For many of us, caffeine is an integral part of our morning routine. But given not all of us have the time to drop by our local cafe, it’s no wonder that self-serve coffee makers are appearing in more and more kitchens. So how do you know which coffee maker is right for you? We took a closer look at the offerings of Keurig, Ninja, and Nespresso to find out which brand’s coffee maker is the best choice. Though each machine had features that might endear it to the specific consumer, we found that the Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System may be the best balance between variety, convenience, and, of course, beverage quality.
Best Single Serve Coffee Maker:
The Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System
So what made the Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System our pick for best coffee maker? For one, it’s hard not to be impressed by the Ninja’s versatility. Unlike other coffee makers, the Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System is pod-free, meaning you can use it to brew any brand of coffee you like. In addition, not only can it make you a hot cuppa, but also specialty drinks like iced coffee, cappuccinos, and frappes. If you want even more variety, you can head over to Ninja’s official website for dozens of beverage recipes made specifically for the Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System. It even comes with a built-in milk frother to add that finishing touch to your crafted drink. Judging by customer testimonials, the variety of beverages the Ninja can make is well-matched by their quality.
Waking up with a friend? Even though this coffee maker has “single-serve” in the name, it also has an “XL Multi-serve” setting built in if your pal needs a pick-me-up too—or if you’re the kind of person who needs more than one cup to be at your best. At well over $100 currently on Amazon, the Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System isn’t the cheapest coffee maker on this list, but neither is its price terribly above standard. Plus, you may actually save money in the long run since you aren’t shelling out for any brand-specific coffee pods.
There are only two types of coffee-drinkers who we’d recommend steer clear of the Ninja: espresso lovers and kitchen designers. The Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System doesn’t come with an espresso setting and not everyone is crazy about its plastic-and-stainless-steel design. Still, the Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System’s overall versatility, value, and convenience put it at the top of our coffee maker list.
The Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine
Wowed by the Ninja’s range of options but can’t live without your espresso? The Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine may be for you. As you may be able to tell from the company’s name, Nespresso has always specialized in espresso drinks and that much shows through their coffee maker. In particular, the Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine specializes in European-style espresso and coffee, which are often stronger than American-style beverages. To add to this classy impression, the Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine creates a traditional, creamy head called a “crema” on top of every one of its drinks. With its upscale design, the Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine will make your kitchen feel like your favorite high-end cafe, even with its surprisingly affordable price tag far less than the Ninja or Keurig on Amazon.
However, what the Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine has in aesthetics, it lacks in variety. It only accepts Nespresso coffee and espresso pods, which aren’t too adventurous when it comes to non-traditional brews and flavors. Its pods aren’t cheap either, ranging from $0.85 to $1.10 a pop. Nonetheless, if you like strong, traditional coffee and espresso, the Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine may be your ideal pick. With its extremely high rates of customer satisfaction, it seems like this coffee (and espresso!) maker has already made a big impression on its (admittedly smaller) clientele.
The Keurig K575 Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker
Maybe you like to experiment with your coffee. After all, with so many brands and flavors available, why stick to the traditional? If your coffee philosophy is that variety is the spice of life, then the Keurig K575 Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker might be your best bet. When it comes to licensed coffee pods, Keurig is king, with specialty brews from the likes of Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Peet’s Coffee, and many other coffee giants. With most pods available for $0.63 apiece, you’ll also be able to sip around without breaking the bank. The Keurig 575 also allows you to experiment with your brews—to an extent. Strength and temperature control settings allow you to decide the potency and heat of your drinks to find your ideal brew. You’ll also have a range of brew sizes available to you, from a 4 oz single serve to a 30 oz carafe. If you want your coffee quickly, you can also program the Keurig 575 to turn on and begin preheating before you’re even awake.
Unfortunately, the Keurig 575 Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker is held back by a number of commonly-reported technical issues, including excessive noise when brewing, issues with the water pump becoming disconnected, and problems with the coffee maker turning on or off at inappropriate times. Given that the Keurig 575 is the most expensive coffee maker on our list at well over $100, these issues might make it a risky investment.
Best Single Serve Coffee Maker
In sum, the Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System wins its place at the top of our list thanks to its balance of variety and quality. Its reliable, pod-free design sets users free from sticking to brand-approved brews, meaning that you can make the best cup of coffee for you.Though the Keurig 575 Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker also comes with variety, it’s still limited to Keurig-licensed pods and struggles with reliability issues. Finally, the Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine is a more specialized coffee maker for more selective tastes. Among these choices, the Ninja is the best choice for the everyday lover of coffee.