By June 28, 2013 Read Article

Single-Serve Coffee and Espresso Reviews

Machines that utilize a pod, capsule, or K-Cup packed with ground coffee to brew a single serving of coffee (or espresso) are very popular.  According to the latest data from the National Coffee Association, thirteen percent of the U.S. population drank coffee made in a single-cup brewer.

We first evaluated coffees brewed on single-serve machines in our January 2004 article – At What Cost Convenience? Testing the New Single-Serve Coffee Systems.  We compared the systems from Flavia, Melitta, and Keurig, the emerging market leader.  Keurig-brewed K-Cups earned the six top scores (85+) and even produced a 90-point cup: Timothy’s Colombian La Vereda.

We reviewed single-cup brewers again in two December 2005 articles:

At What Cost Convenience: Tasting the New Crop of Single-Serve Coffee Systems

A User’s Survey: Single-Serve Coffee Brewing Systems

In January, 2009, we reviewed single-serve brewing systems that use pods or capsules to brew espresso: Convenience First: Espresso Pods and Capsules.  Both the Nespresso and IllyCaffe systems fared well, with scores in the high 80’s and even a 90-point review.

Nespresso – Ristretto Espresso (black capsule) – 91 points

IllyCaffe – Espresso Tostatura Media iperEspresso Capsule – 90 points

We revisited single-serve systems again in April 2011 – The Single-Serve Compromise and, most recently, in April 2013 – The (Not Quite Arrived) New World of K-Cups.

With the growing demand for convenient single-serve coffee and espresso brewing systems, and strong margins for manufacturers, new and upgraded single-serve coffee systems are coming on the market quickly.  In July, we will evaluate four of the newer single-serve capsule espresso systems, including the Keurig/Lavazza Rivo, Starbucks’ Verissimo, the Canadian/Italian Singolo system, along with the well-established Nespresso system.


Posted in: Coffee News, Espresso

About the Author:

Kenneth Davids is a coffee expert, author and co-founder of Coffee Review. He has been involved with coffee since the early 1970s and has published three books on coffee, including the influential Home Roasting: Romance and Revival, now in its second edition, and Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing and Enjoying, which has sold nearly 250,000 copies over five editions. His workshops and seminars on coffee sourcing, evaluation and communication have been featured at professional coffee meetings on six continents.

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