Tried & Tested: Single-Serve Coffee Makers

Sometimes, you just want a quick cup of coffee — not a whole pot. Single-serve coffee makers using pods or capsules have flooded the market in recent years; to help you find the best fit for your caffeine fix, we evaluated some of the latest releases and best sellers from the most popular brands. After testing hundreds of cups of coffee, here are our top three picks:

Keurig Vue V700 Brewing System ($199.99)

If you’ve ever complained that Keurig coffee is too weak, then you need to try the Vue, stat. The next generation promises to “brew stronger, brew bigger, brew hotter” – and it certainly delivered.

keurig vue v700

What We Love:
► The color touchscreen design makes this machine a cinch to use, even for the tech-challenged.
► You can customize the strength and temperature of your coffee.
► Love iced coffee? This was the only machine tested that included a “brew over ice” function.
► With 65+ flavors (plus limited editions) including coffee, tea, and other hot beverages, there’s a taste to satisfy any palate.
► Large water reservoir (74 oz.) means you won’t need to refill it as often.
► Brews a cup of coffee in under a minute.
► Lowest cost per use ($0.55 to $0.65).

What We Don’t Love:
► It’ll hog a lot of counter space. Have a small kitchen? Consider the more compact Keurig Vue V500. — it packs the same brewing power in a smaller body (sans the snazzy color touchscreen — this version is black and white).

Starbucks Verismo 580 Brewer ($199)

Can’t start your morning without a visit to Starbucks? Then you’ll love this money-saving machine that brews coffee shop-worthy beverages at home.

starbucks verismo 580

What We Love:
► Coffee varieties include some of Starbucks’ most popular brews, including Pike Place and Caffe Verona.
► Milk pods (powdered milk) allow you to make perfect lattes and cappuccinos at home. You can also add syrups/powders to make vanilla, caramel, and mocha-flavored drinks.
► Brews a cup of coffee in about 40 seconds and a latte in about a minute.
► The machine produces authentic espresso with a nice layer of crema.
► The built-in pod removal system holds 10 used capsules.
► Available in four colors (silver, black, burgundy, and champagne).
► Slim design won't take up a lot of space in your kitchen.

What We Don’t Love:
► The cost per use is higher than other machines; a 6 oz. coffee will set you back $1, while a latte costs $1.62. However, it’s still much cheaper than getting your Starbucks fix in stores.
► It forces you to run a rinse cycle between uses – it takes about 15 seconds, so it’s not a huge inconvenience (and it keeps the machine clean, of course!), but keep in mind that you’ll need an extra cup handy and somewhere to dump the water.

De'Longhi Lattissima Plus Nespresso Capsule System ($399)

The Cadillac of single-brew machines, this splurge-worthy machine is perfect for serious coffee lovers.

delonghi lattissima plus

What We Love:
► This machine produced the best-testing cup in our taste tests.
► It whips up lattes and cappuccinos with ease, using a detachable (dishwasher-safe) milk canister, which you can store in the fridge between uses.
► Pods are available in more than 19 flavors, plus limited editions.
► The built-in pod removal system holds 12 used capsules
► Easy to clean  just press the “clean” button after using milk and it’ll spray hot water through to degunk.
► Low cost per use ($0.65)
► Available in four colors (white, stainless steel, red, and blue)
► It’s the most compact machine tested.

What We Don’t Love:
► It’s twice the price of the other machines tested; while it performed exceptionally well in our tests, only you can judge if it's a worthwhile splurge for you.

—Kristen O'Gorman Klein

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