I first came across the Keurig style of coffee maker when visiting an office of a client. I liked the fact that I could pick from a wide variety of single-serving coffee pods and make just one cup of coffee, so there is no waste. It was fast and efficient, and I could choose the kind of coffee I wanted, while the next person could choose what they wanted.
My husband was skeptical, because he likes to be able to buy coffee wherever he wants to and take it home and brew it. However, when we both had delicious Keurig coffee at a family gathering at Christmas time, he was sold. When we found a Keurig Mini Plus Brewing System on clearance at Le Gourmet Chef, all our resistance was gone. This machine retails for $99.95, while we got it on clearance for $79.
The machines come in a range of models, sizes, colors (black, blue, platinum, green and yellow, depending on the model) and prices that go up to $249.95. The different models offer bigger reservoirs to store more water and features like programmable water temperature.The largest holds 90oz of water, while the Mini Plus holds only enough for one cup. All come with a 30-day Money Back Guarantee and a Limited One Year Warranty
To make a cup of coffee in the Mini Plus model, you pour six, eight or ten ounces of water into the reservoir, depending on the size of your cup--there is an indicator so you know how much you've poured in--and place your cup on the drip tray in front of the machine. Lift the handle on the front, and there is a place to insert a "K-cup", which is a little plastic cup with a foil lid and one serving of coffee inside. Close the lid, which contains a metal spike to puncture the lid of the K-cup, and push the "Power" and "Brew" buttons. The Brew button lights up red whle the water heats, then changes to blue and the machine automatically brews the coffee straight into your cup. With the larger models, you only have to fill the reservoir every few cups or so, and the water will stay hot for a little while.
K-cups are available in a large variety of coffees, teas, apple cider and hot chocolate. They can be purchased in some stores like Walmart, Kohl's, and Le Gourmet Chef, and tons of websites, including www.keurig.com. Some have memberships where you get a discount if you let them send you coffee at intervals.
The cost of K-cups comes out to around $.58 per 10oz cup (depending on what you buy), compared to about $1.50 for a 12oz brewed cofee at Starbucks. It is more expensive than traditionally brewed Folgers, which comes out to around $.42 per cup, but is similar to more expensive coffees. You might have less waste with Keurig than with traditionally brewed coffee, if you regularly brew more than you drink. Additionally, coffee in K-cups doesn't go stale, thanks to the foil seal.
The flavor of every brand of coffee K-cup we have tried so far has been delicious. I find myself enjoying roasts and flavors I don't normally like, because the flavor is so mild. I can even drink it without cream if we're out.
As an added bonus, there are accessories you can buy to make your own K-cups with any coffee. There are other accessories available, like a caddy to neatly display all your K-cups on the counter.
The Keurig Mini Plus Brewing System is best suited to a household where only one or two people drink coffee, because you have to add water every time you make a cup and wait for it to heat up. The whole process only takes about two minutes, but if you have five grumpy people lined up with cups in hand, you'll want to break out your traditional coffee maker or buy one of the bigger Keurig models that hold enough water for several cups.
Because of its compact design--about 7" wide by 11" long--the Mini Plus model is perfect for a cramped kitchen. It doesn't take up very much room and can be stored easily. It even has a retractable power cord. It can accommodate cups up to about 6" tall.
I have only had my Keurig Mini Plus Brewing System for about a week, but I love it and have put my traditional coffee maker in storage.