Forks in the Road: Food and Travel in Central PA - A Community Blog

Adrienne Wolter shares local restaurant reviews, day trips and cooking adventures

Which Single-Serve Coffee Maker Is Best?

Written by Adrienne Wolter, Community Blogger | Jan 21, 2015 8:42 AM

Single-serve coffee makers have long been hot items on the market, and companies are still brewing up different versions with nifty features.

Choosing the best coffee maker depends on your personal tastes, but here are five makers with individual features, pros and cons:

1. Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System


It's the classic brand we're all familiar with that dominates the industry, but why the strong reputation?


The K45 Elite is so popular because it's customizable. You can brew coffee, tea or hot chocolate in a 6-, 8- or 10-ounce cup, and the water tank holds up to 48 ounces This is perfect for entertaining or for big families because you can serve six cups in about six minutes. It also has all the other convenient features like auto-off and a dishwasher-safe drip tray.


While the Keurig's simplicity makes it easy to use and gets the job done, the maker is just that: simple. Because of its mass-production, construction quality is not up to par with competitors, evident from its mainly plastic material. Others made from metal will likely last longer.

2. Starbucks Verismo 580 Brewer


Why go out for your favorite cup of Starbucks when you can make it in your own home? This machine is great for any Starbucks lover


The brewer makes a good cup of Starbucks coffee, espresso or latte with its 19-bar pressure pump, extremely similar to what you get in the café. It includes unique features like a compartment that automatically stores up to 10 used pods, a height-adjustable drip tray and an attractive design.


If you decide to try brands outside Starbucks, that option isn't available. The maker only brews Starbucks Verismo pods, limiting your choices to whichever flavors are compatible. Freshly ground beans are also out of the question, as true reusable pods do not exist for this machine.

3. Tassimo Suprema T45 Home Brewing System


This maker takes in-home coffee to a new level with its unique and modern feature: barcode technology.


The Tassimo T45 not only brews many different beverages like coffee, espresso, latte, tea and even cappuccino, but it also knows how to brew them individually. Using Intellibrew technology, the machine scans the pod's barcode to determine the exact temperature, pressure, water amount and brewing time required.


As rare as this technology is, the pods for this specific device are even rarer. Tassimo pods are not as common as Keurig and Dolce products in grocery stores, making it difficult to enjoy that perfect cup on a regular basis. You'll most likely need to buy online.

4. Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker


It's the ideal maker for a tiny kitchen or someone who really enjoys a good cup of espresso


If you're looking for a space-saver, look no further. At 4 inches wide, 12 ½ inches long and 6.6 pounds, it fits just about anywhere. It's also energy-efficient, highly durable with titanium sides and wired specifically to produce delicious espresso.


Of course, this machine is only for espresso lovers. The Pixie cannot brew coffee, tea or any other beverage, so if you want more variety you'll have to look elsewhere.

5. ICoffee Opus Single Serve Brewer


For those who just started drinking coffee or those who cannot stand its bitter taste, this maker takes these ideas into consideration:


While the Opus is similar to the Keurig, its spin-brew technology makes all the difference. Instead of running hot water through a needle into ground coffee, the water runs out the side of the needle while spinning to evenly distribute hot water over the pod. This picks up all the coffee grinds rather than just shooting water directly into the middle, creating a smoother, less-bitter taste.


Other than the spinning needle, the Opus doesn't offer much else except your basic features. You can't adjust water temperature or brew multiple cups, and the shiny, modern appearance may clash with more homey kitchens.

While each single-serve coffee maker has its pros and cons, it's your personal preference that makes one better than the other. While they certainly won't help your caffeine addiction, these machines are great for single professionals or families who would rather go cold turkey than deal with a full pot of coffee.

Featured photo: Patrick Gensel

Tagged under , ,

back to top

Give Now

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »