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If you're like us, you count on that first cup of coffee to kick-start your day; the quality of that drink can make or break your morning. But brewing a magic elixir bleary-eyed and barely awake is not easy.
Except it is...when you have the right capsule coffee machine. The brains of the operation, a great capsule coffee maker requires practically nothing from the sleepy person stumbling toward it. Yet it delivers a barista-quality beverage every dang time.
Just pop in a pod, press a button and voila, glorious caffeinated salvation! It really is that easy. And it makes those first moments of the day something to look forward to, rather than dread. Been meaning to get a capsule coffee machine, but not sure where to begin? Here are our picks for the best. Bonus: Most of these beauties are on sale, and Amazon will give you free shipping on all these options.
Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe Espresso Machine by Breville
The Nespresso Vertuo Plus is super versatile. Get this. It can brew Nespresso pods AND regular ground coffee. It even comes with an Aeroccino milk frother so you can make lattes and cappuccinos.
"Works great," said a five-star reviewer. "Just keep it clean all the time and it's reliable and fast! More expensive than using a standard drip coffeemaker, but much more delicious and convenient. The little metal pods look nice displayed in the kitchen, too. The milk steamer is a MUST as well.... Really love the whole setup. The only drawback is that I might be drinking more (and stronger) coffee than I used to — but it's always delicious!"
Nespresso VertuoNext by De’Longhi with Aeroccino Milk Frother
A great option with a smaller footprint, it has a one-touch brewing system, a removable water tank and automatic capsule ejection and storage. This machine also comes with an Aeroccino Milk Frother for lattes and cappuccinos.
A shopper says the Vertuo Next is "the best purchase I have ever made! I love Starbucks lattes and speciality coffee, so a Nespresso is ideal for me. I haven’t even thought about Starbucks since I got it.... It’s really easy to order pods and recycle bags from the app! The milk frother is what takes your coffee to the next level. I love to put flavored creamer in it; it is heavenly. Easy to operate and not a super bulky machine. Also works excellent for iced lattes as well. I look forward to my morning coffee even more now and prefer it to Starbucks anytime. If you have been thinking about getting it, do it. You will not regret."
Nespresso Essenza Mini
"The only complaint I have for this is: It's too good," said one of 5,700+ five-star reviewers. "It's too easy to use. It makes having espresso too convenient. I went from maybe having one espresso ever few months to multiple ones a day. I hear colors. I find myself falling down weird YouTube rabbit holes at all hours of the night. I've become nocturnal. So, if you like sleep, this is not for you. If you like random facts about how coldfronts affect catfish, BUY THIS!"
Fans of K-Cup pods can’t go wrong with Keurig’s K-Classic Coffee Maker — a great machine at a great price. With a generous (48-ounce) water reservoir that's easy to refill, it's set for multiple cups. There’s an auto-off feature that shuts down the machine if it’s been idle for 2 hours. And the coffee is delish.
This superstar is endorsed by more than 66,000 five-star reviewers! "My first time using this type of coffeemaker, and am I happy!" said one such fan. "It makes delicious coffee, is easy to program and operate, and it is very attractive on the kitchen counter. It comes securely packaged with a user manual that is easy to understand and set up, and very reasonably priced for the excellent quality.... I highly recommend!"
The K-Mini is another compact machine that won't take up valuable real estate in the kitchen. One thing we love: the drip tray is removable so that you can brew directly into a travel mug up to 7 inches tall. Incredibly convenient when you're making a cup to-go for your AM commute.
"Love it," said a happy shopper. "I ordered this machine to replace the giant one I had before, which finally died after years of use. I like this one a lot better because the color is prettier and it doesn't take up so much counter space. I like that it only holds one cup of water at a time. My son had a bad habit of letting the water in the big, black Keurig sit around for a couple of days and then using it. Gross. Now I know he can't do that with this machine. It brews a great cup of coffee and seems quieter than my old machine.... I highly recommend it."
Keurig K-Duo Plus
For folks who like the option of K-Cups and regular ground coffee, a hybrid like the K-Duo Plus is an absolute winner. This machine comes with a 12-cup thermal carafe (great for entertaining) and a reusable coffee filter (nice for the planet). You can brew either a whole carafe or just a single cup, so it's got you covered.
"This thing is amazing," said a five-star reviewer. "I love at least four things about it. 1) Easy to use. 2) It replaced a Mister Coffee brewer and a Keurig K-Cup brewer, saving a lot of counter space. 3) The reservoir can be placed right, left or back to suit your counter situation. 4) The Mr. Coffee required you to add the right amount of water for the amount of coffee that you wanted. The Keurig K-Duo Plus has the reservoir and it will use the correct amount of water based on the number of cups (carafe) or ounces (K-Cup) that you select. You just have to keep the reservoir full."
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Trio
Hamilton Beach’s FlexBrew Trio lets you brew either regular ground coffee or K-cups in different ways; either in a large carafe or a single-serving. The drip tray on one side can be removed to fit a travel mug. The shape is a perfect fit for many kitchens. This Amazon's Choice product has nearly 18,000 five star reviews!
"This is the best multipurpose appliance I have ever used!," said a review. "To begin with, it's easy to use — use one side or the other. I normally program my carafe side the night before so my coffee is ready in the morning.... The single-serve, or K-Cup, side works great. Because of the modular design of the K-Cup holder, you just need to make sure when you place the K-Cup in, that you feel it get punctured by the bottom needle. The top needle does not need much pressure because it only punctures the foil top of the K-Cups, so just by closing the cover you will be fine."
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve
The size of the FlexBrew Single-Serve is perfect for this happy shopper: "I never wanted a K-Cup coffeemaker. When I saw this one I was intrigued. The size is smaller, and it is flexible for making my favorite coffee or using K-Cups.... I LOVE it..... One feature I like is that you empty the reservoir each time you brew. The coffee-grounds insert comes with the appliance, as does the K-Cup insert. Can't say enough good things about this product!"
The Cuisinart SS-10P1 lets you make one cup of coffee at a time with any brand of single cup K-pods. Bonus: This machine comes with a HomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup which you can use for either coffee or tea.
"I love this Coffee Maker!" says one of 12,000+ five-star fans."I’ve had two now, one of the previous model for nearly 6 years and then this newer version... I REALLY like this unit’s features. For one reason, we drink different brands of coffee which is what makes single serve coffee makers so convenient. For another, I love the added convenience of this particular single serve for the fact that I don’t have to wait for the water to heat up like I do with other brands. You just turn it on, pop in the pod, press the brew button and it INSTANTLY starts brewing without the wait for the water to heat. HELLO, who wouldn’t love that feature?!...."
Cuisinart SS-15P1 Coffee Maker and Single-Serve Brewer
This Cuisinart SS-15P1 allows you the flexibility of brewing either K-Cup pods or your own ground coffee. The carafe brewer serves up to 12 cups of coffee, while the single-serve side brews in 6, 8 or 10 ounces.
"The best!" said a five-star review. "I've had many coffeemakers over the years, and this is by far the best. Most of the makers I have had were Cuisinart brands, but two were Keurig (one was the newest model). I love this machine and have not found any issues in the few weeks I've had it. I generally make a pot of coffee in the morning and use the single serve in the afternoon or evening. I have used several types of coffees, and each one tastes great. It is easy to use and clean. Very happy with this purchase."
Cuisinart SS-10P1 Premium Single-Serve
One fan headlines their review "beats the competition!" and continues: "As a loyal Keurig consumer, it was stepping far outside the box for me to purchase this coffeemaker but I am so glad that I did. I've been using Keurigs from the year they came out, and after the third machine quit on me — this one less than two years old — I decided to stop throwing good money after bad. [...] In searching for alternatives, I settled on this one, and what a wonderful cup of coffee I keep getting out of it! I did not think I would like the auto-shutoff feature, because it takes an age to warm up the Keurigs, but this one brews a FAST delicious cup of coffee, from off to hot coffee in under a minute. It is a marked improvement over my previous coffeemaker, both in taste and speed of brewing."
As we mentioned, shipping is free on all of the above, but remember, if you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get so much more, including access to new movies, discounts at Whole Foods and speedy two-day shipping. Not yet a member? Sign up for your free 30-day trial here.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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