What’s The Best 2 Way Coffee Maker For You? We Review 5 Of The Best Dual Coffee Makers

by | Jan 29, 2020

Some days you’re the only one in your household or workplace or community center who’s desperate for a cup of coffee. Other days there’s a queue at the kitchen counter.

If you’ve ever had to make more than a few hot drinks without the benefits of beverage technology, you already know how important it is to choose the right coffee machine.

Many modern coffee machines fall into one of two categories: single-serve or multi-cup.

So how do you choose the best 2-way coffee maker? Fear not. Our practical, no-nonsense comparison of five of the best dual coffee makers out there will guide you.

The Best 2 Way Coffee Makers Of 2023

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What Is The Best Dual Coffee Maker?

Our Winner: Hamilton Beach 49980A 

If you’re short on time (and who isn’t these days), then let’s just get straight to the point.

Our overall winner is While all five had features to recommend them, this model was great value for money, looked really classy, and was extremely consistent in producing excellent drinks. So it’s a resounding five stars from us on this one.

That’s our assessment in a nutshell (or should it be coffee pod?). Wondering how we reached our conclusion? Read on. We compare the best aspects of five 2 way coffee makers. And the not-so-good.



Cuisinart SS-15P1

First up is Brew 10 to 12 cups at once, or just a single cup of Joe. For single servings, there are three brew sizes: 6, 8 or 10 ounces. There’s also a 4-ounce setting and a 12-ounce choice. The machine measures 10.1 by 10.4 by 14.2 inches and weighs 9.5 pounds.

This machine is not only K-Cup compatible, but also ships with the Home Barista Reusable Filter Cup. Have a favorite coffee blend? You can use ground coffee. We’re a fan of grinding the beans fresh each time if possible, but we also know there are some great pre-ground options out there too.


The plastic components are BPA free, while the glass carafe sports a metal handle. This brewer puts you in control when it comes to how strong you like your drink. Selecting “BOLD” will result in a more robust beverage.

Cuisinart capsules are recyclable, with 3 varieties to tickle your taste buds: Dark Roast, Medium Roast, or French Vanilla. If a highlight of your daily commute is your cup of home-brewed barista-style coffee, you’ll be happy to know that this machine accommodates a travel mug when the drip tray is pulled out. The water reservoir has a very generous 72 fluid ounce capacity.

It’s a fully programmable machine, offering several additional features like Auto On/Off and adjustable temperature control. Setup is straightforward. There’s a choice of temperatures: hot and extra hot. Hot water is dispensed on the extra hot setting.

You’re not limited to coffee either. Use the “hot water” button to make chocolate, hot cocoa, soup, and tea. We also reckon it would work pretty well with noodles, pasta, or oatmeal-based snacks. The water filter incorporates charcoal and for a little extra bling, the filter is gold-tone.


Pros & Cons

The Really Great Things

It heats up quickly

It’s surprisingly light

It looks great

Rinse feature makes it exceptionally easy to clean

Auto On/off

Two temperature settings: hot and extra hot

The Less Than Wonderful Things

✗ It’s on the loud side when brewing

✗ It has a tendency to splash when the coffee is being dispensed

✗ No light on the water reservoir


The Hamilton Beach 49980A

You know this is our overall best buy, so let’s examine in a little more detail. As with all the coffee machines under the spotlight in this comparison, the 49980A lets you opt for either a solitary cup of coffee or a pot of up to 12 cups at a time.

This coffee maker accommodates travel mugs of up to a maximum of around 7.25 inches high with the drip tray removed, or around 4.25 inches otherwise. The machine itself measures 10.6 by 12.2 by 13.7 inches and weighs less than 2 pounds after shipping.


It’s fully programmable, so if you like to wake up to a cup of coffee that’s already brewed, fragrant and welcoming, you’ll love this machine. There’s also an auto shut off. And we love the fact that it doesn’t matter if you’re using a carafe, travel mug, or small cup, this machine can brew straight into the vessel.

You can also vary the strength of your brew from regular to bold. If for whatever reason, you can’t drink your coffee straight away, there’s a warming plate to keep it piping hot. The machine is made from stainless steel and ships with a 12-cup capacity carafe. It’s very affordable and extremely low maintenance.

The water reservoir is on the side of the machine so you can easily spot when it needs refilling. The carafe-side reservoir has a large capacity. You also get various mesh filters, brew baskets, and a very useful cup rest with several levels.

The display and control panel allows you to use hour and minute buttons to program and pinpoint the exact time in the next 24 hours when you want your cup of Joe. It makes no difference whether you’re brewing a single cup of coffee or a whole carafe: both are equally programmable.

If you decide to choose the single-serve option, you can add ground coffee directly to the mesh filter on the brew basket. Your other option is to add a soft pod to the pod holder. The hot plate will not only keep your coffee piping hot for two hours; if there’s been no activity for two hours, the plate shuts off automatically.


Pros & Cons

The Really Great Things

Excellent 24-hour programmable feature

Stainless steel components are really easy to clean

Many parts are also dishwasher safe (we recommend top rack)

Extremely compact

Straightforward to use

Short brewing time of around 2 minutes for the first cup, less for the next cups

Great stacking ring feature to make sure your cup is at the right height

Choice of strong or bold brew

The Less Than Wonderful Things

✗ This coffee maker does require very regular descaling

✗ A thorough cleaning cycle can take a long time

✗ Can be a little messy in terms of coffee splatters – keep a cloth handy


De’Longhi BCO430BM

When you’re deciding on which dual coffee machine to buy, you’re as likely to want to know which machine performed best as you are which is the best buy. So let us tell you about the top performer, This combination pump espresso and 10 cup Drip Coffee Machine also incorporates an Advanced Cappuccino System if frothy coffee is your thing.

On one side of this machine, the 15 bar pump means it makes gorgeous and authentic latte, espresso, and cappuccino. The cappuccino system uses advanced technology to mingle milk and steam for a foamy froth of delight.


On the other side, it simply makes great coffee. The coffee side will dispense into a carafe, while the espresso side is suitable for cups.

This machine is extremely well-designed and accessible. The water and coffee reservoirs are located at the front of the machine for convenience. There’s also a filter that makes use of active carbon for great tasting drinks; improve them still further by using filtered water.

You can brew a carafe of 10 cups at once, and the large capacity water reservoir means you don’t need to worry about filling up too often. Convenience is the name of the game with this coffee maker.

As well as a 24-hour digital timer, there’s an auto-shutoff feature and a brew pause option. So you don’t need to wait for the brewing cycle to draw to a close, you can pour your drink as soon as you’re ready to enjoy it.

There’s a warming plate to keep your brewed coffee fresh and at a deliciously hot temperature. It measures 11 by 14.5 by 12.7 inches and weighs 10.25 pounds after shipping is removed. (It’s 16 pounds with packaging.) It usually ships with a full-size coffee pot.


Pros & Cons

The Really Great Things

You can brew up to 10 cups at once

Coffee drip-maker side is especially good

Extremely simple to use

Front-loading coffee and water reservoirs

Reusable metal filter

Very easy to clean

Pretty good crema

The Less Than Wonderful Things

✗ Espresso side is a little loud

✗ You need to make sure the espresso side is at the right temperature before you brew

✗ The milk frother takes a little practice to get just right

✗ You’re likely to get a few dribbles when you pour the coffee, no matter how careful you are


Kitchen Selectives CM-302BL

If budgets are tight, then offers the best budget option, with their keenly priced CM-203BL. You can make 12 cups at once in this smart-looking black coffee machine. It ships with not one but two glass carafes, each with a 12 cup capacity. It measures 9.4 by 14.2 by 12.8 inches and weighs 6.6 pounds.

We really liked the fact that each side not only operates independently of the other, but the illuminated switches mean it’s easy for you to keep tabs on what’s going on. There’s an auto shut off which kicks in if there’s been no activity for two hours, and there’s also a pause and serve feature. You don’t have to wait for the coffee to complete its brewing round.


You can even brew regular coffee and decaffeinated coffee at the same time, due to the way the two sides work independently of one another. It carries a one year warranty and ships with removable filter baskets. Some components are relatively delicate, and you might need nimble fingers to ensure they’re firmly in place before you start the brewing process.


Pros & Cons

The Really Great Things

Ships with 2 12-cup carafes

Outstanding value for money

Easy to obtain compatible replacement carafes

Removable, reusable coffee filter

You only need a small amount of coffee for a cup

Coffee is dispensed at a delightfully hot temperature

The Less Than Wonderful Things

✗ Some components are quite small and delicate so you need to handle with care

✗ You need to make sure that the filter basket is firmly in place otherwise draining might be an issue

✗ Shipping packaging materials could be a little sturdier


Keurig K-Duo

It wouldn’t be a coffee machine comparison without a Keurig, and is the offering we examined from everyone’s favorite K-Cup manufacturer. You get a choice of single-serve and 12-cup carafe brewing options. When it comes to brewing sizes, your options are 6, 8, 10, or 12 fluid ounces, either in the form of a carafe, or a single cup. You can use either ground coffee or K-Cups.

There’s a hot plate to keep the coffee warm once brewed, and various accessories can be purchased separately. These include the reusable mesh coffee filter. You can also use the K-Duo to dispense hot green or black tea, chocolate, cocoa, and herbal teas, either by using the appropriate K-Cups or by popping a teabag in the cup and opting for hot water only.


The 24-hour carafe auto-brew option means you can set a timer to have your coffee ready when you want it, and the Pause and Pour feature means you don’t have to wait for the entire pot of coffee to be ready before you’re enjoying your cup of Joe. The Strong Brew button is there in case you feel like a more robust single serving of coffee.

If you are brewing a carafe, the smallest number of cups you can brew at one time is six. The water reservoir has a capacity of 60 fluid ounces and is shared between the single-serve and carafe brewing sides. Refilling is easy as the reservoir is removable although as the tank is at the back of the machine you may need to turn the coffee maker around for access.

The machine measures 16.2 by 15 by 14 inches, and weighs 14.4 pounds, with a 30-inch power cord. Program buttons are on the top of the machine. The simple yet cool design is similar to all new Keurig models.


Pros & Cons

The Really Great Things

The single-serve side is excellent

Single-serve brewer accommodates travel mugs, including some taller ones

Warms up very quickly

“Strong” button offers the option for more strongly-tasting coffee

Compact design makes it ideal for smaller kitchens

The Less Than Wonderful Things

✗ No reusable filter supplied

✗ Wide opening on the glass carafe makes it easy to clean

✗ Water reservoir, although removable, is at the back

✗ Doesn’t retain your program settings, you need to reset every time


Coffee For 2: What To Look For In A Coffee Maker

So what are the salient features of 2-way coffee makers? How do you decide which of the various models is right for you?

Well, one of the first considerations has to be the brewing options. Even with single-serve, the size of individual cups of coffee can vary. Do you want a machine that can cope with a range of sizes, from 4 fluid ounces to 12 fluid ounces? And if you’re more likely to brew a carafe of everyone’s favorite caffeinated beverage, how many cups do you need?

And while we’re on the subject of brewing options, would you prefer a 2-way coffee maker that only takes pods, one that only takes ground coffee, or one that takes a combination? Are you planning on serving coffee in china cups, or a travel mug? And if the latter, how tall a travel mug does your dual coffee maker need to accommodate?


Benefits of 2 Way Coffee Makers

The main benefit of buying a dual coffee maker is flexibility. All of the coffee machines we investigated offered the option to brew a single cup of Joe or a pitcher. In a time when sustainability is increasingly important, it means waste is minimized and convenience maximized.

Many dual coffee makers also have auto-off features. This shuts the machine off automatically after a certain time if there’s been no activity, usually around 2 hours. And there’s also often a hot plate that can help keep your coffee warm if you can’t drink it straight away. So dual coffee makers are beneficial for the domestic, community and even workplace environments.


Prerequisites For Using A Dual Coffee Maker

When we looked into our carefully curated selection of the best 2 way coffee makers, one surprising theme was how messy some of them were when they were dispensing coffee. So while cleaning isn’t everyone’s, er, a cup of tea, we reckon it’s sensible to keep a selection of cloths on hand.

We know it’s kind of a basic suggestion, but it really does pay to read the manual when it comes to dual coffee machines. It’s often essential to prime the machine before first use, as well as run regular maintenance and descaling cycles. Some of which take longer than others.

And as with every coffee brewing method, choosing the right blend in the first place is crucial to the quality of your final beverage. One of the key things to remember is that Arabica coffee is generally less bitter-tasting than coffee made from Robusta beans. And coffee also varies depending on where in the world it originates.


Things That Differentiate 2 Way Coffee Makers

Apart from the coffee pods versus ground coffee choice, the features on 2-way coffee makers differ in many other ways. Size is one obvious difference, as is the location of the water reservoir. Some have the reservoir at the front, others at the side, others on the back.

The control panel buttons may also be located in different places: front, top, or side. You need to take this into consideration when you’re deciding which 2-way coffee maker is the best one for you.

As well as taking the ease of cleaning and maintenance into account, check what accessories typically ship with the 2-way coffee machines on the market. Some ship with glass carafes and other useful pieces of kit; with others, you need to buy every accessory separately. And of course budget might also be a factor.


2 Cup Coffee Maker Q And A


Can a two-way coffee machine make a single-serve and a carafe portion at the same time?

It depends on the model. Some of the machines we looked at had this feature.


Can I wash a dual coffee maker in the dishwasher?

Again, all models are different, but for many machines, the removable components are dishwasher-safe. We’d recommend the top tray though. (Did you know it was a woman who invented the world’s first recognizably useful dishwasher, by the way?)


Do I have to wait for the brew to finish before pouring myself a coffee?

Some machines have a pause option, where you can pour yourself a brew without having to wait for the whole carafe cycle to finish. No need to wait!


Conclusion: Which 2 Way Coffee Maker To Buy?

Our Winner: Hamilton Beach Dual Coffee Maker

So after contrasting and comparing five of the best 2 way coffee makers, we’re happy to declare top of the class. You get a lot of above-average benefits for your dollars. It has a 12 cup capacity and is easy to clean and maintain. It’s fully programmable so you can wake up to the aroma of coffee, and the auto shut-off means you don’t need to worry if you forget to turn off the machine. The warming plate keeps your coffee delectably warm, and the 49980A ships with several accessories.

So prime the grinder, prepare the beans, get out your best china (or travel mug), and make sure that water’s filtered. Then all that’s left to do is enjoy a great cup of coffee.


  Last update on 2023-05-31 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

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