Keurig B40 Elite Coffee Maker

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The best conventional coffee maker is the Keurig K40

Dec 25, 2007
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Quick, easy cleanup, versatile, can also brew tea and dispense hot water

Cons: somewhat noisy when pumping water into the heating tank

The Bottom Line: For quick, easy coffee, the K40 is a great machine

We were given a Keurig K40, some tea K-Cups, and the reusable K-Cup module for Christmas, and so far, I've run a couple of cups of coffee and tea through it

It's a great little unit, a bit noisy when pumping water into the heater tank, but that's a "cosmetic" annoyance, nothing more

The unit is simplicity itself to operate, fill the water tank, load a K-Cup, and when the two cup size buttons flash (bright blue LED illumination), simply press the button corresponding to the size drink you want, sit back and let the machine brew away, when the process finishes, simply open the K-Cup bay, remove the spent cup (caution, may be quite hot), and close it back up

The machine itself is versatile, you can get K-Cups with various coffee varieties, teas, and hot chocolate, with the available reusable module, you can use your favorite gourmet coffee that you grind yourself, you can even use the unit to make a quick cup of hot water for those instant ramen-noodles beloved of college students and night owls

Overall, compared against other drip-style coffee machines, the K40 is a great machine, it may not have the bells and whistles of the more advanced coffee machines, but if all you want is a cup of hot stimulants, the K40 can deliver your caffeine-delivery-vehicle of choice quicker and easier than a standard coffee machine, and with almost no cleanup, no basket of used grounds to dispose of, no carafe to clean, just drop in the cup, and select your cup size

That said, there are a couple downsides to the K40;

The K-Cups themselves produce okay coffee, not stellar coffee, just good, basic coffee, the main reason for this is a couple reasons, first, the cups themselves are nothing more than a paper filter and coffee grounds in a plastic carrier cup with a vacuum-sealed foil lid

1; paper filters absorb the essential oils and aromatics that give coffee it's unique body and texture, what's left behind are the bitters

2; drip brewers (which the K40 is a modified version of) under-extract coffee at the start of the cycle, as not enough water hits the grounds, it passes through them quickly making a weak brew, and they over-extract the coffee at the end of the brew cycle, as the last drops of water are forced out of the K-Cup by a small air pump, over-extraction creates a bitter brew, for best results, all the grounds should be exposed to the hot water for the same amount of time, which no drip maker can do

3; the K-Cups themselves contain pre-ground coffee, for best results, coffee should be ground moments before brewing, to retain the aromatic oils and other compounds that give coffee it's unique flavor and character, exposure to air spoils and ages coffee, once ground, coffee ages rapidly, yes the K-Cups are vacuum sealed, which will slow the aging process, but not stop it, take a look at an "expired" unused K-Cup, and you'll notice the foil seal is domed upward and under pressure, those are the oils and aromatics escaping from the grounds, if coffee was ground just before brewing, the aromatics would still be in the grounds

That said, the "You-Fill-It" reusable K-Cup module *does* produce appreciably better coffee, mainly for two reasons, first, the coffee itself is fresher, ideally, ground moments before, and secondly, the filter material is a plastic screen, no paper to absorb the oils and aromatics, however, it has the downside of a standard coffee filter in regards to cleaning it out for reuse, it's not as simple, easy, and convenient as the disposable K-Cup

Finally, the disposable K-Cups do add more plastics into the waste stream, whereas the You-Fill-It module doesn't

The K40 can't compare to a good French Press when it comes to quality coffee, as the press keeps all the grounds exposed to water for the same amount of time, preserving the aromatics, oils, and crema, but the French Press is a lot less convenient to use and clean, and it's also a lot messier, however, the coffee from a French Press is indescribably better

plus, the French Press is cheaper

still, the K40 is a great single-serving drip machine, combine it with the You-Fill-It K-Cup module and you'll have a quick and easy way to make coffee that's almost as good as the french press

the K40 is definitely more convenient, and easier to clean though

Recommend this product? Yes

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