The Bunn MCU Multi-Use Brewer took a huge step forward in the single serve coffee world. It gives you so many options that it's hard not to like. Let's start with a little history. Up until the end of 2012, we had a clearly divided playing field when it came to one cup coffee. We had to choose either kcups or pods. Keurig's patents prevented anyone from producing a brewer that would do both.
That sharp distinction is now a thing of the past and the Bunn MCU brewer is the first true "multi-use" option on the market. The brewer comes standard with four drawers: one designed for kcups, one for pods, one for ground coffee, and one for hot water. We'll delve into more specifics later. Here are the vital statistics on this brewer.
Price — $159.99 Retail
If you read our other brewer reviews, you'll see that we're pretty hard to please at One Cup Coffee Source. This brewer, however, was a big hit here. Let's start with the positives.
First, this coffee maker brews at 200 degrees. One of the chief complaints we have with the Keurig brewers is that up until quite recently the maximum brewing temperature of a Keurig machine was 192 degrees. The Keurig Vue took a significant step forward by increasing this temperature to 197 degrees (and then the new Keurig 2.0 machines inexplicable reverted back to 192 degrees). The optimal temperature for brewing coffee is around 200 degrees and the Bunn line of brewers is one of the few that hits the nail on the head. The result is better coffee extraction and richer flavor.
This coffee maker also maintains the pulse brewing function available in Bunn's earlier brewers. The pulse function brews in short pulses giving extra time for the water to come in contact with the coffee. The end result is a richer cup of coffee (or tea). You do have the option to use the normal setting (without the pulses); however, we find that unless we're just looking for hot water, we use the pulse brew almost exclusively.
The greatest positive was the option to use pods, kcups, or ground coffee. We were delighted that this machine does all of these well. The pods brew identically to those in the earlier Bunn machines (in a word, excellent). Kcups also brewed exceptionally well. While the difference is slight, the Bunn MCU produces slightly richer coffee than the Keurig machines. Finally, the ground coffee drawer is a significant step up from the ground coffee attachment on Keurig brewers.
OK, there has to be negatives, right? The chief one is the size of the kcup attachment. In order to accommodate the kcup, the kcup drawer doesn't leave a lot of room for your cup. With the drip tray removed, there is a 6 inch clearance between where the mug sits and the bottom of the kcup drawer. If you have a large mug, this is a potential negative. Secondly, the kcup attachment sputters a bit while brewing, so you want to make sure there's not much space between your mug and the kcup drawer. Otherwise, you'll end up with some coffee on your counter.
Bunn's brewers are solidly built. You should have no concerns on this front. The quality is top notch.
Bunn's customer service is among the best. They will ensure any problems that come up are quickly taken care of.