Keurig Coffee MINI Plus (B30) Brewing System Review
I recently moved from New York to North Carolina and, in the process of doing so, I pretty much had to start all over again. I've been very fortunate in that quite a few people have helped me out along the way, not the least of which is the gifts I've been given to help me get my new life started.
It began with one of my besties, who drove from her home in Maryland to western New York to move me and my mountains of clothes from NY to a suburb of Winston-Salem, NC. It continued on with a sofa, television, dishes, towels, tables, beds and pretty much everything in between given to me by people I love and some folks I barely know. This has been somewhat hard for me to accept, since I'm usually the one doing the giving and not the receiving - so I'll just make a lot of macaroni and cheese and/or cookies to pay these folks back!
One of the luxuries I missed having the most from my old life in NY was coffee. My former roommates had this thing called a Keurig that makes coffee one cup at a time. I'm not a huge coffee drinker, so that thing was awesome - we never had to make a whole pot. They are also very expensive, so I despaired of ever having one of my own... until recently.
I happened to mention to someone that I have only met twice that one of the things I was looking to acquire soon was a coffee maker. He asked me "Would you be interested in one of the ones that only makes one cup at a time?"
I must have gurgled something that sounded like an affirmative answer (read that as "I was a little shocked") and he disappeared, coming back a few minutes later with a shiny, brand new Keurig and a bag full of k-cups, as well as a reusable cup that lets me use my own coffee with the maker. He had been given the whole lot as a Christmas gift and either didn't like or need it, so he passed it along to me.
(Side note: Yesterday must have been Do Awesome Things for Georgie Day, because I was also given a toaster and the most adorable hot pink cereal bowls I've ever seen! And my birthday isn't until June!)
My Review of the Keurig MINI Plus (B30) K-Cup Brewing System
As I said, I have used a Keurig before. Comparing that particular model, which I believe was a K45 Elite, with mine isn't really fair. That version is large and made for heavy use and the one that I now have, the B30, is more for casual coffee drinkers, people that travel and want to bring their own coffeemaker with them or folks that don't have a lot of counter space.
Keruirg coffee makers are very expensive when compared with traditional coffee makers. Mine retails for about $100 as compared to a Mr. Coffee which sells for about $15 without all the bells and whistles. Incidentally, that brand does make a k-cup coffee maker, which retails for about $80. When you add in the cost of the k-cups, which can run over $10 for a dozen, and you've got a fairly expensive caffeine habit on your hands.
The expenses aside, my Keurig is perfect for me because I may drink a total of ten cups of coffee per week and rarely any at all during the hot summer months. It is smaller than the other Keurig models and is also very light. All I have to do is open the top, pour in between six and ten ounces of water and pop in a k-cup. Six ounces will brew a much stronger cup of coffee than ten. If you want a very large, exceptionally strong cup of coffee, you might want to do the six ounce, refill the six ounce again and replace the k-cup to brew the second half of your cup.
This version of the Keurig brewing system does not make coffee instantly. It does take almost two minutes from the time you push the brew button until your coffee comes pouring out. This is still several minutes faster than the time it takes for a traditional coffee maker to finish brewing. It also does not have a reservoir for water, which means I have to add water every time I want to make a cup of coffee.
One small issue that I did have is that my coffee cup is a larger sized, 14 ounce cup and it does not fit under the drip spout without removing the little contraption that is designed to catch overflow so I have to make double, triple sure I'm not putting too much water into my coffee maker or I could flood my dining room. If you have a very tall cup, it may not fit at all so use a shorter cup for brewing. Because I have to remove that piece, I pour exactly ten ounces of water into a measuring cup before adding it to the Keurig.
This issue aside, I believe I may be in love with my Keurig B30. It's fast, efficient and I do enjoy being able to make just one cup of coffee. If I had to rate this coffee maker on a scale of one to five (with one being the worst), I would give it a 4.5. I'm docking it half a star because my cup won't fit without removing the overflow tray.
About K-Cups and Reusable K-Cups
K-cups are amazing little things. They have exactly the right amount of coffee in them, come in what seems like a million different varieties (including cappuccino, tea, hot chocolate and apple cider, among others) and, when your coffee is finished brewing, you just toss the spent cup in the trash.
Most of the major coffee companies are already on the k-up bandwagon, including Green Mountain Coffee, Starbucks and even Newman's Own, which is making organic coffee available for the Keurig and other single cup coffee makers. Many grocery store chains are getting in on the act, too, and making their own lines of k-cups. My personal favorite is Green Mountain Coffee's Vanilla Caramel. Seriously.
Most Keurig models come with a sampling of different coffees so that you can try out different ones and choose a favorite. Many of the companies who produce the cups also offer samplers with their most popular flavors and often groups of specific strengths, like the decafs or the very dark coffees. This is a great way to discover something new.
I also received a reusable k-cup that I can fill with whatever coffee I like. All I need to do is put in the appropriate amount of ground coffee, put the basket in the little container that it comes with and pop it in my Keurig. This can save coffee drinkers a reported 70% on coffee and reduces the waste that tossing the empty k-cups adds to our landfills. Note: If you buy one of these, be mindful that not all of these reusable k-cups work on all of the different models. Make sure you are purchasing the correct cup for your Keurig.
Keurig Mini Update
Well, it's been about two and a half years and my Keurig Mini has finally bitten the dust.
I'm not going to lie, I used the heck out of the thing - sometimes making several cups of coffee a day. Last week, I went to make my morning brew and it was as if the thing was constipated or something because very little coffee came out of the maker - maybe a teaspoon. I opened it up and checked to see if everything was connected and gave it a good cleaning but to no avail.
It was a good run, little red Keurig.
Now I'm looking for a replacement and I think I'm going to get the model with a water reservoir. I have heard horrible things about Keurig 2.0, however, so I may wait. For now, I've bought a cheap little five cup Mr. Coffee and some caramel macchiato grounds so I'm still happy. I just miss the single cup convenience.
Aromacup.com's Keurig Mini (B30) Video Review
© 2013 Georgianna Lowery
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