Keurig Special Edition Brewing System, reviewed

Keurig Special Edition Brewing System, reviewed I drink a lot of coffee and I also bake with it on a regular basis. I have more than one coffee maker and this is for good reason: each of them has its own purpose, even though they all make coffee. Traditional pots brew enough for a crowd, or multiple cups when you know that you’re going to need that extra caffeine. Espresso machines take a little more time and finesse, but there is no other way to make a good latte. Instant coffee is great for baking and Starbucks Via is good both for baking and when you’re on the go. It might not seem like there is room for yet another type of machine, but Keurig manages to fit right in there perfectly.

Keurig makes one-cup coffee brewers that use tiny K-cups, small cups that have both grounds and a small coffee filter inside of them. When you pop one into the machine, hot water shoots through the filter and produces a fresh cup of coffee in less than a minute. It’s a neat design because the coffee is vacuum sealed in its little container and isn’t exposed to the air until it goes into the machine, which helps keep the coffee fresh tasting. The machine is great when you typically make just one cup of coffee at a time and don’t need a whole pot on a daily basis, and if you do drink a lot of coffee, it’s nice to have the option for a quick cup at your desk or in the middle of the afternoon without brewing a whole pot or running out to the coffee shop (not to mention that it’s also less expensive!).

I didn’t think I’d want a Keurig until I started using a friend’s system, where I was impressed by how fast and easy it was to use. I have a Keurig Special Edition Brewing System of my own now and I definitely get a lot of use out of it. The machine has a large water reservoir and brews coffee (or tea, actually) in three sizes: 6oz, 8oz, and 10oz. I tend to stick to 8oz for most coffees. All of the Keurigs have similar coffee brewing abilities and can brew cup after cup rapidly as long as the basins are filled and will perform consistently over time. What makes this a special edition are a few of the extra features, such as being able to program water temperature and choose an Auto On/Off. The machine also has chrome accents and blue back-lit screen that Keurig says gives the machine an “upscale” appearance. Most models are around the same price, so it’s all a matter of personal preference when picking one out and I have had no complaints about the basic models (no chrome!) I’ve used.

The coffees are generally good and more and more manufacturers are coming out with K-cup designs, so there are plenty of options. As with all coffee, some is going to be better than others and you will develop your own personal preferences. I’ve had quite a few of the Caribou Coffee K-cups that I like, and the new Millstone cups are also quite good and offer a lot of flavor options. I don’t use my machine for tea, but there are lots of tea k-cups out there, as well as cups for hot chocolate and even apple cider!

This won’t replace my regular coffee maker because I often like to make a whole pot, especially on the weekends when I’m going to sip multiple cups of coffee throughout the morning, and I like to grind my own beans for the very best overall flavor in my coffee. But this little gadget is great for so many things and earned its spot on my counter by coming to the rescue when I need a quick pick me up without brewing an entire pot.

Keurig Special Edition Brewing System, reviewed

16 comments

  1. Can you use your own coffee? I love flavored coffees. I have a Cuisinart One Cup Brewing System. However, it is old and will, shortly, need to replaced. Should I buy another Cusinart or this?

  2. Went to visit an elderly aunt who had a Keurig. Drank lots more coffee than usual (luckily decaf) because she got a big kick out of using her machine. Have to say it was excellent coffee!

  3. Nicole, have you experienced any reliability issues with yours? I’m on my third one and don’t consider myself an abusive user, but they just keep dying!

  4. I’ve had mine for well over 4 years, gets used multiple times a day and haven’t had any issues. Our friends just had to replace theirs that was over 6 years old and got the new Cuisinart that uses the K-cups – they said it’s much quieter than the Keurig brewer.

    We like that we can change up easily from regular coffee, to decaf, to flavored at the drop of a hat (or Kcup, I should say!!). We also have the little add on to brew our our coffee from fresh ground beans and it works great.
    We get most of our KCups from CoffeeWiz.com – good prices, free shipping over $50 (so we hold out and order enough each time). And my local Costco tends to have the large boxes of Caribou that we buy for every day plain coffee. Love my Keurig!

  5. @Carole: yes you can use your own ground beens, you just need the K-Cup Reusable Coffee Filter (http://www.amazon.com/Keurig-K-Cup-Reusable-Coffee-Filter/dp/B000DLB2FI)

    @ Heidi: I have you beat, I am on no less than my 6th replacement of the unit. I believe that they do indeed have manufacturing issues. But, I will say this, they have amazing customer service. Just be sure to register your brewer online. They will replace it if anything goes wrong within a year and when a replacement comes, it begins the year again. They also give you two boxes of coffee for the trouble you go to to replace it.

    That all said; I truly do enjoy the machine and the various type of drinks it brews; also the cold drinks are great too… the lemonade/ic tea and the hot cider are great…

  6. I’ve had my machine for about six years now, my husband likes flavored coffee and I don’t so this is great for that. Plus my son keeps unusual hours so he uses it a lot when we don’t have a pot brewed. I use it for hot water for tea with no kcup in the machine and that’s handy too. You can buy the insert so you can use your own coffee. I did try the hot apple cider and I love it!

  7. I’ve had a keurig for 3 years and love it! It saves me hundreds each year as I always bring a cup to work with me instead of purchasing a cup; and I use a ceramic “starbucks” cup for that coffee shop feel. ;)

    I enjoy the variety of kcups (especially flavored, Golden French Toast is my fav!), but for those looking to save on the cost of kcups, prefer to grind your own/use preground, and/or for varieties that aren’t available in kcups, I recommend getting a “My Kcup”, which allows you to use your own ground coffee for brewing a cup. It’s around $15/ea, but pays for itself after a month or two of use.

  8. QVC regularly has exceptional deals on Keurig machines. They usually sell a package deal with filters, k-cups and a my k-cup that is much cheaper than buying from Keurig.com or the store.

  9. How do you justify the packaging waste involved in every single cup of coffee that this produces? I’m certainly no saint when it comes to packaging, but it strikes me that coffee is one arena in which it is exceptionally easy to avoid any extraneous packaging.

    The company pays some lip service to hopes of making recyclable (or, more likely, carbon-neutral) packaging in the future, but until that time (and likely beyond, if they are unable to create a recyclable package and go the carbon-neutral route), every cup means another three-part package/filter combo in a landfill.

  10. @ Carole – We’ve had a Keurig for a year, and my dad has had one for longer. We both have the filter insert so that we can use our own coffee (it’s cheaper, better for the environment, etc.) I’ve used the machine almost daily for the last year, and haven’t touched any of the K-cups that came with it.

  11. My husband and I were given this for Christmas last year and we love it. He drinks one mug of coffee a day and I drink about 2 cups a week, so it is perfect for us. Make sure you try the Wild Mountain Blueberry k-cup-it is divine!

  12. I love the one at work and use it all day for coffee and tea but the little plastic cups bug me. I guess they are probably recycle-able but it just seems so wasteful. That’s why I don’t buy one for home use but I’m so tempted….

  13. we have a keurig pot at work and it’s very easy to use

  14. I think I’ve have my Keurig for about 3 years, maybe 4. I love it. I love reg. and my partner drinks decaf, so it works great for us. The problem is, it is NOISY. It will wake the dead when brewing. Love, love, love the pumpkin spice coffee. (yes, I do feel bad about the eco waste from the cups.)

  15. Ok sorry just read Charles’ comment above. I guess the cups are not recyclable. Dang that is so wasteful. They need to fix that because these machines are super cool and I would totally buy one for myself and probably also as gifts for others if they could make them eco friendly!

  16. I have this machine and love it. It’s perfect for me because I don’t usually drink more then 1 cup at a time.

    I have had quite a few of the teas, and they are delicious if its your cup of…tea. I tried the hot chocolate, and it was okay, not my favorite. As far as the coffee goes, the donut shop is my favorite.

    Cleaning it is also pretty easy, much easier than I had expected. I haven’t used the little self filter coffee k-cup attachment (so you can grind your own beans), I’m too lazy and not a big enough coffee drinker. But, my roommate has used it and seems to like it a lot. It is definitely a good investment to cut back on waste and save a little money. Buying the k-cups in stores can be a little pricey.

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