A Decent Cuppa Joe


Did you ever see a product that seems like it is featured everywhere? It’s in brochures and circulars and you wonder if it’s right for your lifestyle, or it’s just another excuse to clutter the kitchen?

When I went to visit my in-laws for Thanksgiving last year, they recently got what they described as “their new toy”. They brought me into their kitchen and presented to me a top-of-the-line one-cup coffee brewer; a strange little device that simply does one thing – brew one cup of coffee or tea (or ice tea or hot chocolate, ok, maybe more than one thing.)

I’m sad to admit that I’m old enough to remember coffee vending machines when I was a wee Mozmic. The supermarket my mother and I went to had one against the wall of the store near the toilets. We ignored the obvious warning and purchased a cup that resembled something more like hot black tar than coffee. Equally odious was their hot chocolate, which left me hating the stuff for ages, so I was wary about the notion of one minute coffee.

Plus, I’ve seen this machine everywhere, even at work. You put the little K-cup into the dispenser, press a button and the machine would purr, sputter and make such a ruckus that at one point, it lead me to believe someone had to be behind the wall with a whoopee cushion and a kazoo. Then, out came the coffee that by the time you add the cream and walked back to the office, it was already lukewarm. Bleh.

As a courtesy, I tried a flavor (the machine came with a sample of flavors), put the cup in place and let it rip. Not only was the coffee decent, it actually came out steaming hot. It almost made the fact that I was in central Florida all the more bearable. Yes, they drink coffee in Florida.


Christmastime was coming so, as a gift idea, I got the Elite Version. It differed from my in-laws’ version in that it lacked a LCD display will all the bells and whistles of size selections and temp controls. The Elite is quick (less than a minute) and requires little maintenance. Filtered water is recommended and the weird foghorn noises emanating from its little backside makes the $109.00 I spend on it all worthwhile. I was also lucky enough to find a K-Cup distributor nearby where I got some very exclusive flavors like Kaluah and Nicaraguan Fair Trade Organic, as well as larger quantities available in amounts of 24 and 30.

The verdict is in; I would recommend it to singles, couples and occasional coffee and tea drinkers. It doesn’t make me want to give up my espresso moka pot or my 12-cup for company, but at least it’s a convenient and useful machine that like its grandfather, the supermarket vending machine, still makes a crappy hot chocolate, but otherwise a decent cuppa joe.


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