If you are looking for a convenient and easy way to brew a fresh cup of coffee every morning, you might want to consider getting a single coffee maker. A single coffee maker is a device that can brew one cup of coffee at a time, using either pods, grounds, or beans. There are many types and models of single coffee makers available on the market, but which one is the best for you? The answer depends on your personal preferences, budget, and coffee habits. In this article, we will review some of the most popular and highly rated single coffee makers and help you find the one that suits your needs.
What to look for in a single coffee maker
Before you buy a single coffee maker, there are some factors that you should consider, such as:
- Size and design: Single coffee makers come in different shapes and sizes, so you should measure your counter space and choose one that fits well. You should also consider the aesthetics and style of the coffee maker, and how it matches your kitchen decor.
- Capacity and reservoir: Single coffee makers can brew different amounts of coffee, from 6 to 16 ounces. You should choose one that matches your usual coffee consumption and mug size. Some single coffee makers have a water reservoir that can hold enough water for several brews, while others require you to fill the water tank for each cup. A larger reservoir can save you time and hassle, but it can also take up more space and need more frequent cleaning.
- Brewing options and features: Single coffee makers can offer different brewing options and features, such as strength control, temperature control, programmability, auto-shutoff, and more. You should decide which features are important to you and how much you are willing to pay for them. Some single coffee makers can also brew other beverages, such as tea, hot chocolate, or iced coffee, which can add more versatility and convenience to your coffee routine.
- Pods, grounds, or beans: Single coffee makers can use different types of coffee, such as pods, grounds, or beans. Pods are pre-measured and pre-packaged coffee capsules that are inserted into the coffee maker and pierced by a needle. Grounds are loose coffee that are scooped into a filter basket and brewed with hot water. Beans are whole coffee beans that are ground by the coffee maker before brewing. Each type of coffee has its pros and cons, such as:
- Pods: Pods are the most convenient and easy to use, as they eliminate the need for measuring, grinding, or cleaning. They also offer a wide variety of flavors and roasts to choose from. However, pods are also the most expensive and wasteful, as they generate a lot of plastic and aluminum waste that is not easily recyclable. Pods can also limit your choices, as some coffee makers are compatible only with certain brands or types of pods.
- Grounds: Grounds are the most common and traditional way to brew coffee, as they allow you to use any coffee brand or roast that you like. They are also more affordable and eco-friendly than pods, as they produce less waste and can be composted. However, grounds require more work and skill, as you have to measure, grind, and store them properly. They also require more cleaning, as you have to dispose of the used grounds and rinse the filter basket after each brew.
- Beans: Beans are the freshest and most flavorful way to brew coffee, as they preserve the aroma and taste of the coffee better than pods or grounds. They also give you more control and customization, as you can adjust the grind size and strength of your coffee. However, beans are also the most expensive and complicated, as they require a coffee maker with a built-in grinder or a separate grinder. They also require more maintenance, as you have to clean the grinder and the coffee maker regularly.
The best single coffee makers of 2024
Based on our research and analysis, here are some of the best single coffee makers that you can buy in 2024, according to different categories and criteria:
Best overall: Nespresso VertuoPlus: (Check Discounted Price Now) The Nespresso VertuoPlus is our top pick for the best single coffee maker overall, as it combines convenience, quality, and versatility. It can brew both drip-style coffee and espresso, using Nespresso’s patented Centrifusion technology that spins the pod at high speed and extracts the coffee with optimal pressure and temperature. It has a large 60-ounce water reservoir that can swivel and adjust to different positions, and a motorized head that opens and closes automatically. It also has a smart barcode system that recognizes the pod type and adjusts the brewing parameters accordingly. The Nespresso VertuoPlus comes with a welcome pack of 12 pods, and you can choose from more than 20 coffee varieties and four cup sizes. The only drawbacks of this coffee maker are the high cost and environmental impact of the pods, and the limited compatibility with other brands or types of pods.
Best with pods: Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker: (Check Discounted Price Now) The Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker is our top pick for the best single coffee maker with pods, as it offers a lot of features and options for a pod-based machine. It can brew five cup sizes, from 4 to 12 ounces, and has a strong brew button for a bolder flavor. It has a large 75-ounce water reservoir that can brew up to eight cups before refilling, and a removable drip tray that can accommodate travel mugs up to 7.2 inches tall. It also has a hot water on demand button that can dispense hot water for tea, oatmeal, or soup, and an iced button that can brew hot coffee over ice for a refreshing drink. It has a programmable clock that can set your brew time up to 24 hours in advance, and an auto-shutoff feature that can turn off the coffee maker after two hours of inactivity. It is compatible with hundreds of pod varieties from different brands, as well as reusable filters that can use your own grounds. The only drawbacks of this coffee maker are the high cost and environmental impact of the pods, and the occasional clogging or malfunctioning of the needle or pump.
Best with grounds: Hamilton Beach The Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker: (Check Discounted Price Now) The Hamilton Beach The Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker is our top pick for the best single coffee maker with grounds, as it is simple, fast, and affordable. It can brew up to 14 ounces of coffee in less than three minutes, using a stainless steel scoop filter that doubles as a measuring spoon. It has two brew options, regular and bold, that can adjust the water flow and extraction time to suit your taste. It has a built-in stand that can fit a standard mug or a travel mug up to 7 inches tall, and an automatic shutoff feature that can turn off the coffee maker after brewing. It is easy to use and clean, as it has no pods, carafes, or paper filters to deal with. The only drawbacks of this coffee maker are the lack of a water reservoir, which requires you to fill the tank for each brew, and the occasional spilling or splashing of the coffee during brewing.
Best with beans: Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine: (Check Discounted Price Now) The Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine is our top pick for the best single coffee maker with beans, as it is a premium and versatile machine that can grind and brew fresh coffee at the touch of a button. It can make five types of coffee, including espresso, coffee, americano, cappuccino, and latte macchiato, using an integrated ceramic grinder that can adjust the grind size and aroma strength. It has a 60-ounce water tank, a 10-ounce bean container, and a 15-bar pump pressure that can deliver a rich and smooth crema. It also has a classic milk frother that can steam and froth milk for creamy drinks, and a removable brew group that can be easily cleaned under the faucet. It has a user-friendly display that can show the settings and options, and a memo function that can save your preferred coffee length and strength. The only drawbacks of this coffee maker are the high price tag, the large size and weight, and the frequent descaling and cleaning required.
A single coffee maker can be a great addition to your kitchen, especially if you want to enjoy a fresh and delicious cup of coffee every morning without wasting time or money. However, not all single coffee makers are created equal, and you should consider your personal preferences, budget, and coffee habits before buying one. We hope that this article has helped you find the best single coffee maker for you, or at least given you some ideas and inspiration. Happy brewing!