Single Serve coffee makers are increasingly popular for a reason; they’re quick, convenient and leave you no mess behind. You get your perfect cup of coffee, espresso and few other hot beverages with a simple touch of a button, and it brews in seconds! But not all single serve coffee makers are created equal, there’s a large variety of coffee machines out there and it gets really confusing when you try to compare them all. So I’m going to save you a lot of trouble and simple tell you what is the best single serve coffee machine out there, and I’ll explain to you why.

The best single-serve coffee machine is the CBTL (Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) Kaldi S04 Single Cup Brewer. This is my chosen coffee maker at home, and I’m so in love with it, it’s the reason I get up in the morning! (Bit of a stretch? Not, for a coffee lover!)


About the machine:

The CBTL coffee maker is a complete beverage system that uses capsules to prepare single-serve hot beverages like: espresso, brewed coffee, tea, hot chocolate and hot vanilla. You will be making speciality Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf drinks that they’ve been famous for, for over 40 years, right at the comfort of your own home, with a touch of a button!

The machine is Italian built by a company called Caffitaly. And no one knows great Espresso and coffee better than Italians! It uses innovative technology for automatic proportioning that ensures the perfect consistency in taste and aroma every time.

Features of the CBTL Kaldi:

  • Twin pressure system provides 15 bar pressure. That’s more than any other single-serve coffee maker offers. The results: absolutely delicious and aromatic espresso with perfect crema top.
  • For brewed coffee and tea, lower pressure of 3.5 bar is used.
  • 51 oz removable water tank.
  • Automatic proportioning to ensure consistent taste and aroma
  • Easy capsule insertion and automatic ejection. The capsules are ejected into a drawer that holds up to 10 capsules before you have to dispose.
  • Three cup size options, with programmable cup size option.
  • Hot water dispensing available.

The Capsules: 

The coffee capsules feature the handcrafted coffee quality you expect from CBTL and are manufactured by Caffitaly. No other single serve coffee maker can beat this combination really! If you’ve ever had coffee from CBTL, then you know what to expect, really delicious coffee!

There are a variety of coffee and espresso blends available, as well as tea. The blends include: French brew coffee (My personal favorite!), Italian Espresso, Premium Espresso, Viennese brew coffee, Chai tea, Moroccan Mint tea… and many more.

Like other single-serve brewers, there’s always the issue the capsule compatibility. What capsules are compatible with the CBTL Kaldi? Well, there’s the capsules you can buy from CBTL which is blended by them, and you can get any capsules that are made for Caffitaly machines and they will be 100% compatible. Ecaffe capsules for example would work absolutely fine.

Pros of the CBTL Kaldi S04:

  • I’ve mentioned this already but let’s say it again: absolutely DELICIOUS coffee!
  • It brews coffee and espresso really quick (few seconds!)
  • Generous water tank (51 oz), you won’t need to refill it many times.
  • The capsules drawer is great. It holds up to 10 used capsules before you have to dispose them.
  • Light and beep indicator for water tank.
  • Nice size that doesn’t take much countertop space.
  • Available in many colors, you can get one to match your kitchen decor.


  • It can get a little messy sometimes. I’ve noticed that sometimes the coffee drips from the machine for few seconds after the brewing has finished. It’s no big deal though, it only means you should leave your cup a bit longer till the dripping stops. Or, you’ll need to wipe clean the dripping tray.
  • When brewing espresso, there’s a little noise involved (not high, though). But that’s because it uses 15 bar pressure to make espresso.
  • While the machine can accommodate different cup sizes, and it fits more regular mugs, it gets tricky when you want to fit in a larger cup size (I usually use a 12 oz Bodum Pavina double walled cup)… to fit it under the coffee dispenser I have to remove the drip tray. Other than that, it fits standard mugs and smaller cups perfectly.

What is the difference between a CBTL Kaldi Coffee Maker and a Nespresso Machine?

This is a question I’ve came across many times, so I thought I’d answer it here. The answer to this is: there’s no comparison between CBTL Kaldi coffee maker and Nespresso machines because they’re two different things.

  • Nespresso machine is an Espresso maker. So it makes only Espresso.
  • CBTL Kaldi Coffee maker is a single-serve brewing system that makes espresso as well as brewed coffee, tea and hot chocolate.

CBTL Kaldi is a less expensive option than Nespresso. It makes more beverages, cost less and the capsules cost less as well. That’s why, in my opinion, it’s the best choice.

Can I make Cappuccino, Latte and milk based gourmet coffee drinks using CBTL Kaldi?

You sure can! But you’ll need a milk frother or milk capsules for that. You can get a bundle of CBTL Kaldi with the electric CBTL milk frother, or get any milk frother you want. You can also mix in CBTL’s delicious French Vanilla or Deluxe Chocolate with your coffee to create one of their signature drinks. The milk capsules are not available by CBTL, but you can try E-Milky capsules from Ecaffe.

Recommended CBTL Capsules:

CBTL French Coffee Brew: Perfect for someone who prefer strong coffee.

CBTL Italian Espresso: Deep roasted with smoky aroma and chocolaty finish. Also a perfect choice for a strong Espresso lover. This is the best base for a cappuccino or latte.

CBTL Premium Espresso: Caramel-like aroma, earthy flavor with bittersweet finish. A slightly milder espresso blend, but still strong. Preferred to be had as plain espresso.

Caffitaly Americano Capsules: For the perfect cup of an Americano cup of coffee.


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