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Espresso maker or Keurig (bring your own K-cups)?

I know coffee is very important to guests, and we currently have a Mr Coffee and a DeLonghi espresso/cappuccino maker. The local grocery carries pre-ground local coffee (delicious), and some other ground coffee, but no beans or K-cups. (We’re on a small island in the Caribbean and the people that live there don’t waste their income on K-cups and Starbucks).

The espresso maker doesn’t get much use, and it is is bit difficult to maintain (we’ve found nails in the coffee grinder and people pour water into the grinder side, too). I’m thinking of replacing it with a Keurig, but telling people they have to bring their own K-cups since there are none on the island. I can also provide them the “JavaJig” (a re-usable K-cup), but that’s less convenient and they are still limited to the locally-available coffee.

This isn’t about cost (although I very rarely buy K-cups because they are really expensive to me). We’re a pretty expensive home, so I don’t want to come across as cheap, either. But I think people get really attached to their favorite coffee and might be happy to bring their own K-cups.

Thoughts?

I might bring my own K-cups, but would still expect the host to provide them (or have them readily available for purchase nearby) if the listing featured a Keurig coffeemaker.

Personally, I’d just ditch the espresso maker and stick with the Mr. Coffee machine.

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I was just in a home that was over $700 a night. They had a nondescript coffee maker, paper filters, permanent filter, sugar, and cheap supermarket coffee. No creamer, no artificial sweetners, no bean grinder though there was a coffee press. 75+ 5 star reviews. Sure I wish there had been a better selection/accomodation on that front but it doesn’t keep me from loving the place.

I’d probably stick with the coffee maker and local coffee. That’s what was supplied in my $700 a night house in Costa Rica along with some other starter amenities.

Can you get Amazon deliveries on your island? If so, order the K cups from them. Do you have a Walmart? You can have them shipped to the store for pick up. In Puerto Rico we even have a Sam’s club, not sure about the other islands. If you have a lot of European guests, they might prefer the Keurig.

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That’s interesting. I’ve always found that European guests prefer the cafetiere (I supply both a cafetiere and a Keurig) and that the Keurig is used mostly by American guests. Further proof that there’s no such thing as ‘normakl’ in the STR business :slight_smile:

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That is exactly my thought, too. Just provide good coffee and plenty of it. You might consider a French press and a Bialetti (Moka Pot) for some of the coffee snobs :slightly_smiling_face: They’re not expensive and don’t take up much space.

Most locally available coffee in the Caribbean should be local coffee?

I had a guest that wanted to be eco-friendly so I let him use my reusable plastic and metal mesh K-Cups, and he didn’t align them with the arrows, just put them in the Keurig any which way, and poked a bunch of holes in the mesh, ruining them. Not going to put any more of them in the B&B kitchen!

I provide Keurig pods at my listing for the sake of convenience. But I would never drink them myself. Keurig pods are gross.

If you don’t mind offering local ground coffee, that is so much better.

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No and no.
We provide our guests a half-pound of the local coffee as a starter (if they use it all, they buy more).

I don’t know, but St Lucia has a topography and climate a lot like Hawaii, and the local coffee is excellent.
Seems like the consensus is no Keurig if there are no cups available. I’m not going to supply K cups (they will be extremely expensive to stock and impossible to keep on hand given the lead time to ship them there).

Thanks!

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Have you considered getting a combo machine. That has a carafe for by the pot and keurig? Even if you can’t get K-cups some people will use the single serve filters to just brew one cup.

Walmart sells one called Keurig Duo. I have one by Cuisinart that is also good but a little more expensive.

If I’m going to do that, I’d just buy a Keurig in addition to the coffeemaker I have there already. I saw one of the combo units in Costco today, but it has a glass carafe. I’ve learned the hard way that the best choice for us is a coffeemaker with the stainless double-wall carafe. It’s too expensive to get the glass carafes and have to replace them (we pay 50% on duty on everything we bring into the island in addition to shipping costs)

These are reusable and work very well.


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Stick with a Mr. Coffee type maker, a cafetiere/French press, and local pre-ground coffee.

Ditch the espresso maker – IMHO espresso isn’t that ‘big’ these days.

Any “cups” are going to be too expensive to import, and not good for the environment; and re-useable cups will be the primary things stolen from your listing.

You could get a couple of basic directions printed up up: “water in here”, “coffee beans in here” for the espresso machine.
Bring-your-own K-Cups might not work so well.

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When I first put up my listing I thought a lot (too much probably) about the coffee situation and finally made the decision based on a combo of what-most-guests-will-want-or-expect and what-I-like-best-personally-or-think-is-okay-and-not-so-expensive-it-matters (this combo has served me well for all the other decisions I’ve made for my listings along the way). I ended up with 4 coffee making options. It may have cost a little more when I bought it all at the same time but, just like shoes, having more options lessens the wear and tear on each option and I haven’t had to replace any of them since opening.

I provide a really simple Mr. Coffee type machine because a lot of people either like them or are used to them from working in offices and stuff and it makes decent enough coffee and a lot at once with little effort. About 1/3 or more of my guests use it. There’s a small percentage who don’t clean it well but I’ve gotten good at it.

I provide a French Press and a lot of my guests express that they are really excited about it, so it has more than paid for itself. Nearly 1/2 of my guests choose to use it. It also does dual-duty for some of my tea drinkers (and I get a lot for some reason) so that’s a bonus. I bought pretty ones so they also look nice sitting out on open-shelving, so triple-duty technically. Again, not everyone cleans it well but I have gotten good at it.

I provide a stove-top espresso maker (aka Bialetti Moka but a different brand that is stainless instead of aluminum). This is how I prefer my coffee so provided it because I think it’s the best way to drink coffee ,) It doesn’t get a lot of use but the few guests who have used it have been over the moon that it’s there. And a lot of guests who haven’t used it have expressed how impressed they are that it’s there. Lots of kudos from this coffee maker and it won’t ever break and is good-looking and seems to give my listing that “this place is extra cool” factor that I enjoy.

I provide a pour-over coffee maker. It takes up hardly any space and cost $9 on Amazon and came with enough filters for maybe ever. It only makes one cup at a time but then coffee isn’t wasted if only one person wants it. I’m surprised by how often it gets used (about 1/4 of my guests) and I never have to re-wash it because it’s so easy to clean. Self-professed coffee nerds have left me personal thank-you notes and raved about my place in their reviews more than I think they may have if it wasn’t present. Go figure. I personally don’t care to use it but considering how cheap, small and easy to clean it is, I can’t see why every listing doesn’t have one - one of my best purchases ever.

I don’t provide a Keurig because I don’t like them, don’t like the coffee they make and don’t want to provide those little cups or encourage those little cups either. Only one guest ever has asked if I have one and they just brought their own and were still happy so I don’t worry about it.

I have no idea how similar or not our guest-base is but I don’t think you could lose with a French Press. If I had to decide to have just one I would stick with the French Press, it gets used the most and has the best cost/return ratio (except for the little pour-over thing but people who don’t want that won’t want it at all).

Just some ideas!

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Thanks - I had forgotten that I leave my single-cup Melitta pour-over in the pantry. I use it all the time when I am there - my DH hates coffee so I only make a cup at a time.

I “discovered” the stove-top espresso maker in Rome a couple of years ago, but it frankly worried my because I wasn’t sure how to use it (Google to the rescue!). I’m worried about a french press - they seem very fragile to me (we have a glass one and I treat it very carefully the few times I use it).

Good ideas - thanks!

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I understand the concern about the French Press. They do seem fragile but haven’t had one break yet and it gets used the most. Years ago, before I was converted to the stove top espresso (by an Italian friend who 4 different ones of different sizes), I always used a French Press and don’t remember it breaking either. It’s possible to buy a French Press for under $10 on Amazon (or $7 at Ikea) but it seems like you have some limited options because of your location so that might not help
However, there are stainless steel french presses and they are really cool too! Maybe that’s an option?
If your listing is expensive, I think that over-doing it on the coffee options feels hint-of-luxury so could be worth it.

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Some of the stainless steel French Presses are “insulated” by having glass in their layers so could be breakable like the old thermoses but there are some that aren’t and are all stainless and are cheaper too than the insulated. I’m realizing that being able to replace something when it breaks is probably the main issue where you are and not so much the cost but availability.

I have a stainless steel french press with color exterior coating so it’s easy to keep clean looking, I hope. It was $32 when I got mine and comes with a small travel size canister too.

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Yes, exactly. The entire population of the country of St Lucia is 180,000 people. Average wage for a housekeeper is $5US per hour, or about $10,000 US per year. There aren’t a lot of “fancy items” there except at the resorts and high-end homes.
We try to be a “luxury home” (but won’t call ourselves that - see the other thread), so I work very hard to get nice things there, but I always think about how they’ll hold up. Everything costs almost double there as in the US after shipping and duty, and can take 6 weeks from the time I order it until it gets there (unless I want to pay $300 for a $50 item).

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