The Keurig Kold: You may simply purchase a mini-fridge as an alternative
As I took Keurig’s Kold machine out of its field, the primary thought that ran by way of my head was, “Man, Alton Brown would hate this.” You see, the Good Eats and Chopped host has a vendetta towards single-use kitchen devices: that’s, merchandise designed to do one factor and one factor alone. And it is often a objective that would simply be replicated by one other doodad already dwelling in your kitchen. Within the case of the Kold, a tool that dispenses single servings of chilly drinks on the contact of a button, that doodad can be your fridge.
That preliminary impression was impressed by the sheer measurement of the Kold. I whipped out my measuring tape and located that its depth is a somewhat substantial 19.25 inches — not counting the additional two inches they ask you to go away behind the system so the vents within the again can flow into. That is over 21 inches of counter actual property this system is asking for in depth alone. Now, the kitchen counters in my modest Brooklyn condo are 23 inches deep. However, the Kold can also be a foot throughout and virtually 15 inches tall. Bearing in mind that each area and retailers in my kitchen are at a premium, I made a decision to arrange the Kold on my eating desk as an alternative.
Whether or not you will have a luxuriously sized suburban kitchen otherwise you’re making an attempt to cram this setup right into a studio condominium, you will need to rigorously think about your placement of the Kold: Wherever you set it, it is going to be dwelling there some time. This is not simply due to the dimensions and weight (topping 23 kilos); plugging it in initiates a compulsory cooling cycle, which makes a sound like a small jet aircraft and takes about two hours to finish. The noise is not that dangerous, however when you by chance unplug it or expertise a short lived blackout, you will not be making any drinks till it finishes.
As soon as the cooling cycle is full, getting began is straightforward sufficient. You fill the water tank, identical to another Keurig, after which “prime” it by operating a cycle with no pod. Nothing concerning the setup was notably arduous. Certainly, Keurig prides itself on ease of use.
With the Kold all able to go, it was time to start out making drinks. However I wasn’t too massive on the thought of downing glass after glass of sugary, carbonated drinks on their lonesome in my condo (and neither was my waistline). Keurig says this factor can be good for individuals who wish to entertain, so I gathered some buddies and set about entertaining the heck out of them.
In entrance of a gaggle of 10 individuals I inserted a pod of cane sugar cola from Purple Barn, Keurig’s home model. After checking to ensure I put the pod in appropriately and eliminated the little foil “freshness seal” on the underside, I lowered the lid and pressed the massive, pulsing button. The group waited with bated breath. And waited… and waited. Getting ready “recent” soda was not a quick course of by any means.
The delay and the sounds could be unnerving, however they’re because of the variety of operations happening internally to supply a chilly, carbonated drink. Water have to be transferred from the aspect tank, and the carbon dioxide is channeled out of the carbonation beads saved inside the pod. The 2 are mixed by churning them with a propeller. The newly-carbonated water is then despatched to the chiller, which is lined with copper and able to draining off sufficient warmth to deliver the temperature down to only above freezing. After about ninety seconds the Kold spat out the carbonated water, filling half the glass in a comparatively regular stream earlier than it additionally plopped a bunch of syrup into the drink. We now had a glass of “recent” cola, and I tentatively took a sip.
It tasted good. Candy, however not overpowering. And it was suitably chilly. However… it additionally appeared to be missing a little bit of punch. After letting others within the room have a style, the consensus was that the drink was a bit flat.
The instruction guide, the packing containers that the pods got here in and the pods themselves all include one very specific warning: “Don’t eat or deal with beads.” Regardless of these very clear directions, each these have been utterly ignored inside 5 minutes in a room crammed with (principally) sober thirty-somethings. Fortuitously, representatives from Keurig have assured me that the beads are non-poisonous. They’re manufactured from a extremely absorbent ceramic that’s initially crammed with carbon dioxide however, because the water is added within the drink-making course of, the beads launch the CO2 and take up H2O as an alternative. They do get a bit scorching within the course of. However, in the long run they’re completely protected — Keurig is even making an attempt to get the beads licensed for composting.
Subsequent we ready a blind style check of Dr. Pepper, evaluating a Keurig pattern to the bottled selection in addition to a big cup of fountain Dr. Pepper from the native Subway franchisee. I put the Dr. Pepper pod into the Kold, hit the button and waited two minutes solely to have the machine spit out a glass of chilly, tasty… seltzer water. Seems I forgot to take the freshness seal off the pod, an additional step that you do not have to fret about with Okay-Cups. I attempted operating it via once more, however this time we ended up with simply nonetheless water, the carbonation having been used up and the syrup nonetheless trapped inside. The wasted pod was an enormous disappointment. Even worse? I once more forgot concerning the seal afterward, squandering yet one more pod. I think that I’m not the one one that will make this error, making the freshness seal an enormous mar on what’s in any other case a consumer-pleasant expertise.
So, how did all three Dr. Peppers style? Pattern #1 was the sweetest, #2 was considerably flat and #three was truly a bit harsh. The resounding winner, with eight out of 10 votes, was #1: the bottled Dr. Pepper. After the sooner incident with the Purple Barn cola everybody assumed #2 was the Keurig Dr. Pepper, nevertheless it turned out to be the Subway selection. That left #three because the Keurig pattern — not as candy, however with a robust kick of carbonation that two of our voters most popular.
One good friend introduced a SodaStream so we might pit the 2 machines in a head-to-head competitors. The SodaStream had the benefit when it comes to its smaller measurement, and the truth that you may use any syrup you needed to make drinks. Our comparability shortly hit a snag once we found the CO2 canister within the SodaStream was empty.
The truth is, it is the method of getting to vary CO2 canisters for SodaStream machines that led to the creation of the Kuerig Kold within the first place. When present Keurig clients have been surveyed about what they appreciated about their espresso makers and what the corporate might do higher, many requested if Keurig had plans to do chilly drinks as nicely. Apparently lots of people who personal Keurig machines even have a SodaStream, they usually weren’t notably fond of getting to take the CO2 cartridge out and both shopping for or exchanging for a brand new one. They hate the method a lot that they’d relatively pay $5 for a field of 4 soda pods as an alternative.
It might sound loopy, however that is primarily the enterprise mannequin that Keurig’s espresso makers have been working on for nearly 20 years. The unique Okay-Cup machine might have been created to unravel the issue of stale pots of espresso on the workplace, however loads of individuals have willingly spent the additional cash to take pleasure in that ease of use at residence. However, whereas loads of individuals want the increase that espresso provides them each morning, soda is not essentially a necessity. It is a sugary deal with — one which loads of individuals have been turning away from in favor of more healthy choices. The Keurig could make non-carbonated drinks as nicely, but when all you need is one thing chilly you may discover a mini-fridge a greater funding.
The Keurig Kold is just a primary try at such a tool, and the corporate has huge, huge plans for future iterations. Keurig would love to scale back the footprint of the machine, simply as its espresso makers have shrunk through the years. There’s the difficulty of creating the pods a bit of extra environmentally pleasant, as a result of proper now the quantity of waste produced is astonishing. Most formidable of all is that Keurig needs customers to have the ability to customise their drinks: not simply the flavour, but in addition the extent of sugar and carbonation. A machine that would actually produce any sort of smooth drink you needed may truly be one thing value having in your kitchen.
Proper now, the Kold is a bit restricted. After my associates declared it “a toy for wealthy douchebags,” they proceeded to drink the remainder of the bottled Dr. Pepper, together with a lot of the beer in my fridge. In the meantime, the Kold nonetheless sits on my desk, its giant button glowing like an indignant eye of Sauron. It beckons me to pop one other pod in and luxuriate in some sugary goodness. I’d simply give in. One glass of root beer cannot harm, proper?