What is a One Cup Coffee Maker?
One-cup coffee machines can be one of three types: one-cup, pod-based, and espresso. Primarily, one-cup coffee machines are typically more user-friendly alternatives to typical drip devices.
You are likely familiar with the look and feel of these machines. You add ground coffee to a filter, and one button releases hot water to flow through the coffee grounds, which produces your drink.
Pod-based machines are primarily dominated by Keurig. They produce machines and vacuum-sealed “pods” of coffee grounds. Once a pod is inserted and the device is closed, tiny pins puncture the pod from above and below. With a button push, the machine’s water reservoir heats water, which is pumped through the coffee and into your cup.
Espresso machines are mainly dominated by one brand, Nespresso. These devices produce a stronger beverage by producing espresso shots and crema. These beverages can be consumed individually or combined to make other drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes.
Who Needs a One Cup Coffee Maker
One-cup coffee devices have boomed in the drink market because they are incredibly reliable, producing the same brew each time. Their efficiency and convenience make them a great option for many families. They offer a wide range of beverages from brands like Snapple, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Illy cafe, and Tazo, offering more than 200 teas, coffees, and hot chocolates.
With no paper filters or bean scooping, these devices make coffee brewing a pleasure instead of a chore. No more guesswork on how much water or coffee to add. Just insert the pod, press the button, enjoy your drink, and throw the pod away.
Brewing single cups guarantees fresh coffee every time with less time and less trash. If the office opens at 8:00 a.m. and a coffee pot is made, but the supervisor doesn’t arrive for an hour, his brew will taste stale and burnt and have to be microwaved.
Top 5 Best One Cup Coffee Maker 2018
|Best of the Bests||Best Pod-Free Coffee Maker||Best Multi-Use Coffee Maker|
|Keurig K575 Single Serve Programmable K-Cup Coffee Maker||Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker||BUNN MCU Single Cup Home Coffee Brewer|
|Best One Cup Espresso Maker||Best One Cup Coffee Maker for Office|
|Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker||Keurig K155 Office Pro Single Cup Commercial K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker|
Top 5 Best One Cup Coffee Maker 2018
Keurig K575 Single Serve Programmable K-Cup Coffee Maker – Best of the Bests
The Keurig K575 is among the most popular and superior machines by the brand. Its power and versatility make it ideal for multiple settings. Practically all its users can vouch for its excellence. This coffee machine proves its impressiveness by being user-friendly and adaptable. The large reservoir is perfect for brewing anywhere from one one cup to over 10 without refilling the water.
With incredibly quick brewing, the Keurig K575 has several features to guarantee a perfect brew every time. Below are details of the Keurig’s best qualities, so you can see the worth of this machine for yourself.
How is it Different From Other Coffee Makers?
Most one-cup coffee machines aren’t easy to use or powerful. However, the Keurig 575 can produce anywhere from one single serving to a full carafe, saving you time. Users can choose their preference in strength, temperature, and brew size. It features a larger water reservoir than most similar machines. Finally, a color touch screen display allows users to select the functions quickly and simply.
Performance and Ease of Use
The touch screen makes this device user-friendly, even for a beginner. Icons representing strength, brew size, and temperature, along with the brew Start button, make this machine understandable immediately upon setup.
The Keurig K575 coffee maker also deserves praise for its performance. Taking less than a minute to produce a finished cup of coffee, this device proves its power. Users can brew one cup or a whole carafe with one button. The Keurig 2.0 technology combined with K cup pods makes for an efficient brew.
- Brew sizes for K Cup, K Mug and K Carafe: The machine produces 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 oz with K Cup pods, 12, 14, 16 and 18 oz with K Mug pods, and 22, 26 and 30 oz with K Carafe pods.
- Large water reservoir: This device’s 80 oz water reservoir yields over 10 coffee cups, so refilling is less of a chore. It is removable, making it quick to fill and easy to clean.
- Heat water quickly: The hot water on demand option produces a selected amount of hot water, producing hot water in seconds.
- Programming: A touch screen gives you complete control of customizing your coffee. You can set the machine to turn off and on by itself, saving time and effort.
- Strength control: Temperature and strength selections let you personalize your brew to your preferred strength and flavor of your drink.
- Pod versatility through compatibility with K-Cups, Vue pods, K-Mugs and K-Carafes
- Touchscreen menu with customizable settings
- Easily accessible reservoir
- Nightlight with changeable colors
- Hot Water on Demand feature gives your desired amount with one button
- Temperature settings from 192 to 197 degrees
- Use of strictly K-Cups (but can be overridden)
- Auto-Brew function only works with K-Carafe option
- Some noise reports
- Larger size options (K-Mug, K-Carafe) may not be budget-friendly
- May need to pay attention to refilling and needle cleaning
As I’ve repeated for a while, among all the coffee machines on the market, the Keurig K575 is a total package, and you can’t undermine the fact that it produces great coffee at a great price. With exceptional performance, functionality, and user-friendliness, its maintenance won’t cause much stress. What could a kitchen need more than a totally efficient coffee machine? Some other Keurig coffee makers are reviewed in this post, “Which Keurig to Buy? The Complete Keurig Buying Guide“.
Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker
– Best Pod-Free Coffee Maker
If you’re on a budget, look no further: The Hamilton Beach Scoop Coffee Maker is perfect for you. In and of itself, it may be less than perfect. But at its price, it’s an incredible value. It produces warm, satisfying coffee in a minute and a half.
It isn’t quite as versatile as the Keurig, and it can only brew coffee grounds. However, you can still customize your brew with the water amount and the grounds’ fineness.
- Choose any grounds you like, thanks to the mesh scoop filter
- Boldness levels: You can have the standard brew, much the same as any drip device, or for a more premium taste, you can select “bold” to produce a richer brew.
- Accessible measuring options: The filter’s two serving lines let you easily add coffee grounds to the level you desire.
- Removable drip tray: This feature allows larger choices in brew size. Keep the drip tray in place for smaller cups, or remove it to let large cups and travel mugs fit.
- Automatic shut-down: No more wasting power, as this device shuts off automatically after every brew.
- User-friendliness, even for beginners
- Good temperature
- Options of bold or standard brewing
- No more wasting money on paper filters, thanks to the mesh scoop
- You can also save money by buying coffee grounds instead of pods
- The device only accepts coffee grounds and is not pod-compatible. While some coffee lovers like this feature, as ground coffee is more dense and flavourful, it can be more time-consuming to ground coffee beans yourself.
- The machine isn’t the fastest on the market. You’ll need 90 seconds for 8 oz of coffee, and 14 oz will take about 2.5 minutes.
The 49981A Scoop device combines simplicity, value, and quality coffee. With that being said, this machine is ideal for many! The device may appeal to people who prefers ground coffee over pods but still desires the ease of a pod-type machine.
The Hamilton Beach 49981A would not be best for large groups or families who enjoy drinking coffee and socializing. The automatic shut-down feature and the longer brew time makes it more suited for one-cup brewing.
BUNN MCU Single Cup Home Coffee Brewer – Best Multi-Use Coffee Maker
The BUNN MCU is a classic and remains a top single-serve brewer. The BUNN MCU is easy to use and is versatile, but is it right for you? This information will help you decide:
- The machine is compatible with coffee pods and coffee grounds and will also dispense hot water.
- Brews superior tea to similar machines.
- Convenience comes through the single-touch operation
- Quick brewing gives 14 oz of coffee in less than 60 seconds.
- iPulse option produces a stronger brew.
- Good quality ensures good brews for years to come.
- No reservoir means it requires water before each use.
- The drawers must be regularly cleaned, as they get messy easily.
There are separate drawers for K-cups, coffee pods, coffee grounds, and hot water dispensing, each easily attachable to your device.
Just add water and hit “brew”. You may add as little as 4 oz. or as much as 14 oz. of water, depending on how much coffee you desire. Pressing the “brew” button will stop dispensing.
Quick heating time gives a 14 oz. cup in less than a minute. For a stronger brew, just press the ¡PULSE button before brewing. This feature adds around 30 seconds to your brew time.
It is recommended to switch off your device after brewing, as there is no energy-saving mode. However, the tanks do keep your water hot for a couple of hours.
As aforementioned, the BUNN MCU has four drawers, giving you flexibility in using coffee grounds or pods.
We know K-cups are versatile and offer an abundance of flavors. However, they can be expensive, and if you’re on a budget, you can utilize coffee pods. The pod drawer also lets you produce tea, but it is recommended to use the iPulse for more flavorful drink. There is another drawer to produce hot water, which can come in handy for oatmeal.
Finally, there is a ground coffee drawer, letting you brew decaffeinated beverages and darker roasts.
Drawer attachment is quick and easy, and the device automatically locks itself.
Overall, the MCU allows lots of customization in one machine. However, the MCU cannot brew espresso. (Though you can produce blended espressos with K-cups)
Cleaning of the K-cup or pod drawers is easy, as you simply discard the old pod. The ground coffee drawer can be a little more time-consuming to clean, especially compared to Keurig My-Cup. With no water reservoir, you must fill fresh water each time, whereas most other machines do have a reservoir that can hold enough water for several brews.
While there isn’t anything specifically wrong with this device, it does have its quirks that you will have to get used to. Overall, this device is quick and flexible, so if you’d like a fast, custom drink, you should consider this.
Conversely, if you desire the same flexibility and speed while also having a water reservoir, then consider the Keurig K55.
Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker – Best One Cup Espresso Maker
The word “Pixie” may make you picture something tiny and perhaps quiet, and that exactly describes the Nespresso Pixie espresso machine with an additional milk frother. This device takes Nespresso coffee capsules, meaning it produces a quick, yummy espresso shot with minimal mess. It also gives a creamy froth like a cafe, right at home. At a price of only $200, this machine is essential for latte, cappuccino, and espresso lovers alike. Froth or whip milk cold or hot, in any cup, whenever you like. It really is the best milk frother, even despite the name Pixie.
The Nespresso Pixie remains virtually invisible and stress-free, by being compact, nearly silent, and easy to clean thanks to Nestle coffee capsules. With the Aeroccino, you are able to produce light or creamy froths by pouring cold or hot skim milk and pushing a button. That’s all! The Nespresso Pixie Aeroccino does everything else, producing an instant espresso shot with quality milk froth comparable to any cafe.
- Super-Stylish and Compact: This tiny machine looks and feels great in any space, particularly apartments or kitchens with limited storage or counter space.
- Fully Automatic Brewing: Add a coffee capsule, select a size, push the button, and receive a great beverage, brewed perfectly each time. With each capsule costing around $0.55, it’s a pretty good deal for espresso!
- Milk Frother: Milk of any temperature becomes perfect foam with a single button. The optional Aeroccino Plus is offered by Amazon and includes two whisk attachments and an automatic shut off.
- 16 Nespresso Capsules Included: The Pixie Aeroccino operates solely with Nespresso coffee capsules. 16 capsules come with the machine. These capsules guarantee freshness, flavor, and cleanliness. There are many options, with over 30 blends to select from!
- Three Shot Size Selector: For espressos, the Pixie’s two top buttons let you choose a 1 oz, 2 oz or 3 oz shot of espresso.
- Fast: This machine beats most others in terms of time, giving you an espresso in 25 seconds.
- 19-Bar-Pressure Pump: Selecting the brew duration combined with the pressure pump gives maximum flavor and lets you customize your coffee’s strength.
- Thermoblock Technology: This feature guarantees the perfect temperature in each cup and froth.
If you want a budget-friendly machine and an excellent way to have espresso and froth, Nespresso Pixie is for you, particularly if you’d just like single cups. Finally, you can have an espresso shot in only 30 seconds!
If you’d like more of an experience or need to produce multiple cups at once, you’d be better off selecting a unit with a quicker reload time. This isn’t a good option if you wish to utilize your own personal coffee beans or grounds.
Keurig K155 Office Pro Single Cup Commercial K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker – Best One Cup coffee Maker for Office
The Keurig K155 is great for people who like the flexibility and convenience of one-cup devices.
Buttons and Controls
The front LCD touchscreen houses most of the Keurig K155’s functions. An off/on button is located at the back left-hand side. The Brew button is underneath the LCD screen. The Touchscreen mimics the 2.0 models, as you can select functions and easily set them.
The touchscreen displays statuses and tips, along with various coffee-related animations while brewing. You can choose the brew size, set the time, adjust temperature from 187 to 197 degrees, set your preferred language (English, French, or Spanish), and input contact information. This optional feature is used strictly to reprogram the settings. It has an alpha-numeric keypad.
The K155 reservoir has a capacity of 90 oz. Its triangular shape fits in the side near the control panel. You can take it out to refill, but it does also have a lid if you’d like to pour water in with a cup or pitcher.
Ease Of Use
The touchscreen will greet you when you begin to brew your drink. Place a K-cup inside, and you can choose from four sizes. This device is open-platform, BUT it isn’t open platform regarding the refillable K-Cups. It is best to search for the Solofill K3 brand.
To change brewer settings, just choose “plus” or “minus” and push “OK” to confirm, much like the Platinum series.
Direct Water Line Connection
Another unique feature is the option to install a water line connection and never have to refill again. This option would be ideal in high-volume places like colleges or restaurants. If you know about plumbing, utilizing this option would be valuable, and knowing fresh water is consistently ready will make mornings a breeze!
This step is completely optional, as buying and using the installation kit may be a boon. If you are considering this device for a small group of users, it may not be worth the time and effort to utilize this feature, particularly because 90 oz can last a while, giving around 18 beverages. It may make more sense to remove and refill the reservoir.
- Durable and built to last
- Will hold up well in high-traffic situations
- Drainable water tank
- Option for direct water line hookup
- Compatibility with all K-cups or brands
- Customizable brew sizes and times
- Adjustable temperatures with a range of 10 degrees
- Odd brew sizes
- Some users report chemical odors at first
- Limited options of refillable K-cups
Overall, if you like one-cup brewed coffee that is stress-free, the Keurig K155 OfficePRO may be a good option. It requires little maintenance, versatile, offers a variety of flavors and beverages, and guarantees consistent quality.
We would select this before recommending the Keurig K55, since it provides more features and is more user-friendly with a marginally higher price. But if you like ground coffee and My K-CUP, then stick with the Keurig K55.
If you love fresh coffee each morning, programmable Keurig 2.0 models are good options. We also compare Keurig vs. Ninja coffee makers in this post, “Keurig vs. Ninja: Which is a Better Coffee Maker”
What to look for when buying
Your preferred daily coffee needs will determine your desired features in a coffee machine. If you need espresso, consider the Nespresso Espresso Maker.
If you want drip coffee from fresh grounds, and you like to control the strength, you more than likely do not need to purchase a Keurig. However, if you like the variety and convenience of K-Cup machines, then you should ask a few more questions before picking a machine.
Each machine has different size options, meaning they will accommodate different sizes of cups or mugs. If you have a large travel mug, consider which machines will be suitable.
Many Keurig users believe their coffee is not hot enough. It’s recommended to brew coffee between 195 and 205 degrees, and coffee should be consumed between 155 and 175 degrees, but individual taste can vary.
One big plus of one-cup machines is speed. Many people want a quick coffee machine for busy mornings. We tested how long each machine took to heat water and how long each machine took to produce an eight-ounce drink (a 3.7-ounce drink for the Nespresso).
Two machines mentioned here have an auto-on option: the Cuisinart SS-700 Single Serve Brewing System and the Keurig 2.0 K575 Series Coffee Maker. The water begins heating at the time you desire, meaning you simply press “brew” and get your coffee in under one minute.
These machines have several different sizes. Keurigs tend to be larger and taller, making them harder to store. Consider your personal environment when selected a machine based on size.
Your Best Digs tries to recommend the top products. Though value is important, we try to judge without focusing too much on price. We want to provide a complete review of these machines. Taking our reviews into account, you can then decide which device best suits your budget and needs.
Please remember, though, the operation costs matter just as much as the cost of the machine itself. As aforementioned, the Nespresso or Keurig machines cost much more per cup than you would encounter with machines that use coffee grounds. Weigh affordability vs. convenience when deciding on a coffee machine.