A New Single Cup Coffee Maker

Anyone who knows me knows that I drink a lot of coffee... a lot. I prefer good coffee, but I'm not a snob about it... I'll drink mediocre (or even bad) coffee if there's nothing else at hand.

Imagine then my surprise earlier this month when my (thus far) trusty Keurig wasn't working. For the past 3 years we've used a Keurig B60 at home and it has done quite a good job. However, on this particular morning it wouldn't power on. Oh no... don't freak out, don't freak out, don't freak out... I tried unplugging it and plugging it back in. Still nothing. I tried another AC outlet. Nada. Oh boy.  Fortunately, I also have a Keurig on my desk at work (did I mention I drink a lot of coffee?) so I went on about my day.

I got by for a couple weeks by using only the work Keurig, getting my evening fix from Starbucks. I searched the Net looking for a fix. I read forums. It seemed my plight was fairly typical of the model I had, in that after 2-3 years they just give up. It sounded possible to potentially fix with some effort and spart parts (neither of which I wanted to invest). Bummer. Though I was able to get by with the work-coffee alternative, the wife began making it increasingly clear that she was having none of this no-coffee-maker-house arrangement and was fomenting a revolt.

I turned my web searches from fixing a Keurig to finding a replacement. I read a lot of customer reviews along with a lot of review site write-ups from people who care a great deal more about coffee than I do. There wasn't a clear "winner" in what I read but it seemed I had narrowed it down to: (1) another Keurig B60, (2) a Keurig VUE, (3) a Bunn MCU. It seemed like the opportunity for a change so I ruled out a like-for-like replacement and considered the VUE. I liked that it had better temperature control than the standard Keurig. What I didn't like about it was the limited availability of the VUE Cups; they're not as ubiquitous as the K-Cups.

I decided on the Bunn MCU primarily because it seemed to be the best of all worlds. Not only does it make coffee from soft pods and grounds, it will also use the same K-Cups that I already buy and love. The final selling point was the brew temperature. I've never been fully satisfied with the Keurig on that matter and the Bunn MCU heats to 200F. Another feature like is the separate "drawers" used for each function (pods, grounds, Kcups, water). This means that when I quickly heat water for my oatmeal, it's not flowing through the same filter that was previously used for coffee.

There are a couple of minor negatives to point out. It's not quite as tall as the Keurig (which can also be a positive), so it will not easily accommodate tall cups, even with the drip tray removed.  Secondly, it has no external water reservoir. It holds and heats water for the next cup, but this means you must pour in the amount of water that you want into the top before each brew. Neither of these shortcomings were a big deal to me so I pounced.

I've now been using this beauty for about 3 weeks and I LOVE IT. From a feature standpoint, it's a huge win and surpasses the Keurig in almost every way. It's also slightly lower priced than the Keurig. My coffee is hotter and I've got more brewing options than before. I love the "Pulse" brew mode and the simplicity of operation (No on/off switch).

Pros:

  • Heats to 200F
  • Multi-Use (Pods, KCups, Grounds, Water)
  • Small Counter Footprint
  • Easy to Use
  • "Pulse" Brew Mode for better flavor extraction
  • Price

Cons: 

  • Won't accomodate tall cups
  • No external reservoir

I can't yet comment on the durability or longevity, but so far I'm quite pleased. Hopefully it will last for a long time to come.