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.