The first cup of your favorite coffee blend can be enhanced with one of the best pod coffee makers on the market while offering everyone in the family the blend that they want. Fast and convenient, pod coffee makers, also called single brew coffee makers, are designed to serve a single cup of coffee with the least amount of fuss, saving you that half pot that you are currently pouring down the drain because it doesn’t get consumed.
Ounce for ounce, pods cost a little more than regular ground coffee, but you can make up for this cost by not wasting a drop or using refillable pods. You must keep in mind, however, that if you’re the kind that likes to try out a few gourmet single estate blends, a pod machine that does not allow you to use reusable pods won’t give that to you. It’s best to take a look at the range of pod coffee blends available before you decide to buy the machine or only choose a brand that will work with reusable pods that you can fill with your favorite blend. Our best pod coffee maker reviews take this into account.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Are Coffee Pods So Popular?
- 2 Alternatives to Pod Coffee Machines
- 3 Programmable Single Serve Coffee Maker
- 4 Coffee Maker for Pods, Ground Coffee and Tea
- 5 Single Serve Coffee and Espresso Maker
- 6 Cheap Single Serve Coffee Maker
- 7 Small Single Cup Coffee Maker
Why Are Coffee Pods So Popular?
Coffee pods are popular because they’re convenient to use and time-saving. There’s no need to measure out a precise amount of grounds each time, place them in the filter basket, and then clean it up when you’re done. A pod can just be plucked out from your stash, dropped in the basket, and you start brewing. There’s no threat of a mess of grounds that may overflow afterward.
Pod coffee makers also give you an easy way to try different blends and for the true espresso coffee devotee, there is one espresso maker in the affordable group of coffee brewing systems. Most grocers carry both K-Cups and Nespresso pods, which can be found in over 100 different flavors and blends. If your household is made up of coffee, hot chocolate, and tea lovers, many of the makers of pod machines also sell single serving tea pods or hot chocolate, so you may get quite a lot of use from this type of machine.
Alternatives to Pod Coffee Machines
Of course, if you’re the kind that needs to grind their beans just before brewing, you’ll have to sacrifice some convenience and instead get a grind and brew coffee machine. If you have a separate grinder already, you can instead get a single serve coffee machine that uses filters so that you can scoop out your blend.
If you’re making coffee for more than just yourself or your favorite blend doesn’t come in pods, then it’s best to go with an automatic drip coffee maker.
Most of the expensive single cup coffee brewers have a de-scaling feature that removes the buildup inside the brewer and helps keep it clean, but they are not necessarily the best pod coffee makers overall. Dishwasher safe parts also aid with cleanup. Some of the following coffee brewers have large capacity water reservoirs while some let you control brewing temperature or strength of the brew. So, what is the best single serve coffee maker using pods? Read on to find out!
Programmable Single Serve Coffee Maker
Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System
Keurig brewers are the first that come to mind when you mention pod coffee brewing systems. With the K45 model its USP is that it will give you the perfect cup, each time, every time with just a few options for you to program. Offering a one-touch control panel and a cup of Joe in just 1 minute, the Keurig K45 System will become your constant morning companion.
The 48-ounce water reservoir gives you the capacity to make 6 eight-ounce cups of coffee, saving time for refills. A new charcoal water filtering system provides great tasting water for the brewing process and you can choose between three different brew sizes – 6 oz., 8 oz., and 10 oz. Sizes. An auto-on off button is a power saving feature and you can set this once for up to 2 hrs and leave it. Dishwasher safe parts make keeping your home brewing system clean. This kit also comes with a 12 pack of Keurig pods for you to sample and if you like, you can also use this machine to brew tea, hot cocoa or even and iced beverage.
Reviewers love their Keurig coffee makers, and many replace old units with either the same model or upgrade. They found set-up to be easy and a fresh cup of coffee was ready for enjoyment, less than five minutes after they had removed it from the box and set it up. You will need to descale it once in a while and change the water filter, so you should keep those recurring costs in mind. Also, this model does not let you change temperature settings, so if that’s a desirable programmable feature, choose the more expensive K75 model which also has a bigger reservoir.
Tassimo by Bosch Single Serve Coffee Brewer (TAS6515UC)
For another recognizable name in pod coffees, consider the Tassimo Single Serve Coffee Brewer. You can only use Tassimo T-discs but they are slightly cheaper than Keurig pods and come with enough brand choices in coffee, tea, latte, espressos, cappuccinos, etc. While not as popular as Keurigs because T-discs used to be harder to find 3 years ago, they are now easily available in stores and online.
This brewer uses barcode technology to read each T-Disc before selecting the perfect pre-programmed amount of water for a single cup at the right temperature and pressure for brewing for the right amount of time. An LCD indicator also tells you when your cup has reached the half filled mark.
The water tank capacity s 1.8 litres and there is a water filter attached for clean tasting brew. A light indicator will let you know when it’s time to replace the filter. The cup holder will hold even a 7″ tall travel mug.
Fans of Bosch Tassimos say that this brewer is much quieter than Keurigs and that your dispensed coffee is always on point and is noticeably hotter. Yes, a drawback of most Keurigs is that it doesn’t dispense very hot coffee.
Coffee Maker for Pods, Ground Coffee and Tea
Cuisinart SS-700 Single Serve Brewing System
For a larger reservoir and choice of 5 beverage size settings, including iced beverage size and tall travel mugs, choose the Cuisinart Single Serve Brewing System. The water reservoir’s capacity is 8 ounces and is removable for easy filling. The best feature is complete versatility, as you have the choice to use any brand K-cup pods (12 Keurigs are included, but you can use Starbucks, Costco, etc. too) or your own ground coffee with the included My K-cup reusable coffee filter. You may even grind your own beans at home!
This machine is fully programmable using the LCD panel with digital clock. It has a rinse setting for easy cleaning and a hot water setting if you only want that for your tea bag in a mug. It also comes with one charcoal water filter and the machine lets you know when it’s time to change it out with a descale warning. The preset temperature for brewing is 192°F, but you can lower this by 5 degree steps for warm cocoa, tea, etc. The brewer can be always kept on if you want to have coffee all day long or you can set to automatically turn off after a your own preset time.
There is another useful feature that’s not immediately obvious but quite useful. You can eliminate a separate kettle in your kitchen with this machine, as it has a hot water dispenser selection for those times when you only want hot water for your instant oatmeal, noodles, soups, etc. If this interests you, we have a few more models of coffee makers cum hot water dispensers that you can look at.
Bunn MCU Home Brewer for Single Cup Multi-Use
Offering the versatility to use K-Cups®, ground coffee or soft coffee pods, the Bunn single cup multi-use brewer will also brew tea bags and loose tea. You will have coffee or tea in under minute yielding four to fourteen ounce servings. The convenient pulse brew feature can give you a stronger cup of coffee. This is one the top single serve coffee makers to make very hot coffee.
Clad in stainless steel, the brewer will look good in any kitchen.
Included with the single cup My Cafe® is a cup, ground coffee, pod and hot water drawers giving you all you need to have a cup of brew, a minute or two after you open the box.
We suggest reading the manual properly so that you understand how the drawers work. Most reviewers love the BUNN single cup brewer but a few have had trouble with it when using ground coffee. One reviewer had a problem with the brewer producing less coffee than the amount selected, but they called BUNN and they were able to help them fix the problem.
Single Serve Coffee and Espresso Maker
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Maker by De’Longhi
Nespresso has a winner with De’Longhi’s Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Maker even in the looks department. This was originally named the Vertuo Evoluo before it became simply the Vertuo. The fact that it looks good and has the ability to froth milk, hot or cold, for your coffee or espresso with the optional Aeroccino makes it even better.
The Centrifusion technology will let you gently brew your selected choice of coffee or espresso with the touch of a button, and the capsule recognition system with code reading helps you blend the perfect cup of coffee (5 or 8 ounces) or a single or double espresso.
The auto-off will turn your brewer off after nine minutes, so you will not be sitting at the office worrying about whether you left your brewer on or not. You can get your brew really fast in the morning, as it takes just 15 seconds to heat up once you start it. The 54 ounce water tank is a good size for serving the whole family a round.
This machine only uses Nespresso Vertuo capsules and is not compatible with Nespresso’s original line of capsules. That’s okay though because Nespresso has many blends of coffee, so you will still be able to find a blend of coffee that suits your taste. Plus, these pods can be reused by buying the Mycap kits. With this kit, you can refill and re-cover the Nespresso Vertuo pods multiple times (the pods have SKU codes, so you must reuse the Nespresso brand pods).
It is an easy to clean option – just rinse out the milk frother, and the removable used capsule container means you can collect up to 17 used capsules before clean up.
While it is super easy to use, if you’d like more coffee making options like the strength of your brew, this may not be the choice for you. If you like the convenience of pods but only want to use them for making espresso or cappuccino and not for regular coffee, you can get a great espresso pod machine that costs less.
Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe Espresso Machine by Breville
If you find that the Vertuo by De’longhi may not fit on your cramped kitchen counter but you still want the delicious Nespresso capsule blends for coffee and espresso, then take a look at Breville’s Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe Espresso Machine instead.
The VertuoPlus Deluxe actually has a slightly larger water tank at 60 oz., but it is movable and can be shifted to be placed on the side or behind the brewer at any angle. It is otherwise almost identical in its other features and functions, so you can’t go wrong with either model.
Cheap Single Serve Coffee Maker
Mr. Coffee Single Serve Brewer, 40-Ounce
One of the least expensive single serve coffee makers, the Mr. Coffee 40-ounce brewer provides a water reservoir that holds enough coffee for five, eight-ounce cups. Using K-Cups® for coffee, cocoa or tea, this little brewer gives you a lot of bang for the buck. It offers brew sizes of six, eight or ten ounces, giving you flexibility, and the removable cup tray can accommodate regular size or travel mugs.
Brew time for an eight-ounce cup of coffee is about a minute, so even if you sleep late, you can still grab a cup of coffee on the way out the door. Since it uses Keurig Brewed® System for making coffee, you are getting the best of worlds, their system and Mr. Coffee’s® trusted brand name for budget coffee makers.
Reviewers found that the Mr. Coffee® single brewer has fewer features than a Keurig but it still brews an excellent cup of coffee. They also claim that is it quieter than the Keurig. Some reviewers claimed that the brewer started leaking at about a year of age, but others found leaks sooner. For the price, though, you can’t beat this little single cup brewer.
Small Single Cup Coffee Maker
Keurig K250 2.0 Brewing System
If you’re the only person in the house that likes a certain blend but you occasionally have to make some extra coffee for guests, why not have a single machine that can do both? All you have to do is select which one.
The Keurig K250 2.0 lets you choose between a single 4, 6, 8 or 10 ounce cup brew and a 4 cup carafe pod that you insert before starting the brew cycle. The machine recognizes the pod and gets to work. You do have to let it preheat before you start brewing and it does not come with an auto-on or off feature. It has a removable 40 oz reservoir but its countertop footprint is so small that you’d never know it. Control is via an LCD touch panel display and you can also opt to have a bolder brew by using the strength control pad. The drip tray is removable for easy cleaning and it comes with a carafe that will hold about 4 cups of coffee.
It is one of the most versatile options because you can use any brand of new K-cups available, even pods for tea, mocha and hot cocoa. The old type of K-cups will not work though. You can also choose from a variety of vibrant colors to suit your kitchen’s decor.
What is the best single cup coffee maker for you? All of these machines are alike, except the larger, higher priced machines have more features, such as adjustable temperature and expanded water reservoirs so it comes down to what you want and need.