If you live in a large household or work in an office where everyone has different brew preferences, or if you enjoy jumping between styles to keep things interesting, a dual coffee maker can be a real lifesaver. There is a lot to be said for the convenience of brewing coffee in a variety of ways but using only one machine.
But there are so many different types of two-way coffee makers it can be quite hard to choose. To make your life easier, we’ve tested different coffee machines and picked the very best models for you to choose from.
The SS-20 can brew a full carafe as well as a 6, 8, or 10 oz single-serve cup; its up to you. It works with fresh groups, is K-Cup compatible, and allows users to pre-program brews up to 24h in advance. Very handy!
How to choose the right 2-way coffee maker
Before you dive into each review, have a quick look at our buying guide and take the time to understand exactly what you need from a dual coffee brewer. There are several key features to look for, so read on!
What type of dual coffee brewer do you even want?
Unsurprisingly, the term ‘dual coffee maker’ refers to coffee machines that can brew two types or different quantities of coffee. For instance, some dual coffee makers can brew large pots of coffee as well as single servings. Others may brew carafes of filter coffee and espresso, or feature a hot water dispenser that can be used for tea or instant coffee.
When determining which kind of dual coffee maker to buy, it is important to consider what kind of coffee you prefer and the main way you typically adjust your brew.
Do you brew with K-cups or ground coffee?
Some dual coffee makers rely on ground coffee for both brewing methods, whereas others need K-Cups. Sure, coffee capsules are quick and practical, but they contain stale coffee, are very expensive in the long run, and worst of all, have a terrible environmental footprint.
It’s important to remember that quality (not convenience) is king when it comes to great coffee. While we’ve included some pod machines here, we strongly recommend that you buy a reusable Keurig or pod filter instead of the single-use capsules. That way, you can use fresh grounds, save money, and enjoy a more eco-friendly cup of coffee. (1)
Is customization important to you?
Do you enjoy pressing a button and waiting for your usual cup of coffee to magically gush out without having to do much? If so, then there is no point in spending more money for a dual coffee brewer with a lot of customizable options.
On the other hand, if you enjoy being able to tweak your coffee strength or program the machine for frothy drinks as well, we’ve got some machines ready to deliver your perfect cup. When purchasing a more customizable coffee maker, make sure you understand the features of each model, so you don’t end up in over your head or disappointed with a machine that is too simple.
Thermal vs Glass Carafe
Short answer? We’ll always be on the thermal squad. Here’s where we listed and reviewed the best coffee makers with thermal carafe. Not only are stainless-steel carafes more durable than the glass alternatives, but they also keep your coffee hot for longer without over-extracting it or wasting electricity (2).
But if keeping your coffee hot is not a concern because a full carafe hardly lasts 10 minutes in your home or office, a glass carafe is a fine (and more economical) choice. Some of the coffee makers that we’ve included are available with both. Take your pick.
How much space do you have?
A dual coffee brewer will save you some valuable space on the counter-top by performing the functions of two machines in one. That doesn’t mean, though, that some of these bad boys aren’t bulky. Be sure to check the dimensions to avoid unpleasant surprises.
The Best Dual Coffee Maker: The Reviews
Now that you have an idea of the type of 2-way coffee maker that best suits your needs, let us show you a few options that may make you smile:
The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew packs a lot of handy features into a rather compact machine that is kind to your wallet. Made of BPA-free plastic and available in four different styles including a classic black and a retro-style white, this budget-friendly dual coffee maker has something for everyone. This machine can brew drip coffee into a 12 cup glass carafe and use K-Cups or fresh grounds to make a single cup of delicious coffee.
Thanks to the hollow cup rest, you’ll be able to store your pod holder and ground basket and, by removing it, fit a full-size travel mug.
The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew also allows users to program brewing up to 24 in advance and includes a pause and serve feature so you can sneak a cup before the carafe is full. The machine’s customizability also extends to coffee strength, giving users the choice between bold or regular coffee.
2. Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System – Most Versatile
Brews: carafes, single-serve (grounds), tea, iced coffee, iced tea, frothy drinks
- Carafe type: glass
- Capacity: 10 cups
- Dimensions: 11.81 x 10.01 x 15 in
Carafe of coffee? Single-cup? Tea? A frothy cappuccino? An iced coffee, perhaps? One thing is for sure, your coffee routine will never be boring with the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System. This incredibly versatile coffee maker can cater to pretty much anyone’s taste, allowing you to satisfy everyone’s individual preferences or simply mix things up yourself.
Made of ABS plastic, this brewer features two separate baskets so as not to compromise the final taste, one for ground coffee and one for loose or bagged tea. Thanks to the smart basket recognition, it will automatically know which one you’re about to brew.
As for customizability, you’ll be able to choose amongst 5 different brew styles and strengths (classic, rich, over ice, cold brew, or specialty) and 6 sizes, ranging from a single cup to a travel mug to a full carafe. With these options, you will wonder how you were ever satisfied with just one type of “regular coffee.” Thanks to the fold-away cup platform, you’ll be able to switch between smaller mugs and the large glass carafe. You can change the settings using the intuitive display and if, for example, you select the tea type, the brewer will adjust the temperature and steeping time automatically. Iced brews are suddenly just a few moments away, as are powerful frothy drinks and an array of hot coffee styles.
Additionally, it features a removable water reservoir that’s easy to refill and a smart scoop that can be stored within the machine.
If you love the sound of it but would first like to explore more Ninja coffee makers, check out our Ninja review roundup.
While Keurig is famous for their single-serve machines, they clearly couldn’t ignore the growing popularity of dual coffee makers. Our preferred model is the Keurig K-Duo Plus that, less than 8 inches wide, is a blessing for those who truly want to optimize their countertop space. Plus, thanks to the multi-position 60 oz water reservoir, you can place the tank to its right, left or on the back to adapt the coffee maker to your kitchen’s layout. The reservoir is also compatible with Keurig Water filters, which will improve the quality of your water and therefore your coffee.
This compact dual coffee maker comes with a gold-tone mesh filter for your coffee grounds, which you can use to brew full carafes as well as single cups. The K-Duo can also brew single servings of coffee with K-Cups or Keurig’s reusable filter.
You actually have plenty more choices than “carafe or single cup”: you can brew a 6, 8, 10 or 12 cup carafe and a 6, 8, 10 or 12 oz cup.
The K-Duo has a convenient pause and serve function so you can enjoy a cup of joe before the rest of the carafe is ready. Use the comprehensive interface on the top of the brewer to choose your coffee strength and pre-program your brew up to 24 hours in advance. It also has an energy-efficient auto off 5 minutes after your last brew.
If you fancy having a Keurig on your countertop, we’ve rounded up the best ones right here.
4. De’Longhi BCO430BM – Best Espresso Dual Coffee Maker
Brews: carafes, espresso, cappuccino, latte
- Carafe type: glass
- Capacity: 10 cups
- Dimensions: 11 x 14.5 x 12.7 inches
The De’Longhi BCO430BM gives you the freedom to mix up your coffee routine and dip your toes into the world of espresso. This dual coffee maker brews excellent regular coffee as well as espresso you will love.
The journey into the world of espresso is a rewarding one. When you become intimate with espresso, you become intimate with coffee.
When it comes to espresso machines, the name De’Longhi is a warranty in itself. This coffee maker brews at 15 bars of pressure, six more than the required minimum for espresso and features their patented system that expertly extracts flavors and aroma for a rich and robust shot. (3) While excellent on its own, your De’Longhi espresso can also be the base of your favorite frothy drinks: use its steaming wand to craft your best cappuccinos or lattes!
The drip side features a 10 cup glass carafe with a hot plate. As for the water reservoir, it’s removable and easy to access. Plus, thanks to the advanced active carbon filter, it will ensure an impurity-free brew.
Overall, this De’Longhi model is a practical and convenient dual coffee maker: you can program it to start brewing up to 24 hours ahead, program its auto-shutoff mode, enjoy a mug of coffee before the full carafe is brewed and even store some cups on the top of the coffee maker to optimize space. If you want an espresso and filter dual machine, look no further! However, if you are intrigued by the idea of brewing espresso at home and like the look of the De’Longhi, check out our round-up review of all our favorite espresso machines by this Italian manufacturer.
The Cuisinart SS-20 is a reliable dual coffee maker that will provide you with high-quality cups of coffee for a long time: it even comes with a 3-year warranty. (4) It is available in both black and silver and with different carafes, so you’re bound to find a model that suits you. Be sure to note that the material is not the only distinction between the carafes, the stainless steel model holds 10 cups of coffee while the glass carafe holds 12 cups.
With the Cuisinart SS-20 you can enjoy both drip coffee or different sizes of a quick single-serve mug: 6, 8, or 10 oz.
You can also remove the drip tray for cleaning and to brew into a larger travel mug. While this machine is compatible with K-Cups and other single-cup coffee pods, we recommend that you opt for the included reusable filter that lets you use your own coffee grounds. If you prefer stronger coffees, you’ll love its bold feature!
The Cuisinart SS-20 is a fully automatic and programmable coffee maker: you can set it up to start brewing 24 hours in advance and activate the energy save mode, as well as making the most of its self-clean feature (always a blessing!). Its 40 oz removable reservoir is easy to access and comes with a charcoal water filter that will improve the quality of the water used for your coffees.
This machine is great for someone who wants customization and a variety of options but who is a filter-coffee loyalist through and through.
Cuisinart CHW-12 offers a very simple second function, but one that is perfect
who drinks other hot drinks beyond filter coffee. As well as brewing carafes of
coffee, the CHW-12 also has a hot water dispenser.
The CHW-12’s Hot Water System makes it possible to brew tea, and make instant coffee, instant soups, hot cocoa, and other hot drinks in less than a minute.
There are a
few customization options, with this flexible brewer coming with a brushed stainless-steel
main panel and either a black or red BPA-free plastic finish. Both of these options
come with a 12-cup glass carafe but if you decide to go with the black option,
you’ll then have the choice between the 12-cup glass carafe or 10-cup thermal
Other key features include a charcoal filter on the water reservoir, a brew-pause feature for grabbing a cup of coffee before the full carafe has brewed, and a carafe temperature control and auto-on/auto-shutoff features. Handily, the CHW-12 also has a self-clean function.
Whether you’re after big carafes of drip coffee, single cups, espresso, or hot water; a good dual coffee maker can save you time, money, and countertop space! Our choice for the best dual coffee maker is the Cuisinart SS-20. This machine stands out thanks to its high-quality thermal carafe, the different cup sizes available, and its array of useful and programmable features.
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The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew is our choice for runner-up, as it includes a surprising number of handy features without letting the price get out of control. Whichever dual coffee maker you go for, we’re sure you’ll enjoy getting the best of both worlds!
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Does Keurig make a dual coffee maker?
Yes. As well as the compact K-Duo Plus that we’ve recommended, the current Keurig range features the K-Duo Single Serve & Carafe coffee maker, which includes very similar features to the Plus but consists of a larger and wider design.
What is FlexBrew?
FlexBrew is a line of Hamilton Beach products that focuses on dual coffee makers that can brew from normal coffee grounds and K-Cups and/or that can offer both carafes of drip coffee and single serve cups.
- Miller, P. (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/
- Quinn, M. (2018, April 7). Thermal vs. Glass Carafes: which is better for your cup of joe? Retrieved from https://foodal.com/drinks-2/coffee/brewers/thermal-vs-glass-carafes/#Glass-Carafe-Pros-and-Cons
- Kilbride, D. (2017, June 8). How Does Pressure Affect Espresso Quality? Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2017/06/pressure-espresso-quality/
- Cuisinart Instruction Booklet. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cuisinart.com/share/pdf/manuals/ss-20.pdf