9 Best Dual Coffee Maker Reviews: One Coffee Machine; Two Brew Methods.
So you live in a large household? Or work in an office where everyone has different brew preferences? Perhaps you enjoy jumping between coffee styles to keep things interesting? Well, a dual coffee maker is your lifesaver. There is a lot to be said for the convenience of brewing coffee in a variety of ways but using only one machine.
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But there are so many different types of two-way coffee makers it can be quite hard to choose. To make your life easier, we’ve tested some top-rated drip coffee machines and picked the very best models for you to choose from. All you have to do is pick the best dual coffee maker for YOU.
At A Glance:
The Best Dual Coffee Maker: The Reviews
|Ninja Hot And Cold Brewed System||
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|Hamilton Beach Two-Way Brewer||
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|Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew||
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|Mr. Coffee Space-Saving Combo Brewer||
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|CucinaPro Double Coffee Maker||
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Let’s look at a few options that may make you smile:
Carafe of coffee? Single-cup? Tea? A frothy cappuccino? An iced coffee, perhaps? One thing is for sure, your coffee routine will never be boring with the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System. This incredibly versatile coffee maker can cater to pretty much anyone’s taste, allowing you to satisfy everyone’s individual preferences or simply mix things up yourself.
Made of ABS plastic, this brewer features two separate baskets so as not to compromise the final taste, one for ground coffee and one for loose or bagged tea. Thanks to the smart basket recognition, it will automatically know which one you’re about to brew.
As for customizability, you’ll be able to choose amongst 5 different brew styles and strengths (classic, rich, over ice, cold brew, or specialty) and 6 sizes, ranging from a single cup to a travel mug to a full carafe. With these options, you will wonder how you were ever satisfied with just one type of “regular coffee.” Thanks to the fold-away cup platform, you’ll be able to switch between smaller mugs and the large glass carafe. You can change the settings using the intuitive display and if, for example, you select the tea type, the brewer will adjust the temperature and steeping time automatically. Iced brews are suddenly just a few moments away, as are powerful frothy drinks and an array of hot coffee styles.
Additionally, it features a removable water reservoir that’s easy to refill and a smart scoop that can be stored within the machine.
If you love the sound of it but would first like to explore more Ninja coffee makers, check out our Ninja review roundup.
The Hamilton Beach 49933 Two-Way Brewer packs a lot of handy features into a rather compact machine that is kind to your wallet. Made of BPA-free plastic with attractive stainless steel accents, it’s available in either black or white, both of which have an elegant appearance. You’d never guess this was a budget coffee maker to look at it.
This machine can brew drip coffee into a 12 cup glass carafe or use fresh grounds to make a single cup of delicious coffee. It’s not compatible with K-Cups, a conscious decision by the brand to give you more flexibility in choosing your coffee and to make a positive environmental impact (1).
The Hamilton Beach Two-Way Brewer offers a lot of programmability for such a low-priced model. Users can program brewing up to 24 in advance and choose between regular and bold strength. It also includes a pause and serve feature so you can sneak a cup before the carafe is full, and a 2-hour automatic shutdown provides peace of mind.
While Keurig is famous for their single serving machines, they clearly couldn’t ignore the growing popularity of dual coffee makers. Our preferred model is the Keurig K-Duo Plus that, less than 8 inches wide, is a blessing for those who truly want to optimize their countertop space. Plus, thanks to the multi-position 60 oz water reservoir, you can place the tank to its right, left or on the back to adapt the coffee maker to your kitchen’s layout. The reservoir is also compatible with Keurig Water filters, which will improve the quality of your water and therefore your coffee.
This compact dual coffee maker comes with a gold-tone mesh filter for your coffee grounds, which you can use to brew full carafes as well as single cups. The K-Duo can also brew single servings of coffee with K-Cups or Keurig’s reusable filter.
You actually have plenty more choices than “carafe or single cup”: you can brew a 6, 8, 10 or 12 cup carafe and a 6, 8, 10 or 12 oz cup.
The K-Duo has a convenient pause and serve function so you can enjoy a cup of joe before the rest of the carafe is ready. Use the comprehensive interface on the top of the brewer to choose your coffee strength and pre-program your brew up to 24 hours in advance. It also has an energy-efficient auto off 5 minutes after your last brew (2).
If you fancy having a Keurig on your countertop, we’ve rounded up the best ones right here.
De’Longhi COM532M gives you the freedom of mixing up your coffee routine with entering the world of espresso. This dual coffee maker brews excellent regular coffee as well as espresso you will love.
The journey into the world of espresso is a rewarding one. When you become intimate with espresso, you become intimate with coffee.
When it comes to espresso machines, the name De’Longhi is a warranty in itself. This coffee maker brews at 15 bars of pressure, which is more than the required minimum for espresso. It even features a patented system that expertly extracts flavors and aroma for a rich and robust shot (3). While excellent on its own, your De’Longhi espresso can also be the base of your favorite frothy drinks. Use its steaming wand to craft your best cappuccinos or lattes!
But don’t worry, the drip side is no slouch either. It features a 10-cup glass carafe with a hot plate, and brewing is fully programmable. You can set it to brew on a timer, customize your coffee’s strength, and program its automatic shutoff mode.
If you want an espresso and filter dual machine, look no further! It even features a dual heating system, so you can brew coffee and espresso at the same time. Yet, if you’re more interested in just espresso, check out our De’Longhi round-up review.
The Cuisinart SS-15 is a reliable dual coffee maker. It will provide you with high-quality cups of coffee for a long time. The machine even comes with a 3-year warranty. The SS-15 is available in many colors — black, silver, copper, or white. So, you’re bound to find a version that suits your decor.
With the Cuisinart SS-15 you can enjoy both drip coffee or different sizes of a quick single-cup mug: 6, 8, or 10 oz.
While this machine is compatible with K-Cups and other coffee pods, we recommend something else. It’s better if you opted for the included reusable filter that lets you use your own coffee grounds. If you prefer stronger coffees, you’ll love its bold feature! And you can take advantage of the removable drip tray to brew into larger travel mugs.
The Cuisinart SS-15 is a fully automatic and programmable coffee maker. You can set it up to start brewing 24 hours in advance and customize both coffee strength and temperature. There is also an energy saving mode and a self-clean feature (always a blessing!). Its 40-oz removable reservoir is easy to access. Plus, the reservoir comes with a charcoal water filter to improve the quality of water in your coffee.
This machine is great for someone who wants customization and a variety of options but remains a filter-coffee loyalist. If you like this brand, here’s a review roundup of Cuisinart coffee makers.
The Cuisinart CHW-12 offers a very simple second function, but one that is perfect who drinks other hot drinks beyond filter coffee. As well as brewing carafes of coffee, the CHW-12 also has a hot water dispenser.
The CHW-12’s Hot Water System makes it possible to brew tea, and make instant coffee, instant soups, hot cocoa, and other hot drinks in less than a minute.
There are a few customization options, with this flexible brewer coming with a brushed stainless-steel main panel and either a black or red BPA-free plastic finish. Both of these options come with a 12-cup glass carafe but if you decide to go with the black option, you’ll then have the choice between the 12-cup glass carafe or 10-cup thermal carafe options.
Other key features include a charcoal filter on the water reservoir; a brew-pause feature for grabbing a cup of coffee before the full carafe has brewed; and a carafe temperature control and auto-on/auto-shutoff features. Handily, the CHW-12 also has a self-clean function.
Hamilton Beach’s FlexBrew line has been super-popular with consumers. It combines affordable prices with well-built machines, and (you guessed it!) plenty of flexibility when it comes to brewing possibilities.
This particular model even offers you the option of choosing a glass or thermal carafe. But we’d rather opt for the thermal version every time. It keeps your coffee warm without the risk of burning it on a hot plate. And this is well worth the few extra bucks. Not to mention, it’s virtually indestructible.
With the 49976 FlexBrew, you can brew either a 10-cup carafe or a single serving up to 10 ounces. Your drinks can be brewed using either ground coffee in the included filter basket, a K-Cup, or any other K-cup style pod. The drip tray is removable, so you can brew into a regular ceramic mug or tall travel mug. Like I said, this machine is known for flexibility.
That extends to its programming as well. You can set it to brew on a timer using the Easy-Touch programming design. And you can choose between regular or bold-strength coffee.
If counter space is at a premium but you still want the flexibility to brew either a full carafe or a single cup, check out this clever design from Mr. Coffee, which takes 50% less space than a traditional coffee machine.
Though it measures only a little over 7 inches wide, you’ll be surprised by the amount of functionality here. Using either pods or ground coffee, it can brew a full 10-cup carafe or just enough for one person — or, thanks to the Select-A-Cup feature, any amount in between! You can program it to brew at a later time, and unlike most dual coffee makers, this option works for both carafe and single cup modes.
It comes with a thermal carafe, which we think is always the best choice for coffee quality. But in this case, it also has the advantage of keeping this brewer’s footprint small, with no need for a hot plate and the accompanying electronics. We were equally impressed with the advanced water filtration system, something rarely seen in inexpensive brewers. It ensures the best water quality and thus the best-tasting morning java (4).
The CucinaPro Double Coffee Maker is essentially two coffee makers in one. It has two water reservoirs, each with its own water-level viewing window. Moreover, it has two hot plates, two 12-cup glass carafes, two filter baskets, and two brewing switches. It even comes with two coffee scoops.
So why not just buy two brewers? This double option will save you both space and money.
The CucinaPro double brewer is a great choice for homes or offices where not everyone has the same taste in coffee. Most commonly, customers love it for the ability to brew a pot of decaf and a pot of regular coffee at the same time (5). But it could just as easily be used to satisfy lovers of dark roasts and light roasts.
It’s definitely larger than a standard coffee maker, but that’s to be expected. The important comparison is that it’s smaller than two standard coffee makers. Even so, make sure you measure your space before you buy.
The main downside to this model is that it isn’t programmable. You can’t set it to brew on a timer, and the only way to choose your coffee’s boldness is to change the amount of ground coffee you add.
How to choose the best combination coffee maker
Now, have a quick look at our buying guide and take the time to understand exactly what you need from the best combination coffee maker you can find. While they won’t make extremely high-quality coffee when compared to something like an SCAA-approved coffee maker or even one of the best coffee makers in this list, they are convenient as hell…if you choose one with the right features.
There are several key features to look for, so read on!
What type of dual coffee brewer do you even want?
Unsurprisingly, the term ‘dual coffee maker’ refers to coffee machines that can brew two types or different quantities of coffee. For instance, some dual coffee makers can brew large pots of coffee as well as single servings. Others may brew carafes of filter coffee and espresso, or feature a hot water dispenser that can be used for tea or instant coffee.
When determining which kind of dual coffee maker to buy, it is important to consider what kind of coffee you prefer and the main way you typically adjust your brew.
Do you brew with K-cups or ground coffee?
Some dual coffee makers rely on ground coffee for both brewing methods, whereas others need K-Cups. Sure, coffee capsules are quick and practical, but they contain stale coffee, are very expensive in the long run, and worst of all, have a terrible environmental footprint.
It’s important to remember that quality (not convenience) is king when it comes to great coffee. While we’ve included some pod machines here, we strongly recommend that you buy a reusable Keurig or pod filter instead of the single-use capsules. That way, you can use fresh grounds, save money, and enjoy a more eco-friendly cup of coffee (6).
Is customization important to you?
Do you enjoy pressing a button and waiting for your usual cup of joe (find out how coffee got that nickname) to magically gush out without having to do much? If so, then there is no point in spending more money for a dual coffee brewer with a lot of customizable options.
On the other hand, if you enjoy being able to tweak your coffee strength or program the machine for frothy drinks as well, we’ve got some machines ready to deliver your perfect cup. When purchasing a more customizable coffee maker, make sure you understand the features of each model, so you don’t end up in over your head or disappointed with a machine that is too simple.
Thermal vs Glass Carafe
Short answer? We’ll always be on the thermal squad. Here’s where we listed and reviewed the best coffee makers with thermal carafe. Not only are stainless-steel carafes more durable than the glass alternatives, but they also keep your coffee hot for longer without over-extracting it or wasting electricity.
But if keeping your coffee hot is not a concern because a full carafe hardly lasts 10 minutes in your home or office, a glass carafe is a fine (and more economical) choice. Some of the coffee makers that we’ve included are available with both. Take your pick.
How much space do you have?
Best combination coffee maker will save you valuable space on the counter-top by performing the functions of two machines in one. That doesn’t mean, though, that some of these bad boys aren’t bulky. Be sure to check the dimensions to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Our best dual coffee maker in 2021 is the incredibly versatile Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System. In fact, this brewer does so much, calling it a dual coffee maker hardly does it justice. Not only can you make carafes and single-serve cups, you can also brew iced coffee, iced tea, and even frothy milk drinks like a cappuccino.
However, if you’re only a coffee drinker and would rather save some cash, opt for our top budget pick, the Hamilton Beach Two-Way Brewer. This fully programmable coffee maker can brew a delicious carafe or single cup and will hardly put a dent in your bank account.
The difference between drip coffee and espresso is that drip coffee is brewed slowly by water trickling through coarsely ground coffee beans whereas espresso is brewed quickly under high pressure using finely ground coffee. As a result, espresso has a more intense flavor and heavier body and is usually consumed in smaller quantities.
Both K-Cups and ground coffee can be used to brew drip coffee, but freshly ground coffee is always the superior choice. K-Cups contain very little coffee, so if you’re brewing a large mug, you’ll get a weak brew. Plus, the ground coffee in a K-Cup will inevitably be stale. And then there’s the negative environmental impact of single-use plastic K-Cups.
Bold coffee, in the context of a programmable coffee maker, is simply coffee that is brewed with a higher ratio of ground coffee to water, so you get a stronger flavor and higher caffeine content. In the context of shopping for coffee beans, “bold” often refers to a darker roast with a more pronounced flavor.
- Hamblin, J. (2015, March 2). A Brewing Problem. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/03/the-abominable-k-cup-coffee-pod-environment-problem/386501/
- How Much Energy Does It Take To Brew Your Office Coffee?(2017, September 29). Retrieved from https://business.directenergy.com/blog/2017/september/international-coffee-day
- Yew, S. (2021, April 12). Aroma, body, flavour, & finish: A beginner’s guide to tasting espresso. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2021/04/aroma-body-flavour-finish-a-beginners-guide-to-tasting-espresso/
- Makela, K. (n.d.) Coffee and Water – How to Use High Quality Water to Brew the Best Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.baristainstitute.com/node/275
- National Coffee Association. (n.d.) All About Decaffeinated Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.ncausa.org/Decaffeinated-Coffee
- Miller, P. (2019, March 28). The problem with coffee pods and the eco-friendly alternatives to use instead. Retrieved from https://inhabitat.com/the-problem-with-coffee-pods-and-the-eco-friendly-alternatives-to-use-instead/