4 Best Dual coffee maker reviews: one coffee machine; two brew methods.
If you live in a large household or work in an office where everyone has different brew preferences, or if you enjoy jumping between styles to keep things interesting, a dual coffee maker can be a real lifesaver. There is a lot to be said for the convenience of brewing coffee in a variety of ways but using only one machine.
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 different coffee machines and picked the very best models for you to choose from.
At A Glance:
- OUR TOP PICK: Breville All-in-One Coffee House
- ON A BUDGET: Jack Stonehouse Combi
- FOR COFFEE PODS: Philips Senseo Switch
How to choose the right 2-way coffee maker
Before you dive into each review, have a quick look at our buying guide and take the time to understand exactly what you need from a dual coffee brewer. While they won’t make extremely high quality coffee when compared to something like an SCAA approved coffee maker, 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 Capsules or ground coffee?
Some dual coffee makers rely on ground coffee for both brewing methods, whereas others need capsules. 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 capsule 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. (1)
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?
A dual coffee brewer will save you some 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.
The Best Dual Coffee Maker: The Reviews
Now that you have an idea of the type of 2-way coffee maker that best suits your needs, let us show you a few options that may make you smile:
|Breville All-In-One Coffee House||
|Jack Stonehouse Combi Espresso & Filter Coffee Machine||
|Philips Senseo Switch 2-In-1 Coffee Maker||
|De’Longhi Combi Coffee Machine||
1. Breville All-in-One Coffee House – Best Overall
Brews: Espresso, carafes, single serve (capsules), milk drinks
- Carafe type: Thermal
- Capacity: 1.5 litres
- Dimensions: 47.7 x 39.5 x 24.8 cm
The Breville All-in-One Coffee House is an obvious pick for Home Grounds’ best dual coffee maker. It goes above and beyond the brief with not two, but three ways of brewing. Whatever your taste in coffee, you’ll be able to make it with this machine.
For your morning doppio you have the espresso machine function, which includes pressurised single and double portafilter baskets. Attached is a manual steam wand for creamy lattes and foamy cappuccinos.
If you want to switch up the flavour, swap the portafilter for the capsule holder to use Dolce Gusto capsules. You’ll have a huge range of coffee, hot chocolate and flavoured hot drinks in an instant – which can be combined with the steam wand for even more options.
When you want to brew for a crowd, just switch to the carafe, which sits under the portafilter holder in a great space-saving move. It has a 10-cup capacity, and the thermal construction will keep your coffee warm without ruining the taste.
Despite all these options, the Breville All-in-One Coffee House is incredibly easy to use. The machine will detect the style of coffee you’re brewing and display the options on the simple LED screen. Choose between 1 and 2 shots for espresso, the number of cups for filter coffee, or the size of your Dolce Gusto capsule.
There isn’t much scope to customise your brew, but it’s hard to complain when there is so much variety on offer here.
2. Jack Stonehouse Combi Espresso & Filter Coffee Machine – Budget Pick
Brews: Espresso, filter (travel mug), milk drinks, tea, hot chocolate.
- Carafe type: Thermal travel mug
- Capacity: 1.2 litres
- Dimensions: 32.5 x 31 x 38 cm
If you don’t need quite so many brewing options, you can save a lot of cash with the Jack Stonehouse Combi Espresso & Filter Coffee Machine. It’s not just a good price for a dual coffee maker, but quite cheap for an espresso machine too.
You’ll find everything you need to make a quick espresso or cafe-style drinks, including a 15-bar pump and a panarello steam wand (2). The wand can also be used for hot water if you want a quick tea or hot chocolate.
The filter side won’t allow you to brew a large carafe, but it’s ideal for coffee to go. It brews directly into the included stainless steel travel mug, which is designed to keep your coffee warm on your commute.
You’ll notice there are quite a few buttons for such a simple machine, but it means all your drinks are just one touch away. There’s also the option for manual espresso brewing if you want to have control over the amount of water used.
At this price, you of course can’t expect the quality that you’d get from a more expensive espresso machine. But this could be a great choice for someone learning the ropes of home machines, but who still wants the option of larger coffees.
3. Philips Senseo Switch 2-in-1 Coffee Maker – Best Pod Dual Coffee Maker
Brews: Single serve (pods), carafes
- Carafe type: Thermal
- Capacity: 1 litre
- Dimensions: 15 x 40 x 27 cm
You don’t have to learn any home barista skills to enjoy this dual coffee maker. The Philips Senseo Switch 2-in-1 Coffee Maker is incredibly easy to use, with a filter option for carafes, or single serves from Senseo pods.
To make your single-serve coffee, simply add your coffee pod, hit the button and you’ll have your drink in a jiffy. There are both single and double pod holders included, and the twin spout allows you to make two espresso-style shots at once. Alternatively, you can adjust the cup holder for a larger mug and use the two-cup function for a longer coffee.
Insider tip: with the double pod holder you can make specialty drinks by mixing two different pod flavours.
Using the filter coffee function is almost as simple. By removing the drip tray and the pod holder, you can slide in the 10-cup thermal carafe. Add a paper filter and ground coffee and hit the carafe button to start brewing. The number of cups will be determined by how much water you have in the tank, so you can adjust your volume this way, but Philips recommends brewing at least half a carafe if you want the hottest coffee.
This compact machine doesn’t include a steam wand, so if you want a milk drink you’ll need to heat it separately. Alternatively, you could choose a Senseo flavour such as Latte that has milk included.
4. De’Longhi Combi Coffee Machine – Best Value for Money
Brews: Espresso (grounds, ESE pods), carafes, milk drinks
- Carafe type: Glass
- Capacity: 1.25 litres
- Dimensions: 37.1 x 28.4 x 32.4 cm
De’Longhi is one of the big names in consumer espresso machines, so if you want some peace of mind with your dual coffee maker, this is the one to consider.
The journey into the world of espresso is a rewarding one. When you become intimate with espresso, you become intimate with coffee.
Half of the machine is dedicated to espresso, which can be made using ground coffee or ESE pods. Regardless of which one you choose, you know you’ll be getting the best possible flavour, thanks to the included chlorine filter (3). For all your favourite cafe-style drinks, there’s a panarello wand, which also dispenses hot water.
For the filter side of things, you can brew up to 10 cups, with a 1-4 cup setting that helps brew better-tasting small batches. The permanent mesh filter avoids the waste of paper filters, and the front-facing water reservoir makes refilling easy.
This is the only coffee machine on our list that’s programmable. You can set the filter option to brew up to 24 hours in advance, so you can wake up to a fresh carafe of coffee. The keep warm time is also programmable, allowing you to decide how long the hotplate stays on before automatically switching off.
Yet, if you’re more interested in just espresso, check out our De’Longhi round-up review.
Our best dual coffee maker in 2022 is the incredibly versatile Breville All-in-One Coffee House. Not only can it do everything a regular espresso machine can do, such as make cappuccinos, but it also gives you the option for a quick single serve with a capsule, or a full carafe of coffee.
However, if you don’t need the option of a large carafe or capsules, you can still get some variety with our top budget pick, the Jack Stonehouse Combi. It offers both filter and espresso options (including a steam wand) and won’t break the bank.
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 flavour and heavier body and is usually consumed in smaller quantities.
Both capsules and ground coffee can be used to brew coffee, but freshly ground coffee is always the superior choice. Capsules contain very little coffee, so if you’re brewing a large mug, you’ll get a weak brew. Plus, the ground coffee in a coffee capsule will inevitably be stale. And then there’s the negative environmental impact of single-serve plastic capsules.
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 flavour and higher caffeine content. In the context of shopping for coffee beans, “bold” often refers to a darker roast with a more pronounced flavour.
- 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/
- Steaming and Frothing. (n.d.). Gaggia North America. Retrieved July 22, 2022, from https://www.gaggia-na.com/pages/steaming-and-frothing
- 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