Alone At Last: The 5 Best Single Cup Coffee Makers
INGadgets BY M. W. Byrne
There is nothing better than the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. Conversely, there is nothing worse than the smell of burned or stale coffee in the evening. When you are up and out the door in the morning, it is easy to forget to turn the coffee pot off. Then you come back to the ungodly reek of seared coffee that has now scorched itself onto your pot. In order to avoid this unnecessary tragedy, you should consider a single cup coffee makers. They are faster and simpler than standard coffee brewers and won’t make your house smell like a caffeine cesspool.
Mr. Coffee Single Serve Coffee Brewer
Ordinarily, Mr. Coffee is the brand you buy as a wedding gift for people you don’t like. They make passable goods that are noted for their very low prices and subsequent mediocre quality. For this single-cup brewer, they brought their patented low price, but partnered with Keurig, who contributed their excellent quality to create an entry-level product that looks good and works well at a price that doesn’t gut-check you.
It comes with a big ol’ 40 ounce reservoir so that multiple people can use it, or you can fill it once and forget it for days at a time. It offers 3 different sizes depending on how strong you want your coffee. You can get the burly cup o’ joe you need while your daughter can get the watery, French roasted, mint-flavored swill she likes. It can brew up a cup in less than a minute, so percolation is fast. The only true downside to this machine is that you’ll need to use K-Cup packs for it to work properly. Cost: $80. [Purchase]
Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio
If you have ever seen a penguin in the wild and thought to yourself “I really wish I could get something like that for the counter at home” then the Genio is right up your alley. It has a tiny footprint, making it ideal for RVs, studio apartments, or dorm rooms. Despite it’s diminutive stature, the Genio brews up a damn fine single-serve cup of coffee without preheating thanks to the thermoblock system.
It comes with 7 strength settings so you can get everything from a concentrated shot to slightly colored water. It has 15 bar pressure, so you can even make an espresso, so long as you don’t mind it being so-so. You’ll be forced to stick to Nescafé’s mixtures, but given the breadth and range of their assortment, most tastes are covered. The Genio has an automatic shutoff so it will never burn your house down, which is more than can be said for most penguins. Cost: $126. [Purchase]
Bunn My Cafe MCU
Since Bunn isn’t affiliated with any particular line of coffee pods, the MCU won’t tie you down. They offer you freedom, man. Whether you like to use a variety of pre-made coffee pods with your single-serve coffee pots, or make your own at home, the MCU can use them. If you just want to use grounds, it can accommodate that as well. You can even tea bag it…just be careful.
It heats quickly giving you hot water, tea, or coffee in less than a minute. You can adjust your size settings to make anything from a 4oz cup to 14oz, and if you want to pulse brew you can do that to get the perfect mixture for your palette. This is easily one of the most versatile models available, but it has four different brew heads which can take up a fair amount of space. Cost: $130. [Purchase]
Keurig Platinum K75
Like all Keurig products, you’ll be relegated to using their K-Cups to make the K75 work, but if you invest in the do-it-yourself kind, you can still mix it up like a fiend. The K75 makes a very good cup of coffee, but what sets it apart from the pack is the plethora of features. It is among the few one-shot coffee machines that has an easy, programmable display so that you can set it and forget it. With the huge 60oz reservoir, most people can fill it only once a week and be ready to go day after day without interruption. Rare in the land of single-cup coffe makers.
Even if you don’t program it, the heating element works quickly, though not as quickly as some. You might have to wait literal moments before you get your caffeine fix, so if every second counts, the K75 might not be ideal. It offers 5 size options starting at 4oz and ending at 12oz all of which can be added to the scheduling program so you have the perfect size every morning. Overall, a quality purchase for those that like a little more control over their coffee pot. Cost: $189. [Purchase]
Jura Giga 5
If all you want is a cup of coffee, then go ahead, save thousands of dollars, but if you want a full single-serving coffee experience, then you need to run out right now and buy the Jura Giga 5. Ok, we mean you need to run out, go to the bank, get a loan, then go buy the Jura Giga 5. The Giga 5 comes with two built-in grinders and separate heating systems to maintain varied water temperatures so that you can concoct your own, customized coffee creations. What is an Irish mochiespressachinalatte? No one knows, but with the Giga 5, you can finally make one.
You can pre-set 18 different single-serving coffee mixtures into the mainframe of the Giga 5 and it will drop out whatever Frankenstein creation you cooked up. It has variable brewing chambers, an integrated cleaning and descaling program, automatic standby, completely programmable on/off functions, complete control over the size and strength of each cup, and once killed a capo of the Gambino crime family, though it was never convicted. If you just can’t settle for anything less, or are a mad scientist in need of a single-cup coffe machine, and you want something to do with your hundred dollar bills besides light cigars, then buy a Giga 5. Cost $5,500. [Purchase]
Honorable Mention: Handpresso Wild
It can’t technically be called a coffee maker, since you have to heat the water separately, but it is still worthy of note. The Handpresso looks more like a can opener or a personal massager, but it is, in fact, an excellent way to make a quick cup of coffee or a hit of espresso. You add some hot water to the machine, pop in a pod or use your own blend of grounds, and hit the trigger. Employing 16 bar pressure it slams the water through the machine and out comes your caffeine fix.
The allure of the Wild is its portability. No longer do you have to worry about being able to make a quality cup of coffee when you are backpacking, staying at a hotel, or even at the office. The Wild can fit anywhere: in your car, in a suitcase, or in a holster on your hip for the next quick-brew contest. It will guarantee you’ll never be forced to drink inferior coffee or even something as loathsome as tea ever again. Cost: $130. [Purchase]