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Several months ago, I picked up a Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker. Meanwhile, my husband purchased a Keurig K-Express coffee maker. Not being a hot coffee drinker, I ignored it.
Then one day in the grocery store I saw Green Mountain brew over ice K-cups. Of course I had to try it which meant trying out his Keurig. Was it good?
So far I have gone through two boxes of these pods (Classic Black) and they make a strong, smooth cup of iced coffee, so yes, it was very good.
That got me thinking about which was better for brewing over ice, a dedicated machine or would any pour over coffee maker do? The Keurig in this case makes for a good comparison because like the Mr. Coffee, it brews one cup at at time.
One important thing to remember when brewing a really hot liquid over ice is the type of container you are brewing into (the one with the ice). Not every material can handle the shock of a sudden temperature change. Of course, we are dribbling that hot liquid over a lot of ice so it is probably not a huge concern, but worth keeping in mind. Nothing like cleaning up shattered glass to ruin your morning.
With the Mr. Coffee, a double walled tumbler is included and I recommend that you use that.
When I use the Keurig, I choose a metal mug since the tall Mr. Coffee tumbler doesn’t quite fit under the Keurig. Any metal or stainless steel travel mug will do the trick. As we will see, the Keurig brews much faster and the coffee doesn’t cool as rapidly, so we want to be careful with our choice of container.
What coffee to use?
You can use any coffee in either machine. The secret to successful iced coffee when using the pour over ice method is in the proportions of coffee to water. We want to brew an extra strong cup of coffee to account for dilution by the ice.
The Mr. Coffee comes with a scoop and tumbler than helps you measure out the correct proportions.
Likewise if you brew with a specially designed brew over ice k-cup, the proportions will also be taken care of.
As I write this, there are not a lot of K-cups specifically crafted for brew over ice, but I also tried Illy Intenso K Cups and it made a nice cup. Whichever pod you choose, just be sure to use the Strong brew setting on your Keurig.
How the Mr. Coffee Works:
Operation of the Mr. Coffee couldn’t be easier: add coffee to a filter basket, water to the reservoir, place a tumbler of ice under the spout and press a button.
How the Keurig K-Express Works:
The Keurig is also very easy to use, Just fill the reservoir with water, place a cup full of ice under the spout, add a K-cup and close the lid. Select 8 ounces and Strong as your brew type and your machine will start brewing.
I made a cup of iced coffee in each and here is how they stacked up against each other.
Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker Test Results
Observations: The coffee drips slowly at first, then steady stream, then back to dripping. The final coffee is cold and ready to drink.
Flavor: Varies depending on the coffee used.
Keurig K Express Test Results
Observations: The coffee flows out in a steady stream, faster than the Mr. Coffee as evidenced by the total time. It is worth noting that the total volume of the Mr. Coffee was 20 ounces (including about half of it as ice, so roughly 10-11 ounces of coffee liquid) while the Keurig brewed 8 ounces of liquid.
This was tepid and needed additional ice to cool it further. This did not seem to further dilute the flavor of the coffee.
Flavor: Depends on the coffee used, but the Green Mountain pods won out over anything I made in the Mr. Coffee as being smooth yet bold.
Which is better?
There is no right answer here as the answer depends on your situation. If you have multiple coffee drinkers in your household or like to try out lots of different coffees, then the Keurig is probably the better choice.
If you are on a budget, the Keurig does cost significantly more, plus buying K-cups is a little more expensive than buying coffee by the bag.
The Mr. Coffee does a better job of cooling the coffee slowly and more thoroughly and is affordable.
Also consider the size of your kitchen and storage space. If you don’t have room to collect a lot of specialized appliances then you should invest in one coffee maker that does multiple things such as the Ninja Dual Brew.
I know it sounds like a cop out to say that either one will brew you a great cup of coffee. For me, give me the Green Mountain Classic Black pods and I will choose the Keurig every time. Take that away, and I would go with the Mr. Coffee for yielding a perfectly chilled, perfectly strong cup of coffee.
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