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Avoid Clogging Your Machine...Look At The K-Cups!
on May 26, 2011
I read a number of these reviews. The horror stories about these machines working and then ceasing to work were more than enough for me to steer clear. When the office I work at bought one of these machines, I figured that this would be my chance to find out just how well this machine worked without having any personal finances in play. Let's face it, these machines are an investment. This machine was so much fun to use, just about everyone in the office jumped on board and bought some version of the K-Cup system. I was more interested in this particular model. So, I watched and waited.
Pretty soon, just like other users, the office Cuisinart ran into problems. A K-Cup would be put in the machine, the Brew button would be pressed, the machine would make sounds as if it was trying to brew, some liquid may start dripping into the cup below, but then nothing. This same problem happened to one of the co-workers who had bought this Cuisinart model for their home. The manual was referred to, troubleshooting ensued, tinkering occurred, but nothing seemed to work. One of the home Cuisinarts ended up going back to the store to be exchanged. An inquisitive co-worker at the office, however, took a straightened paper clip and started poking around. After a number of "pokes" with the paper clip in the part of the machine that is sharp and hollow that pokes into the K-Cup, the office Cuisinart was back in working order. The co-worker who had replaced their machine at home, again, ran into the same problem. The Cuisinart stopped working. Using a paper clip to clear the same part, the home machine was returned to working order.
*** I WOULD SUGGEST THAT YOU LOOK AT THE K-CUPS THEMSELVES ***
While this may not apply to everyone who is running into problems with this Cuisinart model, this may help some of you, thanks to that same paper clip wielding co-worker. And if anything, it may help if you end up purchasing this machine by avoiding one of the problems that may be plaguing others. In my case, the K-Cups come from a lower elevation than where I reside, so there is a LOT of pressure in the K-Cups. Prior to putting the K-Cup in the machine, we poke the cover of the K-Cup. I favor right in the middle where the Cuisinart machine will eventually poke the K-Cup to reduce the chance of grounds escaping through another hole under forced pressure and mucking up your expensive machine. Make sure to gently press the lid/foil of the K-Cup down to force out the excessive air. Then you use the machine just as you regularly would. Since coming across this realization and releasing the pressure in the K-Cups, the office Cuisinart machine and the various co-workers with their home Cuisinart machines have reported no more issues. Including myself. I bought one of these machines after running this field test of almost five months. I figure if I try and keep any K-Cups contents from being forced into the machine through the entry needle (the sharp hollow point) in the first place, hopefully, I won't have clogging problems down the line. This may also keep random grounds from ending up in your cup. I'm not sure about the inner workings of this particular machine, so who knows how far interloping K-Cup contents can travel in this machine and what problems they or eventual build-up can actually lead to, but at least for me...so far, so good!
I'm not a coffee drinker at all. But this machine comes in very handy for all the coffee drinkers who visit. I don't have to try to figure out how much to brew, remember who likes what, wait for the coffee to finish, or be stuck with a leftover pot of coffee. You select the size. There is a huge variety of flavors. It is quick. But, it is not cheap. That would be the detractor so far for the K-Cup system as a whole. Also, if you are a Hot Chocolate fan, you probably do not want to add more than 8 ounces of water. I would suspect that Hot Cider is the same. I'm not sure if this is a fad and will eventually go the way of the 8-Track tape, but at least for me...it works and works well for just what I need.
- Update: The first Cuisinart (purchased for the office) has been in-use five days a week, multiple times during the day, and going strong since December 2010. It hasn't been descaled (but probably should be) during that period, but it has been getting both regular and filtered water, so that may be pretty helpful. My personal Cuisinart (which I purchased five months after the office one) is also doing quite well. It doesn't get used as much, but again...*knock on wood*...no problems. I really do believe if you avoid clogging your machine from the start, you have much better luck in the long run.