In a one-click world, appliances that deliver a cup of coffee in thirty seconds are understandably popular. Add water, press button, and - presto - caffeination is yours. But what about the cost, and the potential waste? And whatever happened to grinding your own beans? More here on getting that perfect single cup - if you're willing to invest an extra minute.
Disclosure: I received the Capresso On-The-Go Coffee Maker and Cool Grind Blade Grinder as gifts from the brand. I am not being compensated in any other way by Capresso, nor will you find affiliate links in this post off of which I would profit. Capresso was unaware that they may be coming between me and my Keurig. As always, opinions are my own!
Ah, my Keurig. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You're compact, easy to clean, and you elevate my morning coffee from a mere pick-me-up to a beverage worth savoring. But like any relationship, ours isn't perfect. I find you a bit wasteful. I know that millions of people drink millions of cups of coffee on the go every day, but it doesn't make me feel any better about all the plastic we're using together. A cup a day, on occasion two...I've done the math and we're contributing 500 pieces of waste per year. Recyclable or not, it's starting to feel unnecessary, especially since I drink my coffee at home.
I've attempted to break up with my Keurig once before, hiding it away in favor of a traditional Moka pot (stove-top espresso maker). I lasted a good, but overly-caffeinated eight months until the proverbial siren of my kitchen was back on the countertop. I was hooked, but ready to break the chains again.
Enter the Capresso On-The-Go Coffee Maker. Now, truth be told, this glistening, compact appliance sat in its box untouched longer than it should have. I'd be almost through a box of K-Cups, promising myself this would be the last one. That was a good...dozen boxes ago. Anyway, this, along with the Cool Grind Blade Grinder, are finally up and running, and we all have a good chance of being in a long-term relationship. I'm just not sure if it's going to be monogamous, given my history with the Keurig. Here are the pros of the Capresso On-The-Go Coffee Maker:
-Compact, sleek design;
-Filter is easily removed and rinses clean with no visible staining;
-Brew time is only about twice as long as that for a comparably-sized cup brewed in a Keurig;
-Basket enables user to control not only type, but amount of grinds used.
-There's a bit of a learning curve in determining the timing and amount of water used. It took a few attempts to nail this down to get a perfect 8 oz. cup;
-Brewing "stream" is less streamlined than that of the Keurig.*
*NUTRITION TIP ALERT: If you're concerned with reducing the amount of sugar or other non-nutritive sweeteners in your coffee, consider your choice of creamer. As you reduce the amount of sweetener, INCREASE the amount of fat. Over the course of a year, I successfully utilized this method to wean myself from the use of non-nutritive sweeteners, sweetened coffee creamers, and finally, sugar in my coffee. So what's this got to do with the brewing stream? My secret weapon in this transition is a hand-held milk frother. This cheap little battery-powered device triples the volume of half and half, transforming a home-brewed cup into something a barista would be proud of. BUT, this frothing magic needs to happen in your coffee cup BEFORE the coffee is added. The Keurig trumps the Capresso on this point because the distance from stream to cup is shorter, and the stream itself is thinner and more forceful. All this results in undisturbed, frothed half and half when using the Keurig.
A note about the Capresso Cool Grind Blade Grinder: I broke the rule that dictates the same grinder shouldn't be used for both spices and coffee (for research's sake) and am happy to report that it works well in either capacity. And here's another NUTRITION TIP ALERT: adding freshly-ground spices to your coffee amps up the flavor and keeps things interesting - and contributes ZERO calories. Throw a cardamom pod, a piece of cinnamon bark, or star anise in with your coffee beans and grind it all together for an aromatic treat.
So what's the final verdict on the Capresso On-The-Go Coffee Maker? It's earned its place on my countertop, at least until I run out of whole coffee beans. Get yours here.
Enjoy your brew. Enjoy your life!