Frustrated with single serve coffee makers, including my new Bella brewer.
(Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
A selection of single-serve coffee makers.
The problem I find with ALL single serve machines is that it seems that the people who design them do not drink coffee.
They need to design a machine that will brew at the right temperature, will hold at least 20 oz of water and will have a basket system that will allow anyone to brew whatever kind of coffee they like, whether single serve K style cups, pods or plain coffee grounds, weak or strong coffee.
Invariably you cannot get all these things in a single serve coffee maker. You will also find invariably that those single serve machines that allow you to use coffee grounds have very small baskets that simply do not hold enough coffee to make a decent cup. Is it really that hard to design a basket that will hold 4 or 5 tablespoons of coffee?
I just bought a Bella single serve coffee maker. Inexpensive, nice looking, quiet. Manual on and off. Good water temperature. Water reservoir holds about 14 oz maximum. That sounded great, since I like to drink a large cup of coffee. Flaw: the water reservoir is not separate from the basket-drip system. The basket is nice, easily removable and has a reusable filter, which I like because I do not like paper or plastic as filters. So far so good. Flaw: the filter basket, although bigger than in most single serve machine is clearly not big enough to hold coffee grounds that will make a strong 10-12 oz cup.
The result is coffee grounds overflow and since the water reservoir is not separate, you end up having to throw out the coffee and having to clean up a huge mess. The second option, using less coffee delivers a weak cup.
Help! Is it that hard to design a single serve coffee maker? Are all those designing these single serve coffee makers in fact tea drinkers? I am pulling my hair out.
I hear you! I’m also frustrated by the fact that while most single serve machines have their strengths, there is no single machine that combines them all.
Either the water reservoir is too small – a big gripe of mine – or the filter basket is too small, as you say...and so on.
One of my current favorites is the iCoffee Opus K-Cup brewer. Its water reservoir is large and it has the best selection of brew sizes I have come across.
You can dial up any size of brew between 4 fluid ounces, all the way up to 12 ounces, in half-ounce increments.
For my taste, a K-Cup has enough coffee in it to make a decent 7-ounce brew. But if I want a 12-ounce serving for my travel mug, I use two K-Cups, each dialed up for a 6 ounce brew.
Another good machine I have tried, but don’t own, is the BUNN MCU Single Cup Multi-Use Brewer. This brewer allows you to use K-Cups, coffee pods or loose coffee. And you can choose your cup size...between 4 and 14 ounces. A downside for me is that there is no water reservoir at all. You have to add water each time you brew.
Oh well, maybe one day someone will come up with the perfect single serve brewer!
Additional information on single serve coffee makers...
Verismo brewers – Starbucks coffee makers for single-serve coffee lovers.
Choosing between the different Keurig single cup brewers.
The Tassimo T55 Single Cup Home Brewing System.
Nespresso automatic espresso machines.
Organise your Keurig K-Cups with a storage drawer.
Can I recycle my Keurig K-Cups?