5 Single-Serve Coffee Makers That Don’t Require Pods

Photo: Getty Images/Sarah Mason
Coffee is an integral part of many people's morning routine/ability to function (and it's got a ton of health benefits), but sometimes it just doesn't make sense to brew a full pot of beans. Single-serve coffee makers are convenient and easy to use—pop in a pod, push a button, and you get a perfectly brewed cup of joe; however, many of them rely on plastic pods that aren't great for the environment. (PS: Only around nine percent of plastic in circulation is recycled.) And, on a less serious note, most of them are giant and take up tons of counter space, which seems a bit counterintuitive given that they only make a single serving of coffee at a time.

That's where these five more-sustainable single-serve coffee makers come in—they have all the convenience and ease of use you want from your personal java maker (seriously, mornings are bad enough already without having to perform 534 complex steps in order to get your caffeine fix), minus the bulk and not-so-eco-friendly plastic pods.

5 more-sustainable single-serve coffee makers

Smeg Fully-Automatic Coffee Machine — $799.00

Yes, this beaut from Smeg is on the $$$ side—but it’s just so dang nice to look at. Of course, in addition to form, it also has function. It’s equipped with a burr grinder (which experts say is the best type of grinder to use), and makes multiple types of coffee, including drip and espresso, at the touch of a button. Plus, there’s no long wait time like with some single-serve machines, as this one heats water up in seconds. It’s available in black, red, and taupe. There’s also a version that comes with a steamer for an additional $200.

Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System — $200.00

With this coffee maker you get the best of both worlds: The pod-free design can brew a single cup of coffee, and also gives you the option to brew a full pot. You can brew a bevy of other beverages with it as well, like cold brew coffee and tea.

Braun MultiServe Drip Coffee Maker — $160.00

In addition to customizing the brew strength of your coffee, you can also choose from seven different serving sizes—ranging from five ounces to a full carafe—with this coffee machine. It takes up minimal space on your countertop, and is SCA certified, meaning the Specialty Coffee Association verifies that your drip coffee will taste great.

Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker — $30.00

Though made from plastic, this coffee press should last you forever and a half. It makes between 1–3 cups of coffee at a time, and is small and portable. It’s also been recommended to us by several food scientists and experts—one of whom called it “legendary.”

Cuisinart Premium Single Serve Coffee Maker — $150.00

You can brew five different beverage sizes, from four to 12 ounces, with this machine. While it’s compatible with K-cups, it comes with a reusable pod that you can fill with your own coffee. It’s available in silver and black, and is equipped with a charcoal water filter and a rinse feature that cleans the brew chamber.

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