Single Cup Coffee Maker

The availability of the single cup coffee maker has brought commercial grade coffee making to the home at a fraction of the cost of many domestic espresso machines. These coffee machines enable anyone to make a cup of coffee that can rival those made using traditional espresso machines without specialist training, with far less fuss and mess, at an affordable price too.

While traditional espresso machines require you to manually pack a filter “basket” with coffee grounds, a single cup maker uses pre-ground coffee packed in sealed “pods” (usually of proprietary design) to produce a coffee brew of consistent strength and flavor. And they mean you do not have to be worrying about things like how to blend your coffee.

There are a variety of different coffee pod systems available, and most single cup machines are limited to using a single particular pod system. Some systems, like the Tassimo Hot Beverage System, even allow other hot drinks to be made as well, with compatible pods being available for hot chocolate, tea etc.

Although generally less expensive to buy than traditional espresso machines, single cup coffee makers have greater ongoing costs. Without exception the “cost per cup” for pod-based systems is greater than that of coffee brewed from loose coffee grounds. Having said that, if you would like some examples of what is now available for the home market, read on more here for more details.

However, despite a greater cost per cup, the savings when compared to coffee shop take-away is massive – so much so that the single cup coffee maker is increasingly popular in offices where workers might typically spend $3 each per day on a single takeaway coffee.

Over the course of a year the savings made from running a single serve machine in the office really add up, and only increase with each coworker that makes use of the facility. For many a single cup coffee maker offers an acceptable compromise between quality coffee, convenience and cost.

Despite their popularity single serve machines aren’t suitable for everyone. For many people much of the charm of fresh coffee is the habit and ritual of grinding fresh beans and manually operating a machine. While convenient, pod-based single cup coffee makers don’t allow for much in the way of manual “tweaks” to the coffee making process, something that some coffee fanatics are likely to miss.

That having been said, although coffee aficionados argue that pod-based single cup coffee makers produce an inferior result to a traditional espresso machine operated by an experienced professional, the truth is that many coffee outlets do not train staff to a level where it’s possible to differentiate between a coffee bought at a coffee shop and one produced by a pod-based machine. They often wouldn’t the know the difference a dark, medium or light blend.


Specific criticism has been targeted at some pod coffee systems because they produce a great deal more waste packaging than traditional alternatives. Some admittedly use biodegradable paper pods, but others actually use hard plastic capsules that are non-recyclable. For the eco-conscious then, is the justification for a single cup coffee maker may be hard to argue, but some cite the boiling of less water as a compensation as less electricity is used.