Soon, you’ll have a good reason to stare at your refrigerator: It’ll be making you coffee. GE Café French doors have had in-door, hot-water dispensers for a while now, but the appliances have just merged with Keurig coffee makers to create a mutant fridge that can brew java right from its door. Customers have already been using the hot-water dispenser to make soup, tea, and cocoa with the push of a button. The feature proved popular, and GE looked for a way to expand it with the GE Café Series refrigerator with Keurig K-Cup Brewing System.
Much like its other products, the Keurig uses K-Cups to brew a single cup of coffee at a time. The brewer is removable; you take it out, pop in the K-Cup, and slide the brewer back in place to make a 6-ounce, 8-ounce, or 10-ounce cup. A separate reservoir, which is independent from the ice maker, heats the water to the optimum temperature of 190 degrees. The whole process takes about four minutes, similar to the amount of time a Keurig to heat up. if you want to make a second cup, you’ll have to wait another 30 seconds. As with other connected coffee makers, you can control it from your smartphone and have it start heating up right when you wake up. The brewer is dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to clean.
Certain travel mugs will fit under the brewer, but it’s designed to be similar to countertop units, says Dan Goldstein, GE’s Refrigerator Marketing Manager. Extra-tall glasses could pose a problem.
The brewer works with 400 varieties of K-Cups and wasn’t designed for reusable cups, says Ben Yoder Director of Marketing, Partners, for Keurig. However, the technology inside the fridge is different from that in the Keurig 2.0, which doesn’t let users brew with off-brand packs. If the brewer isn’t scanning the cup’s label, you might still be able to get away with “rebel” packs.
As one of the largest appliances in the kitchen, the fridge takes up valuable real estate. The more it does, the better it is for consumers. Marrying the hulking appliance with a coffee maker also frees up counter space, and makes reaching for the milk way easier.
Caffeine addicts will have to wait until the fall to buy the $3,300 fridge.