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People looking for a small coffee maker are looking for something that will brew smaller amounts of coffee and take up less space. This type of coffee maker is helpful for people who live in an apartment, dorm room, or other location where they don’t have room for a large machine.
A small coffee maker is also ideal for those who want to reduce waste because it uses less water, which means it’s better for the environment. It uses less electricity, saving money on electric bills, which is also ideal for those who prefer minimalist living. There are many different small coffee maker designs, giving you a lot of variety without the excess that comes with other models.
Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about the best small coffee maker and what makes them some of the best coffee makers you can buy.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model’s height allows you to fit a travel mug under the beverage stream easily. You’ll also enjoy that there is storage for the power cord. That makes it far easier to keep tidy when it’s put away.
You’ll be able to fit this tiny tower almost anywhere, even if you’re running on limited counter space. It’s less than five inches wide. You’ll also still have two different choices for your brewing style. Using this brewing system, you can make either a 6- or 12-ounce coffee. Unfortunately, you’ll only be able to use special K-cups when you choose this model. It is only compatible with specific types of coffee because of this.
The water reservoir on this model is perfect for providing enough water for your morning cup of coffee since it has a 1-cup capacity. This means you’ll always have a fresh supply so that you can make a smoother, tastier brew. There is even cord storage so that you don’t have to worry about it getting in the way when your brewing system isn’t in use. You can also fit a travel mug and a coffee cup under the brewing stream.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This more traditional model is powered by a 650-watt motor. This makes it a reasonably high-powered option for the size. You’ll enjoy the highly compact design that allows it to store away easily when you aren’t brewing.
If you need a larger capacity than other small brewing systems, this is the best choice for you. You’ll be able to make up to 5 cups of coffee using this model, or around 25-ounces. This comes out to an average of two 12-ounce cups for every brew, enough for you as well as another person in your household. However, this compact size does come at a price. The brew basket isn’t huge, and some consumers report that they can’t brew an entire pot because of this.
You’ll enjoy the light indicator, which tells you whether the coffee maker is on or not. It’ll also serve as a reminder to turn your brew system off when you aren’t using it. The compact design also offers an ergonomic edge. The carafe provides an easy pour system and easily fits your grip. You’ll also have ounce markings on the carafe so that measuring out the right ingredients is easier.
Award: BEST FOR QUICK BREWING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This mode will automatically shut off after thirty minutes for better peace of mind when you leave the house. The dripless pour spout design keeps clean-up to a minimum. It also has a pause feature installed.
With a 4-cup capacity, this is another high-capacity option that your entire household can use in the morning. Even with having a more extensive reservoir, it is still a highly compact model. You’ll be able to easily tuck it out of the way when you aren’t using it, whether on your counter or in a cabinet. The biggest issue reported by consumers is that the filter basket has a habit of getting jammed. This can be worked out with some fiddling but might be a dealbreaker for some people.
There is also a “Brew Pause” feature. This allows you to pause the brewing process so you can pour yourself a cup of coffee. Once you pour your cup, all you have to do is press a button, and the system will resume brewing. There is a 30-minute automatic shut-off feature, as well. This helps remove the worry that you’ve forgotten to turn off your coffee maker even after you’ve left the house.
Award: BEST FOR SMALL FAMILIES
WHY WE LIKE IT: This user-friendly model is perfect for small families and even single people. You’ll enjoy the no-drip spout design that keeps your area clean as you prepare your beverage. There are also dishwasher-safe components.
Those with a small family will love this brewing system. It can provide up to five cups of coffee on a single brew, so everybody should be able to have a cup or two in the morning. There is also a feature that allows you to pause brewing so you can enjoy a cup immediately instead of having to wait. However, this coffee maker will not automatically shut off after any length of time. This is a huge drawback for some people because of the safety hazard it might present.
This system features an automatic warming system that will keep your coffee fresh and hot even after you’re done making it. This allows you to go back for cup after cup, knowing that each will be as good as the last. It’s made out of highly durable stainless steel so that you can trust the longevity of this system. Stainless steel is also hygienic and extremely easy to clean. On top of that, there are several dishwasher-safe components.
Award: BEST FOR MID-BREW CUPS
WHY WE LIKE IT: The sneak-a-cup feature lets you pour yourself a beverage by pausing the brew cycle. There is also a permanent filter that eliminates the need to tangle with messy paper options competing models use.
The Sneak-a-Cup feature of this brewing system is one of the best qualities it has to offer. You won’t have to wait for your brew to finish before pouring yourself a cup. This makes it an efficient method for making your morning coffee. However, you should be aware that this model uses a lot of plastic in the design. This is a less durable material that might spell disaster for the continued longevity of your appliance.
It has a space-saving, compact design, so you can easily use it for RVs, campers, college dorms, small apartments, and other places with limited storage space. With this model, paper filters are a thing of the past. Thanks to the permanent filter that the brand built right into their design, you can skip that messy step. There is a one-touch control, so the user interface is easy to control and doesn’t require much fussing. The on/off indicator lights up so you can check whether it’s on or not at a glance.
Award: BEST FOR PRE-INFUSED GROUNDS
WHY WE LIKE IT: The mighty 1100-watt motor ensures that this is a powerful model that brews quickly. You’ll also enjoy that there are dishwasher-safe components since you can skip a ton of the clean-up process.
This system runs off of a powerful 1100-watt motor. You’ll be able to enjoy a high-power system even with the compact body it provides. An optimal brewing temperature is easy for this system to achieve because of the motor. You can rest assured that it’ll stay between 195- and 205-degrees at all times. Even though it is a highly compact model, there are smaller options on the market. If you need the smallest option out there, this won’t be the model for you.
An optional pre-infusion mode is a fantastic option for degassing your coffee grounds before you officially begin to brew with them. This provides a richer, smoother cup of coffee that has far more even flavor. The filter basket, showerhead, and carafe are all dishwasher-safe for much easier clean-up. Beyond this, the plastic used in designing some components is all BPA-free. That means you’re using non-toxic materials to brew your coffee, which is always a plus.
Small coffee makers are hot coffee brewers that generally brew anywhere from one cup to four or five cups of coffee. They are perfect for any type of cup, including travel mugs. They are also great for college students because they don’t take up too much space in small kitchens or dorms.
Small coffee makers offer time savings for coffee drinkers. Because they brew smaller amounts, you can make a cup of coffee in minutes with most small coffee makers instead of 10-15 minutes with a traditional drip brewer.
While a Keurig is categorized as a single cup brewer and may be considered a small coffee maker, small drip coffee makers can brew coffee hotter than a Keurig can. While most come with a glass carafe, you’ll find some models with thermal carafes that will keep your coffee hot and fresh for hours.
There are several kinds of small coffee makers. The best mini coffee maker is the kind most people picture when they think of a cup coffee maker. There are also single-cup brewers, French presses, and percolator brewers, all of which can make ten ounces or less. You may even want to read more about the best siphon coffee maker, which uses a vacuum method to brew coffee and gives you a lot of control over the taste.
There are many types of coffee makers, but the two main categories are cup-sized and standard. The cup-sized machines are perfect for college students, people who live in small spaces, or anyone who just wants to brew one cup at a time. These devices generally take less time than their larger counterparts because they use smaller amounts of water and energy while still producing rich flavor. Cup-sized coffee makers come in several varieties, including single-cup brewers, French presses, and percolators which all produce 10 ounces or less.
Small drip coffee makers also brew less coffee than large coffee makers. They can brew up to 4-5 cups at a time, but they brew less than the 10-12 cup capacity you find in larger machines. Compact coffee makers feature smaller footprints, so if you’re looking for a large capacity, you may have a harder time finding that capacity in a small machine.
Standard machines typically have a larger footprint, brew more coffee at once, and feature more automation or programmable options. You’ll have an easier time finding auto on and off settings, LED displays, and pre-programmed brewing cycles on a large machine. Some larger units may even come with a built-in grinder to grind whole coffee beans into freshly ground coffee. Of course, you’ll still be able to use pre-ground coffee in most coffee brewers.
When categorizing large coffee makers, you may consider dual coffee makers with larger footprints to accommodate simultaneous brew cycles. While you can find compact dual coffee makers, they’re less prevalent than other types of small coffee makers and most necessitate a larger design.
Most small coffee makers use water that’s pre-heated or heated up to the best temperature, and it’ll help you get your best results when brewing coffee. Many of these coffee makers will also have a thermal insulated carafe so your coffee can stay hot without continuing to cook over a hot plate.
They all work differently depending on the design. While single-serve coffee makers may be considered small, they work much differently than the best small drip coffee maker. A single-cup brewer takes pods filled with coffee grounds and infuses them with water. It then uses pressure to force the coffee out of the pod and into your cup.
In contrast, a drip coffee maker will infuse your grounds in a filter basket, and once the filter basket is full, the resulting liquid will drip into a carafe. In either case, you’ll find small coffee makers that can make a cup of coffee quickly and in a smaller quantity.
If you’re looking to make life simple, but you still need larger quantities of coffee at once, check out the best smart coffee maker that can automate your morning routine without limiting the amount of coffee you brew.
Small coffee makers are best for anyone looking to buy something that’s not too large, saving on counter space, or those who want to brew just one cup of coffee at a time.
A small coffee maker will last just as long as a large one if built well. The average lifespan of a coffee maker is about five years, but you may find that yours lasts longer if you take care of it. You’ll find that because the boiler doesn’t work as well as a larger coffee maker, it may be the first thing to go. There’s nothing you can do about mechanical issues, but you should regularly clean your carafe to prevent staining.
You should consider a few things when purchasing a small coffee maker. The first is how much coffee you want to brew at once. Next, consider the features that are important to you and your lifestyle.
Size and capacity are some of the most important factors when choosing a small coffee machine. If you only want to brew one cup or you have limited counter space, you’ll need a smaller machine. You can still brew up to five cups, but you’ll be able to take advantage of a smaller footprint.
If you routinely have more than one guest over, choose a medium to a large machine that can brew more. Also, think about where you will be placing the device and if it’ll need to fit under your cabinets. You can find larger capacity machines with smaller footprints as long as you look carefully and measure accordingly.
If you’re always on the go, you may want to consider getting a small coffee machine with programmable features. You can set it up so that your coffee will be ready when you are. This is an excellent feature for anyone who wants to wake up to the smell of fresh coffee and doesn’t want to wait for their coffee to be done when they’re ready to head out the door.
If you like a lot of automation, then you may want to look for a machine with an automatic shutoff feature, an insulated carafe to keep the coffee warm, or self-cleaning functions.
Think about how you like your coffee. If you like your coffee strong and bold, you’ll want to find a machine with a finer grind setting. If you like your coffee with milk and sugar, you’ll want a machine that has a milk frother or warmer setting. In these cases, you may need a larger brewer.
If you’re concerned about the environment, look for a machine that has less waste or consumes less electricity, like the best mini coffee maker. While it may not have the same advanced features as a large or specialty machine, it will achieve your goal of producing less waste.
There isn't one answer for what's "the best." However, some features might be important to you and your lifestyle.
Most small coffee makers are relatively easy to descale. Check your machine's owner's manual for specific instructions. Generally, you'll need to fill the machine with vinegar and water and run it through a cycle. Then, rinse with water and run another cycle. You may also need to clean the filter and carafe occasionally. While you should be sure to do this every few months for the best results, how often you clean your coffee maker will depend on how you use it. You may find you need to clean it weekly due to heavy use. If you use it seldom, you’ll want to consider cleaning it before you put it in storage and again after you pull it out of storage before you use it again.
Yes, you can use most small coffee makers to make tea. However, you'll need to use a different setting on the machine or use a tea ball. Check your owner's manual for specific instructions.
No, you cannot use a small coffee maker to make espresso. You'll need a machine that is specifically designed to make espresso. However, if you want espresso-like flavor in a small coffee maker, look for an Aeropress. This isn’t true espresso, but it will mimic the flavor and save you money instead of buying a larger, more complex machine. It takes up a lot less room than an espresso machine, is relatively affordable, and can be very easy to use.