In recent years, with the popularization of capsule systems (hard or soft), there has also been a proliferation of hybrid coffee machines, capable of preparing espresso-like all life, but which also admit the use of single-dose coffee. And, of course, more and more users are behind them.
Single-dose and ground coffee machines usually cost the same as a typical espresso machine, and sometimes even the user himself does not know that he is buying a coffee machine with that option.
A good single-dose compatible espresso machine allows you to enjoy the advantages of both systems: the purity, taste and closeness of traditional espresso coffee; or the cleanliness and speed of using a single-dose with the coffee already ready. They are ideal if there are several coffee consumers in your home, and each one has different tastes. However, whenever possible, accompany it with a good coffee grinder and avoid ground coffee packaging.
Later we’ll stop more at each model, but for now, here’s our selection of versatile coffee makers:
- 1 How Do Single-Dose and Ground Coffee Mills Work?
- 2 What Types of Coffee Mills for Ground Coffee and Single-dose Are There?
- 3 The 8 Best Coffee Makers for Single Dose and Ground Coffee
How Do Single-Dose and Ground Coffee Mills Work?
ESE single-dose compatibility is a simple concept. It is enough that in the handle filters, in addition to being able to serve ground coffee, a single-dose bag can be placed. All you need is for the filter to have the right size (you know that single-dose capsule, whether pads or ESE type, have different diameters).
Sometimes the coffee machine itself does not advertise or include among its features the possibility of using single-dose filters. However, you can try placing a single dose on the filter and work correctly. Sometimes it’s a question of ingenuity.
Once the single dose is in place, the coffee maker works the same as with ground coffee. You must adjust the filter in the group, tighten it, and activate the hot water injection. When the extraction is finished, instead of collecting the coffee grounds, it will be enough to remove the single-dose (it will be very wet and hot) and throw it in the garbage.
In this video, you will be able to see it much more evident:
What Types of Coffee Mills for Ground Coffee and Single-dose Are There?
We can define two subsets of these hybrid coffee machines, for espresso coffee and single-dose coffee — those that have a set of two filters, and those that have three filters.
In espresso machines with two filters, there is a smaller handle filter for making an espresso (a single dose of coffee) and a deeper handle filter for two cups or double espresso (two doses of coffee). Both have the same diameter, as is natural, but differ in-depth and the amount of coffee they can hold.
In a single-dose compatible coffee machine, the second filter has a double use: it can be used for double espressos, or to place single-doses. It is the most common system, but not the only one.
There are other hybrid coffee machines, which have a set of 3 filters. In this case, each of the handle filters has a single-use: there is a filter for single espressos, another for double espressos, and a third filter that is used with single doses.
The 8 Best Coffee Makers for Single Dose and Ground Coffee
The following are, in our opinion, some of the most exciting single-dose and ground coffee machines on the market. Either because of their price, or because of their overall quality as coffee machines, or because they have a series of new attributes and features. This ranking does not follow any order.
Logically, we could have included many more, but the idea was to make a strict and accessible selection. If you have any other contribution, do not hesitate to contact us or tell us in a comment!
We begin our list with one of the most recent Delonghi models in the manual express segment. The ECP35 coffee maker has a 1.1-litre capacity, a stainless-steel boiler and two independent thermostats.
The metallic finishes give the piece a plus of category and durability. It has a set of three filters: the one that admits single-dose bags does not have to be mixed with ground coffee.
- Premium finishing
- Adjustable milk frother to enhance the quality of the steamed milk
- Ability to use E.S.E pods as an alternative to ground coffee
- 1 Litre water tank; transparent and removable water reservoir (capacity: 1,1 Litre)
- Double drip tray
Oster Prima Latte
An authentic classic that, besides serving to prepare cappuccinos and specialities with milk foam, is also compatible with the ESE single dose. The Oster coffee maker has a substantial 1.5-litre capacity tank, and the milk tank holds 300 millilitres. In this case, it has two filters, and we can use a single dose in the largest size.
- Espresso Coffee Machine with Milk Frother
- Removable Milchbehältnis
- 15 bar
Solac New Squissitta Intelligent
The most recent launch of Solac is a real successful coffee maker. The New Squissita Intelligent improves on all its predecessors but retains all the new functions that the rest of the coffee machines in the range had. Among them, of course, single-dose compatibility. The tank is 1.2 litres in size, and best of all it includes three filters: one for normal espressos, a larger one for double espressos, and a third filter for single-dose capsules.
I’s is the second model of Delonghi that we include in this ranking, but it is such a complete coffee machine, so popular and sold that we couldn’t leave it out. It has everything, including beautiful steel design, and a second handle filter that can be used for a double dose of coffee as well as for single-dose coffees. The Delonghi EC680 is a classic among the classics.
- Thermoblock heating systems
- 15 bar professional pressure
- Ready to use in 35 seconds
- Manual milk frother
- Anti drip system
Sencor SCE 2000
Although it may not seem like it, one of the cheapest coffee machines on the market is also a single-dose and ground coffee machine. That is the case of this Sencor coffee maker, minimal, low capacity, low price (of course) but gets it to be enormously practical and allows you to use both ground coffee and a single dose in its only filter. It is the only coffee maker in this ranking that has only one handle filter.
Ascaso Dream Up
And we went from one end to the other. If the previous Sencor coffee machine is one of the most modest on the market, this impressive Ascaso Dream coffee machine plays in another division. We are not going to shell all its virtues here, because for that you can read the review we have done on our website. Also, it would take centuries and is not the object of this list. What we are going to tell you is that the Ascaso Dream Up coffee machine comes with a set of no less than five different filters. It has two pressurized and two unpressurized (in both cases it’s a small filter and a big one). And, besides, a fifth specific filter to use with a single dose.
All Lelit espresso machines enjoy high prestige and fame in the sector. And they have it well deserved. On this occasion we have chosen the Lelit PL42 model which, although it is not the most advanced in the range, has a very interesting quality-price ratio (all the coffeemakers of this company are of exceptionally high variety) and allows, just like the rest, to use both ground coffee and single-dose coffee in their ladles. It includes a set of three filters, 57 mm in diameter. Only one of them can be used as a single dose. The other two are for ground coffee.
- ONLY FOR COFFEE LOVERS – Lelit PL042EMI has been designed and produced for the true coffee lovers, ideal for those who like to make espresso coffee, ground at home and then enjoy it directly in the...
- ESPRESSO COFFEE AND CAPPUCCINOS AS IN THE BAR - Only the freshly ground coffee can concentrate in an espresso coffee the aroma, the crema and the flavor of the real espresso coffee of the bar. Thanks...
- COFFEE GRINDER - The built-in coffee grinder with Ø38 mm conical burrs allows the adjustment of the micrometer grinding.
- BUILT IN STAINLESS STEEL - built entirely of stainless steel, an indestructible material that ensures that the machine lasts a long time
- ENTIRELY MADE IN ITALY - all Lelit machines are entirely designed and manufactured in Italy, using professional bar technology and components.
And we had to close our collection with one of the most versatile coffee machines on the market. An accurate reference in the field of all-purpose coffee machines. Illy X1 has three different versions. The most advanced of them all, called Illy X1 Ground, allows you to use up to three different coffee formats: Illy Iperespresso capsules, ground coffee and single pods. Without words!