If you’re like us, you count on that first cup of coffee to kick-start your day; the quality of that drink can make or break your morning. But brewing a magic elixir bleary-eyed and barely awake is not easy. Except when it is…and that’s completely dependent upon having the right pod coffee machine. A great pod coffee maker requires practically nothing from its foggy-headed owner. It’s the brains of the operation, capable of delivering a barista-quality beverage every dang time. Ready to upgrade? Below are our picks for the best pod coffee makers. Bonus: Most are on sale!
“Works great,” said a five-star reviewer. “Just keep it clean all the time and it’s reliable and fast! More expensive than using a standard drip coffeemaker, but much more delicious and convenient. The little metal pods look nice displayed in the kitchen, too. The milk steamer is a MUST as well…. Really love the whole setup. The only drawback is that I might be drinking more (and stronger) coffee than I used to — but it’s always delicious!”
A shopper says the Vertuo Next is “the best purchase I have ever made! I love Starbucks lattes and specialty coffee, so a Nespresso is ideal for me. I haven’t even thought about Starbucks since I got it…. It’s really easy to order pods and recycle bags from the app. The milk frother is what takes your coffee to the next level. I love to put flavored creamer in it; it is heavenly. Easy to operate and not a super bulky machine. If you have been thinking about getting [one], do it. You will not regret.”
“The only complaint I have about this is: It’s too good,” said one of 6,100-plus five-star reviewers. “It’s too easy to use. It makes having espresso too convenient. I went from maybe having one espresso every few months to multiple ones a day. I hear colors. I find myself falling down weird YouTube rabbit holes at all hours of the night. I’ve become nocturnal. So, if you like sleep, this is not for you. If you like random facts about how cold fronts affect catfish, BUY THIS!”
This superstar is endorsed by more than 70,000 five-star reviewers! “My first time using this type of coffeemaker, and am I happy!” said one such fan. “It makes delicious coffee, is easy to program and operate, and it is very attractive on the kitchen counter. It comes securely packaged with a user manual that is easy to understand and set up, and very reasonably priced for the excellent quality…. I highly recommend!”
“Love it,” said a happy shopper. “I ordered this machine to replace the giant one I had before, which finally died…. I like this one a lot better because the color is prettier and it doesn’t take up so much counter space. I like that it only holds one cup of water at a time. My son had a bad habit of letting the water in the big, black Keurig sit around for a couple of days and then using it. Gross. Now I know he can’t do that with this machine. It brews a great cup of coffee and seems quieter than my old machine…. I highly recommend it.”
“This thing is amazing,” said a five-star reviewer. “I love at least four things about it. 1) Easy to use. 2) It replaced a Mister Coffee brewer and a Keurig K-Cup brewer, saving a lot of counter space. 3) The reservoir can be placed right, left or back to suit your counter situation. 4) The Mr. Coffee required you to add the right amount of water for the amount of coffee that you wanted. The K-Duo Plus will use the correct amount of water based on the number of cups (carafe) or ounces (K-Cup) that you select.”
“This is the best multipurpose appliance!” said a review. “To begin with, it’s easy to use — use one side or the other. I normally program my carafe side the night before so my coffee is ready in the morning…. The single-serve, or K-Cup, side works great.”
The size of the FlexBrew Single-Serve is perfect for this happy shopper: “I never wanted a K-Cup coffeemaker. When I saw this one I was intrigued. The size is smaller, and it is flexible for making my favorite coffee or using K-Cups. I LOVE it. One feature I like is that you empty the reservoir each time you brew. The coffee-grounds insert comes with the appliance, as does the K-Cup insert. Can’t say enough good things about this product!”
“I love this coffee maker!” says one of 10,000+ five-star fans.”I’ve had two now, one of the previous model for nearly 6 years and then this newer version… I REALLY like this unit’s features. For one reason, we drink different brands of coffee, which is what makes single-serve coffee makers so convenient. For another, I love the added convenience of this particular single serve for the fact that I don’t have to wait for the water to heat up like I do with other brands. You just turn it on, pop in the pod, press the brew button and it INSTANTLY starts brewing without the wait for the water to heat. HELLO, who wouldn’t love that feature?!”
“I’ve had many coffee makers over the years, and this is by far the best,” said a five-star review. “I love this machine and have not found any issues in the few weeks I’ve had it. I generally make a pot of coffee in the morning and use the single-serve in the afternoon or evening. I have used several types of coffee, and each one tastes great. It is easy to use and clean. Very happy with this.”
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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
We’ve got your holiday shopping list covered. Find expert picks on the best tech gifts on Engadget, the best gift ideas for car lovers at Autoblog, gifts for the young (and young at heart) at In the Know, and picks for just about everyone else on your list (moms, dads, teens, nurses, you name it!) in Yahoo’s holiday gift ideas section. And on AOL, you’ll find gift ideas for the whole family — from your adult children to your grandkids.