Best Coffee Maker For College

Let’s face it: college students need caffeine.

Whether it’s pulling an all-nighter, making a last-minute presentation, or working day and night to nail the final – a delicious and reinvigorating cup of joe is the companion you need.

At the same, you also cannot afford to splurge on a coffee-making appliance being a college student.

But fret not: check out our list of the top five coffee makers for college – high quality and budget-friendly.

Smart Coffee Hacks for College Students

Since we‘ve already established the importance of coffee to help you graduate from college, here are a few coffee hacks that you can use to cut down on costs but still enjoy the beverage to its fullest.

Buy a Travel Mug

It’s not always possible to enjoy your single serve in the comfort of your dorm room, sometimes it just has to be on-the-go.

Juggling a hot cup of coffee is a disaster waiting to happen – it can spill on your gadgets, assignments, or desk. By buying a good travel mug, you won’t face any risk of spillage and continue enjoying your coffee just how it was supposed to be – warm and cozy.

Get Your Hands on K-Cups

K-cups are available in various flavors and options along with being compatible with a variety of coffee makers. But, it’s important for you to use reusable cups instead of premade cups. The former is more cost-efficient and will ensure you contribute less plastic waste.

Using Spicy Alternatives

Specialty coffee, though tasty, is expensive. But, if you still want to indulge in this brew, you can use alternatives like cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and nutmeg to get the exact flavor at a much lower price.

Opting for Cold Brews

Stick to drinking iced concoctions if you want to save time without missing your daily caffeine. You can prepare a cold brew coffee concentrate and store it in a refrigerator for weeks – pour and dilute when needed!

How to Buy the Best Coffee Maker for College?

Your pointers when buying stuff for your dorm room should revolve around three things: convenience, budget, and efficiency.

Simplicity

Look for coffee makers that are simple to use – preferably, ones that have a one-touch operation with Alexa compatibility. Not only will this save you lots of time, but it’ll even let you catch up with some extra minutes of precious sleep.

Ease of Cleaning

Coffee machine components that have to be washed manually is certainly a chore. This includes the carafe, water reservoir, and drip tray. Instead, you should look for dishwasher-friendly options.

If you don’t have a dishwasher, stick to simple appliances that can be given a good scrub with regular cleaning supplies.

Quick Brewing Time

You should always look for a coffee-making machine that can brew at high heat. This helps to enhance the depth and aroma without taking much time. So, you’ll have a tasty cuppa within minutes!

Compactness

College students often live in dorms that are on the smaller side, which often leaves them with limited space. 

Your best bet as a college student, hence, should be to look for the best coffee makers that have a small footprint and long extension cords.

Pocket Pinch

A fairly obvious yet important pointer, coffee makers for college should be affordable. Luckily, there are plenty of options available on the market that give you high-performance and a cheap price.

The Best Coffee Maker for College for 2020

Here, we’ll discuss some of the best coffee makers for college that can give you a great cuppa, while also being time-efficient and cost-saving:

CHULUX Single-Serve Coffee Maker

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The CHULUX Single-Serve Coffee Maker is a simple yet attractive looking machine that has a compact design perfect for serving a delicious single cup to help you kickstart your day for the lectures ahead. 

This coffee maker serves as a complete solution to the requirement for a personal coffee maker machine thanks to its low space-occupying design that allows simple storage, ease of transport, and usage in various places like offices, apartments, hotel rooms, cabins, and of course, a dorm room. 

You can also use it as a water boiler to get hot water for hot chocolate or tea.

The product has been manufactured with various safety features such as the auto-shutoff and an overheating protection system. While the former will turn off your appliance as soon as the brewing is done, the latter ensures that the coffee’s temperature is not too high. It will keep the exterior surface cool to the touch making it safe to be held during or after its use.

Another convenient feature is the coffee maker’s fast boiling ability that saves time and lets you enjoy quick service. The appliance is made out of BPA-free materials and has even received certifications of approval by the FDA and UL. 

The CHULUX Single-Serve Coffee Maker is suitable for those who want a time-saving coffee maker that brews beverages quickly and has a hassle-free operation. It’s also very easy to clean and maintain the coffee maker which is certainly a plus considering how hectic college can be.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Quick brewing time
  • Easy to use
  • Made from BPA-free material
  • Removable drip tray
  • One-touch operation
  • Overheating protection
  • 12-ounce water tank capacity
  • Ease of maintenance

CONS:

  • Noisy operation
  • Makes only a single cup of coffee at a time
  • Water input needs to be bigger
  • Limited water tank capacity

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

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A travel-friendly coffee maker with a length of only 4.5 inches, the Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker is super compact. Small spaces or luggage, this appliance can fit anywhere!

It has a reservoir of 6 to 12 ounces and can pour one cup of coffee at a single time. Using the machine is very simple as well; just add water into the reservoir and place the desired coffee pods. Wait for about two minutes after pressing the brew button, and voila! A steaming cup of delicious coffee will be ready.

The coffee maker also has an automatic shut-off feature that activates itself within a minute and a half as soon as the brewing process is over. Not only does this help conserve electricity, but it’s also very convenient as you won’t have to constantly monitor the coffee maker. 

One of the most likable features of the product is the cord storage section at the back. The 26-inch long power cord can be inserted at the back and pulled out for use which eliminates the problem of unnecessary wrangling wires. 

The compatibility with regular K-cups – branded as well as non-branded – is both time-saving and economical. However, it doesn’t support K-carafe, Vue pods, or K-mugs. While the brew results are inconsistent, it still gets the job done decently.

As for maintenance, you‘ll have to clean the external parts of the brewer regularly followed by descaling every 3 to 6 months. With its simple design, washing the appliance is quite easy.

PROS:

  • Space-saving design
  • Easy to use
  • Trouble-free rinse and refill
  • Fast heating of water
  • Accommodates regular-sized K-cups
  • Affordable
  • Energy-saving appliance

CONS:

  • Produces faulty batches of coffee at times
  • Machine's mixing mechanism can be improved
  • Has a tendency to leak

AmazonBasics 5-Cup Coffeemaker

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AmazonBasics’s 5-cup coffeemaker does what it’s supposed to do at an attractively lower price – provide you with authentic-tasting hot coffee and lots at that! 

It can brew up to five coffee cups, which makes it a perfect option if you drink coffee a little more than the average person or share your college dorm with others. In addition to this, it has several useful features like ‘Keep Warm’, a hot plate, and a removable filter basket.

The ‘Keep Warm’ feature allows the carafe to be at the ideal serving temperature ensuring your coffee remains fresh and warm rather than cold. Even the warm plate keeps the beverage hot and ready to consume once you’ve transferred the coffee into a mug from the carafe. 

The coffee maker can also pause the brewing process as soon as you remove the carafe from the machine to prevent any wastage or spills. 

The AmazonBasics 5-Cup Coffeemaker comes with a removable filter basket and a reusable filter that drives the coffee-making towards the best possible efficiency and economizing of the product’s maintenance. 

You see, the reusable filter is cost-saving because it removes the need for constantly purchasing disposable paper filters, which might we add, aren’t very affordable.

The other convenient additions include an easy-view water window that lets you monitor the water levels and a 36-inch cord that increases the distance coverage offered by the appliance. So, you can place the coffee maker wherever you’d want it even if the outlet is far away.

PROS:

  • Removable filter basket
  • Mid-way brewing pause prevents wastage
  • Can prepare up to 5 cups of coffee
  • Comes with a warm plate
  • Easy to use
  • 'Keep Warm' feature
  • Reusable filter
  • Portable glass carafe
  • Automatic shut-off

CONS:

  • Leakage problems
  • Fragile carafe
  • Durability needs to be improved

Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker

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Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker, as the name suggests, can brew 12 cups of coffee at a time. providing you with a steady coffee supply whenever you call over your college buddies for a studying session. 

Weighing 3.6 pounds with a 12.56 inches height, this coffee maker might look small, but it does pack a solid punch. 

It has a built-in indicator light that notifies you whenever the machine is switched on and off, a grab-a-cup-auto-pause feature that gets activated when you remove the carafe from the base and a removable drip tray that allows brewing in travel mugs. Basically, a simple yet convenient design that is perfect for college-goers.

There is also a water window on both sides of the coffee maker to enable you to keep track of the water level to prevent any overflow of the coffee. An easy-to-store glass carafe, removable filter basket that allows easy, fast, and simple cleaning, and Alexa compatibility using which you can give voice command instructions to get your perfect cuppa without the effort.

Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker has an integrated warming plate that allows the coffee to remain warm even after two hours of being brewed into the carafe. The 26-inch long power cord makes it easy to place the appliance without creating any disarrangement.

PROS:

  • Grab-a-cup-auto-pause
  • 12 cups of coffee at a time
  • Value for money
  • Removable drip tray
  • Alexa compatibility lets you issue voice commands
  • Switch On/Off indicator
  • Dual water windows to monitor water levels
  • Integrated warming plate
  • Removable filter basket
  • Easy to clean
  • Prepares the best cup of joe

CONS:

  • Auto shut-off feature missing
  • Heating element quality can be improved
  • Not very quiet

Nespresso by De’Longhi Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine

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The Nespresso Essenza Mini is a compact automatic espresso maker that has been manufactured with secure and recyclable aluminum capsules – one of the best ways to seal in freshness, odor, and flavor. 

At the very first glance, you notice how small the coffee machine is. In fact, it might be one of the most compact coffee and espresso maker machines which would explain why the concept and design of the product lead it to win the Red Design Award in 2017. 

It can prepare some of the exquisite barista-themed coffee as well as regular espresso drinks thanks to the 19 bars of pressure created by the extraction system. The addition of a one-touch button further simplifies the brewing. 

The Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine also features a built-in fast heating element that warms the water to the right temperature. This, in addition to the pressure, brings out the rich aroma and elegant flavor inside the capsule during the process of brewing, 

You can choose from two single serve brew options: the 1.35-ounce espresso and 5-ounces Lungo. If left unattended for nine minutes, the auto shut-off feature will turn off the coffee maker that also helps to save energy. 

The manufacturer has also provided complimentary espresso capsule kits with every purchase! You can understand and find your preferred alternative from the variety of special scented options available in the kit. Lastly, the simple and unchallenging cleaning procedure gets the coffee maker brownie points as well.

PROS:

  • Espresso maker machine with a very compact design
  • Auto shut-off after 9 minutes of inactivity
  • Complimentary espresso capsules kit
  • 19 bar pressure pump
  • Single serve feature availabl
  • 30-second water heating ability
  • 2 programmable cup sizes

CONS:

  • Pump motor quality needs to be improved
  • Needs regular maintenance
  • Inefficient customer support
  • Better quality control required

The Bottom Line: What is the Best Coffee Maker for College?

All the five above-mentioned options hit the sweet-spot combination of efficiency, affordability, and durability.

But, if we had to recommend one, it would be the Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker.

This 12-cup coffee maker is fast and easy to use. Furthermore, its compatibility with Alexa and a one-touch operation is perfect for enjoying high-quality brewing sans much effort.

The integrated warming plate, a 26-inch power cord, and removable components are other convenient additions.

Putting things into perspective, the Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker is practically made for keeping up with the dynamic and active life of the college.