The Best Single-Serve Coffee Makers available in Canada
Keep caffeinated with these easy-to-use pod coffee brewers.
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If you struggle with time management but can't survive without your morning coffee, Keurig—with its innovative pod technology (aka pod machines)—is undeniably the most convenient alternative to fiddling with a French press or waiting for a drip coffee maker to get the job done. With the touch of a button, you can get your caffeine kick from a cup pod without the trouble of waiting.
The launch of in-home Keurig machines with their speedy brewing capabilities 2004 quickly shook up the entire coffee world and changed our daily caffeine habits. After the K-Cup technology patent expired, many more pod coffee manufacturers jumped into the game to break Keurig’s short-lived monopoly. Nestle’s Nespresso soon unveiled its more advanced VertuoLine of single-serve coffee makers with centrifusion technology, which can improve the taste tenfold.
There are now countless pod coffee makers vying for a spot on your kitchen counter or office break room which makes it a challenge to choose the right one. We put eight of the most popular single-serve coffee makers through a series of tests to find out which one was worth a spot in your home.
Here are the best single-serve coffee makers we tested that are available in Canada.
1. Nespresso VertuoPlus
Our clear winner, the Nespresso VertuoPlus, is exactly what we look for in a single-serve pod coffee machine. With the VertuoLine centrifusion brewing method, our coffee came out with luxurious foamy crema on top. The technology behind this dense, rich, and aromatic coffee is simple—a machine head penetrates the capsules in the center and around the edges, allowing water to enter the center opening and push through the 20 edge holes, maximizing ground coffee interaction and pressure. It also brews espresso capsules so you can make espresso, double espresso, and regular coffee.
Unlike most other pod brewers we tested, the Nespresso VertuoPlus’ compact design makes it easy to keep on your countertop or store where space is limited. It boasts a 40-ounce (1.2 litres) water tank that can also swivel out easily. The motorized head opens with a light lift, different from traditional Keurig machines that often require a forced push and thus increase the chance of wear and tear.
The machine can also automatically eject the used coffee pods into a hidden container, saving you from burning your fingertips by manually taking out the pods. And the capsules can be dropped off at various collection sites and their boutique retail stores for the manufacturer to recycle them. Oh, and there’s an additional milk frother—which took first place in our best milk frother roundup—included in bundles if you’re interested in a latte or steamed milk in your coffee. Get the Nespresso VertuoPlus by De'Longhi at Amazon for $220.47 Get the Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville at Best Buy Canada for $249.99
2. Keurig K-Cafe
Suppose you’re not ready to shell out cash on an Italian-made espresso machine with cappuccino, latte, and macchiato capacity but still crave a cup of fancy coffee with milk foam. In that case, this machine might be right for you. The control pad gives you the option to brew espresso shots or cups of regular coffee. If you like your coffee more intense, there’s also a “strong” button to intensify the flavour. The huge 60-ounce (1.7 litres) reservoir helps save time usually spent refilling the water.
Another highlight is the dish-washable milk frother positioned directly on the side of the machine. To make a latte, you only need to fill the frother with skim, whole, or almond milk and press a button. We love its hands-free design and intuitive control panel. A stainless steel drip tray makes cleaning up a breeze. Get the Keurig K-Cafe at Amazon for $199.99
3. Cuisinart SS-10
The Cuisinart SS-10 is a perfectly capable pod brewer with an upscale look. Although there isn’t much it does that sets it apart from similar Keurig-branded machines, it does come with a K-Cup filter on the side of the machine that allows you to make coffee with your own grounds.
The SS-10 features a large 72-ounce (2 litres) water reservoir and a digital display. All K-Cup machines are compatible with the My K-Cup reusable filter, but the SS-10 stores its reusable filter right in the machine itself. Options and brew customization are limited to cup size and temperature, and the machine can also dispense hot water for soups and tea. While we appreciate the SS-10's ease-of-use and self-clean cycle, we found the brew basket opening mechanism unresponsive and slightly confusing. Get the Cuisinart SS-10 at Amazon for $178.34
4. Keurig K-Elite
In a rebranding campaign, Keurig swapped out all the 2.0 series with brand new K-series. The K-Elite is the equivalent of our previous winner, the discontinued K-575. The main difference is that it offers a water filtering option for more “pure” water. It boasts a large 75-ounce (2.1 litres) reservoir that allows you to brew more cups of coffee at once than any other model in this roundup. K-Elite also features an iced coffee option, but it is not to be confused with brewing ice-cold coffee—it just makes the coffee more concentrated so the added ice won’t dilute the flavour. Get the Keurig K-Elite at Amazon for $176.98
5. Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo by De’Longhi
In contrast to the utilitarian line of K-Cup brewers is the elegant Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo. Capable of creating both espresso and regular coffee beverages, the Evoluo is an excellent choice for those who want the convenience of a pod brewer but aren’t willing to compromise when it comes to the overall flavour.
Our tests found the resulting coffee from the Evoluo to be superior in terms of taste to anything made by a K-Cup brewer, although coffee experts will say it still doesn’t quite match French press or pour-over coffee. And though VertuoLine puts a killer crema in your cup, it can't make cocoa or iced tea.
Constructed from high-quality materials and sporting a minimalist control interface, the Evoluo wouldn’t look out of place next to a KitchenAid stand mixer or a Viking range. However, high-end design comes at a cost, and the Evoluo is considerably more expensive than any comparable K-Cup brewer. The pods themselves are also priced higher and are harder to find than their K-Cup equivalents. Get the Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo by De’Longhi at Amazon for $299
6. Nespresso Vertuo
The design of this Nespresso Vertuo is almost identical to its De’Longhi model. However, we noticed extremely loud noises during brewing tests, which knocked this model down the roundup a couple of spots. As with other VertuoLine machines, it automatically reads the barcode on the capsules to determine the brewing size, time, and temperature. Its 40-ounce reservoir can make about five cups of coffee at a time. Get the Nespresso Vertuo at Amazon for $239.99
7. Keurig K-Select
The K-Select is bulky but without the functionality of its high-end sibling, the K-Elite. It works fine if you’re a big Keurig fan and you’re expecting a standard cup of brew every time you hit the button. The 52-ounce (1.5 litres) water tank can make up to seven cups of coffee. It also features an auto-off programmable button if you’re worried about your appliances zapping energy. The maintenance reminder will also alert you when it’s time for descaling. Get the Keurig K-Select at Amazon for $129.99
8. Keurig K-Classic
K-Classic is the rebranded name for K-50 in Keurig’s first generation line of products. The 48-ounce (1.4 litres) reservoir is the smallest among all Keurig models. Like the K-Select, you can program the machine to turn itself off automatically to save energy. It has only three brewing sizes, and it doesn’t feature a carafe option for filling a large mug. There aren't any special features, but its higher price point makes it much less appealing than the other Keurigs that do more. Also, let’s talk about the noise. The loud machine brews average-at-best coffee—but is it worth enduring a soul-killing sound? My answer is no.
Ge the Keurig K-Classic at Amazon for $174.11
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