I am an incorrigible coffee geek. I make espresso – Chris Thile
Being a geek isn’t a choice, it’s a calling. Whatever your passion in life is, the moment that you choose to embrace it with wholehearted determination and absolute joy is the moment that you cross over the threshold into geekdom.
Taking that step and becoming a geek won’t endear you to the masses, it won’t help you to climb the ladder to the dizzying heights of success and it almost certainly won’t enhance your social standing. It won’t make you more attractive, it won’t change you into an overnight sensation and it won’t help you to understand the fundamental building blocks of the universe.
But what it will do is exponentially increase the joy that you’ll find in the little things, it’ll make you happier than you’ve ever been and it’ll help you to become more comfortable in your own skin.
The geeks shall inherit the earth, and we can say that with confidence because, being coffee geeks, we absolutely know that it is one hundred percent true. One day, all of this will be ours, and when it is, we’ll sit back with a delicious hot cup of coffee and savor every second of it.
Coffee geekdom is driven by the urge to constantly seek the perfect cup of coffee, to forever chase the elusive idea that no matter how good your last cup of coffee was, there’s always a better one waiting just around the corner. It’s that never-ending pursuit of caffeine perfection that fuels the fire of our geekdom and keeps us focused.
In order to find that perfect cup of coffee, we need to find the perfect coffee maker, because perfect coffee is about so much more than relying on a coffee shop and the baristas art to provide it for you, it’s about ensuring that you can, if you so desire, make it for yourself at a moments notice.
And it was our relentless determination to find that machine that led us to cross paths with the Keurig Rivo, a coffee maker unlike any other.
Who Is Keurig?
Most people would sneer and claim that Keurig, being a company, is a faceless entity and isn’t so much a who, as a what. But they’d be wrong.
Keurig wouldn’t exist without the singular vision of one man, John Sylvan who’s all-encompassing goal to rid the world of bad office coffee not only led him to found Keurig but also made him our hero.
He was, and is, a man after our own hearts, who we could, and still do, believe in. And, truth be told, the single-serve coffee makers that made his brand famous all over the world are capable of producing an incredible cup of coffee too.
With around four hundred different varieties of K-Cup coffee available from around seventy different brands, Keurig coffee machines offer more variety than any other caffeine specialists in the world, which makes them a global coffee force to be reckoned with.
We honestly thought that Keurig had reached the limits of what it was possible to do with a single-serve coffee machine, but the Rivo has taken things a step further and smashed through the caffeine glass ceiling and proved that, with a little imagination and a lot of determination, anything is possible.
The Rivo has taken Keurig’s single-serve idea to the next level and transformed it into an espresso and cappuccino devotee’s dream, by implementing and using a system that will make both. And it does it using a K-Cup pod.
Okay, so maybe we’re exaggerating a little with that last incredibly bold statement, as even though the Rivo will make a cup of coffee using a standard K-Cup pod, if you want it to make the sort of outstanding espresso that it was engineered to create, you’ll need to use a specialist Rivo (K-Cup) pod and f you want it to make a cappuccino, you’re going to have to add milk.
But when you do add the milk, make sure you add it to the frothing jug, and then use the frother. Don’t try pouring it in the reservoir and expecting the machine to somehow turn it, and the pod into a cappuccino. Trust us, it doesn’t work. It’s a long story and the person at its center isn’t allowed to make coffee anymore.
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Making Froth And Working The Milk
Let’s talk about the frother for a moment, as we were completely enamored by it and how easy it was, and is, to use. After you’ve added the amount of milk that you want it to froth to the jug, you can choose one of three settings to achieve your desired result.
If you want the milk frothed enough to make a near-perfect cappuccino when you add it to your espresso, just push the cappuccino button. If you want to use it to make a latte, hit the latte button, and if you want it to transform milk into an ingredient that will elevate any drink that you add it to, then hit the Cold Froth button.
But if you do, don’t blame us when all you want to do is froth milk all day while thinking about all of the crazy drinks that you can add it to in order to make your life even better than the Rivo has already made it.
It’s Espresso Time
We thought that we were up to date with all of the revolutionary ideas that made front-page headlines in the coffee world, but somehow we missed the newsletter that featured the Rivo. Like all Keurig machines, it works using a single pod, that you simply slot into the top of the machine.
Then, once you’ve added water to the reservoir, choose the size of espresso that you want it to make, either short (which is a one and half ounce serving) or a Lungo (which doubles the size of the short), hit the brew button and the Rivo will do the rest. It’s quick too, and it’ll serve up one and a half ounces of espresso in just under a minute and doesn’t take a lot longer to double up and deliver the Lungo.
Even though it will only make espresso using the specialist Rivo pods that Keurig designed to be used with it, the Rivo can be used to make coffee the old-fashioned Keurig way with a K-Cup pod.
And if you’re in the mood, and feel like living a little dangerously (and who doesn’t sometimes?), there’s nothing to stop you from using the milk frother in conjunction with a standard K-Cup pod. Granted, it’s a little out there, but when you’re coffee geeks like us, you have to try every single option that a machine offers, and believe us, we did.
Usually, we’d launch into a lecture about how the only way to really enjoy coffee is in its absolutely purest form, and that’s as it’s served. But we were, and still are completely obsessed with the frother and trying to figure out the correct amount of milk to use to make the perfect cappuccino.
It’s one of those ridiculous endeavors that only another coffee geek would understand, but it’s one that’s occupied out every waking thought, and one of these days, we’ll get right.
The Rivo doesn’t just make great espresso and cappuccino (at least it will do when we figure out the whole milk thing) it also looks good. Following Keurig’s design aesthetic to the letter, it’s functional, simple to use, and will fit on any countertop, and win first prize in any kitchen beauty contest.
It looks good and it makes great coffee, what more could anyone want from an espresso machine?
It Isn’t All Good News
The Rivo is saddled with a major problem that probably means that it won’t, even though it deserves to, make the top of anyone’s must-have coffee machine list.
While it looks good, it’s simple to use and it makes absolutely incredible espresso, somehow it either quite catch on with the coffee-drinking public or fell out of favor behind the scenes at Keurig or with their engineers, as it’s been discontinued and they won’t be making any more of them.
Even though Keurig is fully committed to continuing to make the Rivo pods for the next three years, the only way that you’re going to be able to get said pods is from specialist coffee stores or directly from Keurig, which means that it’s going to be far more complicated to make an espresso with the Rivo than it should, or needs to be.
And then what do you do when these three years are up? Use it as a straight coffee maker? It seems a little pointless when the K-Mini will do that at a third of the price of the Rivo.
The rumor is that it was the design of the Rivo that proved to be its undoing, as the pod system that was created specifically for it was too expensive to maintain and somewhat untenable given how many machines were actually sold. Which is a shame, as it really is one of the best coffee makers that we’ve stumbled across in a long time.
The Coffee Saturated Conclusion
As we’ve already said, we’re more than a little besotted by the Rivo, but the news of its early and unfortunate demise at the hands of Keurig changes everything.
If it was still rolling off the production line we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as it’s as close to coffee perfection as you’re ever likely to get for the price that you’ll pay for it.
But as it stands, and as its fate has been sealed, and much as we love it and we’re sure that you’ll love it too, the only way that we can endorse this wonderful little coffee maker is by reminding you as long you’re okay within the fact that in thirty-six months, it will be completely obsolete and that’s something that you can live with in your coffee making life, then, by all means, do what we’re doing and live every single day like it’s your last coffee experience with your Rivo.
We know that we can live with that, but the question is, can you? Caveat emptor…