The baby shower gift that’s definitely not for the baby

This year, I thought one of the more inspired picks in our Baby Shower Gift guide was the Keurig coffee maker. I figure for those moms who thrive on caffeine (or will, once they start to accept their new sleep patterns, or lack thereof), it beats a sixteenth receiving blanket. But even if you’re not a new mom–or a mom at all for that matter–there are a lot of reasons to consider one.

We’ve been using the Keurig Platinum Brewing System at home for the last month, and truly, it couldn’t be easier. Plus, it’s already paid for itself, with the a household savings of about $150 in Ventes.

You just pop in a K-Cup, hit a button, and that’s pretty much it. It heats up and brews super fast, the LCD display lets you program even the water temperature (nice touch) and I love that the water reservoir doesn’t have to be refilled every day–unless you drink 60 ounces of coffee a day. Which I suppose some people do. And it’s excellent that the drip tray slides out, so you can stick a travel mug in there and brew a 12-ouncer for the road while you’re racing out the door.

What I didn’t realize though is that the system isn’t just for coffee.There are certainly a ton of brands of coffee in K-Cups, including Vermont’s Green Mountain Coffee, 6 Starbucks blends, Coffee People, and organic coffee from Paul Newman, which makes
a very decent decaf. But you’ll also find K-Cups with iced coffee blends (brew in a big cup directly over ice), hot apple cider, Celestial Seasoning herbal teas, and Tazo coming this fall (yay!) which makes it pretty versatile.

In fact, the huge variety of K-Cups, available everywhere from grocery stores to Amazon is one of the biggest benefits. While some folks prefer Nespresso machines, you are limited to their own (expensive) coffees.

kcup storage carousel for keurig machines

Now let’s talk about two concerns: Cost and environmental factor.

If you’re buying K-Cups, then indeed the coffee costs way more than buying a good pound of coffee from your local store; even if it does cost less than a cup at the local Starbucks. And not everyone is comfortable with the waste of a disposable coffee pack each morning. Both of these are easily addressed with one solution: Grab a reusable K-Cup like the one from ekobrew and buy your own ground coffee instead of relying on the K-Cups. It makes the entire system way more affordable, if about 20% less convenient.

Regarding quality, I’ll be honest–if you’re the type who can’t tolerate much besides Stump Town beans roasted in cast-iron German Probat machines, and prepared with filtered water in a French Press, this is not for you. It’s not a coffee snob’s machine; it’s about convenience. Tons of it. And that’s something busy parents can often use.

As for me, I appreciate an amazing cup of hand-pressed coffee, but I’m really happy with a little milk and sugar in pretty much anything in the morning–especially the Timothy’s Italian Blend these days. And it sure beats running out to the coffee shop on the corner when I really don’t feel like getting out of my pjs. -Liz

Check out the selection of Keurig brewing systems online from Keurig. If you don’t use yours all that frequently or have a teeny kitchen, take a look at the The Keurig Mini Plus Brewing System with a single use reservoir. You’ll also find storage accessories like the K-Cup Carousel Tower seen above. Thank you to Keurig for supplying a machine for review.

 

Cool Mom Staff

We spend our time looking for cool stuff so you don't have to. Hope this one fits the bill.

2 Comments

  • Reply April 10, 2012

    Emily

    We’ve had a Keurig for a few years now and love it! My hubby recently ordered San Francisco Bay Coffee k-cups on Amazon- they don’t have the plastic cup part at the bottom so there’s less waste. And they’re a bit cheaper than the others as well! We also use it a lot just for hot water with a tea bug in the mug…

  • Reply April 15, 2012

    k

    FYI, almost all (well, at least an amazing number) of the k-cups are made by Green Mountain under different brand names. Doesn’t bother me, but I can see getting unhappy about a near monopoly. Bed Bath & Beyond has pretty good prices and great selection for the cups (especially if you’ve been keeping a stash of 20% coupons like me). For plain coffee, definitely try the Wolfgang Puck ones. My fav is Breakfast in Bed (light to medium), but Chef’s Reserve is good if you want darker. Oh, last thing, this gadget tends to start having issues right after the one year warranty is up (mine just brews slowly now… for a while it needed to be turned off then turned on again, or be on for hours first). According to reviews I’ve read in a few places, I’m not the only one. When it dies I’m getting the (pricier) Cuisinart version.

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