5 best single-serve coffee machines for brewing the perfect individual cup

Kelsey Chapman
Thursday 13 August 2020 15:45
Home & Garden
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

If you live alone or with someone who doesn’t drink coffee, you know brewing a whole pot for just yourself can feel wasteful no matter how badly you need your morning boost. Sure you can refrigerate the leftovers and re-heat them later, but there’s nothing like a fresh mug to kick off each day.

While we’ve already shown you some of the best affordable coffee makers on the market and the coffee blends you should be using to brew at home, we wanted to expand into the singles territory and present some of consumers’ favorites when it comes to getting just one steaming cup ready in a rush.

Whether you’re looking for an investment piece that will sit proudly on your countertop and impress visitors or just a cheap little model that gets the job done quickly, there’s an option below for single serve coffee machines that will fulfill your individual drinking needs.

Related: Optimize your coffee drinking experience with one of our favorite coffee mugs.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer for K-Cup Pod & Ground Coffee

The top thing to look for in pod brewers is quickness, and this one certainly delivers. Your coffee is ready to go in three minutes and, as it claims, the brew is hot enough that you can add cream without sacrificing steaminess.

Reviews claim the Sboly also takes up very little space, making it great for tiny kitchens, but this means you’ll have to refill the water tank each time–some prefer that to stagnant water, others may balk at the extra few seconds of work. You can also use pods or grounds to brew, adding versatility and eco-friendly options to how you use this machine.

Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System

Multiple options and brew sizes make this pick our most versatile and ready for any tea or coffee-drinking situation, and it has Smart Recognition technology to help you determine which of those settings is appropriate for what you’re putting into it. Modes include classic, rich, over ice, cold brew, and “specialty,” so you’ll have every best possible option at your fingertips at all times.

A recent user sums up their experience in a glowing review that claims, “I love this machine! It makes a cup of coffee for 4 different sizes, a half pot, a full pot in hot or cold... AND tea! I mean what more could you ask for… Makes a great cup of coffee and you don’t need find coffee in a pod.” They also note that while they haven’t used it yet, the unit also comes with a frother so cappuccino lovers--great news for cappuccino lovers.

Nespresso Essenza Plus with Aerocinno Milk Frother, Black

For true coffee connoisseurs with sophisticated aesthetic taste, the Essenza Plus is the top-of-the-line investment we found to create your perfect cup every time and look good doing so.

A 19-bar pressure system, one-touch order function, descaling alert, and four programmable selections might seem a bit overwhelming at first for amateurs, but you'll delight in the professiona barista experience in your very own home once you've jumped the learning curve on this luxe machine.

Keurig K-Mini Plus® Single Serve Coffee Maker

Keurig is the brand that made single serve coffee makers a household item, and this mini version is one of our favorites for it’s tiny countertop footprint, strong brewing abilities, and lovely array of color options available (we’re partial to the red you see here).

“It brews the perfect cup of coffee and I've received multiple compliments about the sleek and compact design,” one happy customer writes of their Keurig before adding, “Overall, this coffee maker is perfect for working from home!”

Mainstays Single Serve and K-Cup Black Coffee Maker

You won’t find a more affordable unit that this Mainstays version at Walmart, and the reviews are generally more positive than even some of the more expensive brands listed on their site!

“We have the extensive brand at my job that holds tons of water, but you know what I LOVE this K-Cup Single Serve,” claims one review. “It does the same job. I simply pour my cup of water in and it works well! In fact, it does a good job getting the coffee out of the K-Cup better than many expensive machines.”

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