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The Trombone ForumPractice BreakFood and Drink(Moderators: RedHotMama, BFW) Java jive, auto-pilot edition
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Todd Jonz
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« on: May 26, 2011, 01:36PM »

My wife is a hardcore coffee freak.  I call her Juanita Valdez, after the "Juan Valdez" character in the Colombian coffee growers' commercials of the '70s and '80s.   She has more devices and gizmos used solely for making coffee than many well-stocked kitchen supply stores.  In our never-ending quest for the perfect cuppa Joe we've become big fans of Keurig coffee brewers.  Upon searching the F&D archives I was surprised there's been no previous discussion of these beasties here, so I thought I'd open a thread.

We used to alternate between Melitta drip, French press, and espresso from our Francis Francis X1, but since I gave my wife a Keurig Platinum brewer last Christmas we've used it almost exclusively.  The combination of precisely controlled timing, water temperature, quality and quantity of grounds, etc. makes a perfect cup of coffee every single time.  Best of all, each cup comes fresh from the brewer, not lukewarm from a thermos.  If there's a better way to make a consistently delicious cup of coffee, it's news to me.

We've explored the packaged K-cup market, and since they're so darned convenient we keep a few boxes on hand (I'd particularly recommend Tully's Kona.)  But since they're also an ecological nightmare we've tried out several of the refillable K-cups on the market (some of which work a lot better than others.)  At first we were disappointed with the results since we never seemed to get the same full flavor from our own grounds that we got consistently from the packaged K-cups.

Since we measured carefully when filling the K-cups, we deduced that the only uncontrolled variable was the quality of the grind.  The common rotary blade grinder we'd been using produced a very uneven mix of grounds that varied in size from large chunks to fine powder.  A bit of research on a few coffee geek web sites led us to believe we'd get a more uniform product from a conical burr grinder, so my wife's anniversary present this year was a Baratza Virtuoso grinder.  What a difference!  After a bit of experimentation with the grinder's 40 (!) grind size settings, we are now unable to differentiate between the packaged K-cups and freshly ground beans from the same roaster.

When we visited friends last year in California they had a plumbed counter-top brewer that incorporated everything into one big box, eliminating the muss and fuss of the refillable K-cups; pour in a bag of beans every few days, press the button, et voilá -- coffee or espresso on demand.  They weren't completely happy with it, however, although I don't recall why.  It also cost a ton,  even more than our collection of discrete devices, none of which would be described as inexpensive.  But I've known others who owned brewers like this and thought they were the bee's knees.

Any other Keurig fans out there, or fans of other automated brewing systems?


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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 02:27PM »

I tend to like my coffee strong, so as a result the K cup only yields about 6 ounces of coffee (and I drink 12 ounce mugs).

We had one of those beasts at the last job I had and we used to buy K cups.  I had a couple of boxes that averaged 50 cents per serving.  That's kinda pricey, although generally less than "machine cuisine".

My wife has a refillable K from when she had her last job.

Incidentally, one of my bosses (from when I worked for the mosquito trap place) came there from Keurig.  He said it was a pretty brutal place to work, although if you did well for them they did reward you well.

I don't own one of the things and have no plans to buy one.

Bruce Guttman
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