Friday, May 21, 2010
Things had changed in coffeemakers since the last time I looked. First, I considered machines with small pots, then I looked at those with thermal carafes. Last, I looked at single-cup models. At first, I was a bit skeptical about the k-cup brewers because I didn't want to be stuck buying the cups. What if they lost popularity? And seriously, I've got a nice burr grinder. I like grinding the beans fresh.
There are some aftermarket ways of refilling the old cups or making your own, but those looked fiddly and annoying to me. I'd probably have to deal with that sort of thing the night before, and that defeats the purpose of grinding the beans fresh.
But then I found out that the new pots include a little basket device and holder that you can fill with your own grounds. It's called a My K-Cup, and it's got a plastic filter that rinses clean. SOLD!
I ended up with the Breville Keurig 600XL. There's a newer model, but this one was a great deal, so I decided that the upgrades weren't worth it for me.
The newer one is allegedly quieter, which wasn't particularly important to me, since I'm not going to be brewing coffee in the middle of the night. And there's an extra size setting on the new one, so you can brew a tiny amount of strong tea to make iced tea. Again, not a big deal.
After using this model for a while, I've got to say that it's a nice machine. It brews a good cup of coffee, I've got my choice of cup sizes and temperatures, and I can use my own grounds or get lazy and buy the cups. Those cups are on sale everywhere I look, usually costing about 50 cents per cup of coffee. And it seems like the selections keep growing.
I've got to say that I've gotten spoiled with the ability to have a cup of hot water almost instantly for tea, as well.
I've only had two problems with the machine. First, the lid of the "My K-Cup" gadget cracked. Those things are also sold just about everywhere, but Breville replaced it for me when I emailed them. So, no big deal.
The second strange problem was with a box of the coffee in cups that I bought, just to see if they were worth having. For no good reason, those cups were popping open and spewing coffee grounds all over. It was a bit if a mess.
At first, I thought maybe some grounds had gotten stuck somewhere and something was clogged. I cleaned the machine up, tried another cup, and it worked. but it was a different type of coffee. Went back to the other, and we had another blowout. But it wasn't a total waste. After I figured out that the cups were the problem, I popped them open and used them in the My K-Cup.
And I can't blame the machine for that problem.
So overall, I've been really pleased. I can make one cup of whatever coffee I want in the morning, and if we happen to have guests over, we can offer, tea, coffee, decaf, or whatever, and there's no need to brew a whole pot of one type of bean. Everyone picks what they want, and there's no waste.
And I've got to say that this thing looks nice on the counter.