According to figures from the National Coffee Association, single-cup coffee brewers are hugely popular in the USA, with 40% of coffee drinkers owning one in 2020, and that number is increasing . It’s easy to see why this becomes the favorite coffee brewing method, though, as single-cup brewers offer ease of use and convenience.
If you’re about to join that growing number or are looking for an upgrade to your current single-serve brewer, there are generally three main brands to look out for – Keurig, Nespresso, and Nescafe Dolce Gusto. However, there is a problem – while each brand offers different types of coffee, the capsules aren’t compatible with the machines of other brands. You may think that this means you’ll need to make a choice as to which to buy. However, there is an alternative.
If you’re unsure which is best for you, why not try a machine that offers the best of all of them? After all, a coffee machine that is compatible with every type of capsule would open up far more choices.
The HiBrew 4-in-1 Coffee Machine, as its name suggests, promises to do just that, and we’ve tested it to determine whether this powerful yet inexpensive all-rounder really is as good as it seems. Let’s take a look at it in more detail.
We tested HiBrew and love it. This short video we made shows you the capability of this compact and affordable machine.
HiBrew 4-In-1 Coffee Machine Review
The compact design is the first thing to strike us about the HiBrew 4-in1 Coffee Machine. Meanwhile, at the top of the machine are the power button and two cup capacity options, which are all you need to operate the coffee maker. The control panel is not dissimilar to most entry-level Nespresso machines. Also, you can choose either a large or small cup or customize the cup sizes, depending on the capsule you’re using.
On the front is a handle with a shiny chrome finish. Lifting the handle allows you to insert or remove the coffee pod adapter of your choice. Then, you press it back down to make the coffee. It operates in the same ways as most Nespresso, Keurig, or Dolce Gusto coffee machines. It punctures the pod cover with a needle and injects water into the capsule to extract coffee.
Next, there’s a large detachable water reservoir with a 20oz capacity at the back, while the machine also has a detachable drip tray.
The HiBrew 4-in-1 Coffee Machine is built from BPA-free plastic, making it very lightweight. However, to stop it from moving around too easily, there are two suctions cups at the bottom of the device to ensure it sits securely on the kitchen countertop.
Finally, there are two color options – white or black.
Four Coffee Capsule Adapters
Inside the HiBrew 4-in-1 Coffee Machine’s box are an instruction manual, a pump for cleaning the pipe beneath the water tank, and a coffee spoon that doubles as a tamper. There are also four coffee capsule adapters.
Each adapter is compatible with either Keurig, Nespresso, or Dolce Gusto capsules. Meanwhile, you can also use ground coffee or ESE coffee capsules for brewing espresso. Let’s examine them in more detail.
How Much Coffee Can The HiBrew Coffee Machine Make?
K-Cup Coffee Pods
Keurig is the US’s most popular coffee maker. It uses K-Cup pods for brewing drip coffee-style beverages. A Keurig machine lets you brew 4oz or 12oz of coffee, depending on the capsule you’re using and the particular device you have.
There is a considerable choice of K-Cups available, with over 75 brands, including Starbucks, Green Mountain, Peet’s, McCafe, Dunkin’, and Folgers. As well as coffee, there are also K-Cups for tea, cocoa and many other drinks from brands including Twinings and Swiss Miss.
Using the K-Cup adapter, you can make a cup of coffee within a minute. Even better is that, while most Keurig machines have limited cup size options, the HiBrew lets you customize any size you like.
If you prefer espresso, Nespresso pods – as the name suggests – are ideal. At the touch of a button, you can enjoy beautiful espresso with rich crema and premium aromas without needing any professional barista skills.
There are two kinds of Nespresso pod – OriginalLine and VertuoLine. However, only the OriginalLine pods are compatible with the HiBrew. Like Nespresso machines, the HiBrew uses 19 bars of pressure to brew the shot, and it offers standard and lungo options. However, it can also pull even shorter ristretto shots or an Americano if you customize the cup size.
Dolce Gusto Capsules
Dolce Gusto is a brand produced by Nescafe. Nescafe is owned by Nestle, who also owns Nespresso. However, despite being part of the same group, it offers more specialty drinks than Nespresso. Its primary markets are Europe and Asia rather than North America. The Dolce Gusto capsules are larger than Nespresso and offer milk-based espresso drinks, including latte macchiato, cappuccino, and flat white, using a coffee capsule and a milk pod. The results are impressive, with beautiful-looking, delicious beverages.
As well as being a single-serve pod machine, the HiBrew is also an espresso maker, thanks to another adapter with a pressurized filter basket. As a result, you can pull an espresso shot with ground coffee using a finer grind. The pressurized filter basket has a hole at the bottom to produce rich crema even if the grounds are coarser than ideal or you’re using pre-ground coffee. While freshly ground coffee always tastes better than coffee from pods, another basket for ESE (Easy Serve Espresso) pods produces espresso with less effort.
Hot And Cold Coffee
The versatility of the HiBrew and its ability to brew using so many coffee capsules is incredible, but there’s even more it can do. As well as brewing hot coffee, the machine can even brew iced coffee with cold water, just like the Dolce Gusto machines. Press the power button for two seconds, and the device enters cold brewing mode. Add some ice cubes to your cup, and with one touch, the machine brews well-extracted cold coffee using 19 bars of pressure.
Of course, sometimes, with versatility comes a compromise of the overall quality. After all, is it realistic to expect a coffee machine with so many options to brew coffee as well as a machine dedicated to just one type? We experimented with the HiBrew using all kinds of coffee. We’re pleased to report that the coffee quality between it and specialty Nespresso, Keurig, and Dolce Gusto machines is virtually identical.
The HiBrew uses the same brewing pressure, water temperature, and brewing method as the separate machines, meaning that technically, the result is determined by the coffee capsule. For example, Nespresso OriginalLine machines use 19 bars of pressure. However, Dolce Gusto machines only use 15 bars of pressure. Because the HiBrew is equipped with a 19-bar pressure pump, it can brew delicious coffee to the same standard with ease.
On the other hand, Keurig machines use the drip method for brewing coffee, meaning that the emphasis is on water temperature and coffee-to-water ratio to determine the result. We found that the water temperature of the HiBrew is a little lower than some Keurig machines. Nevertheless, the beverage it produces is still hot enough.
There is another difference between the HiBrew and more recent premium Keurig machines – the addition of five needles to inject hot water into the grounds rather than one in those newer Keurigs. On the other hand, the HiBrew has only one needle. Therefore, expect the extraction from the HiBrew to be similar to an older Keurig rather than the newer models.
Overall, if you’re pulling a shot with ground coffee in the HiBrew coffee machine, the shots have an impressively rich crema, robust taste and delicate flavor.
Ease Of Use – How To Use The HiBrew 4-in-1 Coffee Machine
Most people buy single-serve coffee machines for convenience, and the HiBrew coffee machine is suitably easy and quick to use. It produces freshly brewed beverages with one touch in around a minute.
The machine has a fast-heating system allowing it to preheat in approximately 35 seconds. Once preheating is complete, it’s ready to brew. Here’s how to use it.
Brewing With Coffee Pods
- Fill the water tank with room temperature water.
- Press the power button, and the buttons on top of the machine will begin flashing. When the flashing stops and the lights are constant, the device is ready to brew. If you’re brewing iced coffee, first press the power button for two seconds to enter cold brewing mode.
- Place the capsule into the pod holder.
- Choose the appropriate capsule adapter for the pod you’re using. Lift the handle and insert the adapter into the machine. Press down the handle.
- Press the small cup button for a 2.4oz shot or the large cup button for a 3.7oz lungo. Or you can hold the button until it reaches the required volume to customize the cup size. The cup size will save automatically.
- Enjoy your coffee.
After 15 minutes idle, the machine will enter energy-saving mode and auto power off. After brewing, lift the handle, remove the capsule adapter and rinse it with water.
You can grind your beans or use pre-ground coffee to pull espresso shots.
We suggest using dark roasted beans ground to an AeroPress grind size. This grind size is coarser than standard espresso but finer than pour-over. If you use too fine a grind, the water will struggle to pass through the puck and cause a mess.
Add the grounds to the filter basket, and tamp the coffee bed evenly with the flat side of the spoon. Insert the adapter and lower the handle, then you’re ready to brew.
Value For Money
The HiBrew 4-in-1 coffee machine combines a Keurig coffee maker, an OriginalLine Nespresso machine, a Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee machine, and an espresso machine, so you’d expect it to be relatively expensive. However, that’s not the case. In fact, you won’t find anything that compares on the market for the price. It’s the best option if you’re interested in trying all types of pods without purchasing several different coffee makers.
The biggest drawback with the HiBrew is the limited height beneath the coffee spout, which restricts it to only small cups. This isn’t an issue if you’re brewing espresso, as the machine pulls 2oz to 4oz per shot. However, if you’re using K-Cups or want to brew a larger coffee like latte or Americano, you’ll have to remove the drip tray to fit the cup.
Another issue is that the plastic exterior isn’t as robust as the Nespresso or Dolce Gusto machines. However, when you consider that even the most inexpensive Nespresso machine costs more than the HiBrew 4-in-1 coffee machine, it’s a small issue.
Other Great Products From HiBrew Brand
HiBrew Portable Coffee Machine
This 12v portable espresso machine is compatible with Nespresso capsule and Dolce Gusto capsule and ground coffee. It’s easy to use, and you only need an AC adapter and USB cable to use it on your travels.
HiBrew Electric Milk Frother
If you’re interested in making specialty coffee like latte and cappuccino, you’ll need to froth your milk and add it to your espresso. The HiBrew milk frother is similar to the Nespresso Aeroccino 3. Overall, it’s far cheaper than buying an espresso machine with a steam wand to froth your milk.
Single-serve coffee machines are easy and quick to use, while the coffee they produce is often outstanding. However, the HiBrew 4-in-1 coffee machine adds another excellent advantage – unrivaled versatility.
Nespresso, Keurig, and Dolce Gusto offer some fantastic machines. However, they are restrictive as the coffee pods are incompatible with other machines. We explained the difference between Nespresso and Dolce gusto before, check it out for more details.
The HiBrew 4-in-1 coffee machine solves this problem while losing none of the speed and convenience that makes single-serve machines so popular.
Not only that, but with its ability to work as a standalone espresso machine and brew hot and cold coffee, the HiBrew has enough to serve every domestic-brewing requirement of many people.
Overall, the HiBrew 4-in-1 coffee machine is an excellent machine for anyone wanting to try different coffee capsules for a low cost, and we highly recommend it.