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.