If you want a single serve coffee machine to brew your morning coffee with the press of a button, then don't read any further on this page. You need to be looking at k cup and pod brewers. However, if you are looking for something with a little more spice, then there are some other one cup coffee makers that are worthy of your consideration.
Let's start with the Aeropress. This looks like something MacGyver might have created if he'd been trapped in a medical laboratory and was in desperate need of freshly brewed coffee. This contraption is a cross between a French Press and a large syringe. You essentially place the Aeropress on top of your favorite coffee mug. Add a filter, finely ground coffee, and hot water. You then press down on the Aeropress, forcing the coffee through the filter and into your cup.
We'll go into more specifics in the detailed review. For right now, we want you to know that this device has a very specific audience. This is for a true coffee enthusiast, not for someone looking for a quick cup of coffee with the minimum of hassle. Most of the one cup coffee makers are designed to take you out of the coffee brewing process. The Aeropress does just the opposite. You decide how fine the grind, how hot the water, and how quick the brew.
The Aeropress can produce a truly excellent cup of coffee with almost no bitterness. It's a cool, inexpensive gadget that will impress everybody. The only question is whether this device fits into your lifestyle.
There are other one cup coffee systems that go beyond the normal cup of coffee and specialize in making all of your favorite coffee drinks. The three most popular are the Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Tassimo, and Nespresso machines. One important thing to remember about all of these one cup coffee makers is that they are tightly controlled. Since only Nescafé makes the capsules for the Dolce Gusto, you won't have hundreds of coffees to choose from. Similarly the Tassimo and Nespresso machines are rather restricted in their options. The question is, "Do these make up for their lack of quantity, with high quality?"
Other Single Serve Coffee Makers
Nescafé Dolce Gusto
The Dolce Gusto is a relatively new entry into the one cup coffee realm. This machine is for those who love to have the full variety of coffee drinks. The Nescafé Dolce Gusto makes lattes, cappucinos (hot or iced), "chococinos" (hot chocolate), and espresso, as well as the usual coffee. The downside of this machine is that there's really only one coffee available for it (Cafe Lungo, which comes in a regular, mild, and decaf variety), so if you enjoy a regular cup of coffee, you'll need another machine to supplement the Dolce Gusto. Having said that, when it comes to making coffee drinks, this is the best single serve machine out there. In-depth review of the Dolce Gusto
Nespresso CitiZ, Nespresso Essenza, and Nespresso Le Cube
The Nespresso machines are focused on brewing high quality espresso at the touch of a button. They do this so well, that if you're looking for an espresso machine, the Nespresso should be at the top of your list. While the espresso flavors are limited (only Nespresso produces the capsules for their machines), the ones that are available are quite good. In addition, the Nespresso machines are cool and sophisticated in their design, almost like a work of art.
You may be wondering what the difference is between the Nespresso machines and the Nescafe Dolce Gusto. While both one cup coffee makers can make similar drinks, their focus is completely different.
The Dolce Gusto makes a number of different coffee drinks using capsules. In order to make a cappucino, you use one coffee capsule and one milk capsule.
The Nespresso machine, on the other hand, brews espresso. To that, you can manually add milk if you desire, but there is no "milk capsule" for the Nespresso. Instead, the Nespresso machines have an optional milk attachment that will heat and froth milk. You can then feel like a barrista as you add the right proportion of heated milk and frothed milk.
If you're debating between a Nespresso machine and a Dolce Gusto, you should ask yourself how much you want to act like a barrista when making a cappucino. For some, that sounds great; for others, the whole point of getting a one cup coffee maker is that they don't have to be involved.