logo
Featured on 40:     Vote 2014 Debates     Rays of Hope     40 Force: Car Care     Fall Foliage Pix     Weather Discussion    

Single-serve coffeemakers in all shapes and sizes

Single-serve coffeemakers in all shapes and sizes

Single-serve coffeemakers are one of the hottest gifts of the holiday season. Not only can you make everyone their own special blend of coffee but the perky machines come in interesting shapes and bright colors so they look good on your counter too. Of the two dozen tested by Consumer Reports, three made our list of top-picks and a few others deserve honorable mention including the new entry from Starbucks. Here are our top five.

DeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Circolo, $150, Recommended
Why we like it: This recommended DeLonghi single-serve coffeemaker uses a manual joystick-like control for quick filling of the first and subsequent cups, which makes for quick servings if you’re in a hurry. The unit can also supply unheated water for cold drinks, and you can position the drip tray to one of three levels for varied cup sizes. In addition, it maintained temperatures consistently across multiple cups and allowed flexibility in adjusting brew strength.
Drawbacks: On the minus side, this model requires so-called “flavor capsules” available only from the company, and you can use only one at a time no matter how large a serving you want. And because of the joystick control, cup-size consistency can be a challenge. Also, you must turn off dispensing manually.
Type of pod: Uses Nescafé-brand capsules.
Total score: 75

191063-podcoffeemakers-smartcafe-myinvento.jpgSmart Café My Invento, $120, Recommended
Why we like it: Flexibility of which beverage packets you can use is one of the Smart Café pod coffeemaker’s main attractions and one of the reasons we recommended it. The manufacturer sells pods, but Senseo pods—available from numerous sellers—work as well. You can also use two pods at once for a larger or stronger serving, or to brew two servings at once. The reservoir is removable for filling and cleaning.
Drawbacks: Two caveats—the first cup took longer than we expected, and most other single-serve models brewed at a more consistent temperature.
Type of pod: Uses Senseo-like pods.
Total score: 72

219110-podcoffeemakers-delonghi-nescafedolcegustopiccoloedg200t.jpgDeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Piccolo EDG200T, $100, Recommended
Why we like it: This recommended DeLonghi Nescafé single-serve coffeemaker shares some features with other tested models of the same brand, down to the convenient operation and consistent temperatures. The penguin-shaped unit, however, costs less. We found it fairly easy to use, refill, and clean, and it delivered both the first and subsequent cups with little delay. The unit maintained temperatures consistently across multiple cups and allowed flexibility in adjusting brew strength.
Drawbacks: On the minus side, the DeLonghi’s joystick-like lever for delivering hot or cold water made size consistency an issue. It holds less water than other DeLonghi units. And, like other DeLonghi Nescafé models, it requires so-called “flavor capsules” (only 16 in all) available only from the company. In addition, you must turn off dispensing manually.
Type of pod: Uses Nescafé-brand capsules.
Total score: 72

204796-podcoffeemakers-delonghi-nescafedolcegustocreativaplus.jpgDeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Creativa Plus, $200
Why we like it: This pricey single-serve coffeemaker from DeLonghi looks less like a coffeemaker than it does some alien creature, but this model is more friend than foe. We found it fairly easy to use, refill, and clean, and it delivered both the first and subsequent cups with little delay. This model allowed much flexibility in adjusting brew strength and dispensed consistently the same amount of coffee across multiple cups.
Drawbacks: On the minus side, the DeLonghi did not maintain temperatures consistently from cup to cup, and it requires so-called “flavor capsules” (only 16 in all) available only from the company.
Type of pod: Uses Nescafé-brand capsules.
Total score: 70

219109-podcoffeemakers-starbucks-verismo580.jpgStarbucks Verismo 580, $200
Why we like it: If you’re a die-hard fan of both Starbucks and the single-serve coffee experience, you can appreciate this model—though other models offer more selection and convenience for less. First-cup delivery was speedy as was the second, even accounting for the unit’s recommendation to run a rinse cycle before each cup. And each cup was of uniform size. It also maintained temperatures consistently across multiple cups.
Drawbacks: Where the Starbucks falls short, though, is in its limited options for varying the strength of what you brew. The selection of Starbucks capsules is also so far limited to eight. And it requires extra space above the machine to insert and remove pods.
Type of pod: Uses Verisimo pods.
Total score: 62

For more models, check our full Ratings and recommendations, which also include single-serve coffeemakers from Keurig, Mr. Coffee, Bunn, Bosch, Cuisinart, Breville and more. If you’re always brewing for your brood, you can find recommendations for 15 drip coffeemakers out of the many we tested.

Subscribe now!
Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org for expert Ratings, buying advice and reliability on hundreds of products.


Update your feed preferences


Comments

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
blog comments powered by Disqus