Best Personal Coffee Makers for a Cup of Coffee Brewed at Its Best

Review & Comparison, Last Update February 7, 2019
Tired of brewing the whole pot of coffee at once? Need a quick caffeine fix in the morning? Want to brew your own choice of coffee flavor? Opt for a personal coffee maker and enjoy your hot fresh cup any time of the day. Below, we've picked 5 best models to facilitate your choice. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
COFFEE TYPE
FILTER
BREWING OPTIONS
CARAFE/ MUG
CONTROLS
USABILITY
WARRANTY
 
PROS

A hot water button will let you pour hot water to brew some tea or make instant soups and oatmeal while the iced coffee mode will be of great use to create iced latte on a hot summer day. 

CONS

Somewhat noisy unit operation. 

OUR VERDICT

The Keurig K-Elite is a fully-featured high-end personal coffee maker created for true coffee addicts who want their perfect morning cup of Joe without much time and effort. Offering a fully customizable brewing experience, it will make coffee to any taste. Moreover, with a programmable on/off, the brewer will be ready when you are ready. 

detailed parameters
TYPE

Drip

COFFEE TYPE

K-Cup™ pods

FILTER

Pod Holder, Keurig water filter (filter handle and filter included)

BREWING OPTIONS

Strength control, Temperature control, Volume control

CARAFE/ MUG

Not included

CONTROLS

Control Panel with LCD-display, Programmable On/off setting

USABILITY

75oz removable water reservoir, Removable drip tray, 6-count K-Cup™ Pod variety pack included

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

When you open the top lid the used capsule automatically goes into a special reservoir that can hold up to 20 capsules saving you the need to empty it too often. 

CONS

The coffee temperature might seem not hot enough (cup pre-heat is needed).

OUR VERDICT

If you are one of those who like flavorful strong espresso with a distinct aroma and dense crema, Nespresso from Breville will definitely catch your fancy. It boasts the CENTRIFUSION™ technology to squeeze the coffee taste and flavors to the last drop.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Drip

COFFEE TYPE

Nespresso Vertuo capsules

FILTER

Capsule holder with CENTRIFUSION™ technology

BREWING OPTIONS

Volume control

CARAFE/ MUG

Not included

CONTROLS

One-Button with LED-indicator

USABILITY

Capsule recognition technology, 40oz removable water reservoir, Removable used capsule container, Removable drip tray, Height-adjustable stand, 12 VertuoLine™ Capsules included

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

A special Scoop™ brew basket is designed to measure your ground coffee with ease and precision. It features two measure lines for exact serving amounts.

CONS

To prevent spills and splashes, you'll have to pick the right cup height. 

OUR VERDICT

No coffee lover appreciating a distinct rich aroma of freshly brewed ground coffee will pass by the Hamilton Beach 49981. It does not need K-cups or coffee pods, giving you an unmatched opportunity to experiment with coffee grind types, flavors, and brands.  

detailed parameters
TYPE

Drip

COFFEE TYPE

Ground coffee, Coffee pods

FILTER

Scoop™ Brew Basket

BREWING OPTIONS

Strength selector for brewing (regular or bold)

CARAFE/ MUG

Not included

CONTROLS

Control panel with an LED-indicator

USABILITY

Scoop™ brew basket holder, Removable drip-tray, Espresso cup stand

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

A removable drip tray allows placing pretty large travel mugs up to 7.2" high to have your coffee fix on the go. Besides, the drip tray is dishwasher safe.

CONS

It takes about two minutes for the unit to heat up. 

OUR VERDICT

What sets the Keurig  K-Select™ apart from other similar models is almost noiseless operation ensured by the branded Quiet Brew Technology™. It's a great choice for early risers who want their caffeine boost while everybody is still asleep. 

detailed parameters
TYPE

Drip

COFFEE TYPE

K-Cup™ pods

FILTER

Pod Holder, Keurig water filter (filter handle and filter included)

BREWING OPTIONS

Strength control, Volume control

CARAFE/ MUG

Not included

CONTROLS

Control Panel with LED-indicators, Programmable 2-hour off setting

USABILITY

QuietBrew™ Technology, 52oz removable water reservoir, Removable drip tray, 6-count K-Cup™ Pod variety pack included

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

Really compact brewer dimensions will help you find the place for this little fellow even in a small kitchen limited in countertop space. One-touch cleaning option greatly facilitates the unit maintenance and prevents limescale buildup.   

CONS

The water reservoir is not removable. 

OUR VERDICT

Compatible with a whole variety of K-cups, irrespective of the brand, the CHULUX brewer gives you a chance to taste a myriad of coffee flavors without being limited to a single brand. Besides, an extremely compact size makes it a real find for coffee drinkers on the go.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Drip

COFFEE TYPE

K-Cup™ pods

FILTER

Pod holder

BREWING OPTIONS

Volume control

CARAFE/ MUG

Not included

CONTROLS

One button with LED-indicator

USABILITY

12oz non-removable water reservoir, Removable drip tray

WARRANTY

1 year

Keurig K-Elite

Fully Customizable Brewing

What makes a good cup of coffee? Basically, it’s a distinct flavor revealing a bouquet of after-tastes and a nice thick crema on the top. But, in fact, there is no single formula for a perfect cup. As they say, tastes differ, and everybody likes it brewed their way. Some like it strong and piping hot while others tend to a more delicate flavor and mild temperature. Hence, when it comes to coffee brewers, customization is presumably the most important aspect to consider. And this is where the K-Elite personal coffee maker excels.

Being the leader among top-liners, the K-Elite boasts modern high-end design and premium programmable functionality. On the top of the unit, you will find a control panel with an LED display and backlit buttons. Unlike many other single serve machines providing only volume control, the K-Elite offers a fully customizable brewing experience. You are free to choose between 5 cup sizes ranging from 4 oz to 12 oz. Next, you can adjust the brewing temperature and select the brew strength. So, whether you like the bold bitter taste of ristretto or a mild chocolate flavor of Irish coffee, you’ll get your perfect brew.

What’s more, you’ll get your favorite drink ready at a single touch of a button without much effort and unnecessary hassle. Just hold the water tank full, insert a K-cup with the taste to your liking, select the strength, and then press the cup-size button to get the desired volume. In less than a minute, you’ll get your cup steaming with an incredible aroma.

Review of Keurig K-Elite Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

Drink It Hot or Cold

With the K-Elite, you’ll be able to make much more than just hot coffee drinks. The “Iced” button will let you brew hot over ice coffee to make a chilly drink with your favorite coffee flavor to refresh yourself on a hot day. Besides, a “Hot water” button allows dispensing boiling hot water to brew a pot of tea or make instant soup, noodle, or oatmeal for breakfast or quick meal. The water tank can hold 75 oz of water and will let you make 8 cups per single fill - such capacity is more than enough even for a large family. 

Keurig K-Elite Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker in the use

Get It Ready When You Need

One more distinguishing feature of the K-Elite coffee maker that you won’t find in many other models, even in its price range, is a programmable on/off function. This function will enable you to set the exact time you want your brewer to turn on and preheat in the morning. Not only does this function allows saving energy, but also you will have your coffee maker ready to brew when you are ready to have your caffeine boost.

In short, the Keurig K-Elite is a fully-featured single-serve coffee maker that offers a fully customizable brewing experience to meet any taste and will be highly appreciated by true coffee addicts who want their cup of Joe quickly and without much effort.

Detailed review of Keurig K-Elite Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Nespresso Vertuo by Breville

For Espresso Lover in Your Heart

All espresso aficionados know firsthand that making really good espresso is not an easy task. Right brewing technique is only half-way to success. Another important aspect is the coffee blend quality and the proper grind. Hence, if you want to enjoy barista style espresso shots time after time without any trial and error, the Nespresso Vertuo single serve coffee maker from Breville will cater to your needs. Not only does this little machine give you a chance to make your perfect cup at a single touch of a button but also it cleverly combines professional brewing technique with ideally selected coffee blends. See for yourself.

The Nespresso Vertuo is a fully automated unit meant for capsuled coffee. You just put a pre-packed capsule into a small compartment under the opening lid on the top, press a single control button and let the unit do the rest. What makes this model from Breville stand out is the CENTRIFUSION™ technology using centrifugal action to spin the capsule and gradually infuse ground coffee with water. This brand-specific technology allows for squeezing the maximum from ground coffee beans and achieving maximum rich taste and flavor essential for espresso.

Review of Nespresso Vertuo by Breville Coffee and Espresso Machine

Choose Your Perfect Cup

Specifically created for espresso lovers, the Nespresso Vertuo offers as many as 5 cup sizes ranging from 1.35 oz to 14 oz. Three sizes from 1.35 oz to 5 oz correspond to ristretto, classic espresso, and espresso lungo accordingly. Yet, unlike many other coffee maker models fitted with a separate button for each cup size, the Nespresso Vertuo applies a kind of smart system. Each Nespresso capsule comes marked with a barcode for the extraction system to recognize the coffee blend you’ve selected and adjust the brewing parameters. As a result, you’ll get exactly the cup size you want and the machine will do all the job for you.

The only negative about such system is that this coffee maker is compatible only with Nespresso capsules. However, the choice of coffee blends is so vast that it will meet any taste. The machine comes in a bundle with 12 Nespresso capsules so that anyone can find their perfect shot.

Nespresso Vertuo by Breville Coffee and Espresso Machine in the use

A Thought-out Design

As functional and smart as it is, the Vertuo has some more merits to offer. The model comes packed in a well-thought design. It is more compact than many other single-cup coffee makers and takes less countertop space. Still, it has a pretty capacious 40-oz water reservoir to hold up to 5 full cups. For your convenience, a drip tray can be removed and set in higher or lower positions to accommodate different cup sizes from a small cup to a high bowl or travel mug. Finally, the unit features a detachable receptacle for used capsules for mess-free brewing. It can hold up to 20 capsules and doesn’t need to be emptied too often.

To conclude, the Nespresso Vertuo is a perfect espresso machine thought out to the last detail. It’s a great choice for a kind of a lazy drinker who appreciates the genuine espresso taste but want to avoid the hassle of manual brewing.

Detailed review of Nespresso Vertuo by Breville Coffee and Espresso Machine

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Hamilton Beach 49981A

Prize and Coffee Lovers’ Hearts Winner

The first thing you will admire about the Hamilton Beach 49981A single-serve coffee maker is its eye-catching design of stainless steel that will perfectly blend with any kitchen interior. It’s worth saying that for the well-thought design and highly efficient operation, this model was awarded a “2012 Good Housekeeping Very Innovative Products (VIP) Award" from Good Housekeeping Research Institute and got high rankings from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). 

The model is fast, simple to handle, and compatible with most types of ground coffee. 

Instead of making the whole pot and wasting a good half of it, with Hamilton Beach, you can make as much coffee as you want and no more, be it a single cup or several serves. Just add your favorite ground coffee into the scoop filter, pour fresh water, and brew. You’ll be impressed how quickly it will prepare a customized cup. It drips an 8-oz cup in about 90 seconds and a 14-oz travel mug in less than two and a half minutes. 

An integrated adjustable L-shaped metal stand will easily accommodate both standard-size cups and taller mugs for splash-free dispensing. It addition, there is a drip tray that will catch the spills, if there are any, keeping your countertop dry and clean. 

Review of Hamilton Beach 49981A

Choose Your Boldness Level

Unlike with many other one-cup coffee brewers, in this model, you can adjust the strength not only by using more or less water but also by varying the quantity of ground coffee and choosing coarser or finer grind. 

On the front panel of the unit, you will find two control buttons for "Regular" and "Bold" settings. The Regular setting works best if you need a quick cup and decide to go for a standard automatic drip coffee. The Bold setting is recommended for flavored, decaf, and finely ground blends as well as for premium brands like Starbucks® and Dunkin’ Donuts®. In "Bold" mode, the water passes through coffee at a slower rate but longer brewing results in better flavor extraction. Choose “Bold” for stronger, better-tasting and more flavorful coffee.

Say good-bye to k-cups and enjoy the freedom of experimenting with your favorite coffee blends, flavors, and strengths!

Hamilton Beach 49981A in the use

The Scoop™ Brew Basket

A distinguishing feature of the Hamilton Beach 49981A is a one-of-the-kind Scoop™ Brew Basket that contributes to a hassle-free preparation. A handy scoop to measure ground coffee doubles as a filter to be placed in a holder with an additional fine-mesh filter.

For exact serving amount, the scoop filter features two measuring lines. The lower line goes for 2 tablespoons of ground coffee while the top line equals three full tablespoons. However, you are free to add more or less coffee to customize your own perfect cup. However, bear in mind that overfilling the scoop can cause water to overflow and spills. 

After brewing, you can rinse the scoop filter and hang it to dry on a special knob on the side of your coffee maker. 

Detailed review of Hamilton Beach 49981A

Ground Coffee or Coffee Pods?

The Hamilton Beach 49981A is compatible not only with ground coffee but also with pre-packed soft coffee pods. It’s a truly great option when you need a quick caffeine fix and you want to save time on filter and machine cleaning after brewing. 

The best way to enjoy high-quality coffee with an exceptional fragrance on a daily basis is to roast and grind it yourself. Coffee roasters are designed to obtain ideally roasted coffee at home. Check our review to choose the one for yourself. 

Hamilton Beach 49981A application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Keurig K-Select

The Branded Quality and Functionality

Keurig is an absolute top-liner among pod-based coffee machines. Focused on the ultimate customer convenience and perfect brewing, Keurig creates fully automated units distinguished by exceptional quality and available in different price segments. If you need a reasonably priced quality brewer with a straightforward design to brew coffee almost in an instant, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option than the Keurig K-Select.

At a glance, you will like a no-nonsense sleek design and fairly simple interface of this machine. Encased in a fingerprint resistant body made of damage-proof plastic, this model looks very modern and will fit any contemporary kitchen. Moreover, you can choose from several color patterns to match any interior style.

Strongly built and good-looking, the machine is very convenient and easy in use. The water tank is removable for quick filling and no-hassle washing and can hold 6 full cups of water (52 oz in total) saving you the need to refill too often. All controls are located on the top of the unit within easy reach. As all other Keurig machines, this model provides the benefit of the push-of-a-button functionality. Compatible with a variety of K-cups, it will make a freshly brewed cup of coffee in about a minute and in another two minutes, it will be ready for the next brew.

The K-Select offers the choice of 4 cup sizes, from a smaller 6 oz lungo cup to a larger 12 oz latte cup. Besides, those who like a bolder coffee taste and rich flavor can first press “Strong” button for a stronger brew.

Review of Keurig K-Select Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

For Early Risers and On-the-go Drinkers

No coffee drinker can imagine their morning without a caffeine fix. Though there is hardly a quicker way to brew a cup than using a personal coffee maker, many of this automatic brewers are pretty noisy. And if you are the only early rise in your family, that noise might disturb the others who are still asleep. With the K-Select, you won’t have that problem. Fitted with the Quiet Brew Technology™, it boasts truly silent operation to brew your favorite cup any time of the day without disturbing the others.

Other than that, if you are a kind of the on-the-go-drinker who is always in a rush and normally drink your morning cup on the way to work, a removable drip tray will let you easily accommodate your travel mug and brew your hot beverage right into it.

Keurig K-Select Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker in the use

Packed With Smart Options

Great performance and functionality aside, the K-Select features some smart options we can’t left unnoticed. No need to say that the better you maintain your brewer, the longer it will serve you failure-free. To make maintenance a breeze, the manufacturer equipped this model with several light indicators that will signalize when it is time to refill the water tank and when you need to descale the unit to keep in a good serviceable condition. To cut the need for descaling very often, it is recommended to use clean filtered water. And the branded Keurig water filter is also included in the set.

To put it in a nutshell, if a reliable basic single cup brewer is what you need for your home or office, the K-Select is by far the best personal coffee maker.

Detailed review of Keurig K-Select Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

CHULUX Capsule

Single-serve Brewing All-arounder

The convenience and practicality of single cup coffee makers are hard to beat. Yet, not all pod-based machine are the same. Many of them would limit your choice of coffee to a single brand. Not only is it fairly inconvenient since some brands have a poor choice but also it might appear not that cost-effective because a certain brand might appear rather pricey. To avoid those hassles, CHULUX has designed a single-serve brewer compatible with pretty much all capsules and K-cups.

The Chulux brand is not that popular as Keurig or Breville and the machine can seem too simple at a glance but it in no way means that it lacks functionality. The unit really has a no-frills construction with less automation and without the bells and whistles of premium brands. However, the price-tag of this model will impress you as well. It costs times less than top-rated models. Let’s have a closer look what you’ll get for that money.

All the basics you expect from a small pod brewer are there. You’ll still get your cup ready at a single touch of a button and will have an opportunity to adjust the volume of your drink as well as enjoy the benefit of mess-free brewing and easy maintenance. A 12 oz water tank will let you adjust the size of your drink by simply adding the necessary amount of water. There are no added controls for that. Then put the pod of your choice into a pod holder, turn the switch on the lid to fix it and press the power button. In about two minutes, you will enjoy your coffee serve. It might take some more time than for other machines, yet, in the end, you’ll get the same barista style coffee shot.

Review of CHULUX Capsule Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer

Get the Benefit of a Compact Design

Simple and functional, the Chulux individual coffee maker has specific merit that distinguishes even from premium models. It’s a compact and fairly portable design. Overall, single cup brewers are not bulky, but this unit is really small. Thanks to a low-volume water tank and the absence of a full-scale control panel, it boasts a narrow profile. Thus, this little fellow will fit even space-limited kitchens, dorm rooms, studios, small apartments, and offices. It can also be used in caravans, trailers, RVs or as an added single serve unit to a fully-featured espresso machine or coffee maker.

CHULUX Capsule Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer in the use

Tested Quality

Though offered at an affordable price tag, this mini machine is a high-quality unit. It is made of BPA-free plastic durable enough to withstand damages and safe to the food. The whole construction is solidly built, it doesn’t leak and ensures mess-free brewing and pouring. The product is also FDA certified to give you total peace of mind about its quality.

To sum up, the Chulux personal coffee maker is a great choice for small kitchens, travelers, on-the-go drinkers, and everyone who wants the freedom of tasting different coffee flavors without a hassle.

Detailed review of CHULUX Capsule Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer

Additional Info

User Manual


 

What Is a Personal Coffee Maker?

Many of us can hardly imagine a morning without a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Not only does it give us a boost to make our body and mind work, it also lavishes our taste buds with a bold and rich flavor of ground coffee beans. But what to do if you usually have very little time in the mornings to make that cup of tea for yourself, let alone your spouse and other family members? A personal coffee maker machine will come to help. What distinguishes this type of a coffee machine is that, being smaller in size, it requires less time and effort to brew a cup of coffee. With a personal coffee maker you won't need to fiddle with multiple settings and will be able to drip coffee right into a travel mug (if you have one, of course) to take your favorite drink with you.

If you've not decided which coffee machine to purchase yet, we suggest you also take a look at cappuccino makers and espresso machines.

What Features to Compare

Type

Basically, single-serve coffee machines fall into two major types that use similar operational principle. Pump brewers use a pump creating a pressure over 10 Bars to force hot water through the pre-ground coffee. As a result, you will get delicious coffee with thick golden crema highly praised by all coffee addicts and professional baristas. Drip coffee makers heat up water to the required temperature, then it gradually passes through the filter with coffee and drips into a cup or a carafe. The coffee from a drip brewer is stronger due to a higher level of caffeine. As compared to pump models, drip units are more cost effective and give you a better caffeine fix to boost yourself.

Coffee Type

Commonly, one-cup coffee makers use ground coffee or coffee pods. Ground coffee gives you an opportunity to experiment with coffee flavors and make individual blends to your taste. Meanwhile, coffee pods are easy to use, they save you the trouble of guessing how to measure the exact amount of coffee per serve and allow diversifying your morning menu with tea, cocoa or even hot chocolate. However, some beverage pods work only with certain machines. As a rule, such coffee brewers feature lower price but your choice of coffee will be restricted by a single pod brand.

Filter

Coffee machines designed to brew ground coffee require a filter, be it a single-use paper filter or a permanent one. Paper filters are easy to dispose of but they do not last long. Permanent filters are more expensive, but in the long run, they can be more budget friendly allowing you to save on buying replaceable filters.

Controls and Usability

When it comes to controls, you can find simple models with a single button or several control buttons and those with an LCD touch screen that offer you an opportunity to customize all brewing settings, including coffee strength, to your liking. Where strength control is not available, you can adjust the strength by adding more or less ground coffee to the filter.

Some manufacturers complement their coffee makers with extra features that add to the ease and convenience of use and beneficially distinguish their units from their counterparts. These little bonuses may include a carafe for making several serves at a time, a travel mug for a coffee on-the-go, a built-in water filter for better coffee quality, a replaceable water reservoir for no-fuss filling and a drip tray for mess-free dispensing.

With that said, now, it’s up to you to select the model to cater to all your needs and requests.

FAQ:

Q: What are the main advantages of personal coffee makers?
A: 
The biggest advantage is that you can make one cup of coffee at a time. You only need to add water and coffee and in less than a minute you can enjoy your freshly brewed beverage. The next benefit is freshness. With a single cup coffee brewer, you always know that your coffee is 100% fresh. Besides, personal coffee machines are convenient to operate, easy to clean, space-saving, and cost-effective. 

Q: What is a pod coffee brewer?
A: 
It’s a single-cup machine that uses pre-packed coffee pods and offers fully automatic coffee making. It’s a great option for all coffee lovers looking for a mess- and hassle-free coffee preparation. Apart from coffee pods, these machines are usually compatible with tea and hot chocolate pods offering a variety of flavors to your choice. 

Q: What is filter coffee?
A: 
Filter coffee is made by hot water passing through ground coffee in a filter. It is also called drip coffee. The flavor, color, and aroma are extracted from coffee and dissolved in the water. Ideal for coffee lovers appreciating strong coffee with distinctive flavor. Many personal coffee makers use drip extraction method. 

Q: How do I clean my coffee brewer?
A: 
Keep safety in mind! First of all, unplug your coffee maker and let it cool. Remove a filter basket and permanent filter (if available) and clean them in a solution of warm water and liquid soap. Avoid using abrasive cleansers, never immerse the machine itself in water, and always flip through the instruction manual for dishwasher safe parts or some specific details on cleaning. 

Q: What can cause a bad coffee taste?
A: 
There are several reasons for coffee taste changes. The prime reason is old coffee that might taste stale. The fresher your coffee is the better it tastes. Two more reasons affecting your java taste are water and coffee quality. Always used fresh filtered water and opt for high-quality coffee varieties and blends. Finally, don’t forget to clean your coffee maker. 

Q: How often is it necessary to clean an automatic coffee maker?
A: 
Since cleaning prolongs the unit service life, allows avoiding bad coffee taste, and solves some brewing problems, you’d better clean your coffee machine every 40 to 80 brews. 

Q: Why does my coffee maker brew slower than usually?
A: 
Coffee makers get clogged with mineral deposits over time. Hence, your unit might require cleaning to remove all sediments and scale.

Sources:

1. Coffeemaker, Wikipedia. March 19, 2017.

2. Marshall brain and Jessika Toothman How Coffee Makers Work, HowStuffWorks.

3. How to Use a Coffee Maker, wikiHow.

4. Tips for Becoming a Coffee Grinding Expert, Mr. Coffee®. May 20, 2015.

5. Kelvin Titus, Discover the Many Advantages of Drip Coffee Makers, Lifehack.

6. Mariah Evans 5 Great Advantages of Owning a Single Cup Coffee Maker, SelfGrowth.

7. Definitive Guide to Single Serve Coffee Makers, Home Stratosphere.

8. Create Your Own Coffee Blend, VisiHow.

9. Jessie Price 9 Rules for How to Make a Perfect Cup of Coffee, Eating Well.

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