Keurig Special Edition Ultimate Home Brewing System Review

Keurig Special Edition Ultimate Home Brewing SystemBack in May while at Sam’s Club, DH and I spotted a sample kiosk for a Keurig coffee brewing system.  I was in serious need of some mid-afternoon caffeine so I was thrilled to try a cup.  They were sampling the Caribou Coffee K-Cups which tasted quite nice though the only creamer they had was Hazelnut flavored (since my last pregnancy I’ve had a real problem with nut flavored creamers, go figure) and I like a little coffee with my creamer :-P. We weren’t exactly shopping for a coffee maker so when DH suggested that we buy the Special Edition Ultimate Home Brewing System I was hesitant to say the least.  I hadn’t had a chance to shop around and $129 at the time seemed a bit steep.  The coffee maker we had at home worked just fine and we were well pleased with the flavor of the coffee made from freshly ground beans.

DH insisted and I rejected.  Then he mentioned I should use my cool new Droid Incredible (subject of an upcoming post) to find out what those systems would cost someplace else.  So I did.

The package they were selling at Sam’s Club had the brewer, 72 sample K-Cups, and the water filter starter kit for $129.  I checked to see what was so great about the system and the price.  Turned out that on the web it sold for at least $10 more, plus shipping and you had to wait and it had less sample K-Cups.  I checked other websites via Google for pricing and what Sam’s Club was offering was way more bang for our buck.  The whole time as I checked around DH was trying to convince me because we wouldn’t have to buy coffee filters or coffee beans, wash a carafe, worry about mis-measuring, wasting coffee or wait 10 minutes for a half pot of coffee to be done anymore.  We could have a cup of coffee in a matter of minutes and it would be fresh and just the size we wanted.

DH insisted and finally I relented.  We bought the Special Edition Ultimate Home Brewing System and an 80-count box of Caribou Coffee K-Cups.  As soon as we got it home DH pulled it out of the box and put it together while he had me wash and put away our old, trusty coffee maker. Once he had it in place it was like it was meant to be there!
The styling is modern and not gaudy.  The brushed and polished metallic accents on the black base were tasteful.  I like that the reservoir is on the side of the machine and not the back which makes it easier to remove and refill.  We use filtered water in our Keurig so the water filter in the reservoir is nice to catch any small particles of dust that may find their way in.  The machine takes but a minute to come on and you immediately hear the heating element heat the water.  The blue backlit LED screen lets you know when the machine is ready to brew it’s first cup.  This Keurig version also has a timer you can set for On time, how long you want it to stay on after the “alarm” time, and how long you want it to stay on after a manual power on.  It’s great because DH gets up at 6am to get ready for work so the Keurig is set to come on at 6:30 so he can make his cup to go.  We set it to stay on until 8:30 am so I have time to make breakfasts and lunches before I make my cup of coffee.  Not that it’s a big deal to turn it on again, but it’s nice to have the option.   With three available cup sizes you can have a cup as strong or as weak as you like it depending on your mood and preference.  Personally, I like a big cup of coffee and two runs through a K-cup with the middle button is good.  Though the K-cup better be strong enough to handle a double drip or it’ll end up tasting like water.  So far my favorites are the Caribou Coffee, Emeril’s Big Easy Blend and the Newman’s Own Special Blend K-Cups.

My only problem with this system is the waste it creates.  The K-cups are great in that the coffee is pre-measured and stays fresh.  The machine auto-punctures each K-cup prior to brewing so there is no guesswork.  The cups themselves are made of plastic.  When I brewed coffee in our old coffee maker the used coffee grounds, filter and all would go in the compost heap.  Now I have a lot of work to do to empty my K-cups before I reuse or throw them out.  It kills me to be throwing out that much plastic.  Sure it’s only a couple a day, but that is 60 a month which adds up big time in the long run.  DH thinks I’m crazy to keep and empty the K-cups but all that yummy organic matter could go on my garden next year instead of rotting in a landfill.  My challenge to Keurig and to all the K-cup manufacturers is to find a more readily degradable material to use for their K-cups (this is a post from 2 years ago with still not progress on the matter:-().  Yes, the ones they make will eventually degrade, but they ARE NOT recyclable and as was brought out in a recent article dedicated to the subject of these cups they HAVE to be be exposed to direct sunlight in order to break down effectively- not buried in a landfill or floating in the ocean.  So, until that day I will continue to empty my K-cups by hand and I will be reusing them to start seeds for next years growing season.  I know they make a reusable My K-cup, but DH says it defeats the purpose of not having to measure and clean a filter cup so he refuses to buy it for me (heathen).  I said I’d clean it myself (like anyone else would anyway :-S), but he still refuses.

In retrospect I’m glad I listened to DH and let him buy us the Keurig Special Edition Ultimate Home Brewing System.  Now he wants another one he can put at work! So, keep working on that packaging problem Keurig and we may encourage more of our friends and family to purchase this machine.

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