if you prefer your coffee longer, you can add some foam to the top for that perfect latte or cappuccino.
For a single serve coffee machine that’s as easy as punching a few buttons and waiting for your coffee, the Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo takes some beating.
- Design: With a sleek and understated aesthetic, the Vertuo Plus will grace any kitchen counter
- Use Different Sized Pods: Although you’ll be limited to Nespresso pods, you can use large or small depending on whether you want an espresso or a straight coffee
- Frother Included: The Aeroccino 3 milk frother finishes off your longer drinks with a fantastic microfoam. Make your lattes and cappuccinos pop!
- Touch Button Simplicity: From a 4oz espresso through a 14oz alto, get the drink you want at the push of a button
- Substantial Used Pod Container: Up to 17 pods sit in the container provided meaning you won’t need to keep opening and closing the machine to ditch pods individually
- Costly Machine: If you’re bargain hunting, the Vertuo Plus is not for you. This is at the upper end of what you’d expect to pay for a single serve machine so it’s not for everyone
- Limited Customization: From the limited selection of Nespresso pods through to the lack of options when brewing, you won’t get much chance to meddle with the brewing process
13) DeLonghi Nespresso Essenza Mini
Last but by no means least in our best single serve coffee maker reviews is another DeLonghi Nespresso model, this time the Essenza Mini.
If you’re an espresso fiend but you don’t like being limited to only shorter drinks, you’re in for a treat. As with all Nespresso machines, you’ll be restricted to using the proprietary capsules but you can choose from a staggering array of roasts, named Grand Crus just like fine wines.
Program your cup size with ease to flick between a short, stiff espresso and a relaxing lungo for later in the day. Beyond this, there’s nothing else you can do to control the variables so just sit back and wait a very short time for top-notch coffee without breaking a sweat.
If you get tired of coffee machines being available in black, black or black, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The Essenza Mini also comes in a vibrant lime and a commanding red if you want to make a real statement in the kitchen.
At the core of this machine is a 19-bar high-pressure pump responsible for a more than serviceable espresso. You’re not going to get the same quality as you would from a five-figure super-automatic, but even fussier coffee fans should be satisfied.
If you want your coffee without standing on ceremony and you don’t mind limiting yourself to the brew just as it comes, the Nespresso Essenza Mini is a home run.
- Great Espresso And Also Longer Drinks: The Essenza Mini makes great and super-swift espresso but you’ll also be able to make longer drinks and crown them with a great foam from the frother included
- Extremely User-Friendly: With simple push-button functionality, this espresso maker is intuitive and easy to use even if you hate gadgets
- Power Saving: Heating up in an incredible 30 seconds and powering down automatically after 9 minutes, you’ll save money on your power bills as well as your coffee shop runs
- 3 Color Schemes To Suit: Choose from the regular black model or inject a little fun and color with striking lime or bold red
- Great Value: Not too expensive anyway and currently available at a decent discount, you’ll get outstanding value investing in the Essenza Mini
- Small Pods Lead to Weaker Coffee: The pods provided are slightly smaller than K-Cup pods meaning if you prize very strong coffee, this is not the machine for you
- Some Issues Closing Reusable Pods: Many users have described needing to use considerable force to close the reusable pods provided so be warned if you struggle with this kind of thing
II. Things To Consider Before Buying a Single Serve Coffee Maker
1. What Are You Brewing?
You need to think about all that you will be making in your single serve coffee maker. If you’re planning on making just plain, simple coffee, then you might not need to splurge on a coffee maker that provides options for multiple types of brews and cup sizes.
A lot of available single serve coffee makers have been designed to brew only coffee, and that’s perfectly fine for someone who doesn’t want anything extra.
However, if you love a good cup of tea before bed or a warming mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night, opt for a coffee maker that lets you brew a variety of drinks instead of just coffee.
2. Cost of Operation Some
single serve coffee makers will cost more to use than others. This is because the coffee they use can vary quite a bit in price.
You have a lot of control over this as you choose what coffee you want to brew in the maker. If you insist on gourmet coffee, you’ll obviously spend far more than if you opt for a plain-Jane brew.
A few makers allow you to use regular ground coffee as long as you use a specialized filter, and this can be a significant savings. Not all machines have this option, so if this is important to you, be sure to select a machine that offers this feature.
How big is your cup of coffee?
Almost everyone has different preferences for the size of their morning brew.
Some people prefer a small cup and it keeps them going all day, while others seemingly need a gallon just to open their eyes. Everyone has different ideas about what the proper size cup of coffee is, and that’s another thing you’ll want to think about when purchasing a single serve coffee maker.
If it’s just for you and you drink a small 6-ounce cup of coffee each morning, you don’t need anything special. However, in an office setting or in a home where several people will be using the coffee maker, it’s wise to invest in a machine that will brew multiple cup sizes.
Some machines also allow extra-tall mugs like travel mugs that hold 12 ounces or so of coffee, while still being able to brew a simple 4-ounce cup too.
Many coffee makers also allow you to adjust the strength of the coffee. If you want a larger cup but a stronger brew, simply program the machine to brew only 4 ounces into your 8-ounce cup.
You can also find single serve coffee makers that allow you to brew an entire carafe of coffee as well. This usually is an extra expense, but it can be worth it if you often serve coffee to guests or drink more than a single cup of coffee on the weekends.
The size of the water reservoir is something you should factor into the equation as well. If multiple people are using the machine, or you’re going to be using it for several things throughout the day, you should buy a machine with a more generous water reservoir so you aren’t filling it up as often.
4. Ease of Use
So many coffee makers can seem like they were designed to be used only by people with advanced degrees, and single serve machines can prove just as confusing at times. This doesn’t have to be the case, though.
There are plenty of single serve coffee makers available that are incredibly easy to operate. You fill the reservoir, place to pod in the maker and push a button. So very simple!
You can however find makers boasting computerized touchscreens with a plethora of choices for you to make. The more customization you want, the more work you’ll have to do to get to your desired cup of coffee.
5. Is It Easy To Clean?
Some coffee makers contain several parts that must be removed and cleaned, and then put back together just so to ensure proper function of the machine. While many single serve coffee makers do come apart in several pieces, they are fairly straightforward to put back together once cleaned.
Beyond this, the machine itself is fairly easy to clean whether you’re running a weekly cleaning cycle or periodically descaling. As long as you care for it properly you should have no issues with the operation of your coffee maker.
We’re talking about single serve brewers here, so you might be wondering what we mean by size?
The key issue here is the physical size of the brewer and how much counter top real estate you’ll need to sacrifice for your new coffee maker.
A lot of newer kitchens have plenty of space on the counter tops, so the size of the machine isn’t quite so important as some of the other considerations. However, if your kitchen is on the smaller side with precious little counter space on offer, you might want to think about getting a smaller single serve coffee maker.
Also, you need to take a look at how much space you have between the countertop and the upper cabinets if you have them. This is because the pod area of machine will need to be opened so you can make coffee and fill the water reservoir. You should also think about placing the coffee maker near a faucet or source of water so you are not traipsing back and forth with a full water reservoir.
Another option is to have a separate space set aside for a coffee bar area instead of eating up your counter space. If your home has the room to do this, it can be a smart move to have a centralized area to store the coffee maker, coffee, mugs and all the other paraphernalia.
Before we round out, some of the most frequently asked questions about single serve coffee makers.
III. Frequently Asked Questions
Though this type of coffee maker is relatively simple to use, you might still encounter some things you aren’t sure how to handle.
We’ll look now at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding single serve coffee makers.
Is it OK to use tap water in a single serve coffee maker?
Technically, you can use whatever type of water you want in any coffee maker, though there are some good reasons to avoid tap water. Tap water is typically full of all sorts of minerals like magnesium, sodium, chloride and others. These minerals can create problems in many places in your home by leaving behind a film of lime or scale on surfaces. This same thing can happen inside your single serve coffee maker. As the water circulates through the system inside your brewer, it will leave behind deposits of these minerals that will build up over time. This build up will make your coffee taste bad and will eventually render your machine useless. To avoid this problem, you should use filtered water or bottled water as long as it’s not mineral or spring water.
Does my coffee maker need to be cleaned?
Yes, your single serve coffee maker needs to be cleaned periodically in order to continue functioning well. Every 3 to 6 months, you need to use a special solution that properly cleans the inner workings of the machine. You also need to clean the needles that puncture the coffee capsules so there are no clogs preventing the coffee from being made.
Is a single serve coffee maker energy-efficient?
The machine itself is fairly energy-efficient. Most use only about as much energy as a 60-watt light bulb. Also, many of these coffee makers have a function that will power them down automatically when they are not being used, so you aren’t wasting power.
Are single serve coffee makers economical?
They can be, but they can also be quite pricey. It really does depend. You have a lot of control over this, though. You can choose to purchase a simple machine that brews only coffee and has no fancy selections boosting the price tag. You can also choose to use a reusable capsule or pod to fill with coffee yourself, which is more affordable. On the other hand, you can buy a machine with a variety of brew selections and you can purchase a plethora of premade coffee capsules which tend to be a bit costlier than traditional coffee.
Can I only make coffee? What if I want tea?
Some machines allow you to brew only coffee, but many others let you brew a multitude of drinks. Be sure your machine allows you to brew things other than coffee so you don’t accidentally void your warranty. If your machine does allow you to brew things other than coffee, you can get tea or cocoa easily in premade pods. Can I use only the pods or capsules made for my specific machine? Maybe. Some companies manufacture proprietary for their machines and do not allow the use of any other pod. Some machines allow you to use your own preferred coffee in a reusable pod, or give you the flexibility to use a broad spread of pods. Some single serve machines even allow you to brew your coffee using the traditional drip-brew fashion. If you want a wide variety of choices for ways to brew your coffee, shop around for a machine that will meet those needs.
We trust you’ve found these comprehensive single serve coffee maker reviews have pointed you in the right direction of the machine of your dreams.
Not only do you get speed and convenience, if you want to reduce your expenses you can get plenty of these machines that allow you to use pre-ground coffee instead of pods.
Whether you want an espresso, a latte or a cappuccino, any of the 13 single serve machines we review might be just what you’ve been waiting for.
Feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions or feedback at all. We’re highly responsive to messages and we’ll get back to you promptly.
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