Ooooh, this is one of those super exciting blog posts that leaves you wondering... why would she take back a coffeemaker as awesome as the Keurig?!? ;)

Ok, maybe not.

BUT, when I asked for opinions about switching to a Keurig on my Facebook page when our coffeemaker died (RIP Mr. Coffee) I got such a big response.  I thought it might be useful information to those in search of a good cup of joe who are considering a Keurig.  I was not paid by anyone to do this review and did not receive any free products.

My very "scientific survey" (not) on FB found that just over half of the responders were "pro" Keurig touting it's convenience and overall awesomeness.  Others said "Don't do it!" warning of weak coffee and pricey k-cups.  While others were undecided with answers like "I would get one but I drink too much coffee", kind of a yes/no answer.

Anywhooo, I busted out my 30% off coupon for Kohls and got the Keurig Elite.  Not the fanciest model but one that would serve our purposes (or so I hoped).

The Keurig was on sale and with an additional 30% off it was still a whopping $90 after tax.  Some of you may be rolling your eyes at me thinking $90 is a lot for a coffeemaker.  But, I don't call myself Chic on a Shoestring for nothing... I like a good deal.  Plus, my Mr.Coffee maker with a digital timer, auto off, and some fancy stainless steel accents only put me back $29.98 at Wal-Mart 5 years ago.  And it really brewed a good cup of coffee.  So, to me, $90 is a bit steep even if a good price for a Keurig.

Despite the price I was happy to try the Keurig for the sheer convenience.  On school days I am always scrambling to get myself and the boys ready and out the door on time for school.  Sometimes I don't have time to make a pot of coffee.  I could set the coffeemaker up at night to brew in the morning like any reasonable and normal person would do but that would be too easy.  I just don't do it.  I don't know why.  I don't like to make my coffee at night and set the timer.  It's a weird problem I can't seem to overcome.  But whatever, there are worse problems to have.

When I don't have time to brew my own in the morning I could always hit a Starbucks or another coffee place.  But honestly, I don't want to take the time out of my 2 very precious hours of alone time while my little guy is at pre-school to wait in line at Starbucks for overpriced coffee.  (they are painfully slooooow and always crowded)

Besides, I don't even like it all that much.  I like their super-fattening salted caramel mocha that costs $4 bucks and change for a small tall.  Plus, they don't even have it right now because it's not "in season".  I have to settle for a measly caramel mocha.  How is salted caramel ever not "in season"?!  Seriously Starbucks, stupidest thing I ever heard.  And I digress...

So, the amazing Keurig would allow me to brew almost as I'm walking out the door.  So fast, super convenient.  Just what I need on school days.  Great timing now that it's summer break.

Another plus for the Keurig is less waste.  To brew myself a cup of coffee on Mr.Coffee I had to make almost half a pot.  If I made less the filter wouldn't stand up during the brewing process because there wasn't enough coffee in it to keep it upright.  The filter would collapse and I'd end up with grounds in my coffee,  probably because I'm so vain.  (that was a terrible reference to an old, annoying Carly Simon song which was popular before I was born and every time I ever heard it it would get stuck in my head and drive me crazy.)  So, I'd waste almost half a pot every day because I only drink one mug. Very wasteful!

Anyway, this Keurig Elite I bought made 3 cups sizes, small 6oz., medium 8oz., and large 10oz.  I should have done my homework on the sizes of our mugs at home because I completely underestimated them.  

I drink one "little" travel mug size of coffee a day. I found out it's 8 ounces so it actually works well with the Keurig.  Mr. Chic usually gets his coffee at work but on the weekends he likes a lot of coffee.  He has this awesome oversize mug he likes to use.

Let's just say he is not exactly a "cat lover" so this was a funny Christmas present from my mom to him.  Cat lovers, please take no offense.  What you can't see is that this mug is 5 inches tall and 4 inches across. Pretty darn big for a coffee mug.

Anyway, 10 ounces of coffee doesn't even fill this mug up half way.  So, he needs to use two k-cups per mug.  We tried to run the same k-cup through twice but it was totally weak and watery yucky-ness.  Mr. Chic likes 2 cups on the weekend mornings, usually he only drinks half of the second one (what a waste!) but he wants to make the big cup just in case. So we're looking at up to 8 k-cups for him per weekend.  We like Dunkin Donuts coffee so that's about $7 per weekend for him alone, add me to make it about $8.50 in K-cups.  Sheesh.  Almost a whole box of Dunkin K-cups per weekend!

Might as well go buy the fancy stuff at Starbucks or some Dunkin for that price.  I bought the little refillable k-cups for us to use so we wouldn't be burning through the k-cups so quick.  He thought this was annoying but understood my reasoning. But, the bad thing about the reusable k-cups is that it takes away from the convenience factor which is why I wanted the Keurig in the first place.

Another downside to the Keurig is the plastic taste that happens when it's new.  If you brew a bold coffee in your Keurig you may not have ever noticed a plastic taste but if you google "Keurig coffee tastes like plastic" you'll find it all over the place because it's a common problem.

When you brew a strong, bold coffee you don't notice it  because the bold coffee masks the flavor.  If you brew a lighter blend, which I like, you can totally taste the plastic "flavor".  This is not uncommon for new products made of plastic.  This happened with our fridge ice maker/water dispenser when it was brand new.  Eventually the taste goes away but it takes a while and it's darn annoying and icky while it lasts.

The problem seems to come from the plastic water container.  I tried soaking the water container in vinegar and some other suggestions I found online but nothing worked.  The product has to "off-gas" and unfortunately it does it into your coffee.  (I'm not saying the water container actually puts fumes into your coffee and "poisons" it, but you can taste it somehow)  Even when I put fresh water in the Keurig and used it immediately it still tasted of plastic.  I could live with this issue knowing that it would eventually go away but we had other problems.

The Final Straw

Our Keurig malfunctioned like crazy in the short 2 weeks we had it.  If I tried to run more than one cup of coffee in a row the second cup would not produce the proper amount of coffee, or it wouldn't run at all and I'd have to unplug the machine and plug it in again to essentially "reboot" it.  If you google this it also is a common problem for Keurig but usually in older machines.  There is a warranty which can help in some circumstances.

On my Keurig there were several times where it would brew just a tiny bit of coffee.  Sometimes this could be from the whole poker (that pokes the k-cup) having grounds on it and needing to be wiped off.  This solved my problem only once.  There was something else going wrong deep inside my Keurig.

Keurig also lost a bit of convenience factor for me because the water had to heat when you turned it on in the morning and there was no auto-off.  If I forgot to turn it on first thing in the morning it wouldn't speed up my process too much since I'd still have to wait for the water to heat up.  Do people leave their Keurig on 24/7?  That always makes me a bit nervous, I'll get the one that randomly catches on fire at 2 am and burns down my house.  I want that sucker off while I'm sleeping.  An auto on would be super convenient but again, not an option on this one. :(  If I would've shelled out an extra $50 bucks or so I could've gotten a timer and more cup sizes.  But, a larger cup = weaker coffee.

Keurig gets rave reviews for customer service so I'm sure if I would've called them they would've happily replaced my Keurig.  But, I honestly never had one good cup of coffee out of that thing.  They all tasted like plastic and if I tried to do the largest size cup the coffee was weak.  For me to say coffee was weak is crazy because I prefer lighter blends.  I had such high hopes for the Keurig and was completely let down.  So, after all the trouble we had we decided to go a different route.

Keurig Elite Pros

  1. Convenient
  2. Fast brewing
  3. Different flavor options everyday if you want
  4. Other uses for on demand how water (oatmeal, tea, etc.)
  5. Reusable K-cup option for money savings
  6. Good customer service
  7. Auto timer on more expensive models
  8. Trendy

Keurig Cons

  1. Expensive machine
  2. Expensive K-cups
  3. Weak coffee, especially in larger cups
  4. Plastic taste from new machines (for who knows how long)
  5. Lack of larger cup size options (on this machine)
  6. No auto-off or on option or timer (on this machine)
  7. Random malfunctioning
  8. Reusable K-cups take away from convenience factor
  9. Trendy (yes, trendy made both lists as it is a pro to some people and a con to others) 

We ended up getting this Hamilton Beach coffeemaker at Wal-Mart for about $75.  Not a bad price for a 2 in 1 coffeemaker.  It has been the best of both worlds for us.  I use the single cup side during the week which has been convenient and fast (why I wanted a Keurig).  The single side has a built-in filter for regular coffee grounds or takes pods which I haven't tried yet.  We use the regular coffee maker side on the weekend so Mr. Chic can drink as much as he wants.  It has a timer, no plastic taste, no malfunctions, no k-cups, and makes great coffee.  Most importantly, it works well for me and Mr. Chic.

I know many people who love the Keurig so I am not bashing it by any means. Just giving my opinion from my experience.   I hope it helps someone with their extremely important and life-altering decision of what kind of coffee maker they should buy. ;)

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