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Best Dual Coffee Makers

Coffee Geek Lab / Best Dual Coffee Makers

Last Updated: Jun 04, 2020

Best Dual Coffee Makers

Some people think that there’s no such thing as too much coffee.

But hear me out:

There are days when you only need a cup. Or two.

Especially if you’re one of those people who appreciate versatility. For you, I have prepared a review of the best dual coffee makers. Each of these models will allow you to enjoy your coffee in any quantity you want. So, let’s pick your favorite!

ProductDetailsRatingPrice
Keurig K-DuoBest Overall – Keurig K-Duo
  • 12-cup glass carafe;
  • compatible with coffee grounds and K-cups;
  • four serving sizes: 6, 8, 10, or 12-ounce cup;
  • 60 oz. water reservoir;
  • programmable brew up to 24h.
9.5Check current price on Amazon
Hamilton Beach 2-Way Coffee Maker (49980A)Best Budget Pick – Hamilton Beach 2-Way Coffee Maker (49980A)
  • brew strength selector;
  • compatible with travel mug;
  • allows you to program brewing up to 24h in advance;
  • 12-cup pot;
  • an eco-friendly option.
9Check current price on Amazon
 Cuisinart CHW-14Best for Versatility – Cuisinart CHW-14
  • 10-cup and 12-cup carafe models available;
  • 56 oz. water tank;
  • brew pause feature;
  • hot water delivery for making tea;
  • convenient indication and controls.
8.5Check current price on Amazon
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew (49976)Best for Fast Brewing – Hamilton Beach FlexBrew (49976)
  • compatible with K-cups and grounds;
  • separate water tanks for each brewer;
  • 12-cup carafe;
  • programmable time and auto-shutoff;
  • choose between Regular and Bold brews.
8Check current price on Amazon
Cuisinart SS-20Best Thermal Pod Option – Cuisinart SS-20
  • stainless steel carafe;
  • 3 serving sizes;
  • brew strength control;
  • compatible with K-cups;
  • 40-oz. removable water reservoir.
8Check current price on Amazon

Our Reviews of Best 2-Way Coffee Machines

Best Overall — Editor’s Choice — Keurig K-Duo

Keurig K-Duo
  • 4 cup sizes;
  • 12-cup glass carafe capacity;
  • programmable;
  • features a heating plate;
  • 60-oz. water reservoir for both single brew and carafe.

The combination of convenient controls, compatibility with different coffee types, and programmable settings allowed me to place the Keurig K-Duo in my review of the best dual coffee makers with ease. This device will ensure that your mornings start with a fresh cup of your favorite brew.

“This coffee maker allows you to regulate the serving size for both carafe and coffee cup. You can switch between 6,8, 10, or 12 cups for a pot or 6,8, 10, and 12 ounces for a single cup, which makes it easier to brew the exact amount you need.”

You can also choose between regular and strong brew — the latter adjusts with a single button — to make sure that you get your morning vigor. Or, you can set the time of auto-launch and your brewer will start making a fresh cup of coffee right after you turn off your alarm.

ProsCons
Easily adjustable serving sizeThe carafe may drip a bit when you pour coffee
The heating plate keeps your brew warmReusable coffee filters need to be purchased separately
Makes a stronger brew with just a touch of a buttonDoesn’t memorize cup settings, you need to choose them every time
Removable reservoir for easy refilling
Doesn’t take much space on the counter

If you need a 2-way coffee maker that is easy to adjust and maintain, the Keurig K-Duo may become your go-to option. It’s durable, convenient, and makes a consistent brew each time.

Best Budget Pick

Hamilton Beach 2-Way Coffee Maker (49980A)

Hamilton Beach 2-Way Coffee Maker 49980A
  • 12-cup carafe;
  • brew strength controls;
  • warming plate;
  • programmable start;
  • automatic shut-off after 2 hours.

The next option in my review of the best 2-way coffee makers proves that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a decent brewer. Equipped with a brew strength selector, warming plate, and convenient 12-cup glass carafe, the Hamilton Beach coffee maker brews your vigor elixir in minutes and is pretty easy to maintain.

“The heating plate keeps your coffee in the carafe warm for two hours and shuts off automatically once that time has passed.”

The coffee maker features an adjustable cup rest in the single-serve section. It can hold a regular cup of coffee or brew it right into your tumbler mug, so you can take it with you on your way to work.

If you’re making several servings of coffee, you can sneak a cup mid-brew thanks to the pause button and then resume the cycle.

ProsCons
Allows you to choose between regular brew and bold coffee with a richer flavorThe water reservoir may start to leak over time
You can pause mid-cycleSome users report shorter lifespan
The glass carafe is easy to clean
The single-serve cup tray adjusts to different cup sizes
Comes with a convenient scoop that also serves as a mesh filter.

Overall, I can recommend this coffee maker as a decent budget-friendly option. It can make a consistent brew and adjust to your demands in the touch of a button.

Best for Versatility

Cuisinart CHW-14

Cuisinart CHW-14
  • 10-cup thermal carafe;
  • has a self-clean option;
  • on-demand hot water system;
  • charcoal water filter;
  • 1-4 cup setting.

The next item on my list is designed for making your mornings a lot easier. With the Cuisinart CHW-14, you can brew coffee in a carafe pot while heating water for your morning oatmeal! Or, you can use hot water for making tea or hot cocoa if you’re not a big fan of coffee. 

“The machine features a convenient indication that alerts you when the water is ready to dispense and when it’s time to refill the tank.”

The coffee maker comes with a thermal steel carafe that prevents your brew from cooling down too fast. Also, I love that the CHW-14 is fully programmable. You can set the time when the machine starts brewing your coffee as well as program the automatic shut-off in case you accidentally forget to turn it off. The postponed shut-off will also keep the coffee warm for the set amount of time, which is another advantage.

ProsCons
The hot water system helps you make tea or hot cocoa along with coffeeMakes a loud signal, which cannot be muted, when the coffee is ready
You can set the auto on and off time according to your scheduleSome users report problems with adjusting auto shut-off
The thermal steel carafe keeps your brew warm longer
The hot water system has a separate lever and convenient indication
Easy to clean and maintain

The Cuisinart CHW-14 coffee machine can be your go-to option if you like to enjoy not only coffee but other beverages too, or want a bit more versatility than other brewers offer.

Best for Fast Brewing

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew (49976)

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew (49976)
  • 12-cup glass carafe;
  • adjustable cup rest;
  • energy-saving construction;
  • programmable features;
  • easy-view windows on reservoirs.

Let’s admit it: sometimes we need our recharge boost fast. 

And this model by Hamilton Beach, which makes a single serving of coffee in about 3 minutes, can provide you with fresh coffee while you’re on your way from your bed to the kitchen or struggling to hit another snooze. So, it’s definitely worth being present in this review of the best dual coffee makers!

“This coffee maker has two independent water reservoirs for single-serve and full-carafe brewing. This makes the FlexBrew an energy-efficient option because you’ll only be heating the amount of water you need and only when you need it.”

The coffee brewer is programmable from start to finish: you can set the brewing time up to 24 hours in advance, so your coffee maker will sync with your alarm. Also, the machine has an automatic shut-off button and will turn off 2 hours after the brewing is finished. Finally, you can pause the brew mid-cycle to get yourself a fresh cup of coffee and then resume the brewing.

ProsCons
Compatible with both K-cups and groundsMay puncture the K-cups too much occasionally, resulting in spilled grounds
Saves energy due to two independent water reservoirsSome users note that the unit may start leaking after the first year of use, which requires installing a new water hose
Programmable settings
Allows you to choose the brew strength
The cup rest adjusts to travel mugs up to 8” high

Overall, the FlexBrew is a great example of a programmable dual coffee maker. It allows for customization and brews coffee fast, which is crucial during those hasty morning breakfasts.

Best Thermal Pod Option

Cuisinart SS-20

Cuisinart SS-20
  • 10 and 12-cup carafe options;
  • 3 serving sizes;
  • 40-oz. water tank;
  • thermal carafe;
  • brew strength control.

I couldn’t omit this model in my review of the best 2-way coffee makers for one simple reason: it makes good coffee and keeps it that way for hours. Thanks to the stainless steel carafe, your beverage will stay warm and fresh without tasting burnt or stale. 

“Since the water quality can affect the flavor of your beverages, the manufacturer uses charcoal water filters to achieve the best-tasting coffee.”

The Cuisinart can boast of many features. This dual coffee maker is fully automatic and programmable. There’s a handy timer for your morning coffee and a ready alert. 

It gets better:

This model supports both coffee pods and grounds in the single-serve mode. This gives users the freedom to experiment with their coffee and try new options when they want.

ProsCons
Versatile in useThe single-serve tray is not adjustable and may cause splashing when pouring into a shorter cup
Multiple brewing sizesThe main water reservoir is not removable, which might make pouring water a bit challenging
Adjustable brew strengthSome users note that the single-serve side may start leaking with time
Comes with a quality thermal carafe
Easy to use
Makes good-tasting coffee

Overall, this little guy has every chance of impressing you. It is versatile and makes delicious coffee while keeping it warm and fresh for you.

Basic Factors to Consider

Basic Factors to Consider

These days, top-rated 2-way coffee machines have a lot to offer. Depending on your budget, you can get a model with countless features and extra bells and whistles.

But do they really matter?

Well, it depends on your personal preferences. However, there are key factors that make or break a good 2-way coffee machine:

  • Compatibility with different types of coffee. Now, some models rely on ground coffee when it comes to both carafe and single-serve brewing. Others support coffee pods for the single-cup mode and make great single-serve coffee makers for solo users. However, many users are concerned about the pods (or capsules) as they are difficult to recycle due to their small size and tend to end up in the landfills (1). Some manufacturers offer compostable or even reusable pods, which is great news for environmentally conscious coffee drinkers. No matter where you stand, compatibility with different coffee types is what makes 2-way machines so versatile. If you want only the freshest coffee, you may consider some top-notch grind and brew coffee makers that allow users to grind the beans right before making coffee for the most flavorful beverages.
  • Water tank capacity. For a dual coffee maker, the size of its water reservoir is crucial. If your coffee machine has a small water tank, you’ll probably end up getting tired of refilling it constantly. Therefore, it is recommended to choose models with larger reservoirs (at least 48 ounces).
  • Programmable features. Now, a good automatic coffee maker should allow for programmability. This would make it more convenient to use. The most common features you may come across are a programmable timer (which makes the machine start brewing on the set time), a standby mode (which will help you save on electricity a bit), and an auto shut-off for your peace of mind. Keep in mind that you need to pay more for bells and whistles. Most budget coffee makers under $100, for example, would come with a limited set of features.
  • Durable materials. Typically, manufacturers use stainless steel or high-grade plastic (or both) for their coffee makers. Stainless steel models tend to be more expressive, but they are recyclable and more durable. Additionally, many users note that stainless steel coffee machines look better. As for plastic models, they are cheaper and more lightweight, which promises good portability. On the other hand, they are more prone to leaking and usually have a shorter lifespan. 

What Else Should You Look For in a Good 2-Way Coffee Maker?

What Else Should You Look For in a Good 2-Way Coffee Maker

When browsing through the top-rated coffee machines, many aspects should be taken into consideration. 

Once you have defined the basic functionality you expect from your new dual drip coffee maker (2), you may want to take a look at additional factors:

  • Brew strength control. Many coffee makers, even simpler ones, offer at least 2 brew strength options: regular and bold. This feature is important if you appreciate versatility.
  • Ease of maintenance. A good dual coffee maker should be automatic so that it wouldn’t require much effort on your part. Some models have a self-cleaning mode to prevent the calcium buildup, which will save you time and potentially extend the lifespan of your machine. And if you want a truly low-maintenance device, you may want to look at those models that come with dishwasher safe parts.
  • Carafe materials. Now, you may come across 3 types: steel, glass, and plastic. The latter is not a good option since it may give your coffee a plastic smell. Glass carafes are convenient to use since they allow you to see how much coffee you have left. On the other hand, they don’t retain heat that well and rely on a thermal plate. And if you use the plate for too long, it might make your coffee feel burnt. Also, don’t forget the energy efficiency concerns (3). As for steel carafes, they tend to keep coffee warm longer. The best thermal carafe coffee makers don’t use a hot plate, which means the flavor of your beverage won’t be affected. But keep in mind that they are usually more expensive.
  • Carafe capacity. Typically, dual coffee makers can brew from 8 to 14 cups of coffee into a single carafe. While this depends on each specific model, you need to decide for yourself how much coffee you (and maybe your family) may need during the day. Keep in mind that a larger carafe would probably make the whole device bulkier, so you may require extra counter space for your new machine.
  • Single-serve size options. While simpler models brew into a standard 8-ounce cup, better options can also make larger quantities, for instance, for your travel mug.

Conclusion

In the world of coffee makers, dual models are probably among the most versatile ones.  That’s why so many users love them. And luckily for us, we have 5 top options to choose from. However, the Keurig K-Duo managed to impress me the most. This coffee maker is highly customizable in terms of use and gives you lots of options for your coffee. With only a touch of a button, you will be able to get consistently good coffee every day.  What do you think? Which dual coffee maker are you ready to opt for? Share your thoughts in the comments!

References

  1. Perry Miller (2019, March 28). The problem with coffee pods and the eco-friendly alternatives to use instead. Retrieved from https://inhabitat.com/the-problem-with-coffee-pods-and-the-eco-friendly-alternatives-to-use-instead/
  2. Beverage Factory. In Depth Buying Guide: Drip Coffee Makers. Retrieved from https://www.beveragefactory.com/resources2/coffee_tea/buying_guides/coffee-guides/dripcoffee-indepth.shtml
  3. Doityourself Staff (2009, September 23). Comparing Glass and Stainless Steel Coffeemaker Types. Retrieved from https://www.doityourself.com/stry/comparing-glass-and-stainless-steel-coffeemaker-types

Katherine Salvador

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