Review: Keurig Vue V700 Brewing System vs. Keurig B70 Platinum Single-Cup Brewer
We recently started reviewing Keurig Vue-Cups and decided to take a step back and compare the new Keurig Vue V700 to one of our favorite K-Cup brewers which we've been using for years, the Keurig B70 Platinum. We thought it would be fun to do an informative comparison between the Keurig Brewers so that new users could get an idea of the major differences between both machines as well as some of our likes/dislikes between the two. We'll start things off with the Keurig B70 Platinum and follow-up with the Keurig Vue V700. Our apologies for the length of this article... you may want to grab a few cups of single serve coffee before reading this monster-sized "Mega Review" :-)
Keurig B70 Platinum K-Cup Brewer
- Durability is outstanding. We've had ours for many years and it's still working perfectly. Never had any problems with it.
- Programmable features (i.e. Auto-on/off, etc)
- Blue LED lighting under water tank lights-up the ENTIRE water tank, plus we love the color itself.
- Quick coffee extraction times.
- Quiet-Brew technology greatly improves noise reduction during brewing vs. older brewer models.
- Brew-Over-Ice 3oz Setting *
- Depending on which store you go to & which time of year, you can sometimes get this brewer as cheap as $120 instead of the usual $180 price tag. Some stores even have discount coupons that allow you to save even more.
- Power switch on back of unit, rocker-style switch = if you didn't press hard enough, brewer wouldn't power-on.
- Sometimes sluggish boiler warm-up times, seems to vary on occasion.
- Water tank shape wasn't always easy to fit under water-cooler/in-fridge water dispenser during refills.
- Largest setting for travel mugs was 12oz while most larger travel mugs can reach up to 18oz or more.
- Could not make milk-based drinks like lattes or cappuccinos.
- Did not support smaller-sized cups since there was no way to raise drip tray any higher.
- No easy way to separate coffee grinds from plastic K-Cup for recycling.
* Back when Green Mountain & Celestial Seasonings first introduced their Brew-Over Ice K-Cups, they recommended only using 3oz of water, so this setting on the B70 was ideal. In later years, the Brew-Over-Ice K-Cups were reformulated to accept 6oz & 8oz settings, so that effectively made the 3oz setting on the B70 completely useless. We rarely, if ever, use that setting anymore.
Keurig Vue V700 Vue-Cup Brewer
- Durability? This brewer was just released, so this remains to be seen in coming months/years ahead.
- Larger water reservoir (74oz vs. 60oz)
- Flip-up hinge on water reservoir allows easier refill options (can refill without removing water tank on machine, etc.)
- Slightly quicker boiler warm-up time (10 seconds quicker on average than B70)
- Full-color touchscreen allows for easier, more intuitive method of programming settings (plus let's face it... touchscreens are just cool to have on anything)
- Nicer design for Vue-Cup packaging boxes*
- Choice between analog & digital clock display (we like the retro-style look of the analog clock)
- Adjustable drip-tray now includes a stand which can be raised higher to support smaller-sized cups.
- Now supports milk-based Café style drinks (however, see dislikes for details on this)
- Vue-Cups now have removable coffee filters that allow the grinds & plastic cup to be recycled/composted separately.
- Piano black finish on top of brewer.
- Power button is now a push-style button and located on top of brewer, no need to fumble around back of brewer looking for power switches anymore.
- Water temperature is now programmable all the way to 197 degrees.
- "Strong" brew strength setting actually works! We brewed several light-roast Vue-Cups using this setting and were pleasantly surprised by the results. Yay for pulse brewing!
- Power cord storage allows for cleaner look.
- Brewer is not as deep as B70 (11.8" vs 13.8"), this allows for slightly better placement on countertops which have limited space.
- Despite pulse brewing, brewer isn't as loud as we thought it would be. Keurig has managed to keep noise levels at an acceptable level.
- $250 price tag... yeah, ouch... once you get over the initial price shock, you soon realize that touchscreens don't exactly come cheap, so it kind of all makes sense.
- You get less Vue-Cups in most boxes, largest size boxes available are 16-packs. Yes, this is somewhat annoying, but when you realize Vue-Cups are larger than K-Cups and contain almost twice as much coffee/tea/powder, then it starts making sense. The redesign of the packaging probably also cost them more to manufacture.
- White LED lighting under water tank does not light-up entire tank & is a visual torment (you don't know how very tempted we are to take a blue Sharpie to those LEDs if we thought we wouldn't screw things up)
- Café style drinks don't froth-up enough, no way to adjust level of air infusion to create better results & overall froth is very weak compared to competitors.
- Milk is powdered instead of liquid, this results in improper extraction as we've noticed large globs of powder which remained stuck in the Vue-Cup after brewing. It's also somewhat disconcerting to see a puff of powder fly out into your mug when the machine first starts brewing.
- The way you must now open up the brew chamber to insert a Vue-Cup has resulted in the handle being raised higher vs. a K-Cup brewer's handle. This has resulted in clearance issues on counters that have low overhanging cabinets & could severely limit countertop placement for some people.
- "Strong" setting enables pulse brewing, but this also results in longer wait times during brewing. Very minor gripe and one we're more than willing to live with after seeing the great results.
* A quick look under the Vue-Cup packaging boxes shows "Printed in Canada". Wait... WHAT?!? They can print the packaging in Canada but aren't selling the Vue-Cups or Vue Brewer in Canada yet? Hey Keurig... what the heck?!?
Well, as you can see above, we have a lot more likes for the Keurig Vue V700 than we do for the Keurig B70 Platinum but we've got just as many dislikes between the two. So which one comes out on top? We'd have to say that despite some of its disappointments, we actually prefer the Keurig Vue V700.
Our biggest gripe being the weak froth, we think that Keurig could eventually remedy this by creating different sized openings/tips on the brew head assembly. Since it's removable, it could easily be replaced by users and be made available for purchase (at a hopefully reasonable price) on Keurig's website. It would have been a lot easier/nicer if Keurig would have allowed for a programmable froth feature during brewing, but as Jagger famously sang, you can't always get what you want. We just hope Keurig tries real hard to get the fans what they need... better frothing.
You can find out more information about the Keurig Vue V700 Vue-Cup Brewer as well as the Keurig B70 Platinum K-Cup Brewer at the Keurig Brewers info page. The Keurig B70 Platinum is currently available in both USA & Canada but the Keurig Vue V700 is currently only available in USA at the time of this review.
For our Canadian Readers on Trying to Get a Vue Brewer:
Many Canadians were left scratching their heads when the initial press release noted that the Keurig Vue V700 & Vue-Cups would be sold in USA and Canada, yet retail release date came & went with only those in USA seeing the brewer & Vue-Cups hitting retail shelves. Where was the love for our friends up North? What really floored us was when we noticed that the packaging boxes for Vue-Cups was PRINTED IN CANADA. Seriously?!? In our humble opinion, if you can take the time & effort to have the boxes printed in Canada, by all rights, you should be SELLING the same items as well as the brewer in Canada.
We simply can't understand Keurig's reasoning for delaying the Canadian release (Poor Spock would lose his Vulcan mind trying to comprehend the logic behind this). E-mails to Keurig asking about a Canadian release date have resulted only in boilerplate "coming soon" responses so far.
As it stands, there IS a way for Canadians to get in on the Keurig Vue fun, but it's an admittedly inconvenient & costly one which requires that you have some VERY gracious & generous American friends or relatives. At this point in time, the only way Canadians can get a Vue Brewer & Vue-Cups is to either have said American friends or relatives ship them everything as a gift OR they can travel to their nearest Bed Bath & Beyond store in USA and buy everything there in-person.
Ah, but here's where things start getting expensive. Just to ship the brewer itself to Canada = $67 USD on average from the East Coast. Once Canada Customs get their hands on it? You pay about $41 CAD in duties & fees just to have them release the brewer to you. If Canadians wait until after June 1, 2012 they'll be allowed $800 in exemptions if they remain in USA for 48 hours or longer, but we have a feeling the cost of gas will offset any savings vs. having things shipped by mail. It all boils down to personal preference and how anxious you are to get your hands on things. We figured we'd at least point out the options which are presently available to Canadians so they can make their own decisions.
A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We purchased both brewers and coffees for the purposes of this review. Stay tuned as we'll have more reviews touching on topics such as "Brewing coffees with the Vue Brewer", "Brewing Café style drinks with the Vue Brewer" and "Brewing Teas/Hot Chocolate/Other Drinks with the Vue Brewer" where we describe all the new settings and how they impact the final cup for each of these drink categories.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at May 7, 2012 7:43 AM