Keurig – A Binary Review5 min read
I love coffee. I LOVE coffee. I love the smell, the taste, the feeling, the idea. When I was in High School I was a member of the Gevalia coffee club and stayed a member through the first part of college. Like my beers, I enjoy a wide range of variety. I never buy the same beer twice in a row, ever, and now with the Keurig coffee maker I can have a wide range of choices in coffee. True I usually tried to buy different beans, but it became a long process. Two people take a little bit of time to go through a Sams’s Club size pack of grounds. Now with the Keurig, I can get variety now and not months apart.
Keurig has been around for a while. You usually saw them in higher end office buildings, banks, lawyer offices, etc… Quick, fast, hot coffee pretty much on the fly. It’s not instant crap, it’s full fledge 100% coffee. This past year Keurig made the full press (pun intended) to get into the home on a wide scale. It worked. I jumped on board. I tossed the idea around for a while and this past Christmas got the Platinum maker. Why the Platinum? Because the wife and I are commuters and we have large travel mugs, aside from all the other benefits of the Platinum, the main selling point was we can take the drip tray out and get our over sized travel mugs in there. The Platinum is built for just that purpose.
I got my father one and for the first week he called my every day telling me how awesome it was and to try all these flavors he was finding.
The beauty thing about this maker is that it’s not just a coffee maker. You can get coffee, teas, hot chocolates for it, hot and cold drinks, it’s a robust, flexible all in one system. The maker uses what they call K-Cups and they offer more variety than you can shake your caffeine infused hand at. The K-Cup is a plastic cup, inside there is a micro filter wrapped around the coffee. The maker has a hot water line that super heats the water as it shoots through the K-Cup. Heat speeds up the absorption process, zips through the K-Cup, and down to your cup. End to end a cup of coffee takes less than 1 minute. It’s hot, it’s ready, and it tastes far better than any standard drip maker.
So far my absolute favorite it Tully’s Kona Blend. But for the every day hustle and bustle, the standard Caribou Blend works just fine. It’s cheap, you can get a case of 84 at Sam’s Club for $34. That’s not bad. K-Cup’s regularly come in packs of 18 for $9.99 at any store… and I mean ANY store. I see the coffee sold at Best Buy, Lowe’s, Kohl’s, places you normally don’t see coffee sold. Price per cup may be a little more expensive than bulk grounds, but I am all about time and value. The enjoyment, time saved, and quality of the coffee makes the price 100% worth it.
Just one party alone, 5 people had 5 different cups of coffee in side of 7 minutes and we didn’t waste a drop.
Keurig as a company
One story to tell that almost threw me off a cliff in terms of the product and the company. About 3 weeks after getting the product it pretty much stopped brewing. Water usually shoots through in a pretty good stream, but mine just hardly dripped and did that for 3-4 minutes. Something was seriously wrong. Defect? Expensive paper wieght?
So on a Saturday morning I was pissed. I hit the manuals, did everything the manuals said. I hit the Internet and found lots of posts of others having the same issue. So, I checked the water tank, I cleaned the K-Cup holder, no grounds anywhere and still nothing. So in a long shot on a Saturday morning I called Keurig customer servers. Someone answered! Bonus point there. A few minutes of getting information, serial number, etc… I was transferred to a specialist. He checked off everything that I already did. He also made sure that I was using filtered water, I said I was. Note – Filtered water is preferred as to limit the mineral build ups in the heating element…
Then he asked me to look up at the top of the K-Cup holder. No documentation said anything about that. In the K-Cup holder there are to super sharp needled to puncture the K-Cup. One on the bottom, that I checked, and one at the top, which the manuals don’t mention. The needle at the top is larger and has three holes on each side. What happened was that the three holes got clogged with grounds. A paperclip and 3 cups of water ran through problem solved.
The computer analytical freak that I am, I wanted to know why and how this happened. This leads back to the K-Cup packing process. The K-Cups are vacuum sealed and injected with a shot of Nitrogen gas. This allows them to basically have an infinite shelf life. Thats why non-food stores can sell them, they don’ need to rotate them out. So because of the Nitrogen, the K-Cups are sensitive to air pressures. Depending on where the K-Cups were made, through shipping and temperature changes the gas inside can expand and contract. It turns out the Caribou cups I got from Sam’s were tight as balloons. Normally you should be able to push up and down on the foil tops, these you could play the drums on. What was happening was that when the K-Cup holder was closed, the pressure of the gas shot a little bit of grounds up through the hole and into the needle. The heating unit is right above that and the grounds were baking on not allowing the water to pass through. Easy fix, understandable problem.
Here’s where Keurig stepped up as a company. Whoever the specialist was that I spoke with either was highly trained or helped design these machines, he knew everything inside and out about them. His professionalism was beyond any customer service I have experienced in a long time. Plus, he spoke clear, accurate English.
Then on top of that, without any complaints from me about the K-Cups, he went ahead and shipped me 48 replacement Caribou K-Cups. No charge, no shipping! They just arrived yesterday and I compared them to the balloon ones I have and it’s impressive how right he was. Phenomenal.
If you love coffee, if you love variety, if you love convenience. I highly recommend any of the Keurig makers and coffee. Hands down without hesitation.
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.
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