Traditional vs. Keurig K-Cup Coffee Maker

Pros and Cons of Switching to a Keurig K-Cup Coffee Maker

Keurig K-Cup Coffee Maker

I am a coffee snob.  I admit it.  I worked for 8 years running a coffee shop, which has made me enough of an expert on coffee to know which types of coffees I like, which I don't like, and which I can't stand.  I am picky about where I buy coffee, and what coffee I drink, and frankly can be quite a pain about coffee in general. 

Several years ago, my husband and I bought a brand new coffee maker for our home, which I love.  The model we have is no longer made but it is similar to the Krups KT600 Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker.  We have a thermal coffee pot, which keeps the coffee warm, and it brews 10 cups at a time, which is really about 3 cups for me.  I grind my own coffee beans that I buy fresh from the grocery store every couple of weeks, and I have perfect coffee every day that I brew it at home.  My model is programmable, so that I can program it to brew by itself, but I rarely use that feature, because I like my coffee to be as fresh as possible.

This Christmas, when we were staying at our in-laws, we had a chance to take a look at two of the newer Keurig K-cup coffee makers.  My sister-in-law had bought one for her husband, and one for her son, who is in college.  These were lower level machines that what I own, but the larger machine was programmable, and we tried it out.  I could immediately see uses for the K-cup machine, but also saw a lot of potential problems depending on where someone might want coffee.

Keurig B60 Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System

Top of the line

If you do buy a Keurig, this is the top of the line.  They have several other cheaper versions.

What I Liked About the Keurig K-Cup Coffee Machine

In a family of non-coffee drinkers, I could immediately see why a single cup coffee maker would be a good choice.  Keurig has created a K-cup system that can take any coffee, put it in a single size holder, and brew one fresh cup at a time.  If you are the only one in your family who drinks coffee, and you only drink one cup at a time, this would be ideal for you, and it is better than the manual, old fashioned brewers.  While it is more expensive, it is very affordable, and way less messy than the filter brewers like the Melitta Single Cup Brewer shown below.  You also get your coffee a bit more quickly, and it is brewed in a machine that is always the perfect temperature.

Since my sister in law bought a combination package of K-cups, we tried three different types of coffee, and one type of tea brewed by the machine, and they all were pretty good.  I have to admit that my coffee while good, did not quite meet my standards, however, you have the option of grinding and brewing your own coffee with the Keurig machine as well, and I am sure that I could figure out how to set it to brew a proper cup for me.  My daughter, who is a tea drinker, liked the brewed tea, and it did not taste like tea brewed in a coffee brewer.

My nephew is a college student, and for a dorm room, this would be a good choice, assuming that the dorm would allow a coffee machine in the room.  It would also make a good choice for a small office, as long as it got cleaned and filled regularly, because over time, improper use would vastly deteriorate the quality of coffee brewed if it wasn't.  I am seriously considering buying a Keurig machine for my own office which has only a few people, and for my customers.

Melitta Ready Set Joe Single Cup Coffee Brewer

Traditional single cup brewer (great for college students)

Problems with the Keurig K-Cup Coffee Maker

There were definitely a few problems that I saw when we used the Keurig model to brew coffee.  The biggest problem is that you can only brew one cup at a time.  Ironically, that is also the biggest benefit.  For a group of people, it takes way too long to brew the different cups of coffee.  If you were having a meeting, or a family breakfast, this would not suit, because who wants to wait that long for a cup of coffee. 

Another problem is that the Keurig K-cup machine makes a lot more garbage than a traditional machine.  Each cup has a paper/plastic container that needs to be disposed of, and the K-cups come in cardboard boxes.  If you are trying to be greener, this is not the best way, although you can recycle much of the trash.

Choice of coffees is another issue.  While it is possible to grind your own coffee, and brew it, my guess is that most people would choose one of the pre-made coffees for ease of use.  That means that if you are a more selective coffee drinker, you would not get the best cup of coffee.  If having an excellent cup of coffee is what starts off a good day, then that would be a problem.

K-Cup Variety Pack for the Keurig K-Cup Coffee Maker

This is a good starting pack so that you can try different pre-made coffee k-cups.

Should I Buy a Keurig K-Cup Coffee Brewer?

After thinking it over, I would buy a Keurig K-cup coffee brewer for a small office, meeting room, or college dorm or apartment.  The coffee machine is most ideal for people who live alone or with just one other coffee drinker. 

For myself, at home, I prefer the coffee brewer that I already have, because even though I am the only coffee drinker in my house, I drink more than one cup at a time, and I prefer to grind my own coffee fresh each time.  If I had the Keurig at home, I would probably not want to bother with the extra work of putting it in K-cup, and cleaning the K-cup.  In addition, we do not need any extra trash in a house with two teenagers.

In the end, you have to decide which you want more, a single cup of coffee, or the ability to brew a lot of coffee at one time.

Alternatives to the Keurig Brewer

Traditional Coffee Makers are Still a Good Choice

A Keurig one cup coffee make is not the best choice for everyone.  Here are some well known manufacturers who make alternatives, with their manufacturing history behind them.

Comments

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2065 forum posts
bill on said:
I agree with you here about Keurig coffee makers. I own one, and I'm the sole coffee drinker in the house. It saves me a lot of time, and spares me from having to go out and buy a cup of coffee most of the time. I don't have time to grind it and brew it (though I know that tastes better), so the Keurig only makes sense for me right now. It took some experimenting to find the different roasts and blends that I like, but there's a few that I've kept buying again and again. They do have the reusable K-cup basket to eliminate waste, but again, you'd still have to grind before every use if you wanted a good cup. So for now, with babies in the house, K-cups make the most sense for me. Nice honest review Paula!
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Thanks, Bill. Yes, I think time is a huge factor for this model. We have two teen/adults, so we don't need to watch them quite as much. :)
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I can totally agree with your review on the Keurig, both the pros and cons. I do own one and I do love it dearly - there's nothing like a fresh cup of coffee anytime I want one! And that machine works hard in this house (both husband and I are coffee drinkers), even my big kids use the machine - they certainly don't drink coffee, but they love to make hot chocolate!
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I have a Krups machine I have had since I was in school, which still works beautifully and makes excellent coffee. I buy the beans, store them in glass jars in the freezer, and grind them when I am going to make coffee. I also have a cold brewer which I love in the summer as it makes "coffee concentrate" that you can keep in the refrigerator. But then I will also freeze the coffee to make coffee granitas!

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