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MSRadell

New Keurig Vue Packs

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Over the past few years single serve coffee makers have been taking over a larger and larger share of the everyday coffee market. One of the leaders in that field has been Green Mountain (Keurig) and their K-cups which is the leader in the market. Last week they announced a completely new product, Green Mountain introduces Vue Packs. A little further research reveals what maybe there ulterior motive, the patent on K-cups expires in September! Of course the price of the new product is also higher. They've added a couple of features to the brewers (including RFID) which may or may not allow them to make it better coffee.

What's everyone's opinion of this change?

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I wouldn't want to make coffee at home with any kind of machine that used single-serve prepackaged coffee, but over the last month we've been visiting elementary schools for our son, and have encountered a few such machines in admissions lounges, where they seem like just the right technology. You've got a lot of visitors who come to these places once or twice or maybe three times and might want coffee, but don't have much time to learn how to use the machine.

The Keurig machine produced okay coffee and was very easy to use, and everyone managed to get it to work reliably.

There was another one where the coffee came in foil packets with a plastic cap, and this was much more difficult to operate. You had to slide the cap into a slot just so, so that the drawer would close properly and actuate a switch that caused a ready light to go on, and most people had to try it several times before getting it just right, sometimes removing the bag after the cap had been pierced, spilling grounds around the machine. The coffee was neither better nor worse than the Keurig machine's.

I suppose that of any single-serve method, I'd rather have espresso pods, but not everyone prefers espresso. There was a pod machine in an administrative office at the university where I used to teach, and it made better espresso than I would have expected, and was easy to use, low maintenance, and clean enough to work in an office environment.

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I find the Keurig is my least favorite of the single serve coffee makers. It makes a pretty weak cup in my opinion (even with the darker roasts). Possibly why its so popular in the US. I'd say the best of them is the Tassimo. Does a good strength cup with a layer of crema on top.

Obviously, the preference is freshly ground and pressed. But a few years back I found the single serve attractive just because it took so little time.

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