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When it comes to single-serve coffee makers, shoppers are often drawn to their convenience.These machines allow you to brew a cup of coffee in seconds—if you’re rushing out the door while working from home or between meetings, they’re a quick and easy way to get rid of your caffeine woes.Many people use them at home, but smaller machines are also useful on desks in dorm rooms or offices.
In recent years, single-serve coffee machines have grown in popularity.In a survey of 1,526 coffee drinkers 18 and older conducted this fall by the National Coffee Association, 23 percent of respondents who drank coffee in the past day said they used a single-serve coffee maker, up from 2013 15% in January.
“The popularity of single-serve coffee machines has been on the rise in recent years, which has also led to a wider variety of coffee machines on the market,” said Jessica Rodriguez, certification program manager at the Specialty Coffee Association, a nonprofit coffee trade organization.”Innovations and new technologies from manufacturers have resulted in machines with a wide variety of single-serve options, from espresso to hot coffee to iced coffee and even tea.”
We talked to the experts about the pros and cons of single-serve coffee makers and the features you should consider when buying.Using their recommendations as a filter, we’ve also rounded up top-rated options from brands like Keurig, Nespresso, Hamilton Beach, and more.
We don’t test coffee makers, so we rely on expert guidance on how to shop to help us find products to recommend.Before buying, you should consider whether you prefer a pod maker or one with a reusable brew basket, the experts we spoke with said.The following single-serve coffee makers meet the expert guidance we’ve received and are highly rated by major retailers.
Keurig’s new K-Supreme Plus is the brand’s first Wi-Fi-enabled machine – you can use the companion app to control it and schedule brew times in advance, so when you wake up in the morning, your coffee is waiting you.The coffee machine comes with the brand’s BrewID to detect the type of K-Cup pod you’re using and adjust the brew settings accordingly.You can also manually change brew settings, choosing between five cup sizes, five intensity settings and six temperature settings.The 78-ounce reservoir is the brand’s largest to date, and it uses multi-flow technology — five needles instead of one on other models — to wet more of the coffee bed and extract more flavor .
I invested in Keurig’s K-Mini coffee maker because it’s smaller and more affordable than some of the brand’s other machines.It’s less than 5 inches wide and lets you brew 6 or 12 ounces of coffee using the K-Cup pods.The tank has to be refilled every time you brew, and the machine’s power cord can be tucked into the back when not in use.The coffee maker’s drip tray is removable, so you can fit up to a 7-inch high travel mug, and it automatically shuts off 90 seconds after your last brew.The machine is available in black, grey rose, poppy red and studio grey.
Nespresso Vertuo Plus pairs with Nespresso Vertuo coffee and espresso capsules and automatically adjusts coffee size, temperature, pressure and brew time by reading the barcode on the capsule you insert.You can change the position of the machine’s 40-ounce water tank, or remove it completely when it needs to be refilled.The coffee machine has a built-in capsule storage container that heats up in 15 seconds and automatically shuts off after 9 minutes of inactivity.You can buy it in red, grey, jet black and LE black matte.
Instead of pods, Hamilton Beach’s coffee maker brews using a mesh filter basket that doubles as a spoon, ensuring you always measure the correct amount of coffee grounds.It comes with a 40-ounce water reservoir that you can remove and refill.You can brew 8-ounce or 14-ounce coffee, and the flip up and down stand adjusts to multiple heights to fit different mugs and travel mugs.The machine also offers bold brew settings for stronger coffee.
Cuisinart’s single-serve coffee maker is compatible with Keurig K-Cup Pods, and you can choose from five different beverage sizes: 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces.It has a 72-ounce water reservoir and an included charcoal water filter, and you can adjust the brew temperature.In addition to brewing coffee, hot chocolate or tea from the pods, you can also brew hot water or press the “Rinse” button to clean the machine.It comes in Silver, Robbins Egg Blue, Matte Black and Cream.
Smeg’s fully automatic coffee machine lets you make single servings of six different beverages, including coffee, espresso and ristretto, as well as brewing hot water.It’s made with a stainless steel cone burr grinder, so you just load your coffee beans into the machine and it’ll grind your coffee fresh every time you make a drink.The brewer has a stainless steel steam wand for milk froth and adjustable cup holders.
With NutriBullet’s first-ever coffee maker, you can make a single serving with the K-Cup Pods, or brew a large carafe with the reusable filter basket.The machine uses Brew Sense technology to automatically detect if you have added pods or baskets.You can choose to make 6, 8 or 10 ounces of coffee in K-Cup capsules, or 6, 9 or 12 cups of coffee in a carafe.The machine fits travel mugs up to 7 inches in height.It comes with a reusable pod and a coffee grounds scoop.
Single-serve coffee makers are designed to produce small amounts of brewed coffee, usually between 5 and 12 ounces.They brew coffee in seconds, which is one of their main benefits, but also their downside.
“In any coffee brewing method, proper water temperature is critical for good extraction,” says Rodriguez.”Because single-serve brewing occurs in such a short time, some machines face the challenge of being able to reach the proper brewing temperature.”
For example, coffee brewed in a single-serve coffee maker may have a milder taste than coffee brewed with a drip filter.Single-serve coffee makers also typically don’t allow you to customize brew settings, which Rodriguez says can prevent you from making an espresso.
Single-serve coffee makers use pods or reusable filter baskets to brew coffee.For example, the pods used with Keurig or Nespresso machines are pre-ground coffee capsules packaged in aluminum or plastic containers.The coffee inside them is ground to a specific particle size to optimize extraction and flow rate when brewing, Rodriguez explained.Reusable filter baskets, on the other hand, are designed to hold the right amount of ground coffee for a single cup.Ground coffee must be added to the filter every time it is used.
Whether to brew coffee with a pod or a reusable filter basket is one of the main factors that experts say you should consider when shopping.Before buying, you should know the following:
There are two downsides to using pods with a single-serve coffee maker: a lack of fresh coffee grounds and the creation of waste.The pods are filled with ground coffee weeks or even months before you buy them, so they’re not fresh when you use them.That affects the strength and flavor of the brew, says Kaleena Teoh, director of education at the Coffee Project Institute in New York.Using single-use pods every day or multiple times a day can create a lot of litter.
However, companies are starting to catch up with demand.”[As] the specialty coffee industry has begun to embrace the coffee capsule revolution and the need for single-serve coffee machines, we’ve seen huge innovations and improvements in the quality and variety of machines and capsules,” Rodriguez said.
One of the innovations, Teoh noted, is recyclable and compostable pods.For example, as of 2020, Keurig K-Cup pods are 100% recyclable.You can buy reusable pods for some single-serve machines, which are like a small beer basket.You fill them with coffee grounds of your choice.
Compared to pods, reusable brew baskets “offer the freedom to brew with the coffee of your choice and are better for the environment,” says Teoh.Instead of buying pre-ground coffee beans, you can grind your coffee every time you need to fill the filter, resulting in a fresher coffee.
Since the pods are filled with pre-ground coffee, Teoh says they “lose a lot of aromatics after grinding, and also have a lot of surface area for oxidation.” In other words, after grinding, the coffee starts to lose some of its smell and flavor. .To combat this, Teoh explained, the pods are often flushed with nitrogen to prevent oxidation.Therefore, using freshly ground coffee in a reusable brew basket eliminates any additives that may be present in the pods.
In addition to choosing between a single-serve machine that uses pods or a reusable brew basket, you’ll also want to consider the size of the reservoir you need.Some single-serve coffee makers have water reservoirs that only hold enough water to brew a 12-ounce cup of coffee, while others have larger reservoirs so you don’t have to refill it every time you brew.
Also, there are machines that allow you to brew a single serving and a large bottle of coffee at the same time – these are often referred to as dual brewers, or you may see machines advertised with multiple brew settings.
Single-serve machines also have a range of brew times.”If speed is a priority, look for a machine with the shortest brew time,” advises Rodriguez.If you’re interested in buying a machine that uses pods, it’s also important to research the types of ground coffee beans and their flavors to make sure they match your coffee preferences.In addition to coffee and espresso pods, some brands also sell pods for hot chocolate, tea, matcha, and more.
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Post time: Jan-13-2022