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Keurig vs. French Press cup quality

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Keurig vs. French Press cup quality

Postby palounek » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:36 pm

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

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?

To summarize:

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.

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Postby BooksCatsCoffee » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:21 pm

I'm sure this is lovely and all, but frankly, a good cup of coffee is only judged by the taster, imo. :D

There are others on this forum who will no doubt call what I enjoy drinking 'bad' coffee, but who cares? :P *I* like coffee that doesn't scald my tongue (which makes it nearly impossible for me to taste anything), has a nice clean mouth feel, and isn't too bitter.

At the moment I'm sipping a Timothy's Kona Blend and it's good. 8)

(Just curious: Who's 'we'? I'm not asking for names, but it sounds like a website group or something.)
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Postby kupokoffee » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:59 pm

Yep, BooksCatsCoffee, I agree, the quality of coffee is up to the taster.

I think that for this group??? to compare the Keurig to a French Press is kind of useless. Most folks buy the Keurig for quick easy coffee or tea, and yes, it is a nice selling point that you can use the My K-Cup with it as well, but generally folks are looking for convenience and variety in being able to have a fresh cup of whatever they want, whenever they want without all the grinding and storage (for freshness) concerns.

Is the Keurig better or worse than a French Press? It doesn't matter, because the only way to answer that is that it is different. Can you make a good cup of coffee in a Keurig? Yes. Can you make a bad one? Yes. Can the same be said for the French Press? Yes and Yes.

I'm not sure what was proved by this group, but us Keurig owners know we can get good coffee quickly and easily.
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Postby sweaner » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:53 pm

It is good to know that our brewers compare favorably to the French press method of brewing! I would like to see the same type of comparison using a good pod brewer and a t-sac.

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Postby The Lone Podster » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:27 pm

Using a french press is work. Comparing it to a my k-cup or t-sac brew is even more work. I'm here to relax, and get wired.

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Postby Marci » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:11 pm

They are only comparing the Keurig to a French Press if you roast , grind, and put the coffee in a My K-cup. Therefore, the Keurig has no ups on the pods or t-sacs. :shock: You might as just well use the French Press!
Like Kupokoffee and Podster said, I use this type of machine for speed, convenience, and cleanliness.
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Postby darrylr » Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:23 am

If people thought the French Press and Kcup brew quality were similar, the French Press coffee wasn't properly brewed. Did you use very fresh whole beans (not more than 10 days since roast)? Note that coffee needs to be more like 200 degrees, not 195, and needs to steep in the press for a full 4 minutes. Dose also needs to be proper and it helps to use a good, burr grinder (not a blade grinder).

Done right a French Press brew will blow the doors off any single serve coffee drink. They're not even the same beverage.

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Postby Bucfanmike » Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:20 pm

i agree completely with darryl
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