Pros: Fast, easy and cheap alternative to buying/brewing coffee.
Cons: Coffee isn't as good as freshly ground/hand made.
This machine is great for people in a rush who don't mind mass production vs. quality. I will admit that I am not that much of a coffee drinker ... this was purchased for a room at my work where people can sit and lounge. I can recognize a great cup of coffee vs. a good cup of coffee ... and I will say that this won't give you a great cup of coffee, but it won't give you a bad cup of coffee either.
By a great cup of coffee ... I mean one of a local store or a Starbucks. Maybe a Dunkin Donuts. Obviously, this little machine won't give you a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts in your place ... but it will take the hassle out of brewing coffee with the filters, waiting, etc. out of your morning. It will also save you money if you are a frequent coffee buyer.
One could make the arguement that the little cups are more mass produced than even the coffee you would get at a place like Dunkin Donuts. It probably isn't as fresh. However, the good thing is that they are not bad tasting and come in many different flavors. Unlike making a pot of coffee, where you and your coworkers or family are limited to a certain flavor or caffine or decaffinated ... each of these little cups makes a single cup of coffee. You can buy a variety pack and each person can have a different flavor or style.
Each of the cups costs about 50 cents and are purchased in boxes. You can buy a single variety or a variety pack, which is good for an office because it offers many different choices.
This is really easy to use ... you place the cup in the machine, close the top and press the size of the cup you want. (Most of the cup settings on this make are about the same size cup of coffee ... smaller than what you'd get at a Dunkin Donuts or coffee shop but not too small.) I find the current size is good for people who want a quick cup of coffee. If you want a large cup for driving to work, etc. ... it is easy to make using a couple of the little cups instead of just one.
The only thing you have to remember to do is refill the little water container on the side, which is small. If you are buying this for an office ... you will have to remember to have someone refill this frequently. I would say that the water on the side would probably make between 5 and 8 cups of coffee, depending on the size of the cup the person chooses. However, it is still easier than making new pots of coffee.
One small downside to this system is there really isn't a setting that you can change the temperature of the coffee. This comes out very hot. You have to wait a few minutes for it to cool down, unlike coffee from the store or that you brew yourself, which I find isn't as hot every time. I guess its better than a pot which changes the taste of the coffee the longer it sits ... but this seems excessively hot to me and I usually wait about 10 minutes of stirring before I can drink a cup of coffee.
I do find that some people avoid the machine who might have normally poured a cup of coffee because they don't want to go through the process of making a cup, even though it is very easy. It is not as easy as pouring from a pre-made container. I do find that a lot of people enjoy looking through the cups and selecting a flavor. Many people don't like flavored coffee, while others love flavored coffee ... which is why a variety pack is so good for everyone.
If you are buying this for yourself and want to save time in the morning, you will give yourself an extra 5 or 10 minutes by using this machine and avoiding the drive through or the counter at your local coffee shop. It takes under a minute to make a cup of coffee using this. It will be a pretty good cup of coffee ... and you won't really be able to tell this difference between fresh brewed and this, which I believe may use freeze dried coffee in the cups.
You won't really get that great 'fresh coffee smell ... which might be bad if you are using this at home. But if you have this machine in an office and don't want that coffee smell ... it is great. This machine pretty much is odor-less because you are making cups one at a time and most of the brewing happens in the machine.
I would recommend this for anyone who is looking to save some time or the hassle of brewing coffee themselves or who find themselves worrying about how long the drive through line will be on the way to work. The machine costs around $100 and each cup costs $.50 to $1.00, depending on if you want a small or a big cup (1 ready made cup container or 2.). It takes under a minute to make a cup.
I am the type of person who enjoys making pasta and pasta sauce from scratch. I like putting in the time to get a more quality product. However, if I was more of a mass produced person who was in a rush and drank a lot of coffee ... I'd want one of these. I'd probably spend more time brewing coffee from scratch or going to a Starbucks, where I could get great quality. But on those days I was running late, I would definately use this machine.
Another benefit is that it looks nice and has a modern appearance. It would look good in an office and is a lot more sanitary than having a container that everyone uses.