In previous articles, I’ve talked about personal coffee makers and even recommend a handful of brewers that use coffee pods or K-Cups. However, I felt I should write an article that’s focused entirely on the best single cup coffee makers that don’t use pods. I know that many of you don’t like the extra cost of those expensive coffee pods and even if you can find cheap coffee pods, the cost of brewing a single cup at home still quickly adds up.
The single cup coffee maker is the best brewer for students, those of you who are short on time in the mornings and run out the door with your coffee in hand, or if you live by yourself and simply don’t need to brew large amounts of coffee to keep a small army fully caffeinated. Single-cup brewers allow you to quickly and effortlessly brew just 1-cup of coffee without the mess and additional cleanup of a full-sized coffee maker.
In this article, I have handpicked some of the best single-cup coffee makers without pods I could find. You know the brewers I’m talking about? Those units which can take any store-bought ground coffee and also aren’t reliant on those expensive coffee pods or K-Cups. All of the below single cup coffee makers are from reputable brands, and I have chosen only those brewers that I have had experience with, or I know someone who has (such as a friend, family member, or colleague).
Best Single Serve Coffee Maker No Pods
To be honest, there aren’t really that many single-serve coffee makers that don’t use pods, but below are some of the best I’ve used and some that were recommended to me. Unlike many of those other so-called coffee maker review websites, I only recommend coffee makers that won’t let you down and have been tried and tested, if they’re NOT up for the job I simply won’t recommend them to you. So grab yourself a cup of coffee and let’s crack on.
Touch Brewer Brewing System for Single Cup Coffee
The first recommendation on the best single-cup coffee maker without pods is the Touch Brewer T526S Brewing System. I’ll start off by saying that this isn’t the cheapest coffee maker for its class, but I’ve been told that it’s well worth the extra cost. At just under $200 (at the time of writing) you’re getting some serious “bang for your buck” (in my opinion); let’s take a closer look.
The first thumbs up with the Touch Brewer T526S is that it only takes 1 minute to brew a cup of coffee from start to finish (pretty impressive). Plus, it only takes around 30 seconds to heat the water from cold to the optimum temperature of 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit, yes only 30 seconds… no kidding!
When compared to other single-cup coffee makers without pods the Touch Brewer T526S Brewing System has a large 90-ounce water tank, this is a great size, and you’ll be refilling less often, in fact, you can fill it up and your set for a few days.
The Touch Brewer T526S can also take coffee pods if you want to use them but you are not tied down to their brand, and any cheap coffee pods will work. If you don’t want to use coffee pods that’s not a problem, simply use fresh ground coffee in the empty pod that’s shipped with the system (the Touch Brewer T526S comes with a cup-like device to put freshly coffee grounds in).
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Hamilton Beach Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker
A friend of mine recommended the Hamilton Beach Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker to me when I was looking for input writing this article (hat-tip James). The good news is that this single cup coffee maker with no pods is cheap. Coming in at just under $50 (at the time of writing) you will be hard-pushed to find a coffee maker for the same price in this class and it’s even cheaper than the above Touch Brewer. So if you want a cheap personal coffee maker without pods, this could be a great option. Let’s take a closer look.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Maker is its compact size; it’s smaller enough to fit in the smallest of kitchens, and it can even sit snugly in the corner of an office. What I like about the Hamilton Beach Single-Serve is the fact that you can brew into any regular cup or even a thermal travel mug. It doesn’t even matter what size your coffee cup is because the adjustable stand can be set to fit any shape or size (it moves up or down to accommodate almost any size, within reason obviously).
Because this coffee maker uses no pods you can add your favorite brand of pre-ground coffee into a single-serve scoop filter, so there’s no need to use coffee pods or k-cups, but you do have that option to use pods if you want the best of both worlds. Great little personal coffee maker, definitely one on my wish list.
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BELLA 13711 One Scoop One Cup Coffee Maker
My wife mentioned that they have this exact BELLA 13711 One Scoop One Cup Coffee Maker sat in the corner of her work office and said why not add it to your list, so here it is. She stated that they’ve had it for just over 12 months in the office and it’s been a workhorse, brewing multiple cups of coffee throughout the day. Let’s take a closer look.
My first impression is that it is very similar in appearance to the above Hamilton Beach Single Serve. They both look the same and to be honest, they have almost the same identical features and functions. Priced almost identically, with the BELLA being slightly more expensive. However, that being said I think that the BELLA brand, in general, is of better quality than the Hamilton Beach, but that’s just my opinion.
The stand can be adjusted to fit various sized coffee mugs or insulated travel cups (just like the above Hamilton Beach), and the BELLA 13711 One Scoop One Cup Coffee Maker can be used without coffee pods, but you do have the option to use pods if you want. If you intend on using loose ground coffee, the BELLA comes with its own filter basket that can be washed and reused (it looks like a reusable K-cup).
One thing I do like about the BELLA 13711 One Scoop is the fact that they have a range of different colors to suit almost any taste, not just the bland brushed silver like the above Hamilton Beach, for example, I have found Black, Red, Purple, and Turquoise variations.
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Breville BDC650BSS Grind Control
The last recommendation on my list of no pod coffee makers is the Breville BDC650BSS Grind Control. This is a great little coffee maker that that even has its own built-in grinder which holds about a 1/2 lb. of whole coffee beans and it comes with six different grind settings for lighter or darker roasted coffee beans. The Breville Grind Control is also jam-packed full of functions and features to keep almost any coffee geek happy and entertained.
For starters, it has a bright LCD that lets you easily program an auto-start function to brew coffee at your preferred time, perfect for those early mornings, when you come down the stairs your coffee is done and waiting for you. You can also adjust the brew size, either for just a single cup or a full carafe which is perfect if you have guests over or if you simply need a bit more of a “wake me up” after the night before.
What I like about the Breville Grind Control is the fact that you don’t have to grind coffee each and every time (like some other machines force you to do) because you have the option to turn the coffee grinder off completely and use only pre-ground coffee.
With the Breville Grind Control you can only use coffee so no pods or k-cups whatsoever, that is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on whether you like to brew coffee using a pod every so often. Think of the Breville Grind Control as a mini version of a full-sized coffee maker with a grinder, it’s perfect for single-cup brewing and smaller kitchen countertops.
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The above are some of the best single cup coffee makers without pods that I have come across, as I said at the beginning of this article there isn’t a lot out there, but these are some of the best of the bunch that I could find.