Small coffee maker recommendations?

Over the past year, I’ve cut my coffee consumption considerably (that alliteration wasn’t planned, but I’ll leave it in just ‘cuz I like it). Used to be I’d make and drink a pot of coffee every day. Now, I make a half-pot, and still don’t drink it all. A friend and my sister have just recently bought the Flavia “drink station” that makes all kinds of fancy-schmancy coffee drinks. Kinda like a Starbucks in your kitchen. The problem for me is that it costs $130.00, and mostly I just drink plain ol’ coffee. I do invest in good quality coffee, but I’m not big on the cappuccinos and such. I just saw a sale ad that offers the Mr. Coffee single-cup (well, really it makes two cups at a time) that comes complete with two stainless steel travel mugs, for $20.00.

So, any opinions on this? Do you think the Flavia is really better? Is it that much better? What about things like the Senseo? I could get a Senseo for about $60.00.

Do you have a coffee maker of this type? What kind do you have? Do you like it?


I have the smaller Braun. It will make up to 10 cups (5 mugs, really) if you have guests but you can put in less water and make less - the carafes have the lines on them indicating fill levels. Brauns last forever. Oh, and I got the gold filter and never ever have to buy filters.

I have a little Proctor-Silex that makes about 2 1/2 cups of coffee. The marks on the carafe say the amount of water I’m putting in is 4 cups but that must be Hobbit cups. My cups are not especially large and like I said, I get about 2 1/2 cups out of that little thing. It’s perfect for my morning fix and even if I don’t drink all of it I don’t feel I’m being wasteful. It cost me $20 at Wal-Mart.

I’m pretty picky about my coffee, and I lived on Black and Decker’s Brew & Go for quite some time. I got it for about 20 bucks at the local Rite Aid.

If you want to go cheap and/or low-tech, how about a French press or a moka pot? Both make fabulous coffee, better than any of the lower-end electric coffee makers, and I often see them at local discount stores for $20 or less.

I have a french-press, which makes excellent coffee, but the grind must be just right, or a gritty, murky brew is the result. Perhaps if I invested in a burr grinder… Virtually no drip coffee maker heats the water sufficient to make a proper cup, and as the innards become calcified this just gets worse. The resulting thin brew then cooks on the burner plate.

It’s a bit more work, but try a Melitta manual drip coffee maker… 1st class brewing, first time, every time.

The Philips Senseo Coffeemaker was introduced in the Netherlands about six years ago and it has been a HUGE success. About half of Dutch homes has one now.
The advantage is a fresh cup with creamy froth anytime you want one, one minute after you press the button. The downside is the high price per cup. They make the profit on the coffeepads you have to use with the device, although in the Netherlands stores have come up with no-brand pads as well recently.

A Senseo coffee-maker costs about 60 dollars, which isn’t that much for a cool-looking gizmo on the countertop.

I have a melitta 1:1 pod brewer, which I adore. The Tasimo is the one I really wanted but didnt have the money at the time.

The melita pods are decent quality, but the tasimo can use gevalia coffee pods, suchard hot chocolate pods, twinings earl grey pods [my preferred brand of earl grey] and has special milk pods for making cappuchinos.

The decaf available for the melita is decent [according to my roommate] but since I dont like defac, I have never tried it. You can frequently get it at linens and things in a funky setup where you get the brewer, and a box of each type o fpod. IIRC we spent about $50US and were set for a while. It came with a box each of regular [light roast, medium roast and dark roast] , decaf, vanilla, hazlenut coffees, a green tea, a black tea and a raspberry tea [blech, i dont like raspberry but roomie says it is nice] They have since then come out with a chai tea.

It came with 2 spouts, a coffee spout and an iced tea spout [you dont want to run tea through a coffee spout, it makes the tea taste like coffee because you can never get the coffee oils out of the metal. That is why fast food iced tea that they brew themselves is so nasty]

I found that the 16 oz Tervis thermal mug fits perfectly under the iced tea spout and since it is insulated, it keeps your tea hot or cold depending on if you make it hot or cold. I would guess that it would work nicely for coffee also=) though pretty much any mug under 6" tall will fit under the spout.

Thanks for all the input, guys. I’ll be making a decision in the next day or two.

I would suggets a French press also. Mine makes enough to fill a large travel mug and I drink that every morning - probably 20 ounces.
Easy to use and easy to clean.

I got tired of paying 4.00 for a latte every day, so I bought one of [these]( It makes one cup at a time from the little k-cups you see next to it, for about .50 a cup. You can buy from a large variety of coffees and teas. Two of my colleagues liked it so well, they bought their own.

I have one for my office just about like this one, just a couple years older.

Each of the major manufacturers has a similar product; this was just the first one I found online.

This guy makes about 2-1/2 standard American mugs per potful. For me, that’s just the amount I want over the course of an afternoon in the office. Having a finite supply keeps me from refilling all afternoon from the endless pot in the break room.

You can extend that to 3-1/2 cups by doing what I sometimes do: When it quits brewing, add one coffee-mug’s full of water to the reservoir & then take yuor first full cup of coffee. Yes, that last brewed cup is slightly weaker, but when mixed with the rest of the stuff in teh pot the difference is indistinguishable.
My Bottom Line:
The quality of the coffee you drink has nothing to do with how many hundred dollars you spent on a gizmo to boil plain water. Buy a cheapo machine & spend the money you save on better beans. Anything over $20 spent on a drip coffeemaker is money wasted.

Now if you want an espresso machine, all bets are off. Plan to spend serious to get a decent machine that’ll last past next week. But for your stated use, my <$20 advice still stands.

I just want to throw in my anti-recommendation for the Hamilton Beach 5 cup Aroma Express coffee maker. I am not normally clumsy but I can’t pour it without spilling. I did some poking around online and apparently I am not the only one with that problem. With the money I’ve spent for all the coffee that wound up on the counter or floor, I could have bought something better.

Well, thank you all for your input. Unfortunately, I’m very impatient, so I knew I could buy something cheap today, or I’d have to wait until after Christmas to buy something pricier. So I bought the Black and Decker Brew n’ Go. I’ll have my first cup of coffee from it tomorrow morning. Yay.