Best Single Cup Coffee Maker: Nespresso vs Keurig vs Tassimo vs Ninja Coffee Bar vs Cuisinart

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Is it the caffeine that keeps you drinking that cup of coffee every morning, or is it the ritual of starting your day with the bold flavor? A single serve coffee maker can help brew you the perfect cub.

Whether you and your family (or roommates) enjoy differing brews or you just don’t want to waste an entire pot of coffee, we’ll help you find the perfect coffee pot for your single cup needs.

Article Overview

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker

We chose our single serve coffee maker top three based on:

  • Best value for the price
  • Brew time, the faster the better
  • Good customer satisfaction
  • Number of brew options
  • And more

Depending on how busy you are in the mornings, you may opt for a coffee maker that is more expensive but has a quicker brew time. If you have a little more time in the mornings, you might consider a less expensive coffee maker that takes a little longer.

Keep in mind that if you’re a die-hard fan of a certain brew, you’ll want to make sure the coffee maker you purchase can brew it. Some of these coffee pots require K Cups, pods or other brand-specific coffee pods that may limit your brewing options.

Nespresso Review

Nespresso Original#1
View Vertuo on Amazon | View Original on Amazon

If you want the best tasting coffee, Nespresso is the machine for you. Our top pick for best single serve coffee maker coffee maker serves crema on top of its coffee and espresso brews, for the ultimate gourmet coffee experience. Depending on the machine you choose, you can brew various single serve coffee cup sizes including espresso (1.35 oz.), double espresso (2.7 oz.), gran lungo (5 oz.), coffee (7.7 oz.) and alto (14 oz.). W

e’ve linked to two of the more popular options, but once on Amazon, browse for your particular needs. Pay attention to the machine you purchase, as the Original Nespresso machines (with the exception of the Pro machine which has programmable volumes) make only the smaller sizes (up to a 5 oz lungo, or if you have a milk frother, a slightly larger latte macchiato), while the Vertuo has larger pods that go all the way up to a 14 oz alto (almost a pint for you beer drinkers). 

Pro tip: if you want a larger coffee using Nespresso Original, just use more than one capsule (ie. run it a second time into a larger cup; that’s what we do).

There are two primary model lines of Nespresso: Original, and the new Vertuo. Each line features several different models at various price points. Note that Nespresso machines only work with Nespresso capsules, and the Original and Vertuo line uses different capsules.



  • About a 1 minute brew time
  • Serves coffee and espresso with crema
  • Customers rave about the coffee flavor
  • Milk frother option on several models to make cappuccinos and latte macchiatos
  • Lots of different coffee flavors, including blends, single origins, and limited edition releases
  • “Pro” machines include programmable volumes for coffee sizes
  • Only works with Nespresso capsules
  • Machine requires descaling after prolonged use (a slightly time-consuming cleaning process requiring a descaling kit)


  • Vertuo $169.99 | Original  $174.95
  • 1-year warranty
  • Water reservoirs of varying sizes depending on model (40 oz. for our Vertuo model linked above)

Read Our Nespresso Comparison Article

Keurig Review


View on Amazon

It’s no surprise here that Keurig comes in a close second. Keurig machines are probably the most prolific on the market given their aggressive marketing campaigns over the years (odds are you know someone that got one for free). Program your Keurig to turn on in the morning, so it’s ready for you to make your cup quickly.

The version we recommend here brews multiple K Cup pod sizes (6, 8, and 10 oz.). If you want the strongest brew, go for the 6 oz. cup of Joe. Keurig is pretty straightforward and easy to use. This model has minimal buttons, so it’s very user-friendly from the start.

There are more than 70 brands of coffee to choose from with 400+ varieties. If you want to be eco-friendly (which we always encourage) you can purchase some reusable K Cups and fill them with your favorite roast. This is also less expensive than purchasing prepackaged filters.



  • Less than 1 minute brew time
  • Auto-off after it’s idle for 2 hours
  • Cleaning feature
  • Removable drip tray to fit most travel mugs
  • Many coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc. options
  • Easy to use
  • Uses a charcoal water filter to remove impurities from the water
  • 10 oz is the largest cup it will brew
  • On most models, you cannot control the strength of coffee

Price & Tech Specs

Read Our Keurig Comparison Article

Cuisinart Review

Cuisinart DCC-3000#3

View on Amazon

This coffee pot is unique from other single cup coffee makers because it makes a full pot of coffee (or 1-4 cups of coffee) and will dispense it out 1 cup at a time. Although this is less expensive than the Keurig, it fell behind the Keurig because this is a single serve coffee review. The Cuisinart doesn’t brew as fast and you can’t brew a single cup as easily as you can with the Keurig. However, we like the functionality of this coffee pot, which is why it is our #3 pick.

Cuisinart does offer a single-cup brewer that also grinds coffee for you. This is rare to come by and, although it doesn’t have the greatest reviews, if you’re looking for a single cup coffee maker with grinder we’d recommend it. You can purchase it on Amazon for  Check Amazon for availability .



  • Displays the time
  • Programmable
  • Auto-on and off
  • Cleaning feature
  • Uses a charcoal water filter to remove impurities from the water
  • Not truly a 1 cup coffee maker
  • Slower brew time
  • Complaints of it leaking

Price & Tech Specs

  • $119.95
  • Limited 3-year warranty
  • Coffee reservoir holds 60 oz. of coffee

Other Single Cup Coffee Makers

Below you’ll find an alphabetical listing of other companies we’ve reviewed.

Hamilton Beach |Ninja Coffee Bar | Tassimo

Hamilton Beach Review

Hamilton Beach 49970View on Amazon

This Hamilton Beach coffee maker works with loose ground coffee or disk-shaped soft pods. You can brew up to a 12 oz. cup of coffee, and it has an auto-shutoff.

It doesn’t brew as quickly as the more expensive single cup coffee makers, but for less than $20 it’s hard to beat. If you’re looking for an inexpensive single cup coffee brewer and don’t mind waiting a little longer for your coffee, this is a good option.



  • You can double the pods for a stronger brew
  • Auto-off
  • Easy to use
  • No water reservoir
  • Must allow coffee pot to cool for at least 1 minute between brews
  • Longer brew time at about 2 minutes

Price & Tech Specs

Ninja Coffee Bar Review

Ninja Coffee MakerView on Amazon

Customize your brew and feel like a barista with this Ninja Coffee Bar. You can brew into your cup, travel mug or a carafe with the Ninja Coffee Bar. Select your brew style (classic, rich, over ice or specialty) and the coffee maker will dispense the perfect amount of water to deliver the brew type.



  • Auto-off after it’s idle for 2 hours
  • Programmable
  • Fits most travel mugs
  • Use any ground coffee
  • Uses a permanent filter
  • Can control the strength of the brew
  • Customers rave about the coffee taste
  • Not easy to clean
  • Sometimes it stops brewing mid-brew
  • Longer brew time (about 3 minutes)

Price & Tech Specs

Tassimo Review

Tassimo by Bosch TAS6515UCView on Amazon

Tassimo has great tasting coffee at the touch of a button, but their machine only works with T-Discs. But you can still make coffee, tea, hot chocolate, espresso and more. We’ve read mixed reviews on this machine so if you’ve used this coffee maker, share your experience with us in the comments.



  • Customers rave about the coffee taste
  • Brew coffee, tea, hot chocolate and more
  • Only works with T-Discs, so not as many brew options
  • Warranty unknown

Price & Tech Specs

Enjoy Your Coffee Iced

These 5 iced coffee recipes are bound to get you excited to start your day.

Explore Your Coffee Palate

If you’re interested in trying new coffee brews monthly, check out our Best Coffee Subscription Box. Of course, you’ll want to make sure your coffee pot allows ground coffee or K Cups (to fill with your own grounds), so you can enjoy these robust flavors.

What’s your favorite coffee blend?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She is one of Exploring Life's Mysteries most experienced researchers. When reviewing products and services her natural curiosity helps her dig deep and unearth the truth behind the marketing. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly grew up camping at the nearby lake with her family when she was a young girl. It wasn't until she met her husband that she rediscovered her love for the outdoors and began taking regular vacations to the national parks. Some of Kimberly's favorite memories include camping in a tent, hiking beautiful terrains, sitting around a campfire eating s'mores and sipping on a cold craft beer.

After three years of dating and exploring different regions of the U.S., Kimberly's husband proposed to her with the help of Exploring Life's Mysteries' online engagement content that she had researched and written. Not only was he able to design her ring himself, he was able to do so at great cost savings.

Kimberly likes starting her days with a warm cup of Nespresso, and she enjoys going for walks with her family and hound mix, Sally. In the evenings, she likes indulging in a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate while cozying up by the fire pit in her backyard.

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