Touch Essential T214B
Jennifer’s Rating: 4 Stars
This unit made by the Touch brewing company, is very unique and innovative in its design. It makes use of “flash heating” technology that is more energy efficient and heats up only the amount that is needed per cup and creates a more thorough extraction process.
It is a single serve brewing system that is not discriminating towards different K-cups and also has the option to brew “XBold” cups which are designed to hold more and denser grounds. As of lately this model has been renamed “Touch Essential”. Although there are a limited amount of reviews this model has not been out very long (about one year) rest assured I think this is a company that knows what they are doing.
Table of Contents
Coffee Maker Name and Model No./Dimensions
Touch Essential T214B Brewing System for Single Cup Coffee
12.2 x 9.1 x 14.1 inches ; 9.8 pounds
Type of Coffee Maker
Single-serve and “open platform”, meaning it works with standard K-cups as well as the Touch line of XBOLD and XLARGE cups.
The XBold and XLarge Cups in a Nutshell:
The Touch “xbold” coffee pods are about the same size as the standard K-cup, but they are denser with grounds. They also have a grooved appearance. The Xbold contains 15 grams of coffee grounds while the standard K-cup of the same size contains 12 grams.
Case in point: if you were to look at a standard K-cup up close, you will observe that there is about a half-inch of empty space at the bottom; designed specifically so that the exit needle would not pierce the inner filter. With the Xbold, the inner filter is stronger which enables more grounds to be packed and less likelihood of a needle/grounds mess.
The “xlarge” cups are a different animal- they are made taller with a tapered design. There is a brew holder assembly that has 2 exit needles that puncture the longer tapered part & the shorter side.
Apologies as I was unable to locate a video of this same model, but you can see general use of the Touch in action :
Video Courtesy of Tesa Nicolanti
Touch Essential T214B Features
The company’s explanation of the flash method’s leg up on other machines is that the other guys overcompensate for the slower preheat time; in that the water passes through the system too fast and the flavor does not get extracted consistently. Ergo, the weak resulting flavor and taste that some customers find befuddling.
- This (and the other models of the Touch line) work with “flash heating” technology that heats up only the amount of water being used at a time; meaning a quick heat time and quick brew time as well.
- Accommodates 5 brew sizes (6, 8, 10, 12, & 14); has 3 brew strength settings (mild, medium, and bold.)
- On the control panel of the brewer the button to the right controls brewing and blinks while liquid dispensing is in progress; the button to the left indicates water level.
- There is a min and max fill line on reservoir, that is easy to see. The lid on the top of the reservoir can be lifted to be replenished.
- The Touch T214B has a 90 oz water tank (wider rather than taller) that is removable for refilling.
What accessories are compatible with the Touch T214B?
- K-Cup portion packs
- XBold Cups
- XLarge Cups
- Refill Jumbo Cup-similar to the My K-Cup, but larger
- Touch Carafe
Touch T214B Consumer Reviews: What others thought
Although I am always on a mission to not limit feedback to people who are still “in the honeymoon phase” of product ownership I had a thorough examination and I can tell you that everyone (with an occasional exception) who reviewed this model had a genuinely favorable opinion of it. Owners cited quality, durability, ideal temperature and strength in terms of being pleased.
One owner spoke of not having to go through the rigors of descaling (Fancy that huh?) I believe this to be a newer arrival on the market, and this may be the main reason for the low number of reviews (there are a few similar Touch models out with a larger number of customer reviews; apparently these models have been out longer.)
Pros : What I Liked Best
Is Keurig being given a run for their money? Looks like it…
Love. That. Concept…”Flash heating” It’s been compared to the Keurig in various ways: one difference is that the heating time is quicker than the brewing time. Average preheat time is about 30 seconds and brewing into the cup time is about 1 minute. It brews at a higher temp than the Keurig. Even the Touch line of pods has a special type of patented technology to allow for better water circulation.
At first glance, the Touch seems gawky at a side angle (my own opinion) but better in the front.
I can honestly say that if there is a major con, it’s that it doesn’t come in different colors-but if functionality is your most important criteria above all, this will be more of a non-issue for you.
Cons: What I didn’t like as much
It is not as “a la carte” programmable as the Keurig 2.0 series; you pretty much choose your size (LED blue buttons on the front) and strength setting; but the quick actions may make up for the lack of ability to set it for 6 o clock or whenever.
You may spend more moolah (which is why it’s in the $200-$300 section) but it’s moolah well spent! However, I have found word that a few retailers are carrying this model for a lower price than advertised here; so be sure to do some checking around.
Touch T214B – Conclusion
So if practicality is your thing-hot coffee, great tasting coffee, without all the bells and whistles-this may very well be your coffee maker! A generous reservoir, sleek, innovative design, better tasting coffee, and not limited in the flavor cup department-to recap.
What brands and types of coffee / cups are recommended for this unit? LA Coffee which features iconic names such as Beverly Hills and Sunset Strip. and Coffee People.
The Touch line does include a refillable Jumbo cup (sold separately) that can be used for your own grounds. Just like the Keurig line, you have to remove the brew holder assembly to use this refillable cup-but its design is uniquely different. It has a twist-off lid and there are two points of entry for the water to flow into which supposedly makes for better extraction all around rather than leave potentially untouched grounds near the bottom.
Important note: The T214B does not include the black carafe….if you noticed this you probably were looking at the T526S which is quite similar but has 3 additional brew sizes (16, 18 and 26 oz carafe) and includes the red jumbo cup, which I searched for as a standalone accessory, but did not find.
There was limited to no warranty information through the Touch brewer page on Amazon, but you should be able to locate extensive warranty information on the company website as well as pdf’s on use and maintenance.