The point: the cup of coffee made from Keurig machines is not a good cup of coffee. The coffee is staler than the bag of tortilla chips in the bottom of my pantry, it’s brewed with water that’s too hot and the balance of water to grinds all make for intensely bitter, boring coffee.
If, for you, coffee exists only as a utility, promptly close out of this story. If you live alone — or are the only person in your household who partakes — brewing single cups of coffee instead of the four-cup minimum most machines enforce saves both time and money. Here are five great options that aren’t Keurigs.
The Aeropress was invented by a guy who was fed up with shitty single-cup brewing on drip machines. It is affordable, effective and loved by both coffee insiders and regular-old coffee drinkers alike. Hot water, coffee grinds, a cute paper and a long press turn out coffee that has spawned international competitions. It’s also easily the most affordable option on this list and among coffee brewers in general, with its frugality rivaled only by pour-over brewers like the Kalita Wave or Hario V60.
Ninja CM401 Specialty Coffee Maker
Ninja is a relative newcomer to the top-tier of coffee brewing. Its Specialty brewer earned one of very few approvals from the Specialty Coffee Association, and it’s one of two on the list that can turn out a single cup as well as it can a full pot. It also sports a detachable water reservoir and has a permanent filter, which add some convenience.
Braun Multiserve Coffee Machine
The second of the SCA-approved single-cup coffee brewers has too many features to fit in these tiny blurbs. The machine does coffee brewing basics well, but its versatility is where it shines, and that starts with the single-cup brew. You can brew into its glass carafe, a tall, portable coffee tumbler or a mug, with the help of a small shelf that folds out of the brew area to hold the shorter mug closer to the brewer. This cuts down on coffee splashing outside the cup. The machine also has a cold brewing function which intensifies the coffee it brews in preparation for ice-caused dilution. That is a very smart solve to a very real problem.
Technivorm Moccamaster 69212 Cup One Coffee Brewer
The Dutch-made Moccamaster is the most iconic coffee person’s coffee maker ever. It’s been around for more than 50 years, and because of its lighting-quick copper heating element, great customer service and strong warranty, it’s still one of the best brewers in the world. The single-cup brew version of the machine keeps with the brand’s tradition of excellence, but comes at a higher price. If it matters, it’s probably the only coffee maker on this list that makes a kitchen look better.
Oxo 8-Cup Coffee Maker
The latest coffee brewer from Oxo allows users to toggle between a single-serving function or a large-format serving. When brewing as a single cup, between 10 to 20 ounces, the included Kalita-like brew accessory allows the Rainmaker shower head to extract more nuanced flavors that are muted when brewing five cups or more. The brewer is SCA-certified, but only the large format coffee is rated as matching Golden Cup Standards, only because the association has yet to set standards for single servings. Considering the single-cup brew is just as good, if not better, than the bigger batch brew, it's safe to say it's still a good cup of coffee.