The Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker Features for You
If you enjoy a fresh cup of coffee every morning, but you don't want the hassle of making a full, or even a half, pot of coffee, consider getting a single-serve coffee maker, available in a wide variety of styles with a number of different features. If you have limited counter space and don't mind filling the machine with water each time you brew a cup, choose a slim model. Larger single-cup coffee makers often feature a water reservoir that you need to fill only when it’s empty. If you like a little fancier cup of coffee, look for a one-cup coffee maker that includes a milk frother for making coffee-house-style specialty coffees like cappuccinos or lattes.
If you are concerned about safety or you are a little absent-minded in the morning, the best single-cup coffee maker for you may be one with an automatic shut-off. And for improved flavor, consider a single coffee maker that uses replaceable water filters. Or you can use your own water purifier to create the best-tasting cup. If you entertain often, you may also need to brew a full pot of coffee for your guests, so consider a combination model that can brew either one cup at a time or a full carafe.
Enjoying Your New Single-Cup Coffee Maker
Once you've chosen your best single-serving coffee maker, you can enjoy a variety of beverages in your morning coffee mug. A single-cup coffee maker uses coffee pods packed with just the right amount of grounds to give you a perfect single cup of coffee. You can purchase other tasty beverages in pod form, like tea, hot cocoa, or even lemonade. If you like to use a coffee grinder just before brewing to extract the best flavor from your coffee beans, you can buy a reusable coffee filter that allows you to use your own ground coffee, saving both money and plastic waste. If you want to keep your beverages close at hand, invest in a pod storage unit to set next to your machine or under your coffee maker, keeping all your beverage pods organized.
Single-serve K-Cup coffee makers come in a variety of different styles, but you also can choose coffee-maker models that use Nespresso pods. Keep in mind that you cannot use K-Cup pods in a Nespresso machine and vice versa.
Buying a Single-Serve Coffee Maker
Single-Cup Coffee Makers: What You Should Know
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.