Dual coffee makers are, as the name suggests, coffee makers that brew two or more different styles of coffee. You enjoy a pot of fresh-brewed coffee in the morning, but your housemate likes an espresso? A dual coffee maker could be the perfect solution.
Equally, in offices and workplaces, it’s nice always to have a pot on the go, but the option to make individual k-cup drinks may also be helpful.
We scoured the market and present you the six best dual coffee makers. Our top recommendation is the Braun MultiServe, a very versatile machine. It’s fully programmable and can do single-serves up to a 10-cup carafe.
At A Glance
The machines we selected here have a broad range of features that accommodate different needs. Some take K-cups while others only take ground coffee, some can make multiple drinks at once, and others would be more suited to a small family environment.
A Closer Look At the Best Dual Coffee Maker
The MultiServe Coffee Machine from Braun can produce a higher quality coffee than most other coffee makers with this much functionality. Ordinarily, the trade-off is quality for convenience, but in the MultiServe, you can have both.
It is SCA-recommended and maintains a consistently high brew temperature. You have complete control over the water temperature, meaning that if you prefer brewing light roasts at higher temperatures, for example, you can. The water dispersal from the showerhead is excellent, and you should be able to achieve even extractions.
From a functionality point of view, this machine won’t do everything, but it does have many bells and whistles. You can program it to brew your coffee at any given time, which can be a very convenient feature. Keep in mind that this means sacrificing a bit on the quality and freshness of the grounds.
It has a few pre-programmed strength settings and cup sizes, and an independent hot water supply. This is great if you have tea drinkers in your household. The separation here means no weird coffee background flavor in your hot water.
Where this machine falls down a little is in the lack of a bloom feature to pre-infuse coffee grounds with water. This can cause channeling and uneven extraction. It also has a glass carafe, so it won’t hot-hold coffee for long before the quality drops.
A final weakness of this machine is that it isn’t set up for brewing multiple drinks simultaneously. You can take the carafe off the hot plate to brew single-serves, but then your pot of coffee will go cold.
- SCA Gold Standard coffee
- Very stable brewing temperature
- 7 brewing sizes
- Can’t brew multiple drinks at the same time
- Lack of bloom feature
This coffee maker is an excellent solution in an office environment or if you have a large family. There is a separate outlet for single-serve drinks, perfect for coffee drinkers with different preferences.
The Cuisinart won’t brew the exceptionally high-standard coffees you might expect from a single-purpose drip brewer in the same price bracket. However, with a few tweaks, you can get a delicious cup of coffee.
It would be advisable to fill the reservoir with hot water when making a carafe as the brewing temperature won’t get much above 190 ºF (88 °C). This will likely cause under-extraction. If your brews consistently come out sharper than you like, you could try grinding just a little finer.
What we love about this machine is that it’s super easy to use with its button interface and is designed around convenience. It even has a self-cleaning function that does a fair job. However, we recommend a deeper clean periodically, especially if you live in a hard water area.
It’s also worth noting that the carafe’s design could have been better. It is fairly tricky to get the last cup of coffee out without making a mess. Also, the water dispersal isn’t great, and there is no bloom function.
- Excellent for office settings or big families
- Capable of brewing multiple drinks simultaneously
- Delicious coffee with a few tweaks
- Self-cleaning function
- Poor brew temperature
- Imperfect carafe design
If you’re looking for something that can do espresso and filter, the De’Longhi All-in-One could be the machine for you. Individual espresso machines and batch brewers can have a fairly large footprint on your worktop. With a smaller kitchen, this can be problematic.
This De’Longhi Machine is truly packed with interesting features. It has a fully programmable drip machine on one side, which will brew a jug of filter coffee for the whole family. The espresso machine on the other side is run from a separate boiler so that you can use them at the same time as the carafe brewer.
The espresso machine features a manual steam wand with two options to choose from: One for microfoam and the other for froth. Perfect to create delicious lattes and cappuccinos and practice your latte art at the same time.
The De’Longhi comes with a touchscreen on the right-hand side, used to prepare drip coffee. On the left are three buttons to pull espresso shots: a power button, an espresso button, and the steam wand button. Although you might initially feel overwhelmed by the interface, the controls are pretty easy to use once you get the hang out of it.
- Space-saving espresso and batch brew
- Dual heating for simultaneous brewing
- Fully programmable
- Touchscreen and button interface
- Espresso machine not as powerful as single-purpose machine
- Touchscreen takes getting used to
The Hot and Cold Brewed System from Ninja is packed with features. If broad functionality is your thing, you will be in heaven with this piece of kit. It can do everything from making cold brew (sort of), brewing a decent Oolong tea, and a not-too-bad impression of a flat white.
This coffee maker is programmable, and everything about it is smart. It even knows if you’re brewing tea or coffee based on which filter you put in and sets the brew temperatures accordingly.
But it’s not all for show. Despite leaning heavily on its flashy selling points, Ninja’s brewer can turn out a delicious cup of coffee. With several different bloom settings, a stable brew temperature, and good water dispersal for an even extraction, this machine has earned its SCA Gold Standard rating.
The only real downside to this machine is that it comes with a milk frother and leads you to believe that you will be able to make espresso-based drinks. Unfortunately, the milk frother isn’t a steamer and won’t heat your milk. It just makes it kind of bubbly.
Also, the brewer doesn’t work under pressure for intense extractions like an espresso machine. It just makes a stronger version of its filter coffee, which doesn’t have the same body as espresso and gets a bit lost in milk drinks.
- SCA Gold Standard coffee
- Several bloom settings
- Good extractions on batch brews
- Great for tea drinkers
- No real espresso drinks
- Milk frother doesn’t heat milk
The Mr. Coffee Combo Brewer is a great machine for a smaller kitchen. With a footprint of just 15 inches by about 7 inches, it will fit into pretty much any space. Again, it is a programmable machine, so if you want to grind your coffee the night before, you can set it up to brew just before you get up.
It will take either ground coffee or K-cups. However, one frustrating feature of this brewer is that you can only access the smaller cup sizes if the K-cup filter is installed.
The larger basket tends to give better and more even extractions due to the better water dispersal from the showerhead. When using the K-cup style basket, the water just drips from the central tap and doesn’t get such an even saturation of the grounds.
However, if you like to use pods for your single-serves, this is an excellent coffee maker at the price point. Convenience in a small package compensates here for the lack of a bloom function and sub-par brew temperature.
- Very compact
- Good thermal carafe
- K-cup functionality
- Uneven extractions when using single-serve options
- No bloom function
In most ways, this is a fairly similar brewer to the Mr. Coffee. It’s no surprise that Keurig has done a good job of putting together a machine that can reliably turn out a single-serve brew in no time at all. After all, they are the originators of the single-serve pods (they put the ‘K’ in K-cup).
This is about as convenient as coffee comes. It literally takes longer to make instant coffee, factoring in the time you have to wait for a kettle to boil. Generously, Keurig hasn’t made their machine incompatible with other brands of single-serve pods, and you can brew whatever your favorite is with no difficulty.
Unfortunately, the water temperature for brewing fluctuates between 170 ºF (77 °C) and 190 ºF (88 °C). Even at its hottest, you won’t get a particularly good extraction with the drip brewer. As with most other modern machines, though, the reservoir and all parts are BPA-free. This means that you can compensate for the poor water heater by starting with hot water.
Once more, it is convenience that saves the day with this machine. The ability to just pop a cartridge in and have your beverage of choice waiting for you in 1 minute may well be worth a little sacrifice in quality.
- Super fast brewing
- Very compact
- Compatible with 3rd party pods
- User friendly / easy to program
- Poor brew temperature
- No ground single-serve option
Different machines will suit different people. We believe the models featured here represent a good range of great options to suit various situations. By following the best advice in this buying guide, you should dodge the pitfalls in your quest to find the best dual coffee maker for you.
Ease of Use
Not all of us are morning people, particularly not before our first coffee. If this sounds like you, you will probably want to find a machine that is sympathetic to this. It shouldn’t place too many demands on you before you are rewarded with a cup of coffee.
Some simpler machines can be as straightforward as putting your coffee and water in and pressing go. On the other hand, if you prefer the more advanced customization options offered by a more complex brewer, it may be worth getting familiar with the settings.
For example, the Mr. Coffee Combo and the K-Duo Plus are both fairly user-friendly. They feature few buttons for an easy and fast cup of coffee. On the other hand, the De’Longhi All-In-One and the Ninja CP307 have more bells and whistles and might take some time to get used to.
K-Cups vs Ground Coffee
Some single-serve machines will accommodate K-cups, while others only function with ground coffee. Again this is a personal decision. K-cups can be very convenient, so if that’s what you want, you should aim for a machine compatible with this single-serve style.
However, if you want a better quality coffee cup, you should consider avoiding K-cups. What’s more, they have a high environmental impact, producing large amounts of plastic waste. With 14 million tons of plastic finding its way to our oceans every year, we should all be trying to cut down on our single-use plastic consumption. 
Glass vs Thermal
There are two common designs for the carafes used with the batch brew feature of most dual coffee machines. The choice tends to be glass or thermal.
A glass pot and hot plate combination tends to be the cheaper option. Also, some people prefer the aesthetic of a glass coffee pot. These are absolutely fine if you drink everything you’ve brewed within half an hour.
However, for hot-hold times over 30 minutes, you are far better off with a thermal carafe. They don’t need to sit in direct contact with a heat source and can be kept air-tight, which is much better for your coffee. Brewed coffee held like this should still taste fresh for up to two hours.
Some machines come with more options for getting your coffee exactly how you like it. Most at least have the option for a regular or bold type of setting and automatically adjust the brew parameters to achieve this.
If you like to have a good amount of control over the brewing process, you should look for a coffee maker that lets you customize your water temperature. Options to customize pre-infusion and bloom settings are also nice, although you may struggle to find this in a dual coffee maker.
All the coffee makers we have featured here come with a carafe size of 10-12 cups. This is a fairly large capacity and should suit most situations. Be aware that smaller brewers are available and may even be more suitable for lone coffee drinkers. Just check that you end up with an appropriate size carafe for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Dual Coffee Makers Come With Grinders?
Most dual coffee makers don’t come with grinders. Some options come with an integrated grinder, but we wouldn’t recommend them. You don’t tend to get the best grinder or coffee maker for your money.
If space is a real issue and you don’t have room for anything else on your kitchen counter, go for a manual grinder you can pop away in the drawer. You will get far better results with a Comandante C40 hand grinder than with any integrated machine and grinder on the market today.
How Should You Keep Your Machine Clean?
Some of the machines come with a self-cleaning function. This can be a great way to stay on top of oil build-ups. You should do this regularly if your machine allows for it. But even with this feature, it is a good idea to deep clean your coffee maker once a month.
You can flush the machine with diluted vinegar or citric acid powder, preventing mold and limescale. Whichever method you go for, flush your machine thoroughly with water before you brew again.
Can You Make Other Beverages With Dual Coffee Makers?
Most dual coffee makers at least come with the facility to dispense hot water. In some cases, you may want to flush through a bit of water after brewing coffee to avoid getting residual coffee flavors in your tea.
Machines that feature a steam arm can also be used for steaming milk for cocoa, hot chocolate, matcha or chai latte, or whatever else you may want. If you have tea drinkers in your household or workplace, you might want to opt for something like the Ninja CP307, which caters to them just as well as coffee lovers.
We came across some true all-rounders in our quest for the best dual coffee machine. Our absolute favorite is the SCA-approved Braun MultiServe. With seven different preset beverage sizes, it makes everything from a whole carafe to a single cup. But more importantly, it makes excellent coffee.
The Braun MultiServe has seven different preset beverage sizes at three strength options and is programmable up to 24 hours in advance. With a good water dispersal and very stable brew temperature, it is no wonder the SCA gave this machine their Gold Standard rating.