In 1998 Green Mountain Coffee Roaster’s Inc. started out with a mission. They wanted to make a product that would allow everyone to make amazing coffee, at a price they could afford, and with a consistency that is often lacking in easy at home coffee makers. The Keurig was born. Keurig is derived from the Dutch word for excellence and the Keurig coffee maker was a machine created as the first single cup coffee brewer.
How the Keurig Coffee Maker Works
The Keurig single cup coffee maker has a water reservoir as a drip coffee maker does. The water then heats up. It takes about four minutes for the water to heat up. A K-cup is then put into the machine. This small plastic cup is lined with a filter and has the perfect amount of coffee (or other beverage in it). The machine then uses the K-cup as a filter and runs the hot water through it to produce the perfect cup of coffee.
Features of the Keurig Coffee Maker
There are a wide variety of features depending on which coffee maker you choose. However, many of them include clocks, temperature controls, cup size (and strength), and even the ability to program the machine. When you choose a Keurig coffee maker you will want to consider how much you want to spend, what features you want, and
The Benefits of the Keurig Coffee Maker
The drip coffee maker was made for convenience, ease of use, and how it made making coffee in the morning as easier. However, the drip coffee maker doesn’t produce a superior cup of coffee and the many disadvantages of it have been solved with the Keurig coffee maker.
- The coffee is always fresh. In the day and age of regular daily coffee there are a lot of things that go against coffee. First coffee beans are exposed to air and moisture. Then the grounds are exposed to those same flavor killers. The longer between roasting and grinding the more that is lost. Then the longer between roasting and grinding the more the environment effects the coffee. The K cup technology keeps the beverage ingredients fresh and sealed away from heat, moisture, and other environmental hazards that can decrease flavors of the coffee. Finally, your coffee normally sits cooking on the hot plate of the drip coffee maker. This causes additional deterioration to the flavor of the coffee. By brewing one cup at a time you will be brewing fresh coffee every time. No burning the coffee on the hot plate all day just so you can have a cup of joe no matter what time it is.
- It’s fast and easy. It takes about four minutes for the water to heat up and about one minute for the coffee to brew. That’s fast. You can leave the water warming and come back a little later and brew another cup in a minute.
- Super easy clean up. Coffee makers are messy. There are grinds and brewed coffee. However, with the Keurig coffee maker the mess is a thing of the past. You will be adding your K-cup to the machine. When you are done you come back and throw the K-cup away. Every now and again you need to rinse the machine down. But as for cleaning, that’s it. It too falls into the easy category.
- You are not wasting any coffee. We don’t pay that much for a cup of coffee, but if you are like most people and you throw some of it down the drain then you literally washing your money down the drain. We tend to throw out three or four cups of coffee every day. Others throw away even more. By brewing exactly one cup at a time you will be making sure that you are more likely to drink what you brew.
- It’s perfectly measured and it makes a great cup every time. You don’t have to worry who brews the coffee, how big of a hurry you are, or if your coffee scoop is missing. The K-cup is all ready for you to go. All you need to do is put it into the machine and press the button.
The Disadvantages of the Keurig Coffee Maker
- You have less ability to adjust the strength. Some Keurig coffee makers come with only 2 size options. The size options are how much water is run through your K-cup. If you like really strong coffee or really weak coffee then you will need a more expensive Keurig.
- It’s more expensive per cup. If you drink every cup of coffee that you brew with your drip brew coffee maker then you will spend more money per cup with a Keurig. The K-cups tend to cost around 50 cents each. However, a cup of coffee in the drip brew usually costs half that.
- It’s noisy. The Keurig coffee maker is very noisy. Most people are surprised and many are even concerned about the sounds that it makes.
- It takes up a lot of space. This isn’t a tiny machine that tucks away into some small corner of the kitchen. However, the Keurig Mini Brewer is designed with size in mind.
- Filling the landfill. K-cups are very easy, but they do create a lot of waste. The more coffee you drink, the more K-cups plastic waste you create. The My K-cup will reduce the waste, but it increases the time it takes to make a cup of coffee, the mess, and so on.
- The definition of a cup. If you are like me then you sit down with your giant mug of coffee, the bigger the better. However, a Keurig cup of coffee is around 5 ounces or so. For machines with settings you can choose to make more coffee, but then you are watering down the brew and you still won’t fill the average mug. Most coffee mugs in the house will be at least 10 ounces, but 12 to 16 is more common. A large cup of coffee on a Keurig machine is 9 ounces or so. In this case you will need 2 K-cups to get the job done and 3 if you want stronger coffee.
- Not a whole pot. On the one hand, you can brew 12 different cups of coffee for everyone in the house. This will take the four minutes to heat the water and one minute for every cup of coffee. Fifteen minutes and everyone can have coffee. However, this is fifteen minutes of labor verses putting the coffee on to brew, sitting down and chatting with everyone, and then pouring each a cup of coffee.
- Short lifespan. Many people find that their Keurig has a short lifespan. Many of the machines break or quit working after being owned for 9 to 12 months. For a machine you spend more than $100 on it isn’t a very good thing to have it break in such a short time. The machine has a 1 year warranty. Once it’s done customer service won’t do much to help you. Additionally
The Cost of the Keurig Coffee Maker
There are two things that you have to consider when looking at the cost of the Keurig coffee maker. The first is the actual cost of the machine. This will run you around $85 to $200 depending on the features that you want from your coffee maker. However, in addition to the general cost of the machine there is the cost of the beverages produced by the machine. In most cases you will pay around 50 cents to 1 dollar per drink made in the Keurig coffee maker. You can save money and enjoy coffee beverages, blends, and roasts by taking advantage of the My K-cup which allows you to pack your own coffee. However, this does eliminate some of the advantages of the Keurig coffee maker.
There are two Minis. The first is the Mini brewing system, but the second is the mini plus. It is a lot harder to find the older Mini. You will pay around $100 for each coffee maker. The biggest issue with this little machine is that it often clogs and there are a few other common break downs. With that in mind, many people find it worth paying a little extra for a different Keurig.
For about $115 – $120 you can get The Keurig Elite b40 Coffee Maker. It is one step up from the Mini and has a few of the features that you likely want. It has a water 48 ounce reservoir allowing you to brew coffee for personal use and for entertaining. It brews a small 7 1/4 ounce cup of coffee and a 9 1/4 ounce cup of coffee. It also offers a medium size that makes it easy to fit into most kitchen spaces. With 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon it beats the Keurig Mini coffee maker.
Keurig b50 Coffee Maker – The Gourmet Single Cup Brewing System
The Keurig b50 Coffee Maker is no longer sold by Keurig. However, you can find it used occasionally. This machine offers the great features that many want in a Keurig including multiple brew sizes, all the ease of the Keurig, and the quick brewing. On top of those great features it also offers the ability to program the machine to start warming the water. Your Keurig can be ready to brew first thing in the morning when you get up.
For $150 you can get the Keurig b60 coffee maker. This machine has 3 brew sizes, can handle travel mugs, is programmable, and it has a great LED control panel. It is well loved by many who get it, especially in the beginning. It gets 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon and continues to be sold today.
Packed full of all the features anyone could want the Keurig b70 Platinum seems well worth the $170 you will spend. It is fully programmable allowing you to decide when it turns on and off. It allows you to choose from five brew sizes and has a great control panel. It also has a 60 ounce reservoir instead of a 48 ounce one. This Keurig machine gets a 3.7 star rating out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Keurig B130 Coffee Maker – Desk Pro Brewing System
The B130 Coffee Maker is also known as the Keurig Desk Pro Brewing System. It holds only one cup of water at a time and is designed to sit on your desk. You fill it with 8 ounces of water, put your K-cup in, and then brew. It takes about 3 minutes to brew your cup of coffee. This is very similar to the Keurig mini and doesn’t have all the fancy features that most Keurig users love.
Keurig Commercial Brewing System
There are a variety of Keurig brewers that are designed specifically for public offices, conferences, and meeting rooms. The options that the Keurig system offer are perfect to give everyone what they want in the workplace. Coffee, tea, and cocoa can all be made in one machine rather than having to set out several boxes of supplies and provide a place for hot water as well as a coffee maker. Coffee drinkers will also appreciate that variety of choices that they can have in the workplace with the Keurig. However, the same problems that other Keurig machines have this one has as well only you will pay more for it.
I started this article with the desire to own a Keurig. The biggest appeal being the clean up issue. We own a number of coffee makers of various types (at the time of this writing we own a drip brewer, an espresso machine, two French presses, a Moka pot, and a pour through coffee brewer) and the biggest thing I hate about making coffee is the mess. The Keurig solves that. I also like the fresh coffee. I work all day on a pot of coffee and while I understand the value of freshness the convenience of a pot is great. The Keurig gives you fresh without removing any convenience. On the flip side the price of K-cups, the size of the cup a K-cup can make, and the short life of the machine scares me away. While spending more money gets you more features, it doesn’t change these three factors. In the end, I won’t be spending the money. However, you need to weight he pros and cons for yourself. Are you interested in the easy brew and impossibly fast cleanup over the cost of the K-cups and the risk that the machine might break after a year?