Single-cup coffee makers may be the rage, but even some fans are uncomfortable with the cost and packaging waste that come with the disposable coffee pods (or K-Cups, in the parlance of Keurig). So when we heard of the new KM9000 Cup-on-Request from Krups, touted as a revolution in “the single-serve coffee experience,” the Home team fired up a test model.
A bit to our surprise, the KM9000 Cup-on-Request fell somewhere between the Keurig concept and a traditional coffee maker. The machine has an internal removable steel carafe that can brew up to 12 cups of coffee like a traditional machine — no brewing by the cup. The pull-out plastic filter lets you add as much or as little grounds as you'd like, and after they have brewed, you can compost the leftover grounds and filter. What's different is how the coffee is served: Press a button, and it's automatically poured through a spout, a bit like a water dispenser on a refrigerator.
The machine ($199.99) is handsome, but the biggest advantage was how the internal steel carafe and heating system seemed to keep coffee hot for longer than a traditional coffee maker could. The machine allows you keep coffee heated up to four hours, and it has a countdown timer that lets you know how long a brew has been sitting. Though coffee lovers liked the flavor of a fresh batch, resting coffee not surprisingly still smelled and tasted burned as the minutes ticked by.
Bottom line: Cup-on-Request is more like a traditional coffee maker than a Keurig, which is a plus or a minus, depending on one's point of view.
Look for more product reviews, consumer buying guides and chef's kitchen profiles as the Home team embarks on “Mission: Kitchen,” a series running for the rest of the year.
— Lisa Boone
Photo credit: Krups