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Best Single Serve Coffee Makers Reviews and Buyer’s Guide.

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Sasha Pavlovich

09/11/2021 · 3 min reading

You can have your coffee and drink it too. A single serve coffee maker will create one cup made just the way you like. That’s right, no one gets to fight over the last bit of coffee left in a carafe.

Simple and neat, all you need to do is pop your favorite coffee pod in and let it brew directly into your coffee mug. This reduces coffee waste and promises a fresh cup of coffee whenever you want one.

Of course, some of these coffee makers are better than others. But which is the best single serve coffee maker? Let’s go over our top picks.

The 10 Best Single Serve Coffee Reviews

1 Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 2-Way Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 2-Way Coffee Maker
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Our absolute top pick for the best single serve coffee maker is the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 2-Way Coffee Maker. While this 111-year-old company does not specialize in coffee makers, theirs tend to be both affordable and functional. And this machine gives you the best of both brewing worlds: a single-serve side and a carafe side.

You can choose between two different brewing strengths: regular or bold. Either way, you get a lot of flavor coming through from both the drip brewer and the single-serve. Regular takes slightly less time than bold, but bold definitely enhances the richness of the end-product.

This 2-way coffee maker might seem like it should be big since it is two coffee makers in one. However, it has a space-saving design, measuring in at about 13 inches high and 12 inches wide. It can fit on almost any kitchen countertop along with other appliances.

When you need to clean the FlexBrew, doing so is easy. Most of its parts are removable, including the carafe, drip tray, and K-Cup brewing elements. All of them are dishwasher safe, too. As far as cleaning the interior goes, a simple vinegar and warm water mixture will suffice for a quick scrub-down.

Pros:

  • Lets you brew a single cup or into a carafe
  • Single-serve side fits a travel mug
  • Controls are easy to use
  • An affordable price tag
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Not as fast as a Keurig
  • Some consumers report the machine blowing the lids off the pods, getting grounds everywhere

2 CUISINART Premium Single-Serve Brewer

CUISINART Premium Single-Serve Brewer
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The CUISINART Premium Single-Serve Brewer works well for the home or office. Its 72-ounce reservoir means that you will not have to constantly refill it with water. It also has a reusable filter that is tucked inside a little hidden compartment on the righthand side.

This CUISINART model is one of the better pod coffee makers because of how little time it needs to preheat. This particular model can heat up and brew a cup of coffee in under a minute and a half. And, at 172 degrees Fahrenheit, this makes one of the hottest coffees possible on any single-serve.

You can select from five different brew sizes: 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces. You can also do a regular brew or just snag some hot water. This machine is compatible with all Keurig K-Cup pods as well as reusable pod cups containing your favorite coffee grounds.

Pros:

  • Able to serve hot water
  • Five brew sizes
  • Rapid preheating and brewing time
  • A programmable rinse cycle

Cons:

  • Larger brew sizes might make the coffee seem more watery
  • Users report the machine splashing coffee back onto the countertop around it

3 BREVILLE-NESPRESSO VertuoPlus

BREVILLE-NESPRESSO VertuoPlus
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Looking for an impressive espresso machine? If so, the Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus might be right up your alley. As thousands of satisfied (and well-caffeinated) Amazon users will tell you, the VertuoPlus numbers among the best single cup coffee maker on the market. Its special Centrifusion technology inserts a capsule (which is basically a souped-up coffee K-Cup pod) that spins at up to 7,000 rotations per minute once activated. When it is done, the capsule will simply eject itself. There is an automatic blend recognition that brews based on the capsule you select. This results is a coffee shop-like smooth blend.

The capsules - which are made from aluminum - are recyclable, making them more sustainable than regular coffee pods. These pods cost between $0.85 to $1.20 each but will save you money in the long-run if you are at the coffee shop almost every day. This also helps to offset the initial cost of the machine itself.

Brew size options include 1.35, 2.7, 5, 8, and 14 ounces. The water reservoir comes in a little on the small side at 37 ounces. However, this single serve coffee maker takes up relatively little in the way of counter space, and it looks attractive next to your other kitchen appliances.

Pros:

  • Produces barista-level blend quality
  • Can prepare hot or cold coffee
  • Aluminum capsules can be recycled
  • One-touch brewing

Cons:

  • Espresso might seem under-extracted to some people
  • Buyers report that coffee only comes out warm, not hot

4 Keurig K-Classic

Keurig K-Classic
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Nothing beats a classic - the Keurig K-Classic, to be exact. I bought my first one while working on my Master's degree, and it kept me caffeinated enough to make it through my thesis defense. Many of us have fond memories associated with our first Keurig. That's why the K-Classic is truly the People's Choice for best single serve coffee maker.

The K-Classic is simple in its design. There are a few buttons for the controls. Just pop your K-Cup pod in, press the lid down, select your cup size (6, 8, or 12 oz.), and let it brew right into your favorite mug. The 48 oz. reservoir might seem small compared to newer models, but you can still get through about six cups without needing to refill it. And the removable reservoir and drip tray are both easy to take apart and clean. Deeper cleans are possible with the descaling function.

Affordably priced, you can get a quick cup from this K Cup coffee maker, and you don't have to worry about a carafe sitting on a hot plate for hours on end as the coffee goes bad. Also, if you are not a fan of the single-use pods, you can get reusable coffee pods on the cheap. Almost all of them are compatible with the K-Classic.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use controls
  • Descaling provides a deeper clean
  • Affordably priced
  • Quickly brews a cup of coffee

Cons:

  • Pump might stop working after about one year
  • Quality of the machine can be hit-or-miss according to reviewers on Amazon

5 Breville Barista

Breville Barista
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Ever wish you could just hire your own barista? Well, in a sense, you can - at least, you can buy the Breville Barista to meet all your coffee-related needs. While this is certainly a more expensive model than the others on this list, it holds its weight in features and capabilities, including its own built-in grinder.

The Barista brews espresso quite well, and it comes with 4 portafilter baskets for making your coffee. There are single- and double-shot espresso filter baskets for both pressurized and normal brewing. The thermocoil allows for rapid heating up, and the machine is capable of pre-infusion, which fully saturates the coffee sitting in your portafilter.

Need to see which bar your machine is brewing shots at? The control panel features a pressure gauge for easy read-out. "Espresso Range" will tell you if your machine is brewing between 8 and 10 bars (with 9 being the golden standard for shots).

While some of the body is made from plastic, quite a bit is also crafted from stainless steel. In other words, you get a stronger build quality than you do from plastic-only machines.

Pros:

  • A comprehensive domestic espresso machine for the money
  • Produces adequate pressure for steaming milk and brewing coffee
  • Includes a built-in grinder
  • Ideal for hobbyist baristas

Cons:

  • The price tag
  • Cannot steam and brew at the same time
  • Portafillers are relatively small

6 Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker
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If you want your single serve coffee maker to come with a glass carafe, the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker might serve you well. With a grand total of six brew sizes and a large list of features equipped, the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is a one-cup coffee maker that can do just about anything.

Seriously, this machine caters to just about everyone. Like your coffee cold versus hot? There is an iced coffee function. Want something a little richer in tastes? Hit the Specialty Brew function for a richer concentration that works well for lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos. There is even a fold-away frother that allows you to create a coffeehouse-like foam atop your drink.

What's best is that this is a totally pod-free machine. What you get instead is an integrated smart scoop that tells you how many scoops are necessary for making the drink you want. Matched up with a permanent filter, this machine can certainly help you lessen your carbon footprint.

The 50 oz. reservoir is easy to remove and place in the dishwasher for a good rinse and dry. All in all, clean-up is just as easy as making your coffee.

Pros:

  • Ability to brew a single cup or a glass carafe
  • Easy-to-use removable 50 oz. water reservoir
  • Ability to make iced coffee
  • A handy fold-away frother for creating foamy surfaces

Cons:

  • Its bulky size and weight
  • Some buyers report coffee grounds flying everywhere with use
  • More expensive than other single-serve machines

7 Hamilton Beach Scoop Coffeemaker

Hamilton Beach Scoop Coffeemaker
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Shopping on a budget? The Hamilton Beach Scoop Coffeemaker won't break your bank account, but it is also by no means a cheap, run-of-the-mill one cup coffee maker. In fact, it is perfect for use with coffee grounds as opposed to those not-so-environmentally-friendly K-Cup pods.

With its single-serve scoop, you just scoop up the appropriate amount of grounds, place the filled scoop right where the filter goes, and voila! You can quickly brew a hot cup of coffee. It takes the machine 90 seconds to brew the standard 8 oz. cup size and just under 2 and 1/2 minutes to fill a 14 oz. travel mug. Whether you want regular or bold, you can simply fill up with grounds and let it go.

After the machine is done brewing, it will automatically shut itself off. Also, if you are like me and hate cleaning up a messy drip tray, take comfort in knowing that this coffeemaker is equipped with a spill-resistant drip tray that takes very little time to scrub down after use.

Given its small, slender size, the machine takes up hardly any counter space. This is the type of machine you can take with you in a camper or RV because of its space-saving design.

Pros:

  • Does not take up much counter space
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Stainless steel design makes it durable
  • Brew regular or bold
  • Budget-friendly cost

Cons:

  • Cannot make a cold brew
  • Will not accommodate taller mugs

8 AdirChef Grab N' Go Personal Coffee Maker

AdirChef Grab N' Go Personal Coffee Maker
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The AdirChef Grab N' Go Personal Coffee Maker is simple and caters to the on-the-go, no-time-to-brew individual. This lightweight machine makes it easy for you to carry its included travel mug with you wherever you go. Avid campers will find it easy to pack this machine and take it along for daily use.

The AdirChef's easy-to-use nature is what really makes it stand out. It brews a respectable 15 oz. of coffee into the included travel mug. It has a one-touch system that takes all the effort out of you having to play around with settings. Once the mug is full, the machine will automatically shut itself down, saving on energy.

The mug itself is totally portable with a good grip around the outside to prevent slippage while carrying. The mug is made from stainless steel, so even if you do drop it, it will not break. It is small enough that it fits into most cup holders but big enough to keep you caffeinated while heading off to work, taking a hike in the woods, or dropping your kids off at school.

Pros:

  • Works well for on-the-go people
  • Stainless steel travel mug is included
  • No paper filters required
  • Is dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Not K-Cup compatible
  • Water gets trapped between inner and outer layers

9 AEROPRESS Coffee and Espresso Maker

AEROPRESS Coffee and Espresso Maker
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Need a super-quick way to make both coffee and espresso? The AEROPRESS Coffee and Espresso Maker offers up an extremely short brew time, lets you brew Americano and espresso, and is easy to carry with you as you travel.

It might not be the most aesthetically pleasant coffee maker our there, but it is among the best single serve coffee maker models that you can port around with you. Even if you have never used a coffee maker before, this one will come off as being completely intuitive. Most manual coffee makers have a learning curve, but this one just involves adding the ground coffee, pouring hot water, stirring, putting the paper filter into the cup, and pushing the plunger down.

You can make anywhere between 1 and 4 cups of coffee in under a minute, which is a lot quicker than a French press. And the clean-up process takes hardly any time since its filter means you won't have to deal with any residue (again, a benefit over the French press).

Pros:

  • Is able to make espresso and cold brews
  • Highly customizable
  • Easy to carry around
  • Does not leave residue like a French press

Cons:

  • You cannot drink from it (bring your own cup or mug)
  • Not all that attractive to look at

10 Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper, Size 02

Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper, Size 02
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Perhaps you are thinking about getting a plastic coffee dripper. If so, then pay attention to the Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper, Size 02. The Hario is a drip brewer that allows you to perfect your drip coffee technique. But it will take a lot of patience and learning.

Pour over brew coffee is a difficult technique to master, but it makes for some superb coffee. The Hario is available in multiple colors and sizes, giving you a lot of options. Its ceramic design comes from Arita, Japan, the home of Japanese ceramic crafting since 1616. But opting for the plastic model means a lot more durability. So it is up to you how fancy you want to go.

The V60 is the most user-friendly (if that can be said of a manual dripper) of its kind. You can get an even extraction from this pour over brewing technique with the V60 in use. The control over brew quality is totally in your hands, as you will not need to worry about a machine compromising your brew.

Affordable and small, the V60 is easy to take with you anywhere you go. Take it with you on your next camping trip or bring it with you to your friend's house to teach them how to use it.

Pros:

  • Easy to afford
  • Highly portable
  • Avoids the use of K-Cups or filters
  • Gives you creative control over your brew

Cons:

  • Comes with a large learning curve
  • Won't brew as richly as some other pour-overs

11 OOMPH 2.0

OOMPH 2.0
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There is no way I could write this review and not include the OOMPH 2.0. This 2-in-1 pressure brew and coffee maker comes with its own insulated travel mug. It is indeed a manual coffee maker, and it is hands-down among the best single serve coffee maker models. It only takes 1 to 2 minutes to make your coffee using up to 26 grams of coffee grounds.

The OOMPH's unique design helps it lock the coffee in - literally. The aromas and flavors get sealed right in when you press down on the top part. This design prevents bitterness by separating the grounds from the brewed coffee.

The coolest part about this one cup coffee maker is that, when it locks, it becomes an insulated travel mug that is entirely watertight. Innovative, right? I certainly think so, and I'm not easy to impress when it comes to coffee makers.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to carry
  • Takes less than 2 minutes
  • Leaves plenty of room for adding sugar and milk or creamer

Cons:

  • Not yet available on the wide market, as it is currently being funded and developed

Things you should consider before buying a Single Serve Coffee Maker

Brew Speed

How quickly do you need to get your coffee and go? Can you wait a few minutes, or do you need it in 90 seconds or less? If you can wait for your coffee to brew, a single-serve coffee maker will generally work quickly enough. But some are much faster than others. Look for a maker that has a time of 90 seconds, max, if speed is essential for you. A manual coffee maker might be the best option in terms of quickness.

Options for Brewing

What kinds of brewing options do you need? If a standard cup of joe suffices, something with a 50 oz. carafe might be right for you. But if you’re like me, you need that double-shot of espresso. And that means you might want to fork over more money for a machine that is able to make espresso. You can save money by getting a manual maker that can do espresso, but if you prefer machines, you might want to get a 2-way coffee maker with an espresso side.

The Price

Costs vary quite widely with single serve coffee makers. You could spend only a few bucks for something manual or well over $600 for the full barista treatment. The more comprehensive your needs are, the more expensive your ideal machine will likely be. But there are machines that provide a good middle-ground, such as the dual-purpose coffee makers.

Pods, Capsules, or Grounds

Which method do you prefer using – pods, capsules, or grounds? Plastic K-Cup pods are harmful to the environment, but reusable filter pods are available for cheap. Capsules are typically made from aluminum and are therefore recyclable, lessening that carbon footprint of yours. And, of course, grounds are a tried-and-true method for most of us but can often be messy and complex.

If you want to avoid grounds as well as plastic pods, find a coffee maker that includes a reusable pod filter.

FAQ

  • Are single serve coffee makers worth it?

    Most are worth it if you are not living in a household where huge carafes get consumed every day. They are easy and efficient to use.

  • What types of coffee can single-serve brewers make?

    These brewers can make any coffee of your choice using pods, capsules, or coffee grounds. Some are able to make espresso, specialty drinks, and iced coffee.

  • Can I use coffee pods in a regular coffee maker?

    A regular coffee maker with a glass carafe means that you cannot use pods. You will have to use coffee grounds.

  • How do you clean a single serve coffee maker?

    Most have removable parts for easy cleaning and are dishwasher-safe. Some machines have self-cleaning methods built into them.

  • Can coffee pods be recycled?

    Plastic coffee pods are non-recyclable. About 16 billion end up in landfills each year. Reusable pod filters can be used instead and are much better for the environment.

Final Thoughts

All of these one cup coffee maker models have something to offer the right group of buyers. Most are easy to use, and they take little effort to clean up after. You also get a wide degree of customization on a lot of them since they can be rich in features. Even the manual drips offer you a lot of control.

While these are all good brewers, the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 2-Way Coffeemaker stands out as being the best single serve coffee maker around. The brand is highly regarded for reliability, and this particular model offers you the best of two worlds: the single-serve and the glass carafe.

Unlike many of the other brewers on this list, you can use the single-serve side and the carafe side at the same time since they have two separate water reservoirs. You get a lot of control over brew strength on either side, and the machine will simply turn itself off when it is done, giving you peace of mind as you sip a nice hot cup of joe.

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker

Sasha Pavlovich

Hi, I'm Sasha, and this blog is about coffee!

I'm myself an experienced barista with a high passion for coffee. Love brewing, cupping, and talking coffee non-stop. I hope you enjoy my blog and feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

View all posts by Sasha Pavlovich

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