Caffeine is, to put it lightly, an essential part of our lives at Broomfield and Kingswood. It keeps us awake, helps us focus, and gives us the energy we need to put out detailed product reviews for you — our readers.
While we like to drink in cafes whenever possible, sometimes it’s easier (not to mention much cheaper) to prepare a cup of coffee at home. The only problem is that most coffee brewing methods that up a lot of time, both for brewing and cleanup — time that many people just don’t have.
Enter quick, simple coffee options. No, we aren’t talking about instant coffee. Instead, we’re talking about quick and simple coffee making systems that prepare a cup of coffee in a few seconds, all without the usual cleanup.
These coffee makers have their downsides. Most use capsules, meaning they aren’t great for the environment. They’re also expensive, with the average cost per serving at about 50 cents, much higher than the cost of making coffee from fresh beans.
Still, for most of us, the downsides are worth it for a fresh cup of coffee and plenty of caffeine in a fraction of the time that’s usually required to prepare a cup of coffee from scratch. We’ve listed our three favorite machines below, as well as some recommendations for the best coffee to buy along with yours:
The Nespresso Inissia
Priced at just $100, this is one of the most affordable espresso machines on the market. We’ve heard that the reason it’s so cheap is because Nestle makes most of its money on the capsules, which cost around 50 to 80 cents per serving from websites like Amazon.
The Inissia has a 19 bar high pressure pump. For the non-technical coffee enthusiasts reading this, that means it’s powerful enough to make a very rich, tasty cup of espresso. Since there’s no milk frother, you’ll need to use a French press or buy a separate milk frother if you want to make lattes or cappuccinos.
For us raw espresso enthusiasts, it’s not a problem. At $100, this is a great espresso machine that makes good coffee at a reasonable cost in very little time.
Another single serving coffee brewer, the Keurig K55 uses the K-Cup system to brew coffee. This machine costs about the same amount as the Inissia but is designed to brew coffee in a different size. Instead of the 40mL espresso the Inissia makes, this machine brews Americano-style coffee in a six, eight or 10 ounce cup.
If you prefer a long coffee to a short espresso, you’ll like the K55. For our taste, the Inissia is just a better option overall. However, this is a good quality machine that’s perfect if you like to prepare a long Americano before you head off for work in the morning.
At $130, the DeLonghi Genio is priced similarly to the Keurig K55 and Nespresso Inissia. This machine uses the Nescafe Dolce Gusto system, which is similar to Nespresso but aimed more at casual coffee drinkers than enthusiasts.
Instead of the 20+ variations of espresso that you get with Nespresso, the Dolce Gusto system gives you a variety of different coffee options, from Americano-style lungo to short espresso and ristretto shots. It’s also capable of brewing milk-based coffee like lattes and cappuccinos.
While the quality isn’t quite as high as what you’d get from a Nespresso machine, the Genio (and the Dolce Gusto system as a whole) makes up for it by being slightly cheaper. Expect to pay about 50 cents per capsule for this machine, making it arguably the cheapest option on a caffeine per cents basis on our list.