The 7 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers Of 2018 - HOMEGROUNDS

The Best Single Cup Coffee Makers Of 2018

Brewing a steaming pot of java to sip slowly over the course of a lazy Sunday is one of life’s great pleasures, but downing a quick cup to start a hectic workday morning or is an equally vital activity.

Read on for a summary of 2017’s best single-serve coffee makers, so you can get that caffeine in your bloodstream swiftly and efficiently without sacrificing quality.

OUR #1 PICK

The Best Value For Money

The Keurig K55 Coffee Maker

The Keurig K55 Single Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker is an innovator in the industry with their flagship product.

At a reasonable price, this machine gives a consistent and reliable cup for home baristas that need a quick cup in the morning.

It's compatible with K-Cup capsules, as well as the My K-Cup.

Why Choose Single-Serve?

Single cup coffee makers are a great option in many contexts including homes, offices, hotels and travel. Even those camping in the far back country need not be deprived of a perfect cup of joe.

Their greatest feature is undoubtedly their convenience.

Making a single cup at a time means everyone gets their coffee the way they want it and clean up between brews is a breeze.

Single-serve coffee makers also have a smaller footprint than those designed to brew a full carafe, so they’re perfect for those with small kitchens and travellers.

Nearly anyone can find use for a practical single-serve machine.

For even more reasons to opt for this brewing strategy, check out this video.


What To Consider Before You Buy

Electric Or Gravity-Powered

Single cup coffee brewers can be broadly divided into two categories: electric machines that plug into a wall socket or gravity-powered options that allow time or air pressure to percolate your grounds.

The best option for you is dependent upon your needs.

Electric machines are easier to operate, even in that early morning pre-caffeine fog, while unpowered options are great for travel or camping trips and are run no risk of breakdown.

To K-Cup Or Not To K-Cup?

Keurig’s introduction of the K-Cup, and subsequent imitations, revolutionized the single-cup coffee game in both positive and negative ways.

These convenient little capsules make brewing and cleaning up afterwards an absolute breeze and have become a staple in businesses and homes around the globe.

Not grinding or measuring your own beans means you’ll get cup after perfect cup with no room for error.

K-Cups also come in a variety of flavors so you need not buy a collection of syrups and creamers to get the perfect hazelnut latte one day and a minty hot cocoa the next.

However, choosing a K-Cup machine also comes with an environmental cost as their emergence has led to millions of the disposable plastic cups entering landfills.

A great alternative for use in K-Cup machines are refillable inserts such as My K-Cup which allow you to fill your own capsule with the beans and grind of your choice.

Many of the companies producing capsule machines are also at work on research to alleviate environmental pressures and Keurig has recently introduced recyclable capsules.

Coffee Pods Vs. Coffee Capsules

Though many reviewers and certain brands use the terms pod and capsule interchangeably, they in fact refer to two distinct coffee grounds containers.

Capsules are the small plastic cups favoured by Keurig and Nespresso, among others.

When slotted into a machine, they are pierced before being run through with pressurized hot water.

Capsules are convenient and they are sealed, meaning their contents stay fresh over long periods of time – ideal for sporadic coffee drinkers.

Pods are round bags of coffee that look a lot like large tea bags.

They are biodegradable and come in a standard size that allows them to be used with a variety of machines.

Don’t Want Coffee? Don’t Despair.

Many, but not all, single-use coffee machines can also be used to brew tea, hot chocolate or other beverages.

If you are a frequent partaker in coffee-alternatives, it is certainly worth investigating this option.

Most companies manufacturing coffee capsules also produce capsules for other hot drinks so capsule machines are great options.

They are particularly useful in households with one coffee-drinker and one tea-drinker as there is no need to clean the machine and remove any offending taste remnants between brews.

What Else To Consider?

Having considered all the options above, what is left in choosing the best single serve coffee maker for you?

Another big one is price and, in this marketplace, it varies dramatically.

The items reviewed below range from super budget to wallet hurting material. Determining your budget may be a great first step on the road to finding the best single-cup coffee maker for you.

The Best Single Serve Coffee Makes Of 2017

Now that we've given you some points on what to consider when buying a single-serve coffee makers, here are our top choices:

SINGLE SERVE

NAME

CAPACITY

BREW SIZE

PRICE

RATING

Keurig
K55 Single Serve

48 Oz

6, 8 & 10 Oz

$$

De'Longhi
Nespresso Pixie

24 Oz

1.4 & 2.8 Oz

$$$

Ninja
Coffee Bar

43 Oz

12, 14, 16 & 20 Oz

$$

AdirChef
Grab N' Go

15 Oz

15 Oz

$

The Aeropress

32 Oz

8, 16, 24 & 32 Oz

$

Primula
Single Serve Coffee

Brew Buddy

1.15 OZ

XX

$

Cuisinart
SS-780

80 OZ

XX

$

#1 - The Keurig K55 Single Serve Programmable K-Cup Coffee Maker

Keurig was an innovator in the single-serve coffee maker industry and their flagship product, now updated from the original, continues to be an Amazon number one best seller.

The K55 is their mid-level model, offering everything the home or office brewer could want at a very reasonable mid-level price.

A relatively large water reservoir limits the need for refills increasing efficiency on those hectic mornings.

This is the machine for the home barista looking for a consistent and reliable cup.

It is designed to work exclusively with Keurig’s proprietary K-Cup capsules which come in a huge variety of flavors and roasts as well as teas, hot chocolates and decaf.

It is also compatible with the My K-Cup so you can brew your own favorite beans.

PROS

  • Amazon Number One Best Seller for multiple years running
  • Convenient, consistent, and reliable for busy mornings
  • Large 48 ounce water reservoir brews up to 6 cups before needing a refill
  • Easy clean-up

CONS

  • Requires K-Cup capsules
  • K-Cup capsules can be expensive and are not recyclable
  • Stays powered on for a long time while idle

#2 - The Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine by De'Longhi

The Nespresso Pixie is a higher priced model that produces a barista-style result thanks to a high-pressure pump that fully extracts the robust flavor of the coffee beans.

It heats to temperature in only 25 seconds, a boon to those faced with hurried morning routines.

Unlike many lower-priced models, it can be programmed to dispense any volume so you can get the coffee strength you want in the mug size of your choice.

The Pixie also offers an environmentally friendly automatic shut down after 9 minutes of inactivity, saving the planet and your energy bill.

This coffee maker is perfectly suited for those looking for a coffee bar quality result, but who lack the time to visit the local barista.

Designed for use with Nespresso capsules.

PROS

  • High-pressure pump yields barista-style results
  • Extremely fast 25 second heat-up time
  • Programmable so you can get exactly the strength and size of coffee you want
  • Shuts off after 9 minutes to minimize energy use
  • Easy clean-up

CONS

  • Requires Nespresso capsules
  • Relatively expensive

#3 - The Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System (Our Pick)

The Ninja Coffee Bar caters to those looking for more than just a simple cup.

This little powerhouse offers all the tools needed to craft hot or cold espresso beverages with a built-in frother and four custom brew sizes.

It also features custom brew settings for classic, rich, and iced beverages.

Unlike the first two machines on this list, it is a capsule-free system which gives you the flexibility to customize your beverage with any coffee brand, quantity, and grind.

Ninja has also patented an “advanced thermal flavor extraction technology” that promises to deliver the best results from whichever bean you choose.

Ninja is also the sole purveyor of Auto-iQ one-touch intelligence, which draws just the right amount of water from the reservoir to deliver the optimum version of your chosen brew type and size.

PROS

  • Can craft any beverage thanks to hot and cold brew settings and a built-in frother
  • A patented “advanced thermal flavor extraction technology” promises to get the absolute best from your favorite beans
  • Capsule-free for the greatest flexibility
  • Four custom brew sizes including a new XL

CONS

  • A lot of plastic used in construction means less durability
  • Relatively expensive

#4 - The AdirChef Grab N' Go Personal Coffee Maker

The AdirChef Grab N’ Go Coffee Maker is a simple coffee-delivery system with a tiny footprint, making it perfect for tight kitchens with limited counter space or office cubicles.

Weighing in at only 1.3 lbs, it can easily travel with you between home and office or when staying in hotels.

It is made of quality materials, including an accompanying stainless-steel travel mug, and its simple design means few breakable parts.

You can expect years of use in exchange for a very small financial investment.

As with the Ninja, this capsule-less system offers the user complete freedom when it comes to selecting beans. 

The built-in filter is a boon to both the environment and your wallet as you will no longer need to purchase and discard disposable filters.

For added convenience, all components can be washed in the dishwasher.

PROS

  • Tiny and light enough to be easily portable, making it great for home or the office
  • Comes with a stainless-steel travel mug so you have everything you need
  • A permanent filter means less waste
  • Simple design and durable materials means it lasts a long time

CONS

  • Works best with accompanying travel mug
  • Not as good for brewing other beverages

#5 - The Aeropress Coffee

The introduction of the Aeropress took the coffee world by storm in 2005 thanks to the remarkable quality and flavor of coffee being extracted.

Its simple design belies the complex nuances of flavor achieved.

It operates much like a French press, with hot water pour over grounds and then pushed through a microfilter directly into a waiting mug.

Unlike a French press, however, the microfilter ensures there are no gritty remnants in your cup.

The Aeropress is great for travel, and has found a particular fanbase among campers and backpackers.

It requires no electricity, brews a cup in only a minute, fits easily in small spaces, and is durable enough to survive being crammed in the bottom of a backpack.

Clean up is quick and easy.

Another easy-to-use manual coffee maker loved by campers is the Oomph. Check it here.

PROS

  • Known for the incredible flavor of resultant brewed coffee
  • Simple design and no electricity required
  • Only takes one minute to brew a cup
  • A favorite among campers and backpackers as it is light and portable
  • Microfiltration means no grit in your cup

CONS

  • Requires the purchase of paper filters
  • Made of a number of parts that can be lost
  • Requires a bit more effort than other models on the list

#6 - The Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddy

The cheapest, smallest, lightest, and easiest brewer on this list is Primula’s Brew Buddy.

Essentially a pour-over method with a reusable filter, the Brew Buddy is an eco-friendly option for the traveling coffee fanatic.

It is small enough to fit in a purse, or even your pocket, and will never break. Its near-universal design means it works with almost any coffee cup.

Its simplicity allows for limitless flexibility in choice of beans, size of grind, and quantity of water so you can have your coffee just how you like it.

This is a great option for a coffee connoisseur who’s on the move and on a budget.

PROS

  • Very inexpensive
  • Small, light and easily portable
  • Will not break
  • Simple to use
  • Does not require the purchase of filters or capsules

CONS

  • Only makes drip-style coffee, no espresso
  • Limited functionality

#7 - The Cuisinart SS-780 Single Serve Coffee Brewing System

The Cuisinart SS-780 is the most expensive brewer on the list, but also offers the greatest variety of features and the most automation. It is fully programmable with an easy-to-read backlit LCD screen.

It also offers the largest water reservoir meaning fewer refills for a more efficient morning.

This brewer uses K-Cups for the ultimate in ease of brewing, but is also compatible with the refillable My K-Cup if you want to use your own favorite ground beans. It even offers built-in storage for the My K-Cup.

One of the nicest unique features of this machine is the hot water tap which delivers boiling water on demand for making hot chocolate, tea or instant soup.

While the most expensive on this list, $200 is still a very reasonable price for such an advanced machine.

PROS

  • Fully programmable with an easy-to-read LCD screen
  • Largest water reservoir of any brewer on the list means only refilling every ten cups
  • A hot water tap delivers boiling water on demand

CONS

  • Requires the purchase of K-Cups, or can be used with the My K-Cup
  • The most expensive brewer on the list

THE VERDICT: What’s The Best Single Cup Coffee Maker For You?

Any one of these great products could fulfill the needs of an average home brewer as each delivers a great cup of coffee, but the overall best single serve coffee maker can be no other than the Keurig K55.

This grandfather of the single-cup industry has been a consistent best seller from its outset for a good reason.

Unless you’re looking for a brewer to take off the grid, this trusty machine does it all and won’t price anyone out of the market.

Purchase a library of K-Cups to maximize convenience, or invest in a My K-Cup to minimize environmental footprint. E

ither way, this reliable brewer is bound to please.

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