No matter how good you are at brewing coffee, it will never taste the same at home as it does at the shop. That’s why single-serve coffee machines are so popular – they bring your favorite mocha latte right to your kitchen with minimal clean-up required. But is it the best buying choice?
Dual brew devices seem smarter because you can brew single-serve on one side and regular coffee pots on the other. Plus, many are designed to accept multiple single-serve packs like K-cups, pods, or adaptors for other brands. So let’s discover the best dual brew coffee maker.
The Best Dual Brew Coffee Maker in 2020
1. Cuisinart SS-15 Dual Brew Coffee Maker
The Cuisinart Coffee Center provides all your coffee needs in a single stylish device. You can brew coffee grounds on one side, using a carafe that holds up to a dozen cups of coffee at a time. Or when you’re in a hurry or in the mood for something specific, you can brew a single serving of your favorite flavor. It’s faster because there’s no carafe or ground to clean up afterward.
It’s a hi-tech coffee maker with a stylish silhouette. But it can be a bit tricky figuring what each button does and how to use it. You have to toggle the dial to the correct function, long-press to activate the feature you want, then scroll through the options on the LCD screen. These options include a timer, auto-on, and auto-off because you have to set each one individually.
You can also pre-select the temperature of your water, allowing you to brew a steaming cup or a slightly cooler one that you can sip as soon as you serve. Or you could use the auto-on and auto-off functions to ensure your coffee is always ready when you need it. The coffee maker lets you slot your brewing session anywhere within a 24-hour window, right down to the minute.
It saves electricity as well – because of all those auto-timer functions. They’ll drastically drop you’re your power bill. And if you’ve had an especially rough night and need to get your head in the game, you can use the ‘bold’ feature to make your coffee extra strong. And if you want a quick cup while the rest of the carafe continues to brew, you can use ‘brew-pause’ to serve.
The carafe has a capacity marker so you can easily gauge the number of cups you’re brewing. The glass flask has a stylish insulated handle with a stainless steel insert, so you can easily load, lift, move, and pour your coffee without burning yourself. The top of the coffee maker has a ‘showerhead’ setup and a reusable filter to better distribute water through your grounds.
On the single-serve side, you can prepare any beverage that comes in a K-cup. So you’re not restricted to coffee. You can also use K-cup variants with tea, hot chocolate, or even instant soup. Remember to plan ahead – you can’t use both sides of the coffee maker simultaneously.
The Cuisinart has so many features that you’ll have to be deliberate about exploring them. The single-serve section uses K-cups while the carafe works with either permanent or paper filters.
- It has a brewing capacity of 12 cups.
- The ‘bold’ is popular for lovers of super-strong coffee.
- Both the carafe and the single-serve sides have optional re-usable filters.
- The control panel is a little tricky – it takes practice to use it right. Also, remember to put on the power switch – you’d be surprised how many ‘faulty Cuisinart’ were simply off …
2. Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew Dual Brew Coffee Maker (Our Top Pick)
For lots of people, their day doesn’t start until they’ve had their first coffee. So if you live with a cranky non-morning-person, you need a coffee maker with a timer. This Hamilton model lets you pre-program it for up to two hours. You can set it to automatically switch off when it’s done brewing, or it can stay on and keep the coffee warm, though that’s torture on your power bill.
This two-way coffee maker has separate reservoirs for its single-serve side and its coffee grounds side. Both reservoirs have convenient top-loading excess for less fuss and spillage. They also have see-through water windows so you can glance at your water levels and refill as needed. And if you’re unsure whether it will fit on your countertop, just think of the mnemonic 11, 12, 13.
It’ll help you recall the Hamilton’s dimensions – 11.4 inches by 12.2 inches by 13.7 inches. It holds 12 cups. The best dual brew coffee maker has an intuitive control panel, and this Hamilton qualifies. It has six buttons with icons or labels, so you know exactly what they do.
The bottom buttons let you decide between carafe brewing and single serve. The top buttons are for starting (Brew Now = ON) and coffee strength. The two buttons are programming buttons. They let you select features and timing. A digital display screen is built into the coffee maker, right next to the buttons. The single-serve section brews 10-ounce mugs with K-cups.
And in the carafe, you can brew 14-ounce mugs at different strengths. The drip tray is removable, so you can slip it out to make room for a taller jug or mug. This tray easily dismantles and is dishwasher safe. It has a hidden section where you can store your adaptors and baskets.
The Hamilton 49976 is beloved for its range and coffee capacity. The segregated reservoirs ensure your single-serve coffee flavors don’t contaminate your grounds … and vice versa.
- It brews quite quickly and can be paired with Melitta filters.
- You can program it in two-hour spurts.
- The coffee maker has two independent reservoirs.
- Some coffee addicts feel three minutes is too long to wait for coffee …
3. Ninja 4-Brew Hot/Cold Dual Brew Coffee Maker
The word ‘ninja’ denotes stealth and versatility. It describes high levels of ability and a broad skillset. And while there’s nothing hidden or subtle about this coffee maker, it has multiple nifty features. It’s easy to use your ninja coffee maker because its functionalities are intuitive. For example, instead of trying to puzzle out the right brewing temperature, use the buttons.
They preset the right brewing conditions for iced, rich, specialty, or classic coffee. These settings may include strength temperature and brewing conditions. The milk frother helps you add special touches like coffee art. It swings away and facilitates foamy coffee drinks. The ninja has a clock and a timer. It also has a ‘delay-brew’ button so you percolate while your sleep.
The coffee maker comes with a generous number of accessories. It has a reusable filter but you also get five paper filters. The carafe is made of stainless steel and is double-walled for enhanced insulation, keeping your coffee hot or cold as needed. This carafe can hold 43 ounces of coffee. You get a tumbler too. It can hold 18 ounces of chilled or steaming coffee without cracking.
You can easily maintain this coffee maker. It has a self-cleaning function and you should use it about once a month. The ‘drip-stop’ function reduces messes and sticky stains. And to take the guesswork out of your coffee making, this device has an Auto IQ function. Use the ninja scoop and sizing dial to select your preferred portion – half carafe, full carafe, travel mug, or cup.
Next, select the type of thermal brewing you want (icy, frothy, etc). The Auto IQ will then pick the appropriate temperature and timing for your drink. It also preselects the correct volume of water for your brewing needs. On its high setting, this ninja can keep your coffee warm for up to two hours. The coffee maker also comes with a book that has 40 coffee recipes to try out.
If you’re the type of household that doesn’t take their coffee one way, try the 4-brew Ninja. It provides far more variants and you can go from super simple to complex coffee combinations.
- It brews both hold and cold drinks in four sizes.
- The milk frother offers greater variety in brewing styles.
- The coffee maker comes with a tumbler that can withstand extreme temperatures.
- This Ninja is bulky so it takes up a lot of space on your counter. Also, while it’s a 4-brew coffee maker, it doesn’t take K-cups so it’s not a true dual brewer …
4. Keurig K-Duo Dual Brew Coffee Maker
Marketers often say consumers don’t know what we want. They say we have to be taught what we like. That might be why two-way coffee makers have that distinct silhouette – the industry as ‘trained’ the public to expect the coffee makers to look and a certain way and have a set shape.
While Keurig invented the single-serve concept (thank you K-cup!), their trademarked coffee maker looks quite different from its competitors. You may confuse it for a single-serve coffee carafe. When Keurig began, you could only buy K-cups. But other brands began to clone compatible pods and that broadened consumer access to coffee, tea, and even soup variants.
Unlike many coffee makers, Keurig has a metal carafe. It’s a thermal container that holds up to a dozen cups at a time. And it can maintain the temperature of your coffee for about two hours. For regular brewing, the carafe is fitted with a reusable mesh filter. The control panel is positioned at the top of the coffee maker, directly above the coffee carafe and drip tray.
This control panel has a small LCD screen to display functionality. On one end of your Keurig Duo, the coffee basket slides out to hold your coffee grounds. On the other end, a concealed compartment snaps open to hold you K-cup. A large, convenient handle makes it easier to move your coffee maker around. And because it’s so slight, you can easily tuck it in a cabinet.
The K-Duo stands nearly 15 inches high and you need another 3 or 4 inches of clearance to accommodate the raised lid of your K-cup basket. The device is roughly 16 inches long and 8 inches wide. And you don’t have to struggle to figure out the brewing strength and coffee scoop density. Instead, press the button for a 6, 8, 10, or 12-cup brew, the middle K to confirm.
The number of cups is equal to the number of ounces per cup. This makes it easy to brew a large coffee or a tiny espresso. You can also use the ‘strong’ button if you prefer more kick in your coffee. This coffee-maker has an adjustable 60-ounce water reservoir. You can mount it in three different positions, depending on the size, shape, and orientation of your countertop.
The K-Duo has a timer with hour and minute increments up to two hours. It also has an auto setting so you can have your coffee waiting the moment you get up. The filter is a nice touch too.
- It has presets for cup number and cup size.
- The auto timer can go up to two hours and can be set 24 hours in advance.
- The gold-tones re-usable filter is stylish and efficient.
- It’s an entry-level coffee maker so it doesn’t have ice or foam functionality.
5. DeLonghi BCO 430 Dual Brew Coffee Maker
For some of us, coffee is a food group and we need that fix up to 15 times a day. For others, a quick cup to shake off the fogginess of sleep is sufficient. But for both consumer categories, stylish coffee makes are a large lure. If you rarely use it, you want it to either be small enough for storage or low-maintenance enough to need minimal attention. Especially regarding dust.
And if your coffee maker is in heavy rotation and ‘lives’ on the countertop, you don’t want it looking ugly and dowdy. The DeLonghi fit all these needs. It has stylish housing in black and silver. And it’s a front loader, so you can tuck it into tight corners and less accessible spaces.
This coffee maker’s control panel may look daunting, but it’s easy to use. It has buttons for timing, number of cups, and espresso settings. These buttons have LED indicators in red and green for various brewing functionalities. The frother lets you prepare complex coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos in addition to espressos. And you can program it 24 hours ahead of time.
The water reservoir holds 14 ounces and the coffee maker consumes 1500W at 115V. A section of the front slides to conveniently let your load your coffee grounds and water. DeLonghi has a trademarked Flavor-Savor brewing system. It guarantees a stronger, richer, more aromatic cup of coffee every time. And if you desperately need a sip mid-brew, you can use the pause button.
This is a top contender for the best dual brew coffee maker. It can brew multiple styles of coffee and has a frother built-in. The gold-tone filter is fitted with activated carbon for purer results.
- DeLonghi is a mid-range 1500W coffee maker.
- It has an integrated frothing wand.
- The pump has 15-bar pressure.
- It’s rather bulky so it may overwhelm your counter and it’s too large to stow away.
6. Bella Dual Brew Coffee Maker
Most dual brew coffee makers have two sections – one for regular coffee and the other for single-serve. But Bella has a single adjustable platform. The drip tray where your mug or carafe sits can be raised or lowered, so you can fit a travel mug, flask, or carafes of various sizes. It also has an adaptor so you can use both K-cup and K-cup 2.0 variants, though it may not fit flatter pads.
For regular coffee, Bella comes with a reusable filter. This lets you load grounds from any brand when you’re not in the mood for single-serve. And Bella is an energy-efficient model at just 800W and it can brew your coffee in less than 60 seconds. It also has a 3-bar pump to supplement energy needs and ensure thorough brewing. The water tank holds 15 ounces of joe.
Bella is remarkably easy to use. It has two buttons with icons that indicate regular brew or single-serve and it has indicator lights marker ‘preheat’ and ‘brew’. That’s it. Select your cup size or carafe position, pick a brewing style, fill the tank, load the filter or K-cup, pre-heat, and brew.
And it all takes less than a minute. But if you’re replacing an old coffee maker, this one doesn’t come with a carafe or brewing just. The cup-holding drip tray is adjustable, yes. Meaning you can brew directly into your favorite mug. But if you’re preparing breakfast for the family, you may need to invest in a larger glass carafe that can brew multiple mugs simultaneously.
Your Bella can make iced beverages as well. Fill your chosen glass or flask with ice cubes and let your coffee drip into the cup. But remember to start with the water tank partially full. The space leaves room for your ice cubes. Otherwise, your mug may overflow. And if you overfill the tank, your coffee will probably end up being too weak after all the ice melts, so less is best.
Bella is a beautiful device that brews both regular and single-serve coffee – hot, cold, or iced. But if you’re looking to drink out of a carafe, you’ll have to buy one separately.
- The adaptor fits pods, K-cups, and K-cup 2.0.
- It brews at only 800W.
- Its carafe-holder is adjustable.
- It’s only compatible with Keurigs and grounds. Many other single-serve brands won’t fit. Also, it doesn’t come with a carafe or mug so buy one if yours is broken.
7. Kitchen Selectives Dual Brew Coffee Maker
For a household of coffee guzzlers, this machine is a wet dream – pun intended. It has two large glass carafes that hold a dozen cups each. And because each carafe functions separately, you can brew different strengths at the same time. It’s the perfect gift for a couple that can never compromise in regular or decaf. It’s also handy for weaning teens and twenties into java.
After all, the kids watch you inhale it every day, so you may start them off with something milder until their systems can handle the caffeine. Surprise them on exam night with a ‘strong’ cup of decaff that will aid their study session. The coffee maker doesn’t have any fancy frills though. Each carafe has an independent on/off switch with a red LED indicator. That’s about it.
Between the two carafes, a capacity marker shows the water levels in the water tank. This gauge is a narrow see-through window you can assess your liquid levels at a glance. Its glossy black housing looks great on your countertop and repels dirt. This keeps your coffee maker low-maintenance – a simple wipe-down is sufficient to keep it clean. The filters are removable.
However, the coffee basket needs a lot of attention. And the carafes routinely spill over as they bubble and brew. The two-hour timer includes an auto shut-off function and the coffee maker weighs about 6.6 pounds. Its curvy design is attractive, but its basic features can be off-putting.
It has a few challenges such as clogging. Plus, it’s not a true dual brewer because it doesn’t take pads or K-cups – just grounds. So while this coffee maker is pretty, it’s a high maintenance device that’s low on features. Avoid using it on surfaces prone to water damage.
- It has two carafes that brew independently.
- You can make up to 24 cups of coffee simultaneously.
- It comes with a one-year warranty.
- It’s positioned as a dual brewer but it doesn’t take K-cups.
Investing in the best dual brew coffee maker involves time and patience. They cost a lot upfront, so you don’t want to buy the wrong one. So what features should you look for as you quest for coffee perfection? Some are obvious, like cup capacity and power use, but let’s dig deeper.
Everybody worries about the aesthetics of their coffee maker. You want one that matches the decorative theme of your kitchen. And you’ll pay a lot of attention to its width and weight, especially if you plan to keep it in a cabinet when it’s not in use. But if your kitchen has wall-mounted storage, your coffee maker has to be short enough to fit under the shelves.
You may prefer a coffee maker that has a large carafe. But a tall carafe raises the standing height of your coffee maker. So maybe you can buy one with a bulbous carafe. These coffee containers have a stouter, rounded shape. Meaning you might still get a dozen cups, but the coffee maker and the glass carafe have more ‘sideways spread’ and won’t be deterred by low-hanging shelves.
This isn’t just about the number of features your coffee maker has. The best dual brew coffee makers are intuitive. Look for a coffee maker that has a large digital display and marked buttons. The directions themselves should be simple. For example, some coffee makers have an option for extra-strong coffee, but it’s better if the button says ‘strong’ instead of ‘bold’.
Some coffee makers have timers, or auto on-off switches. Others can accept different sizes of k-cups, pads, or pods, thanks to their built-in adapter. You can buy a model that brews iced coffee for those steamy summer afternoons. Or you could buy one with an adjustable carafe holder. It lets you fit larger cups, travel mugs, or even keep-cool flasks for your portable iced caffeine fix.
Flavors and Variants
Some dual brew coffee makers are interchange-able, but most are limited to their brand. And these brands design K-cups and pods that fit their devices. Some brands have hundreds of single-serve coffee flavors, as well as tea and hot chocolate. Others stick to two or three. Ad while the coffee pot section is unbranded, the single-serve section can be restrictive.
So before you buy that coffee maker, confirm the type of coffee cartridges it uses and sample the available beverages from that brand, and taste test as many as you can find. You should also check several stores to be sure the brand that matches your machine is easily available. It would be so frustrating if you found a flavor you like and just never bumped into it again.
What type of coffee filter do you prefer? Paper filters are healthier, but they soak up some of your coffee, which may slightly dilute its strength. Metal filters are easier to clean but might give your coffee a … metallic taste. The best dual brew coffee maker has a two-filter system, and you could buy a coffee maker with a reusable filter. Or buy a coffee maker that cleans itself after use.
Certain brands have a stay-warm function or a stay-on function, so the tank or carafe always has pre-heated water in it. But these coffee makers are a bigger drain on your power bill, so unless you’re a gamer, coder, or night-shift worker, you may want to skip the constant heating …
Perk Up And Percolate!
Based on our research, we recommend the Hamilton 49976. Here’s why:
- This superfast device makes coffee in three minutes.
- Its single-serve section brews up to 14 ounces.
- Its regular brewer makes 12 cups at a go.
- The auto-shut-off has a two-hour timer.
- Hamilton is versatile enough to accept K-cups, pods, and grounds.
- You can easily tweak your coffee concentration using the ‘brew strength’ feature.
- The coffee maker has two separate water reservoirs.
- It comes with a basket for coffee grounds and a K-cup holder.
What coffee maker are you using at the moment? Show us a photo in the comments!