A dual coffee maker refers to a machine that can brew coffee in at least two different ways. If you enjoy a pot of fresh-brewed coffee in the morning, but your housemate likes an espresso, a dual coffee maker could be a real space saver.
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. Somebody might want decaf or a bolder roast, for example.
Whatever you are looking for, we’ve tried to help guide you through the vast amount of options out there. Our top recommendation, the Braun MultiServe is a very versatile machine. It’s fully programmable and can do single-serves up to a 10-cup carafe.
Our Top Picks
1. Best All Round: Braun MultiServe Coffee Machine
2. Best For Offices: Cuisinart SS-20P1 Coffee Center
3. Best Combination Espresso Machine & Coffee Maker: De’Longhi All-in-One
4. Most Features: Ninja CP307 Hot and Cold Brewed System
The machines we will look at here have a pretty broad range of features. Some of them 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. Hopefully, we’ve featured something for everyone.
A Closer Look At the Best Dual Coffee Maker
What makes one dual coffee maker better than any other will depend upon your requirements. What you are expecting it to be able to achieve will be very personal to your coffee needs. We’ve tried to accommodate that by reviewing a broad selection of different styles of dual coffee makers below.
Keep reading for some short reviews of our favorite contenders for the best dual coffee maker.
Braun MultiServe Coffee Machine – Best All Round
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 throughout. 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 quite good, 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 for you 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 from the point of view of dual functionality 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
Can’t brew multiple drinks at the same time
Lack of bloom feature
Cuisinart SS-20P1 Coffee Center – Best For Offices
This coffee maker is an excellent solution in an office environment or if you have a large family of coffee drinkers with different preferences. The separate outlet for the single-serve drinks comes into its own in scenarios like this.
The Cuisinart won’t brew the exceptionally high standard coffees you might expect from a single-purpose drip brewer in the same sort of price bracket. However, with a couple of tweaks you can get a perfectly acceptable cup of coffee out of it.
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), which will likely cause under-extraction. If your brews consistently come out a little sharper than you like them, you could try grinding just a little finer.
The water dispersal isn’t great, and there is no bloom function. This machine is designed around convenience rather than for the connoisseur. It even has a self-cleaning function which does a fair job, although we would recommend a deeper clean periodically — especially if you live in a hard water area.
It’s worth noting as well that the design of the carafe, which sits on top of an inexplicable and unnecessary hot plate, could have been better. It is fairly tricky to get the last cup of coffee out without making a mess.
Capable of brewing multiple drinks simultaneously
Easy to clean
Poor brew temperature
Imperfect carafe design
De’Longhi All-in-One – Best Combination Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker
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 coffee maker from De’Longhi has a fully programmable drip machine on one side, which will brew a decent jug of filter coffee for the whole family. The espresso machine and milk steamer on the other side are run from a separate boiler so that you can use them at the same time as the carafe brewer.
However, neither of the two boilers is exceptionally powerful, and it can be a challenge to keep the brew temperature hot enough. When pulling espresso shots, it is advisable to run some water through the group head first and use the pre-heat function.
The jug and hot plate featured with the batch brewer will keep your coffee hot for at least an hour, but due to the contact with a direct heat source, quality does drop off around the 30-minute mark.
Space-saving espresso and batch brew
Not the best espresso machine
Ninja CP307 Hot and Cold Brewed System – Most Features
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.
Despite leaning heavily on its flashy selling points, Ninja’s brewer can turn out a very nice 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 an espresso and gets a bit lost in milk drinks.
Good extractions on batch brews
Great for tea drinkers
The espresso-style drinks are a bit… weird?
The Mr. Coffee Combo Brewer is a great machine for a smaller kitchen. With a footprint of just 15 inches by about 8 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. One frustrating feature of this brewer, though, 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 a very decent 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
Uneven extractions when using single-serve options
In most ways, this is a fairly similar brewer to the Mr. Coffee. If you want a k-cup machine, 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 pod, 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.
User friendly / easy to program
Poor brew temperature
No ground single-serve option
This machine is fantastic value for money. It probably won’t brew you the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had, but it won’t break the bank, and it does the job. The build quality feels a little flimsy, and it doesn’t get the best extractions. For the money, though, it’s a dependable, programmable, and functional coffee maker.
The batch brew is not too bad with a couple of tweaks. As with other less expensive water heaters, starting with hot water rather than the manufacturer’s recommended cold is a good idea. The paper filters give a lot more clarity to the brew. A lot of more expensive brewers fall down with poor reusable filters that let far too much oil through.
A significant downside to this brewer is that the single-serve side only heats to around 150 ºF (66 °C). Unfortunately, this is nowhere near hot enough to brew good coffee. You can start with hot water, but just for one cup, it feels like there might be easier ways to achieve better results.
Good budget option
Paper filter is good for clarity
Cheap build quality
Poor brew temperature
Obviously, there are a lot more dual coffee makers available than just the ones we’ve looked at here. We believe that the models we’ve featured here represent a good range of the better options to suit various situations.
Different machines will suit different people for different reasons. However, 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, though, if you prefer the more advanced customization options offered by a more complex brewer, it may be worth getting familiar with the settings.
Just be sure to check that whatever machine you go for will suit what you want from it.
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, though, you should look out 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 of 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?
None of the machines we have featured here come with grinders. There are options available that come with an integrated grinder, but generally speaking, 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 and you should do this regularly if your machine allows for it. Even with this feature, though, it is a good idea to deep clean your coffee maker once a month.
You can flush the machine through 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 Them?
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 any 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.
Hopefully, you now feel well equipped to find the best dual coffee maker for you. For a high-quality brew, whether you want to make a whole carafe or just a single cup, we suggest you go with the SCA-approved Braun MultiServe.
It’s programmable up to 24 hours in advance and has seven different preset beverage sizes at three strength options. Perhaps more importantly, it makes really decent coffee. With a good water dispersal and very stable brew temperature, it is no wonder the SCA gave this machine their Gold Standard rating.