6 top-rated single-serve coffee makers to consider for at-home brewing

Buying a cup of coffee every day at your favorite coffee shop won’t break your bank, but it’s an added expense and the price only goes up. Single-serve coffee makers are a particularly convenient and affordable brewing method if all you need is a cup on the go or between meetings while working from home. machines are also a handy little kitchen appliance for bedrooms or your office desk.

learn more about single-dose coffee machines | capsules vs. reusable brew baskets

Reading: Ground coffee maker single cup

“The popularity of single-serve machines has been on the rise in recent years,” said Jessica Rodriguez, a coffee trainer who previously worked at the Specialty Coffee Association, a nonprofit coffee trade organization. “Innovation and new technology from manufacturers have given rise to machines that have a variety of single serve options, from espresso to hot coffee, iced coffee and even tea.”

highly rated single-serving coffee machines

The exact pod you choose determines what features it’s built with, but the experts we spoke with recommended considering qualities like brew size and water reservoir size when shopping. they also suggested noting whether the machines are compatible with disposable pods, reusable brew baskets, or both.

  • brew size: Experts told us that single-serve brewers typically brew between 5 ounces and 12 ounces of coffee. Some machines give you several different sizes to choose from or allow you to brew both single servings and a large pot of coffee; These are often referred to as double brewers, or you may see machines advertised with multi-brew settings.
  • capsules vs. baskets: Most single-serve coffee machines use single-use coffee capsules (pre-ground coffee capsules packaged in aluminum or plastic containers), but some are compatible with reusable baskets . giving you the flexibility to make any ground coffee of your choice. (read more about the difference between pods and brew baskets here).
  • Water Reservoir Size – Some single-serve machines have a reservoir that only holds enough water to brew a 12-ounce cup of coffee, while others are built with a larger reservoir for don’t do it you have to fill it every time you prepare.
  • preparation time: not all brands indicate the preparation time of their single-dose coffee machines. brew time for all models is relatively quick since the machines are making a single cup, not a large pitcher. But “if speed is a top priority, look for a machine with the lowest setup time,” Rodriguez advised.
  • Below, we’ve rounded up a handful of highly-rated single-serve coffee makers you might want to consider, and what else you need to know about buying one. we highlight important features to help you decide between different options. select staff also shared their experience using models they own.

    keurig k-cafe smart

    • Prep sizes: 6, 8, 10 and 12 ounces
    • compatible with: keurig k-cup pods and my k-cup universal reusable coffee filter
    • water reservoir size: 60 ounces
    • rating: average rating of 4.7 stars from over 19,600 reviews on amazon
    • morgan greenwald, senior editor at select, said k-cafe smart, which keurig recently added to its line of wi-fi single-use coffeemakers, helped her reduce trips to dunkin’. The machine pairs with the Keurig app, allowing you to get step-by-step instructions for making different beverages, like lattes or cappuccinos. You can adjust the settings manually or use Keurig’s Brew ID technology, which detects the type of K-Cup pod you’re using and adjusts the brew settings accordingly. Keurig’s multi-flow technology also saturates ground coffee more evenly compared to Keurig’s K-Classic coffee maker, leading to a fuller flavor and aroma, the brand says. The coffee maker also has a built-in milk frother, which Greenwald says gives your latte a nice, frothy consistency.

      keurig k-mini

      • Prep Sizes: 6 to 12 ounces
      • compatible with: keurig k-cup pods and my k-cup universal reusable coffee filter
      • water reservoir size: 12 ounces
      • rating: Average rating of 4.6 stars from over 72,300 reviews on amazon
      • zoe malin, associate updates editor for select, said she bought the keurig k-mini coffee maker because of its compact size and more affordable price compared to other brand machines. It’s less than 5 inches wide, which Malin said is perfect for the limited counter space in her small apartment. shari uyehara, editorial operations manager for select, also owns this machine and said it’s a great option for people like her who are the only coffee drinkers in her household. The Keurig’s cord can be tucked in the back when not in use and its drip tray is removable so you can fit travel mugs up to 7 inches tall. the coffee maker automatically turns off 90 seconds after its last preparation. It comes in colors like black, dusty pink, poppy red, and studio grey.

        nespresso vertuo plus

        • Prep sizes: 5 and 8 ounces
        • compatible with: nespresso vertuo coffee and espresso capsules
        • water reservoir size: 40 ounces
        • rating: Average rating of 4.6 stars from over 13,800 reviews on amazon
        • mili godio, associate reporter for select, said the nespresso vertuo plus is her “most prized possession” because of its convenience. At 9.i inches wide, it doesn’t take up too much space on your small apartment kitchen counter and allows you to make coffee, espressos, and other beverages. The machine automatically adjusts the coffee size, temperature, pressure and brew time after reading the barcode on the capsule you insert. you can change the position of the water tank of the machine or remove it completely when you need to refill it. The coffee maker comes with a built-in pod storage container and heats up in 15 seconds, plus it automatically shuts off after 9 minutes of inactivity. You can buy it in colors like red, grey, ink black and matte black.

          instant dual pod plus coffee maker

          • Prep Sizes: 2, ​​4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces
          • compatible with: keurig k-cup pods, nespresso pods and included reusable pod
          • water reservoir size: 68 ounces
          • rating: 4.2 star average rating from over 6,500 reviews on amazon
          • See also: Best Colombian Coffee: 7 Best Brands

            Launched in early 2022, the dual pod plus instant coffee maker is one of the brand’s newest products. instant sent us a machine to try, and malin said she loves that it’s designed with two separate pod slots, one for k-cup pods and one for nespresso pods, so you have a wide variety of coffee types and flavors to to choose. the coffee maker also has a “bold” option that you can select if you want to make a stronger coffee. you can fit travel mugs up to 7 inches tall under the dispenser with the removable drip tray and it has a smaller drip tray that opens to hold espresso glasses or teacups.

            hamilton beach scoop individual coffee maker

            • Prep Sizes: 8 or 14 ounces
            • compatible with: coffee grounds
            • water reservoir size: 40 ounces
            • rating: average rating of 4.2 stars from over 1,000 reviews on walmart
            • Instead of pods, the Hamilton Beach coffee maker brews a single cup with a mesh filter basket that doubles as a scoop, ensuring you always measure out the correct amount of ground coffee. The machine’s adjustable base can accommodate multiple heights and different sized mugs and travel mugs. the machine also offers a “bold” brew setting to make a stronger cup of coffee.

              cuisinart premium single-dose coffee maker

              • Prep sizes: 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 ounces
              • compatible with: keurig k-cup pods and cuisinart’s homebarista reusable strainer cup
              • water reservoir size: 72 ounces (40 ounce model also available)
              • rating: 4.4 star average rating from over 15,300 reviews on amazon
              • The Cuisinart Single Serve Coffeemaker has a built-in carbon water filter that, according to the brand, removes chlorine, calcium, and other impurities from the water. You can set the brew temperature for each beverage you make and brew hot water in addition to coffee, hot chocolate, or tea. the machine comes in colors such as silver, matte black and white

                nutribullet brew choice capsule + jar

                • brew sizes: 6, 8, or 10-ounce cups or 6, 9, or 12-cup pitchers
                • compatible with: keurig k-cup pods, my k-cup universal reusable coffee filter, or coffee grounds
                • water reservoir size: 96 ounces
                • rating: 4.1 star average rating from 30+ reviews on best buy
                • with nutribullet’s first coffee machine, you can brew single-serve coffee or brew a large carafe, which is included with the machine. The machine uses brew sense technology to automatically detect whether you’ve added a pod or filter basket. fits travel mugs up to 7 inches tall below the brew spout.

                  what are single-dose coffee machines?

                  Single-serve coffee machines are designed to produce brewed coffee in small batches, typically between 5 and 12 ounces, experts said. they prepare coffee in seconds, which is their main attraction, but also why the quality of their preparation could be affected.

                  “In any coffee preparation method, the right temperature of the water is essential for a good extraction,” Rodríguez said. “Because single-serving brewing occurs in such a short amount of time, some machines face the challenge of being able to reach a proper brew temperature.”

                  Because of this, coffee brewed in a single-serve machine may taste weaker than if you used a drip coffee maker, for example. Single-serve machines also don’t let you customize the brew settings, which Rodriguez says can prevent you from making a strong cup of coffee. however, some single-serve coffee machines are designed with a “bold” feature, like the instant and hamilton beach models we recommended above. Brands say that brewing “bold” coffee generally means that the machine keeps the hot water in its brewing chamber for a longer period of time, which extends the amount of time flavors must be extracted from the ground coffee.

                  pods vs. reusable beer baskets

                  Single-dose machines use disposable pods or reusable filter baskets to brew coffee. Capsules, used with Keurig or Nespresso machines, for example, are pre-ground coffee capsules packaged in aluminum or plastic containers. Rodriguez explained that the coffee inside is ground to a specific particle size to optimize extraction and flow rate during brewing. reusable filter baskets, on the other hand, are designed to hold just the right amount of ground coffee for a single cup. you have to add ground coffee to the filter each time you use it.

                  See also: Orthopedic Precautions 101 for New Occupational Therapists

                  Brewing coffee with pods instead of a reusable filter basket is one of the top factors experts say you should consider when shopping. Here’s what you should know about them before you buy them:

                  coffee capsules

                  Using capsules with single-dose machines has two drawbacks: the lack of fresh coffee grounds and the generation of waste. the pods are packed with ground coffee weeks, or even months, before you buy them, so they’re not fresh when used. This can affect the strength and flavor of your drink, said Kaleena Teoh, director of education at the Coffee Project NY Academy. and the use of disposable capsules every day, or several times a day, creates a lot of waste.

                  However, companies are beginning to catch up with demand. “[As] the specialty coffee industry has begun to embrace the coffee pod revolution and the demand for single-serve machines, we are seeing tremendous innovation and improvement in the quality and variety of machines and pods alike,” Rodriguez said.

                  One such innovation is recyclable and compostable capsules, teoh noted. For example, as of 2020, 100% of Keurig K-Cup pods are recyclable. You can also request a free recycling bag to collect your used Nespresso capsules and, when full, send it back to the brand at no cost by visiting any drop-off point (new york city residents, however, can place the nespresso capsules directly into your recycling bin, says the brand). Reusable pods are also available for some single-serve machines, notably Keurig and Nespresso models, which act as a small brew basket that you fill with the ground coffee of your choice.

                  If you’re interested in buying a machine that uses pods, experts said it’s important to research the types of grinds and the flavors they come in to make sure they match your coffee preferences. Beyond coffee and espresso pods, some brands sell pods for hot chocolate, tea, matcha, and more.

                  reusable beer baskets

                  Compared to pods, reusable brew baskets “offer the freedom to brew with the coffee of your choice and are better for the environment,” teoh said. you can grind coffee every time you need to fill the filter instead of buying pre-ground beans, which makes the brew fresher.

                  Because the pods are filled with pre-ground coffee, teoh said they “lose a lot of aroma compounds after grinding, and there will also be a lot of surface area for oxidation.” In other words, after being ground, the coffee begins to lose some of its smell and flavor. To combat that problem, the pods are often flushed with nitrogen to prevent oxidation, Teoh explained. therefore, using freshly ground coffee in reusable brew baskets eliminates any additives that may be in the pods.

                  meet our experts

                  At select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

                  • jessica rodriguez is a coffee trainer who previously worked at the specialty coffee association, a nonprofit coffee trade organization.
                  • kaleena teoh is the director of education at the coffee project ny academy. coffee project ny is a coffee shop, award-winning coffee roaster, and specialty coffee association certified coffee training campus.
                  • Catch up on select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech & tools, wellness and more, and follow us on facebook, instagram and twitter to stay up to date.

                    See also: Cinnamon In Coffee

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