Pros:Whatever coffee blend I'm in the mood for, whatever time of day.
Cons:If I had .66 for every cup I brewed....
The Bottom Line: Less is more? I make less coffee at one time but end up drinking quite a bit more by the end of the day.
How did I go from a 12-cup coffee pot to a 1-cup single serve? I have wanted a Keurig for such a long time but really couldn’t justify it. I drink a lot of coffee, so downsizing was a little insane. For the love of coffee, I had to have one. If I had to say why I “needed” one, it was because I was stuck making 4 cups of coffee no matter how little I needed in my traditional coffee maker in order to make a descent cup of coffee. I’m then forced to drink it all or throw it down the drain. On the weekends I’m always late to get to the coffee pot so I end up with an old over-cooked cup of coffee which is really annoying. And the final reason is because it is hard to find a good bean in town and even more difficult to stock a variety. The Keurig B60 Brewer solved all of my pain points once and for all.
Where to put it?
This is a good looking brewer, I think. We started with the Keurig right next to our regular coffee maker because we thought we would be using both. We completely stopped using our traditional coffee pot so I removed it from the kitchen and haven’t missed it since.
The handle lifts in order to insert and remove the K-cup, the lid on the water reservoir needs to be lifted and filled daily, and the steam comes up when brewing so it may not be practical to place the brewer under low cabinets.
Using the brewer
This is a little different than an a regular coffee pot. The water filter on the side is designed to always be full. If the water level is low it will blink a blue light and will not continue brewing until the water is replaced. We found the easiest way to maintain the water level was to add some filtered water with a measuring cup rather than carrying the whole reservoir across the room.
When it’s time to make a cup of coffee I just turn the brewer on. There’s also an automatic on/off program to make that even easier. It takes about 4 minutes to heat up for the day. Once the water is heated it will only take 15 seconds between cups. Load the dispenser with a K-cup (do not remove the foil), push the lever down, and choose the button corresponding to my desired water level. The coffee dispenses and the brewer automatically resets for the next cup. Don’t worry about accidentally re-brewing an old K-cup because the lever must be raised to reset each time.
The LCD panel will notify the user of the status of the brewer. It has a clock, a programmable on/off to heat the water, and the ability to change the brew temperature. This has three water sizes to choose from: a small cup (5.25 ounce), small mug (7.25 ounce), or large mug (9.25 ounce). Choosing a mug size simply means more or less water will be used with the same amount of coffee grounds.
This is so easy to clean. I wipe the handle down a lot and the drip tray gets cleaned on a regular basis. Except for that one time when I brewed a cup of coffee without a mug under it. I’m guessing the makers already thought of this because the drip tray can hold a cup of coffee! The assembly house can be cleaned and may need to be done if a K-cup overflows inside but we’ve never had that happen.
De-scaling is recommended by the manufacturer every 3-6 months to eliminate calcium deposits. The appliance will alert the user with a “de-scale” on the LCD control center if it needs to be done. This is basically flushing vinegar through it; detailed instructions are in the manual.
Purchasing the brewer, k-cups, and more
I previously had a lower end model assuming it was all I needed to get the job done. I was wrong. This is a much easier to use and produces a better cup of coffee than the basic model. After not being impressed at all, we picked up this special edition model at the warehouse club for $129. The brewer also came with 90 K-cups making the price ultimately lower.
If you think the brewer is expensive, wait until you see the price of the K-cups. K-cups are little plastic disposable cups prefilled with coffee grounds. The cups are sealed with a foil lid. The brewer punctures a little hole in the top and bottom of the cup when it’s loaded into the brewer. The water flows through the punctured holes and voila, coffee.
A fast brew time gives me more time in the day to search for coffee flavors. There are 200 different coffees, teas and hot chocolates to choose from so it’s only a matter of time before I forget which one I like. After awhile, the names all sound the same and I’m not sure which flavor I buy where. I’m hoping an IPhone App will be available soon to manage my coffee purchases.
K-cups are expensive but worth it, I think. K-cups work out to be about .60 per cup, sometimes a little less in bulk. I have found discounts through Keurig’s coffee club, various websites online, wholesale clubs, using earned Kohl’s cash, or Bed Bath and Beyond coupons. One thing that I’ve noticed is the expiration dates are usually 6 months or less. Just like any other coffee, it’s only going to taste good if it’s fresh.
Any store that sells Keurig Brewers also has a couple boxes of K-cups near the appliance however the selection is sometimes limited to just the basic flavors. Our first purchase of K-cups ended up costing more than the brewer did. I assumed it was because we were new to brewing and the price would go down once the newness wore off. Nope. We still spend an obscene amount on K-cups. Despite the expense, it’s still cheaper than visiting the coffee house regularly. More than that, I love having a large selection of flavors to choose from at home.
The My K-cup reusable filter can help reduce the price of coffee by allowing any ground beans to be used. My K-cup can be purchased anywhere that sells brewers. It cost around $15-$20 but pays for itself in less than a month. I do think this totally defeats the purpose of having a Keurig Brewer, but it is a good option if a regular coffee pot is not available.
But wait, there’s more. It’s helpful to store the K-cups close to the machine. An excellent option is a basket or carousel specifically made for Keurig K-cups. Unfortunately all of the bases of the K-cups are the same so it’s hard to distinguish which coffee blend it is without looking at the foil.
We had to get smaller coffee mugs to accommodate the size of a K-cup otherwise it looks like we only get a sip of coffee. The days of topping off my cup with a little more coffee to warm it up is also gone.
Registering the Keurig
The first few pages of the instruction manual has the instructions for registering your Keurig. Once it’s registered, they’ll send a coupon for 2 free boxes (22 or 24 count each) with the purchase of 2 boxes of k-cups. This is a wonderful website for browsing all the coffee options available.
Registering the Keurig Brewer also stores your purchase information in their system in case a warranty claim is needed within the first year.
I thought I would cut back on drinking coffee once I purchased this, but I most certainly did not. I thought the novelty of the brewer would wear off, but it hasn’t. I thought I might stop spending so much money on the K-cups, but I still do. I thought it would never replace my traditional coffee pot, but it did.
I really enjoy trying the different coffees but it is honestly not the best coffee in the world. Pre-ground beans are not as fresh as grinding it myself and who knows how long it sets on a shelf until I get to it. The brewer just rushes water through the cup, but a slow drip or French press can often produce a better cup of coffee. Sometimes I even have to hurry up and drink my cup coffee because there’s no extra coffee to top it off with. Some days I even miss the aroma of a freshly brewed pot of coffee that use to fill the air.
The brewer is expensive and the prefilled cups are even more expensive long term. For some, time is money. I have noticed logging a lot of hours waiting for one cup at a time and emptying and washing the My K-cups is starting to add up. Not to mention the ecological no-no of the waste. I’m sure the fix it and forget automatic drip method it will eventually come back around in our household. Until then, I’m going to keep playing with this gadget until the next fancy thing comes out.
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