Making The Switch: One Coffee Lover’s Experience Changing Coffee Makers

…AND Coffee Brands Simultaneously

Making the switch from my morning Starbucks Breakfast Blend coffee to Coffee People’s Donut Shop K-Cup for Keurig was much easier than I anticipated.

I remember the day I bought my Keurig B70 single-cup coffee maker at Costco.  I had been thinking about making the switch from my automatic coffee maker to the Keurig for some time, and with the discount Costco had on the machines at the time made it almost impossible to pass up.

I was excited to load the Keurig machine into my cart, but as I approached the checkout counter, I hesitated.  Would I be turning my back on the brand I had been loyal to for over ten years? Did convenience finally win out over quality?  I didn’t know it at the time, but after trying about eight different brands of K-Cups, I eventually found a couple brands that matched the quality of the Breakfast Blend coffee from Starbucks that I had been drinking for years.

It’s hard to change your routine, especially a morning routine that you have been accustomed to for many years.  Waking up in the morning to your favorite cup of coffee is like waking up to an old friend.  The first morning I came downstairs to make my first cup of coffee with my Keurig felt like I was going behind a lover’s back (OK, maybe an exaggeration), but I did feel plenty guilty.

The Keurig machine I bought came with lots of K-Cups to try.  When I tried my first K-Cup cup of coffee, I was hugely disappointed.  I thought I had made a big mistake purchasing this machine.  The coffee was bitter and metallic tasting.  Would Costco take this machine back after it had been used?  After pouring the first cup out and trying another brand of K-Cup, I felt no better.  It was on the third try that I was in heaven.  I found Coffee People’s Donut Shop.  That was it; I was hooked.

Am I happy I purchased the Keurig?  You bet!  I look forward to coming downstairs in the morning to greet my new old friend.  However, I do get a bit nostalgic during the Holidays when Starbucks releases their “only for a limited time” Christmas Blend coffee.  Not to worry though–my local Starbucks is just a short drive from home.


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illy Y1 iperEspresso Machine discounted

illy has introduced a new single cup coffee/espresso maker that is a nice piece of art. It looks like a little red table and a dispenser popping up out of the back right corner.

In reality there is a power button and heat status lights along the top. The upper part of the ‘dispenser’ opens to accept the new illy coffee capsules. Below the coffee head the ‘table top’ lowers so a variety of cup sizes can be used. Water has a drawer of it’s own on the right side of the unit. Used coffee capsules eject into a back area holder to dispose of later.

As single cup makers go, the Y1 iperEspresso Machine is average for the more complex machines at $295 (US). It is possible to get this fine looking machine for only $125 (US). If you order online and agree to sign up for a coffee delivery service you get this more than 50% discount. A new ‘Lungo’ roast has been added to the Medium, Bold and Decaffeinated options. The delivery times for the service can be weekly up to monthly. You may want to read the rules, but it appears that you only have to take one round of capsule deliveries before your allowed to cancel so your not locked into a long term agreement for deliveries. That said, where else will you get the new style capsules (outlined below)?

“Now, for a limited time, the striking and compact Francis Francis Y1 iperEspresso machine is OFFERED FOR JUST $125 (value of $295) plus a $12.95 handling fee. Simply purchase a minimum of 2 cans of iperEspresso capsules with your machine, and we’ll continue to send you convenient deliveries of 2 or more cans of capsules on the delivery schedule you choose. There’s no commitment. You can change or cancel your coffee deliveries any time after your first shipment.”

The coffee packets that illy has been using (below) are called the ESE Pods. These have been manufactured by other coffee providers. We use these all the time in our hand pump espresso gadget. They come in a variety of strengths and since different brands there are different tastes and quality.

New for the iperEspresso machine is the “iperEspresso Capsules’. These are only being manufactured by illy in three types: Medium, Dark and Decaffeinated (Lungo just added as this was being typed). The special feature of these new capsules is that all of the brewing happens inside of it so the fluids never touch the machine. Hot water is pushed in, steeping happens, the fluid goes into a second area of the capsule then pushed out to your cup. The illy site has a nice little video of how this all works (the site doesn’t allow direct linking to the video, go here and look for the little video camera icon half way down the page on the left side). The capsule below is upside down from how it goes into the machine. The pricing on the illy site is showing a pair of 21 capsule containers are $32 (US).


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NESCAFE’ has coffee makers and they need to be on my counter!

Last night there was a NESCAFE’ coffee commercial on TV. I barely glanced up from my computer as it went sped through a whirl of cold and coffee drink images. Until I saw a flash of what looked like a very artistic coffee maker. I was reaching for the remote to rewind back to see what must be an artist concept when several more coffee makers where flashed up making dark rich coffee. Artist concepts? Future product? Did they steal something from a art college?

I spent a while looking around for the commercial online. Visiting the NESCAFE’ Instant Coffee site resulted in nothing. Not giving up, I clicked through the different areas of the site till I happened upon a link to the NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto™” site. There I found the four bits of cool fun art to sit on the kitchen counter which I can request a cup of coffee from too.

I have several different brands of machines that use pucks, discs and cups of pre-packaged coffee. Each machine does something better than the other and the coffee choices vary from one brand to another as well. All are black and silver plastic with a see through plastic area to hold water.

Coffee for the NESCAFE’ Dolce Gusto line is more specialized than others since it is limited to their own. Most other quick coffee makers have done deals with a variety of other coffee producers so their line stretchs across many customer’s needs. By allowing others to package coffee, you get more choices but less control on what the customer has. NESCAFE’

From their FAQ:

NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto™ is a new coffee machine with a proprietary one portion capsule that produces high quality coffee-shop style beverages including Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato and Lungo (traditional cup of coffee). The machines will be available in black, red, and cream. NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto is a joint venture between Nestlé® and KRUPS® and is aimed exclusively toward the at-home consumer. This 15 bar system uses pressure similar to coffee house machines. The coffee that is used in the capsules is made of premium 100% Arabica pure coffee beans.

Retail pricing:

NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto™ Piccolo – $89-$99
NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto™ Melody™ 2 – $129
NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto™ Circolo™ – $149
NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto™ Creativa™ – $169

The flavors available cover hot to cold, mild to strong:


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If you have to use a Pad Coffee Maker, Go Cool!

The last post was fun finding interesting espresso machine designs, so I set off to find other fun personal coffee items. (We’re snowed in so I’m going through coffee shop withdraws) It didn’t take long to find these Coffee Pad Machines. I had never heard of the company before, and I really doubt these will be found on a store shelf… well, unless IKEA starts making Pad Coffee Makers.

I love the simplistic flush look to the front, the way the cup just fits in it and of course – there are many colors! They are available on the WMF For Home site.

It holds just enough water in the resovour for one cup of coffee. Since it is using pads, the process of making a cup should be less than a minute. I’m not see any adjustments on it so flavor and strength will be adjusted by the brand of pad.

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