I’ve had my Keurig for about two years now, which I think has given me adequate time to get past the honeymoon phase and really develop a good idea of the pros and cons of owning one. When I first reviewed the single-cup coffee maker back on my personal blog, I was still in that “new love” stage, where my beautiful Keurig could do no wrong. I mean, what wasn’t to love? Each morning, I’d stumble out of bed, throw a cup in the little basket, shut it, push a button, and less than a minute later I’d have enough caffeine coursing through my blood to enable me to at least open my eyes all the way. Now, two years later, I still love my Keurig, but I’m finally able to recognize that even he (yes, my machine is a he) has some flaws that weren’t obvious to me while I was blinded by his sheer newness.
I know that there are still some people left out there that are on the fence when it comes to the Keurig, so hopefully this will help sway you in either direction.
PROS – Because I like the good news first
* Speed- The biggest pro of the Keurig is the fact that I can have freshly brewed coffee in under a minute. This is extremely important to non-morning people like myself. I can barely even walk straight, let alone get my son dressed and drive him to the bus stop, without a bit of caffeine first thing upon awakening.
* Flavor variety– when you have two coffee drinkers in the house, and one can’t stand flavored coffee while the other (me) is adventurous and always looking for new, unique flavors, Keurig makes it easy to accommodate everyone without having to brew several pots.
* Less wasted coffee– Sometimes I just need a nice cup of coffee to get me through the mid-afternoon slump. Pre-Keurig, this meant brewing at least four cups (because it’s just too hard to get it right with less than that) and wasting half of it, if not more. Now, if I want a cup of coffee, I simply throw in a K-Cup and have one.
* Instant hot water– Aside from using the machine for its intended purpose of making coffee, I also use it to make hot tea with tea bags or get hot water for oatmeal. I’ve even used it to make ramen noodles for my son. Sure, I could use the microwave or a tea kettle and achieve the same result, but the Keurig is faster.
* Outstanding Customer Service– After about a year, our first machine suddenly stopped working, and I’m pretty sure it was our fault. We have hard water, and we didn’t realize that you have to clean out the machine every now and then with vinegar to de-scale it. We called Keurig to find out about fixing it, and since we had one day left on our warranty, they sent us a whole new machine. No hassle, no jumping through hoops, no shipping anything back except the tiny little filter in the basket.
* Cost of Coffee– The biggest con of the Keurig machine is the cost of the K-Cups. They weren’t cheap to begin with, and they’ve recently gone up in price (like everything else). An 18-count box costs about $11 at Walmart and T, closer to $12 at Bed, Bath and Beyond (the only place in my area with a semi-decent selection). That’s about $0.61 per cup, versus just a few cents per cup when brewing a pot of coffee from bagged ground coffee. If you’re lucky, you can get them on sale at Amazon for about $0.50 a cup. Usually, you have to combine the sale or coupon with Subscribe and Save, but you can cancel before the next shipment.
* Not Recyclable– The little plastic K-Cups are not recyclable at this time. However, Green Mountain coffee is supposedly working on a solution to this issue, although it may take time. Those little cups can really pile up if you have multiple people drinking multiple cups per day.
* Flavor Variety– Yes, I know I put this in the pros, but there is a con to this. Most sampler packs only contain a few flavors, and they’re usually the same flavors over and over. You can try a dozen different brands of Hazelnut of French Vanilla along with a few types of regular coffe, for example, but if you want to try out that fancy new flavor from Van Houtte (I HIGHLY recommend Spicy Mayan Chocolate), you have to buy a whole box. While this is fine when it turns out that you love the flavor, you’ve just wasted over $10 if you end up hating it.
While the pros definitely outweighed the cons for a very long time in my household, money is getting tighter by the day, and the cost is becoming more of a major factor. I could drop the K-Cups and start using the little filter cup that we bought to use regular coffee with the machine. Unfortunately, it isn’t the best method, as a lot of grounds end up in your coffee. Otherwise, I may have to break out the traditional coffee maker and relegate my beloved machine to special occasions until finances improve. If money wasn’t an issue, the Keurig would win every time though. There are still so many flavors that I want to try though, so it will be hard to give up my Keurig.