The single cup coffee maker is the ultimate space saving appliance for one-cup-at-a-time brewing. Nothing gets stale, the machine works fast, and everybody is happy. More and more coffee machine brands have been releasing one cup coffee makers, and each one claims they have created the best single cup coffee maker. So how do you pick the best product? To help you find coffee bliss, our team conducted over 25 one cup coffee maker reviews to find a perfect, money-saving alternative to the bestselling but pricey Mixpresso Original K Cup Coffee Maker. After lots of testing and dozens of caffeine jitters, we have found a winner! It is called the Chefman RJ14-SKG Versa, a low-price alternative with a very similar array of great features. These single cup coffee makers have small water reservoirs and basic controls to help save space. Plus, they are easy to use. Big brand or alternative, which one is the best one cup coffee maker for you? Let's find out!
Mixpresso Original K Cup Coffee Maker is an excellent, bestselling product that works great and makes delicious coffee. It is small, fast, simple, and comes with a removable drip tray. That last part (the tray) is the main thing the brand product has that the affordable alternative does not. If you will mostly be brewing directly into coffee cups rather than travel mugs or only intend to use this coffee maker with K Cups rather than your coffee grounds, this is one of the best single cup coffee brewer models with a very compact design. The Mixpresso is slightly larger than our alternative pick and has a slightly smaller 12-ounce capacity compared to the Chefman Versa’s 14 ounces.
Chefman RJ14-SKG Versa is taller than the Mixpresso machine while taking up less counter space. It is easy to use with both cups and travel mugs thanks to its higher maximum cup height and capacity. If you tend to brew for on the go or like to use your grounds occasionally or exclusively, the Chefman Versa is the best single brew coffee maker for you. It is also K-Cup compatible. We liked that it is simple to use, very affordable, and most importantly makes great coffee. It also uses environmentally-friendly permanent filters. If you do not want to spend money on a brand coffee maker and use travel mugs a lot, take a closer look at the Chefman Versa.
The Mixpresso Original takes K-Cups, both from the Keurig brand (including 1.0 and 2.0 pod varieties) and from others. This is great, for example, if your workplace already provides K Cups - now you can keep a few at your desk with your single cup coffee maker for a quick fresh brew whenever you want.
The Chefman Versa is compatible with all K-Cups, too. Whether you like to order a rotating variety of flavors or stick to one, the Chefman can brew it. If you have limited space, you might prefer to keep K Cup stacks and racks to a minimum and use a permanent filter with coffee grounds instead.
The Mixpresso Original does not come with a permanent filter, so you will need to buy one separately if you want to brew single cups with fresh coffee grounds. If you intend to mostly use K Cups anyway, this might not bother you, but some of our review team members were surprised that the brand machine option did not include such a basic and useful accessory, especially at this price point.
The Chefman Versa has a permanent filter included, so if you like to keep things green, save money, or grind your own beans, you can do all of that with the Chefman Versa. Even if you only use your own grounds occasionally, it is nice not to have to go out and buy a separate filter, which usually comes in multipacks. Plus, a permanent filter and a bag of coffee easily take up less space than a few boxes of K Cups.
You can easily fill basic coffee cups with the Mixpresso Original, but you have to remove the drip tray to fit travel mugs under its spout. If you’re often trying to get your caffeine fix on the go and want to move quickly from the kitchen to your car, removing a drip tray might be an annoying timewaster. The Mixpresso has a maximum cup height of five inches, two inches less than the Chefman Versa. That makes the Mixpresso more convenient for office use than for brew-and-dash, so college students, busy people, and morning commuters might prefer an option with more travel mug compatibility (i.e. the Chefman Versa).
The Chefman Versa is built tall to fit all coffee cups and almost all travel mugs without you needing to make any adjustments or remove pieces. This is a handy feature to have when you are in a rush - transferring coffee from a cup to a travel mug is never as easy as you think it will be. We certainly appreciate the simplicity this design offers! The machine has a maximum cup height of seven inches, so it is compatible with almost all travel mugs. People with gigantic travel mugs will need to do a quick cup-and-pour.
The Mixpresso Original has a maximum capacity of 12 ounces or about the same amount as a can of soda. This should work for most coffee drinkers who like to mix creamer or milk into their coffee after brewing. It falls a little on the low side for travel mugs, though, which tend to hold two or more servings of coffee.
The Chefman Versa has a larger, 14-ounce capacity, giving it about 15% more capacity than the Mixpresso Original. Since the average travel mug is 14 to 16 ounces, out of the two products, the Chefman Versa is the best single coffee maker for people who like to drink it black, like to have a full travel mug, or simply want more coffee.
The Mixpresso Original has a removable drip tray for easy cleaning as well as making room for travel mugs. It catches accidental spills in a reservoir under a grate that the container rests on, so you can deal with them later. If you spill your coffee, occasionally this is a plus.
The Chefman Versa does not have a removable drip tray. However, the tray is slightly curved to help contain spills and is very easy to clean. Keep in mind that the mug or cup sits directly on the bottom of the tray, so the container’s bottom can get wet if there’s a spill. Overall, though, it works great.
The Mixpresso Original comes in black with silver accents, and has instructions for use printed on one side of the machine’s body. After filling the reservoir and inserting a pod, you close the lid and lock it with a silver dial, then press the power button on the side of the machine to start the brewing process. It is a well-designed product that’s simple to use.
The Chefman Versa is a black and silver brewer. You start the brewing process just by clicking the lid closed and hitting the power button. That is it! It is very easy to operate, which is great. The lack of instructions printed on the machine makes it look sleeker, but people who want to keep the machine near children might find the lack of locking mechanism a downside.
The Mixpresso Original is 10.4 inches tall, and the base measures 9.5 x 4.9 inches. If you are not worried about counter space, the Mixpresso’s larger base compared to the Chefman’s may not worry you. But if you want to save space, live in a dorm, or have a crowded desk, every inch counts.
The Chefman Versa is 13 inches tall and the base measures 6.8 x 5.3 inches. So it is taller than the Mixpresso Original while also having a smaller footprint (taking up about 36 square inches of counter space rather than 46.5). If compactness or tall design is important to you (think travel mugs), you will prefer the Chefman.
The Mixpresso Original weighs 2.9 pounds. This much lighter than many full-size K Cup brewing machines, but still heavier than the Chefman machine. You will likely not carry this machine around, but lighter is still better.
The Chefman Versa weighs 2.2 pounds, or 0.7 pounds lighter than the Mixpresso. That makes it slightly more portable and even less intrusive. It is unlikely that you take a coffee maker with you, but a light weight is still nice.
Mixpresso offers a two-year warranty, plus a toll-free number to call if you have any problems. People worried about defects and malfunctions may prefer the Mixpresso Original thanks to its extra year of coverage.
Chefman offers a standard one-year warranty and customer service contacts, too. If you have found that a year is usually long enough for a product to show any problems, you probably won’t mind the shorter warranty period.