As a geek and blogger, staying caffeinated is a specialty of mine. One of my favorite things in the morning is coffee. However, I am the only coffee drinker in my house. Making a whole 10 cups when I am only going to drink 1 to 2 cups doesn’t make sense. That’s where single cup brewing systems come in.
I used to have a Black and Decker Home Cafe, but finding the pods it used started to become a problem. I had heard of Keurig and my friend Linc swears by his so I decided to use some eBay sale proceeds to buy my very own Keurig Elite to replace my aging and seldom used Home Cafe system. Will it be better than my Home Cafe? Let’s find out.
The first thing that you need to do to get ready for coffee is to fill the water reservoir. The reservoir comes right off the machine for filling. Fill it with filtered water and place it back on the machine. Next, press the power button and it will start to heat up. It is ready when the buttons lights up blue.
Keurig uses their own system rather than a filter pod like Senseo or the Black and Decker system uses. Their pods are called K-Cups. Each K-Cup can brew a mug of coffee or if you want it a little stronger, just a cup. The pods remind me of over-sized coffee creamers. Each cup is vacuumed sealed until it is inserted in the machine.
You open the machine and put the K-Cup in the machine. When you close the machine, the seal is broken by a needle going in the top and a hole in the bottom is also created. Closing also makes the buttons flash blue meaning it is ready to go. Pressing one of the brew buttons will start the process. Water injects into the coffee from the top and the brewed coffee comes out the bottom. The whole process takes about a minute.
Once your coffee is done, you open up the machine and pull out the used K-Cup. It takes just a few seconds before you are ready for the next brew.
There are many different coffees available from Green Mountain, Newman’s Own, Tully’s and more. My local Kroger and Walmart both carry K-Cups from Green Mountain, Newman’s Own and Caribou Coffee. My favorites so far are Newman’s Own Extra Bold and all of the Caribou Blends. If the prepackaged cups don’t do it for you, you can buy an adapter where you can use your own coffee. The upside to making your own K-Cup with the filter means you don’t have the waste. The downside is you have to have something else to store your beans in and the K-Cup adapter is not vacuum sealed at all. I don’t have the adapter yet as I am enjoying myself so much with the prepackaged varieties. The price I have been paying for a 12 pack of cups is $7.99. Occasionally I can find 18 packs for $9.99 but I haven’t found my favorite blends at that price. Big Cat Coffees has a nice setup where you can order the “Purr-fect Pack.” Pick 5 different varieties and they will ship them to you at a reasonable price and they even have free shipping on orders over $50.
The Keurig doesn’t just make coffee either. You can brew tea with it as well or for the kids make the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted at home. The brew process for tea and hot chocolate is the same, Hot chocolate only uses the small cup button so watch out for this the first time you make some.
Some might say doesn’t the coffee flavor the machine? I have to say that it doesn’t You may want to flush one cycle through before switching to tea or hot chocolate or back again, but I have never tasted cocoa in my coffee or vice versa.
This system is a perfect replacement for my old system in every way. The coffee is excellent and I can make other hot drinks too. The price seems high, but it’s way cheaper than hitting Starbucks on the way to work and I can use it the first thing after tumbling out of bed. What’s not to like?
The Keurig Elite is available on Amazon.com for $99.95. K-Cups range from $7.99 for 12 to $9.99 for 18 depending on what you’re buying.
What I liked: Hot fresh coffee EVERY cup. NO stale coffee ever.
What Needs Improvement: I would like to see more stores carry the K-Cups and I would also like a machine that brews two at a time for when I am filling a big coffee mug or thermos.