"It has the speed and convenience that pod coffee makers are known for, but it feels high-end, more sophisticated. After adjusting the settings to my preference, to me the coffee tastes better than what I'm used to from single-serve brewers."
Our two top picks are quite similar as far as their value for money and the versatility they offer. The Nespresso Vertuo and Milk Frother wins out in the end because the coffee is generally considered to be tastier and of higher quality. But we all know taste buds vary, especially when it comes to coffee, so those who prefer Keurig can't go wrong with the K-Café.
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If your caffeine demands also include espresso drinks and iced coffee beverages, we recommend the Keurig K-Cafe (available on Amazon), the most versatile single-serve maker we tested. And if you just can't decide between Nespresso and Keurig brews, we'd opt for the Instant Dual Pod Plus (available on Amazon), which excels with K-cups, Nespresso capsules, and compostable pods.
The Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville delivers a dense, rich, and aromatic coffee. Our coffee had a foamy crema on top, and this single-serve coffee machine also brews espresso capsules, so you can make espresso, double espresso, and regular coffee.
Unfortunately, this machine doesn't come with a reusable pod, so if you're fussy about your coffee beans, you'll have to buy one separately. We also didn't love the espresso that came out of this machine; the shots were lacking any distinctive crema and that strong, espresso-like flavor. So if you're fussy about espresso shots, you might better off with our Nespresso winner (or a traditional espresso machine). Read our full review of the Keurig K-Café Smart.
The Instant Dual Pod Plus Coffee Maker is compatible with an array of different pods: K-cups, Nespresso Original capsules, Instant compostable pods, and even a provided reusable pod (which can be filled with your go-to coffee grounds).
It might not be the fastest brewing machine (average time for an eight-ounce cup of coffee took about 80 seconds), but it's certainly the easiest way to make tasty coffee that'll satisfy the whole family. Read our full review of the Instant Dual Pod Plus.
The Moccamaster Cup-One by Technivorm lives somewhere between automatic drip coffee machine and pour-over coffee maker. You fill it with your choice of coffee; it sports the ease of a drip machine, but with the technique and taste of a pour-over brew.
The Evoluo is capable of creating both espresso and regular coffee, but it can't make cocoa or iced coffee. In our tests, it brewed better tasting coffee than anything made by a K-cup brewer, and it puts a nice crema in your cup.
As with other VertuoLine machines, it automatically reads the barcode on the capsules to determine the brew time, size, and temperature. Also like other machines in this line, it has a one-touch brewing system. Its 40-ounce reservoir can make about five cups of coffee before it needs to be refilled.
We set up top-rated single-serve pod coffee makers and brewed at least 10 cups of coffee in each, assessing how long they took to brew, how easy their reservoirs were to fill, and how versatile they were for brewing tea, iced coffee, and hot chocolate.
Other qualities we looked for included the taste of the coffee and other beverages, the speed (all options we tested averaged one cup per minute), the temperature of the brew, how easy it was to disassemble parts for cleaning, and how easy it was to recycle the pods.
A pod coffee maker is undeniably the most convenient alternative to fiddling with a French press or waiting for a drip coffee maker. Here are some things to consider when looking for a single-serve coffee maker.
The convenience of single-serve coffee makers comes at a price, especially once you factor in the cost of pods. Before purchasing any single-serve coffee maker, you should also consider the long-term cost of pods.
The water reservoir capacity for pod coffee makers can vary greatly. The capacity of brewers we reviewed for the roundup ranged from 40 ounces to 75 ounces. Smaller machines can brew just a few cups, but take up less space on your countertop.
Like the water reservoir, the size of pod coffee makers can vary greatly. Since the larger machines will most likely live on your countertop, you should make sure you have enough space. Smaller machines can be more easily stored and can still deliver a great cup of coffee.
Water we use to brew coffee contains minerals, commonly calcium and magnesium. Minerals can build up over time and gradually accumulate as limescale. This can affect the brewing temperature and taste of your coffee. Eventually, it could cause your machine to malfunction.
This single serve machine takes only 15 to 20 seconds to preheat and then a single touch to start brewing. It brews using a patented technology known as Centrifusion. Hot water is injected into the capsule, which is then spun at 7000 rpm. This maximizes contact between the grounds and the water for the best extraction and flavor.
Given its rock bottom price, you might not expect much from the Chulux Single Serve, but you would be mistaken. This little single serve coffee brewer, perfect for a dorm room or RV, packs enough features into its compact frame to be a great value, not just a low price.
The 10-oz water tank is for single use. Add as much water as you want to brew, and it will keep brewing until the water is gone or you tell it to stop. This feature allows you total control over the cup size but will be an inconvenience for lovers of larger mugs of coffee.
Despite its tiny size, the Pixie sure made it into our best coffee makers list because it packs a punch. It heats in only 25 seconds and is equipped with a 19 bar high-pressure pump, ensuring properly extracted espresso with a rich layer of crema (3).
The Creatista is the most expensive brewer on our list, but it also has by far the most to offer. If you have the budget, and love of cafe-style drinks, this beautiful coffee maker deserves a place on your countertop.
The original Keurig machines were built with the office in mind, to spare workers the inevitable disappointment of a stale carafe of coffee, and they still find a welcome home there (4). Allowing each user to quickly brew a fresh serving of their favorite Keurig K Cup coffee, tea, or hot chocolate is perfect for the workplace.
In the past, having the flexibility to brew a carafe of coffee or just one cup meant having two separate coffee machines. But no longer. The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew 49966 satisfies both needs in a single, surprisingly compact machine.
The single-serve machine side comes with adaptors so you can brew using either Keurig K Cup pods or freshly ground coffee beans. Conveniently, whichever adaptor is not in use can be stored in the empty drip tray. It takes about 3 minutes from turn on to brew up a single serving, up to 14 oz.
The carafe side can be programmed to brew coffee on a timer. It features a stainless steel thermal carafe, which we much prefer to glass both in terms of durability and coffee quality. If you remove the carafe during brewing, it pauses automatically to avoid a spill.
Upon completion of brewing, the machine automatically ejects the spent capsule into the waste bin, and the machine powers down automatically after 9 minutes. A 24 oz water tank ensures you can brew up to 9 coffees before a refill.
We can broadly divide pod coffee makers into two categories: drip coffee makers and espresso machines. Keurig models, and Keurig alternatives typify the former market. On the other hand, Nespresso and their branded capsules dominate the latter.
Coffee drinkers that like plenty of customization options will be best suited to a coffee maker that lets you adjust the strength of your brew and create different sizes of hot drinks. Many premium coffee makers will let you do both of these things, but you can also adjust the strength and the aroma of your coffee with a good drip filter model.
Espresso machines work by using a pump to push pressurized water through coffee grounds so that it infuses with the water to make a smooth shot of espresso. If an espresso machine has a milk frother, it will use a boiler to push steam out of the machine which is then used to give the milk a velvety texture. Pod coffee makers work by using a compacted capsule of coffee and piercing a hole in the capsule. Hot water is then powered up through the machine and pushed through the capsule to create a coffee. Some more advanced pod machines, such as the Nespresso Vertuo Next, spin the coffee pod around at high speeds so that the contents evenly infuse with water for an even smoother cup of coffee.
If you're looking for a coffee maker to use at home, either because you're spending more time working remotely and want a cup of Joe that's the same quality as you'd get in the office, or you just want to cut down on your expenses by reducing your coffee shop visits, then you're probably wondering which is the best one to buy.
For true coffee-shop-worthy espresso, then it's worth investing in one of the best espresso machines on the market right now. These ensure you can tweak the strength of the coffee by changing aspects such as the volume of water used to brew the espresso, the length of time the brewing process takes, and how tightly or loosely compacted the puck (the disc of ground coffee) is.
If you don't want to spend all your time learning how to brew the perfect coffee, or cleaning up after it, then one of the best single-serve coffee makers, also known as pod coffee machines, will produce good quality espresso with minimal mess. We rate the Nespresso Vertuo Next, but our article which Nespresso machine is best? offers plenty of further information to help you decide. 781b155fdc