How to choose a single cup brewer

Posted: September 25, 2012

Back in July we blogged about the importance of fresh ground coffee if you’re brewing traditional drip coffee at home. Today, I’d like to give you a little something to consider when it comes to deciding on a pod/capsule machine. There is a huge range of machines to choose from but the top five on the ‘buzz scale’ seem to be Keurig®, Nespresso®, Tassimo®, CBTL® and the recently launched Starbucks Verismo®.

When choosing between these machines ask yourself a few basic questions:

  1. Do I want filter coffee or espresso? Will I ever want both from the same machine?
  2. How important is the variety of coffees available to me?
  3. What do I think about capsule based milk as an option?

The Keurig machine makes its mark with traditional, American style filter coffee and does it with one of the broadest ranges of coffee varieties available. Walk into any retail store and you’ll see that this is a very popular choice.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Nespresso system makes precise European style espresso but only offers Nespresso brand capsules from their website and a few company owned locations.

The Tassimo system from Kraft makes an effort to straddle the specialties of Keurig and Nespresso by offering capsules for filter coffee, espresso, tea, milk, and hot chocolate. However, the range of Tassimo compatible brands to choose from has been changing recently and might be a factor.

The CBTL system is interesting in that it offers stylish machines and capsules available both in the chain’s coffee retail locations and in mass merchants.

The newest machine on the market is the Starbucks Verismo. This system claims to be able to make both espresso and filter coffee while also offering a powdered milk capsule that intends to make store quality lattes and cappuccinos easy at home. If it can do all of these things and you are a Starbucks loyalist this could be interesting.

When you’re ready to make a decision, look through the questions above and go taste the coffees from each machine. During the next few months, retailers will be sampling products from these machines as they gear up for a surge in holiday machine sales.

As for Urnex… Think of us when it’s time to clean and descale. While capsule machines seem mess-free, there is a huge flavor impact if the machines are not properly maintained. We make products that work on all of these machines.