Best 2-Way Coffee Makers

Best Coffee Makers

I don’t know about you, but the best part of my morning is that first sip of coffee. Many modern countertops have found themselves graced with the popular single-serving coffeemakers, but what if you prefer more variety in your brewing experience? With a 2-Way Coffee Maker, you get the best of both worlds. Whether you need a quick cup for yourself before racing out the door, or you need a full pot to go with your guest’s dessert—a dual coffee maker has got you covered. The research speaks for itself, check out the top-reviewed choices below!

Product Ranking

We never stood a chance against the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew. It’s the total package for a coffee enthusiast. With premium features and a killer cost to value balance, it’s easy to see why the FlexBrew won “Best Choice” in our books. Ever dream of having someone bring you coffee in bed? This is the next best thing! (I mean…you could set it up on your nightstand…in theory.) Set yourself up for success every morning by using the programmable timer. 

Save money by skipping your morning drive-thru coffee run and using the single-serving side. It fits a wide range of cups. If you’re staying in, you can use your favorite mug. Or if you’re on the go—it fits most travel mugs! 

It has separate water reservoirs with water windows ensuring you always have the perfect amount of water to java ratio. The FlexBrew is K-cup compatible, but if you prefer to use your own ground coffee there’s a brew basket for that. It even has a 2-hour auto shut-off. Necessary for those of us who always seem to be in a rush in the mornings! “Did I turn off the coffee pot?” It doesn’t matter! It shuts itself off! If only my oven could learn a lesson from this coffee maker…

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Pro Tip: This dual coffee maker would make a great gift! And it’s less heavy than other models—convenient for shipping.

While that’s our best choice, you may have other features you’re looking for in a dual coffee maker. Read on to learn about our other top picks.

Product Ranking

Cuisinart—a well-known and trusted household name. What we love about their Coffee Center is…everything! Its sleek, compact design will fit well on any countertop but is especially appreciable for kitchens with less space. With the Coffee Center, you can serve a crowd or just yourself. The carafe side holds a standard 12-cups of coffee while the single-serving side can provide 6, 8, or 10 ounces at a time. Great for when you just need a small cup or those days when only the big mug will do!

Like the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew, this Cuisinart Coffee Center is K-cup compatible while still allowing you to use your own coffee grounds. Possibly even more exciting though—Cuisinart offers their own line of coffee capsules. And if you purchase this machine, you get a sample pack of three flavors! The capsules are recyclable and come in medium roast, dark roast, and french vanilla flavor. 

It gets better: The Coffee Center is jam-packed with advanced features, that’s why we had to make it our Premium Pick. We’ve saved one of the best attributes for last. Brew Strength Control. What does that mean? You can select BOLD for a stronger coffee flavor. That’s a game-changer if we ever heard one.

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Let’s see which machine is up next.

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Another great option from Hamilton Beach is their 2-Way Brewer. If you’re on a budget, this is a more affordable choice than the FlexBrew. Like the other dual coffee makers we’ve reviewed, it has a 12-cup carafe on one side and the single-serving brew function on the other. It takes the cake for the best value since it’s still an excellent option only cheaper.

You might be wondering: Then what’s the difference between this model and the FlexBrew? For one thing, this little guy is not k-cup compatible. You will need to add your own grounds to the mesh filter insert. Alternatively, you can use any soft pod coffees (like Senseo).

Like the Cuisinart above, this machine has a brew strength selector. You can choose regular or go for bold if you’re in the mood for a richer flavor. Typical of most modern coffee makers, the 2-Way Brewer is 24-hour programmable. Waking up to a fresh pot of coffee makes one feel like royalty. Under the carafe, you’ll find a nonstick, keep-hot plate. So you can sip slowly and savor that bean juice. At least for two hours, that’s when the coffee maker’s auto shut-off kicks in!

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If you’re more of an espresso person, keep reading!

Product Ranking

Single-serving coffee is quick, convenient, and doesn’t have to come from k-cups. But some of us prefer a latte, a cappuccino, an americano, or even a breve (steamed half and half, yes please!) over a cup of regular brewed coffee. If you’re an espresso aficionado, the DeLonghi dual coffee maker might be a better option for you. 

With the DeLonghi, you can brew up 10-cups of java to share or pull espresso shots like a pro. Enjoy your espresso black or use the manual frother to steam rich, creamy foamed milk. You can even steam your favorite dairy-free milk with the wand, though they may not froth up as well as cow’s milk. You can even combine the powers of both sides of the coffee maker to rustle up soothing Cafe Au Laits (half a cup of brewed coffee mixed with steamed milk!). 

You’ll be ready to impress anyone who visits with the full range of coffee drinks you can offer. Might as well set out a tip jar with a “Thanks a Latte!” sign and bake up a batch of scones. You’ll be a full-fledged home barista with the DeLonghi dual coffee maker. This machine extracts maximum flavor from your coffee beans. Leaving you free to kick back and savor your robust morning blend.

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Pro Tip: Grind your own espresso beans at home, right before you make your latte, for the maximum flavor experience!

Want a machine that brews great coffee, but also does other things? Check out this next one.

Product Ranking

Another great model by Cuisinart, the Coffee Plus made our list of lovely runner-ups. And here’s why: the Coffee Plus is technically only a 1-way coffee maker. Hear me out. On one side, you have the standard 12-cup carafe ready to rock and roll (or brew and pour rather?). The other side? A hot water maker. So you can use it for instant coffee. Or you can use it for tea, hot cocoa, oatmeal, and even soup! With a huge 54-ounce water reservoir, that hot water maker is here to serve. You can operate it on its own or while the coffee maker is doing its thing.

Once you brew your carafe of coffee, you can set the hotplate to whatever temperature you most prefer—high, medium, or low. The Brew Pause feature means you can sneak a cup if you just can’t wait until the whole pot is done. Crucial for those of us who need that caffeine kick to get moving in the morning. The machine is fully automatic and programmable. Wake up to fresh hot coffee every day. Use the self-cleaning button to save valuable time and energy. 

The included filters will keep your coffee free from impurities and tasting GREAT. The budget-friendly Coffee Plus is available in black, black/stainless steel, and a really striking brushed metal/red color option.

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Pro Tip: If you ever need to store or move your Cuisinart Coffee Plus (or if you haven’t used the hot water side in a week), we recommend emptying the 54-ounce water reservoir. To avoid injuries, only empty it when the unit is cool. Place coffee maker over a sink and pull the water release tab on the bottom of the machine. 

On to the next one!

Product Ranking

The sleek and stylish Espressione Espresso and Coffee Maker runs a little bit higher in price. But for good reason. It’s got just about every feature you could ever ask for in a dual coffee maker. Designed in Switzerland, this stainless steel machine is both eye-catching and easy to keep clean. 

Pull shots and steam milk like the pros with the Espressione. You can load your porta-filter with your own freshly ground espresso or you can use pre-made espresso pods. It doesn’t get much more convenient, right? The porta-filter is made of die-cast aluminum and boasts a “mustache” style outlet. This style allows you to brew into two cups at once. As an added bonus—it’s really cute! Use the powerful frother to enjoy your favorite coffee-shop espresso beverages like cappuccinos or lattes. Without leaving the house!

Brewing for a crowd? The heatproof glass carafe can hold 10-cups of coffee at a time and the warming plate will keep it the right temperature for hours. Impress your friends by brewing a pot of coffee then mixing it with freshly-frothed milk for Cafe Au Laits. It has clearly-indicated volume markers and a stay-cool handle. The cone filter basket is removable for easy cleanup. One machine, countless drink options!

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Caffeine Tip: Feel yourself really dragging one morning? Brew a pot of coffee in your Espressione and pull an espresso shot. In an 8-ounce mug, combine 6-ounces of brewed coffee with the single espresso shot. Sip and get going!

Do you host a ton of amazing soirees at your home? Then you’ve got to see this next option.

Product Ranking

The Kitchen Selectives coffee maker is a dual coffee maker…but is not a 2-way coffee maker. Hold the phone. What do we mean by that?! Twin 12-cup glass carafes make up both sides of this coffee machine. Making it the perfect choice for big households or heavy entertainers. If you host a lot of events, this coffee maker will save you much brewing time. Both sides can brew simultaneously and you can even do one side decaf and one side regular! Or if there are no caffeine-sensitive folks around, brew up two different flavors instead. 

Someone falling asleep at the dinner table? Perk them up using the pause and serve feature. You don’t have to wait for the full pot to brew before pouring a hot cup. Distracted by all your guests? No worries, the Kitchen Selectives coffee maker is equipped with a standard 2-hour automatic shut-off. Need the coffee to stay hot longer? Just hit the switch and the heating pad will power right back on. 

Cleaning up after parties is a breeze. Remove the filter baskets and clean up in the sink along with the glass carafes. Finding replacement parts (carafes or filter baskets) online is easy for this model as well. It uses standard disposable coffee filters. The machine is also very lightweight for easy transport if you host an event outside of your home or bring it to an office.

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Looking for something on the smaller side that’d be easy to travel with? Or maybe you have a tiny office or dorm room? There’s a dual coffee maker especially for you.

Product Ranking

If you’ve read these reviews in order, the Bella Dual Brew may look a little barebone after the previous seven dual coffee makers. But you best believe beautiful Bella made the list for good reason though. Budget-friendly, super lightweight, and the smallest machine on this list, Bella is a popular choice for tinier kitchens and dorm rooms. It counts as a dual brew—despite only brewing one cup at a time—because it is both k-cup and regular ground coffee compatible.

Another perk that makes the Bella coffee machine such a choice investment, its versatility. You don’t have to brew coffee. You can make tea, cocoa, soups, or even oatmeal! If taking care of the planet is important to you, you may be interested to know that the Bella comes with earth-friendly reusable filters. They’re dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. 

It’s super user-friendly, only a few buttons to choose from and everything is clearly labeled. You can brew three different sizes of drinks. Six ounces, ten ounces, all the way to fifteen ounces. The drip tray is adjustable to fit your favorite travel mug. If you have no need for carafes of coffee, this is a good fit for your home. Also, it brews up that cup of coffee fast—much appreciated!

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Buyer’s Guide

So, what are we talking about? Buying a new piece of equipment for your home is kind of a big deal. Especially if you’re going to drop some serious cash on it. You need to consider your household’s coffee needs and what will make you happiest in the long term. This buying guide will help you nail down the perfect dual coffee maker for your family.

What are dual (2-way) coffee makers and why should I buy one?

A dual coffee maker gives you two options. One way is to brew a full carafe of coffee. Simple, traditional, great for multiple people or when you have company over. The other way? Single-serving! Get a hot cup of coffee for one—fast. Most 2-way coffee makers can brew a single cup in under three minutes and will accommodate your travel mug. When you’re in a rush to head out the door, every precious second counts. A lot of single-serving coffee makers are k-cup or Senseo compatible, while others have espresso makers.

What To Look for in a Dual Coffee Maker

Before you purchase a 2-way coffee maker, you should ask yourself a few questions.

  1. How much coffee do I/does my household drink a day? 
  2. Do I like k-cups or can I get by without them?
  3. Do I prefer brewed coffee always or would I rather have the option to make espresso beverages?
  4. Do I need a 12-cup carafe or is 10-cups enough?
  5. What’s my budget look like/can I afford to spend a little more for better quality?
  6. Will it look good on my kitchen countertop?

If your household drinks multiple cups of coffee a day, you’ll likely prefer something like the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew or even the Kitchen Selectives drip coffee maker. If it’s just you and your spouse and you’re more one cup a day people you may lean toward the Cuisinart Coffee Center or the DeLonghi dual coffee maker. If you don’t have much to spend both the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer or the Bella Dual Brew Single-Serve are affordable options that will meet your caffeine needs! 

Answer the above questions, make your own list of top features, and refer back to our reviews to make an informed purchase that will keep you rolling in the good java for years to come.

Coffee vs. Espresso Machines

When you make coffee, the water pours over coarsely-ground coffee beans in a filter. When you make espresso, the machine forces steam through finely-ground coffee beans. Resulting in a much more concentrated liquid. This is why espresso is often mixed with water or milk. Though it doesn’t have to be! Some folks love to sip it straight. The difference in brewing methods makes for different flavor profiles, acidity, and caffeine content.

If you only have one shot of espresso then you’ll be consuming less caffeine than a full cup of brewed coffee. A typical shot of espresso contains anywhere from 40 to 75 milligrams of caffeine. While an 8-ounce cup of regular drip coffee will have between 80 and 185 milligrams. This means if you’re looking to cut back on your daily caffeine consumption, investing in a dual coffee maker that has the espresso side is a good choice. That is if you can resist making a second delicious cup! 

Espresso blends tend to have a more subdued acidity than brewed coffee blends. A good espresso should be complex, nutty, sweet, maybe even a little fruity, but not very bitter. Brewed coffee, because it goes through a paper filter, ends up with less of the natural oils and flavors from your coffee beans—giving it a lighter body.

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Q: What’s the Difference Between K-Cups and Soft Pods? What About Using Your Own Grounds? 

A: K-cups (by Keurig) are generally sealed plastic cartridges containing coffee grounds, tea leaves, or even hot cocoa mix. Third-party sellers have their own versions as well. As you may be able to guess, soft pods are not hard plastic cups. They’re made of ground coffee that’s sealed into disk-shaped filter paper pads. 

A few of the options on our review list (excluding the Kitchen Selectives, the Espressione, the DeLonghi, the Hamilton Beach 2-Way brewer, and the Coffee Plus) are k-cup compatible

Using your own ground coffee is possible with any dual coffee maker that includes a reusable filter. Buying bulk ground coffee (or whole bean that you grind yourself) can be a more affordable option than k-cups. 

Q: How Do I Pause the Coffee Maker to Pour a Cup Mid-Brew?

A: As long as your machine says it has the brew-pause feature, simply pull the carafe out (when it has enough brewed for a cup of course!) and pour. The brew cycle will pause automatically and immediately start back up when you replace the carafe. 

Q: Do I Have to Purchase a Coffee Grinder Separately? Or Are There Any Dual Coffee Makers With One Included?

A: So far, there aren’t many options for a dual coffee brewer plus grinder. If you wish to spend a bit more for a true all-in-one machine, the Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker might be your speed. Purchasing a separate coffee grinder may prove to be more cost-effective for you though. 

It doesn’t really look like a dual coffee maker, but it has the option to brew a single serving up to a full carafe (12-cups). It’s programmable and has the adjustable drip tray so you can fit travel mugs in there. The stainless steel grinder blades have six different settings. Letting you customize your favorite beans to the most optimal grind. 

The best part of this machine? You can grind some beans and immediately brew a pot. This level of freshness means more essential oils make it into your cup. Resulting in a full-flavored, more balanced cup of joe! 

Q: How Do I Clean My 2-Way Coffee Brewer?

A: Many dual coffee makers come with removable water tanks that you can hand-wash in the sink. The removable reusable filters can be hand-washed though many of them are also dishwasher-safe

Use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface of your machine. Clean up any spills immediately and empty all baskets/carafes after each use. 

It’s likely your 2-way coffee machine will need to be descaled every month. Usually, this can be done by running a mix of water and white food-safe vinegar through both sides of the machine. Afterward, be sure to run a few cycles of water through the machine before you brew coffee again! (Unless vinegar coffee is your jam—then go nuts.) Your coffee maker should come with further instructions on this process. 

In Closing

Coffee is an important part of most adults’ days. Whether you need that caffeine boost first thing in the morning or you prefer an afternoon pick-me-up, there’s a machine out there just for you. Pick your favorite two-way method of coffee brewing and your price range and go from there. 

We hope this buyer’s guide and detailed reviews have been helpful. If you know of someone looking for a dual coffee maker, share this article with them. Or if you’re feeling confident and generous—maybe you just buy them one!

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