Keurig Mini - Fresh coffee. No cleaning required.
Simple to use, no cleaning or maintenance
The Bottom Line:
If you need a personal coffee machine with zero hassle, this is the one to get.
For the past several years, I have wanted a small coffee pot to keep at my desk at work. The problem was that I didn't want a standard one that needed to be cleaned. The solution is the Keurig Mini, which requires no cleaning or maintenance. Even better was the fact that I found it on sale at Sam's Club ($69.99) and couldn't pass it up.
This is a single cup coffee maker, meaning it makes one cup at a time. It uses Keurig mini coffee cops, which are the disposable self-contained coffee you see in boxes with dozens of different flavors. The K-cup, as it is called, contains both coffee and a filter, so it is entirely self-contained.
To make coffee with the Keurig Mini, you first press a button to open the slot for the K-cup. Closing that opening will puncture both the top and bottom of the cup so as to allow water to flow through. It also springs open the water container area where you fill in water for your cup. There is a plastic ring to show you the level needed and you have plenty of room to pour. I keep a case of bottled water at my desk to fill it, because that makes each cup of joe extra premium.
After the K-cup is inserted and water is poured, you press a button and wait about two minutes for it to brew. There is a small sensor in the cup receptacle area that will keep it from splattering hot coffee everywhere unless a cup is in place, so this is really nice for absent minded coffee drinkers. After all, how can you be expected to think clearly when you are in need of your caffeine fix?
My only complaint about this coffee maker is that it seems kind of inefficient to only be able to hold enough water for one cup. It seems like Keurig could double the size of the container so we could make two cups at once, but then I suppose they intend for you to buy one of their larger models if you want to do that.
On my desk, this small coffee maker only takes up about as much space as a desktop phone. You need to be able to access the top of it, so you can't shove it under a shelf, but it has a nice looking enough design that it wouldn't look bad sitting off to the side of your desk. The included cable is about five feet long so you'll likely need an extension to put the maker on top of a hutch or on a bookshelf.
The main reason to buy a Keurig Mini is because there is nothing to clean up when you're done, unless you use a mug instead of a paper/foam cup. I suppose that's not very ‘green' but neither is running a lot of hot water to wash out a regular coffee pot and mug. On the downside, it is pricey for both the maker and the K-cups. Having one of these is more about convenience than savings, but if you consider how much you spend on trips to Starbucks and McDonald's for coffee, then it tends to balance out pretty well. That and it'll make your co-workers mighty envious.