My Review of the Keurig B60 Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup Coffee Machine
I love coffee. I mean, I really really LOVE coffee. I’ve been known to take my own coffee with me when I travel and even (cheekily) when I go to a dinner-party; it’s that important to me. In the past I’ve used percolators, drip machines, combination espresso and cappuccino makers and most recently, the humble french press. However, I’ve frequently been tempted by the single-cup machines I’ve seen in friends’ houses and decided to take a closer look at what’s available. As I said, coffee’s important to me, so I took some time to really get into the detail and find the best single-cup home coffee maker on the market today. My extensive research finally led me to the Keurig B60 Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System.
Single-cup coffee makers have several big advantages, the first one being that you get a perfect, consistent cup of coffee every time from the pre-measured pods. Secondly, with other types of coffee maker you have to make a pot of coffee which sits on the hotplate for hours, gradually becoming more bitter. Single-cup machines brew a fresh cup each time so each cup throughout the day tastes the same. Single-cup coffee makers are also mess-free, with no used coffee grounds to deal with. And lastly, there’s a huge variety of pods to choose from, so it’s easy to experiment and find the perfect blend for you.
What to look for in a single-cup coffee maker
Having decided on a single-cup machine, I soon realized that there are some important things to keep in mind when choosing a brand and model. These are:
- The power of the heating element
- The size of the water reservoir
- The choice of coffee pods
- The size of cups or mugs than can be used
- The ease of cleaning
Buying the first coffee maker you see that looks good, or choosing on price alone, can mean you end up with one that doesn’t give you enough options or which simply makes a not-so-good cup of coffee. And if your morning coffee means as much to you as mine does to me, that could be a real problem! Stick with me as I go through each of these points as it relates to the Keurig B60 Special Edition.
Turn up the heat
The power of the heating element determines how quickly the water heats up and this is especially important for a coffee maker that makes one cup at a time. If it takes too long, your dinner guests could be waiting a long time for their coffee! The Special Edition has a 1500 watt element and each time the water reservoir is filled, the first cup takes less than a minute and each following cup takes just 15 seconds to heat.
What about water?
A small reservoir needs re-filling often and in turn increases the time taken to brew a fresh cup. The Keurig B60 comes with a 48 ounce reservoir which makes up to 8 cups of coffee between each refill. The water reservoir is removable, so you can take it to the tap or fill it in place from a jug. No need to carry a heavy reservoir across the kitchen. Note it makes up to 8 cups, because this coffee maker has the option of 3 cup sizes (more on this below).
There’s also an optional XL water reservoir for this model, with a 73 oz capacity which makes up to 12 cups before refilling. Great if you entertain a lot or if there are several coffee-drinkers in the family. It’s not too expensive either at around $25.
Choices, choices …
Single-cup coffee makers use “pods” of pre-measured coffee containing the perfect amount of ground coffee to brew correctly. The pods are sealed so they stay fresh and when you want to make a cup, you simply drop the pod into the holder on the machine. Closing the holder punctures the pod, then you touch a button to start the brewing process and the water is heated to the correct temperature and pumped through the pod into your mug. Cleaning up is simply a matter of opening the holder, removing the used pod and throwing it away – no messy grounds to deal with!
When you’re choosing a single-cup coffee maker, it’s important that there’s a good choice of pods to fit it so you’re not limited in variety and can find the right blend for you. Keurig have their own pods, called K-cups®, which fit all their single-cup machines. There are hundreds of different K-cup® brands and strengths available in blends such as Light, Medium, Dark, Extra Bold, Flavored, Decaffeinated, Half-Caffeinated, Fair Trade, Organic and Kona from some of the best Arabica coffee in the world. Brands include Green Mountain Coffee, Coffee People, Gloria Jean’s, Timothy’s and Diedrich. The range of gourmet coffees mean you can make a coffee-house quality cup of coffee for just a fraction of the cost – and you get the convenience of making it at any time.
The Keurig brewing system also offers tea and hot cocoa in K-cups. Teas are available from Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings, Gloria Jean’s Teas, Timothy’s Teas and Twining’s. Keurig brewed hot cocoa is available in K-cups from Green Mountain Coffee and Timothy’s and is also available in specially developed packets from Ghirardelli.
Size Does Matter!
The serving size that your machine can brew matters in two ways: first, if you want to fill a travel mug, it’s important that there’s enough room under the spout for it to fit. The Keurig B60 has a removable drip tray and when you lift it out, there’s plenty of room for a 10 oz travel mug.
The other consideration is that larger brew sizes don’t provide as strong a cup of coffee as the smaller ones – because more water is being pumped through the same amount of coffee. If you’re looking for a stronger, more intense cup of coffee, Kuerig give you the option of smaller brewing sizes (6 oz or 8 oz) for more potency.
The options of brand, strength and size give you an almost unlimited range of choices so you’re sure to find a combination that’s perfect for you.
Cleaning a coffeemaker is never exactly fun, but some types and brands make it a lot easier than others. As I mentioned before, using coffee pods (in this case, K-cups) means you never have to deal with messy grounds – you just take the used K-cup from the machine and throw it away. It also means you don’t have to grind your own coffee either, so you don’t have a grinder to clean or spilt ground coffee to clean up.
The removable drip tray is another plus when it comes to cleaning up, as is the removable water reservoir. There’s also a descaling indicator to remind you when it’s time to descale (every 3 – 6 months, depending on how much you use your coffee maker.)
Looks Aren’t Everything, But …
The Keurig B60 Special Edition has a modern, classy look with its chrome accents and blue back-lit LED display. It would fit well into all styles of kitchen and looks especially good at night.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you didn’t have to wait for that first cup of coffee in the morning? The Keurig Special Edition is programmable, so you can set it to switch on so it’s warmed up and ready to go when you get up. It’s perfectly safe to leave on all day, or you can program it to turn off automatically after a period of time.
The B60 can also be used to produce hot water for making cocoa from a packet, or for use in cooking or making soups, etc – it’s much faster than a kettle because you can heat as little as 6 oz.
Not everyone likes their coffee THAT hot, so you can turn the water temperature down by 5 degrees from the normal 192° if you prefer a cooler cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay?
The list price of the B60 Special Edition is $139.95 on the Keurig website but you really shouldn’t be paying more than about $125 for this coffee maker. The cheapest I’ve seen it is on Amazon who consistently sell the B60 for under $120.
The K-cups aren’t that easy to find in the stores and they tend to be more expensive bought that way (I’ve read that Bed Bath and Beyond sell 18 K-cups for $10, which is ridiculous!) Amazon to the rescue again – they have a great variety of K-cups and sell them in boxes of 50 for around $20. That means a cup of gourmet coffee for just over 50 cents a cup, which sounds good to me.
- Single-cup Coffee Maker size 10 x 13.2 x 13 inches
- Quick Start Manual
- Product Manual
- 18 K-Cup variety pack
Is There a Warranty?
Yes, the Keurig B60 Special Edition comes with a 1 year limited warranty in the United States and Canada. The main limitation is that it’s covered for normal home use only.
What Accessories Can You Get?
As well as the XL water reservoir mentioned above, you can also buy a water filter to put in the Keurig Brewer which will give your tea, coffee or cocoa an even better taste. The starter pack, that includes 2 filter cartridges, is less than $20.
The other most popular accessory is a re-usable filter (called My K-cup) that lets you use your own ground coffee in the machine instead of a K-cup. It’s also less than $20 but a few people have reported that water can leak out of it if you don’t grind your coffee to exactly the right degree of “fineness” (is that a word?) With such a huge choice of K-cups I personally wouldn’t bother with the filter, but it’s available if you want it.
For even more variety, the Perfect Pod Holster lets you use pods from other manufacturers in your Keurig system.
Other accessories are mainly ways of storing K-cups – either individually in carousels (fun for guests to choose from) or in their boxes. There’s also an Iced Beverage Tumbler which looks fun, although it’s out of stock at the moment so I haven’t been able to try one.
What Do Other People Think?
At the time of writing, there are 789 reviews of the Keurig Special Edition on Amazon. 512 of those (that’s 66% or two-thirds) give it 5 stars and 120 give it 4 stars. The average comment over all reviewers is 4 stars.
Here are some of the comments to date:
“Not only did it pass the hype test, it did so with flying colors.”
“I’ve bought so many coffee makers over the years and I finally found a keeper.”
“Best. Coffeemaker. Period.”
“This coffee maker makes the best coffee no matter which K-cup you choose.”
“I’m SO INCREDIBLY happy about this purchase. It has met, and exceeded my expectations.”
This is the review that over 1200 people voted as Most Helpful:
“If you’re reading this review, you’re most likely doing research and trying to decide between the Keurig line (B40,B50,B60), the Tassimo, or the Senseo. Out of those three, the Keurig is the best looking, the most durable, has the best heating and pumping mechanism, and has the largest variety of coffees and teas available. The Tassimo’s versatility is tempting, but variety of coffees is lacking, the machine is a first-run model that does not feel as quality as the Keurig (I could barely find a piece of metal in the entire thing), and it cannot be set to warm itself up like the Keurig. The Senseo …”
It seems that a batch of B60s produced at the end of 2009 were DOA (Dead on Arrival) but everyone reports that Keurig Customer Service is excellent and replacements were sent out quickly. People also report that the re-usable filter (the one you use for your own ground coffee) isn’t as easy to use as the K-cups.
Where Can You Buy the Keurig B60 Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System?
You can buy this Keurig single-cup coffee maker from Amazon. At the moment they include free shipping and from what I can tell when comparing prices with other online merchants, Amazon do currently have the best deal especially with the free shipping option. Click here to view on Amazon.
Where Can You Read More Reviews for the Keurig Special Edition Coffee Maker?