Single-cup coffee brewers are popping up all over the place, and the ability to create individualized cups of coffee provide a personalized touch many customers appreciate. Most of these units can brew perfect cups of coffee in less than a minute, so they provide hassle-free operation for establishments that cater to the individual tastes of each coffee drinker.
Automatic vs. Operator-Fill
Automatic units are plumbed into water lines, so you have a continuous supply of water. With a operator-fill unit, the brewer must be filled each time a batch of coffee is made. While this may require more labor, it is a viable option when access to a water supply is limited. It is also less expensive, initially, to install an operator-fill single-cup coffee maker.
- Brew size: Some one-cup coffee makers will give you a choice in output sizes. Some will only fill 8 ounce cups, while some will brew a range of amounts from 4 to 16 ounces at a time. This will not only cut down on waste, but it can allow you to brew stronger coffee in smaller cups. These are also great for producing larger, travel-sized servings.
- Spent Pod Storage: Many units will have onboard storage for spent pods. Some hold as many as 25 spent pods, and some can be configured to empty used cups in a receptacle beneath the counter for even more convenience.
- Instant heat: Units with instant heat remain preheated to brew coffee quickly.
- Automatic off: This feature will turn the brewer off when a certain amount of time has passed to help reduce utility costs.
- Programmable cup settings: From small cappuccino cups to large travel mugs, being able to adjust the amount of coffee that is dispensed is critical to precise operation. Being able to program certain recipes helps in places where employee turn-over may be high, and many units offer resettable brew counters to track inventory.
- Automatic lock-out: This feature prevents opening of the brewing basket during times when the water temperature is hot enough to cause burns and damage to the equipment or surfaces.
- LCD displays: These large, easy-to-read displays make programming and operating your brewer much easier. Some single-cup coffee makers even have the ability to indicate when the brewer needs cleaning and maintenance.
- Power save mode: The power save mode cuts electricity demand when the unit had been idle for a certain length of time to save energy, but still allows it to be readily available when brewing is needed.
- Pulse brew: Brewers with a pulse brew feature offer more control over the extraction phase, which allows you to adjust the overall strength and flavor of your coffee.