Best Single Serve Coffee Maker Options in 2018 (Reviews Based on Testing)

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I love single serve coffee makers because they brew coffee fast and you enjoy fresh coffee every time. I also like the flexibility they offer a household too. I may want regular while my wife prefers decaf. With a large coffee maker such as a drip brewer, you don’t get that flexibility.



I’m not the only one who loves single cup coffee machines. They are very popular and there are a lot of a models available for you to choose from.



In fact, when we decided to switch to a single cup coffee brewer, we had no clue which one to get. As publisher of this site, I thought it would help us as well as readers if I invested in several machines, try them all out and then choose one or two for our home.

That’s what I did. I bought 11 single cup brewers and tested them all. This article sets out the best in 2018 and is the result of my extensive testing.

Below are my picks for the best single cup coffee machines by category.

Testing Methods

To date I have purchased 11 single serve coffee makers. I did not receive the machines for free, nor was I paid to include any brand in this list. However, I do have an affiliate relationship with Amazon, so if you click a link in this article and buy something, I may receive a commission.

I tested all 11 machines extensively over a several week period.

This page sets out my conclusion, but please keep in mind I have not tested every model available.

IMPORTANT: My picks are my opinion and while based on actually using many of the leading models, it's important you do your own due diligence before buying one.

Image of sheet for testing single serve coffee makers

1. Best Overall: Tassimo T55

I have no choice but claim the Tassimo T55 the best overall model because it’s the one we choose and still use as our home’s main coffee brewer after buying and testing 11 models.

We’ve had it well over a year and it works as well as the day we bought it.

While this isn't a perfect machine, it's close and it's what I call a workhorse of a machine because it just keeps on producing great coffee after two years... and I'm talking quite a few cups per day.

This machine uses T-discs and while not as popular as K-cups, T-discs are widely available in grocery stores under many coffee brands. I do wish Starbucks made T-discs, but otherwise, there are many brands and other hot drinks to choose from.

Related: Keurig vs. Tassimo | K-Cups vs. T-Discs | Tassimo T20 review

The Tassimo T55 coffee machine in red

Pros

  • Great tasting coffee - rich and hot. We love the Gevalia brand which is outstanding.
  • Brews very fast. No wait-time for water to heat up.
  • Many coffee brands available in T-discs.
  • thumbs-up - wearelaika
    T-disc options available for tea, hot chocolate and specialty coffees as well.
  • thumbs-up - wearelaika
    Machine very well built. We've used it every day for nearly two years and it works as well as it did the day we bought it.
  • thumbs-up - wearelaika
    Price: For the money, there's no machine that comes close to this. T-Discs are reasonably priced as well for single serve coffee.

Cons

  • Starbucks coffee not available in T-discs.
  • Very difficult to remove spill catcher.
  • T-discs come in an insane amount of packaging with outer layer and then boxes and then the T-disc themselves. Surely less packaging could be used.
Tassimo T55 Single Cup Coffee maker brewing a cup of coffee

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Full Tassimo T55 Review

I’m sipping a Bosch Tassimo coffee as I type this review.

In other words, for the money, machine quality, ease-of-use, speed and coffee quality, this is in my opinion the best single serve coffee maker. It’s nearly perfect (but I do have some complaints which I set out below in the “cons” section). It’s the machine we’ll be using in our home. In fact, both my wife and agree it’s the best.

Click to Read Full Review


Fun Fact: Over 2.5 billion cups of coffee are enjoyed each day worldwide! [Source]

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2. Top Luxury Single Cup Brewer: Nespresso VertuoLine

There must be something to Nespresso when George Clooney endorses it in an ad. I jest; he probably was paid a fortune or has a stake in it. Nevertheless, George Clooney doesn't strike me as a guy who will hawk just anything.

My point is there's a pure luxuriousness to everything about the Nespresso brand including the coffee makers. The machines look super cool, are well built and brew gorgeous, rich coffee.

While the VertuoLine is the largest Nespresso maker, if you're looking for something a little smaller, you can get the Nespresso Pixie (which I also bought and tested).

Related:

Front view photo of the Nespresso VertuoLine Single Serve Coffee maker.

Pros

  • Brews rich, luscious coffee every time. The texture is second-to-none.
  • Very well-built, solid and compact machine. Easy to use and brews coffee fast.
  • Machine is stylish and looks great in any kitchen or office.

Cons

  • Must buy the Nespresso pods which aren't widely available (but getting better all the time as the brand grows in popularity).
  • Brews very small cups of coffee (i.e. espresso). I'd love for there to be an option to brew a regular full-size cup of coffee.
Photo of a variety pack of Nespresso capsules used for the VertuoLine

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Full Nespresso VertuoLine Review

The coffee is rich, the foam is frothy; you’ll never know that you’re drinking a cappuccino, coffee or espresso made at home. In fact, I was really, really surprised at how good it tasted. Your guests will be blown away!

Nespresso VertuoLine is definitely a coffee maker for the discerning coffee drinker.

Click to Read Full Review



Fun Fact: Seattle has 10 times more coffee stores than the rest of the United States! [Source]
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3. Favorite Full-Featured Model: Breville Gourmet Single Serve Coffee Brewer

When I fired up the Breville Gourmet machine up, I was impressed. It did everything and then some. It was very cool and the right option for a family who has diverse hot drink needs because thing makes it all.

The reason I prefer Tassimo is because it's simpler and my wife and I both drink the same coffee.

I have to admit my wife and I were tempted to make this our home's main machine.

We decided against it just because it has so many options that we opted for simplicity instead. However, for people who love gadgets and features, this is a great option.

Related: Cuisinart SS700 machine review

Front view of the Breville Gourmet Single Serve Coffee Brewing System

Pros

  • Brews coffee very fast.
  • Brews K-cups and uses reusable K-cup sized single serve filter.
  • Plenty of control such as water temperature and brews many drinks. This is one very full featured coffee maker.
  • thumbs-up - wearelaika
    Its' very quiet.

Cons

  • Price: this is one of the most expensive options.
  • Water reservoir is not transparent so you can readily see how much water remains.
  • It's very heavy and difficult to move, but on the plus side it's a very sturdily built machine.
Close-up of the menu screen and options on the Breville Gourmet Single Cup coffee machine

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Full Breville Gourmet Single Serve Brewer Review

Overall the Breville Gourmet Single-Serve coffee maker is great. It's loaded with options and works very, very well. It's one of the better single-serve makers we tested.

That said it has some downsides notably size. But, if you have plenty of overhead counter clearance, this is a great machine.

Click to Read Full R​eview


Fun Fact: The Netherlands consumes the most coffee per person in the world at 2.414 cups per person per day. To put that into perspective, the USA consumes .931 cups per person! [Source]

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4. Best Under $100 & Small Single Cup Brewer: Keurig K10 Mini Plus Brewing System

I'm not a huge fan of Keurig machines but for both the best single serve coffee maker under $100 and compact categories, the Keurig K10 Mini Plus is a great product.

If it weren't for the option of being able to a brew a pot with the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew, this would have been my pick for my office coffee maker. It's dead simple, fairly fast and small. Speaking of small, see our list of top small coffee makers (all types) here.

The K-Cup placement for the Keurig K10 Mini Plus

Pros

  • Coffee tasted fine (I really like the Starbucks K-cups).
  • Compact machine so fits under most upper cabinets and terrific for office environment.
  • Uses K-cups which means you have many brands of coffee available.
  • thumbs-up - wearelaika
    Low price - well under $100.

Cons

  • Not built nearly as well as more expensive machines such as Tassimo.
  • Water reservoir only holds enough water for one cup of coffee so you must fill it up each time you brew a cup.
  • Takes a long time to brew a cup of coffee. I timed it at 1 minute, 45 seconds.
Keurig K10 Mini coffee maker

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Full Keurig K10 Mini Plus Review

Whenever I review a product, including this Keurig K10 MINI Plus review, I do so with price in mind.

In other words, my conclusion is based on overall value. I also consider a particular machine’s performance in relation to other machines on the market. Finally, and most importantly, I break down the performance by several criteria.

When it comes to single cup coffee makers, there are a lot of models and brands to choose from. It’s a bit confusing and you can end up with information overload. I certainly did. I hope our reviews help you buy the right machine for you.

Click to Read Full Review


Fun Fact: Adding cream to coffee keeps it warmer longer... that's a head-scratcher, isn't it? [Source]

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5. Best Hybrid Machine: Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flex Brew

I really like this machine because it offers flexibility and it's a very simple machine to work. The downside is it only lasted just under 2 years, which is bad for a $300 machine, but not bad given this thing costs well under $100.

Moreover, I brewed 2 to 6 cups every single day and never cleaned it. I have no hard feelings for it and overall found it to be a good value.

If you don't mind spending more, the Cuisinart Hybrid will probably last longer, but it costs about double the Hamilton Beach. Please keep in mind that I have not tested the Cuisinart Hybrid single serve/drip pot maker.

Front view of the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew hybrid single cup and drip pot coffee maker

Pros

  • Very low price.
  • Brewed K-cups fairly quickly and the coffee tasted good.
  • Very easy machine to operate.
  • thumbs-up - wearelaika
    Fairly quiet.
  • thumbs-up - wearelaika
    Comes with reusable single cup filter which can save you a ton of money using ground coffee and not to mention much better environmentally.

Cons

  • Didn't last 2 years.
  • Reservoir can only hold enough water for one cup when using the single serve brewer.
Close up of the screen and menu options for the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew coffee machine

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Full Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew Review

The best thing about this coffee maker is that you can brew K-cups or your own coffee grounds.

It's also very reasonably priced and is tall enough to accommodate travel mugs.

Click to Rea​d Full Review


Fun Fact: There's a legend suggesting that a 9th century Ethiopian goat farmer discovered coffee after noticing how crazy coffee beans were making his goats.

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Wrapping It Up

That wraps up our extensive write-up on what we consider the top single serve coffee makers across key categories.

I hope our investing thousands of dollars into buying the machines and many hours testing them (I'm not complaining... I sure enjoyed all the coffee), that this helps you buy the right machine for your home.

Thanks for stopping by.


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