I received the Keurig Elite Brewing System reluctantly, as a gift. The typical “Single-Cup Brewing System” is a no-no in the world of coffee aficionados, and having considered myself one, I was quite uncertain about the potential of Keurig’s product. While Keurig promised me a quick cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa – in under a minute, to be specific – I doubted the taste of anything that could be brewed so quickly. And while many drinks didn’t live up to my expectations, the Elite Brewer’s convenience and simplicity won me over, especially on those groggy mornings when the thought of brewing coffee manually was making me want to stay in bed.
The Elite Brewing System is a quick, efficient way to whip up a single cup of a joe, whether it be early in the morning, or around 4 pm, when it seems impossible that it can only be 4 pm. In this way, the Keurig can’t be beat. You don’t need to worry about wasting three-quarters of a pot of coffee so you can have that one cup, or spending $4.00 at the cafe for your afternoon pick-me-up. With the Elite Brewer, you have the option of a hot, fresh cup of coffee, tea, or even apple cider, whenever you want it. You simply refill the 48-oz water reservoir with filtered water every so often, and you’re good to go. There are even multiple size settings, so if you like a small, strong cup, but your significant other prefers a big, more evenly flavored cup, you have options. Also, the drip tray is removable, so you can fit your travel mug right below the spout and be ready to roll within a few minutes.
The K-Cups, as the individual brewing capsules are called, definitely give you variety. There are a few companies that manufacture the little guys, including Caribou Coffee and Celestial Seasonings – both reliable coffee and tea sources. The problem I seem to have with my Keurig, however, is that none of the drinks really taste outstanding. And while I occasionally come across a tea that I like – I don’t find that brewing anything in my Keurig, especially coffee, gives me that great drink I want. The various brews all taste a bit like diner coffee. This isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. If you aren’t too discerning in your morning cup,or just drink it for the caffeine boost, you may not even notice. Another small issue – or rather, large one – is that the Keurig Brewer is huge. While it boasts the dimensions of 13.0″H x 9.8″W x 13.3″D, the system takes over my counter space, and when it comes to storing the K-Cups (which are also huge – each one is about the size of a shotglass,) I find myself frequently feeling frustrated at how spatially monopolizing my morning ritual has become.
If you’re willing to dish out the initial $120 the Keurig Elite Brewing System costs, you’ll find you get your money’s worth rather quickly. If you are, however, a picky coffee drinker – thinking about the roasts, bean quality, and specific taste of your brew, I’d recommend checking out a Boden French Press for about $15, and spending your leftover money on higher quality coffee.