Fast and Easy, but Not the Tastiest: Pod Coffeemakers Tested

Consumer Reports tested 25 pod coffeemakers and finds taste falls short.

August 26, 2013, 8:01 AM
PHOTO: The DeLonghi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio
The DeLonghi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio was rated the highest in Consumer Reports' tests.

Aug. 26, 2013 — -- intro: You don't have to buy the most expensive machinery to brew the best pod coffee, according to a test by Consumer Reports magazine.

Coffee purists scoff at the idea of using quick, premeasured pods or packs like the K-cups. ("French press only, please.") And this test of products shows that manufacturers' claims of taste fall short in some cases. None of the 25 models tested by Consumer Reports scored "excellent" or "very good" in the taste category.

Other coffee and machine characteristics like speed, brewing range, convenience, consistency and temperature were tested, with the highest total score of 100.

Three DeLonghi models that cost $100 to $150 were the only recommended models and placed in the top three in Consumer Reports' list. Those scored "good" in the taste test.

Of the 25 models tested, the most expensive was the $300 Bunn My Cafe MCP, which ranked 20th. The cheapest was the $25 Hamilton Beach Personal Cup 49970, which ranked 23rd.

Though Consumer Reports first published the results of its pod coffee tests earlier this summer online, the September issue of the magazine offers tips on how to choose the best product for your needs. The tips include considering which pod machines work with which coffee brands.

"K-cup models accept loose coffee in refillable pods, though you'll need to pack the pods fully for the strongest brew," write Consumer Reports' senior editor Ed Perratore.

Here are the 11 best pod coffeemakers, according to Consumer Reports:

quicklist: 1category: $130 title: DeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Genio EDG455Ttext: Score: 77

quicklist:2category: $150 title: DeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Circolotext: Score: 75

quicklist:3category: $100title: DeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Piccolotext: Score: 73

quicklist:4category: $200 title: DeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Creativa Plus text: Score: 70

quicklist:5category: $170 title: Bosch Tassimo T55text: Score: 66

quicklist:6category: $170 title: Keurig Vue V500text: Score: 66

quicklist:7category: $200 title: Starbucks Verismo 580text: Score: 65

quicklist:8category: $80 title: Mr. Coffee BVMC-KG5text: Score: 64

quicklist:9category: $130 title: Cuisinart SS-300 Compacttext: Score: 62

quicklist:10category: $150 title: CBTL Americanotext: Score: 60

quicklist:11category: $250 title: Keurig Vue V700text: Score: 59

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