We try it!

We Try It!: Keurig Single Cup Coffee Brewer

Waaaaaay back in the early Persephone days, I wrote a review of my Senseo machine, where I gushed about it like a lover.  Shortly after I wrote that review, it shorted out and belched ropy jets of hot coffee all over my kitchen. I replaced it with a newer Senseo model, and it sucked.

The new Senseo made coffee that tasted like hot plastic, due to a design change.  I took to the internets to find a solution, and tried everything from running an entire gallon of vinegar through the machine to swearing at it loudly.  Nothing helped, my coffee still tasted like melted Legos and Barbie tears.  So I switched to Keurig.

I loved my old, good Senseo, but my Keurig is my soulmate.

The Keurig uses “k-cups”, small, sealed, plastic cups to brew each cup of coffee.  The K-cups come in over 100 varieties, including teas, cocoas, flavored and unflavored coffee.  Through mail order, and the Keurig buyers’ club, the K-cups end up costing about $0.60 USD per cup, which is cheaper than Senseo pods but more expensive than coffee made with a traditional percolator.

The machine makes great coffee.  It’s the right temperature, after I add my requisite sugar and half-and-half, and the machine offers two cup sizes (one is 10 oz., the other is 8 oz.) depending on how strong you like your coffee or if you need room for way too much cream, like me.

Like the Senseo, the Keurig went through a recent design change.  The manufacturer replaced the motor that runs the pump that pulls water from the reservoir into the heating element with a quieter motor, but the drawback is that it isn’t as strong. Most users online describe the pot working great for a few weeks, then consistently making a really skimpy cup of coffee.  This happened to me, as well, but the Googles taught me how to fix it.  The problem starts when the pump doesn’t prime correctly, which leads to the short cups.  The solution is a bit unconventional, but it worked for me. If your Keurig is making short cups, you need to lift the water reservoir up off the base and slam it back down into place.  I was very skeptical, and somewhat worried about busting my $99 coffee pot, but it worked like a charm.

Cleaning the Keurig is simple.  There’s an indicator light that comes on if the pot has too much scale built up.  If you’ve got hard, crappy water like I do, you’ll need to run a few tanks of water through the machine without any coffee every few weeks.   You can run vinegar through it as well, but make sure to run at least 4-5 reservoirs of water, or your coffee will taste like shit.  By which I mean vinegar.

I love my machine.  And writing about it makes me want to go make a cup right now.


By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

18 replies on “We Try It!: Keurig Single Cup Coffee Brewer”

i wish i’d known about the single-cup keurig machine that has 2 different size settings. i thought i’d scored a great deal when i paid $89 at walmart for a keurig that makes only one size (which nearly fills the mug and leaves very little room for milk). also, mine doesn’t have an indicator to show when it needs to be cleaned. but still, the coffee comes out great! i use mine at work. i work in a gov’t office; no free coffee for us :(

I am generally down with Keurig machines, but they don’t make a strong enough cup o’ joe for my tastes. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to chew my coffee.

Also did you just create the “we fucking love coffee” tag? Becuase I may have to go retroactively apply it to all my previous coffee posts.

I really want one of these, but here’s the thing: a 10oz pod is exactly 2/3 the coffee volume I require per cup. I have 16oz coffee mugs, because I am an addict with no shame. I hear spectacular things about the hot cocoa though, and God knows I need more chocolate in my life. Ahem.

The cocoa, with a tsp or so of cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon or splash of vanilla, is one of the best things in the world. It’s hyperbole good.

You could brew two 8oz cycles into your 16oz mug…. the drip tray pulls off to reveal a smaller drip tray (magic!) and you can fit a big ole mug under the spout. I have an emergency TARDIS mug that holds an enormous amount of coffee and it fits.

They do! And I have one, I should have mentioned that. It’s a three part plastic thinger with a mesh basket that fits into a container with a screw off lid. You pop out the part of the machine that holds the standard k-cup and drop it in. Drawbacks: it takes a serious amount of grounds to get a decent cup, and it makes a mess. Good points: better for nature, nice when I run out of k-cups. I cut open my old Senseo pods so they didn’t go to waste.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a terrible liberal for the waste, but the coffee is really delicious. I work from home, here and my ‘real’* job, it’s my reward for being chained to my computer and not burning fossil fuels on my commute. ; )

*real = the one that pays in money.

I got a Keurig from my grandma about a year ago (she got it for Christmas but never used it). I love it! It’s perfect for me since I’m the only coffee drinker in my household and I usually only have 1 cup per day. However, I do wish that it brewed the coffee a bit stronger and since I have an old one it’s extremely loud when you turn it on! I’d be afraid to use it really early in the morning if anyone was sleeping near the kitchen.

I love my Keurig and I abhor coffee. So much tea deliciousness. And at the perfect, selected by me temperature AND no drippy tea bags you don’t know what to do with as your driving and realize that you’ve over-steeped and suddenly your English Breakfast tastes like English Lunch.

Also, Arnold Palmer K-cups!

My bf got me a Keurig for Christmas (complete with the carousel and two boxes of coffee) after seeing me dump out half a pot of coffee a day for a year. I love it! I haven’t had this loss of strength or even any hard water problems. Mine also has some additional settings, for espresso, I think, and also iced coffee. It’s perfect. My only tip is to put a tray under your machine, because there will probably be a morning when you push brew and you did not put a cup under there. You will feel less dumb when your boyfriend does the same thing a few weeks later. Dumping out a tray full of coffee is easier than mopping up a kitchen of coffee. I use a pretty deep lacquer tray from West Elm.

Yay for the Keurig, but I’m hoping for something a bit more… sparkly? this year.

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