We hope you enjoy our comprehensive guide on the single cup coffee maker. With so many models to choose from, there can be some information overload! It is our goal to pick the best models in several different categories depending on your needs. Feel free to use the table of contents to jump straight to the reviews if you prefer. Otherwise, read on for some things to consider before making your purchase.
Table Of Contents
- Get The Best Single Cup Coffee Maker
- Types Of Single Cup Coffee Brewers
- Benefits Of Using A Single Cup Coffee Machine
- What To Look For When Choosing a Single Cup Coffee Machine
- The Best Overall Single Cup Machine: Keurig K55
- Best Cheap and Affordable: Hamilton Beach 49981A
- Best For Your Home: Keurig K15
- Best Machine For College: Keurig K130
- Best For The Office: Keurig K350 2.0 Brewing System
- Other Single Cup Machines Worth Checking Out
- Video: 15 Things Every Coffee Drinker Should Know
Types Of Single Cup Coffee Brewers
The first thing to consider is what type of machine you are looking for. Do you prefer the convenience and flexibility coffee pods provide? Or maybe you rather use the old reliable drip machine. Many drip machines come with single cup capabilities. In fact, you can get a machine that does both!
Single Cup Pod Brewer
I'm sure you all know what these are, but there are many different brands that can be confusing. Some cups are not compatible in some machines. Our recommendation is to stick with the Keurig coffee makers. They are the ones that started it all and there is a machine for every type of situation. The only thing you have to be a little careful about is whether you are getting a Keurig 2.0 machine. These newer models only accept single cups that are 2.0 compatible. Having said that, the vast majority of coffee roasters have converted over. But it's a good thing to keep in mind.
If you do go with one of these machines, take a look at http://mixcups.com for a convenient way to add a variety to your coffee drinking.
Drip Brewer With Single Cup Capabilities
These machines are what everyone is most familiar with. Drip machines are the most popular choice for making large pots of coffee. They are great for households with multiple coffee drinkers or family gatherings. But many of these coffee makers come with the capability to make a single cup of coffee or a full pot! Keep in mind the process is a little more involved than a pod brewer. You need to use a filter, add water, scoop your coffee, and clean up. We recommend these machines for the household that only needs to use the single cup feature occasionally.
Multi Function Brewer
As you probably guessed, this type of machine does both. It can accept a coffee pod or you can make one cup using the drip feature. We don't really recommend these. If you need to make pods and drip coffee, it's probably better to get separate machines. You'll get more choices and in our opinion, a better quality coffee maker!
Benefits Of Using A Single Cup Coffee Machine
The convenience of being able to brew a single cup of coffee directly into your mug or travel mug is a big factor. You do not have to brew a pot of coffee, only to transfer it into a mug. If you are rushed in the morning, you can simply brew a single cup of coffee directly into your travel mug and take it with you.
Another aspect of the benefits of using a single cup coffee machine is that you will always have a fresh cup of coffee. If you are making a pot of coffee at home, it will stand there for hours between cups being consumed. This often gives the coffee a stale, stagnant taste which you will not experience with a single cup coffee machine.
Being able to brew a single cup of coffee ensures that you use the exact amount of coffee and there is no wastage. Pots of stale coffee often get thrown down the drain simply because it has lost its flavor and all you want is a nice, fresh cup of coffee.
Different Flavors or Variety
If you are the adventurous type who loves to try new coffee flavors, you will find this to be one of the benefits of using a single cup coffee machine that will appeal to you. It is possible to obtain sachets of coffee or samples and these are ideal for your one cup coffee maker.
One of the really cool things about these types of coffee machines is that there really isn't much, if any, maintenance required. Sure, you have to clean it from time to time but really that is all there is to it!
What To Look For When Choosing a Single Cup Coffee Machine
In the late 1990s the single cup coffee machine became a popular addition to the modern kitchen. There are many benefits that you can get from this kind of coffee machine. Of course, to receive these benefits you have to know what to look for when choosing a single cup coffee machine.
The Type Of Coffee Machine
There are many different types of coffee machines on the market. It is possible to get single cup French presses and steam mocha pots. However, most people are looking for automatic coffee makers and they fall into two categories. As mentioned before, the first category is a single cup drip coffee machine and the second category is the single-serve systems that use pods.
Machine Limitations or Cup Restictions
There are a number of big brands that limit their coffee machines to their coffee. This is particularly true when you have a pod machine. These machines use special pods to create the coffee and leave you with no other option. If this is not an option that appeals to you then a drip machine would be better. Drip machines generally do not have any restrictions on the coffee you can use.
Measuring A Single Cup
When using a drip machine it may be hard to determine the amount of coffee needed to make a single cup. Certain machines will have an indicator which helps with this process. The single-serve machines are easier to use as a single pod is a single cup of coffee.
Looking at these factors ensures that you find the best coffee machine to suit your needs. Ease of use is possibly the most important aspect of a coffee machine.
The Best Overall Single Cup Machine: Keurig K55
- Easy to clean – actually, what is there to clean? You can dust it off from time to time with a damp cloth. I also occasionally wash out the drip tray but other than that, it is pretty much maintenance free and easy to clean. And it rarely drips too!
- Convenient – toss in a K-Cup, press a button, wait a minute and you are drinking some fine coffee! Quick and Easy!
- So many different types of coffee. It seems that a lot of coffee companies have got on the bandwagon and started producing all sorts of different coffees including flavored, decaf and more. Even Dunkin Donuts, Tim Horton’s and Starbucks have started selling their own K-Cups as well!
- Easy to use with one touch controls and programmable operation.
- Large sized 48 ounce water reservoir giving you plenty of cups before having to refill.
- Different brew sizes giving you some control on how big or small of a cup you can have.
Best Cheap and Affordable: Hamilton Beach 49981A
- No need to buy pods - use your own grind coffee with this drip brewer.
- Inexpensive and great for people on a budget.
- Made from long lasting stainless steel.
- Has settings for different coffee strengths for your tastes.
- Adjustable stand allows for regular coffee mugs to larger travel cups.
Best For Your Home: Keurig K15
- Add water and it brews a cup of joe in a quick two minutes.
- Selection for different brew sizes.
- Turns itself off after 90 seconds of inactivity.
- Easily remove the drip tray to allow more room for larger travel mugs.
- Available in a number of different colors to match any kitchen decor.
Best Machine For College: Keurig K130
- Even though this is mainly designed for hotels rooms, it would work perfectly in a dorm room too!
- Doesn't take up a lot of space making it perfect for a desktop or something similar.
- Has a cool mug sensor eliminating accidental spills.
- Uses standard K-Cups.
- Energy saver design.
Best For The Office: Keurig K350 2.0 Brewing System
- Gives you an option to brew in either a single cup or a 4 cup pot.
- Huge 60 ounce water storage.
- Specialty settings for hot chocolates, teas, and other drinks different from coffee.
- Strength control settings.
- Easy to use interactive display.