One billion people around the world could not begin their day without coffee. Well, that number is arguably the approximate total of all coffee drinkers around the world. But in terms of coffee consumption, this number can easily double or triple. Why? People who love coffee often drink an average of 2-3 cups every day.
Now, the average coffee consumption can easily increase nowadays thanks to the speedy, efficient and reliable single-serve coffee makers or K-cup coffee makers.
Why are These Coffee Makers so Popular These Days?
Let’s admit that brewing coffee can eat up a considerable amount of our time. In fact, most people on-the-go would often get their coffee along the way.
If your days are filled with meeting to attend, deadlines to meet and projects to submit, waiting for your coffee to brew may be the last thing on your mind. But since you really need coffee to keep you energetic, refreshed and recharged, you opted to grab a 12 oz coffee from your favorite coffee shop.
Grinding coffee beans at home, turning on the coffee maker, waiting for the coffee to brew, transferring the coffee into your mug, cleaning the coffee maker, just enumerating the steps to make coffee at home already sounds time-consuming.
This is precisely the reason why K-cup coffee makers came into existence.
How Do K-cup Coffee Makers Work?
By principle, K-cup coffee machines heat water, pump the hot water to the K-cup or pod that’s filled with your choice of coffee flavor (Green Mountain, Dunkin’ Donut, Starbucks and more).
It is very easy to use and it comes with different coffee pod flavors to choose from. You can try hundreds of flavors or stick to your favorite ones.
But the K-cup coffee maker market is teeming with competition, especially between the Keurig and the Cuisinart. Let’s find out the different features of each model and see which one is the best.
Keurig machines: the birth of K-cups
Keurig machines started the craze for K-cup or pod coffee. Your favorite coffee is packed in vacuum-sealed pods. With a Keurig machine, the coffee is released from the pod and combined with water, it creates a perfect, well-balanced combination of your favorite flavor.
Keurig machine advantages:
- Brewed coffee in an instant, not your 3-in-1 type
- Hundreds of flavors to choose from, hazelnut, roasted almond, latte, caramel and more
- Not limited to coffee, can make hot tea, cold tea and iced coffee (when brewed over ice), lemonade, cappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolate and more
- Different sizes to choose from, single serve 4 oz to travel size mugs
- Make coffee on the go
No need to program, make coffee in an instant even if you have just woken up
- Pre-measured coffee, means no mess and no coffee wasted
- You can choose your heat and strength settings
- Instant water heating system
- Quality coffee, inexpensive brew
- There is a reusable filter you can buy that you can also use with regular coffee
Has most options as far as machines and settings over any pod brewer
- Sealed pods to ensure freshness and quality
- The new VUE cups are recyclable
- Simple to use, even your kids can make their own coffee or hot drinks
Keurig machine disadvantages:
- Pods can be expensive
- Keurig is expensive
- Can only make a single serve coffee, for most Keurig models
- Lower-end Keurig models do not offer many features such as brew strength, heat strength and they have smaller water reservoirs
- Only the new models have the right settings to make iced drinks, the other models it can be done with but the flavor will not be the same
- Only the VUE can make latte and cappuccino, but are nothing like a real espresso machine
- K-cups are not recyclable
- Only compatible with Keurig pods
Cuisinart K-cup coffee makers: the great contender
Cuisinart is a popular kitchen appliance and equipment brand. The venture into pod coffee business is a conscious effort to penetrate an ever-rising demand for fast but gourmet-style coffee.
Cuisinart K-cup advantages:
- It has a removable water reservoir of up to 70 of water. This is good enough for 6 to 8 cups of coffee.
- It has a charcoal water filter that helps purify water so you can fully enjoy the taste of your pod coffee flavor.
- It comes with a Cuisinart HomeBarista reusable K-cup pod
- It is also compatible with all K-cup varieties
- There are 5 serving sizes, from 4 to 12 oz
- More temperature control, from hot to extra hot if you want piping hot coffee during those cold winter times
- Highly programmable with up to 24 hour time frame
- Removable drip tray so you can adjust the height and use your travel mug as a container to collect the coffee
- It comes with a three-year warranty
- It uses stainless steel for the exterior body so it looks sleek, attractive and elegant but most of its parts are plastic
Cuisinart K-cup coffee maker disadvantages:
- The brewing process is relatively slow compared to other brands
- Some splattering occurs when the coffee is released from the spout to the mug
- There is no reservoir light. You might need to always check the water to ensure that you have enough for your coffee drinking session
Keurig vs Cuisinart: the verdict
Now that we have seen the different features of the Keurig and the Cuisinart, it’s time to compare them and see how one fares over the other. Let’s look at four features that K-cup users look for when buying a K-cup brewer.
Oftentimes, this is the biggest concert of buyers. By setting a budget, you have set a limit for yourself and be content with the features that come with the model that you can afford to buy. In terms of pricing, the Keurig is expensive the Cuisinart. Keurig puts premium in its brand, market presence and long-standing tradition as the choice of baristas and coffee shops when it comes to coffee making equipment. However, the Cuisinart may be less expensive than the Keurig but it will never disappoint.f You will surely get value for money. Plus, if you are just starting out with K-cup brewing, the Cuisinart is a perfect choice.
Both the Cuisinart and the Keurig have options for hot water which can be used for tea, chocolate, oatmeal and soup. Both are also easily programmable. If you want your coffee to be ready by the time you wake up, you can easily set it for up to 24-hour time frame. However, it is noticeable that the Keurig is really faster than Cuisinart. In 60 seconds, you can have a freshly brewed coffee from your K-cup. With the Cuisinart, it can take up to 90 seconds.
For its lack of speed, Cuisinart compensates with the fact that it can accommodate just about any type of K-cup available in the market. Unlike the Keurig which only recognizes Keurig pods, the Cuisinart will allow you to use other K-cup varieties. You can have a wider option of flavors and taste.
The Cuisinart is made of plastic but it does not look cheap. It has a sleek silver finish that provides elegance and class. The Keurig is made from stainless steel and would not tarnish or corrode over time. That’s why many barista prefer using Keurig machines because they are built to last, especially in such a busy environment.
If you want to explore using K-cup coffee maker, the Cuisinart is a perfect option to begin with. You can enjoy pod coffee and you can experiment with flavors and taste depending on the availability.
But if you are up for your coffee brewing experience and ready to take that investment, the Keurig is your best choice. If the baristas trust it, you have very good reasons to own one and develop your brewing skills.