Frustrated with single serve coffee makers, including my new Bella brewer.

by Aran
(Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

A selection of single-serve coffee makers.

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?

Comments for Frustrated with single serve coffee makers, including my new Bella brewer.

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Dec 30, 2021
by: J Rasmussrn

When brewing, the tiny rubber cake where the sifting cup is placed has come loose. The coffee clogs and water doesn’t go through to brew the coffee. It’s only a few months old! I got it at Kohl’s in Virginia Beach. I’d like my money back from the manufacturer. Who is the manufacturer??

Jan 25, 2021
Bella Single Serve Lasts 2 years
by: Nutch

I have my 2nd Bella single serve coffee maker. I love the machine. However, the 1st one died after 2 years. I thought that was just a fluke, so I bought another. Same thing happened, just started sputtering after 2 years. I used only filtered water and Iran cleaning vinegar through it every couple of months. It didn't seam to matter. It still died!

Jun 28, 2020
from good to ka-poot
by: AL

Bella single cup purchased less then 1 year ago. Used it 2-3x per week. Was doing just fine, very happy with it. Then all of a sudden went ka-poot, ,i.e. stopped working. Loud steam churning noise, with steam coming from the back, and water remaining in the machine. Looked at unit carefully, nothing stands out. After several attempts over last few weeks, hoping it would be good again, to no avail. Disappointing.

Jan 19, 2018
Plastic taste
by: Anonymous

I have brewed coffee, hot chocolate and tea and all have a plastic taste when brewed. I used bottled water & tap water and still tastes like plastic. I cleaned the machine according to directions & I even brewed water with baking soda but didn’t work. Very disappointed with this product!!!

Oct 30, 2017
Bella coffee maker singlecup
by: Stella

My Bella single cup coffee maker drips it does not come out in the Stream and it does not provide me with the full cup of coffee I've thrown the Box away any suggestions on how to get a new machine or refund very frustrated with this coffee maker

Aug 22, 2017
Bella is crap!
by: Anonymous

Coffee maker sent water all over the counter.I had it 6 months. It has a 2 year warranty,but to get this you have to send the cord end and sales copy to them.This costs half what I paid for the unit. The sales copy only would be $1.00 or less.

I will never buy Bella again.

May 19, 2017
Very Frustrated!!!!
by: Anonymous

I have had issues with my Bella One Cup. At least three or four times a week, the K-cup explodes and there is coffee grounds in my cup of coffee. Then I have to clean up coffee grounds that have exploded inside of the machine. I have tried different brands of K-cups thinking that was the problem, but even with the more expensive brands I can count on at least 3 or 4 times a week cleaning up a mess. I have tried cleaning the machine, but this doesn't seem to help. Now I just put the basket for the ground coffee in the top of my coffee cup hoping to catch any grounds before the ruin my coffee. Very FRUSTRATED!!!

Mar 14, 2017
bella single serve
by: Anonymous

Purchase a bella and it only worked for 2 months then nothing

Aug 29, 2016
Had Bella, now have the perfect solution: Ninja
by: Jordan Lewis

I had this exact model and experienced the same problems. I just bought a "Ninja" from Sam's. It wasn't cheap, but it's awesome and it solves pretty much every issue you could imagine: large, strong single cups, whole pots, dishwashable water reservoir, separate parts, etc.

Jul 22, 2016
Bella Coffee Maker exploded!
by: Gregory

My Bella Coffee Maker 13726 Diamonds Collection 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker, White just exploded (loud poping sound and the water poured out of it on the kitchen counter and on the floor) on me today during cleaning with vinegar (1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water solution for cleaning as it is suggested by manual). It is less than 1 year old. I am very upset about it because I received it as a gift and throw the box away. Any suggestions.

Mar 20, 2016
by: Anonymous

I received a Bella 1 cup for my birthday 20 days ago.. it made awesome coffee... very pleased until yesterday. Only part of water came seems like it is clogged... very disappointed. I throw away the packaging so any thoughts....

Feb 07, 2016
by: jill proud

My Bella one cup coffee maker just stopped working the light is on but nothing comes out

Dec 25, 2015
Bella Dual Serve
by: Anonymous

At altitude in Albuquerque - Bella boils over and eventually switches over to brew. If you put less water in, will boil and never switch over to brew.

Nov 13, 2015
Right on
by: Anonymous

I've tried several models and NONE of them hold enough coffee to make a strong cup

Oct 30, 2015
Bella at high altitude
by: Anonymous

Bella one serve coffee maker does not work at high altitude in Denver. It boils over the pot on preheat all over the counter it will never go to Brew. Has to go back to Walmart.

Jun 21, 2015
by: Anonymous

My complaint with Bella is the single cup coffee maker heating element does not turn off automatically. I called the Mfg. and reported this'may cause a house fire. They were unconsidered.

Also, it will not heat even six ounce of water. My coffee is warm. I must put in micro to heat.


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