Cup of hot coffee on an old wooden table.

It’s likely as much psychological as it is physiological, but like many of you, I can’t seem to get myself motivated to get out the door in the morning until I’ve had at least one cup of freshly brewed coffee. But which coffee maker is right for those of us who brew at home?

The convenience of single serve coffee makers


Single-serve coffee makers are ideal for days when you are on the go, know you are only going to have one cup of coffee, or simply don’t like the fuss and muss of a drip coffee machines. Because I tend to hit snooze a few too many times on weekday mornings, I lean on my single-serve coffee maker Monday through Friday.

Regardless of whether I’m ahead of schedule or running far behind, I can pop a coffee pod into my single-serve coffee maker, add enough water to fill my travel mug and let it do its magic while I am getting myself ready and organized for the day of work ahead.




Single-serve coffee makers are also great when it comes to being able to change up the type of coffee you’re drinking. Most coffee pods come in packs of between eight and 18, which means you can switch up your brew more frequently than you likely would with whole or ground beans. You can also have a variety of blends on hand so you can pick and choose what floats your boat, or the boat of friends and family on any given day.

A word of caution though, not all coffee pods are created equal. I’ve been victim of purchasing a pricey pack of pods only to discover that they weren’t compatible with my machine, so buyer beware! Another thing to be aware of is the cost associated with single-serve coffee makers. According to one article I read, a cup of coffee brewed with a coffee pod costs more than twice that of a cup brewed on a standard drip coffee maker. However, if you are throwing away half a pot here and there, the cost differential is really a moot point.

The pros and cons of single-serve coffee makers


  • It’s quick and easy to brew a cup of coffee with no need to fuss over grinding beans or measuring out grounds
  • Most pods brew a steaming hot cup of coffee in a minute or so
  • You can keep a variety of pods on hand so you can switch up what you’re drinking on a whim
  • You can brew different types for different people quickly: dark roast for you, light roast for me
  • Pods make only as much coffee as you want or need without any wasted
  • Taste is consistent from cup to cup


  • The cost per cup of a single-serve cup of coffee is almost always higher than drip coffee
  • Not all pods are recyclable, so they may produce a lot of waste
  • Some argue that because pods are air-sealed for storage, they aren’t as fresh as freshly ground beans, so the flavour profile might be lacking

The authenticity and capacity of standard drip coffee makers


While my weekday go-to coffee maker is of the single serve variety, I pull out my larger drip coffee maker on the weekends and when I entertain. Because of its larger capacity, I’m able to brew anywhere from two cups to 12 cups of fresh coffee, which is ideal when I am spending a rainy weekend indoors with my sweetie, wanting to sip more than one cup on my couch while reading the paper, or offering guests an after dinner caffeine boost.




What I like about drip coffee machines is that I can add or remove grounds as I see fit to get a brew that suits my specific tastes. You can’t do that with a single-serve coffee pod–you get the flavour you get. Some days I’m in the mood for a less potent brew that will complement my Sunday morning dash of Baileys, while others I’m looking for a giant caffeine kick in the rear end to get me started on my weekend chores.

Pros and cons of a drip coffee machine


  • Coffee lovers tend to agree that you get a fresher, more authentic coffee taste when you are using a drip coffee maker
  • You can brew large quantities for those lazy weekends, or when you have guests over
  • You can adjust the amount of grounds you use to create a flavour that suits your palate


  • It takes longer to brew a pot of coffee than it does with a single-serve machine
  • If you don’t drink all you’ve brewed, the rest goes to waste
  • In my experience, drip coffee machines take up more space on the counter
  • It is more difficult to brew different types of coffee

The verdict

There’s definitely a time and a place for both coffee maker options, it just comes down to personal preference, lifestyle, and in some cases, counter space. If need to brew enough for more than one cup or more than one person, a standard drip machine is the way to go. If you like to grab a go or limit yourself to one cup a day, a single serve might be the best choice. Or, if you’re like me and your coffee needs vary from day to day, one of each isn’t a bad idea.

Shop Best Buy’s full range of coffee, tea and espresso makers here

Shop Best Buy’s full range of coffee makers here

Stacey McGregor
Stacey McGregor is a marketing and communications professional based in Vancouver, BC. She has a passion for the written word, loves learning about new technology and gadgets, and enjoys sharing what she learns through Best Buy's Plug In blog.