It was with mixed feelings that the Tea Examiner accepted the Keurig K65 Special Edition Brewer for review. The idea of brewing tea in seconds with a stream of hot water seemed completely wrong. After all, the ideal way of steeping tea is in a vessel large enough to allow full leaf tea to perform the angony of the leaves, the beautiful dance of the tea leaves unfolding as they steep and releasing their flavors and color into the water. Could tea made this way possibly taste good?
The answer to that is a firm yes.
The brewer itself is quite simple. The sleek black and silver machine fits easily on a counter and takes up no more space than an ordinary coffee brewer. On the left side is a clear removable water reservoir. On top on the right is a LCD control center with a power button above it and a menu button below it. There are also three buttons for selecting the amount of water desired for that serving.
The water reservoir is a nice feature. Since it is removable, it is easy to move it to another spot to refill it. This a big help if you are using water from one of those filters placed on a faucet. It also allows you to move it to a more convenient location for pouring bottled water into the reservoir. You never need to wonder if you need water because the LCD control center lights up with the words “ADD WATER” when you do.
The K65, and it is assumed other Keurig brewers, should be used only with filtered or spring water. In addition, however, the K65 can be upgraded with a water filter kit that helps keep down the mineral deposits.
The K65 can be left on all the time if you choose, but if you choose not to, the brewer is heated and ready to brew within one to four minutes after switching on. The display on the control center screen says “READY TO BREW” when the water is hot enough. It can also be set to turn on and off at specific times using the menu button.
The menu button also helps you select the right brewing temperature in a range of 187 degrees to 192 degrees Fahrenheit. This is an important feature for making green or white teas and some oolongs that should be brewed at lower temperatures than black tea.
The temperature range was a concern at first. It seemed too hot for some teas and not hot enough for others. However, after brewing both green and black teas, the K65 actually proved to work well with each. Even though 192 degrees Fahrenheit seems too cool a temperature for black tea, the tea inside the cups has been processed into a very fine consistency, almost like espresso. This allows a better surface area for contact with the water. Though 187 degrees seems a bit too hot for green tea, the fact that the water runs through the tea in seconds rather than the tea standing in hot water keeps the bitter tannins in the green tea from being released.
Flavor can also be controlled by choosing the amount of water you wish to use in your cup. The selection is 5. 25 ounces, 7.25 ounces and 9.25 ounces. If more water is desired, you can add more by lifting the brewer lid on the K-cup pack assembly housing and closing it then and selecting a cup size.
The Keurig K65 can also be used to brew K-cups of coffee, hot chocolate, and iced beverages. It is advisable, however, to run clear water through the brewer when changing what is being brewed, say form coffee to tea. This cleans out any residue from the previous drink brewed. You can also use it without the K-cup to make hot water for cocoa or teabag tea.
So, bottom line, is the Keurig K65 a good way to brew tea? Yes, it is, particularly when you are in a hurry. Loose leaf steeping is preferred, of course, when time permits, but for someone who wants a good cup of tea fast, there is no better way to get one.
The K65 was tested with the three types of K-cup teas, hot chocolate, and coffee. It was tested without K-cups to make hot water for teabag tea, coffee made with a coffee cone and filter, instant hot cider and more. All results were positive.
Tea purists may sneer at the notion of the Keurig K65 Brewer. Regardless of that, however, it is a worthwhile way of brewing delicious tea quickly. The Tea Examiner now uses it five days a week before going to “work” babysitting her grandchildren. Loose leaf tea may be preferable, is better reserved for times when you do not have to dash out of the house in the early morning.
(The Tea Examiner's son-in-law also enjoys the coffee she brings him in the morning in his commuter mug.)
The Keurig K65 brewer was provided by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Keurig. This did not affect the outcome of the review. If a good review could not be given, the product would have been returned to the company.