Single Cup Or Pot Coffee Maker - What And How To Choose One

Single Cup Or Pot Coffee Maker – What And How To Choose One

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 13:15

One of the big debates and questions to ask yourself when considering the purchase of a coffee machine is to buy a single cup or pot coffee maker.

For some, a single cup machine, be it a pod or capsule machine and even a home espresso machine, is great. For others, a pot coffee maker, like a good old-fashioned drip coffee machine, is more suitable.

Others think dual brew coffee makers will be a better option.

This article is written to help you decide which type, a single cup or pot coffee maker, is best for you.

If you are thinking about a new machine, pull up a chair, grab a cuppa and keep reading!

Why Buy A Dual Coffee Maker?

Dual coffee machines, or as they are also known, two-way coffee makers, are coffee brewing machines that are designed to brew both a single cup of coffee and full carafes of coffee. This makes them a perfect choice for families and homes that have different coffee requirements and needs.

A dual coffee maker is perfect if you have one or two people who are up and out of the house early. They can make a cup of coffee each with no need to brew up a whole carafe of coffee and leave the rest of the house with burnt, cold or stale coffee by the time they wake.

A dual brewer gives you the option and versatility that is missing from a single serve brewer. Also, as I noted in another article, a dual coffee maker kills two birds with one stone. There is no one or the other kind of argument when it comes to K-Cup pods or other coffee pods that fit a Keurig machine.  The Keurig Duo will brew both drip coffee and K-cup coffee pods.

Why Buy A Dual Coffee Maker
A Keurig Duo

Read: Drip coffee maker Vs Keurig

How To Pick The Right 2-Way Coffee Maker That Meets Your Needs

Before you jump in and buy a dual coffee brewer, take the due diligence and consider what it is that you need from a two-way coffee maker and if that is what you really need. One thing that you must keep in mind is that they are only going to make regular coffee, nothing special at all.

Don’t expect anything special from what is just drip coffee.

Save that for the duo coffee capsule maker that has both capsules and drip coffee.

Above all, make sure the machine you have your heart set on has all the key features that you need to meet all the coffee needs of your home and household.

Single Cup Or Pot Coffee Maker
A Drip Coffee Maker With Single Cup Facility

Read: How many ounces in a standard coffee pot?

What Type Of 2 Way Coffee Maker Do You Want?

The term “dual coffee maker” and “dual coffee maker” is ambiguous and refers to no particular coffee type or brewer or brewing method involved. It can also be a reference to a coffee machine that can brew a single cup of coffee or multiple cups of coffee with the same brewing technique. An example of which is a single cup of drip coffee and the option of a full carafe of drip coffee.

The terminology can also be in reference to a coffee machine that has two unique and different brewing methods, such as capsules and drip coffee like the Keurig Duo.

Others offer the option of making an espresso and filter coffee. Many of these machines have the feature that is very handy – a hot water dispenser that you can use to make instant coffee, tea, or an infusion.

Which ever machine you choose, make sure it meets all your requirements.

What Type Of 2 Way Coffee Maker Do You Want
A Single Cup Coffee Maker

How Important Is Customization To You?

This might be a very ordinary question or an unimportant one that you brush over and pay little attention to.

But to others, the ability to change the settings and get their coffee exactly as they like it is important. There are many variables in the process of brewing coffee that affect the taste and aromas, having the ability to adjust variables like the temperature and the brew time and improve the taste and strength.

If you are the type of person that doesn’t like to tweak around and personalize your coffee experience then there is little point to you investing in a machine that has a lot of options for you to adjust that you are not going to use.

In this case, you are probably going to be much better off with a coffee brewer that has some preset buttons for you to press and, viola, your coffee is ready.

Read up about the models that interest you and find out what the adjustments are that you can make and if you can program them and make your own presets.

Two Peas In A (Coffee) Pod…

A polemic question in the coffee community and amongst coffee lovers, either you love coffee pods or you don’t.

Since there are dual coffee makers and there are single coffee makers that take those coffee pods, then the question has to be asked, and the topic raised.

Coffee pods are very handy for making pseudo-gourmet style and quality coffee at home. There is no shortage of them as far as options go — there are some 600 variations from 60 or so brands. The plus points are taste, convenience and, yes, getting that boutique-style coffee at home.

The drawbacks are the coffee is not fresh, the pods have a paper filter in them and thus the coffee produced is not as flavorful or as aromatic as it could be.

If you have no desire to get into coffee and be a proper home barista, then, by all means, a coffee pod is an option. A notable drawback is that you can’t make too many of them at the same time.

On the other hand, you can make much better and fresher coffee with the full aroma and taste with a home espresso machine and just as quickly. This is certainly something to keep in mind.

Glass Carafe Vs Thermal Carafe

This is not just a question of a thermal carafe Vs a glass carafe. If you want a thermal carafe, you need to decide which material is best for its construction.

While glass is great, and is ideal if you have a hot plate to keep your coffee hot, you will need to ensure that the glass is tough and durable with a replacement readily available should you break it.

If there is no hot plate to keep your coffee warm, then a thermal carafe is going to be a better option. In this situation, I would avoid a plastic thermal carafe, as plastic as hot water will provoke unhealthy xeno estrogens to seep into your coffee.

For me, I do prefer a glass one, particularly when there is a hot plate available to keep my coffee hot. My favorite choice of a thermal carafe is one made from stainless steel.

K-Cups Vs Ground Coffee

K-Cups are good, just as are Nespresso capsules. I’m not into duality or binary choices when it comes to my coffee.


I do like my coffee fresh, as fresh as I can possibly get. This is only something that you achieve when you buy whole beans and grind your beans right before you brew your coffee. This is how you ensure you have 100% fresh grounds.


your coffee beans themselves are fresher when you roast them yourself in smaller quantities. They are also fresher when you buy freshly roasted beans and check the roasted on date.

At Latte Love Brew we encourage you to get in on the home roasting revolution and roast your own beans.

With K-Cups or any type of coffee pods or capsules, you are not going to get coffee grounds that are fresh. They are roasted, ground and then packaged in the pods goodness knows how long ago before they make their way into your cup.

For me, as far as freshness, aroma and taste you can’t get any better than roasting your own bean and grinding them immediately before brewing.

Also, you have your own choice of ground coffee.

Coffee addicts and coffee fanatics may discourage you from coffee pods. I get it, I am a coffee fanatic myself. The coffee from K cups is good, but they are small. Each K-cup only makes around a 6 ounce (180 ml) cup of coffee. I need to use two to get a good regular size myself.

Yes, the coffee produced by them is tasty.

K-Cups Vs Ground Coffee
Grinding And Roasting Your Own Coffee Is Best

Standard Or Dual Coffee Maker

In the question of a single cup or pot coffee maker you will need to consider if you want a simple standard coffee maker or a dual coffee maker.

A standard drip coffee machine does not always have the option for you to brew a single cup of coffee or a preset number of cups. Some of the more traditional and older style ones will offer you the unique option of making a full carafe with little to no control of the amount of coffee brewed.

The only work around in this situation is to control the amount of water in the water reservoir.

A dual coffee maker does make the option much easier as you can either, depending on the model and type, select a single cup to be brewed or insert your K-Cup of choice and viola a single cup of coffee.

What About Dual Coffee Makers With Grinders?

Dual coffee makers with grinders do exist, and they are available as full pot coffee makers and single serve machines. More commonly, you will see them in the full pot dual coffee makers.

There is no denying they have their place, look great and do have good grinders built in.

Not to be a negative Nancy – I’m just not a fan of them at all.

I had a real good look at a few of them over the years. Generally speaking, the grinders that are in the all-inclusive machines are good and get you a range of grind sizes, but you will get much better and greater control of the grind size with an independent grinder.


I find these machines are a pain to clean, and you absolutely must keep your grinder clean and free from both old coffee “dust” and the oil from the coffee beans for the freshest possible coffee.

When you don’t keep your machine well maintained, you will get a reduced quality of coffee and lifespan of the machine.

You are undoubtedly far better off getting an independent coffee grinder. The top choice and advice I can give you is to use either a ceramic conical burr grinder or a manual hand grinder. Both will get you great results without too much heat dissipation on to your beans.

In all honesty and based on my experience, you are best not getting one of those devices that are all-inclusive with a grinder. An independent grinder is hands down better.

Dual coffee maker with grinder
Avoid Dual Coffee Makers With A Grinder

Why Use A Single Serve Coffee Maker?

One of the plus points is the fact that you will save a lot of money by wasting less coffee instead of brewing up full pots of coffee that you will end up throwing out. If you are making just one cup or need to just make a single cup, why would you need a 10-cup drip coffee machine?

You’ll end up saving a lot on wasted coffee grounds.

Is It Cheaper To Have A Keurig Or A Coffee Maker?

Keurig coffee machines are not cheap when you compare them to other coffee machines. However, you can save money with them and get very good coffee shop quality coffee at home and save on your expenditure.

They are not cheaper than run-of-the-mill standard drip coffee makers, but they are worth it thh terms of coffee made. I don’t consider them to be expensive at all as you can get one for less than US$200.

And a Keurig K-Duo Plus coffee maker will give you the best of both worlds. Drip coffee and K-Cups.

Are Single Cup Coffee Makers Worth It?


as it is, it depends on your own preference and your own situation. If you are the type that is like me and tend to wake up late and really doesn’t want any messing around with making a coffee then a capsule based machine is going to be very convenient and above all quick!

You will have no mess, no big brew time and time-wasting grinding and preparing a drip coffee batch.

Frequently Asked Questions About Single Cup Or Pot Coffee Maker

Is It Cheaper To Have A Coffee Pot?

Yes, making drip coffee works out cheaper than buying coffee pods and depending on the coffee pods in question and comparing to coffee beans it can work out to be 1/4 to 1/3 of the price on a per cup of coffee basis.

It is not a binary choice as you can have the best of both worlds with a Keurig Duo which makes drip coffee and can brew single serve coffee K-cup coffee pods too. You can enjoy drip coffee and save the K-Cups for when you really want gourmet style coffee.

Is The Keurig Single-Serve Worth It?

Yes, if you are a big fan of Starbucks style coffee beverages, a Keurig is worth it for the great coffee and the gourmet style beverages that you can make. They can save you a fortune on your coffee bill and end up paying for itself many times over.

They are definitely worth it from that point of view. But if you are not going to use it much then, it will not be worth it.

Are Drip Coffee Makers Better Than Keurig?

I don’t personally consider any coffee maker as better than the other as it depends on what kind of coffee you enjoy. Some people really dislike drip coffee and others just can’t stand the fancy coffee that Keurig K-Cups make.

For me, for family use when there are a lot of different coffee drinkers and when you have your fair share of coffee meet us and dinner parties, a drip coffee maker is worth it. Keurigs do make drip coffee makers that are good.

As a matter of convenience, their Duo model is the best of both worlds, drip coffee and Keurig K-cups.

Nespresso is different and not better than a Keurig. If you enjoy espresso, you may feel like leaning more towards a Nespresso as Keurigs don’t have this option.


….and without any coffee snobbery Nespresso at best makes “espresso like” coffee but not espresso. If you enjoy espresso regularly, you will notice the difference. You can get a good cup of coffee from both machines, but you have more and better options with a Keurig.

There are a few things that you should never do with a coffee machine, here are some:

  • Never Forget To Descale Your Coffee Maker.
  • Never Forget To Clean Your Coffee Maker.
  • Never Forget To Replace The Water Filter.
  • Never Forget To Clean Your Milk Wand And Milk System.
  • Never Let Your Water Reservoir Run Out Of Water.
  • Never Reuse Ground Coffee More Than Once!

The cheapest and to be honest, the best way to make good coffee is to use the pour over method. Pour over is able to get more total dissolved solids into your cup than any other brewing method.

All that is needed is a cone to hold your paper filter and a kettle to heat your water. To make it perfectly and gooseneck kettle is better.

Frappé-Ing It All Up – Single Cup Or Pot Coffee Maker

It is a big decision to make. Get it wrong, and you might just end up with a machine that you have little use for, have difficulty exchanging and thus due diligence is required and a lot of consideration. Get it right, and you have a great machine that meets all your requirements and makes great coffee for years to come.

Have a good thought about what you need, a single cup or pot coffee maker?

Join our online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and take part by sharing your amazing recipes, coffee creations, and those great coffee memes and jokes.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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