Finding The Best Single Serve Coffee Maker: 4 Top Choices
Today I’m trying to choose the best single serve coffee machine currently available. It’s not easy to pinpoint an outright winner, but you should find the perfect machine among the 4 top rated ones below.
Just to be clear, there are a lot of other very good 1 cup coffee makers out there, but making a list of all of them would serve no purpose. What I’ve done here is to isolate the 4 best rated ones, while also advising you on their strengths and weaknesses to help you make a good buying decision.
Let’s get straight to it. First a short review of each model, then a summary and recommendation at the bottom.
Keurig is the king of single-cup brewers. The K65 is the #1 best-selling single-serve brewer on Amazon at the time of this writing. It's not hard to see why this is Keurig's most popular model.
You get a great balance of features and size with the K65. The 60-ounce removable water reservoir holds enough water for 8 cups. You get three brew size options, a beautiful back-lit LCD and programmable features like a digital clock and adjustable temperature settings. The water level is easily visible thanks to the see-through reservoir.
Keurig machines of course use the patented K-cup pods, and you get plenty of different flavors. However, with the aid of a reusable filter you can also use your own favorite coffee in the Keurig. This added versatility makes the Keurig a great investment. Some concerns exist over durability as the pumps in particular on these machines are prone to premature failure.
Pros: Easy to use, great coffee, fairly versatile, low price per cup
Cons: Reliability concerns
Satisfied Buyers: 86%
The Keurig K65 is a convenient, stylish and user-friendly single serve coffee brewer. However, you should also consider the smaller, less featured Keurig K45 (not programmable, 48oz water tank) and the larger, more featured Keurig K75 (5 cup sizes, 72oz water tank). Which one will be most suitable to you will depend on your needs.
The Bunn MCU is arguably the most versatile single cup coffee maker available right now, and offers some serious competition for Keurig. With just this one brewer you can use K-cups, soft pods (coffee and tea), tea bags, loose tea and ground coffee. You can also use it simply as a hot water dispenser.
To facilitate all this versatility you get 4 different trays with the machine, which you need to exchange depending on what you wish to brew. This highlights the one drawback that may put some people off the MCU: it takes more work than, say, a Keurig would to get the job done and definitely isn’t as user-friendly.
For example, the water reservoir is not removable and is hidden completely. You have to set your brew size manually by pouring the required amount of water into the machine.
So, if you're used to the clear push button functionality of a Keurig, the Bunn will take some getting used to and may not be for everyone.
However, having one brewer compatible with just about any pod or tea/coffee out there is a big plus. The Bunn MCU is fast, efficient and doesn't seem to suffer from the reliability issues that plague many Keurigs.
Pros: Incredibly versatile, fast, great results, reliable
Cons: More manual input required, hidden water reservoir
Satisfied Buyers: 83%
It may not be for everyone, but the Bunn MCU has quickly collected a score of satisfied users and it has a good real world track record. What it lacks in convenience and user-friendliness it makes up for in versatility and performance.
If you’ve done any amount of research on Keurig machines, you’ll know that a major complaint is their reliability, particularly the pumps. Is it then possible to have Keurig’s sleek design and quality coffee in addition to decent reliability?
The answer is yes, and it comes in the form of the commercial-grade Keurig B145 OfficePRO. This is a beautiful one cup coffee maker, sporting the classic Keurig look. It has a 48-ounce water reservoir, supports 3 cup sizes and has a drainable internal water tank.
So, you’re getting commercial-grade performance in a home-grade priced system. What are the downsides? First, the machine is more noisy than the Keurig Elite models. Also, if you want to use your own coffee instead of K-cups, you need the additional purchase of an Ekobrew filter (around $10) as this model is not compatible with reusable My K-cup filters. It is also slightly larger and heavier than the Keurig Elite models.
What you get for those few inconveniences is a fast (about 90-120 seconds from a cold start to brewing), durable Keurig single serve coffee maker that still looks stylish and produces the goods.
Pros: Fast, durable, stylish, low price per cup, price
Cons: Needs additional filter for own coffee, noisy, lacks advanced features
Satisfied Buyers: 87%
The Keurig B145 makes a strong case for itself. Being a commercial-grade model it has a few rough edges, but overall you get the classic Keurig look and functionality with better reliability. Buyers love this machine, with 87% of them scoring it favorably in online reviews.
Ok, we’ve looked at some sleek automatic machines all around or upwards of $100. But what if you prefer absolute control over your final product, and don’t mind putting in the manual work to get there?
The Aerobie Aeropress may just be the perfect single cup coffee maker for you. It may look more like something you’d use for lab experiments than for coffee brewing, but don’t let that put you off. The Aeropress is a simple, very effective way to produce delicious coffee or espresso. With a bit of practice, you can get it just the way you like it.
You don’t have to worry too much about getting the “perfect grind”. The Aeropress will work fine even with rougher grinds.
The brewing process involves about the same amount of work as a French press would, with much better results. The coffee is less oily and the filter ensures that there are no ground coffee floating around in the cup.
Pros: Cheap, effective, easy to maintain, no pumps or electronics that can break
Cons: Requires manual work
Satisfied Buyers: 91%
Most buyers love this coffee maker, with 91% reviewing it favorably. It is not for everyone, but if you want to control every bit of the brewing process to nail down the perfect cup without worrying about mechanical failures, you’re going to love playing with the Aerobie Aeropress.
Best Single Serve Coffee Maker: Final Words
So, what single cup coffee brewer do you buy?
For push button convenience, any model in the Keurig Elite K series will do you just fine. You just need to choose the size and features you need.
For versatility, you can’t beat the Bunn My Café MCU, although it does have some drawbacks with regards to ease of use.
If you want the Keurig experience without the reliability issues of their home models, you need to take a good look at the Keurig B145 OfficePRO. I feel the slight concessions you have to make in terms of features and noise is worth the faster performance and better reliability.
Finally, the Aerobie Aeropress is perfect for those who don’t mind to put in some work to get the perfect cup of coffee. It’s cheap and easy to use, can almost last forever with the odd cheap part replacement and offers great tasting results.
I hope the single serve coffee maker reviews on this page help you to find the best machine for your personal needs!