Thursday, September 11, 2014

Coffee Break

Today, my friends, I'm taking a break from polish for this post to write about another love of mine...coffee!!!
If you've been reading my blog for very long, you'll know that I participate on a website called Influenster which gives members a chance to fill out survey's which can potentially lead to participating in product testing and reviews. I've been a member for about 2 years now, and have received some really great products such as an Avon facial care product from the TLC VoxBox, a new Pilot Rollerball ink pen and NYC Lipcolor from the Uni VoxBox, and one of Colgate's teeth whitening systems in the Optic White VoxBox.
Today's review, courtesy of Influenster, is a new Keurig 2.0 model K550 which was provided by Influenster for free, to test and review.
And here is my lovely new gizmo.
<img src="filename.gif" alt="Keurig 2.0 K550">
On to the review - it's a long one, so grab a cup of your favorite beverage and take a peek. 

Pros:
Attractive Mouthfeel/Body, Smooth Taste, Balanced Acidity, Exceptional/Interesting Flavor, Pleasing Aroma, Pleasing Roast, One Cup Brewing, Carafe Option, Not Bitter, Brews Quickly
Cons:
Unnecessary Features, Limits Coffee Selection, No Reusable Coffee Filter
   General Overview: The machine is beautiful, and so far brews coffee with the same level of quality as the previous two models I've owned over the past 6 years. It has a digital touch screen face, and the screen is large enough that it's user friendly but isn't obnoxious. 

Carafe: The carafe option to brew between 2-4 cups is great and long overdue, ideal for situations where you want more than one without having to get up to make another, or guests and don't want to brew individual cups. The carafe included in the box fits nicely against the main unit, and the larger k-cups meant for the carafe are used in the same fashion as their regular, one-cup counterparts. It brewed quickly and quietly, though the carafe I received isn't stainless steel, and didn't hold the heat of the coffee in it for very long, even when I 'primed' by letting it set for about 15 minutes with hot water in it.

Fun Features:I think the additional features (bells and whistles) such as choosing a screen saver, the color selection for the water reservoir may be fun, but in my opinion unnecessary.

  Using K-Cups: This Keurig has a digital reading method to brew, and this means that it scans the top of the coffee pod to activate the hot water brew, it no longer works by just popping the k-cup in and press "Brew" button. Unfortunately, this means that if your k-cup of choice doesn't have the Keurig seal of approval on it, the 2.0 won't brew it. 
The DRM style restrictions on the 'authorized k-cup' brands is a disappointing feature. Also gone is the Keurig reusable filter, and after speaking with Keurig's Customer Service, they have confirmed that there is no plans to make a reusable filter for this model because "it's not compatible with the digital technology for this system." Hmmm. While I'm not a digital tech, that doesn't really sound logical to me, but whatever. 
 My family and I enjoy several of the 'authorized' brands, but also enjoy a few others outside of the plastic k-cup styles, that we switch back and forth with, which will now not be permitted in the 2.0. Continued use of the 2.0 will ultimately depend on how affordable the 'authorized' brands stay. The limitation will probably not affect me too much, again depending on affordability of the coffee brands allowed. However, I do think that this will hinder Keurig's image and ability to continue to reach a broad consumer base. Consumers who choose not to use the 'authorized' brands will most likely either choose an older model Keurig, or select a different personal brewing system brand.
Bottom Line: While I will continue to recommend the Keurig brand, based on my positive experiences with the older models, and so far this 2.0, I will definitely ensure my listener(s)/readers know about the restrictions on the 2.0 to 'authorized k-cup' brands.