The Keurig Kold took Keurig about 5 years to bring to market. 5 years. From the people that dominated the single serving hot beverage market for so long and a cold beverage system seeming like a next logical step, why did it take so long?
The usual suspects of carbonated, cold beverage drink makers all have CO2 canisters that need to be refilled at authorized dealers in order to inject that bubbly goodness into your drinks. Keurig wasn’t having any of that nonsense. They figured it was better for them to invent an entirely new method for getting the carbonation into the drink.
Karbonator beads as Keurig calls them, are contained inside a small chamber inside the beverage pod itself. These beads essentially work as sponges that absorb CO2 and then release it whenever they are exposed to water.
Along with this new method of carbonation that I’m sure took a very long time to come up with, there are something like 50 other patents and 100 pending applications surrounding the creation of the Kold. That’s 149 more than the original air conditioner had.
As usual, the process of making a drink in the Kold starts with a pod. Keurig has a bunch of partners that have teamed up and made drink pods for the Kold including Coca Cola and all of their popular drinks as well as a few brands that have made drinks specifically for the Kold.
There are two types of pods, those for carbonated beverages and those for non-carbonated ones. The difference being that the carbonated ones are a bit larger to accommodate those Carbonator beads I mentioned.
Similar to the Keurig hot versions, you select a pod and put it into the the chamber and shut it. Difference with the Kold is that there is a small piece of tinfoil to remove from the bottom before putting it in.
Once you shut it the pod is punctured by a small needle inside the chamber to get it ready for the whirlwind of things that is about to happen in the next 90 seconds. After that, you push the button to begin.
At this point, water is drawn into a chillier from the external water chamber and an impeller spins inside to begin cooling the water while a serious copper and aluminum heat sink pulls the heat away being made by the spinning impeller. It takes about 90 seconds for the water temperature to reach the 37 degrees Keurig wants it at.
Eventually when it’s cold enough, a small amount of water is pulled into the pod chamber where it is injected into the Carbonator beads to wet them and have them release their CO2 into the water. Then this water is fed back to the chiller to carbonate the rest of the water.
Once that is ready, it travels to a mixer which is located under the pod chamber where it is expelled into your cup. Once it reaches a certain amount of carbonated water in the cup the system then delivers the syrup from inside the second chamber of the pod into the cup.
(they had to come up with the perfect time to deliver this as too soon would have resulted in syrup stuck to the bottom of the glass and too late would result in it not mixing properly)
Of course, with partners like Coca Cola, all of this has to be precise and extremely consistent. Coke wouldn’t be partnering if they thought their flagship soda formulas wouldn’t taste exactly as they wanted them to every single time.
A quick look at the schematics and patents required by this thing coupled with the fact that it is simply a lot easier to heat water quickly compared to cooling it quickly and it’s easy to see why it took so long to create.
Whether you should buy one is really up to you, but I do think credit where credit is due, it’s always welcomed and amazing to see any technology company truly trying to innovate and change their respective field.