I love my Keurig. I love the fact that I can stumble into the kitchen, eyes half open, pop a cup into the chamber, and have fresh-brewed coffee less than a minute later. Well, at least when it works (I’ve gone through two machines in the last two years, and they just sent me my third one. But I can’t complain, at least they get me all fixed up pretty fast when my machine dies a painful death.). I’ve gone over the pros and cons of the Keurig before, so I’ll spare you a lengthy post extolling its virtues. But I would like to remind you of one of its biggest cons- the price of K-Cups. They were never all that cheap to begin with, but they seem to be going up monthly now. Bed, Bath and Beyond (or as Jake calls it, Bed, Bath, From the Beyond) used to have them for $9.99 a box. Last month, they went up to $1099. This month, $11.99. It’s getting out of control, and I just can’t afford the amount I need each month to keep up with my coffee habit. Plus, I kind of miss trying out new coffees. Yes, there are a ton of K-Cup varieties from which to choose, but there are also hundreds of other types of coffee out there that don’t come in a convenient little K-cup.
So as much as I completely “heart” my Keurig, I was on the verge of turning it into an occasional treat dispenser and going back to the old-fashioned pot system or something. I tried refillable cups in the past, and they were a disaster- weak coffee filled with grounds. Yum, right? That just makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and rush to the coffee maker. I think mainlining the caffeine through an IV would have been more pleasant, and I hate needles! But then I saw the Solofill Refillable K-Cup on a trip to the Beyond, and thought “I wonder…” Well, I didn’t buy it, because it was like $15 there, but I did file away the product in my steel-trap mind, which for once did not malfunction. I hemmed and hawed over whether I should take a risk on it for a while. I comparison shopped, thought it over some more, and decided that if it went on sale, I would get it. When the ever awesome For the Momma’s posted that Amazon had them on sale for $11.75 each, or two for $22, I ran (and by ran, I mean I typed in “A” in my browser, and Amazon was the first thing that popped into the drop down menu, which indicates how much time I spend there) to Amazon to grab a pair.
In anticipation of their arrival, I grabbed some Archer Farms Fair Trade Nicaraguan coffee and a small packet of Cinnamon Vanilla Nut flavored coffee. The Solofills arrived a few days ago and I’ve had a decent chance to try them out. The one thing I love about them, aside from the fact that I can now use any coffee in my Keurig, is that you don’t have to remove the filter holder. This makes it much easier to pop it in and out or switch back to regular K-cups. Second, unlike the other refillable model that I had, it doesn’t leave coffee grounds floating around in my cup. Third, if you look at the picture, you’ll note that it’s BPA-free, which I’m just starting to learn is a good thing. Fourth (this list is getting long), it’s more environmentally friendly, since the K-Cups aren’t recyclable yet.
Like all wonderful things though, there are some cons. It takes more effort to fill the Solofill than, say, slapping a K-Cup into the brewer. Also, Keurig doesn’t recommend using anything other than the specially designed K-Cups, so using it may void your warranty. The coffee does come out a little weaker than I’d like, so I definitely suggest going with a stronger brew than usual, although it could just be that the coffee I bought is weak, so I’ll reserve judgment on that until I try a few more blends and see how it performs overall. Finally, occasionally hot water spouts out the sides of holder if it’s not lined up just right, so keep your hands away from the cup until it’s done brewing (you’d think I wouldn’t need to mention this, but I’m guilty of hovering with my hand next to the cup waiting to snatch my sweet, sweet caffeine the moment the brewer stops).
Overall, I’m happy with my Solofill. I’m even happier that it saves me money and allows me to broaden my caffeinated horizons.