How to Get Your Daily Fix of Caffeine With the 8 Best Single-Serve Coffee Makers

Buying one of the best single-serve coffee makers can be more practical than purchasing a traditional drip coffee maker if you live alone or are the only coffee drinker in your household. Unless you plan on drinking a lot of coffee each day, standard coffee makers require you to brew at least four cups at a time. The Cuisinart Single-Serve Reservoir Coffee Maker is our top pick because it is convenient, can use any kind of coffee pod, and has a permanent filter for fresh coffee grounds.

If you only need a few cups of coffee each day, the best single-serve coffee makers can save you time and money. [ ] just one cup of coffee

Photo by Retailers / Illustration by Forbes

When compared to brewing a full pot of coffee, the main advantages of a single-serve coffee maker are its convenience and speed, according to Maryna Gray, director of coffee at Bean Box. If you use single-serve coffee makers, you'll never have to worry about drinking cold or stale brew again. In addition, if you're the only one who's going to be drinking the coffee, there's no point in brewing an entire pot. ”

There are a variety of single-cup brewers on the market today from which to choose. Most people have used a Keurig or other pod coffee maker, which brews a single cup of coffee from a pre-packaged pod. However, single-cup drip coffee makers and pour-over coffee makers that don't require electricity are also readily available. Additionally, "super espresso" machines that brew single cups of coffee, espresso, and milk-based beverages have become increasingly popular. These are the best single-serve coffee makers of 2023, whether your priorities lie in simplicity and economy or extravagance.

Drip/pod style | 11 x 9 cm 33 x 12 Height: 13 inches | Capacity of water tank: 72 oz

The Cuisinart Premium Single-Serve Brewer is the way to go if you want the flexibility to use K-cups, other pre-packaged pods, or your preferred ground coffee. It works with any brand of coffee pods and includes a filter cup that can be used with loose coffee. The drip tray is detachable, so you can brew straight into your go-anywhere mug, and the machine has buttons for making drinks of 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces.  

This single-cup coffee maker features a programmable timer that can be set for up to 24 hours and a temperature knob for optimal brewing. It has an integrated water filter to improve the flavor of your coffee and an automatic rinse function to make cleanup a breeze.

Pros:

  • Coffee in capsules or beans
  • Drinks in 5 Sizes
  • Thermostatically Variable

Cons:

Pod-shaped; nine inches in length 9 x 12 7 x 13 1 inch | 75 ounce capacity for holding water

There are a number of Keurig models currently on the market, but the Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker is the best choice for the vast majority of consumers. Choose from four, six, eight, ten, or twelve ounce servings with this pod coffee maker that is compatible with the brand's K-cups. The machine not only dispenses hot coffee, but iced coffee as well, and if you're in need of a caffeine boost, you can press the "Strong Brew" button.  

The 75-ounce water reservoir in this Keurig allows for brewing of up to eight cups before requiring a refill, and the detachable drip tray makes it easy to use with travel mugs. High-altitude mode and temperature regulation are just two of the programmable features it has to offer.  

Although many consumers select Keurigs because of their K-cups, the My K-Cup Reusable Coffee Filter makes it possible to use your own freshly ground coffee with the appliance. Please note that this add-on is not included.  

Pros:

  • Alcoholic beverage sizes in fives
  • Huge water storage facility
  • Controllable heating and cooling settings

Cons: 

  • Purchase of reusable filter required.

Machine of the 17-cup capacity "super espresso" variety. 05 x 9 69 x 14 Height: 61 inches | Capacity of water tank: 60 ounces

Freshly ground beans are the secret to a better tasting brew, according to most coffee experts, including Gray. The Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine includes a bean hopper and grinder with 12 different settings to guarantee fresh grounds with every cup.  

This high-end machine automatically grinds fresh beans for each cup of coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiato, or americano it produces. The coffee maker's one-of-a-kind LatteGo frothing system automatically produces velvety smooth foam to top your drink, and you can customize the brew strength and serving size for each individual beverage.  

Pros:

  • Integrated bean-grinder
  • Can serve five people.
  • Mechanically frothed milk

Cons:

Class: Pod | Size: 12 1 x 11 x 17 Water capacity: sixty ounces | Height: two inches

The Keurig K-Café Smart Coffee Maker is one of the most cutting-edge options available from the company, thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity and integrated milk frother. This coffee machine can whip up fresh coffee, lattes, or cappuccinos based on the pod you insert, and the frother has three speeds and can produce either hot or cold foam.  

Additional personalization alternatives are available with this Keurig brewer. Connecting it to the Keurig app provides access to detailed instructions for preparing a wide range of specialty beverages, with five brew strength settings and six temperature options.  

Pros:

  • Prepares espresso and coffee
  • An in-house frother
  • Added options for personalization

Cons:

  • There's no way to reuse the pods

Coffee press; 4 in. in height and diameter. 6 x 3 6 x 3 6 inches | storage for water: nothing

The Aeropress Original Coffee and Espresso Maker is a favorite among coffee connoisseurs despite its unassuming appearance. Add your preferred ground coffee to the press, followed by hot water and a stir in this convenient single-cup coffee maker. Pressing the plunger makes an amazingly smooth, flavorful 8-ounce cup of coffee in under a minute. The press's one-of-a-kind microfilters trap sediment and allow you to brew both hot and cold beverages. The Aeropress's portable design makes it convenient for use anywhere, from the office to a remote campsite.  

Pros:

  • Minimalist and light
  • Simple and quick to implement
  • Consistently pleasant outcomes

Cons:

Size: 5x5x5mm (Pour-Over) Type: Coffee Brewer Water storage capacity: nada | Height: 5"

The OXO Brew Pour-Over removes all the mystery from making pour-over coffee, even if you've never used one before. This inexpensive gadget is made to fit snugly over a standard coffee mug. A cone-shaped filter and your preferred coffee grounds are all that's required. Then, hook up the water tank and add as much as 12 ounces of hot water. The auto-drink tank regulates the water flow so that coffee is always perfectly balanced. Additionally, you can simply place everything in the dishwasher after use.  

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Clear and legible labels
  • The ability to put items in the dishwasher

Cons:

  • In time, white can become discolored.

The pour-over coffee maker is a 5 5 x 5 Water storage: nada | Dimensions: 6 x 1 inches

For campers, GSI Outdoors created the Java Drip Collapsible Pour-Over Coffee Maker, which packs down into a disc just 1 inch in diameter when not in use. The pour-over is placed on top of a standard coffee cup or travel mug and lined with a cone-shaped filter. The pour-over's larger size also makes it ideal for brewing several cups of coffee simultaneously.  

The special flange of the Java Drip makes it simple to position the brewer over your mug, and it also protects against spills. Not only that, but it costs next to nothing.  

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Convertible structure

Cons:

  • Larger drip holes cause a watered-down beverage.

Size: 8 | Style: Drip 75 x 11 99 x 15 Water capacity: 40 ounces | Height:.04 inches

The Ninja CM401 Specialty 10-Cup Coffee Maker is a great choice if you're in the market for a coffee machine that can brew both a full pot and a single serving. There are a total of six different brew sizes available from this multipurpose machine: single serve, extra large, travel, multiserve, half carafe, and full 10-cup carafe. There are four distinct brew types from which to select: traditional, deluxe, over ice, and specialty. This machine can make coffee to your specifications.

And that's not all of it You can froth either hot or cold milk with the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker's foldable milk frother, and the machine's removable parts are dishwasher-safe.  

Pros:

  • Numerous options for personalization
  • Brewing by the cup or by the carafe
  • With a built-in milk frother,

Cons:

Think about upgrading your home kitchen with a single-cup coffee maker. If you want to get the best model for your family, keep these things in mind as you shop around.

Style

Different models of single-cup coffee makers offer different features and advantages. Electric models include both the classic drip style and the more modern pod system. Pod machines are more time efficient because they eliminate the need for measuring and filters, while drip machines let you use your own coffee grounds. There are high-end machines that can make single servings of coffee, lattes, and more using espresso for those who prefer these beverages.

Some manual single-cup coffee makers are also available. When preparing a single serving of coffee, many people turn to pour-over methods due to their ease of use and versatility in terms of brew strength and steep time. Coffee presses are another option for making a single serving of coffee, and they tend to be compact, lightweight, and easy to transport.

Choices in Coffee

You should think about the different kinds of coffee you can use in your new machine because the quality of the coffee you use directly affects the taste of your brew. For whole beans, there are high-end machines with built-in grinders; for ground coffee or pre-packaged pods, there are standard models with filters.

In particular, coffee pods, despite their convenience, are the least flexible option. “If you want a pod machine, look for one that can work with reusable pod cups, so you can brew your own specialty beans,” recommends Gray Coffee pods of high quality are uncommon and often prohibitively expensive. ”

Features

In contrast to the high-end electric models, which can be customized in terms of brew strength and temperature, manual coffee makers typically have a very simple design with few extra features. Depending on the model, you may be able to customize the brew strength, water temperature, and even make iced coffee with a single-cup coffee maker.

Some high-end single-cup brewers can also produce espresso and other beverages: "A push-button espresso machine for the home isn't cheap, but that coffee will taste better than most single-serve drip brews," says Gray. For frothing milk for specialty coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, some espresso makers include built-in milk frothers.

Is a Coffee Pod Maker Really Necessary?

There is a wide range of opinions on coffee pod machines; some people swear by them, while others can't stand them. The main advantages of coffee pods are their convenience and speed. Choose your preferred pod, insert it into the brewer, and press the button. A new cup of coffee will be in your hands in no time. Additionally, many popular coffee companies such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts offer their own coffee pods, expanding consumers' options even further.

However, if you have high coffee standards, a pod machine might not meet them. Coffee pods are convenient, but the quick brewing time usually means a weaker cup of joe.

To what extent do single-serving coffee pods have drawbacks?

The wastefulness of single-serve coffee pods is a common complaint. The plastic pods are meant to be discarded after a single use, so if you drink multiple cups per day, you'll generate a lot of waste that can't be recycled. As Gray points out, "pod-based coffee has its own waste built-in," but consumers can purchase reusable pod baskets.

Furthermore, drip coffee makers produce far superior flavor than coffee pods. To paraphrase what Gray has to say about single-serve coffee: "the main drawback is that the taste and quality of the coffee is generally lower." Many pod and single-serve brewers brew at a lower temperature to ensure a safe end cup, but this can cause the coffee to be under-extracted. ”

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