Features to consider while choosing a single serve coffee maker
As you can imagine, there are lots of different factors that you need to take into consideration before you make your final decision on your new coffee maker. In this section, we will go through every detail so that you can find the best model for your needs.
One of the first things that you will want to keep in mind when you are looking for a new coffee maker is the capacity that you need. The capacity of any coffee maker is how much water it can fit in its reservoir that can then be used to make your cup of coffee. Obviously, the larger the capacity, the more cups of coffee can be made before you need to refill the reservoir, which is a big help on a busy morning.
Of course, if you live by yourself, then you probably won’t need a model with a large capacity, since you will be the only one making coffee with the machine. In this instance, a model like the Hamilton Beach 49981A would work perfectly. On the other hand, if you live with a large group of coffee lovers, then a coffee maker with a larger capacity, such as the Keurig K575, might be your best bet.
Number of cup sizes
Something else that you will want to carefully consider before you make your final purchase is the number of cup sizes that you need your new coffee maker to be able to handle.
Some of the different models out there can only make one size, while others can make several, so be sure that you have a clear understanding of what you need before you buy.
If you always use the same size cup, then you can probably get by with a single size coffee maker, such as the AdirChef Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker. Of course, if you are looking for a bit of variety in your cup choices, then you can go with something like the Keurig K-Cafe Single-Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker, which will let you pick from four different cup sizes to fit your different coffee needs on different days.
K-Cup pods vs. Nespresso capsules vs. ground coffee
When it comes to the actual coffee that you are going to put into your new maker, there are several different options that you can choose from based on the type of coffee maker you settle on in the end. These choices include the following:
- K-Cup pods – As the name suggests, these pods are meant to be used with Keurig machines. K-cups are incredibly convenient and come in a ton of different flavors. Their only major drawback is that they are not very good for the environment since they cannot be recycled at all.
- Nespresso capsules – Nespresso capsules are used in Nespresso machines, like the Breville Nespresso Creatista Single Serve Espresso Machine. These capsules are very similar to K-cups in that they contain a single serving of coffee or expresso. They don’t come in as many flavors, unfortunately. These capsules are made out of aluminum, however, which means that they can be recycled.
- Ground coffee – Ground coffee is perhaps the most environmentally friendly method of coffee brewing since the grounds and filters can usually be composted or recycled. You can also get reusable and washable pods that fit into Keurig or Nespresso machines so that you can choose your favorite coffee flavors, and help to keep the environment clean. On the other hand, ground coffee is not that convenient to use since you need to carefully measure the proper amount, put it into the brew basket, and clean it afterward. This means more mess and less of your precious time in the morning.
When it comes to getting a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop, there are no limits to the different options that you have when it comes to the varieties of different brews you can select from. This high number of choices is the biggest reason that so many people go to these shops since most coffee makers at home can only make a regular cup. Thankfully, if you get the best rated single serve coffee maker, you will be able to have the option to choose from various brew settings.
These brew settings will allow you to make a light, regular, or bold cup of coffee. That way, you will be able to get the taste you love from your local coffee shop right in your home. Obviously, these brew setting, like those on the Hamilton Beach 49981A and the Ninja CF112, might cost you a bit more, but the taste might be worth it.
If you’re an espresso lover, however, you might also like consider some budget-friendly espresso makers under $300 or our top picks of manual espresso machines.
If there’s a milk frother
Cappuccinos and lattes are another drink that you can usually only find at a coffee shop since they require a different mix of coffee, and a milk froth. Milk frothers are necessary for these drinks since they create the top layer by heating and mixing the milk so quickly that it becomes frothy.
While this feature is certainly not necessary for anyone that is looking for a normal cup of coffee, it is absolutely essential if you want to use your single serve coffee maker to make lattes and cappuccinos in your own home. While other models do come with a milk frother, the Keurig K-Cafe Single-Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker’s is probably the easiest to use and works the best. Check out our round-up of the best latte machines if this feature is of particular importance
When it comes to the size of your new coffee maker, you will need to make sure that you have a spot big enough for the model that you have in mind on your counter. If you have a smaller kitchen, then you will want to make sure you get a smaller model. Otherwise, it might clutter up your space too much. Obviously, if you have a larger kitchen, then the dimensions of your new coffee maker shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
Whenever you are thinking about making any type of large purpose, it is always best to look for a model with a good warranty. You will want to make sure that whichever coffee maker you decide to purchase comes with a good warranty. That way, you will be covered if anything stops working or your machine gets damaged in any way through normal use. You just need to be careful, as lots of companies claim to offer a long and comprehensive warranty, but will actually only cover you for a short amount of time.
One of the best features to look for with this type of coffee maker is a removable water reservoir. While this might not sound like all that big of a deal, it is a huge timesaver, since it will allow you to fill the water container right in your sink. That way, you won’t need to deal with any accidental spills when you are filling your machine.
Another great feature is a heating function, as can be found in thermal coffee makers.
Also, it’s always good to get a bunch of accessories together with your purchase. For example, the Keurig K575 comes with a six-count K-Cup Pod Variety Pack so that you can try different varieties of coffee before you decide which you like best.
How to maintain your single serve coffee maker
While you might not think that a machine that uses hot water can get all that dirty, germs can actually accumulate pretty quickly. Luckily, a quick cleaning process will restore your coffee maker to its out-of-the-box glory.
- Unplug your machine and take out any removable pieces and rinse them in warm soapy water.
- Wipe out the interior of the machine with a damp microfiber cloth.
- Dry and replace all of the pieces that you washed.
- Fill the water reservoir with one half white vinegar and one half cold water. Run the machine without any capsules or coffee until all of the solution has been used.
- Fill the water reservoir with cold water and run through the cycle with no capsules or coffee.
- Resume using your coffee maker normally.