The Keurig Special Edition Brewing System offers convenience and easy operation in a sleek, modern package. It exceeds the competition with its pre-programming features and simple maintenance, but some users wish there were larger brew sizes. Keurig offers more than 200 flavors of coffee, tea and other hot beverages making it ideal for families with differing tastes.
Flavor varieties outweigh weak brewing. Reviews say the sleek, easy-to-use Keurig Special Edition Brewing System is solidly built and can brew up to 10 ounces from a single prepackaged container of grounds, called a K-Cup. Reviews say the Keurig's real strength lies in its quality coffee and extensive variety. Keurig's K-Cups are available in 245 varieties of coffee, tea and hot cocoa that cross 24 brands, including Tully's, Diedrich and Green Mountain Coffee. However, K-Cups cost more per brewed cup than ground coffee and are not recyclable. Users do have the option of buying a reusable filter (*Est. $15) and grinding their own beans.
Editors at Popular Mechanics conclude that it takes the Keurig about a minute longer than competitors to brew the first morning cup because of the time it takes for the machine to heat up. After the machine is warmed up, however, it produces subsequent cups as quickly as other models.
Some users say larger brew sizes produce weaker coffee. One owner posting comments to Walmart.com explains: "The instructions also clearly state that larger selected cup sizes will lessen the overall finished product's strength of flavor and suggests that you buy stronger flavored K-cups." This becomes a bigger issue for mugs larger than 10-ounces. While it's possible to use two brewing cycles (one 10-ounce and one 6-ounce cycle, for instance) with the same K-cup, the resulting brew will be weaker. If a new K-cup is used for the second cycle, the cost of each cup is doubled.
Easy cleanup and little maintenance required. The Keurig Special Edition Brewing System offers some advantages over less expensive models, including adjustable brewing sizes and temperature, automatic programming and a removable 48-ounce water reservoir. Owners posting to sites like Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Macys.com agree that the Keurig Special Edition Brewing System is simple to operate and clean. According to the user manual, the machine requires a de-scaling cycle to clean out calcium deposits once every three to six months. Otherwise, maintenance is as simple as refilling the water reservoir.
Users say they appreciate the ability to switch between flavors easily. One owner review at Viewpoints.com says, "It's a single cup maker so you don't have to worry about making a pot of coffee no one likes and not drinking it all. Everyone can pick their own individual coffee and even tea and hot chocolate."
We found a few isolated complaints of malfunctioning units, some of which can be attributed to a clog in the needle that pierces the pod. One Walmart.com owner says this problem can be easily remedied by clearing the clog with a paperclip.
Durability in a sleek package. Blogger Tony Martinez says that at first glance, the Keurig Special Edition Brewing System looks too tall to fit under standard cabinets, but it does fit under most. Martinez calls it "solid and durable looking."
Owners posting to sites like Amazon.com and Walmart.com agree that the Keurig Special Edition Brewing System looks stylish, thanks to its black and chrome finish. One user explains: "The blue LED lights are the best kept secret about this machine. It is very modern and fits into any kitchen, both during the day and at night."
Review Credibility: Excellent Praised by editors for leaving minimal mess in its removable drip tray, the Keurig Special Edition Brewing System also gets high marks for being the "cleanest" of the eight single-serve coffee makers tested. The Keurig Special Edition also receives a nod for its wide K-Cup assortment. However, editors note that it takes a minute longer than other machines to heat up.
Review: Single-Serve Coffeemaker Showdown: 8 Brewers Put to the Test, Jeremy Repanich, April 1, 2010
Review Credibility: Very Good Positive reviews for the Keurig Special Edition Brewing System greatly outweigh the negative at Amazon.com, where this coffee maker receives an overall 3.8 stars out of 5 from more than 1,500 owners. They say they like its look and versatile pod assortment. However, several complain that the coffee comes out weak.
Review: Keurig B60 Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2012
3. Attention Deficit
Review Credibility: Good In this casual comparison, Tony Martinez says he prefers the Keurig Special Edition to an older Senseo model, which feels less sturdy and requires more clean up.
Review: Keurig vs. Senseo vs. Tassimo, Tony Martinez, January 2008
Review Credibility: Good About 500 owners contribute to an average rating of 92 out of a possible 100. Owners say the Keurig Special Edition produces great-tasting coffee quickly and offers a wide selection of K-Cups. However, some complain that the K-Cups are expensive.
Review: Keurig Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup Brewing System B60 Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of November 2012
Review Credibility: Good More than 320 owners give the Keurig Special Edition Brewing System an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Owners say they love the variety of K-Cups, especially when they have guests. Very few complain about the coffee being too weak.
Review: Keurig B60 Coffee Maker, Single Serve, Contributors to Macys.com, As of November 2012
Review Credibility: Good Jay Brewer's site features pod coffee maker reviews and a forum where owners of single-serve coffee makers can express their opinions. This review describes a two-week comparison of the Keurig Platinum B70 (now the Keurig Platinum Brewing System) and the Keurig Special Edition B60 (now the Keurig Special Edition Brewing System). Brewer says the quality of coffee is the same in all Keurig models, but he likes the Platinum's enhancements.
Review: Review: Keurig Platinum B70 K Cup Single-Cup Brewer, Jay Brewer, October 2006
Review Credibility: Good About 100 owners contribute to an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Owners say the machine couldn't be simpler to use and requires little to no cleanup. There are a few complaints that it produces weak coffee.
Review: Keurig B60 Special Edition K-Cup Brewing System, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of November 2012