Pros: Can be cost effective, very convenient and easy to use. Makes great beverages.
Cons: Unit is expensive to buy ($120 on average). Kcups can be expensive.
The "one cup on demand" coffee maker is surely the must have appliance these days. There are several makes and models, but one seems to stand out as the leader in both conveniece and (with a little tweaking) value (more on this later). Keurig offers several levels of coffee maker and this particular model gives you the best features of the larger models, with a more tollerable price tag. Most packages include a generous sampling of coffees and teas. Some also include the reusable basket, which allows you to use your own, regular, ground coffee.
Important note: If your Keurig inexplicably dies, do not toss it and buy another (she said, speaking from experience). Call the manufacturer and if you send in the drip tray and the serial number they will replace it. My first Keurig died after 2 years and I tossed it and bought a new one (doh!) only to find out that a friend had the same experience and it was replaced for free.
OK, back to the features, benefits, etc. First, this coffee maker is extremely easy to use. My kids enjoy making hot cocoa and I enjoy their ability to do so without my assistance. It makes really delicious coffees/teas/etc. and allows you to make individualized beverages for guests. For example, my brother likes really strong coffee, so I can buy some of the "Bold" coffee Kcups and I don't have to gag my way through a pot of coffee to satisfy my guest.
Some people complain about that the Kcups are expensive. If you buy them at the wholesale clubs, you will pay .50 cents per k cup. I need one Kcup per cup of coffee, but my fiance can make two cups from one, so our cost is .25 - .50 cents a cup, depending.
There is also the environmental impact issue. If you have two people in your house, using 4 Kcups a day, you are putting alot of plastic in the landfill.
There is a solution, however and I was very pleasantly surprised. You can buy the baskets that allow you to fill it with your own coffee from the grocery store. I was resistant at first, but it was much easier and quicker than I had anticipated. The big surprise benefit was the taste - WOW. Absolutely, hands down the best cup of coffee I ever had. We used regular Folgers coffee from the store and it makes a smooth and delicious cup of coffee that has no bitterness to it at all.
I'm not sure if it makes a difference, but we did not buy the "Keurig" brand of reusable basket. We purchased one called an "EkoBrew" (http://www.ekobrew.com). It was $9.99 and is a one piece unit.
This brings our cost per cup of coffee down to about .13 cents a cup and the coffee is amazing! The cost savings is enhanced by not having 1/4 of a pot of coffee go down the drain, because no one finished it, and I really like not having a carafe to wash!
Cleaning the Keurig is easy. We wipe it down and occassionally wash out the drip tray. It does not take up any more counter space than a traditional coffee maker.
I also drink teas and usually just use my regular tea bags, but use the Keurig to make the hot water.
I keep a few Kcups of flavored coffees, decaf, and some teas on hand for guests, etc...