Ekobrew Refillable K-cup - Brew your own coffee in your Keurig Brewer
Aug 16, 2011 (Updated Aug 16, 2011)
Review by Becky Brooks
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:easy to use and clean, great tasting coffee, no k-cups to throw out
Cons:excess packaging, expensive, hard to see fill line, no scoop included
The Bottom Line: If you are looking for an alternative to disposable K cups that is easy to use and clean the Ekobrewer just might be the answer.
I have been using a Keurig Brewer for a couple years now and currently we have the Cuisinart Single Serve Brewer which uses The K-cups. I have tried the My K Cup filter system and we just never liked it that much. We did not like that you had to remove part of the brewer that the k-cup system sits in to use it so although the coffee was ok we just never wanted to use it. When I saw the Ekobrewer on amazon I was intrigued and wanted to try it.
Recommend this product?
What is the Ekobrewer (4 stars for the Design)
The Ekobrewer is the size of a K cup with a flip top that opens easily and closes snugly. It is brown colored plastic and is BPA free. The cover has a silicone seal. In the center of the cover is a cone shaped indentation that allows the water to flow into the coffee and spread out to drip through all the coffee grounds. The opening on the top of the lid is only about 1/4 inch around but the cone shaped part inside is a little more than double that at the widest part. This design seems like it would minimize coffee grounds coming up through the top of the Ekobrewer, unless you overfilled it. The plastic is a hard plastic and the bottom has a wire mesh. The side of the brewer has four areas of wire mesh covering most of the bottom half of the Ekobrewer.
Our experience using the Ekobrewer (4 stars for ease of use)
Using the Ekobrewer is easy. To fill the brewer I lifted the lid which pops up easily when you push up on the underside of the lid on the front of the cup. There is a fill line that in my opinions is a little hard to see and it would be a good idea for them to make this easier to see since overfilling is the worst thing you can do. The other thing that I think would be helpful would be a coffee scoop that would let you measure the exact amount to fill the cup with the proper amount of coffee. The instructions suggest that you do not need to fill it all the way but I guess it depends on the coffee you use. I had a scoop that came with my cuisinart brewer... and two scoops filled it to the fill line. The scoop I have is a cone shape so that you can push it into the coffee to free up the space for the cone shaped water disperser. I pushed it into the coffee grounds and think if they included a scoop that would be a great feature. On either side of the top of the Ekobrewer are two little handles which stick out so that you can handle it when it is hot. Placement and removal of the Ekobrewer in your Keurig Brewer is exactly the same as with a K-Cup. No need to remove or change any equipment to use the Ekobrewer. It is easy to switch between Ekobrewer and K-Cup.
Clean and Care of the Dishwasher Safe Ekobrewer (5 stars)
Clean up is a snap with the Ekobrew. I just dumped out the grounds and rinsed the brewer out and reused it. The brewer is designed so that the grounds will not get stuck in the brewer and I have to say that it works great. It was really easy to get the grounds out of the brewer, just rinsing with warm water. One thing to remember though is that you should rinse it out immediately since the dried up grounds might not be so easy to remove. it was easy enough to remove it without burning myself with the little handles on the side. The really nice thing is that these are dishwasher safe.
How the Coffee Tastes using the Ekobrewer (5 stars)
We used a Dunkin Doughnuts brand Cinnamon Flavored coffee and when filling it to the fill line and brewing a 12 oz cup which is the largest that my brewer makes, I thought the taste was perfect. We do not like real strong coffee so if you like your coffee really strong you might prefer to brew 10oz or less with a full brewer. I used just a little less than full to brew 10oz to fit in my husbands travel size coffee mug. We were extremely pleased with the taste.
Cost, Value and Packaging (2 stars)
The cost for one Ekobrewer was about $14. They are coming out with multi packs to cut down on the costs a little bit but this seems a little steep for something that I would probably want to have a bunch of if I was going to stop using my k cups and use the ekobrew exclusively. The Ekobrew comes in an expensive looking container that is a tube shape with a slide on lid. The container is twice the size needed for one unit. Frankly if they sold this as something that you would buy to try it out and included a scoop or even a set of 3 scoops to use for different sized cups that would have been great. This is a great product but to keep the convenience of using Kcups I would want to have a bunch of these so that I could make up a variety in advance. At $14 each that seems a little steep. I saw that the 3 pack which will be availabel in the fall is going to be around $30, so still $10 each is a bit pricey. If I wanted to have a dozen of these we are talking about well over $120.
Advantages of using The Ekobrewer over prefilled K-Cups
The main advantage for using the Ekobrewer is the low impact that it makes on the environment. Although I have to say that their excessive packaging makes me scratch my head a little when the product is designed for less waste, you would think that minimal waste packaging would be a must. I guess that the packaging being made from paper makes it recyclable, but still it is twice the size that it needs to be.
The other advantage is being able to use any ground coffee that you want. This was not a super big deal for me because the K cups come in so many different varieties.
How often will I use it.
The Jury is out as to whether I will use this on a regular basis and give up my K-cups. I will update if that becomes the case. For now I think I will purchase one more so that I can make them up for my husband and myself in advance, and see how it goes.
Review of My Brewers
Cuisinart Single Serve SS700
Keurig Platinum Brewer B70
Thank you for reading my review
If you have questions or comments about K-Cups, Keurig, The Ekobrew or anything else related to this subject please leave it in the comments section.
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