Friday, May 21, 2010

Product Review: Breville Keurig Single Cup Coffeemaker

As much as I like coffee, I don't need to drink a pot of it every morning. My old coffeemaker was on its last legs, and it was time to go shopping.

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.

Not to mention that there's a lot of waste with the plastic cups and disposable aftermarket filters.

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 new one is made from a different sort of plastic that doesn't seem as brittle.

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.


Anonymous said...

A reusable K-Cup so I don't have make 4 cups when I only need two? WOW! I wish I knew about it before replacing my 31 yr-old Mr. Coffee.

Donna Currie said...

Obviously, it's not for everyone. We were down to one cup of coffee each, many hours apart. So the second coffee drinker was drinking reheated coffee. Pretty lousy coffee, and a waste of good beans.

I looked at a lot of other methods for brewing a single cup at a time, and this one fit all the criteria, some of which would probably be irrelevant to other people.

The fact that I can still use my freshly ground beans was one thing that was important to me. If I had to buy the commercial K-Cups, I wouldn't have bought this. If this machine lasts as long as my previous coffeemaker, or even half that long, I'll be happy.

Anonymous said...

My Breville Single Cup Brewer quit working about a year after I received it for Christmas. Though we only used it only a few times a week, it started sending the water through the machine in large quantities, overflowing cups and creating a mess. Of course, the warranty is out, and Breville referred me to a repair service hundreds of miles away. My Capresso coffee maker, on the other hand, has lasted for a number of years. As these two products are similar in price, I would stay away from the Breville Single Cup unless you have $299 you don't need. Curtis, Portland, Oregon

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