Krups. Keurig. Koffee … wait, that's Coffee.
In any case, these two companies, Krups and Keurig, have been engaged in a long battle for single-serve supremacy in the caffeinated beverage industry. With other competitors – less specialized manufacturers like Cuisinart or Kenmore, for instance – falling slowly by the wayside, these two continue to assert themselves as “the” in-house coffeehouse solution.
So who wins the title of the best coffee maker? After a highly caffeinated debate, the answer is (spoiler alert!):
What do you mean, a tie?! Why did I read that stinkin' paragraph?
Both Krups and Keurig serve slightly different needs, and we're also evaluating things such as the availability of Keurig and Krups coffee maker parts. Take a deep breath and read on. We're getting to it, I promise. Here's the lowdown:
The Company: Keurig is a Massachusetts-based company that opened in 1990. They've made a big splash with their custom “K-cups,” which are an incredibly simple way to brew a single cup of high-class java. Their parent company, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, offer over 200 different flavors of K-cup, including coffees, teas, cocoas, iced beverages, and specialty beverages such as juices or apple cider. They make brewers for commercial and home use, and have a dominating share of the coffee market.
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The Coffee: We tried the Green Mountain Breakfast Blend, one of their least expensive cups, and found it quite passable. Bold, not too thin or acidic, and it wasn't overpowering. We also tried one of their cappucino cups and found it somewhat lacking, though passable.
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The Company: Krups is a German company with a pedigree dating back to 1846, when they began manufacturing scales and balances. They manufacture and distribute coffee machines, food processors, beer brewing appliances, grills, juicers, and more. Krups uses “capsules” in place of K-cups, and while Keurig has a slight edge on variety, Krups wins pretty big on price. Some of the ritzier K-cups, despite being designed for home brew, come in at a price scarcely lower than a Starbucks. Capsules, on the other hand, are quite reasonably priced.
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The Coffee: We tried Nescafe Dolce Gusto Cappucino, because it was by far the easiest thing to find, and it was excellent. It wasn't a plain cup of coffee, but it was very good at what it was.
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We did some poking around for things like reliability and availability of spare parts. In this department, the edge has to go to Krups. Their highly prized line of Dolce Gusto machines have a venerable history of reliability, as do their older machines, many of which are still in service. Furthermore, Krups coffee maker parts were easy to find, and on the whole, not quite as expensive.
If you're a habitual coffee drinker who wants your morning cup o' Joe, I think I'd recommend the Keurig, provided the price tag doesn't hurt too much. If you're into cappucino and espresso, I highly recommend the Krups product line, because even though K-cups makes those things, Krups wins on taste and authenticity.