Brewing just one cup of coffee makes a lot of sense if you never finish the pot or have coffee drinkers with different tastes. Pod systems that use Keurig K-cups are engineered to brew a perfect cup and come in a selection of roasts and flavors to rival your local coffee house. In addition to convenience and selection, single-serve systems are great at work and home, offering everyone their choice of beverage, even the tea drinkers.
Pod systems take the guesswork out of brewing with a pre-measured pod that yields one serving. Sealed packaging keeps the contents fresh until the moment of brewing, even after several months in the cupboard. The available selection covers a wide range of coffees and teas, making it ideal for the break room and households where dark roast aficionados live beside French vanilla fans. If you're shopping for your office, consider looking for systems with a short brew time to reduce waits. It’s good to have a large water reservoir to minimize the refilling of frequently used machines. Small households can get away with a compact model but are likely to appreciate programmable features that can brew that morning cup by the time the alarm goes off. High-end brewing systems often feature extras to improve the coffee quality, including water filtration systems and adjustable brew strengths.
A World of Coffee Pods
Coffee connoisseurs who haven't switched to pods may be surprised by the variety there is to choose from. You can select your coffee by region, from the deep complexity of Ethiopian beans to the smooth balance of Hawaii's Kona. Roasts run from the lightest morning blends to intense dark roasts, such as Italian and French. The wide assortment lets you stock your pantry with a robust selection, and the long shelf life means you can sample new varieties at your leisure. Fans of flavored coffee have plenty of options, with classics like hazelnut and inventive twists such as coconut or berries. Decaf drinkers can choose from flavored blends and different roasts, as well as half-caff for those who prefer a mild pick-me-up. Many manufacturers partner with popular grocery store brands and cafe chains to provide your favorite coffee in pod form. Variety packs are a good way to see just what your single-serve coffee maker can do. Consider a sampler of international coffees to try new flavors.
Tea and Herbal Drinks
Coffee machines have traditionally left out tea drinkers, but this isn't the case with pod brewing systems. Tea choices range from green to black, including mild blends like Earl Grey and strong teas such as English Breakfast. Herbal teas such as peppermint, lavender and hibiscus are available as well. You can also find chai and hot chocolate to spice up your beverage selection. The diverse assortment not only satisfies broad tastes, it also lets you play around and have fun. Try serving hot apple cider pods at your autumn celebration, or experiment with passion fruit tea in your next summer cocktail. If you're a dedicated tea drinker, consider upgrading to a system that lets you select the water temperature. The perfect brewing temperature depends on the variety, with hotter temperatures for black tea and cooler temperatures for green tea.
Alternative Single-cup Systems
Coffee drinkers who want only a cup but aren't sold on pods can choose a single-serve brew system. These compact machines are just like traditional drip coffee makers only smaller, allowing you to brew your favorite local blends or beans that you grind yourself. The single-serve design can deliver a freshly brewed cup every time, so there's no reheating and no wasted coffee grinds. Most models are small, fitting nicely into private offices and cubicles. Some designs are even portable. Traditionalists can also opt for a french press, which can produce a robust flavor full of complexity. Small models typically hold around four cups, although you can brew less as needed. If you like pods but aren't ready to give up your grinds, consider a hybrid system. These machines combine a filter for drip coffee and a brewing system for pods, so you can switch back and forth.
In addition to offering convenience and variety, single-serve coffee makers don't make much mess. The pod packaging contains the messy grinds, and there's no filter to rinse. Because you brew one cup directly into your mug, there's no carafe to wash and fewer spills on the counter. The minimal clean-up is especially convenient in shared spaces, such as workplaces and dorms, as well as households that don't want to dirty more dishes just for a single cup.
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