Producing surprisingly different cups of coffee, check out these nine single-serve machines to see which makes a brew that fits your tastes.
The Editors' Choice Award-winning Bunn MyCafe MCU starts off this list with a hard act to follow. For a relatively inexpensive $170, It consistently brews a tasty cup of coffee and comes with a variety of attachments for impressive versatility.
Like the Bunn, the $365 Cuisinart SS-700 can make coffee, tea and hot chocolate. You can use pods or brew with your own grounds. The Cuisinart looks great, feels sturdy and performs similarly to the Bunn. That said, it costs a lot more and is harder to recommend because of it.
Surprisingly, Keurig’s own single serve machine doesn’t bring out the flavor of it's own pods -- called K-Cups -- as well as the competition. The $180 Keurig K75 also feels lighter and less durable than similarly priced models. Even brand loyalists have better options than the K75.
The best Keurig brewer we tested, the $200 Keurig Vue V700 uses redesigned Vue packs to deliver much better coffee than the Keurig K75. In fact, Vue packs deliver better coffee than original K-Cups in general, regardless of the brewer. You can't use your own grounds, but the Vue packs are at least somewhat recyclable.
With less flexibility than before, Keurig's newest K-Cup brewer struggles to justify itself as an upgrade over its predecessors. It's nice and quiet, with a clever display and easy to use controls, but you can't use any third-party pods thanks to its new scanner. Since it lacks any flavor upgrade, we recommend passing on the $190 Keurig K500.
The $300 Nespresso VertuoLine brews single-serve espresso and ordinary cups of joe. Unfortunately, it won't do tea or hot chocolate; you have to use Nespresso-brand pods, and the coffee itself doesn't earn the premium over the Bunn MyCafe. That said, you pay more and you get espresso.
Another single-serve espresso maker, the $100 Nestle Nescafe Dolce Gusto Mini Me restricts you to its first-party pods, just like the Nespresso. It's much more affordable, and the espresso is palatable and easy to make, just don't expect the genuine article.
Despite the promise that SpinBrew technology agitates the grounds in a K-Cup for better flavor than its competitors, the coffee from the $140 Remington iCoffee Opus Single-Serve Brewer doesn't set itself apart. Without any extra features for adjusting water temperature or brewing a stronger cup, iCoffee's machine can't keep up with the strong competition at its price point.
The $150 Starbucks Verismo successfully delivers the familiar flavor of the popular coffee chain to your countertop. If you're a Starbucks devotee, look no further. Because the Verismo limits you to first-party pods and doesn't offer the same versatility of the competition, if you're not committed to the Seattle brand, you'll find a better single-serve brewer elsewhere.