It’s been a while since we’ve shared our coffee making findings – we had to wait for the tremors to stop before we could write out our findings for the next machine…we think we have it worked out now. Thanks for your patience! To catch you up quickly (yes, it’s been THAT long), first we tested French Presses in comparison to the Bialetti Italian stovetop coffeemaker. Then we decided to tackle capsule-style (or single serve) coffee brewers.
Keurig proved to be a more difficult coffeemaker to test and review than expected. With more than 80% market share, and a number of our testers owning Keurig, it was a product we were more intimately familiar with than other machines. We knew how to use them, we knew what we were going to get…or so we thought. Because we were using machines that had been purchased by our testers, we reviewed a variety of different models. We also tested the coffee at the Keurig booth at the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago last March. Our findings were actually rather surprising.
The beverage quality was, in essence, what we expected from a company this large with this many diverse options. With over 200 options, we felt like it was a “Jack of all trades, master of none” result. None of the beverages wowed any of us. They were all good and fine, but none really gave us that “Country fresh, like the morning after a rainstorm” kind of feeling (you know, the feeling you see in all those cheesy ’80s commercials?) We tried some of the Green Mountain varieties (they were okay), Tully’s (better), and Caribou (the best of the ones we tried). The Green Mountain Nantucket blend iced coffee seemed very watery and lacked that rich coffee essence.
Keurig, unlike other brands (Nespresso, anyone?), sell their capsules at a wide variety of retailers, from JC Penney to Bed Bath & Beyond to Staples. So when you suddenly discover your caffeine well has run dry, you can just hop in and replenish.
When there have been issues with Keurig machines, our testers all said Keurig’s customer service team has been very good about handling replacements and taking care of frustrated customers.
There is a reason we can testify to Keurig’s customer service. Every member of our testing team who owned a Keurig (with the exception of one) had had to have a machine replaced under warranty. One tester has had three replacements, one has had two. It’s great that they take care of their customers, but do we really want to risk the loss of limb when someone can’t get their caffeine in the morning?
The long and short of it:
If our only options were the two machines we’ve written about to date, (Keurig and Tassimo), we all agreed we’d choose Tassimo (that’s not to say Tassimo was the top-scorer…stay tuned to see…) While one tester had had issues with Tassimo (and had had their machine quickly and easily replaced, just like with Keurig), the consistent issues with Keurig’s machines made us wary of purchasing in the future, in spite of their high level of customer service.