I love the smell of coffee, because it reminds me of mornings with my grandmother when I was little. My first taste of coffee was when I was a toddler. I liked to sit on my grandmother’s lap early in the morning, taking bites of her buttered toast, and begging for sips of her coffee. And yes, she would give in to my big toddler pout and give me a small sip of her coffee. I probably liked it because it had enough cream and sugar in it to appeal to my juvenile taste-buds.
I was a solid soda drinker through my teens and twenties, though, preferring my caffeine in a cold, bubbly, ultra-sweetened form. I think I preferred soda out of convenience – there was no need to put a filter in a machine, scoop coffee, wait, and then have more coffee than I wanted for a single drink. A can of soda was simple, just open and drink.
Let’s be honest: I was too lazy to bother with coffee unless I was buying it from a coffee shop.
And then the heavens opened and Keurig came down from above, solving the roadblocks for slacker coffee drinkers like me. I wanted coffee that was super simple, and they delivered – no filters, no scooping, and brewing a single cup at a time. Bingo!
I think you’re probably familiar with how a Keurig works: insert a sealed K-Cup into the machine, close the lid, choose your drink size, press the start button, and COFFEE! It’s really a brilliant, simple design.
We’ve had a Keurig for several years (two of them, actually – we wore out the first one after 3+ hard years), and as a mom of two with a full-time job, I rely on this machine in the morning to get my day started. I honestly didn’t think they could improve on the design.
Guess what? They improved on the design.
Meet my new morning best friend, the Keurig 2.0:
I got a sneak peek of the Keurig 2.0 machines when I was at BlogHer in July. We learned about the new features and had a chance to try it out for ourselves at a small hosted breakfast. (Because OF COURSE breakfast, when we need our coffee the most!)
I know, it might look a little bigger than previous Keurig machines, however it still fits in the same counter space as my Keurig Special Edition. But this machine does so much more than my old one. It still will brew a single cup of coffee, tea, cocoa, or fruit drink for you like the old machine did. Now, though, they’ve opened up the world of multi-cup coffee brewing to those of us who don’t want a pot of coffee all that often and are too ADHD to remember where we put the bag of coffee from when my extended family wanted a pot of coffee at Christmas. (I still haven’t found that bag yet.)
Meet the Keurig 2.0 Carafe and K-Carafe pack:
I can now brew a single K-Cup, or a 4-cup carafe of coffee from the same machine. The same machine! This is awesome to me. Most days I’m happy to brew a single cup with my breakfast. But then there are THOSE days, where one kid was up sick in the middle of the night, or I stayed up too late, and I need multiple cups to get me through the morning. Or days when I’m hosting a get-together or family during the holidays. Instead of brewing a single cup, I can brew a carafe, and just bring the carafe with me to my desk or to pour out for visitors.
And the K-Carafe cup is still just as easy to brew and dispose of as the K-Cup. (Lazy coffee drinkers, unite!) It’s a larger cup, but still fits in the machine without having to change or remove anything. The carafe itself also requires minimum setup – just remove the drip plate from the front of the machine and line up the carafe.
The brewer also has a scanner built-in to it now to scan the lid of the K-Cup and provide the perfect brew every time. There are numbered settings for brewing, too. The first number applies to the K-Carafe cups, but the others are still unused and were designed for future innovations to make the machine even more versatile. I’m hoping for lattes, Keurig. Just sayin’.
Other cool features of the Keurig 2.0 brewers:
- Touch-screen display (in color, and with a programmable clock, for the K450 and K550)
- The ability to adjust the brew of your coffee with the “Strong” setting
- A new hot water on demand feature for the K550 model (ramen, anyone?)
- Decorative decals for the brewer – if you like your small appliances to have a touch of color
- Same water filter capabilities as the older models
There are a couple of downsides with the new machines, and both revolve around the scanning technology built into the 2.0. First, because the scanner must scan the lid of the K-Cup, the My K-Cup is no longer an option. So the days of using your own loose coffee or tea to brew a cup are gone.
Second, older K-Cups, and those that aren’t directly Keurig branded, will not work in the 2.0 machines. If the machine doesn’t recognize the lid of the K-Cup, it will not brew. Trying to brew a K-Cup without the new lid will result in an error message.
I was a little worried about how to tell if a box of K-Cups on the shelf at a store would work with the 2.0 or not. Keurig was quick to help me out by providing this image showing the new call-out added to all 2.0 compatible K-Cup boxes:
I understand not wanting to have non-approved K-Cups used in the machine, but for those of us with a stockpile of K-Cups, many of our older K-Cups without the new label on top of the cup will not be recognized by the 2.0 machine. This means we either need to keep our older Keurig machine around until we go through those K-Cups, or get rid of them. I refuse to let a K-Cup go to waste, so we’re using both machines until we’re finished with our older K-Cups.
Aside from that one complaint, though, I really do love the Keurig 2.0. I’m giddy at having one easy-to-use machine for brewing a single drink or a 4-cup carafe. After trying out all of its features, I pulled our old 4-cup coffee maker out of the cabinet, handed it to Aaron, and told him to add it to our Goodwill donation box. If Keurig can come up with a K-Carafe pack for iced tea, I may ditch my iced tea maker, too. This machine could really help free up my cabinet space!
There are currently eight different varieties of K-Carafe packs, as well as 290 different beverages available as K-Cups. The Keurig 2.0 brewers come in three different models – the K350, K450 and K550, ranging in price from $149.99 to $199.99.
Disclosure: I attended a sponsored breakfast at BlogHer ’14 for Keurig and received a Keurig 2.0 brewer with some sample K-Cups and K-Carafe packs in the mail. (Which quickly disappeared – we buy a lot of K-Cups around here.) I wasn’t required to write a review post, but I’m happy to share why I love my new coffee machine and why you might like it, too.