The coffee world is sometimes split along two lines: those who swear by single serve machines like Keurig and Nespresso, and those who prefer drip coffee makers. But what if you need both? Enter the 2 way coffee maker, also called the dual coffee maker.
Dual coffee makers are ideal if you’re the kind of person who loves a drip coffee but your spouse prefers a single serve machine(or vice versa). Instead of having to buy two separate machines, this one machine will work for both of you.
I personally prefer drip most of the time but there are times where I need a quick jolt of java and when I’d rather not wait for 5 minutes before my coffee is ready, I can just pop a single serve pod and have a steaming up in under a minute.
Should you buy a 2 way coffee maker?
As I mentioned above, if your household has a mix of different coffee preferences, or if you yourself prefer a quick shot in the morning but would like an artisan brew in the afternoon, why get two machines when you can just get one that does both?
Additionally, drip coffee machines generally don’t brew just one cup – you’ll have to brew 2-4 cups, and if the time that the people in your household drink coffee is tapered, the rest of the people will end up with a brew that’s been sitting there for a while.
Or if you live alone most of the time, but entertain quite often, a 2 way coffee maker can be an advantage: when you’re alone, you can brew a single serve, and when you’ve got guests over and need to brew a lot of coffee in one go, the carafe and drip system will do the trick.
Best 2 way coffee maker: our favorite picks
1. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 49976
The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew is easily one of our most favorite dual coffee makers. You can read our detailed review of it here.
This machine is just so versatile that for the price, you just can’t beat it, even if you decide to buy a new machine every year!
On the drip coffee side, you can brew up to 12 cups at a time, and you have the option of buying the version with a glass carafe or with a thermal carafe.
On the single serve side, you can brew using K-Cups, or there is a filter basket sized for a single serving of coffee if you choose to use coffee grounds. The single serve side can fit either a cup or a travel mug.
Both sides of the machine are essentially independent of one another, so they have their own reservoirs. This is something you need to keep in mind – it’s easy to forget there is water in one of the reservoirs and over time, that will end up building scale inside the machine.
You can also set a timer to schedule brewing, and pause the brewing during the drip process to fill a quick cup.
- TWO WAYS TO BREW: Brew a full pot using your favorite grounds on the carafe side, or make a cup for yourself using a K Cup* pod or grounds on the single serve side with this 2 in 1 coffee maker
- SINGLE-SERVE: BREW WITH K Cup* PODS OR WITHOUT. Pod holder and single serve grounds basket are included. Features cup rest that adjusts to fit tall mugs and doubles as storage. pod piercing needle removes for easy cleaning to prevent clogging
- 12 CUP CARAFE SIDE. Features programmable timer, auto pause and serve and 2 hour auto shutoff
- SEPARATE WATER RESERVOIRS. Each brewer has its own water reservoir that's easy to fill and features a water window, so you always know which brewer has how much water
- BREWING FLEXIBILITY. The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 2 Way Coffee Maker has the option to please fans of all types of coffees and quantities, making it the perfect gift for a home with multiple coffee drinkers
2. Hamilton Beach 49980A 2 Way Coffee Maker
It’s no surprise that the first two machines on our list are both from Hamilton Beach. It seems that Hamilton Beach has really gotten their 2 way coffee maker game down pat.
The 49980A will let you brew 12 cups, much like the FlexBrew. You can adjust the strength between 2 extremes. The big difference between this and the FlexBrew is that this machine is not compatible with K-Cups. You can only use soft pods or loose coffee grounds in the single serve filter basket.
To me, that’s not a dealbreaker, especially considering that aside from this, there is no major difference between the FlexBrew and this machine, and this machine is essentially half the price of the other machine.
One more notable difference is that the Flexbrew has an optional thermal carafe, and the 49980A only comes with a glass carafe.
- BREW TWO WAYS: Enjoy either a single serve cup (travel mug not included) or full pot of coffee with the 12 cup carafe
- FULLY PROGRAMMABLE: Wake up to a hot cup of coffee with fully programmable functionality and auto shutoff
- ADJUSTS TO YOUR CUP: Can brew directly into the carafe, a travel mug (not included) or a short cup
- CONVENIENT SINGLE SERVE: Brew a cup for one using loose, ground coffee
- SMART FEATURES: Includes brew strength selector (Regular or Bold), keep hot warming plate and more. Note : Refer to the PDF attached below in Technical Specification for manual and Troubleshooting is on pg. 12-14.
3. DeLonghi BCO430
This DeLonghi machine is an interesting addition to this list. The first two machines were 2 way machines because they brewed both drip coffee and K-cup/single serves.
The DeLonghi BCO430 is unique because it is a combination of drip and espresso, with the addition of a frothing wand. Since DeLonghi has been in the coffee business for a long, long time, you know they mean business.
You can either brew up to 10 cups using the drip side, or a shot of espresso using 15 bars of pressure. It makes pretty decent drip coffee and pretty decent espresso, so if you’ve got people who have a preference for either in your household, this one machine can take the place of two.
The frothing wand lets you froth milk for cappuccinos, flat whites, macchiatos, and lattes.
For this price range, this machine is a good value. A low end espresso machine costs about the same, and a high end drip machine costs the same, so the fact that you’re getting a combination of a decent espresso machine and a decent drip machine in one unit is a pretty good deal in my eyes.
- Front loading Coffee maker. Input power (W): 1500
- Removable 40 oz. Water reservoir for easy filling
- 24 hour programmable timer. Pump pressure (bar): 15
- Gold Tone filter included
- Rated voltage/frequency (VHF): 115 V/ 60Hz. Rated voltage: 115 V
4. Ninja CP307 Coffee Maker
Ninja makes pretty good machines, too! We’ve reviewed the Ninja Coffee Bar in quite a bit of depth. This machine is also a bit of different from the rest of the machines here since it does not have two different sides, per se.
It does fit the bill for being a 2 way machine because it is incredibly versatile and can brew 6 sizes in 5 styles – giving you a total of potentially 30 drinks.
- XL cup
- travel mug
- XL travel mug
- half carafe
- full carafe
5 brew styles:
- over ice
- cold brew
The carafe can hold 10 cups and it is thermal, so you’ll have evenly heated, good tasting coffee even if you don’t drink it right away.
Additionally, there is a frothing wand and a filter basket to make tea.
Next up, we have another very well-loved coffee machine, and this time it’s from Ninja. This model differs from the others we looked at in that it doesn’t actually look like a dual coffee maker because it doesn’t have two separate sides.
However, it does have the functionality of a dual coffee maker. It has 6 different brew sizes (cup, cup XL, travel mug, travel mug XL, half carafe, and full carafe) and 5 different brew styles (classic, rich, over ice, cold brew, and specialty). So, this is easily the most versatile machine on this list.
Plus, it thankfully comes with a 10-cup thermal carafe, so no need to fear burnt-tasting coffee if you don’t immediately drink the carafe. Just to top it off, this machine also comes with a frothing wand, special basket filter for tea, and a recipe book.
The interesting thing about the cold brew method this machine uses is that brews using lower temperature water and in just 15 minutes. This is quite a departure from the 12-24 hours that it typically takes, but the taste is still pretty good!
- Coffee and Tea Brew Settings: Brewing technology offers an array of coffee and tea options
- Cold Brew Coffee and Tea: Brew over ice at a lower temperature for smooth, naturally sweet flavor in 10 to 15 minutes
- Smart Basket Recognition: System recognizes basket and displays coffee or tea drink options
- Separate Coffee and Tea Baskets: Brew coffee or loose or bagged tea to keep flavors separate
- 6 Brew Sizes: Brew anything from a single cup or travel size to a half carafe or full carafe in your coffee maker
5. Cuisinart SS-20 2 way coffee maker
The Cuisinart SS-20(the bigger brother to the SS-15) is a pretty decent 2 way coffee machine. You can brew with K-cups and with coffee grounds for single serves, and there is a 10 cup carafe which you can brew drip coffee into.
The drip settings are pretty cool as it’s quite automated – you can set a timer to start brewing within 24 hours, the machine can self clean, and you have control over the strength of the brew too. There is a charcoal filter for the single serve brewer – a nice addition to clean up the water a bit more.
If 10 cups seems less for your usage, you can opt for a 12 cup glass carafe too.
- The Cuisinart Coffee Center features a fully automatic thermal coffeemaker on one side and a single-serve brewer on the other.
- Single-Serve Features: 3 serving sizes: 6, 8, 10 oz., K-Cup pod compatible, Includes Cuisinart's HomeBarista Reusable Filter Cup which lets you use your own coffee,Removable 40oz reservoir and Energy Save modeRemovable drip tray for travel mugsCharcoal water filter
- Carafe Brewer Features: 10-cup thermal carafe with stainless steel handle, Fully automatic - 24-hour brew start, self-clean, ready alert, Brew Strength Control - select BOLD for stronger coffee flavor, Easy-view water windowBrew Pause feature andGold-tone coffee filter that lets only pure coffee flavor flow through
- BPA Free
- 3-Year Warranty
Dual Coffee Maker buyers guide
Kinds of coffee brewed
The main idea behind a dual coffee maker is that you can brew more than one type of coffee from a single machine. Which types of coffee can be brewed should be one of your main deciding factors here.
Most of these machines do drip coffee by default, so if you’re looking for one of these, being able to brew drip coffee is definitely on your list.
The second kind of coffee will help you choose. Do you want to be able to brew K-Cups? Or do you want to just be able to brew a single serving from a regular filter? Or do you want espresso, too?
These questions will help you decide which of these is the best option.
Amount of coffee brewed
The next thing to keep in mind is the amount of coffee you want to brew. Most of these machines do brew single serves, as well as up to 10 or 12 cups.
For most households, the difference between 10 or 12 cups is not going to be such a big deal, but if you’ve got a lot of people in your house, or you all drink a lot of coffee, or you’re buying for an office, it may be a deciding factor for you.
The Ninja machine we reviewed has the most options in terms of size, so if size is the deciding factor, it may be worth looking into.
Thermal carafe or glass carafe?
This is a really interesting debate, actually. Glass carafes are really common and we see them a lot – they’re the quintessential pot of coffee in diners and offices.
However, glass carafes are not very effective at keeping coffee tasting good for a long time. Glass carafes sit on a heated plate that warms up the coffee from the bottom up. The problem here is that eventually, the coffee will taste overdone and stale.
Thermal carafes, on the other hand, are built to keep the coffee from going cold, so the initial heat is retained. This results in a much fresher cup of coffee at the end of the day.
You can even come back in an hour or two and still have a decently warm cup of coffee ready to enjoy. As it is, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to sip near-boiling coffee 🙂
How to clean a dual coffee maker
The last thing I’d like to address is cleaning your dual coffee maker. As with any coffee maker, cleaning is something you need to do quite regularly to prolong the life of your machine.
However, since there are two sides in these coffee machines, you need to remember to clean out both!
Most of these models have a single cleaning cycle that does both, so if you’re descaling or cleaning, remember to put the solution in both sides before starting the cleaning process.
Dual coffee makers, or 2 way coffee makers, whatever you wish to call them – are super useful for making multiple types of coffee while saving money and saving space.
If you like to have a variety of coffee easily available in your household, you can’t go wrong with one of these machines.
Last update on 2019-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API