By Terri Paajanen
A single-serve coffee maker will cost you more than a traditional drip machine but they will make you a cup of fresh coffee in seconds (literally) and there is no messy grounds to clean up. If you have been interested in these types of brewers, here are the best ones on the market right now.
The Tassimo is a very popular model and is without a doubt the most sophisticated one. The pods that fit in the Tassimo (T-discs) have a bar code on the top of each one and the machine reads it before it starts to brew. Once it knows what you are brewing, all the details are taken care of. You get the optimum temperature, brewing time and water pressure with each cup.
The pods are available in many different types of coffee as well as tea and hot chocolate.
The line of Dolce Gusto machines is very decorative and somewhat “retro” looking in my opinion. You can get pods for coffee, tea and hot chocolate but there are fewer choices available. The machine is much more manual than the others, and you have a lever to push for the hot water dispensing. You shut it off when you have brewed enough. The higher end models do have additional controls.
It only takes moments but this is not a model you can push a button and leave. On the other hand, you are not bound by the pre-programmed cycles and can do things your own way.
This is another very popular model, and one that probably offers the greatest variety of pods (K-cups) available on the market. You can get several dozen different kinds of coffee as well as loads of teas and chocolate drinks too. The controls are easy to use and you can change temperature, pull time and volume to suit your tastes.
The Keurig and the Tassimo are probably the most popular models of them all.
If you don’t want the extra features, the Senseo is the way to go. This is a very simple machine with basic controls. Their pods are just little gauze packets rather than the bulky plastic cups of the other machines, and you can get many types of coffee and tea (no chocolate yet). You can adjust the volume for each cup brewed but that is about it. Nice and easy.
I thought I’d mention this one even though it is probably not as well-known as the other ones. I still like them. If you like fancy controls, they have one model with an LCD control panel. You can only get about 30 types of coffee and tea, and their “pods” are flat packets (a little handier for storage). Their machines are nice and work well but they are quite a bit more expensive than the others on this list.