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Best Dual Coffee Makers – Quickest Way to Brew a Lot of Coffee

We’ve all been there. Getting up late for work, rushing around the house – toast in one hand, toothbrush in the other, a desperate need for Coffee. The trusty Mocca master will only brew a whole pot, but that takes at least ten minutes. If this scene sounds familiar to you, you might want to look into a dual Coffee Maker.     

What Is a Dual Coffee Maker

A Dual Coffee Maker is a coffee brewing appliance that utilizes two different brewers within one machine. The two brewers contained in the appliance vary from machine to machine but usually come in the form of a batch brewer, which will brew a larger amount of coffee into a carafe, and a single-cup brewer. The batch brewer section is best for making a whole pot of coffee, while the single section is best for a fast single cup, perfect for a quick grab-and-go coffee.

Benefits of Using a Dual Coffee Maker

Two Ways of Brewing

The biggest benefit is that you essentially get two machines and two ways of brewing, in one single appliance. This can be an even bigger benefit when we consider that, depending on the machine, K-cups, pods, capsules and freshly ground coffee can all be used by the one appliance. 

Start Timer Function

Most of these machines also have some sort of start timer function, meaning you can wake up to a fresh pot or cup of coffee, ready-made in the morning– almost as easy as drinking instant coffee.

How Does a Dual Coffee Maker Work

Dual coffee makers are very simple to use and are designed with speed and ease of use in mind. There are generally two types of brew methods utilized by dual coffee makers; drip or filter, and Pods and K-cups. Though it is rare, some products have an espresso function, too.

Water is added to either an individual or a central reservoir where it is used by one or both brewing systems. In the case of drip coffee, medium ground coffee is then placed into the basket along with a paper filter, or in the case of K-cups and pods, a capsule of coffee is inserted.

Then it’s as simple as engaging the button, which begins the flow of water through the coffee, resulting in a sweet, delicious coffee in the cup! If you like it even sweeter, try a coffee syrup. Coffee syrups add a wonderful taste to your brew.

Types of Coffee Machines

Types of Coffee Machines

Drip Coffee Makers

Drip coffee makers brew classic filter style drip coffee. Drip coffee is an infusion method where hot water is poured over a bed of medium-fine ground coffee. As the hot water passes through the coffee bed, it extracts around 19% of the coffee’s total mass.

This is similar to a V60, possibly the best pour-over coffee maker ever to have existed, except a machine is doing the pouring for you. Drip coffee makers ideally produce a clean, sweet cup of coffee, which is a nice balance between strength and flavor.

Espresso Machine

Espresso coffee makers produce a strong, comparatively thick coffee, often known as a shot of espresso. This shot can be consumed as is or can be diluted with water or milk to create a cup of coffee around the same strength as a filter or drip coffee.

Espresso machines use pressurized hot water to extract around 23% of a coffee’s whole mass. The water of around 90 degrees Celsius (194 degrees Fahrenheit) is forced through a puck of finely ground coffee, usually with 9 bars of pressure.

Pod or K Cup Machine

Pods and K-cups are a relatively recent invention when compared to the other brewing machines listed. Finely ground coffee is placed into a plastic cup with a filter, which is then nitrogen flushed and sealed with an aluminum lid. This helps retain the freshness of the ground coffee.

When the capsule is inserted into the machine, the lid is pierced by a shower nozzle, forcing pressurized hot water through the coffee, which then flows from the bottom hole of the pod. The mechanics of the way Pod and K-cup machines brew is similar to a traditional espresso machine.

K-cup and pod machines can brew with results varying from espresso, all the way through to filter coffee, hot chocolate and tea. K-cup or pod machines are a middle point between drip coffee makers and espresso machines in the way that they can produce a shot of espresso or a full cup of filter coffee.  

How to Choose the Best Dual Coffee Maker

There is certainly no lack of choices when it comes to dual coffee makers. There are literally hundreds, most often with widely different feature sets and build qualities. 

Type of Coffee You Want to Make

There are dozens of different drinks that most of these machines can produce. Deciding what it is you want to drink will be the first step in choosing the perfect machine for you.

If flat whites, cappuccinos and other milk coffees isn’t your thing, drip coffee and K-cup dual coffee maker is a good bet. If, however, you love a latte first thing in the morning, but sometimes don’t have the time and don’t mind a quick filter coffee to grab-and-go, then espresso and K-cup coffee maker could be right up your alley.

Let’s not forget that a few items can also make a cold brew! Set yourself up with one of these and some of the world’s best coffee for a cold brew and you’re in for a good time!

Serving Size

Brewing for yourself and a loved one, or an entire army? Some days coffee for one, other days– coffee for four? There will be a machine to take care of everyone.

Some of the best devices around have one section that is dedicated to brewing an entire carafe, while the other side is for single cups. The single-cup side works just like the famed Keurig K55.  While the Keurig k55 still makes a great coffee, it isn’t a dual coffee maker. 


Touch screens, dials, buttons, sleek and black, space-age or retro. The way a machine is designed is a very important aspect, and all designs are certainly not equal.

Does the carafe size make sense for the amount of coffee going into it? Is the carafe thermal insulated so it will stay warm for as long as you need it to? Does ground coffee spill over while brewing a batch of drip coffee?

Is there a drip tray underneath where the cup goes in case of an overflowing cup? Smart design is a very important factor as to how usable a machine will be.

Programmable and Display Settings

What is better than waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning? Hint: the answer is… nothing. One of the best reasons for purchasing a dual coffee maker is that they usually have a wealth of programmable features, namely, a delayed start timer.

Making your coffee in a pour-over kettle is amazing, but dual coffee makers certainly win where convenience is concerned. Other programmable settings may include brew strength adjustment, brew size, carafe temperature, and auto cleaning options.

Size of Coffee Machine

How to Choose the Best Dual Coffee Maker - Size of Coffee Machine

The size of the machine you choose depends largely on the available kitchen or office space you have. Having said that, most of the best dual makers are modestly sized and are made to fit in most domestic kitchen spaces.


When we look at the durability of a coffee machine, we must look at the areas of high use, and the materials those areas are made of. Things like buttons, hinges, water reservoir attachments and carafe handles are all areas that might wear out quickly. Having these places made of suitable materials will certainly help with the longevity of the appliance.


Each machine has a different way of keeping the ground coffee out of your cup. While some drip coffee makers use a reusable metal mesh filter, most use a single-use paper filter, which is placed in the brew basket. K-cups and pods come with a filter within each capsule, and some K-cups and pods can be filled with your own ground coffee and reused. Espresso machines use a portafilter.

The method of filtering will have an effect on brewed coffee. A paper filter, for example, will not only stop the grinds from getting into the cup but will also stop most of the oils from getting through, too. Metal filters allow through all of the oils, stopping only the ground coffee.

Water Reservoir

The main thing to look for in a water reservoir is that it is fully removable from the appliance itself. This will not only allow for easy cleaning but also make it easier to refill.

Thermal vs Glass Carafe

Thermal carafes are certainly nice. They retain heat really well and are much harder to damage, which is a certain plus. On the other hand, glass carafes look great and are usually easier to clean due to their more open mouth design. 

Ease of Cleaning

A machine that has most of its parts fully removable really helps with cleaning. These parts can usually be placed on the top rack of the dishwasher and washed with a cold cycle. Some machines also have a dedicated cleaning cycle and an indicator of when it’s time to clean.

Safety Functions

Many drip coffee brewers have a small heat plate, which the carafe sits atop to stay warm. If this heat plate stays on, with enough time, it might present a nasty fire hazard. Check to make sure the machine you’re looking at has this auto-off function. It is definitely a good thing to have.


A company that stands by its product, and backs it up with a solid warranty, is worth its weight in gold.  Warranties for products like coffee makers will usually run anywhere from one to five years. Also, be sure to check and make sure that the warranty of the product you buy is valid in your country.


A dual coffee maker can run somewhere between $100 and $500. Sometimes more and often less.

How to Use a Dual Coffee Maker

How to Use a Dual Coffee Maker

Let’s break the how-to guide into three sections to cover the three most common brew methods: Drip coffee, K-cups or pods and espresso

Drip Coffee

First up, drip coffee. If your coffee maker has a drip coffee function, these are more or less the cleaning instructions to follow. Your machine may differ slightly.  

Things you’ll need:

  • Drip coffee maker
  • Paper filter (unless the machine you choose has a metal filter)
  • 65-70g of medium ground coffee per liter of coffee you want to brew (the more you use, the stronger your brew will be)  
  • Quality clean water 

Step 1 – Add water to the reservoir

Top up the water reservoir with clean, freshwater. 

Step 2 – Turn on the machine

Turn on the machine and allow it to heat up. How long this takes will depend on the machine, but most are ready to go within 10 minutes or less. 

Step 3 – Grind the coffee

As with all brew methods, it is best to grind the coffee fresh. For drip coffee, we’re looking for a medium grind around the texture of sea salt. If you don’t have a grinder, or you prefer to use pre-ground coffee, skip to the next step.  

Step 4 – Add a filter

Place a paper filter into the basket of the coffee maker. Transfer the ground coffee to the filter, then insert the basket back into the machine. Ensure the carafe is in place.

Step 5 – Brew

This step will depend entirely on the way your chosen machine works. Usually, you’ll choose the amount of coffee you want to brew; then, a button is engaged, which will begin the brew cycle.

Step 6 – Remove the used coffee and filter

Once the brew has finished, remove the used filter and coffee and discard it. Give the basket a rinse with some water as to not allow a build-up of old coffee in the basket. 

K-cups or Pods

Next, we’ll cover coffee pods and K-cups. Again, like with the drip coffee, your appliances individual instructions may differ ever so slightly from these.  

Things you’ll need:

  • K-cup or pod coffee maker
  • K-cup or pod of your favorite coffee
  • Quality clean water 

Step 1 – Add water to the reservoir

Top up the water reservoir with clean water. There will usually be an indicator line of how much water to use.

Step 2 – Turn on the appliance

Turn on the machine and wait for it to heat up. This will usually be done within a minute or two. 

Step 3 – Place a K-cup or pod into the machine

Find the place in the machine where the K-cups or pods will go. Open it up, place an unpierced, intact K-cup or pod, and close the machine again.

Step 3 – Brew

Engage the brew button.

Step 4 – Remove the used K-cup or pod

Once the brew has finished, remove the used K-cup or pod and discard.


How to Use a Dual Coffee Maker - Espresso

Last but not least, we have espresso. The workflow for making espresso is essentially the same, from brewing at home to coffee shops worldwide.

Things you’ll need:

  • Espresso machine 
  • Burr coffee grinder (if you are using pre-ground coffee, skip the grinder)
  • Coffee tamper
  • A small set of scales (optional. If you are not using scales, use a measuring cup, so you know when you’ve reached your 40ml target)
  • Timer
  • Shot glass or cup  
  • 20g of good coffee 
  • Quality clean water 

Step 1 – Add water to the reservoir

Top up the water reservoir with clean water.

Step 2 – Turn on the appliance

Turn on the machine and wait for it to heat up. This will take around 10 minutes. How long it takes to heat up all depends on the size of the boiler in the machine.

Step 3 – Grind the coffee

Espresso brewing relies heavily on grind size to determine how fast the shot will run, and therefore how well extracted the coffee is. We’re looking for a fine grind, similar to fine beach sand. If your coffee runs through too fast (which we’ll talk about more in a moment), it means your coffee wasn’t ground fine enough. 

Step 4 – Distribute and tamp

Transfer the ground coffee into the portafilter. Give the portafilter a shake in order to flatten out the bed before tamping. Really try to make the coffee bed as flat and level as possible. This will increase the chance that you’ll get an even extraction.  

Once you are happy with the distribution of the coffee, use the tamper to press down on the coffee, compressing it into a tight puck. Tamp the coffee in a piston-type motion: One press straight down — no side movement, no twisting or spinning– just up and down.

You shouldn’t be tamping so hard that it hurts your wrist. Just pressing down firmly is sufficient. If your shot is running too fast, It’s best to change your grind rather than tamping harder, which can be tempting.

Step 4 – Brew

Insert the portafilter into the group head. Place your scales, if you’re using them, on your drip tray, then place the cup or glass you’ll be brewing into on top.

For this recipe, we’ll use a 1:2 ratio, which is pretty standard for modern espresso. This will mean we are using 20g of dry, ground coffee, to extract a 40g shot of espresso.

If you are not using scales, use a measuring cup, so you know when you’ve reached your 40ml target. Have your timer ready to go. Engage the shot and begin the timer. Stop the shot from running when you have reached your 40g on the scales or 40ml in the measuring cup.

Your shot should take between 25 and 35 seconds. Let your taste buds decide. Taste the shot. If it is far too bitter and harsh, try grinding a little courser. If your shot is very weak and sour, lacking sweetness, try grinding a little finer.

Step 5 – Empty the portafilter

Remove the portafilter from the machine, knock out the used coffee and discard. Give the portafilter a wipeout and a rinse. Run a little water through the group head and place the portafilter back into the group head of the machine to keep it warm.

How to Clean a Dual Coffee Maker

Due to the minerals present in water, limescale will eventually build up and need to be cleaned. Luckily though, cleaning a coffee maker is easy and no bigger of a task than brewing a few cups of coffee. Again, we’ll break these steps down for each brew function. 

To clean all your brewing equipment, it is recommended to use a liquid descaler. There are many different brands on the market. It is best to use what the manufacturer or your machine recommends. Liquid descalers remove calcium and mineral build-up in brewing equipment. 

How to Clean a Drip Coffee Maker

It is best to descale your drip coffee maker every 100 brew cycles. For the average household, brewing one pot every morning, that’s about once every three months. Each machine will have its own descaling and cleaning instructions, but it will almost certainly go something like this. 

Things you’ll need:

  • Clean water
  • Liquid descaler 

Step 1 – Add water and descaler to the reservoir

Top up the water reservoir with clean water. Use the specified amount of cleaner recommended by the manufacturer or your coffee maker.

Step 2 – Run a brew cycle

Run a brew cycle as per normal, but of course without coffee or a filter paper.

Step 3 – Drain and rinse

Discard the cleaning solution in the carafe and drain any remaining water from the reservoir. Rinse the carafe and refill the reservoir with fresh water.

Step 4 – Rinse cycles

Run three more rinse cycles through the machine in order to flush any residue of the product.

How to Clean K-Cup or Pod Coffee Maker

Anywhere that water touches, limescale and calcium will eventually build up. These are non-toxic, but can certainly mess with brewing equipment of all kinds.

Cleaning is best done on K-cup and pod coffee makers every 3-6 months, depending on how often you use your coffee maker. Cleaning K-cup and pod coffee makers is extremely simple.

Things you’ll need:

  • Clean water
  • Liquid descaler 
  • A mug

Step 1 – Add water and cleaner to the reservoir

First, we’ll add the descaler and water to the reservoir. Use the amount of cleanser specified by the machine manufacturer. 

Step 2 – Run brew cycles

Without adding a K-cup or pod, run as many brew cycles as you need to until the reservoir is empty. Empty the mug after each brew cycle to ensure there is no overflow.   

Step 3 – Rinse

Once the reservoir is empty, give it a good rinse and refill it with clean water. Run through at least 13 brew cycles of clean water in order to remove any traces of leftover product in the machine.

How to Clean an Espresso Coffee Maker

There are three main areas that need attention when cleaning an espresso maker. The group head, the steam wand and the boiler.

Things you’ll need:

  • Clean water
  • Liquid descaler 
  • A vessel to catch the cleaning liquid

Step 1 – Add water and cleaner to the reservoir

Add the cleaning solution to the reservoir and top up with fresh water. 

Step 2 – Pull the cleaning solution into the boiler

Next, we need to get our cleaning solution from the reservoir into the boiler. To do this, we’ll turn on our steam wand or water dispenser and run around a cup of water out.

Step 3 – Let the cleaner work

Now we have the cleaner in the boiler, turn your machine off. This will allow the cleaner to get to work, descaling and removing all the mineral build-up.

Step 4 – Drain

Turn the machine back on and run the cleaning solution out of the steam wand, the water dispenser and the group head evenly. About a third each. Do this unit the reservoir is empty.

Step 5 – Rinse

Once the cleaning cycle is finished, refill the water reservoir and run the freshwater through the machine in the same way we did in the previous step. This is to remove any cleaning product residue.

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

When it comes to coffee making appliances, the more you spend translates closer to how long the machine will last, rather than how good the coffee produced will be. This is truer with drip coffee makers and K-cup/ pod coffee makers. For espresso machines, the cost is certainly an indicator of the quality of espresso a machine is capable of producing.

Do’s and Don’ts With a Dual Coffee Maker

  • Do clean your device regularly. 
  • Do be sure to try different coffees. There are so many options out there– even specialty coffee versions of K-cups. Try them all!
  • Don’t clean your machine with vinegar though many people recommend it, vinegar even when diluted has a very strong taste which is hard to remove from the insides of a machine. 
  • Don’t be too wasteful. If you choose the K-cup route, try and go with ones with biodegradable cups, rather than straight-up plastic.

FAQ About Dual Coffee Makers

How long does a dual coffee maker take to brew coffee?

Depending on your coffee maker:

  • A pot of drip coffee usually takes around 10 minutes to brew.
  • A K-cup or pod takes around 2 minutes or less to brew. 
  • A shot of espresso should brew within 35 seconds (not including preparation time). 

Does Keurig make a dual coffee maker?

Yes! Keurig offers two different options. The K-duo coffee maker, and the K-duo plus. Both machines offer the use of K-cups and fresh coffee. The K-duo offers two different sections within a single appliance– a drip coffee maker with a carafe, and a single cup coffee maker. 

The K-duo is a single brewer with multiple functions and brew sizes. It comes with a carafe, so you can brew anywhere from a single cup, all the way through to a full carafe. If you are tossing up between the Keurig k475 vs k575 machines for coffee, with the extra functionality of the K-duo, one of these might fit the bill nicely.  

Are there dual coffee makers with grinders?

FAQ About Dual Coffee Makers

While there are no true dual coffee makers with grinders, there are multi-function coffee makers with grinders. The Breville grind control drip coffee maker is a nice grinder/brewer option. 

Does a dual coffee maker have problems making a single-serve and carafe portion at the same time?

Most of these products can only brew using one function at a time. Attempting to brew both at the same time will not damage the machine; it will simply not function in that way.

Can dual coffee makers use K-carafe pods?

Any coffee maker with a full carafe section that can use K-cups can use K-carafe pods. K-carafe pods are simply a larger version of the K-cups. 

Can I wash a dual coffee maker in my dishwasher?

Most removable plastic parts, mainly the basket and the water reservoir, can be washed in the top rack of the dishwasher. It is best to check with the manufacturer and use only a cold setting on the dishwasher.

What do I do if only one side of my dual coffee maker doesn’t work?

First, try troubleshooting. Check the manufacturer’s website for common issues and fixes. For example, sometimes with pod coffee makers, the spray nozzle that pierces the top of the pod becomes blocked. This can be resolved by simply poking a paperclip into the nozzle.

If the issue can’t be fixed, get into contact with the manufacturer and hopefully, you can place a claim with your warranty. On the plus side, if one side stops working, you still have the other.


Dual coffee makers can be an elegant solution to a problem many of us have. The ability to brew various amounts of coffee using various brew methods — and to have all of this in one single appliance? It’s simply a thing of beauty. 

Photo from: chesky_w /

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Best Dual Coffee Makers – Quickest Way to Brew a Lot of Coffee


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