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Coffee Makers - Single Serve or Carafe Coffee Brewer?

Updated on April 4, 2016

Single Serve Vs Carafe Coffee Makers

Every coffeemaker has its pros and cons. The best way to choose whether you need a single serve machine or a conventional carafe machine is to determine your needs.

Single serve coffeemakers provide one cup at a time without the extra carafe to clean or maintain. Single serve coffeemakers hold 10 to 12 cups of coffee in a reservoir that only expels coffee as needed per cup. Carafe-style coffeemakers use the classic glass or stainless steel carafe and provide the same 10 to 12 cups of coffee as single serve versions.

Note: This hub is not to be mistaken for a comparison of coffee brewers that only brew one cup at a time to regular coffeemakers. That will be for a future hub.


Conventional Carafe Style Coffee Maker

Standard carafe coffee maker.
Standard carafe coffee maker. | Source

Carafe Style Coffee Makers

Carafe style coffee makers are the conventional style coffee makers that gained popularity over the old percolator in the late 1970s. They made coffee brewing at home more convenient and ruined the percolator era. Since that time the automatic drip electric coffee maker has evolved several times, Each version of the carafe style coffee maker include a glass or stainless steel carafe where the coffee is stored after brewing and you can pour it at your leisure.

Single Serve Coffee Maker

Single serve coffee maker. Hamilton Beach Brewstation. I love it. I didn't get all the baking soda I use to clean it off of the stainless steel face.
Single serve coffee maker. Hamilton Beach Brewstation. I love it. I didn't get all the baking soda I use to clean it off of the stainless steel face. | Source

Single Serve Automatic Drip Coffee Makers

Just a few years ago Hamilton Beach came out with a single serve version of the automatic drip coffee maker. There is no carafe used for serving coffee from single serve brewers. There are other brands of this type of coffee maker. This particular type of coffee brewer is filled with water just like the carafe style coffee maker and it brews in much the same way. The difference is that where there was a carafe there is now a push bar/button that serves the coffee when you push your cup against it. No carafe needed. These are not the Keurig type of coffee brewers I am referring to in this case. These are automatic drip coffee makers that can hold 10 to 12 cups in reserve for single serve use.

Singe Serve Vs Carafe Coffee Makers

Do you prefer a carafe or no carafe?

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What's the Difference in Single Serve and Carafe Coffee Makers?

I'm not sure there is much difference between the single serve coffee brewers and the carafe-style coffee makers other than maybe the look. I'll admit I like being able to use my coffee mug/cup and getting my coffee right from the reservoir as opposed to having to pick up the carafe. Perhaps it;s the convenience that makes the difference.

Cleanup is not much different except there is no carafe to clean. However, there is the reservoir that comes off the coffee maker and that does have to be cleaned about once or twice a week. At least that's how I feel about that. The reservoir and the carafe are equally easy to clean for me. I think cleanup is not a factor in choosing carafe-style vs single-serve coffee makers.



Coffee beans that provide the ever-so-lovely aroma and flavor of coffee.
Coffee beans that provide the ever-so-lovely aroma and flavor of coffee. | Source

Is the Flavor Different Depending On the Coffee Maker Type?

Coffee flavor has not changed for me personally since I switched to the single serve Hamilton Beach Brewstation I have grown to love so much. It's my opinion that the flavor of the coffee is mostly dependent on the coffee brand and quality. I will say flavor does make a difference to my taste buds if the coffee reservoir or carafe is not cleaned out and vinegar is not run through the brewer after flavored coffee is brewed. I try to make sure to clean mine thoroughly once a week and run vinegar through the system once a month to keep it as germ-free and clean as possible. I do notice the difference then.

What's Your Coffee Maker Pleasure?

What kind of coffee maker do you prefer? If you only had to choose from the conventional single serve or carafe style coffee maker what would you choose. Remember this does not include the K-cup style coffee brewers like Keurig. This is about the kind that brew a whole 10 to 12 cups of coffee. The difference is in how it's served. In this case it's either single serve or carafe serve.

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