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No appliance is perfect, but all the time newer and better products are coming out that do things better, faster, and more hassle-free than before. How would you like to have the power to make a fresh cup of joe, done right every time-no more having to pour day-old coffee down the drain since it has set out too long; no more having to fuss with filters and messy grounds, or wondering if your water to coffee ground ratio is just right. Lots of companies heard, especially a company named Keurig, which translates from a Dutch word meaning “excellence”. Keurig is the boss of single cup coffee brewers. Other name brands like Cuisinart and Hamilton Beach are jumping on the bandwagon.

The premise of single cup brewers is exactly what the name implies; that they only brew one cup of coffee at a time. So if you favor dark roast but someone in your household likes Columbian brew better, both of you don’t have to settle or compromise. The magic is in the K-cup, a small plastic cup filled with the right amount of grounds (about a tablespoon) that is inserted into the front part of your coffee machine into a little compartment that stows away neatly. A channel or reservoir inside the machine houses the right amount of water, sometimes many ounces so you do not have to spend time refilling it over and over, and better yet, the machine is programmed to know how much water to dispense into your awaiting K cup filler.

Don’t worry if you have never even used one of these machines before, as they are pretty much idiot-proof. You can watch a few instructional videos if you are unsure about any of this, but you will be in like Flynt before too long. You will learn how often to fill the reservoir, load the K-cup and choose the right brew settings like a pro and wondering why you didn’t hear about these brewers sooner! Plus, if you think you are limited to the same old red/green color-indicated varieties (universally, red means regular and green means decaf) think again! Keurig and many other brands are filling the demand for numerous varieties and flavors, from Columbian brew, latte, espresso, and you can also get your hands on hot chocolate and apple cider for those perfect crisp fall evenings!

Now you might be thinking, what is the catch? There is no “catch” per se, other than re-thinking the coffee brewing ritual. Instead of dipping grounds by the tablespoon and using paper filters the traditional way, you’ll be stocking up on K-cups and if you are so inclined reusable conveniently sized K-cups that you can use for any of your other preferred grounds, but as for paper filters, you can kiss those goodbye. If you are not used to thoroughly cleaning your old-fashioned maker, it may come as a surprise to you to deep clean your single cup brewer regularly in a process known as “descaling”. This must be done on a regular basis to keep the hard water deposits from building up inside your machine. Even if you have access to a water softener, you still want to regularly descale your machine to keep it performing at optimum levels. I will save the cleaning process dialogue for another article as it is beyond the scope of what you may want to know when deciding on whether or not to try out single cup brewers for the first time.

But if you are in the market for one of these machines, there are many online retailers presenting many different options, colors, styles, and price ranges, so if you are the only coffee drinker in your household you can find smaller size machines with a lower price tag. You should be able to read reviews and gauge the more satisfactory machines based on popular opinion. So take your time and shop around; before you know it, you may become one of those happy coffee aficionados who could never go back to that old percolator or old-timey drip machine ever again!


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