- Kitchen Electronics
Single-Cup Coffee Makers: Best Single Cup Coffee Maker Comparison
Features to Look For in a Single Cup Coffee Maker
- Size: Take special note of coffee maker dimensions if your counter space is limited. If you're not quite sure how it will fit, sketch the coffee maker's dimensions onto a piece of paper, cut it out and try placing it on your counter to ensure the perfect fit.
- Grinder: If you like to grind your own, look for a single cup coffee maker with a built-in coffee grinder.
- Water Reservoir: Look for a coffee maker with a water reservoir that is easily accessible, preferably one with a reservoir that is removable to help prevent spills and overflow.
- Timer: If you like waking up to the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee, opt for a coffee maker with a timer that allows you to prep your morning java before you go to bed.
- Custom Brewing Cycles: Some single cup coffee makers come equipped with custom brewing cycles that allow you to make your coffee as weak or as strong as you like.
Keurig Elite Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System
Because it's a Keurig, this single cup coffee maker allows you to easily make individual cups of coffee, tea or hot chocolate from convenient K-cup pods. Because there are no messy filters and grounds involved, clean-up is a breeze. Simply open the top of the coffee maker, remove the pod and throw it away.If you want to use standard coffee, simply purchase a reusable filter and you can create your own custom blend.
Pros: Removable drip tray, two-hour auto shut-off, two brew-size options (7-1/4 oz. cup or 9-1/4 oz. mug), one-year limited warranty.
Cons: Requires four minutes of priming before it is ready to use; since water sits in the coffee maker so it's always ready to brew, the unit must be descaled occasionally to keep it in proper working order; consumers report vibrations and loud noise when brewing; may not be the best option for those who appreciate strong coffee. Because of the unit's height, you may have difficulty opening the top to insert a K-cup when sitting beneath a cabinet.
Size: 17.1" x 16.8" x 13.1"
Grinder: Not applicable.
Water Reservoir: Removable, 48 oz.
Timer: Not applicable.
Custom Brew Cycles: No.
Bosch Tassimo Single Serve Coffee Brewer
The no-muss no-fuss Bosch Tassimo single-serve coffee brewing system uses disposable T-discs that are available in a number of different flavors and blends. When you need your coffee in a hurry, the Bosch Tassimo will oblige with a steaming hot cup in less than one minute. The system is available in Glamour Red or Silk Silver -- both with black panels and chrome accents -- to complement any kitchen decor, and its narrow design is perfect for space-challenged counters. Make coffee, tea, hot chocolate or even cappucino or even lattes with real milk.
Pros: One-year parts-and-labor warranty, LED interface, includes two water filters for clean water in every cup, integrated storage for service T-discs and power cord, on/off switch on the front of the machine for east shut-off at night, quiet operation, no warm-up time, filter change indicator, brew button allows you to add additional hot water to your beverage.
Cons: Most varieties of T-discs available only from tassimodirect.com who ship only once per week (Fridays). Although brewing begins almost intantly, the system lingers at the end of the cycle and continues to dribble coffee into your cup, adding a bit of time to the overall brewing cycle.
Size: 13-1/4" x 8" x 11"
Water Reservoir: Removable, 67 oz.
Custom Brew Cycles: Customizable for both size and strength.
Mr. Coffee Single Serve Brewing System
When Keurig partnered with both Mr. Coffee and Cuisinart in 2009, they opened the door to new lines of single cup brewing systems by some of the best brand names in the business. Cuisinart now offers high-end and gourmet systems, while the Mr. Coffee brand is designed to be affordable. They both use convenient Keurig K-cups to brew an assortment of different coffee blends, teas and hot chocolates with minimal clean-up required. Add a reusable K-cup filter and fill with your favorite grind or make your own custom blends.
Pros: Comes with a removable drip tray for easy clean-up. Coffee is slightly stronger than with Keurig-brand coffee makers that are notorious for making a weak cup. Compact size is ideal for small kitchens. Quick brew cycle has your beverage ready in one to two minutes.
Cons: Very short power cord necessitates placing the coffee maker next to an electrical outlet or using a risky extension cord. Only one brew size makes 8 oz., not enough to fill most coffee mugs. The small size does not accommodate tall cups or travel mugs, even when the drip tray is removed. Only holds one cup of water at a time in the reservoir. Must refill each time before using.
Size: 7.2" x 10.5" x 11.4"
Water Reservoir: Built-in, top loading, holds 8 ounces.
Custom Brew Cycles: No.
Black & Decker Brew N' Go Personal Coffeemaker With Travel Mug
The Black & Decker Brew 'N Go's compact size and low entry price make it a perfect choice for the office or the dorm. Quick, quiet and efficient, the brewing system uses standard disposable filters and regular ground coffee to make the perfect cup every time at prices much lower than system using expensive pods, discs and cups. The system comes complete with an aluminum insulated 15-ounce travel mug for on-the-go sipping.
Pros: Accommodates oversized mugs and cups. Brews up to 15 ounces instead of the standard 8-ounce of most single cup coffee makers.
Cons: "Max fill" line on the built-in water reservoir is difficult to see.
Size: Compact, 2.4 pounds. Dimensions unknown.
Water Reservoir: Built-in, top-loading.
Custom Brew Cycles: No.
Hamilton Beach Personal Cup Stay or Go POD Brewer
With one of the lowest entry prices on the market, the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go single cup coffee maker fits just about any budget. The Stay and Go uses Senseo coffee pods, available in a wide variety of flavors and blends, for a quick and easy cup of coffee every time. Reusable pod filters are available that allow you to use your own favorite blend and keep your coffee costs low. Hamilton Beach includes 18 Senseo coffee pods to get you started on that perfect cup of java. (Travel mug not included.)
Pros: Minimal cleanup. Brew basket is dishwasher safe. Quiet, quick and efficient.
Cons: Must refill with water for each brew. Short electrical cord requires placement near an outlet or use of a risky extension cord.
Size: 8.9" x 8.6" x 11.7"
Water Reservoir: Built-in, top loading, up to 14 ounces.
Custom Brew Cycles: No.
Breville Gourmet Single-Serve Coffeemaker with Iced-Beverage Function
The Breville Gourmet Single-Serve Coffee Maker is the Cadillac of one-cup brewing systems. It uses standard K-cups for convenience, has a sharp LED display and comes equipped with a host of bells and whistles including five different brew strengths and variable brew temperatures to make everyone's perfect cup of coffee every time. In the warmer months, use the iced beverage function to serve up a 3-1/2 ounce shot of concentrated tea or coffee. Simply add water or milk and top off with plenty of ice for the perfect summertime beverage.
Pros: Iced beverage function; accommodates large cups and travel mugs; LED display; charcoal water filter; quiet pump technology; showerhead nozzle to prevent splashes; reusable K-cup and measuring spoon included and stores right in the unit's top compartment; sample pack of assorted single-cup K-cups included.
Cons: Large countertop footprint. Must prime system before first use. Must replace charcoal water filters occasionally. Three-inch long plug juts out from outlet, making it difficult to place coffee maker in front of outlet when plugged in.
Size: 14-3/4" x 12-3/4" x 16-3/4"
Water Reservoir: Removable, 60-ounce.
Timer: Yes. Built-in clock with auto on/off.
Custom Brew Cycles: Yes. 5 brew strength cycles, variable temperature cycles.
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Single Cup Coffee Maker Pros and Cons
Single-cup coffee makers are not for everyone at every occasion. Learn more about whether one-cup brewing systems are the right choice for you.
- Pods, discs and K-cups can be expensive,
- Not well suited for entertaining,
- Timer function not available.
- No built-in grinders.
- More expensive than traditional coffee makers.
- Fresh cup of coffee every time.
- Brew only the amount you need.
- Quick - no waiting for a full pot.
- Most do not require filling with water for every brew cycle.
- Brews right into your cup -- no scrubbing messy coffee pots.