6 Best Grind and Brew Single Cup Coffee Makers

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Time flies. 

As each year passes, we seem to have less of it.

As we juggle the demands of a busy social and work life it can at times feel as if we are “going under”.

In a desperate attempt to create more time, we turn to machines to help us with everyday tasks.

Single serve coffee makers have been with us for a while but there is now a new kid on the block.

Single serve coffee makers with grinders built in.

We want to brew the freshest coffee, in the quickest time, in a machine that takes up the least amount of space. 

It won’t unfortunately feed your dog it’s breakfast!

Before we delve into the pros and cons of these mini marvels of engineering, I want to look in more detail at single serve brewers.

The Rise of the Single Serve Brewer

Coffee makers have traditional made pots of coffee.

This was because coffee was normally made for several people at the same time or because of a hotplate, a pot of coffee would be used by individuals over the course of a day. 

The rise of the “coffee shop culture” and the demand to have similar quality coffee available in our homes, has meant that coffee tends to be consumed by the cup not the carafe. 

Single serve coffee makers are one of the results in this change.

Why drink coffee that is hours old when you can make a fresh cup every time?

As more of us live on our own, why waste pots of coffee when good quality cups can be made.

And why buy bags of pre ground coffee or bags of coffee beans (which begin to stale as soon as they are open) when we can use individual coffee pods or capsules to make a fresh cup every time?

It is easy to see why single serve coffee makers are such a big hit, isn’t it?

In our next section, I will look at the importance of grinding coffee. 

Why Grind?

Why grind your own coffee?

What’s wrong with pre-ground?

If you’ve never stopped to consider why the coarseness of the grind matters, now’s the time to upgrade.

What’s so special about grinding it just before brewing?

On the one hand, pre-ground beans are easier and much quicker.

But on the other, buying a bag of roasted beans is cheaper per pound.

Best of all, freshly-ground beans taste and smell a thousand times better.

Why? The bean locks all the delicious coffee oils inside the bean. It locks in the flavour and delicate aromas.

It keeps the flavour fresh.

And, if you grind your own beans, you get to choose how coarse the grind is.

Fine grounds are better for espresso and vacuum pots, coarser grounds are better for French presses or Percolators.

Grinding yourself gives you control.

And the taste difference just means there’s no contest.

So grinding is important, but what are some of the pros and cons of machines that grind and brew.

What is the difference between burr and blade grinders?

If you’re more than casually interested in coffee, then you must have heard of grinders for reducing coffee beans to grounds just before brewing. Well, to grind coffee — or anything else in your kitchen — you’ll either use a burr grinder or a blade grinder. 

But how do you tell a blade grinder from a burr grinder?

Blade grinders are grinders with a double-pronged blade. This blade usually sits at the bottom of the grind chamber and it grinds by spinning rapidly and slicing through anything on its part. Blade grinders work the same way blenders work and if you’re familiar with blenders you should get the picture already.

Burr grinders, on the other hand, grind by crushing beans — or whatever you’re grinding — between two abrasive surfaces. There are flat and conical burr grinders, but they do the same thing, crush your beans between two abrasive surfaces which rotate over each other. 

So which is better for grinding coffee beans, burr or blade?

Either a blade or burr grinder works pretty well depending on what you’re actually grinding. But when it comes to coffee brewing the delicacy of the process requires that the grounds are a certain size and consistent. Let’s find out how both compare to each other.

Consistency: blade grinders work by slicing coffee beans into a billion tiny pieces but grind size is hardly consistent while burr grinders crush the beans between two surfaces to give a consistent grind size. So if you want consistency in your grind size, a burr grinder is definitely better.

Control: with a burr grinder it’s easy to control the grind size by adjusting the space between the two abrasive surfaces. A little bit of space between the abrasive surfaces mean coarser grounds while a no space gives very fine grounds. With blade grinder controlling the grind size isn’t so easy, to get fine ground you’ll have to just keep grinding.

Heat transfer: the high speed rotational movement of blade grinders generate heat which is transferred to the coffee grounds and since brewing is temperature sensitive this can affect the quality of your brew. Burr grinders generate very little heat which is almost negligible when compared to blade grinders.

For grinding coffee beans, burr grinders are definitely the ideal grinding machine. Blade grinders may be much cheaper and faster but they tend to deliver less consistent grind size and can tamper with your brew quality. 

Advantages/ Disadvantages to Grind and Brew

Firstly, the advantages. 


First off, it’s just way more convenient.

You don’t have to grind separately and then load the machine. You simply load up and set the machine going.

With that convenience, so the marketing will have us know, you get awesome coffee.

Much better tasting than if you use pre-ground.

You won’t get that stale uniform taste.

The aroma is to die for.

The grinding process releases the aromas, filling your house and your cup with alluring smells.

The smell is already gone from pre-ground.

Buying a grind and brew coffee maker will also save a bit of electricity compared to having a separate grinder and coffee maker.

And finally, but by no means least, having only one machine saves space.

At a time when many of us are living in smaller homes. 

But before we get carried away, there are a few disadvantages. 


On the downside, these combined machines don’t give you the flexibility of a separate coffee grinder.

You can’t experiment with different grinds.

You can’t use your freshly ground coffee in that nice French Press your mom bought you for your birthday.

If your grind and brew machine breaks, you have effectively lost two machines.

Do you buy a new single serve coffee maker with a grinder built in or buy a single serve brewer and a separate grinder?

Those are the sort of issues that will keep you awake at night!

In all honesty, there a few serious drawbacks that buying a single serve coffee maker with a grinder built in have.

And they are;

  • Choice- there aren’t many models available.
  • Feedback- none of the models have particular high ratings. Each one has a fair bit of criticism.

For this reason, I have reviewed an alternative.

One of the most highly rated single serve brewers and a separate grinder. 

In the next section it is time to look at some of the top features to look out for in your new gadget…

Buyers Guide For Single Serve Coffee Maker With Grinder Built In

#1. brews beans or grounds

An important feature if you’ve not always got access to coffee beans. It gives you the option to grind your own outside. This option is the ultimate flexibility. Especially good if the grinder breaks!

#2. Simple one touch operation

Don’t like messing around with complex options and control panel? Just want to crawl out of bed and press a button that makes you coffee? This is a crucial element for those of us who prefer simple operation and minimalistic design.

#3. Brew up to 16 oz

What happens if you want to brew a little more? If you like to make more than one cup, then consider a machine than brews in larger amounts. You don’t only want to get one measly 10 oz portion!

#4. Includes a travel mug

This is another popular option for many of the built-in grinders. While not necessary it’s great to have a travel cup that just slots into the machine. You can fill it up and be on your way to work. It’s just good value too.

Most machines seem to have a feature that stops the grinding if it’s empty for safety. I couldn’t find much on the whole machine switching off. But most seemed to suggest they would stop working when the coffee was poured.

#5. Auto-off feature

A few machines stop automatically when the grind is finished. A crucial safety feature, so you don’t end up leaving the house with the coffee machine grinding nothing.

#6. Permanent or disposable filter

Another thing to look out for: does the coffee machine give you the option of both permanent and disposable features. Some only allow their inbuilt filters to be used, a hassle for cleaning. Others only allow the use of disposable filters, something else you’ve got to buy. The best machines give you the option of both.

Missing Features

It’s super convenient having all the features in one machine. But what are you missing out on that other flashier coffee-makers have? What do lose?

#1 LCD display

Most coffee machines have awesome LCD displays that give timings and options for changing the temperature and hundreds of other settings. It means you can know your coffee machine is doing the job it’s supposed to.

#2 Removable water reservoir

Another annoyance with many of these grind and brew machines is their lack of a removable water reservoir. Having the removable reservoir is both handy when filling up the machine, but also super useful when cleaning it.

#3 Coffee Strength Selector

Another issue is the lack of options. What happens if you only drink mild coffee? What about if you like yours as intense as a bonfire? A strength selector is one of the most important tools for personalising coffees for different people. If everyone in your family takes their coffee differently, consider this option carefully.

#4. Brew size selector

Only like a small cup? Want a cup as big as a bucket? This option allows you to choose how big your coffee is going to be. It gives choice for different people’s tastes. So, it makes a huge difference if your coffee machine is being shared by family or colleagues.

#5. Auto start

Another interesting feature that the built-in grinder machines don’t have is the ability to set a timer to prepare the coffee. So, when you go to bed, you can set it to make the coffee before you wake up. The reason this feature is probably not included in the self-grinders is the extra step of grind is quite noisy and might wake you in the morning.

#1. Cuisinart DGB 1FR

The ideal choice for the coffee lover on a tight budget. 

Buy on Amazon



Want a professional, freshly-ground coffee?

Only got a few bucks to spend?

The Cuisnart DGB 1FR might be the perfect coffee machine for you. It grinds and brews 16 oz of coffee beans in one go, so you can make one or two cups.

Want to fit in your favourite travel mug? No problem.

The drip tray can be removed to fit in a taller cup.

The coffee grinder sometimes gets wet, making it annoying to clean.

The whole thing is a little complex to clean.

Unlike other products, it doesn’t come with its own coffee filter. You must buy them separately.

It grinds coffee well and all the removable parts are dishwasher safe. If you’re looking for fast, fresh coffee, it’s great value for money.

#2. Mr Coffee Single Cup Coffee Maker With Grinder Built in

The ideal choice for the early bird with a busy schedule.

Buy on Amazon



Looking for that fresh ground taste?

Don’t want to waste time grinding and loading the machine?

The Mr Coffee Single Cup Coffee Maker could work for you. It uses both fresh beans and ground coffee.

Best of all, it comes with a matching stainless-steel travel mug.

The coffee machine grinds and brews the coffee in minutes. It’s so fast and convenient if you need your fix before rushing out in the morning.

The grinder doesn’t always work as well as you’d want. It leaves large chunks of unground beans, making it hard to clean.

Some people have had trouble with it breaking down.

Annoyingly, it doesn’t use disposable filters.

Cleaning the filter is a hassle.

It’s mid-range in price and well worth the money for the perfect morning coffee.

#3. Hamilton Beach Grind and Brew

The ideal choice for a professional couple with no time to spare

Buy on Amazon



Want something a bit more powerful?

Want to brew two cups at the same time?

The Hamilton Beach Grind and Brew fits the bill. It’s easy to operate and comes with a free coffee scoop.

The big buttons on the front make it easy to use without consulting a complex manual.

It even cleans itself! It has an automatic rinse, meaning you’ve only got to do the tiniest work to finish it. It allows the use of paper filters if you prefer.

When the coffee’s grinding, it’s extremely noisy. So, if you make a 5am coffee, you might wake up the rest of the family.

Coffee builds up in the mechanism, making it a bit annoying to clean.

Overall, it’s convenient and makes delicious freshly-brewed coffee. Excellent choice if you’re busy.

#4. ZenCT Single Cup Brewer and Grinder

Ideal for the coffee connoisseur with a love of the outdoors

Buy on Amazon



Want portable freshly-ground coffee?

Want a unique an innovative product?

The Zen CT Portable Coffee Maker will wow you.

It’s a coffee grinder and a travel mug in one.

The battery can do about ten grinds before needing recharge.

Take it up mountains, across rivers, through the busy city!

Add the amount of beans you want to taste and set the grinder going.

It takes 5 minutes for the ceramic burr to grind the coffee beans.

Grinding stops if there’s no coffee in the machine.

It makes about 10 coffees before needing recharge.

Overall, one of the coolest and cleverest products out there.

Perfect if you like camping or hiking and need that caffeine kick at the top of a mountain.

The coffee tastes amazing too!

#5. Breville BDC650BSS Grind Control Coffee Maker

Buy on Amazon

The Breville Grind Control coffee maker comes with an integrated burr grinder which can easily pass as it’s best feature. The burr grinder holds half pound of beans in its hopper and reduces them to grounds a few seconds before brewing. Plus 4 grind setting to let you tweak the ground size to suit you. Even with a built-in grinder, the Grind Control also has a Pre-ground coffee setting for brewing from traditional coffee grounds. 

A fresh cup of coffee at your fingertips anytime you want it shouldn’t be so difficult. And the freshest tasting coffee drinks are brewed from freshly ground coffee beans, right? Of course you already know that and I’m sure you probably have a burr grinder for that — as every true coffee lover does. 

But what about those days when you just want a quick cup of coffee and would rather push a few buttons to get your fix. This is why you need an excellent automatic coffee machine, in addition to your manual pour over coffee maker. And since nothing tastes better than freshly brewed coffee, an ideal automatic coffee machine should have an integrated burr grinder to save you the stress of grinding the beans separately. 

Well, there’s one beast of a coffee machine that takes care of the entire brewing process from grinding the coffee beans to heating up the water and brewing the coffee — and it does an excellent job too. Meet the Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker. 

The Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker automatically brews from one cup (with variable size options) to up to 12 cups of fresh, hot and delicious coffee and it 8 strength setting so you can conveniently adjust your brew strength. 

An LCD screen helps you monitor your brewing, it displays the grind size, water level (tank capacity is 60 ounces), strength selection, grinding time, brewing time and all the setting you selected. Another very important aspect of coffee brewing is temperature control, the Grind Control brews coffee at the exact optimal temperature — 200oF — for proper extraction and it maintains this temperature throughout the brewing cycle. 

To keep your brew hot for as long as possible, the Grind Control comes with a thermal carafe that traps heat and locks it in for hours. This coffee maker is actually one bad-ass coffee machine, it doesn’t just automatically brew delicious tasting cups of coffee, it also lets you calibrate the brewing time which is a feature that differentiates it from the majority of automatic coffee makers.

#6. Breville BES870XL Espresso Machine

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Brewing great coffee starts from the grounds and for an espresso you need fine grounds. The Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine has a built-in burr grinder that reduces your coffee beans to the perfect size for espressos, and a grind size dial lets you choose your preferred grind size. 

The integrated burr grinder has a dose-control feature which delivers the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter, depending on if you selected single or double shot. 

As an ardent coffee lover, chances are you’ve had some really good espresso drinks. And if you’ve ever entertained thoughts of replicating those amazing espresso shots in your own kitchen and wouldn’t mind getting your hands dirty in the process, then you just found how. 

The Breville Barista Express Espresso machine is a semi-automatic espresso maker which is great for both professional baristas and first-time espresso makers. It has many customizable controls to delight the expert barista yet it’s easy enough to use with a detailed instruction manual so that any novice can comfortably play around with it and with any luck make amazing espressos too.

Making world-class espresso requires skill and expertise; you have to consider the grind size, amount of grounds, extraction temperature and pressure, yet the Barista Express simplifies this process by providing you with buttons to push for a perfect espresso shot every time.

Without the optimal extraction pressure an espresso drink will be very far from sweat and creamy. Well, the Barista Express doesn’t lose sight of this, It has two dual-wall pressurized filters to regulate and maintain the optimum 9 bars extraction pressure which is great news for amateur espresso makers. For expert baristas, two single-wall, non-pressurized filters provides the luxury of experimenting with different grind amount and tamping pressure.

And for brewing temperature, this semi-automatic espresso maker features a thermocoil heating system, it uses a digital temperature control technology to detect and maintain the appropriate temperature throughout the brewing cycle. The Barista Express also has a steam wand which gives your milk a silky smooth texture for making amazing and tasty lattes. 

This machine is pretty amazing and quite easy to maintain too. After each shot of espresso quickly remove the used grounds from the portafilter and thoroughly rinse the machine. Just like any other machine, good maintenance practices mean longer life span.

Grinding Your Own Coffee vs Buying Ground Coffee

Why grind your own coffee?

What’s wrong with pre-ground?

If you’ve never stopped to consider why the coarseness of the grind matters, now’s the time to upgrade.

What’s so special about grinding it just before brewing?

On the one side, pre-ground beans are easier and much quicker.

But on the other buying a bag of roasted beans is cheaper per pound.

Best of all, freshly-ground beans taste and smell a thousand times better.

Why? The bean locks all the delicious coffee oils inside the bean. It locks in the flavour and delicate aromas.

It keeps the flavour fresh.

And, if you grind your own beans, you get to choose how coarse the grind is.

Fine grounds are better for espresso and vacuum pots, coarser grounds are better for French presses or Percolators.

Grinding yourself gives you control.

And the taste difference just means there’s no contest.

Alternative Option

Hamilton Beach The Scoop Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Do you need your cup of coffee to be done quick?

Do you want a piping hot cup in your hands in under 2 minutes flat?

Then the Hamilton Beach The Scoop Single Serve Coffee maker might be the one for you.

It doesn’t have a grinder, so only takes grounds.

But it’s one of the quickest and most reliable machines out there. It’s made of durable stainless steel and feels unbreakable.

With its simple, old-school design, it’s also one of the easiest coffee-makers to use.

And, it doesn’t take up much room in your kitchen.

It does have problems if you overfill with ground coffee, but if you’re careful it’s fine.

It brews up to 14 oz straight into a mug or your favorite travel cup.

The coffee comes out scorching hot and brews quickly.

It takes about two minutes to make a cup.

If you want reliable hot coffee, and you already have a grinder, this is exceptional value for money.

Mueller HyperGrind Precision Electric Coffee Grinder

Do you love freshly-ground Arabica?

Are you obsessed with inventing your own blends?

Then the Mueller HyperGrind Precision Electric Coffee Grinder could be just what you need.

It’s a compact, efficient grinder.

It gives you full control of the grinding process. And does it quietly too.

You can grind loads at once. It’s efficient and grinds to a nice fine consistency.

It’s pretty basic and doesn’t have many options.

But it’s simple and it works well.

It is one of the most functional kitchen appliances out there.

It comes with an easy-to-read guide and you’ll be set up in minutes.

It’s only 7 inches tall and doesn’t take up much room on the kitchen counter.

If you’re keen to get into grinding your own beans, this is the perfect piece of kit.