Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Keurig Review

I recently had a chance to try out a Keurig machine, thanks to BzzAgent. I've seen these types of machines in the stores and at friends' houses and been curious. I'm a hot beverage NUT so I really wanted to try this out.

The machine is good looking, silvery and black, and fit in just fine in my kitchen. I did find it was fairly large, but that's all relative. It's around the same footprint as my Krups machine (I've talked about that here), but much bigger than the Sunbeam Hot Shot that I had been using to make hot water (until it died after several-times-a-day use for three years. Psst, Sunbeam, I need a new one and I can't find it in Canada!)

The Keurig can do coffees, teas, hot chocolate and even cider - it all depends on the cartridge you put in. And without a cartridge it does a quick cup of hot water (perfect for random stuff like nursing teas and the salted caramel hot chocolate I like to make). You can select a small or large cup size to fill. I did notice that the amount of water it dispenses seems to vary - a small cup can be 2/3 or 3/4 full, seemingly at random.

The machine comes with 12 samples of assorted cartridges. I'm not sure if they're all the same in each box but mine included 11 different coffees and one tea. In the spirit of giving it a good try, I tried each one. I am a super picky coffee drinker and had switched to decaf nearly three years ago so having caffeinated coffee was a bit wild for me. Honestly, I was not crazy about most of the coffees, but I did find one or two among the selection that I liked. And with hundreds of different varieties available, there is sure to be something for everyone.

I have to say I really didn't like the tea sample. I found it bitter. I'm something of a traditionalist when it comes to tea. I need steeping to bring out the flavours. So that for me was a disappointment. I actually tipped it out after tasting it and made a new mug with a tea bag instead.

And the whole cartridge thing leaves me cold. I mean, cute packaging, and it's SO convenient, but what a lot of waste. They can't be recycled or composted, so with every drink a big chunk of garbage is created. I have talked about that before.  I would feel better about these if they were biodegradable, at least.

Okay, so what did I love about the machine? The convenience. If you can find the right coffee cartridge for you, and the whole wastefulness of it isn't enough to put you off, it is so freakin' easy and quick. The water heats up really fast and your drink is ready sooner than you'd ever get it with a traditional drip, percolator, or even a kettle. It's about the same speed as my beloved late lamented Sunbeam Hot Shot, with a slicker look and easier use (no spilly filling of water each time for the Keurig - you just fill the tank on it every once in a while and it lets you know when you need to). It is so convenient and also kinda fun to pick out a drink and make it, just like that. I imagine if a few people in a family like hot drinks it would be even more excellent. For us, I'm the only one (my poor husband is actually allergic to coffee and is not fond of other hot drinks). I can't emphasize enough how easy it is to use.

If you are that person who actually buys a coffee at a shop every day, this would be a money saver for you.  The cartridges are around 50 cents each, from what I understand.

Overall... love the ease, hate the waste. I'm currently using it for hot water only and for that purpose it seems too big (oh, Sunbeam Hot Shot! I miss you). I hear you can get a good deal on the cartridges at Costco, but I look at them and think, "That box is full of landfill" - and can't buy them. If only I could feel okay about where the cartridges go after use, I'd probably be a solid convert.


  1. I feel the same way. I wanted to try a Keurig but it seems to wasteful to me. Really, making coffee is not so inconvenient to me that I need single-use cups. :/

  2. I agree completely. I asked for one for Christmas last year but we decided it was too expensive and I am glad. I don't like the idea of so much trash.


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