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Single cup coffee maker recommendations?

  • m

I currently have a 12-cup Cuisinart auto drip coffee maker. While it makes pretty good coffee, cleaning up is a lot of work and I rarely need to make more than a couple cups of coffee at a time. I've done a lot of research on single cup coffee makers but none of them seem to fit what I'm looking for. My criteria are:

- Needs to brew up to 16oz of coffee (none of the single cup Keurig/Nespresso/Tassimo machines brew this quantity of coffee, most only do 8-10oz)

- No carafe. I want to brew straight into a mug with the option of using a travel mug (so it needs to fit a tall height)

- Option of pods and grounds (I don't like to be limited to just pods/K-cups).

- Coffee needs to taste good. I used to have one of the Black and Decker single cup machines and the coffee always came out watery. I think it was because the water temp was too low coming out of the machine.

- Needs to be auto drip. I have an Aeropress and while it does make good espresso, I've found that I just don't like the taste of Americanos vs. actual drip coffee. Cafe Americanos just taste like watered down espresso (which is exactly what they are). I've considered a manual gravity drip Melitta filter but I don't really want the inconvenience of making coffee manually.

Surprisingly nothing on the market that I've found meets all of these criteria. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

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  1. well i *was* going to recommend my beloved Aeropress but you already shot down that idea ;)

    i know you said you weren't pleased with the coffee your old Black & Decker made, but perhaps this one is a newer, better model, and it brews close to 16 oz...

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Thanks for the help. I saw the new B&D one and based on the pictures it appears to be more or less the same as the one I used to have (just with slightly different styling). Of all the machines on the market it seems to come closest to what I'm looking for except for the small problem of quality :). I guess at that price though it's cheap enough where I might think about giving it another try.

    2. I have a Flavia at home. I believe the maximum ounces it will brew are around 8 ounces and a bit too strong for me, especially the espresso packet. What I usually do is push the 6 oz button and then the 7 oz button, the second time around, using the same bag and I get the coffee strength I like and I like the variety in the coffee but Flavia is not widely available.

      Our company started to use Tassimo, and I love this coffee maker the best. They have some of the best tasting coffee and I love their latte and you can add more water during the brewing process while making your favorite beverage, but alas, there were a contract dispute and now we have Keurig. Keurig gives you the options of how many ounces of water (up to 10 ounces) you want during the initial brewing and you can add two ounces at a time after that, but they don't carry any brands that have latte or cappuccino.

      Good Luck on your venture.

      1. As you know your Aeropress does not make espresso. It does make an Americano like drink and if watered down further will approximate standard brewed coffee. I used mine daily to make a 16 oz mug of coffee in the morning. 28 grams of coffee went into that Aeropress and it was filled to the top with water. Once pressed in the cup it was diluted to achieve the desired effect of dripped coffee only better.

        You may want to consider a pour over type brewer. They come in many sizes and can do single serve.

        The Clever cup pour over is getting a lot of positive reviews.

        Check out this page from Sweetmarias on single serve makers


        1 Reply
        1. re: scubadoo97

          Let me second the recommendation of the Clever.

        2. You sound like me. I have used the Black & Decker for years since I am the only one here who drinks coffee......but it's not that great & I am getting more & more leary of eating/drinking PLASTIC. Experts say that heated plastic is even worse. I have looked everywhere for a solution. It seems like all coffee makers employ the use of plastic. Not good! I would love to be able to find one made of glass or stainless steel. I DON'T want to use pods. (I like to buy all different kinds of coffee & grind the beans myself) And I only want 1 cup......2 at the most. Anyone have any ideas?

          1 Reply
          1. re: lnghrnfn

            The Bunn I used to use had a metal tank; perhaps they still do.

          2. The Aeropress doesn't get much lower/lazy cleaning. I think your next option is Starbucks.

            1. Let's see: 16 oz cup of coffee in a tall mug; capability of using high-quality, (freshly ground) beans; high-quality result (requires boiling water). Sounds like you value quality over convenience. Melita may be the best process to fit your criteria. The fewest uncontrollable variables yields the highest quality results. The satisfaction of drinking that exceptional cup of coffee may just outweigh the temporary inconvenience of having to boil water. Add to that the space you free up on your countertop and the money in your wallet as bonuses.

              3 Replies
              1. re: StopBloggingAndCook

                For one mug, how much more work is involved with the manual v. the auto drip? With both you have to install the filter, and add the coffee. You have draw the water and pour it (into something). If you used an electric kettle to boil the water for the manual filter, you wouldn't have to add water each time.

                I've been making coffee one mug at a time for years. It's hard to picture the auto-drip saving me time or effort - unless it loaded the filters automatically, and automatically ground the right amount of coffee each time.

                1. re: StopBloggingAndCook

                  I agree. If you only want one mug at a time, go for a simple #2 Melitta cone filter:
                  You really can't argue with the price, it won't take up any space on your counter, and if you have a tea kettle or electric kettle, you have everything you need to make tasty coffee. Always fresh, always just to your liking, and ready in a snap! I have been making my coffee this way for years, as I am the only one in the house who drinks it. If you try it and don't like it, you'll only be out three bucks!

                  1. re: LolaP

                    We switched back to manual filter coffee a few years ago since we only make two cups at a time, and won't go back to a coffeemaker---so much simpler and no more time consuming, so for just a single cup I don't know if it's really worth getting a machine. I know you mention not wanting the inconvenience of manual, but I'd walk through the steps for a coffeemaker and see how different it is timewise. With our 12-cup machine, the only difference in time vs. manual is filling the kettle and then filling the filter vs. just filling the coffeemaker. Everything else (grinding, putting in filter) is identical, and we actually pick up the few seconds' difference on the back end because the manual filter drips directly into our cups, v. the coffeemaker carafe needing to get washed.

                    We love the Bonmac ceramic filter, which a bunch of places sell online (and locally in the SF area, so probably in other cities too). The ceramic filter warms up when you pour the water in, and helps keep the coffee warm as it drips (though I don't know that it makes too much difference in taste otherwise).

                2. You could consider a french press. It doesn't meet your "no carafe" requirement but makes good coffee. Personally, my french press hasn't been touched since I got my Aeropress but I make more of a latte/cappuccino drink.

                  1. I have Swissgold one-cup Filter. It uses a built-in gold-plated filter. It is not auto-drip, but even easier IMO...just put the grounds in and pour hot water into it. It makes a great standard strength coffee. Buy two to meet your 16-oz requirement. You can adjust your grind to modify brewing time.

                    (However, I do use my Aeropress more often than any of my other coffee devices).