Short on time? Our top pick is the Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew Trio 2-Way.
Some days a cup of coffee is more than enough to get you through the day.
Other times, you might chug down a whole carafe before you’re ready to talk to anyone.
What you need is a machine that can make both.
But with so many different models on the market, making a choice is extremely tough. To make your life easier, I’ve done some thorough research and found the best dual coffee maker available, along with a couple of other close contenders.
All you have to do is pick the one that speaks to you.
Let’s jump straight in!
Top 5 Dual Coffee Makers
- Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew Trio 2-Way (Best Overall)
- Cuisinart SS-15BKS Coffee Center Maker (Best Self-Cleaning Dual Coffee Maker)
- Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker (Best Design)
- DeLonghi BCO430 Combination Pump Espresso and 10-Cup Drip Coffee Machine (Best For Espresso)
- Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker (Best For Small Kitchens)
Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew Trio 2-Way
The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Trio is a great model that lets you brew your coffee just the way you like it.
Whether it’s pods or ground, regular or bold – this machine has got you covered.
The carafe side has a programmable timer that you can set 24 hours in advance, and have a fresh cup of coffee ready for you when you wake up. After it’s brewed, your coffee stays warm for another 2 hours, after which the power automatically turns off.
The single serve side comes with a cup rest that you can easily remove in case you want to fit your travel mug in there. Inside the cup rest, you have a tiny storage area where you can store either the single serve pod holder or brew basket.
Both sides have their own reservoir. This does make the whole thing a bit bulky, but it’s practical. And thanks to transparent water windows on each of them, you can always tell how much water is left inside.
- Each side has its own water reservoir with a water window that lets you know how much you have left
- The carafe side has a 24-hour programmable timer and it keeps coffee warm for another 2 hours
- Comes with both a single serve pack holder and brew basket
- The cup rest features a storage area for the pod holder or brew basket
- A gold tone filter would be a nice addition
Cuisinart SS-15BKS Coffee Center Maker
Most Cuisinart appliances have that sleek, modern design that makes them look like the most expensive appliance in your kitchen. Just look at the color selection. It comes in black, white, copper and silver, and I can’t decide which one looks more luxurious.
Sure, this machine doesn’t just look pricey. It is somewhat expensive, but for what it offers, the cost is well worth it.
The single serve station on the right allows you to make 6, 8, or 10 ounces of coffee, while the left side is for a full pot of drip coffee.
The 12 cup carafe is made of glass, with a stainless steel handle and BPA-free plastic details.
With this machine, you can make either K-cups or use ground coffee. In case you decide on the latter, there’s a reusable gold tone filter that makes sure your coffee tastes the best it possibly can.
This coffee maker is fully programmable, meaning it has a 24 hour brew start, adjustable auto-off, ready alert, etc. The auto-clean function is handy, as it saves you the trouble of cleaning it yourself. Finally, there’s also an energy saving mode, which is always good to have.
- Comes with a reusable gold filter that helps you get full flavored coffee
- The machine can also be used as a hot water dispenser
- Features a self-cleaning mode for easy maintenance
- The drip tray is removable for easy cleaning
- You can’t brew on both sides simultaneously
Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker
The K-Duo has an elegant and minimalist design, yet that doesn’t mean this machine is basic. It has everything you could want in a dual coffee machine, and maybe more.
On the left side, you can make coffee for the entire family. It comes with a 12 cup glass carafe and heating plate that keeps it hot for the next two hours. The water reservoir is a whopping 60 ounces, so you don’t have to refill it that frequently.
Want a sip mid-brew? No problem, thanks to the Pause & Pour feature, you can pause the appliance for 20 seconds to fill your cup.
This machine can use both ground coffee and K-pods. For ground coffee, it uses flat-bottom paper filters. The coffee maker is compatible with My K-Cup Universal and gold tone mesh filters, but both of them are sold separately.
- Auto-off feature turns the coffee maker off after 5 minutes after the last single cup brew
- The heating plate keeps your coffee warm for 2 hours, then it shuts down automatically
- Features strength control for both the drip and single serve coffee option
- Comes with a rather large water reservoir, meaning you don’t have to refill it very often
- Gold tone filter doesn’t come with the machine (can be bought separately)
DeLonghi BCO430 Combination Pump Espresso and 10-Cup Drip Coffee Machine
Who said you can’t make a perfectly good espresso at home?
I assure you, you most certainly can. Especially with the DeLonghi BCO430.
This bad boy allows you to enjoy a perfect cup of your favorite espresso drink, without having to leave your home. In the age of lockdowns, what more can we ask for?
On the right side, the machine features a drip coffee maker with a 10 cup glass carafe. Conveniently, both the water and coffee reservoirs for drip coffee have frontal access. That means you don’t have to move the appliance around when it’s time for refills.
But the left side is the real deal – the espresso machine. You can be your own barista and make your favorite drink, whether it’s a cappuccino, latte or a classic Italian espresso. With a 15-bar pressure pump and a manual milk frother, you can enjoy delicious barista-level coffee every day.
The machine comes with a gold tone permanent filter, which helps you brew coffee of exceptional quality.
And to keep your water fresh and clean, the machine also uses an active charcoal water filter for the reservoir.
- One side is an espresso maker, while the other makes traditional drip coffee
- Both the water and coffee reservoirs for drip coffee have frontal access, so there’s no need to move the machine
- The manual milk frother allows you to make a creamy foam
- Comes with an advanced active carbon water filter and gold tone coffee filter
- Lacks a self-cleaning system
Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker
This is a new and updated version of the K-Duo coffee maker I talked about earlier.
That doesn’t mean it’s better, though. It’s different, and one or another might be more suitable for you.
In terms of brew size, the K-Duo Plus can make anywhere from 6 to 12 ounces of coffee, just like its brother. You can fill an entire carafe or a single cup, whichever you prefer. But unlike the classic model, this one doesn’t have a side-by-side design for both cup and carafe.
Instead, it only has one spout from which you pour coffee. But for that reason, this model is way more compact and can fit in a small and cramped kitchen.
What’s more, you can put the water reservoir on the side or in the back, depending on how much space you have for the appliance on the counter.
Finally, the K-Duo Plus comes with a gold tone filter. That’s the main reason why this model is more expensive than the old K-Duo. But hey, it saves you the hassle of buying one separately.
- Multi-position water reservoir allows you to make the best use of counter space
- It comes with a gold tone removable mesh filter included
- Features a 12-ounce stainless steel thermal carafe which keeps coffee warm for a long time
- Pause & Pour feature means you can pull the carafe out before it’s finished brewing
- It only has one spout for pouring coffee
When shopping for the perfect dual brew coffee maker, there are certain features and characteristics you should look out for.
While none of them can play your favorite song or let you take a selfie, they can make a pretty awesome coffee, if you know what features to keep an eye on.
But let’s start with the basics first.
Types of Dual Coffee Brewers
Before we get into all the important characteristics, we need to establish what a dual coffee maker is in the first place.
Simply put, a dual brew coffee maker is a two way coffee maker that can brew either two types of coffee, or two different quantities.
In the first case, a dual coffee maker could make filter coffee and espresso, for instance.
In the second case, it might brew single servings as well as large carafes of coffee.
So before you start thinking about the color of your future duo coffee maker, decide on the type first.
Coffee Brewing Options
You’ve probably noticed that the majority of dual coffee makers on this list can brew both ground coffee and K-cups.
But what’s the difference?
Well, K-cups are basically just single servings of ground coffee.
Originally, they were designed for Keurig products. But nowadays, you can buy them from other third-party sellers and you can use them with other machines besides Keurig coffee makers, too.
K-cups come in different flavors, aromas and acidity levels. They’re pretty convenient – quick to make, always deliver the same taste and most importantly, no cleanup time.
But unless you use reusable or biodegradable K-cups, you’re creating way too much waste. And, the flavor will never be as strong as what you get from coffee grounds.
Ground coffee is more affordable and gives a rich flavor that you can never expect from single serve coffee. Especially if you also grind your own coffee. If that’s the case, then you know that nothing can beat the experience of making your coffee from grinding to drinking.
But, its disadvantages include the time it takes to make the coffee and to clean up after. So your choice really comes down to personal preference.
Size And Capacity
A dual coffee machine won’t take up your entire kitchen counter, but we can definitely agree that these appliances aren’t exactly tiny.
In my family, I’m known for ordering appliances and other tech gear without having any idea how big those things are. The scenario of having a huge new machine and no place to put it gives me dejavu. That’s why I advise you to learn from my mistakes.
Before you make the cut and buy one, you should measure your counter and decide on the place you’d like your coffee maker to be. Then, when you find a model that you like, see if it can fit in the designated space before you go ahead and order it.
A carafe has two roles.
The first is to store your brewed coffee, and the second is to keep it warm.
A glass carafe doesn’t do a very good job at keeping things warm, so that’s usually compensated with a warming plate that adds heat over time. But it’s never a good idea to keep the plate on for more than 30 minutes, or it might cause your coffee to taste burnt.
Thermal carafes, on the other hand, are specially designed to keep the heat from dissipating fast in the first place. And since there’s no need for a warming plate, your coffee won’t burn.
In terms of style, we can all agree that glass looks way better than thermal. But when it comes to durability, the latter wins by a large margin.
It really comes down to one thing – do you value looks over performance?
If so, by all means go for glass. But if you want what’s best for your coffee, a thermal carafe is the way to go.
Let’s talk about filters.
They play an essential role in both the quality and flavor of your brew.
Usually, coffee makers use either paper or metal filters.
A paper filter is tightly woven, so it will absorb some of the oil from coffee grounds. It keeps your coffee free of sediment, but that’s not entirely a good thing. That way, the coffee can lose a lot of its flavors and aromas.
Plus, using paper filters produces a lot of paper waste.
Metal filters do let some of the sediment though, so what you get is a rich, flavorful coffee. They’re also permanent, meaning no waste.
But the main disadvantage is the cleanup. It’s messy and you need to do it between every brew.
Most models on this list use a gold tone filter. It’s made of 24- karat gold plated foil over stainless steel. It doesn’t leave residue like other permanent filters, but it does remove the bitterness from the coffee to achieve a fresh and rich bodied taste.
The average water reservoir on a dual brew coffee maker is 40 ounces, but that figure can vary anywhere from 30 to 60 ounces.
But unless you plan on making a lot of coffee for a large family every day, the size of the reservoir doesn’t really matter that much.
One thing that does matter is the water filter. Usually made of carbon, this filter assures your water is clean, fresh and free from any pathogens.
There are a lot of people out there who, like me, forget to turn off their appliances after use.
Not only does that waste energy, but it can pose a safety hazard.
If you’re anything like me, an automatic shut off feature is something worth checking out. It gives you peace of mind knowing that it will shut down automatically after a while even if you forget to turn the machine off.
Certain models come with a self-cleaning option, which is always a good thing.
Other than Monica from Friends, I don’t know anyone else who wouldn’t like an appliance that does the cleaning by itself.
With that being said, it’s possible that manual cleaning will simply do a better job. You should probably do a manual clean every once in a while even if your machine has a self-cleaning option.
You can also find some models with dishwasher-safe parts, like a removable drip tray, water reservoir etc.
The Final Verdict
A two way coffee maker is a great choice for both large households and individuals who simply like to spice things up by jumping between different coffee styles.
There’s no need to take up precious counter space with several appliances when one can do it all.
If you’re looking for a machine that’s affordable, fully programmable and easy to clean, you can’t go wrong with the Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew Trio 2-Way. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best dual coffee maker on the market today.
That said, whichever coffee maker you choose from this list, I can guarantee you’ll be satisfied.