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One Cup Coffee Makers....Please help, fast!

Thinking a One Cupper may be a great gift for the hubby for the holidays and I need assistance as to what is good and not so good!

Suggestions for me?? Thanks in advance!

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  1. A little more info, please.

    Is your husband "gadgety", or prefer simple and straightforward?
    Is he a coffee snob, or is his preference Folger's out of the can?
    Electric or manual?
    Buy over the web, or need to get from local store?

    3 Replies
    1. re: srgoodman

      I think the main criteria that I am looking for is: quick and easy. I am already off to work very early, so he gets our 2 (under 3 yrs old) girls up and off to daycare. He stops EVERY DAY for coffee at Starbucks, etc. I'd like something that he can use quickly and easily, that brews something really good that he can take in the car. He's not a coffee snob, but likes a good cup o' joe. I can order online (if I do it this week!) or buy locally (I'm in Maryland).

      1. re: stacylyn

        You've gotten a lot of very good replies. Given your criteria, I'd recommend one of the electric one cup coffee makers that make the coffee right into a travel mug. The Cuisinart that Sam Harmon recommended is one good choice. Here's a picture:

        (You should be able to buy it lots of places besides direct from Cuisinart, of course.


        This *won't* make the very best coffee, as numerous others have pointed out. (Personally, I prefer a manual pour-over, with my own home-roasted coffee. But *I* don't have to care for two toddlers ;-) ) However, as you describe your circumstances, I think it will be the best compromise of convenience and coffee quality.

        1. re: srgoodman

          Upon further reflection, I'm not sure I agree about the ease point. Either way, you have to pour in water. The only added step is that you have to heat the water yourself, which is no harder than making a cup of tea.

    2. Maybe others know of a electrical brewing system that works well, but I've always thought they run the water thru too fast, and cannot really adequately brew the ground beans in that short amount of time.

      My system for one cup is using a Melita holder (for 1 cup) and paper filter poised over a mug. Boil water, and pour over 2 T. freshly ground beans, circling around the filter and making sure the top of the filter doesn't fold over. It's really not much more work than a electric system, as you need to set that up and clean up after it too. And the results are better. There are gold filters also that you can buy instead of paper filters, if you like to save money and like a stronger cup of coffee.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Seldomsated

        Strongly second this but just a tip: let your water sit for a moment before pouring. Boiling water is not optimal for coffee extraction.

      2. I use a plastic single cup filter cone at the office, and the coffee is amazing. I think a great gift would be a ceramic version of the same which I have seen at monmouth coffee in the UK. They use it to brew their single origen filter coffee. It basically just a cone that sits on top of the cup, and you put a paper filter in it and pour on boiling water.

        1. I have the Cuisinart 2-cup in my office. It can make either one or two cups and comes with two very nice stainless steel travel mugs.

          1. Starbucks has one that I got for my wife. They throw in a bag of coffee too. It is in the 60-70 range. It requires a special cup that is included, the sometimes offer a special on an additional cup.

            1. I have a Black and Decker 'Brew n go', which brews one large cup of coffee. I LOVE it. It comes with a reusable filter and a travel mug. It is very plain looking, but brews HOT coffee, which is hard to find with some home systems. I use it every day and have had it for about 8 years.

                1. re: shaebones

                  I would agree w/the French Press.

                  A couple weeks ago, I tried a couple one-cup coffee makers and wasn't too happy w/the outcomes. (I ended up donating the barely used coffee makers to colleagues here @ work.) Anyway, I purchased a Bodum French Press online ( www.bodum.com ) and we absolutely LOVE the quality of the coffee.

                  I haven't tried the travel mug w/a built in French Press (http://www.bodumusa.com/shop/line.asp... ) as Buckethead recommended below, but that just might be the ticket to quality coffee on the go!

                  1. re: OCAnn

                    A french press makes really great coffee but ease of use, especially cleanup, is not a strong point. That's fairly high on the OP's list of criteria.

                    1. re: PDXpat

                      Huh? Where does the OP list criteria? Did I miss it?

                      1. re: OCAnn

                        They're in her second post:

                        "I think the main criteria that I am looking for is: quick and easy. I am already off to work very early, so he gets our 2 (under 3 yrs old) girls up and off to daycare. He stops EVERY DAY for coffee at Starbucks, etc. I'd like something that he can use quickly and easily, that brews something really good that he can take in the car. He's not a coffee snob, but likes a good cup o' joe. I can order online (if I do it this week!) or buy locally (I'm in Maryland)."

                        1. re: a_and_w

                          Ahhhh...thank you very much.

                          I agree that the French press clean up is not easy. However, making it--at least for me--is just as easy as anything else I've used.

                          1. re: OCAnn

                            I don't have garbage disposal but I find cleaning a french press to be pretty easy. If you get a small one you don't use a lot of grounds so ultimately the mess is contained.

                            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                              I guess the ease of clean up is different to everyone. For me, the unscrewing of the press plunger unit is a bit tedious. Even though I have a garb disposal, I don't throw the grinds down there.

                              1. re: OCAnn

                                It is hard to clean the mesh without running water and a drain that can take some grounds. That rules out an office washroom, or campsite with limited water.


                2. Get a travel mug with a built-in french press.

                  1. Get a Melitta manual coffeemaker (link below). It's so easy to use -- you just put the filter on top of the mug and pour in hot water. And because you can stir the grounds after pouring, you get the best flavor from the coffee (impossible with an electric drip). This is why press pots are great, too, but I personally prefer filtered coffee.


                    PS: Don't forget that "1 cup" in coffee terms is usually 5-6 oz, not the usual 8.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: a_and_w

                      The #2 paper filters are fine for mugs up to 12 oz; on occasion I've made larger amounts of coffee with these filters.


                    2. I too have converted to manual drip (the cheap $3 Melitta one) and it works great. Makes absolutely fantastic coffee. It's far, far, far, far beter than anything I have ever made at home using any sort of electrical coffee maker (there's a reason why commercial coffee makers are beasts).

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Shazam

                        I agree for a fast and good cup of coffee the Melitta one is great and inexpensive

                        1. re: marlie202

                          I just wish they'd make one with a permanent filter, and that wasn't so ugly :)

                          1. re: Shazam

                            Can't you just buy a gold filter?

                            1. re: a_and_w

                              Yes. I am currently using a permanent filter from my electric coffee maker that just happens to be a #2 size. But it'd be nice if they just made one that included it, because I'm having a hell of a time finding a permanent #2 filter locally.

                      2. Here's what I use in the office. It's been pretty reliable, makes great coffee and is relatively cheap.


                        1. I got a good-looking transparent insulated travel mug with built-in French press from Bodum (I went to their NYC shop but they have on-line as well) recently for less than $20. They have a plain one, and one with golfball-sized circles embossed on it. Apparently the golfball version is really popular with guys.

                          It's much better looking than the travel presses I have seen in camping stores. Bodum have a few variations in solid, and with and without handles as well. It does not keep as hot as my solid stainless Nissan thermos, but the convenience of being able to turn on the (cordless) kettle, fill, grab and go is great.

                          Good luck.

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: vicki_vale

                            My question about the insulated travel mugs with built in french press is this:

                            Once you pour in the coffee, let it steep, and push down the presser, you're enjoying your coffee...

                            Five to ten minutes later, depending on how sensitive your palate is, isn't the coffee extremely bitter and overextracted?

                            If you just drink coffee quickly enough that that's not an issue, why have an insulated travel mug?

                            I'm just wondering if there's some kind of wonderful product design that addresses this problem, because I'd love to get one but don't want my grounds sitting in my coffee for half an hour.

                            1. re: Pei

                              I've asked this same question myself--any answers 'hounds?

                              1. re: Produce Addict

                                I can't speak to the qualities of the all-in-one french press mugs, but I'll offer this: my wife uses a Bodum one-cup french press, then pours the coffee into an insulated carafe (or, when she's running out the door, into a good insulated coffee travel container, like the Oxo). Trust me, she gets one sensational cup of coffee every time.

                                1. re: Produce Addict

                                  Pei and Produce Addict: This shouldn't be an issue unless you're using an uneven grind (i.e., small and large chunks). In that case, the smaller pieces will slip through the plunger making your coffee bitter and sludgy. But that's partly why I think a press pot is a poor choice unless you buy your coffee ground or you own a top notch burr grinder. I also don't think a press pot is good for someone who prioritizes ease of use.

                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                    I do agree that grinding coffee too fine can lead to some sludge in a french press, and that a burr grinder could help to produce a more uniformly coarse grind than those "whirly-bird" blade grinders. I also agree that french press is somewhat more time-consuming than, say, using an automatic drip machine. For those who seek a great cup of coffee for one, however, it's a compelling option.

                                    1. re: NickM

                                      In intermediate option is to steep the grounds in the hot water for a couple of minutes, and then strain them through a paper filter. This gives you the steeping time of a press with the clarity of a filter.


                                      1. re: NickM

                                        Nick: Agreed, though whether the option is "compelling" depends on your preference. I personally almost always prefer filtered coffee if it's made manually.

                                  2. re: Pei

                                    I haven't used a press in a long time, but I think the plunger keeps the grounds compressed at the bottom of the pot, and out of circulation with most of the coffee. If you were to really swirl the coffee in the pot, and pour out the last dredges, you could get some over extracted stuff, but with normal drinking it probably isn't a problem. Even when you pour the coffee out, a Press lets more sediment through than a paper filter, so you can get over extraction from that sediment.

                                    A coffee review site and forum might have more information on this.


                                    1. re: paulj

                                      Paul, I'm not sure that's necessary. The reason french press coffee tastes so great is you can stir (or "bloom") the grounds prior to steeping. That step is key because it ensures optimal and even extraction. I think the main reason you need to steep press pot coffee longer is that the grounds are so coarse.

                                      1. re: a_and_w

                                        With the Melita one cup filter gadget, you can get the same benifit by stirring once you have poured water into the filter. And, additionally, you can use finer grind.

                                        1. re: yayadave

                                          I was just reading the instructions for the AreoPress coffee maker. It comes with a specially stirring stick just for this purpose.

                                          If you don't have a lot of water for cleanup, it is hard to beat the Melita paper filter. I prefer it for situations like in an office or when camping. At home, the paper filter is still the most convenient method, but I continue to experiement with others, such the the press, steep and strain, moka.

                                          For a gaget lover, the AeroPress has some potential.

                                2. There are a couple of other low volume coffee makers

                                  - the Italian moka, which uses a two chamber pot, with steam forcing hot water up through grounds into the top chamber.

                                  - Vietnamese, which uses a small metal filter set the fits over the cup. I've seen nice stainless steel sets for less than $5 in a large Asian grocery.


                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: paulj

                                    One thing about the vietnamese it that it takes some practice to get it right, and takes a little more time.

                                  2. French Press and a Keurig single cup brewer. The Keurig is reliable, easy to use/clean and there are several roasters offering cups. Visit www.greenmountaincoffee.com.

                                    1. I use and enjoy 3 different single-serve coffee machines for 3 different purposes.

                                      1) Keurig B100 - my favorite regular coffee maker ever. 2 fave K-cups are Newman's Own and Green Mountain Dark Magic. I had a Technivorm coffeemaker before this and couldn't make as good as coffee as the Keurig makes. Plus, the Keurig does it all in 45 seconds. An amazing machine.

                                      2) Bunn MyCafe - I bought this after my first Keurig developed a problem after almost 2 years. Keurig gave me a discount on a new one, a deal too good to pass up. Haven't found any pods I like as good as those 2 above.

                                      However, I still use my Bunn every single day to make breshly brewed ice tea with. 1 large Lipton tea bag directly into the pod-area, and pressing the "Tea" setting button twice with the volume lever at 12oz. Pyrex-type 3-cup pitcher then goes into the fridge with a cold pack between it and anything else near it so it doesnt' heat up something else.

                                      Net: This coffee maker is an excellent tea maker.

                                      From a purely mechanical perspective, the I prefer the Keurig. The water is always immediately ready to go, whereas the Bunn needs a minute or so for the water to heat up. Also, the Bunn seems to burp small amounts of water at different times (when I press the red button to re-heat the water, sometimes at the end of the cycle, etc)

                                      3) Nespresso Essenza C100 + Nespresso Aerocino for froth

                                      Great decaf capuccino. Perfect for late evening warmth.

                                      1. i have 2 versions of the Mellita cup-at-a-time maker (one branded Mellita, the other is a Juan Valdez brand sold at Target.) Quality of the coffee from them is not great (strangely, it is markedly better from the Jaun Valdez version). I don't recommend them.

                                        I do completely recommend the Keurig models. I had the commercial version in my office years ago, which fueled a major coffee addiction. When I ran across the home version a while back, I was thrilled, and the sample cups I had were excellent. I haven't justified getting it yet - maybe after Christmas - but you can't go wrong wih it and the Green Mountain K-cups mentioned above.

                                        1. Does anyone have the new Tassimo?

                                          1. Am I the only one using a simple single cup filter cone, with a paper filter?
                                            The thing is so damn simple, yet really brings out the flavour of the coffee. The guys at Monmouth Coffee in UK where I first saw it in a ceramic version told me they use it when they are tast testing beans for their business.
                                            In fact im about to get up from my desk and go brew some ethiopian Limu in my plastic filter cone, hope it will get me through the rest of the work day.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: gastrognome

                                              Yes, that's what we mean by a manual Mellita. I agree -- it's really the simplest way of brewing a top-notch cup of coffee.

                                            2. I have a black and decker one cup with a travel mug. It literally takes 5 minutes hot coffee.

                                              1. Forgive me if already mentioned, but you maybe better off getting a gift card (if available) for the morning coffee stop.

                                                Don't get me wrong, the coffeemaker is still a great idea to have around. But in the blessed morning it is another thing to wake up in the morning.

                                                Will the coffeemaker really get used in the morning rush or will it be another sleepy-head? ;-)

                                                Think about it...