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Best Small One-Cup Coffee Makers

By: Kelly Burgess on November 22, 2016

Small, single-serve coffee makers offer a quick, fresh brew

Small coffee makers are the ultimate in fresh convenience. Just pour in water, put your cup under the spout, place a pod or coffee grounds in the holder, and brew. Many people prefer these single cup models because they don't like the idea of water sitting in a reservoir. If you don't like filling your coffee maker with water each time you use it, see our discussion of large pod coffee makers.

Experts and owners agree, the best small, single-serve coffee maker is the pod-style Keurig K15 (Est. $80), which is identical to the extremely popular and now-discontinued Keurig K10 Mini. Owners still love this little machine, no matter what model number they give it, saying the coffee is delicious. It uses the original K-Cups, as well as generic pods, and users love the hundreds of options in coffees, teas, and other flavored drinks. With the optional My K-Cup (Est. $15) you can brew from your own grounds.

The best thing about the Keurig K15 is its size: small and compact, it doesn't take up much counter space. Owners adore it, especially its various color options and its simple-to-use design. Just fill it with up to 10 ounces of water, put in a pod (or the My K-Cup filled with grounds), choose 6, 8 or 10 ounces, and push "brew." It flashes blue to remind you to start brewing, flashes red while heating, and goes to solid red when the cycle is complete. It's a bit slow, though, taking about 2 minutes to brew a single cup, in contrast to the less than a minute of its bigger sibling, the Keurig K55 (Est. $90), which is our Best Reviewed large single serve coffee maker.

For those who prefer ground coffee over pods, the Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker (Est. $35) is a drip-style single serve coffee maker that gets good reviews from experts and owners for convenience and ease of use. Reviews on its resultant brew are more mixed, some say it makes delicious coffee and is highly customizable since it brews from grounds, others say you can't put enough grounds in to get a good, strong cup of coffee even when you choose the "bold" setting. It also gets more complaints about messy coffee making than others in this category, but some say that's just part of the learning curve, which is worth contending with for the quality of the brew. It has auto-shutoff and a permanent filter, which is a plus for many.

Get a cheap, one-cup coffee maker for great coffee on the go

There are plenty of folks who just like to grab a cup of coffee to take along with them in the morning and one-cup coffee makers with included thermal to-go cups are a great option to do just that. The drip-style Black & Decker DCM18S Brew 'n Go (Est. $20) rises to the top of the pack in this category for its convenience and affordability. The price includes an insulated travel mug that owners say keeps coffee hot for a long time, and that is shaped to fit in most cup holders. It uses ground coffee instead of pods, which is great for people who don't like the idea of pods, or who want to pay less per cup for their coffee. However, that makes it less convenient to brew subsequent cups as you have to empty the grounds and rinse the filter after each use. It also dispenses a cup of hot water very quickly, so you can make tea, soups or hot cereals.

Users love this little single-serve coffee maker, saying it's simple to adjust the brew strength and that it makes an excellent cup of coffee every time. It small footprint is very popular with college students and those who don't have a lot of space. It gets excellent reviews for long-term durability. Quite a few reviewers own more than one; keeping them at multiple locations, such as home and office. We even read a couple of reviews from coffee lovers who keep one downstairs in the kitchen and one upstairs in the bedroom.

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