In the sales department, we always get calls about the types different machines that we carry. As of late, we’ve noticed quite a few customers asking about single-serve machines. The logical question is: why would anyone want a single-serve machine as opposed to a traditional semi-auto or super-auto? Well, there are actually a number of different reasons…I’ve had people call looking to add a single-serve machine to a rental house, where a number of people would be using it, and they are looking for a foolproof coffee solution. Others want to eliminate the mess factor associated with brewing coffee and espresso. Since all of the coffee grounds are contained within a capsule or cartridge with a single-serve system, there is little to no mess to speak of. Lastly, most people enjoy the beverage consistency afforded to them by single-serve machines. Each drink comes out the same as the one before.
With a lot of different systems from Keurig, Illy, Nespresso, Bosch, Lavazza as well as DeLonghi, Gaggia and Breville, choosing a machine can be daunting. Each system has its own set of unique pros and cons. Let’s jump right into an analysis of each system, starting with those designed to brew regular coffee…
The “Grand-Daddy” of single-serve systems, Keurig is the brand one everyone knows about; most people have probably had a drink from a , Keurig system. There’s a reason Keurig is as big as it is. The company offers very reasonably priced machines, some as low as $99, and its cartridges run between 60 and 75 cents, depending on the type of drink. Keurig also has the largest flavor selection of any drink system on the market and is a great solution for someone who likes drip coffee. You can even take advantage of the My K-Cup to use your own coffee. The only drawback to Keurig machines is the fact that they are drip brewers, with no pressure to extract anything close to an espresso. These machines also do not have steam wands to create milk-based drinks.
Bosch came out with a really innovative design for its machines, allowing them to prepare drip as well as pressure-brewed coffee. Each single-serve T-Disc has an identifying bar code that is scanned by the Tassimo system when inserted into the machine. Then, the machine adjusts itself to one of three different brew pressures and temperature settings, as specified by the coffee manufacturer. While Tassimo single-serve machines can brew under pressure, its maximum pressure is yield about 3.5 or 4 bars, half the pressure needed for true espresso. These machines are still classified as regular brewers. Backed by Kraft, Bosch Tassimo is one of the fastest growing single serve systems on the market, both in market share and in flavors available. These machines do not have steam wands, but there are cartridges available for milk-based drinks.
Be sure to check back in the next few days, I will go over single serve machines espresso machines in my next blog entry.