If you enjoy the traditional taste and aroma of coffee, but want it fast with minimal clean-up, a single-serve coffee maker might be perfect for you. In fact, many people buy a single-serve machine to supplement their drip machine and use it when they're running short on time. Popular brands include Nespresso and Keurig coffee makers. These machines can brew coffee using a drip and espresso method and many machines use prepacked pods, which come in a wide array of coffee varieties and flavors. They also make the brewing process simple. Insert a pod, close the lid, push start and you'll have a fresh cup of coffee in moments. These pods also make it easy to change up your morning routine with a cup of tea, hot chocolate, or even hot cider. Plus, compatible and reusable filters for pods are available if you prefer to regulate the coffee levels.
Considerations and Features
There are a wide variety of features available in single cup brewers, including steam nozzles, integrated grinders, brew strength controls, auto-shut-off and more. You'll also want to give some thought to reservoir size. Even though you'll be brewing one cup at a time, you may want a larger reservoir, so you can make several beverages in quick succession for the family or a crowd. The size of the machine is important to consider because of the amount of space it will take up in the kitchen and the size of cup it can accommodate. If your favorite cup is your travel mug, you'll want to make sure the machine can accommodate it. Some single-serve coffee makers let you choose the size of your beverage. Strength of the brew and temperature selections are also a consideration since they inform the time required to saturate the grounds, which is what creates the flavor. The National Coffee Association recommends hot water temperatures between 195°–205°F.
All about Coffee Pods
Finally, you'll want to consider the coffee you'll be using, its availability and make sure you can easily purchase what you need. Plus, it's a good idea to check to see what other varieties are compatible with your choice of brewer. K-Cups are the most common coffee pods, which are made for Keurig coffee makers and other machines. If you prefer options, K-Cups can be purchased in large variety packs. Some machines allow you to create your own pod with a reusable filter. You choose the ground coffee and how strong the brew is. Consider convenient coffee pod storage options that will keep the caffeine supply close at hand, plus other accessories that can be useful, like filter replacement options and carafes.