The 15 Best Home Espresso Machines & Guide

Many people can’t get their day started without that first cup of coffee. Some may need it throughout the day to help them get through that afternoon slump. Maybe it’s that hot, fresh cup of coffee after a great meal, or just relaxing with the morning newspaper or a good book.

Everyone’s tastes vary on coffee – some like it strong, many like it sugary with heavy cream, and some like it weak and black. There are so many different types and flavors available now, that it’s a wonder anyone can settle on just one favorite.

If you like it strong, or maybe you like specialty coffee like a cappuccino or latte, you need to start with an espresso. Espresso is very popular just on its own, served in a tiny little cup and a tiny little spoon.

Best Espresso Machines

De’Longhi Espresso Cappuccino MakerDe’Longhi Espresso Cappuccino Maker

This compact little machine is a great home espresso maker, with the ability to make one or two cups at the same time. You can also make single or double shots of espresso, or cappuccinos and lattes.

It uses coffee grounds or the convenient pod method, and brews the coffee very quickly. The adjustable controls also let you make modifications for everyone’s taste. There is a manual frother for steam and milk for a rich froth for  topping your coffees.

The Rapid Cappuccino System holds the best temperature so you can brew several cups in a row. A removable 37 ounce water tank is easy to refill, clean, and reattach, plus it has a water window to see the water level. It also includes an adjustable drip tray for cleaning and different cup sizes.

This model also has two separate thermostats, which allow the water and steam pressure to each be controlled separately. This machine is durable and comes in high-quality, stainless steel boiler and 15 bar pump pressure. It’s a nice little machine that won’t break the bank.


Breville The Barista Express Espresso MachineBreville The Barista Express Espresso Machine

This authentic espresso machine is not on everyone’s budget but it makes fabulous, real espresso, and has great features and is is still compact enough for the countertop.

This model of espresso maker is all automatic that lets you easily grind the beans right away, and then brew them for the freshest coffee around. You can pick the grind you want, from fine to course, for regular coffee as well.

It includes an adjustable temperature control and their thermocoil heating system that will maintain water temperature. There is a dry puck feature to help remove excess water from the grounds in the portafilter. A low pressure pre-infusion allows a low water pressure at the beginning to gently wet grounds.

It also features an espresso pressure gauge and hot water only, in a separate dispenser. It has a removable coffee tamper and can be programmed for one or two cup portions, with an override of preset programs to adjust to your own needs. It includes four filter baskets, a stainless steel milk jug, a coffee scoop, water filter, and cleaning kit.

The removable drip and cup warming tray works well for cleaning or larger cup size. It also has a removable 2-liter water tank, and comes with a replacement carbon water filter and water level indicator. The built-in coffee grinder ensures ultimate freshness, flavor, and aroma.

Also, it includes a 15-bar pump pressure, and a stainless steel single and dual wall filters. Automatic sleep and off settings are helpful if you forget to turn the machine off.  The stainless steel shell fits with any home decor.

It’s a great machine with a lot of features for an authentic espresso shot. The built in bean grinder is a nice touch, but it does make a mess while in use and it is definitely on the higher end of the price scale.


Nespresso by Breville VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker Bundle with Aeroccino FrotherNespresso by Breville VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker Bundle with Aeroccino Frother

This is a nice machine made by a trusted name in the coffee makers and kitchen appliance arena. It is also priced in the mid range for espresso makers.

It’s a smaller version of some out on the market – so nice for those with limited space who need to get their espresso on. This bundle package deal will save you a bundle as many of these single sold items will be more than the machine itself. This package includes their Aeroccino Plus milk frother that gives you a fast one-touch frothing for hot or cold milk. One touch brewing gives you coffee, crema, cappuccinos, and lattes.

This machine uses capsules, and you can brew two capsule sizes, a large 8-ounce for coffee and small 1.35-ounce shots for espresso. It can read the capsules for blend preferences, and the capsules pop in and can be automatically spit out with ease. The capsules are only compatible for use with Nespresso VertuoLine. Storage will hold up 20 used capsules.

It features an automatic shut off mode after 9 minutes of last brew, and you can have fresh coffee in under a minute with fast heat up time and fast extract. There is also a 40-ounce water tank, and a removable drip tray for easy cleaning or different cup size.


Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso MakerMr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Maker

The Mr. Coffee brand name might just know a thing or two about coffee. This machine is a nice compact little coffee maker that will do the job and not break the bank doing it.

This espresso maker comes with an easy one touch control screen that allows you to choose from a single or double shot of espresso, cappuccino, or latte. Plus, the automatic milk frother with built in milk container is a nice touch.

There is a manual pulling for the perfection of your own personal tastes, and the water and milk tanks are both removable for easy filling and cleaning. You can simply remove the milk container and place it in the fridge for the next use. It features an adjustable cup tray to allow for larger mugs or single shot cups.

It includes a recipe book with 20 of your favorite and easy-to-make coffee shop drinks, single and double shot filters, a scoop for measuring, and a tamper. It also includes a 15-bar pump.


Philips Saeco Super-Auto Incanto Espresso MachinePhilips Saeco Super-Auto Incanto Espresso Machine

Philips is a well-known brand name with a wide range of products, and this machine is certainly no exception.

It has an elegant design with quality workmanship plus the latest in technology. Combined with the LCD display, this makes the machine both commercial level in performance and also higher up when it comes to the price grade.

You can make a cup of coffee or espresso as you like, and then save all your preferences with the new memo function. The professional level disc grinder is made completely of durable ceramic for perfection in performance and the freshest tasting coffee with five different grind settings, from fine to course settings.

The built in milk frother allows you to send the froth directly into your cup all in the same movement, without needing extra equipment. Plus, this will froth the milk twice for extra foamy toppings. The large 60-ounce water tank is removable for easy filling and cleaning and maintenance, and it has a quick heating boiler for fast service.

You can choose the brew strength and control the temperature with 15 bars of pressure to express the water through. Other features include automatic cleaning and automatic descaling to keep machine in perfect working order and your coffee tasting fresh and pure. An adjustable spout and removable cup tray make space for different sized cups and easy cleaning.

Also featured is an automatic shut off ability with 1850 watts. This lighter in weight machine is not light on the features or the ability to make you all your favorite coffee and specialty coffees for years to come. It has a standard warranty.


illy Francis Francis! Model X7.1 iperEspresso Machineilly Francis Francis! Model X7.1 iperEspresso Machine

It’s no surprise that a company that has their own coffee line would also make their own machine to brew it. This unique looking machine stands out with it’s authentic design and up to date features. Designed in Italy to replicate the origins of the espresso maker, it will stand out proudly on your counter.

The illy espresso maker uses their own illy iperEspresso capsules with their own brand of coffee. It has a one touch start action, and their patented two-stage process makes intensely aromatic, full-bodied coffee with rich, foamy crema on top. Their Pannarello steam wand for steaming milk is perfect for your cappuccinos and lattes. The capsules make it easy for clean up due to the fact that the coffee is contained within the coffee capsule.

This espresso maker has two thermostats and 15 bar pressure for pushing the water through. It features automatic cleaning and removal of calcium build up. It also has a 34-ounce water tank. This machine is moderately priced, but the capsules are pricey and it will only use its own brand.


Bialetti Moka Express 6-Cup Model 6800 Stovetop Espresso MakerBialetti Moka Express 6-Cup Model 6800 Stovetop Espresso Maker

If cost is a concern for you but you really want the espresso or coffee, then maybe this stove top version is the way for you to go. At a fraction of the cost of automatic, one touch fancy espresso makers, here is this one that will do the job, not have breaking parts and not needing expensive capsules to make coffee at exorbitant prices.

The Bialetti 6-cup Moka Express with three gaskets and one filter is made in Italy. This stovetop espresso maker will brew six, 2-ounce cups of espresso in just a few minutes – if you don’t need it in a few seconds, then you will like this coffee maker.

This machine is made of lasting, durable aluminum in a funky octagon shape, and it comes apart to clean up easily in the sink. The lift up top and side-pouring spout provide added charm and convenience. It won’t break the bank, and there are no extra capsules to buy. Just buy your own favorite blend of coffee and you are all set. There is virtually no waste and no extra costs.


Hamilton Beach 15 Bar Italian Pump Espresso MakerHamilton Beach 15 Bar Italian Pump Espresso Maker

Hamilton Beach is certainly no stranger in your kitchen and their espresso makers will fit right in. This beautiful and compact machine is well within any budget and it looks good doing it.

This Italian Pump Espresso Maker with 15 bar pump for expressing the water through makes coffee shop perfect coffee for you conveniently at your home. It has the capacity to make authentic espresso and cappuccino with the touch of one button.

The filter holder has a slide in and lock feature for security and no leaking. There is the option for hot water only for other teas, coffees, soups, or the need to rinse out a few smalls dishes. The large 30-ounce water tank can be easily removed for quick, simple refills or cleaning and it has an attached, adjustable arm for frothing. It also comes with a metal milk jug and tamp.

The convenient warming space on the top of the unit works with pre-measured E.S.E. pods or ground espresso, so you have different options. This is a nice machine, will do the job, and looks good. With lots of options and extras, it has great pricing on the lower end of the scale.


Gourmia 1-Touch Automatic Espresso and Cappuccino MachineGourmia 1-Touch Automatic Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

This unit is priced in the lower to mid range and is a great little machine. Simple and complete, your coffee choice will be ready in a flash.

It comes in with 19 bars of pressure, which is a bit higher than some, even the ones in the higher price range. Plus, it has a built in milk frother, so you can brew the coffee and have the milk frothing at the same time, and then they both end up in the same cup.

One touch of a button gets everything happening, and that gets the coffee and the milk frother moving together, in a perfect little coffee dance. The machine is compatible with almost all of the Nespresso pods. The removable 50-ounce water tank and removable drip tray with grate are perfect for an easy clean up.

The machine is set to automatically shut off half an hour after the last brew. It’s a nice machine, it works well, it looks good, and it comes with a year warranty. It’s priced to suit nearly all budgets.


Cuisinart Buona Tazza EM-400 Single Serve Espresso and Coffee MachineCuisinart Buona Tazza EM-400 Single Serve Espresso and Coffee Machine

Let’s make a wager that Cuisinart knows their way around your kitchen better than you do. They should, as they spend enough time in them.

They have a long list of kitchen appliances to make your life easier and happier, and their espresso machines stand up tall for that order. It’s all within the price of about two weeks worth of your daily coffee shop coffees. It looks good, works great, and is compact and sleek. This espresso maker is exclusively designed to use with the illy iperEspresso system capsules.

Features include an easy one touch strength selector, temperature settings, and milk froth control. It also has a unique Stay-Clean brew head. There are 19 bars of pressure to push the hot water through and make that frothy espresso.

The cup tray will flip up or down to fit small or large sized mugs, and the drip tray can be taken out for cleaning. It automatically ejects used capsules, and has the ability to hold up to 10 used capsules in the container. It also has a removable 34-ounce water tank for refilling and cleaning, a plate for keeping your cup warm, and five LED controls for single or double shots of espresso. It makes regular coffee, and has a variety of temperature settings.

Additional features include an energy saving power button, automatic shut off selections, brushed stainless steel exterior, a milk tank, drip tray, and drip tray plate. The drip tray and drip tray plate can be put in the dishwasher. There are three cup sized positions for espresso, cappuccino, and your travel mug. It has a great price, great features, and a two year warranty. Yes, they know your kitchen.


Alessi 6-Cup Espresso Coffee MakerAlessi 6-Cup Espresso Coffee Maker

This is not only functional, but beautiful, too. Alessi’s best selling and groundbreaking espresso coffee machine was not only the winning entrant for the Compasso d’Oro award, but was inducted into the Permanent Design Collection at MOMA in New York. Pretty impressive, right?

It’s not just a pretty face – it works well. It has a three cup capacity for five quarter ounce shots of espresso. It’s made of shiny, durable stainless steel that has a cast iron handle. It has a one-year warranty and it is imported.

With all of that beauty and simplicity, it is still a bit over the average price for a machine that has all kinds of computerized functions, but it’s nice and keeps your eco footprint down.


Capresso Steam PRO 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino MachineCapresso Steam PRO 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

This machine is compact, functional, and has extra features. This unit is priced well below many of the other types of this standard. Their own Capresso Steam PRO allows for fast heating.

Their four cup steam/boiler system allows you to make two or four cappuccinos or lattes, and you can adjust the brew strength in less than 5 minutes. The unique Coffee/Steam selection allows you to go from coffee brewing to steaming in one easy touch. You can also get hot water for tea, hot chocolate, and other hot beverages.

The swiveling movable frother can froth up various amounts of milk in no time. The filter holder has a thumb guard for safety, and it has a removable drip tray for cleaning or cup size difference. The boiler cap has a built-in safety control valve for the amount of pressure it has.

It comes with a ten ounce glass carafe for one or several cups – all are dishwasher safe attachments. This compact, easy to use, easy to clean machine won’t break the bank and should give you great coffee and other beverages for years to come.


Espressione 3-in-1 Coffee Center Combined Pump Espresso Machine with Drip CoffeemakerEspressione 3-in-1 Coffee Center Combined Pump Espresso Machine with Drip Coffeemaker

If you like your coffee in a variety of ways, this machine is for you. The 3 in 1 refers to the same machine that makes a regular pot of coffee, espresso, and other specialty coffees, like latte or cappuccino. It’s a bit steep in the price range, but still cheaper than buying them all separately along with your store bought types, as well.

This model has an LED display and control panel for several programmable functions to switch between coffee types, and it also has adjustable timers. The cone-shaped basket is removable for easy cleaning, and this machine comes with a ten cup capacity glass carafe, pod filter, and a filter holder. It has a convenient pause-and-serve button for those who can’t wait and don’t want to make a mess before the cycle is finished.

The movable steam nozzle easily froths milk for your cappuccinos and lattes. It also features 19 bars of pump pressure to push the water through. Another great feature is the automatic on and off setting.


Jura ENA Micro 1 Fully Automatic Coffee MachineJura ENA Micro 1 Fully Automatic Coffee Machine

Here is another compact, sleek design that looks uncomplicated – and it is. But don’t let the simple look fool you: it doesn’t miss any functions.

The Ena Micro 1 Fully Automatic Coffee Machine is a one-cup coffee maker made to make you the perfect coffee with the smallest footprint possible. It is programmable up to three cup sizes of your choosing, each with two different aroma levels. The aroma preservation cover ensures that your beans stay fresh until you are ready to use them. This machine has a built-in grinder and the micro-brewing conditions make you the perfect cup every time.

It features a great, fast preheating system, and cup sizes range from half an ounce to 8 ounces. It also includes automatic shut-off, 15 bars of pressure to get that water through, and four different grind strengths, depending on the brew you want. It also has a decalcification system and a 37-ounce water tank.

This machine is on the higher end of the price range, so be aware that beauty and function come at a price.


De'Longhi Dedica Deluxe Espresso MachineDe’Longhi Dedica Deluxe Espresso Machine

Sleek and compact, this machine has a classic look like an espresso machine should. It does the job and doesn’t take up a lot of room while it is brewing. Their patented, manual cappuccino system makes a creamy, rich foam for fabulous flavor.

You can choose between 1 or 2 shots of espresso by using their unique stop flow feature, to get the perfect amount of coffee. It has a one touch control panel with illuminated buttons, and the three in one filter holder can handle single shots, double shots, and espresso pods.

The Thermoblock technology heats up to perfect brewing temperature in only 40 seconds.  The adjustable frother gets your milk foamy in seconds for the perfect topping, and the drip tray is easily removable for the taller cup or travel mug. The dual spout allows you to make two shots at the same time.

This machine is a bit higher up on the price range, but it is built to last and makes coffee shop level coffees in the comfort of your own home, without the pesky hipsters.


About Espresso

The word espresso refers to both the coffee beverage and the brewing method of the coffee grounds.  The word espresso does not refer to an actual bean, a blend of bean, or the level of the roast.  Any type bean or roasting level can be used to brew real espresso. So you can use your favorite for making your home espressos and other coffee drinks.

Espresso coffee has been around since the late 1800’s in Italy, and has since gained popularity in the UK and North America. The espresso based hot and cold drinks in particular have really risen over the past 20 to 30 years, with popular brand named cafes and coffee shops dominating many busy main streets and neighborhoods throughout major cities and smaller communities.

The cost and the waste (with the non-reusable cups) is also a growing concern, and therefore the popularity of the espresso machine for use at home is also growing.

There are some great machines out there on the market, and even the pricier ones will still save you a lot of money in the long run by making your own espressos and lattes at home.

Home use of espresso machines has grown considerably in popularity with the general rise of interest in espresso. Today, a wide range of home use espresso machines can be found in any kitchen and appliance stores, large department stores, your neighborhood coffee shop, and online shops, as well.

This increase in the availability of easy-to-use, compact, countertop programmable home espresso makers and the newer pod and single container based espresso machines has also increased, not only the growing amount of espresso consumed at home, but also the quantity of espresso itself. This increased interest is not only in making coffee at home, but has also increased the production of home bean roasters and coffee bean grinders.

Making Espresso

Espresso is made by expressing or “forcing out coffee” by forcing out a small blast of very hot, steaming water under a lot of pressure through a finely ground coffee bean. It is thicker and has a higher concentration in texture than coffee brewed in regular ways, and tends to have a creamy foam of coffee on top. It is because of this pressurized brewing method that the flavors in a cup of espresso are much more intense.

Espresso is what is used at the basis for other specialty coffee drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, and all the variations of these types of coffees, whether hot or cold. It starts with a single or double shot of espresso coffee, so ordering a double cappuccino is a double espresso with steamed milk.

Although there is more caffeine in a single shot of espresso, because the portions are much smaller, it seems to be no more than someone having several cups of regular cups of coffee. Caffeine content will vary between beans and depends on their consistency, processing methods, and the roast of the bean.

How to Make Espresso in Your Machine

  1. Remove the handle with the filter and make sure it is clean of all used coffee grounds.
  2. Fill the dispenser with finely ground coffee.
  3. Level off the coffee across the top, clearing away any left over grounds.
  4. Firmly, but not too firmly, tamp the grounds into the dispenser.
  5. Put the dispenser in the machine, twisting it firmly into place.
  6. Start the machine and the brewing process, either directly into a cup or into a shot glass.
  7. Pour into an espresso cup.
  8. Place on a saucer and enjoy.
  9. Or, if using the pod method, just hit play.

What to Look For

That’s an extensive list for your espresso needs, from high priced to lower ones. Clearly all machines are not made alike, so you need to figure out what will best suit your needs.

There are pros and cons to every machine, so decide what you can live without and what will be the deal breaker.

Some Pros and Cons


  • Fast. Most of these coffee makers can finish their brewing process within a minute or two. Plus, if you have several people in the house drinking coffee, you can all have the flavors you all want without compromise and without waiting. The machines heat up fast and make the coffee fast. Plus, many of them have the capacity to switch between single shots and full pots.


  • One simple touch of the button, and the machine starts its warm up and then brewing process, all usually within a minute. On many of the models available, you can pre-program the machine to start, assuming you have set it up and then shut down at particular times, so you can have a fresh cup of coffee waiting as soon as you wake up, and not have to worry if you left the machine on later when you are at work.


  • These programmable computerized machines allow you to preset the time you want it to start, but also many of them have an automatic shut off system, to save energy and provide safety. Plus, you can get some of the newer models with more than one language, to broaden your language skills. French for French roast, nes pas? Si, Si, mi gusta cafe!


  • Many of these units can make different sizes of coffees, and some will have the capacity for a carafe or removable drip tray to fit in a travel mug. The choice of other flavors, tea, and iced beverages is also a great feature to use the same machine for other drinks besides coffee. It’s also great if you and someone else each want a different flavor or type of coffee or even a different size.  You can each have your own special type of coffee without making two full pots or having to wait a long time.



  • This can be a big one, especially if you are on a tight budget. Some of these machines are upwards to well over several hundred dollars, which might be too steep for many people, when you can get a perfectly good machine for twenty dollars. Some of the cheaper machines are just as good with enough features for you espresso and other types of coffee. The cost of buying the pods for those types of machines is also steeper than even some premium coffee, pound for pound. Many types of the machines come with their own brewing capsules or containers, and many are made to accommodate their own type of container, which are pricey.


  • The pods aren’t recyclable – some have parts that are, but not entirely, and are rapidly becoming mountains in landfills. There are some machines that have different types of grounds receptacles, so if you are concerned about this, it might be wise to look for those types of coffee makers.


  • Not all of these machines talk to each other, so some machines don’t allow the use of all the other coffee pods or capsules. Adjusting them to fit your machine can leave your coffee too strong, or too weak, or just not working at all. Some of the sold separately features, like coffee capsules or filters, may not always fit each different type of espresso machine. It can get expensive, in particular if your coffee machine choice has limited flavors or has overly high priced coffee pods and accessories.


  • Buying a single serve coffee maker can seem like a great idea initially, but it is only great if it’s only you, or one other person. It is not convenient if you have guests who all want coffee. You need to make several cups at a time, and this can be time consuming and costly. Even if it is just two people, if you buy a machine that uses the pods, that is a minimum of two pods per day, if not more, and that can not only add up in the cost of the pods, but by the end of the week it’s a lot of pods going in the garbage. Even if it’s not the pod or capsule types, it can still be time consuming and expensive. If you have to buy another coffee maker in order to accommodate guests, it’s another cost, and more space needed to store it.


As good as the machines are and as convenient as they are, like any smaller kitchen appliance they can encounter problems and breakdowns. Some common problems can be small things, like the machine isn’t turning on, or the coffee isn’t brewing, or the machine stops half way through the brewing process.

Regular maintenance on these machines is very important. Many of them come with a descaling kit and solution, or have an automatic setting for cleaning and getting rid of coffee or calcium build up, and you should use it regularly. Depending on the type of water you are using, you may get a build up inside the machine faster than usual.

Common problems can be air bubbles in the hose, or other debris blocking them. There could be loose coffee grounds that got caught in the water tank, or the puncture needle of the needles used on the pod and capsule types of machines.

You should regularly, carefully remove all removable parts for cleaning and inspection. Make sure there is no damage or other problems with them causing leaking or electrical shortages. Check them over carefully and put them all back so they fit in their spaces tightly.

Run the machine through with clean regular water or add a vinegar solution to it to clean out any coffee or calcium build up that may occur and also to disinfect the coffee maker.

Try blasting the water through a few times without the coffee in the receptacle to clear out any build up. The fine grounds can cause more build up, and there are certain types of coffee that have a heavy, oily residue.

Check the electronic source that the cord hasn’t suffered any damages or breakages, and check the water tank to make sure it is sitting in the chamber tightly. Check the drains where the water needs to pass through and keep the parts cleaned and workable.

Make sure the water tank is filled with clean water, and that you allow the machine the proper warm up time. Check the pre programmed setting to make sure you didn’t change something without knowing and the coffee maker is simply obeying orders.

For electrical issues, contact the company or your warranty to see if you are covered. The Keurig company offers a good warranty and stands behind their name and product. They do offer excellent customer service.

That is a lot of information to help you make some informed decisions about home espresso machines. There is no perfect appliance to everyone. One person will swear by it and the next won’t go near it. It’s up to you to decide what you want. Weigh the pros and the cons and do your own research on the machines to see if it’s right for you.

Home espresso machines  can be a lot pricier than many machines, and there are other single serve coffee makers on the market that may also make espresso,  so if you are not brand loyal, you will have no problem sorting out your new coffee maker.

Environmental Impact

Looking for the perfect espresso machine can be daunting, so make some wise decisions. The types that use the pods or capsules are becoming more prevalent on the market, and there are many concerns about these types of machines.

The impact on the environment with the use of the plastic pods is nothing new in the world of a pod-using, single serve coffee machine. With the millions of people, both at home and commercially, using these types of machines, that’s a lot of waste.

You might not think you are having much of an impact, with your one or two pods a day, but now times that by several million households who only use one or two a day. Let’s also factor in all the offices who may use anywhere from 50 to 100 a day, and the cafeteria and the hospital and the corner coffee shop – now we’re talking impact.

It is because the K-Cup is made of plastic that also has a filter, coffee grounds, and plastic foil top – it isn’t very easy or convenient to try to separate each part for the purposes of recycling. With absolutely billions of these little plastic pods in the landfills every year, you need to ask yourself if that speedy cup of coffee is worth it.

Interestingly, the founder of the Keurig coffee machine doesn’t actually own one himself.  He has expressed regrets at times for conceiving it, and not because he sold his shares for a comparatively low price, but for the impact it is having on the environment.

There is also the environmental impact on making the pods to begin with, that generates waste, pollution, and so many tons of plastic that isn’t actually used and is waste product straight from the factory. The greenhouse emissions and the water used to produce the plastic cups is enormous.

There was a way around this issue where consumers could buy a different brand of reusable pods, but with the new 2.0 brewing system, that is no longer an option, which to many minds, is just greed. The ability to buy your own coffee and fill the pods each time is a smart, economically sound idea, not to mention a relief to the landfill, but the newer machines have seen that it no longer can happen.

It’s like when your phone company or computer company keeps changing the head of the charger – it really comes down to money. But for a company that has always had the environmental finger pointed at them, and have seen sales drop, it seems like the smarter thing to do would be to stay ahead of it, rather than try to simply cash in.

The separate pieces of the pods themselves can be recycled, but the task of taking everything apart and putting them in each of their proper receptacles is a daunting task for the single cup user’s, and a near impossibility for the commercial user.

The Keurig company has since introduced recyclable pods for use, and claims that all the pods will be recyclable by the year 2020. But as the small pods consists of four separate parts, so you need to separate the pod parts. The pods have of a combination of plastic pod, the aluminum cover, organic material, which is the coffee grounds, and the paper filter.

While all of these items can be easily recycled separately, these pods cannot be recycled as a whole. Each of the components need to be separated and sorted into the categories for their recycling or composting. The paper filter is heat sealed inside the plastic, so it’s not easy to remove, and there again, not convenient.

Ain’t nobody got time for that. If you have someone in the house who is artsy, or maybe there is a preschool or a kindergarten near by who could use them for making things, or maybe your own kids or neighbors can reuse the plastic pods for some art projects, or other do-it-yourself types of tasks around the home, then you could recycle the pods. Perhaps you could make something in the garden, or do a school project. There are likely favorable options all over the internet.

Well, if you do care about the earth, there are a few new gadgets that will cut the tops off of the pods to help the ease and speed up the recycling process for you. There are several out on the market and not all of them will work the same, and not all of them will be as easy to use on all the pods. Again, it’s up to you. It might just be a novelty at first, and then it gets to be tiresome, or you cut yourself, or you just start to forget and then it’s just another gadget in the junk drawer, along with the bottle topper and the pedometer.

So, here we are. Back at the landfill. We all know that the K-cup coffee and tea pods are difficult to recycle because of the four materials: a plastic cup, which is lined with a heat-sealed paper filter, and the a polyethylene-coated aluminum foil top that is for the scan. Sure, the packaging keeps coffee fresh, but the cartridges are not biodegradable.

When you look at the big picture, you need to decide if your one minute cup of coffee coming out of your 150 dollar machine is still worth the price. It’s easy to look at the convenience of it all, and your pretty, sleek machine that makes tea and lemonade and hot cocoa for the cold days but the back end of it all may not be worth it all, in the long run. It takes a minute to make the coffee and a lifetime to get rid of the evidence.

Steps are being made to make the pods more environmentally friendly, but much of the damage is already done. If you are serious about closing in on your footprint, you can consider a French press type of coffee maker or the regular twenty dollar coffee makers, some that have reusable filters. It is just coffee, after all, and if you are making it at home to save money and stop buying from the fancy brand name coffee shops, there are cleaner ways to do that. It’s up to you.

If you are looking to buy one, look around, ask around, and really do your homework on this one. Is the convenience of having a cup of coffee ready in under a minute really worth the 500 years or so for the earth to break down the plastic pods? Just one pod – nevermind the billions that are being used each year.


The coffee is good and there are some really nice single serve coffee makers out there, but you can get a single cup of coffee from a regular type of pot – there are plenty of regular coffee maker that make a single or two cups of coffee at at time that have a standard filter in the maker that doesn’t even require a paper filter.

If you are seriously looking at the types of coffee makers mentioned here, you should consider the overall cost. Many of them can be very expensive and you need to consider that when making a purchase. It might be nice for the convenience and speed of the brewing process, but if you find yourself buying more coffee elsewhere throughout the day, it can add up. Not to mention the price of the coffee for the machine, if you buy a machine designed to use only its own brand of coffee or coffee container.

If you entertain a lot or have more than one or two regular coffee drinkers in your household, the cost of the coffee containers can really add up. It adds up as a monetary cost to you, but also to the environment. If there is a need to make more than one or two cups per day, if you drink a lot of coffee, or have people in regularly for dinner or other social functions, then choose one that can also make a pot or carafe full, to save on the individual containers.

If you are choosing the type of coffee maker that can make a carafe full, as well as a single or double shot, try to find the type that doesn’t use the single capsule container, but has a reusable filter. That way you are cutting down on the expense of the containers and not creating more waste than you need to.

There are different shapes and models – some are rather large and heavy, others are perfect for your smaller, limited spaces. Some are simply perfect on the stovetop. Not that these machines take up a great deal of space, but it might be a good idea to measure the area where it will go before hand, in case you have very little space or if you are buying the coffee maker for a dorm room, camper trailer, or your tiny little office cubicle.

Some of the machines have the ability to make other types of drinks: teas, iced coffee, and specialty coffees. They are usually very convenient, and can be done with a one touch adjustment. Plus, there may be a separate function to dispense just hot water for other things, like soups, instant coffee, tea, and cold remedies.

Overall, most of these machines will perform well, give you the satisfaction of a home brew that tastes like it came from a store, and you will know you have made a great choice. Good luck, and happy brewing!