Productivity Booster

For Love of K-Cups

Back in April I bought a Keurig B60 for Carin’s birthday. We had a Keurig at work so I had been using it for years and Carin really wanted to be able to brew a single cup without any hassle. I’ve enjoyed trying out a wide variety of coffees (you can check out my coffee ratings here). For buying the coffee, if you are willing to pay a bit more you can order single cups at The Coffee Mix – a great way to try a bunch of flavors.

Once you figure out what you like it’s hard to beat the price of Bed, Bath and Beyond when you have some of the coupons that they send out all the time. Surprisingly my favorite drink is the Lime Berry Green Tea, which is getting difficult to find so I’ve been hoarding it. On the coffee side I like Emril’s and Timothy’s as well as the (more expensive) Dunkin’ Donuts brand.

Although the coffee is superb, there has been some trouble with the machine. Occasionally we’d have a problem with short filling – a cup of coffee getting 2 oz or so less that normal. After some experimenting I found two solutions online, one is to beat on it, which actually does work, but the real fix is to leave it on 24/7. One theory is that when the chamber cools you get a vapor lock that the pump has a hard time overcoming. I don’t know about that but I do know that once we turned off the auto-shutoff we were never short filled again.

About 2 weeks ago when I would push the medium cup button it would activate the setup menu. It must have been some kind of short because two weeks later it died completely. It was still under warranty so I sent them proof of ownership and got a new B60-WR yesterday. It looks like a new model because it’s not on the website and the reservoir has a new shape that protrudes out over the drip tray. Obviously there was much celebrating upon the return of the coffee machine.

I only had to send the K-Cup holder back, they said I could dispose of the rest. I had already checked out opening one up and upgrading the pump when it was short cupping but I didn’t bother since it was under warranty. Everywhere I could find info said that the machine was not made to be opened, and I only read one story of a brave soul who replaced a pump. Since I now had one to throw away I thought I would open it up and check it out. You can see the pictures of the Keurig Autopsy here. Most importantly, if you are looking for how to open your Keurig you’ll see my hand written diagram on where you’ll need to drill to get the top open. There are 3 tabs, much like those that lock a car door panel to the frame, that you’ll have to drill to get to, otherwise it’s not possible to open without breaking. You’ll need a hole just under a half inch and have to pull the tabs outward, but you may just want to drill them out, they’re not very flexible. There’s also a bunch of screws to remove before you need to unfasten the tabs, it literally is more work than the thing is worth.

As you can see from the other pictures it’s a marvel of engineering. I now doubt the story of the guy who repaired a pump since there are no fewer than FOUR pumps inside of it. It has 3 boards and about a quarter mile of tubing. I love the thing and was even more impressed seeing how it’s put together. The only thing I would change would be to make a premium one that could be repaired, I’m sure it’s not the best business model but it would be a fun project to mess around with. Of course the risk of home brew high pressure boiling liquid accidents might have something to do with that business model decision…

2 replies on “For Love of K-Cups”

I would counter argue that buying it at Costco is a better deal for two reasons. 1) The initial purchase includes 60 k-cups of many varieties, the manual filter, and a more advanced model for the same $150 price. 2) Costco has a VERY liberal policy when it comes to returns. We owned ours for 2 years when it just stopped working all together. Tried descaling and everything, no dice. Costco took it back with a receipt, no questions asked for the full price. I immediately turned around and bought another one because we can’t live without it.

Ah, interesting, I meant buying the K-Cups, not the unit itself. I’m not surprised Costco has a great deal. The 20% off coupon from BB&B got me the $140 unit for $112 and it came with an assortment of K-Cups but no filter (and Costco is 10 miles further away for me). With all of these, you might want to open them up to see how old the coffee in the variety packs are (although stuff seems to flow through the warehouse clubs quickly).

BJ’s is also good with returns but I’ve been burned on that too, I bought a GPS there that someone else had activated and returned.

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