In the past we've been a bit limited in our choices of coffee maker - we've often, for example, had to make a whole pot of fresh coffee just to enjoy a single cup but things are different nowadays.
The AdvantagesThe advantages of single serve coffee stations are primarily found in the fact that they can make just one serving of coffee at a time and that they work real quick as a consequence in comparison to multi serve machines. So, you won't need to waste coffee or won't need to make more coffee than you'll actually drink in one sitting.
And, if you choose one of the new single serve pod systems as your final choice here, then you can simply slip a small individual coffee pod into the machine, make your cup of coffee and then throw the pod away. So, there'll minimal cleaning up and maintenance to do as well!
You can even pick and choose the kinds of coffee you want to drink with these kinds of machines as the pods can come in various types, roasts and flavors. Major coffee companies that make coffee for these pods currently include some big names in the sector such as Douwe Egberts, Melitta and Folgers - so you'll get a guarantee of coffee experience and quality at the same time as well.
Two TypesThere are basically two ways to use a single serve coffee maker. In the first instance you can buy a conventional coffee machine that uses standard ground coffee via a normal filter system but which only brews a single cup of coffee at a time rather than making up a whole big pot. It is worth noting here that some of these machines may sometimes be able to brew up two cups instead of just one which could give you a little more flexibility.
In either case the machine here will brew up directly into your cup extremely quickly and efficiently. Some of these kinds of models even come with their own mug when you buy them!
As single serve machines go this kind of option is reliable but kind of uninspiring if you're looking for something a little different in your coffee drinking. But, if you're still wondering how to select a single serve coffee maker then this may be a good option for you if you simply want an affordable and compact coffee maker for one/two people. Some of these machines are real tiny nowadays and could easily just sit on the end of a desk for real ease of use without taking up too much space.
But, if you want something a little bit more exciting from a single serve coffee maker then you really should also consider something along the lines of one of these new pod systems we've already mentioned. These single serve machines (such as those in the Philips Senseo range, for example) are designed to take a single pod that contains a specific brand, roast or type of coffee at a time.
You unwrap the pod from its packaging, place it in the machine and it brews your coffee up for you into the cup. You can then simply throw the used pod into the trash. Again it's worth noting that some pod systems can be purchased that will make two cups of coffee at a time.
Variety - The Spice of LifeThese machines are so popular now partly because they are so convenient and reliable but also because they allow you to buy different varieties, types and flavors of coffee pods. So, you can pick and choose which kind of coffee you will brew at any given time of day without having to keep a huge stock of different types of coffee in your kitchen cupboards.
This does prevent you from having lots of large unopened bags of coffee going stale in your cupboards because you simply cannot drink them that fast. These pods are also all individually sealed so you won't lose freshness as you may do once you open a bag of standard ground coffee.
One complaint that some pod machine users have is that the pods themselves are not always as cost effective as they may be. As you might expect you may have to pay a premium for convenience here so this kind of pod system may well work out to be more expensive to both buy the initial machine and the pods than if you were just buying a small single serve maker and regular bags of coffee.
One key thing to think about as you ponder how to select a single serve coffee maker is compatibility. Some pods can be used in other kinds of standard coffee makers so it's worth while checking on compatibility with your manufacturer. And, some coffee pod systems offer the ability to add a normal filter to the machine so you can use them as a standard single serve machine with your own ground coffee.
Flexibility is vital here as you don't want to buy a coffee maker or a pod system that limits your choices. Some pod systems, for example, will allow you to use other types of pods in the machine as well as those that are made for the particular model. This option is great as you get much more flexibility in terms of coffee drinking choice. However, some systems will only work with their own pods which could see you limited on choice and which could also cost you more in the long run.
It doesn't really matter which system you decide suits you best at the end of the day. You may even opt for both choices! One last thing to remember is that you can get great discounts and bargains on standard single serve coffee makers, pod systems and the pods themselves if you shop around. Many pod system users, for example, shop around on the Internet and then bulk buy pods when they find a bargain.
Also see coffee makers for more details.