There’s a new single-cup brewer in town… two of them, really. But you might not notice, ’cause Keurig slipped them into production without much fanfare.
The first is an updated Keurig ‘Elite’ B40… the entry-level single cup model. The new model adds a second, larger-volume brew button to its control panel. It’s a feature probably most welcome to tea-drinkers — and it’s especially welcome for iced tea fans — as a 9.25 ounce setting isn’t one I’d recommend for getting the most flavor out of a coffee K-Cup — even an Extra Bold selection.
And then there’s the update to Keurig’s ‘Platinum’ B70… It’s a tiny change — one that you wouldn’t notice to look at it — but you can’t help but notice in the cup. Keurig has tweaked the brewing system itself — specifically, the brewing needle that pierces the K-Cup. The change creates more turbulence within the K-Cup during brewing, which, in turn, extracts more flavor from the coffee. (Turbulence — along with dwell-time and temperature — is one of the critical factors for brewing coffee.)
The results? Pretty remarkable, really. I’ve been brewing coffee with one of the first production B70s daily for several weeks now, and it makes a decidedly bolder cup at all brew volumes. More, it makes a cup with more distinctive flavors, too. Green Mountain’s Extra Bold Espresso Blend now finally reveals its dry berry top note, the Extra Bold Kenyan AA offers distinctive wine and blackberry flavors, and the Extra Bold Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve is at once rich, and earthy and ever so slightly mossy.
That’s not to say that you have to brew an Extra Bold K-Cup to appreciate the upgrade. Whether your K-Cup of choice is a Signature Blend or a Partner Blend (PBS Blend is especially tasty with the brewing system upgrade) or even coffee from another roaster (I’m okay with that… really!) I think you can appreciate the results. And, if you’ve found yourself on the fence between brew sizes, the new brewing system may make that larger brew volume just the ticket for your tastes.
So how can you get one? Well… at the moment that’s a bit tricky. Green Mountain has the new B40 in stock now, and should have the B70 near the end of this month, though you can place an advance order today. Amazon is taking orders for the new B70 now, for delivery in October.
Psst… wanna know a secret?
So what if you should you see one in the wild, on a retailer’s shelf? How will you know if it’s a first or second-generation brewer? Chances are that you won’t find a first-generation brewer right now… I think the B70 is out of stock pretty much everywhere as it’s proved rather popular. If you do, however, here’s how you can identify the new B70… Take a look at the stainless steel cover for the drip tray. If its center cutout is a circle, then it’s the first generation B70. If it’s a star, it’s a second-generation model.
A Follow-up: This may or may not prove useful, as apparently some number of first-generation brewers got the new “star” drip tray, too. On the other hand the retail box for the new brewer now clearly reads that it’s got “new brewing technology”.