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    Best 1-2 Cup Coffee Makers Reviewed – An Expert Buyer’s Guide

    by Kieran MacRae | Last Updated: September 3, 2020

    What’s better than having a cup of coffee in the morning?

    Having two cups of coffee in the morning!

    Or if you’re looking to make coffee for you and someone else you’re going to need the right gear. Because there are a ton of single-serve coffee machines and plenty of ways to make large pots of coffee for groups, but getting two cups of coffee in the morning…

    Surprisingly difficult.

    But as someone who likes to make coffee in the morning for himself and his wife I can tell you that you’ve got a few options.

    I’m going to get into the reviews below but your absolute easiest way to get 2 good sized of cups in the morning is with a small drip machine. Specifically the Aigostar Buck Small 4 Cup Drip Coffee Maker, it’s compact, and although it’s a 4 cup machine it only really makes two good-sized mugs of coffee, the size you like to have at home.

    And if you only half fill it, you get one cup and it still makes a nice cup of coffee. But if that doesn’t do it for you then read on for the rest of the reviews.

    These are all available on Amazon so make sure you click through the links for the best price.

    Top 5 Best 2 Cup Coffee Makers

    1. Top Choice – Aigostar Buck Small 4 Cup Drip Coffee Maker

     Aigostar Buck Small 4 Cup Drip Coffee Maker

    Brand: Aigostar

    Brew Method: Drip Machine

    • Compact Size
    • Says 4 cups, makes 2 human cups
    • Comes with a reusable filter
    • Keeps coffee warm for 35 minutes

    Price & Reviews

    First off, in the world of drip machines, 1 cup does not equal 1 cup you’d have at home. 1 coffee machine cup = 4-5 oz so the reality of this machine is that it makes you 2 good sized mugs of coffee, which is why it’s on this list.

    And now that you’re in the know I think you’re going to like this machine, easy to use, very compact size if you need a small coffee machine and it makes nice coffee.

    Plus if you just want 1 cup you can half fill it!

    It comes with a reusable permanent filter basket which I enjoy, less waste, but if you want to use your standard paper filter then you still can.

    The warming plate keeps your coffee hot for about 35 minutes after it’s been brewed, just be aware that it heats up fast so be careful not to touch it if it’s turned on.

    It’s got an “anti-drip” design on the spout so you can remove the pot and pour out a cup while it’s still brewing. But don’t bother…

    Every time I try this I put it back and coffee spills over the sides on to the hot plate and sizzles and burns. It doesn’t take long to make both cups so just wait the extra 30 seconds.

    An excellent choice of 2 cup coffee maker with the easy option to only make 1 cup. An obvious top choice.

    2. Best Pour Over – Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker, 17 Ounce, 0.5 Liter

     Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker, 17 Ounce, 0.5 Liter

    Brand: Bodum

    Brewing Method: Pour-over

    • Reusable filter
    • Easy to store
    • Dishwasher safe
    • Requires some technique
    • Requires separate heated water

    Price & Reviews

    It takes a little bit of practice because you need to pour the hot, not boiling, water in circles over the grounds, which sounds simple but to get even coverage can be a bit tricky. That said it’s pouring water, it’s not rocket science!

    I like the Bodum because it’s got this awesome glass carafe that you can serve coffee from. It doesn’t keep the coffee hot for long because it isn’t insulated but it’s visually very pleasing, best to make coffee for two people rather than a second cup to enjoy after.

    They do have a double-walled version but it’s only available as a 34 oz carafe, no use here.

    The filter is reusable and made from stainless steel so that it’s built to last. Again you can use a paper filter if you want.

    This is the most consistent way to make 1 or 2 cups of coffee, sometimes with other methods halving the amount of coffee and water changes the way it brews, but not with this. Simple, repeatable coffee.

    Great coffee day in and day out.

    3. Best Moka Pot – Bialetti Venus 2 Cup Stainless Steel Espresso Maker

     Bialetti Venus 2 Cup Stainless Steel Espresso Maker

    Brand: Bialetti

    Brewing Method: Moka Pot

    • Works on all hobs except Induction
    • Easy to Use
    • Easy to Store
    • Makes 1 big espresso or 2 small espresso

    Price & Reviews

    If you’re going to get a Moka Pot it needs to be two things, 1 linked to Italy, 2 stainless steel. Which is a win-win for this Bialetti.

    Its bottom is every so slightly beveled which means if you have an electric hob it might not sit quite right but it will still work properly. It doesn’t however work on induction hobs.

    It’s also dishwasher safe for easy cleanup and it’s got an easy pouring spout for serving.

    The size is again debated, some say it only makes 1 espresso, others are happy sharing, it depends on the person you are. I think this is a good choice of 2 person pot, and it’s not so big that you can fill the whole thing and enjoy it yourself.

    The handle is heat resistant which is another important factor so that you don’t burn yourself.

    An easy compact way to enjoy a single cup of espresso. And if you’ve not had Moka pot coffee before, be warned, the brew strength is likely higher than what you’re used to at home!

    4. Best 1-2 Person Espresso Maker – Bonsenkitchen 1 Order 2 Cup Espresso Machine

      Bonsenkitchen 1 Order 2 Cup Espresso Machine

    Brand: BonsenKitchen

    Brewing Method: Espresso

    • Steaming wand for Lattes/Cappuccinos
    • Double drip for two espressos at once
    • Rapid heating ready in 30 seconds
    • Professional-grade espresso

    Price & Reviews

    The only two things missing from this are the grinder and a milk frothing jug, but once you’ve got those you are good to go with a whole barista station!

    the water tank is removable and the whole thing is easy to clean to keep your cups of coffee fresh.

    And considering this is under $100 it makes a great espresso, just put ground coffee beans in the top, adjust the temperature and you’re good to go.

    It always uses the double drip so if you’re just making for 1 you’ll have to have a double but it’s ideal for 2 people.

    Good quality coffee at home and you get to learn how to steam your milk so you can bring the cafe experience home. The pressure of the milk wand is adjustable so you can use it for different kinds of milk and get different textures, but I won’t go too far into that here.

    Here I’ll just say that if you want to make espresso at home then this is the way to do it. No question.

    5. Best 1-2 Cup Pod Machine – Conair Cuisinart WCM11S, 2 Cup Coffee Maker

     Conair Cuisinart WCM11S, 2 Cup Coffee Maker

    Brand: Cuisinart

    Brewing Method: Pod machine

    • Can brew from 2 pods at once
    • Takes standard size single-use coffee pods
    • Fits standard-sized cups

    Price & Reviews

    It’s like a single-serve coffee maker… only double! Saves a little bit of time in the morning if you’re both in a hurry. Put two pods in, both cups under, and away you go. And yes you can use it as a single-use too.

    You can use standard pods in it and it can fit cups up to 5 inches tall inside it, about a 12 oz cup, if you’re using a large 16 oz cup you’ll have to tilt it and hold it in place.

    Aside from that, it’s exactly what you’d expect, easy to use, it’s not too big so you can store it easily. A nice alternative to the K-cup machines you normally see, because some people love Keurigs and some people don’t.

    A great choice of two-person pod machine.

    What Type Of Coffee Maker is Best for 1-2 Cups?

    Drip Machine

    A drip machine is probably your best bet, it’s my preferred way to make coffee for myself and my wife, although I have a 12 cup coffee maker that gets quarter filled. They tend to have an automatic shut off after they’re done, they’re easy to use, easy enough to clean up and you can leave the pot of coffee sitting there until the other person needs it or you want your second cup.

    They come in a range of prices but you can get cheap ones that still make a very reasonable cup of coffee. Coffee snobs tell you they don’t but I disagree, I think even out of a cheap drip machine you can get a nice cup of coffee. And you can sometimes pick up a Mr. Coffee drip machine for $10 in a sale!

    Pour Over

    This is your slightly fancier way to make 2 cups of coffee, it takes a little skill and you’ll need to boil a kettle separately to get the hot water you need so it might be worth getting an electric kettle. It’s much more proactive but once you master it you get a much nicer cup of coffee, so really it’s up to you if you want to go to the hassle with it or not. If you want to make coffee rather than have your coffee made for you then this is a great way to go.

    French Press

    Not quite the repeatability of a drip machine and some people don’t like getting the grounds out at the end but I love my french press. Again I have a 4 mug that I half fill when I make coffee for my wife and I but you get single-serve brewers if that’s more your thing.

    The coffee is tasty, it will be thicker than other coffee you’ve had because it doesn’t use a paper filter so the coffee oils get out and into the cup adding more flavor and a thicker mouthfeel. Think of it as more buttery without being greasy. Cheap and cheerful and a nice different way to enjoy your coffee.

    Pro-tip, if you get a French Press (I’ve recommended one below) and make 2 cups pour out a bit at a time into each cup rather than one full cup then another. Fines pass through the filter and they tend to be at the bottom so you want to spread them evenly over both cups so one person doesn’t get a smooth coffee and the other a bitty coffee.

    Moka Pot/Percolator

    If quick and easy espresso is more your thing then this is the way to go. You get a range of sizes and can easily make coffee for two people. It’s cheaper than a full-blown espresso machine and takes up less space too because you don’t have to leave it on the countertop. They also tend to be dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

    Pod Machines

    These are pretty straight forward for making two cups because you just swap out the pods and run it again. But you can only have pod coffee which doesn’t taste that great let’s all be honest. But I know people love their Kuerig K-cup pods and their Nespressos so I thought I better include it.

    F.A.Qs

    Can you make less coffee in a bigger pot?

    You can indeed! If it’s an automatic machine just read the instructions in case there are any additional settings you’ll need to change. If it’s a steep method like a french press or a pour-over then simply reduce the number of coffee grounds and water accordingly.

    What’s the best way to keep the second cup of coffee hot?

    You’ll want a travel mug with a thermal carafe to keep in the heat. I’ve never found one that doesn’t change the taste slightly, it always tastes like a travel mug but it’s your best option. Otherwise, a double-walled glass carafe is the best way to get there without compromising on flavor. Stainless Steel Carafe’s always transfer a flavor, which isn’t the worst but I’d rather they didn’t.

    Strange how an effective second cup of hot coffee is so hard.

    Can you get two cups out of a single-serve coffee machine?

    YOu can get two very small cups? Or you can run it through twice, possibly with a clean in between. It’s why I’m not the biggest fan of personal coffee makers, they don’t give you the same flexibility of use that bigger ones do.

    Other 1-2 Cup Coffee Makers

    Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker, 17 Ounce, .5 Liter

     Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker, 17 Ounce, .5 Liter

    Brand: Bodum

    Brewing Method: Steeping

    • Classic Design
    • Heat resistant Glass
    • Comes apart easily
    • Dishwasher safe

    Price & Reviews

    French presses are a quick easy way to make 2 cups of coffee, one of the best coffee makers around but if you want to get the best from it you’re going to need to get a digital scale that reads in grams so you can weigh out your coffee.

    This is a 17oz model which gives you a little wiggle room to get 2 reasonably sized mugs of coffee at the end. Because you want a good cup of joe, not a small cup and saucer full of coffee.

    The perfect middle size of french press, smaller than your typical size that makes coffee for 4 people and bigger than a single-serve coffee brewer.

    CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker – Classic Series – 6-Cup

     CHEMEX Pour Over Glass Coffeemaker - Classic Series -6 Cup

    Brand: Chemex

    Brewing Method: Pour Over

    • Elegant design
    • Larger 4 person size
    • Can be half-filled
    • Can keep warm on a glass or gas stovetop

    Price & Reviews

    I love the way the Chemex coffee maker looks, it’s just so clean and elegant, and it makes deliciously tasty coffee! Again there is a bit of a knack to it compared to using an automatic drip machine but you’re going to love it. You will fall in love with it and find yourself suddenly in need of a burr grinder, a scale, an electric kettle and the list just goes on…

    While this is one of the bigger coffee makers on this list at 30 oz it’s really easy to half fill so you can just make two cups. And it stays warm on a low heat on a stovetop.

    The one thing I will say is it says it’s dishwasher safe but I wouldn’t risk it, some people complain of them cracking after short periods and this is due to mishandling it in the dishwasher. better to hand wash it with a brush and leave it to dry than risk breaking it inside a dishwasher.

    Any coffee aficionado needs one of these in their arsenal, great for making small batches fo coffee.

    KRUPS Simply Brew Compact Filter Drip Coffee Maker, 5-Cup

     KRUPS Simply Brew Compact Filter Drip Coffee Maker 5 Cup

    Brand: Krups

    Brewing Method: Drip machine

    • Permanent coffee filter included
    • 25 fl oz size
    • Compact
    • Can half fill

    Price & Reviews

    This is similar to the top choice but it’s slightly bigger and is more of a 3 cup coffee maker than it is a 1-2 cup. But it’s still useful and if you want the option of that 3rd cup or you want two really big coffees in the morning then this could still be a good choice.

    The water reservoir at the back is easy to refill each time you need it and while it also has the pause and pour system that doesn’t work you’ll be better of waiting till it’s done before you try and pour.

    The whole machine is also slightly bigger than the Aigoster so if you need a small machine that will be the better choice.

    Other than that it’s got everything you want from a drip coffee machine, auto-shut of, warming plate to keep your coffee hot, and an easy pour jug to collect the coffee in.

    Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker & Milk Frother

     Sboly Single Serve Coffee Make -& Milk Frother

    Brand: Sboly

    Brewing method: Pod or Grounds

    • Easy to use milk frother
    • Uses pods or fresh grounds
    • Self-cleaning option
    • Makes 1 cup at a time

    Price & Reviews

    This is the easiest way to make milky coffee shop drinks. Because you can use it as a pod coffee maker to get the espresso then you simply pour milk into the frother and turn it on.

    Be warned, you will overfill the milk frother the first time you use and as it starts to spin the milk it’s going to go everywhere. At least that’s what I did…

    But once you get the hang of it it’s straight forward and the coffee isn’t half bad. You trade off the ease of use for the flavor but for the price and simplicity, it’s a really simple way to make coffee for 2 in the morning.

    Keurig K-Cafe Special Edition Coffee Maker

      Keurig K Cafe Special Edition Coffee Maker

    Brand: Keurig

    Brewing Method: Pod machine

    • Large water reservoir
    • Range of available cup sizes
    • Easy milk frother
    • Dishwasher safe

    Price & Reviews

    This is essentially the grown-up version of the coffee machine above, works with pods only but it has more versatility in the choice of sizes of coffee you make. You can also choose a setting to make your up extra strong if that’s your thing.

    The milk frother also comes with a lid which stops you from spilling it everywhere as I did the first time I used one of them. And it’s dishwasher safe which makes clean up easier.

    All in all, it’s a machine that takes up more space than the one above but it works a little better and it’s all in one which can make storage easier in my opinion.

    A little bigger than you need for two people but it’s a nifty machine and well worth the price.

    Final Thoughts

    It depends on what you’re in to, if you want to have a more hands-on experience then go for the Bodum pour over but if you want an automatic coffee experience then the top pick Aigostar is the way to go.

    Now you get some other cool coffee machines by the likes of Hamilton Beach, Ninja, and Capresso, but I’m happy with my choices here. All of them are easy to brew coffee makers that you can make 2 cups of coffee with.

    I’ve not included any single-serve coffee makers in this article, they simply aren’t useful enough to make two cups with. But stay tuned for a future article featuring these! In the meantime enjoy your favorite coffee with your favorite coffee drinker about, or enjoy 2 cups yourself, I know I do!

    Related Reading

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    Kieran MacRae tried getting into wine but didn't like it, tried getting into whiskey and it was too expensive, then thought "I really love coffee. I wonder if you can get really into coffee?" Turns out you can!