A Guide to Selecting a Dual Coffee Maker
The coffee plant has been called “the most important tree in the world”. It’s estimated that Americans drink on average at least 3 cups of coffee per day! A survey showed that 41% use a drip percolator at home, while 27% use a single-serve coffee maker in their kitchen. But what if you want to combine both options in one device: a coffee maker that serves as a drip percolator and a single-serve coffee maker as well? The major coffee machine manufacturers have thought of that as well. There is a wealth of dual coffee makers on the market that can answer both needs, helping you prepare a carafe of up to 12 cups of coffee, as well as a single cup just to get you started in the morning.
We’ll see dual coffee makers that can produce a full carafe alongside a second reservoir for single servings of your desired beverage, whether it be drip percolator coffee, instant coffee, espresso, or tea. Some give you the option of using K-cups as well as ground coffee in a filter. And some have extra features and perks, such as being programmable or including a milk frother for specialty coffees. You’ll see that a dual coffee maker is a small investment that will widen your coffee-drinking options considerably!
Types of Dual Coffee Makers
Different dual coffee makers have a variety of setups between their two coffee stations. One station allows you to prepare a carafe of several cups, and there usually is an adjoining single-serve station:
Carafe and single-serve cup (No K-cups): These are capable of brewing an entire carafe of coffee, as well as a single cup. But they don’t accept K-cup pods. Instead, you put in a single scoop of ground coffee, and it’ll prepare a cup of up to 14 ounces of coffee in a travel cup or an 8-ounce coffee mug, depending on the amount of water that you put in. An example is the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker. It can be programmed to brew the coffee in advance, and keep it warm afterward!
Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker
Carafe, K-cup, and single-cup brewer: Although there is a lot of talk about the waste created by K-cups, you may want to treat yourself to a specialty coffee or other hot drink from a K-cup from time to time. There are also coffee makers that will prepare a carafe and a single cup and include a receptacle for a K-cup. An example is the Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker. You can brew a carafe containing 6, 8, 10, or 12 cups, as well as a single cup of coffee that ranges from 6 to 12 ounces. But you have to make sure that you purchase the correct type of K-cup pods. You also have the option of using ground coffee for a single cup, with a coffee filter.
Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker
Double carafe brewer: Another type of dual coffee maker works a little differently, in an unexpected way: In the event that you want a very large quantity of brewed coffee, there are dual coffee brewers with two carafes, each able to contain 12 cups. An example of this is the CucinaPro Double Coffee Brewer Station. With such an appliance, you can make one carafe of regular coffee, and another containing decaffeinated coffee.
CucinaPro Double Coffee Brewer Station
What reviewers say
We went over some customers’ impressions of the dual coffee maker that they bought:
Saves counter space: The great thing about having one appliance perform two functions is that it saves valuable countertop space.
Problem with splattering coffee: Several customers said that they experienced a problem with their coffee maker splattering coffee, both when trying to make coffee in a single-serve cup or mug, or in the carafe. There can also be problems with the unit spilling coffee grounds out of the filter basket. Also, some noticed that the carafe on their unit didn’t have a very well-designed spout, which caused them to spill coffee on occasion.
Here are some tips and features of different dual coffee makers, that can help you decide on a particular model:
Brew styles: You’ll notice that some coffee makers allow you to prepare cold brew coffee as well. The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System Coffee Maker allows for a “Classic Coffee” and a “Rich Brew” setting, which steeps the water in the coffee grains for around a minute longer than on the classic setting. There is also a “Cold Brew” setting as well that’s ready in as little as 10-15 minutes by running room temperature water (at 110 ℉) through the coffee grounds. (That’s a little different from real cold brew, where you let coffee grounds sit in water for 24 hours.) The “Over Ice” option is when you run hot water through the grounds onto a glass of ice. The ice melts and dilutes the coffee somewhat, so you have to work out the ratio of water to ice beforehand.
Reusable filter: We’ve already mentioned the waste that accumulates from K-cups. But disposable coffee filters also add to landfill waste, as well as an added expense of having to buy coffee filters. But some coffee makers come with a reusable filter. For example, the Cuisinart Single Serve + 12 Cup Coffee Maker has a reusable filter, besides accepting K-cups.
Warming plate: If you prepare a carafe of 12 cups of coffee, you’ll certainly want to ensure that it stays warm. You’ll see that certain coffee makers will have a warming plate underneath the carafe that will automatically shut off after 3 or 4 hours.
Use hot water for other purposes: Some coffee makers have a separate hot water dispenser, where it just heats the water instead of boiling it. That allows you to use the hot water for tea, hot cocoa, instant soup, or even oatmeal.
Milk Frother: Some dual coffee makers will also have a milk frother for those coffee-based drinks that require it, such as cappuccino, latte, macchiato, and more. An example is the Ninja DualBrew Pro System 12-Cup Coffee Maker. When not in use, the milk frother can fold away into the body of the coffee maker.
Ninja DualBrew Pro System 12-Cup Coffee Maker (Model No. CFP301)
We went through a few models of dual coffee makers, looking at their features for preparing classic coffee, or specialty coffees with frothed milk. If you or your family members go out for specialty coffees frequently, you can be pleasantly surprised to see what a wide variety of drinks you can prepare at home. Whether it’s hot coffee, tea, or cocoa in the winter, or cold ice coffee in the summer, a dual coffee maker can be the answer!