The 8 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers Without Pods

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A fresh cup of coffee tastes better than one that has been warming in the carafe for an hour, or one that is slowly going stale in an insulated cup. That’s why many people buy single serve coffee makers. Every cup is made fresh and tastes its best.

Some people go for pod machines like Nespresso or Keurig, but coffee pods can’t match freshly ground coffee for taste. And the pods themselves produce waste, despite increased sustainability efforts by Nespresso in particular to provide recycling options.

If you’re looking for a single serve coffee maker without pods, you’re sure to find one that will suit your needs among the eight great choices we cover in this article. But if you’re looking for a quick answer, then let’s get right to it:

Best single serve coffee maker without pods

We’ll explain why we like The Scoop in a moment. But first, here’s a shortlist of our top three choices:

What is a single serve coffee maker?

A single serve coffee maker is a machine or device that makes one cup of coffee at a time or often one large mug at a time. These makers allow for each cup of coffee to be brewed fresh on the spot.

Different types of single serve coffee makers

Single serve coffee makers without pods might sound like a very narrow specific category, but in fact there is a wide variety of brewing devices and styles available within that category. The big difference between them is whether or not they use electricity.

Many coffee machines use electricity. Drip machines are the classic home models familiar to most people. They are easy to use but do not make the best coffee. They may drip into a thermos rather than over a hot plate. This avoids the scorching that a burner can give to coffee.

In this post we focus on drip machines, but there are also automatic and semi-automatic espresso machines, designed to deliver espresso and foam for making fancy specialty coffee drinks.

Other devices use only gravity or person-power to brew coffee. These cordless wonders can be used anywhere you have a supply of hot water. Press machines such as the 21st-century invention AeroPress or the old-school French press would be included among these. These devices steep the grounds in water then use a press and filter to separate the grounds from the coffee. Other devices work with gravity alone to make pour-over coffee, and these include the Melitta, Chemex and Hario V60.

Finally, there are machines that make unique brews. The moka pot brews with steam and pressure. The Vietnamese coffee maker combines pour-over and press features. And, of course, the harried and hurried have their pod and K-cup makers.

The top 5 single serve coffee makers without pods

1. The Scoop® by Hamilton Beach

Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker, Fast Brewing, Stainless Steel (49981A)Check availability

The Scoop by Hamilton Beach is the single cup coffee maker for the masses. The Scoop is easy and inexpensive. It brews directly into a 14-ounce stainless steel mug in 2.5 minutes. This sturdy drip coffee maker combines its reusable filter with a scoop and its carafe with a mug, minimizing moving parts that need to be cleaned. It gives you two choices for coffee flavor: regular or bold. Most people like bold.

Pros:

  • Convenient
  • Inexpensive
  • Simple and durable

Cons:

  • Mesh filter lets grit through and using a paper one can cause clogs
  • Only two tastes, and both are drip coffee

Specifications:

Brew time90 seconds
Dimensions8.7" H x 6.7" W x 8.4" D
Weight5.2 pounds
Material(s)Stainless steel and plastic
Power1300 W
Warranty5-year limited

2. Technivorm Moccamaster Cup One

Technivorm 69212 Cup One Coffee Brewer, 10 oz, Polished SilverCheck availability

The Technivorm Moccamaster Cup One is the most deluxe single serve drip coffee maker, if not the best value. Consider it the iPhone of coffee makers: It comes with a high price tag but is easy to use and works great every time.

This sleek, silver or black machine is durable, energy-efficient, and has a small countertop footprint. Press one button, and the machine does the rest, making coffee in four minutes. It even allows for a little time to let the coffee bloom.

However, the Technivorm is among the most expensive coffee makers. They are a company committed to quality. You can learn more about them and their other Moccamaster brewers from our earlier post.

Pros:

  • Consistently great coffee
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Price
  • No customization

Specifications:

Brew time4 minutes
Dimensions11.8" H x 10.2" W x 6.7" D
Weight4.4 pounds
Material(s)Metal and BPA-free plastic
Power1090 W
Warranty5-year limited

3. Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

Ninja 10-Cup Specialty Coffee Maker, with 50 Oz Glass Carafe, Stainless Steel Check availability

The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker isn’t strictly a single-cup coffee maker because it also comes with a full glass carafe. If you usually brew for only one person but want the option of making coffee for many, it’s a great choice. It’s also tops for espresso drinks. It can make a concentrated coffee that’s close to espresso in different strengths, and it has a built-in milk frother so you can create different hot and cold specialty beverages. A very versatile machine that makes a good cup of regular coffee among its six custom brew settings. This SCA-certified system is long-lasting but does require occasional cleaning. It comes with a permanent filter but can use paper filters instead, if you prefer.

Pros:

  • Espresso
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Price
  • Complex machine may require some maintenance

Specifications:

Brew time4 minutes
Dimensions15" H x 12" W x 8.8" D
Weight9.2 pounds
Material(s)Stainless steel, plastic and glass
Power1500 W
Warranty1-year limited

4. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve

Hamilton Beach 49974 FlexBrew Single-Serve Coffee Maker Compatible with Pod Packs and Grounds, Black Check availability

The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve is a great one-cup coffee maker that provides a lot of flexibility. You have the choice of brewing with the filter basket or coffee pods, and you also have some flexibility when it comes to cup size. The cup rest can be raised and lowered to fit the appropriate cup under the dispensing spout.

The water reservoir is removable for easy filling, and holds up to 14 ounces.

The machine also comes with a travel mug so you can brew and go. It only takes three minutes to brew, and automatic shutoff means you don’t have to worry about your coffee maker drawing power all day while you’re at work.

The FlexBrew is fairly sturdy with a body of high-quality plastic and stainless steel.

Pros:

  • Convenient and efficient
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Some plastic

Specifications:

Brew time3 minutes
Dimensions13.3" H x 6.5" W x 10.2" D
Weight3.2 pounds
Material(s)Plastic
Power600 W
Warranty1 year

5. Mixpresso Single Serve 2-in-1

Mixpresso Single Serve 2 in 1 Coffee Brewer K-Cup Pods Compatible & Ground Coffee,Compact Coffee Maker Single Serve With 30 oz Detachable Reservoir, 5 Brew Size and Adjustable Drip Tray (Black) Check availability

The Mixpresso Single Serve 2-in-1 coffee maker is another that can brew using either straight coffee grounds or pods. It draws 1000 watts of power to brew in only three minutes.

The removable water reservoir is one of the bigger ones on our list, holding up to 30 ounces at once. That will let you brew two generous cups, one after another, so not a bad choice for busy couples.

The cup tray can be adjusted to three different heights using mounting slots in the base of the machine. You can also program it to brew for various sizes, from six-ounce to 14-ounce.

And kudos to Mixpress for including the auto shutoff feature that prevents the machine from overheating or drawing unnecessary power.

Pros:

  • Brews quickly
  • Removable cup tray with a drip catch allows for taller mugs

Cons:

  • Lots of plastic

Specifications:

Brew time3 minutes
Dimensions14" H x 6" W x 9" D
Weight4 pounds
Material(s)Plastic
Power1000 W
Warranty1 year

6. Mixpresso 2-in-1 Grind and Brew

Mixpresso 2 in 1 Grind & Brew Automatic Personal Coffee Maker, Automatic Single Serve Coffee Maker with Grinder Built-In and 14oz Travel Mug, Auto Shut Off Function & Reusable Eco-Friendly Filter. Check availability

The Mixpresso 2-in-1 Grind and Brew is an automatic single-serve coffee maker that brews straight into a stainless steel travel mug that comes with machine. The insulated mug keeps coffee hot for up to five hours.

With the grind-and-brew functionality, this machine can take either ground coffee or whole beans.

It’s easy to use and the auto shutoff function provides some peace of mind in terms of safety. In addition to the built-in grinder, there’s an eco-friendly permanent filter that just needs a simple wash and will save you the hassle of buying refills.

The machine comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean and use
  • Ability to grind whole beans and brew directly into the cup
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Travel mug gets hot
  • Not plastic-free

Specifications:

Brew time3 minutes
Dimensions13.7" H x 7.8" W x 10.3" D
Weight4.7 pounds
Material(s)Stainless steel and plastic
Powern/a
Warranty1 year

7. Krups Simply Brew To Go

KRUPS Simply Brew to Go Single Serve Drip Coffee Maker with Travel Tumbler Included, 12 fluid ounces, Silver and Black Check availability

The Simply Brew To Go from Krups is another machine with an eco-friendly permanent filter basket to hold your ground coffee. Its seamless stainless steel travel tumbler with a double wall keeps drinks hot and holds a capacity of up to 12 ounces.

The Simply Brew To Go has a lot of plastic, but it seems to be pretty solid. Its tiny footprint takes up almost no space in a small kitchen or apartment. It’s very easy to operate and has attracted a lot of positive reviews.

Pros:

  • Efficient and durable
  • Easy to use and clean

Cons:

  • Lots of plastic

Specifications:

Brew time2 minutes
Dimensions12.3" H x 5.3" W x 5.9" D
Weight2.4 pounds
Material(s)Plastic with stainless steel accents
Power650 W
Warranty2 years

8. Elite Gourmet Maxi-Matic

Elite Gourmet EHC111A Maxi-Matic Personal 14oz Single-Serve Compact Coffee Maker Brewer, Includes Stainless Steel Interior Thermal Travel Mug, Compatible with Coffee Grounds, Reusable Filter, Black Check availability

The Elite Gourmet Maxi-Matic personal coffee maker does have pod-brewing capability, but will also brew with coffee grounds if you want to use fresh beans. Its a classic brewer that many consumers have been using for years.

The removable water tank holds up to 14 ounces at once, which is enough to brew a decent-size mug—somewhere between a tall and a grande at Starbucks.

It’s a compact machine with a built-in compartment for storing the power cord, so helpful for keeping you cabinet or pantry free of clutter.

Apart from the base, other parts are dishwasher safe.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to clean and use

Cons:

  • No automatic shutoff
  • Base is not dishwasher-safe

Specifications:

Brew time60 seconds
Dimensions9.6" H x 5.1" W x 6.9" D
Weight2.4 pounds
Material(s)Plastic and stainless steel
Power700 watts
Warranty1 year

What to look for in a single serve coffee maker with no pods

Type of coffee

When buying your single cup coffee maker, your first decision is what kind of coffee you prefer. Espresso has its own type of maker. If you love basic Italian coffee, get a moka pot. If you say “just coffee,” then most others will work.

Taste

Taste is the key factor when purchasing a coffee maker. Those who just want caffeine will find a standard drip model most familiar and convenient. Those with stronger preferences can go to a coffee shop and see if they can try coffees from different makers made with the same beans. Each one will have different smoothness, brightness, bitterness, and other flavors.

The person who wants to be in full control of coffee flavor should go for a manual device such as the Hario V60. This simple device allows you to pour for different strengths and tastes. If you want consistently good coffee, go for an AeroPress or the Technivorm Moccamaster Cup One.

Convenience

How much do you want to be involved when brewing coffee? If you like the ritual, then a Hario V60 or another top-of-cup drip device will allow you to engage in every step of the process. Many of us want a simpler, more convenient coffee. An AeroPress offers a pared-down hands-on experience. Hamilton Beach offers familiarity. With the Technivorm Moccamaster, you can give full control to the machine by pressing one button. 

Filtration

A good paper filter will keep most grit out of your cup. But you must keep buying them and throwing them away. There are wonderful eco-minded metal mesh filters, but all of these let some level of grit into your coffee.

Clean-up

How much time do you want to spend cleaning the machine after each use and overall? Non-electric models require you only to toss the grounds, rinse, and go—unless you are using a metal filter, which take more cleaning. Each of the electric models has you also cleaning the pot and grounds, but internal parts may need occasional cleaning as well. The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker also has a frother to clean and a couple more moving parts.

Ninja 10-Cup Specialty Coffee Maker, with 50 Oz Glass Carafe, Stainless Steel

 

Portability

Are you taking your coffee maker with you? To the office? Or camping? Both the AeroPress and Hario V60 are easily portable. Electric systems are larger and more fragile. However the Hamilton Beach is a pretty sturdy little machine and can make it to the office and back. (I would probably buy one for each of the two locations.)

What reviewers said about our top pick

We don’t think you can beat Hamilton Beach’s The Scoop for value. It’s a workhorse that comes at a very reasonable price. To give you few more perspectives, here are some reviews from Amazon that we thought were fairly representative.

The good

Good, coffee, well designed, sturdy unit, reliable and handsome on my kitchen counter. Best I’ve ever owned and highly recommend it.

— Amazon Customer

There is really no learning curve with this machine. You don’t have to remember to select the correct brew size and there is nothing to re-program after a power outage.

— P. Perry

I am genuinely impressed at the quality of the appliance for the price point. It seems well made, and the few removable parts fit well.

— L.B. Jennings

The bad

There’s no way to slow down the 90 second brew time so that the water can steep longer in the coffee grinds while coming out. I am using the “bold” setting and it doesn’t help.

— TXT

As always, we encourage you to spend some time with the Amazon reviews before making a final decision.

Decision time

Once you’ve considered your preferences for taste, type of coffee, convenience, filtration, clean-up and portability, take another look at the pros and cons for each of our five brewers. This should give you a good idea about which of the five will work best for you. While we love The Scoop for value and the Cup One for sheer awesomeness, we recognize that your needs may be different and encourage you to explore the other pod-free single serve coffee makers on our list.

Single serve coffee maker FAQ

Are single serve coffee makers worth it?

A single serve coffee maker can save you a lot of money. If it gets you drinking coffee at home instead of Starbucks, then the savings are obvious. But it’s also a lot more efficient than some of the bigger brewers if you only drink a cup at a time. Other brewers almost always brew some excess, which often goes down the sink. That’s a waste, and adds up in the long run.

How do single serve coffee makers work?

Some single serve coffee makers work like any other drip coffee maker, only with a much smaller basket for you to place your ground coffee. Others use pre-measured coffee pods or capsules which are punctured by the machine and then infused with hot water to brew the coffee. Still others, like the manual AeroPress and moka pot, are much more analog. They use no power but can still make great coffee.

Which single serve coffee maker makes the hottest coffee?

The Touch Plus single serve brewer brews consistently at 200 F, which is the hottest we’ve found. It didn’t make our list here, though, because it is a pod brewer—compatible with K Cups and others.

How many watts does a single serve coffee maker use?

Single serve coffee makers generally use any where from 600 to 1300 watts. Brewers at the top of that range will heat water more quickly and provide shorter brew time.

What is the smallest single serve coffee maker?

The smallest single serve coffee maker, if we’re including manual brewers, is probably the 3-cup moka pot. If we’re talking about automatic coffee makers, we haven’t found one smaller than The Scoop, although the Elite Gourmet Maxi-Matic is close—it has a smaller footprint, but it is taller.

 

 

1 thought on “The 8 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers Without Pods”

  1. My ninja just broke after one years use. It lost the heat sensor a while ago, holds liquid in cage where you brew coffee.
    We have cleaned numerous times and now brews about a half cup and not very hot. Looking for a new machine and afraid to buy again.

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