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K cups, Single servings, Starbucks...

I heard on the radio that Starbucks is introducing a single serving machine for sale for your own kitchen, and I assumed it was to cash in on the Keurig craze.
It got me thinking about the weekend I spent at my sisters a few months ago when I finally got to try Keurig style coffee drinking. The only positive is that the wide variety of single servings she had on hand was novel and fun. "But... "

Can I get some feedback from Keurig fans on my reservation on this way of making java?

If I am making my usual 3 cups of morning coffee in the Mr. Coffee, I know how much water, how much coffee to grind, perk it up, drink it. Delicious. If someone else in our house only wants a very small cup of coffee, they pour however much from the Mr. Coffee, and get on with it. But with Keuring, that little k- cup of coffee mix may or may not be exactly how I want my coffee in my favorite mug. Maybe my mug is too big. If I add more water to the Keurig, I can fill the mug, but then I change the taste and intensity of the drink. To make the coffee stronger, I could add 1/2 a Keurig cup?? Waste the other half?

Getting the proportions just right for each and every varied cup in the cabinet would drive me crazy. Any alternate views from the real experienced Keurig fans? (I've read a few ChowHound threads on the k-cup fad, but not this aspect.) Thanks,
Florida Hound.

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  1. I'm also interested in Keurig system owners' opinions. While we're happy with my Black & Decker drip machine, I was considering purchasing a K-cup machine for the teachers' lounge at my kid's school.

    How's the taste and freshness of these systems? And if someone makes a cup of cocoa, will that then affect the next person's cup of coffee?

    Feedback, please! Many thanks in advance!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Michelly

      I have the Cuisinart singal brew and I buy the Starbucks k-cups from Cost Co for it. I love it!
      With the Cuisinart machine, you can choose 4,6,8, or 10 ounce servings. You can brew just hot water for tea or whatever. My daughter and I are the only ones who drink coffe, just one cup each in the mornings, and it's so fresh and delicious. With the singal servings, nothing goes to waste.

      1. re: uneed2eat

        That 4- 6- 8 or 10 oz thing is where the magic loses me! You start with a given amount of coffee for "whatever" amount. Isn't the 10 oz result just a watered down version of the 4 oz or 6 oz result?

        1. re: Florida Hound

          Yes it is. Each cup has a specific amount & type of coffee in it. A smaller setting will give you stronger coffee, larger will be weaker. This is where the huge variety comes in. If you want a big cup of strong coffee, you start with a "bold" k cup. If you are a coffee weenie (as I admittedly am) you can get your big cup using a more mild selection.

          Single serving coffee makers are not really meant for people who make & actually drink a full pot of coffee every morning. If you are a 1-2 cupper and/or have opposing coffee styles in the house, it's a very handy thing, especially the "right now" factor. Hubby & I are on opposite ends of the coffee spectrum. After some trial & error, we've each found a K cup that gives us our own "perfect" cup of coffee.

          Costco has great prices but limited selection. Hubby likes the Newman's Own from there. Amazon also has great prices and a much bigger selection. I like Coffee People's Donut Shop (not Donut House bleh!)

    2. i love ours...but I also use it to make ice tea, hot tea, hot choc for the little, aplle cider and on and on....

      1. FH, your concerns are valid. We received a Keurig as a gift and tried for almost 2 months to adapt it to our tastes before donating it. I could never get coffee to my preference - the prepacks were too weak, trying to fill my 10 ounce mug before the first shot went cold was impossible, blow outs from defective pods resulted in grounds and water everywhere and my husband thought it just too fussy and time consuming for making tea. I will say that this was over 5 years ago, so the newer models may have a faster recovery time, smaller footprint and be easier to clean (and require fewer clean-ups) than our model.

        1 Reply
        1. re: garlicvampire

          Interesting our 8 year old has used our for at least two years to make his hot chocolate and I have never had to clean up a drop

        2. Sounds like you are fine the way you are, but for us, the Keurig changed our life. We love that thing. We leave the house at differenct times. Used to be I'd drink the nasty coffee at work and my husband made instant with the insta-hot water from the tap. My husband has a talent for messiness and the counter would be a disaster. Now I can make my morning coffee while I'm doing my other morning routine, he can get real brewed coffee without destroying the kitchen and we can both have a fresh brewed cup whenever we want. Someone want decaf? No problem! No over-cooked or reheated coffee. Is it expensive and generates lots of waste? Yes. Does it make the best coffee ever? No. But it's good enough for us.

          1. Hubby uses a french press and Son uses a pour-over. Done. Cheaper. Better.

            1. My mom has one of the systems where you use the single serving packages of vacuum sealed ground coffee. At work, we have a system where you pour in the coffee beans, and it grinds and brews a single cup at a time, with a user defined amount of water.

              The one at work isn't bad, but it's not my preferred style of coffee - I find it closer to an Americano than a drip coffee at high water settings, and an inferior espresso at low water settings. But it beats coffee that's been sitting on the burner by a long shot.

              For the single serve ones - it tends to be pricy compared to other systems. It's not for coffee snobs - if you buy your beans based on the area they're grown, and grind before brewing, it probably won't be up to your standards. But it does produce a consistently good cup of coffee with little fuss and no mess. The sealed packages also mean that you can use a variety of blends without the coffee going stale. It's not as fresh as freshly ground beans, but it's much fresher than buying ground beans, even kept in the freezer.

              It would also be useful for a couple where one likes dark roast and the other flavoured coffees, or who drinks coffee at different times.

              I think they would be fantastic for something like a work lounge, where you buy coffee per cup at cost. No mess, no burnt coffee or cold coffee, no having to wait for the pot to drip through, and you can have the kind of coffee you want, at the strength you want.

              1. Some of the Keurigs come with a my K-Cup or you can buy one separately, or a Solofill Cup. Those are for use with your own ground coffee, so you could probably use one of those & make it stronger.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jerzeegirl

                  We have the Keurig at work and have never found a really strong bold enough blend even using the shortest pour to create anything akin to true espresso or even match our regular fresh roasted, fresh ground french press pot at home. Cute and convenient way to deliver instant coffee in multiple flavors but the K cup system is not a better way to make java. Just an easier way to deliver less intense, less authentic, flavor choices. Like an omelette at Denny's it is sometimes OK

                2. I have a Kuerig at my house at the beach. It works well there where people have different preferences about the coffee they like. It s not like the best fresh brewed but it is OK.

                  1. I'm a bit of a germophobic. Which is why I have never been interested in the k-cup type systems. In the offices where I've worked where they've had this system, the cups were tossed into drawers, pawed over, had other things thrown on top of them. When the cup is pierced for brewing, I'm certain that some "added ingredients" get brewed along with the coffee.

                    1. My parents have recently converted to Keurig and it really works for them given both their varried preferences in when they want coffee and kind. However, they both see it more so as daily coffee rather than the ritual of great coffee - whether ordering an espresso in a restaurant or a freshly brewed french press.

                      I think it's overall use greatly depends on how one drinks and likes coffee.