In late December 2006, “random person” wrote in the Coffee Geek forum that "the Keurig makes the poorest excuse for "coffee" that I've ever tasted. It creates a dark plasticky water that tastes simply horrific."
With due respect to the “random person”, (after all, somebody who uses Mazzer and Rocky mills should know the taste of good coffee), I believe that he or she was using a defective Keurig machine and I would like to read opinions of other coffee lovers.
We are eager to hear from others more about the quality of coffee properly brewed using the Keurig machine and the "reusable K-Cup and filter basket".
We have compared coffee brewed in a French Press and coffee brewed using the Keurig Ultra B50 with the Keurig reusable K-Cup and filter basket. Both the “French Press” coffee and the “Keurig” coffee had a very similar aroma and tasted almost the same; some people considered the Keurig brewed coffee to be slightly mellower. 2/3 of the people preferred the Keurig coffee, 1/3 preferred the French Press coffee, but all agreed that the aroma and taste are very, very similar.
We were using the same fresh water, the same beans, roasted (about 70 hours before the brewing) in the HotTop drum roaster (our machine is from the first batch of HotTops imported into the USA, those without the “safety” guards) to just the beginning of the second crack. The coffee beans were ground minutes before the brewing in a Solis Maestro mill at the same “French Press” setting of the grinder.
For the French Press, we used:
• one coffee measure (7.25 grams) of coffee per 4 to 5 oz. water
• 195 to 200 degree F water
• 1 minute, briefly stir
• after another minute to 90 seconds, began to plunge
which is based on the method recommended by Tom Owen, see http://www.sweetmarias.com/brewinstr.frenchpress.html
For the Keurig Ultra B50 we used:
• 8.0 grams of coffee in the Keurig reusable K-Cup and filter basket
• the smaller brew size (5.25 oz. of water)
The Keurig literature claims that the Keurig Ultra B50 brews the coffee at the standard 192-degree Fahrenheit brew temperature, which seems to be acceptable, although slightly below the ideal recommended coffee brewing temperature of 195 to 200 degrees.
All the equipment is kept very clean, of course.
In my opinion, the “improvements” of the “newest” Keurig machines are marketing tricks and no real improvements, on the contrary:
The coffee should be brewed
• at 195 to 200 degrees of F – why give the user a choice of a lower temperature?
• at 7.25 grams off coffee per 4 to 5 oz. of water – why give the user a choice of over-extracted, bitter coffee?
It seems that good quality coffee used within a week from roasting and within minutes from grinding in a decent clean coffee mill, brewed in a clean Keurig using good quality water. the 195 degrees setting and the 5.25 oz. cup size setting will result in a cup of “French Press” quality coffee brew, which is better as compared to dripped coffee.
Let me repeat the basic requirements for a good coffee cup:
1. high quality coffee
2. used within a week from proper roasting (and quick cooling)
3. used within minutes from grinding in a decent clean burr mill,
4. used in a clean reusable K-Cup and filter basket
5. brewed in a clean Keurig machine
6. using good quality water
7. using the 195 degrees F water temperature setting
8. using the 5.25 oz. cup size
9. and, of course, brewed into a clean cup
The importance of keeping everything very clean cannot be overstressed.
I believe that properly maintained and properly used Keurig machine can satisfy all those requirements. We are eager to hear opinions of others on this list. Thank you for your comments and opinions.
Lubos in the Texas Hill Country part of Austin.