WATERBURY, VT -- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. is rolling out the premium Keurig Vue home brewer, which allows consumers to control the strength, size and temperature of their beverages. A commercial model for the away-from-home market will debut this fall.
The premium brewer, intended to draw in high-end cappuccino and latte drinkers, will help Green Mountain manage increased competition as its K-Cup patents are due to expire in September, some observers are saying.
The Vue's programmable color touchscreen display allows users to satisfy their taste preferences by adjusting water pressure, brew timing and airflow, and selecting from a brewing temperature range between 187° F. and 197° F.
It brews from new proprietary Vue packs, rather than the K-Cups that work in other Keurig machines. Consumers can select their brew strength and choose from eight brew portions ranging from 4 fl.oz. to an 18 fl.oz. travel mug; specially formulated Vue packs are used for the larger servings. Separate dairy "frother" packs can be used to add foam to make specialty drinks.
Vue packs will debut in more than 30 varieties; Caribou Coffee, Timothy's, Tully's, Van Houtte and Celestial Seasonings are among the brands. Green Mountain has also reached an agreement with J.M. Smucker Co. to include the Folger's and Millstone brands in the Vue system. The single-cup coffee giant expects to have as many as 50 drink options by the end of June.
The Vue V700 brewer , priced at $249.99, more than twice the price of a standard Keurig model, is the first of a planned series for the home market.
The commercial version rolling out in the fall will work with Vue packs embedded with RFID technology, designed to simplify the brewing experience and ensure quality and consistency for users who are unfamiliar with the brewer.
Green Mountain said the Vue machine will complement its current Keurig lineup and initially be sold at Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and on the Green Mountain and Keurig websites. It will become more widely available in a variety of retail stores over the coming months.
Separately, Green Mountain is working with top Italian roaster Luigi Lavazza SpA to make an espresso machine that will be a direct competitor of the Nespresso machines by Nestlé.