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.
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.