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Single-cup brewing machines have dominated the market for years, and we have Keurig to thank for it. It’s been making coffee pods since 1992, and now a lot of households have one of Keurig’s brewers tucked away on the kitchen counter. But you, the discerning consumer, may not be falling for the Keurig name so easily. You would be right to back up a little before buying one of its machines. Keurig’s K-Cup patent expired in 2012, which flooded the market with alternative pod brewers.
Maybe you’re a discerning, chin-rubbing kind of buyer, or maybe you don’t like Keurig because the name sounds like someone clearing their throat. Whatever the reason, if you’re in the market for a good Keurig alternative, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve provided some in-depth reviews on our top six picks to help you find the right pod brewer for you.
|Mueller Ultima Single Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker|
|Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle||1 Year||4.60/5|
|Sboly Single Serve K Cup Coffee & Ground Coffee Maker||1 Year||4.50/5|
|BLACK+DECKER Single Serve Coffeemaker (CM618)|
|Hamilton Beach 49981A Coffee Maker||90 Days||4.20/5|
When Austria heard about Keurig’s patent expiring, it swooped in with a rallying cry of “Me too!” and developed the lovely Mueller Ultima machine. It’s a stylish, spare little unit with the options of brewing four different cup sizes, and it’s fully compatible with K-Cup brand pods, both 1.0 and 2.0. With its low price and a decent two-year warranty to back it all up, it’s economical, too. It can be a little tricky to clean, but we chose it as our top pick for its ease of use, durability, and compatibility with Keurig K-Cups.
This machine by Breville has an alluring modern design, five size options, an impressive 15-second heating time, and the Aeroccino 3 milk frother for a cappuccino-style finish. It requires a special type of Nespresso pods, which are dome-shaped and spin up to 7,000 times a minute inside the brewer. This creates a delicious crema layer over your finished cup. The package also includes a variety bundle of Nespresso pods, so you can decide which flavors you like best. While this is a great machine, it didn’t make the top spot on our list because of its specialized pods. Some users may not have a problem finding the pods, but they’re not as readily available as K-Cups. Nespresso also doesn’t offer nearly the flavor variety of Keurig, and this machine may not make coffee hot enough for some people.
This cute little junior version of a pod brewer should not be judged by its appearance. It’s durable, it’s compact, and it gets the job done with K-Cups or fresh ground coffee. It even has a self-cleaning feature, which any pod brewer owner will tell you is a godsend. How can you not love this thing? Well, let’s be honest. The water reservoir isn’t very big; it only holds 12 ounces. It also has a long three-minute brew time, which pales in comparison to the 15-second brew you get with the Nespresso machine. Altogether, though, this is a solid and affordable purchase.
Pod coffee brewers can be expensive, and when you tack on the cost of buying all those little K-Cups, you may need to start a GoFundMe page to finance your coffee addiction. Or you could buy a BLACK+DECKER CM618. At its low price, you can launch a new pod brewing habit for less than a tank of gas. This thoughtful company has engineered a compact model that brews right into the included travel mug. Now that’s the ultimate in convenience. It may be stripped down, as it only brews one cup size, but you have the option of using pods (not K-Cups) or fresh coffee in its mesh filter. Its limited flexibility keeps it out of the top three.
This stainless steel scalawag can brew up to 14 ounces of fresh coffee at once. That’s good news for travel mug users and coffeeholics alike. With a single flip of its simple switch, you get a hot brew in minutes. It even has a handy measuring scoop to take the guesswork out of balancing your coffee.
It’s a very simple machine. There’s no automatic brew volume control, and some users won’t be keen on having to measure their coffee rather than inserting a K-Cup. The heat level can also be mediocre. But for on-the-go coffee lovers, this is a handy machine to have around. You can’t beat the price, either.
This skinny brewer is a great space saver. It’ll fit almost anywhere without getting in the way. It accepts both K-Cups and fresh grounds and brews quickly with a simple button push. It’s not going to bowl you over unless you’re an obsessive minimalist, but for affordability and compact design, it’s a good alternative to expensive and bulky Keurig machines. Chefman offers a one-year warranty, too. Because of its size, though, it has a tiny reservoir that can be annoying to fill. Some users have complaints about the coffee flavor and the lack of automatic brew volume control. It’s also on the lower end of the durability field, so it may not hold up to heavy use.
If you want a machine to take the place of a Keurig, you can’t go wrong with the Mueller or Nespresso models. If you want the function without the expense, the BLACK+DECKER machine is a good fit. Before purchasing a new brewer, take functionality, durability, and affordability into account. You should also consider the following tips:
Our popular Keurig posts:
Do some good scouring of the market before choosing a brewer. Just because it has cool lights and a flashy body doesn’t mean it’s a good brewer. Consider the tips above and compare them to price and warranty before you buy.
If you’re in doubt, our top pick for best Keurig alternative is the Mueller Ultima Single Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker. It’s affordable, easy to use, and looks great. If you want the most economical option, you can’t go wrong with the BLACK+DECKER Single Serve Coffeemaker (CM618). It has a great price point and a bonus travel mug, and it’s beautifully compact.
The pod brewer market is busier than a crushed anthill. It can be a little daunting to find the perfect fit. We hope these reviews have helped you navigate the market, so you can pick the brewer of your dreams and start your mornings out a little better.
Did you know that reusable Keurig pods are now a thing? We reviewed the most popular ones here.
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