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1,299 of 1,336 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An in-depth review!
Somehow, my wife and I missed the Keurig train. Despite being serious coffee drinkers (I probably approach 4-5 cups on a normal day) and despite owning a Bialetti, a French press and of course a drip machine, we simply never got around to buying a Keurig. Well all of that changed when we found ourselves with enough store credit on returns to finally buy one. We've had it...
Published 18 months ago by Ciaran

versus
618 of 669 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Drop in Quality
This is the fourth Keurig I've purchased and with each purchase the quality of the machine has deteriorated. I first bought one in 2007 for my small NYC office. About 15 people used it several times a day and it worked beautifully! We loved the ability for each of us to have the kind of coffee or tea, or even hot chocolate, that we preferred. When that machine wore out...
Published 19 months ago by B. McEwan


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1,299 of 1,336 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An in-depth review!, June 21, 2013
This review is from: Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Kitchen)
Somehow, my wife and I missed the Keurig train. Despite being serious coffee drinkers (I probably approach 4-5 cups on a normal day) and despite owning a Bialetti, a French press and of course a drip machine, we simply never got around to buying a Keurig. Well all of that changed when we found ourselves with enough store credit on returns to finally buy one. We've had it for a little while now (and are familiar enough with the Keurig system through friends and family) and definitely have some thoughts to share!

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THE MACHINE
Though this is our first Keurig, we have been around many in the past. The build quality and construction is very similar to the other popular Keurig machines, as far as I can tell. I remember my parents investing in one of the first Keurigs for their office, and I do agree with other reviews; there has been some degradation in overall quality. We made the decision that convenience was what we were looking for, and I really think this model does that at an acceptable price. The K45 Elite includes three brewing sizes: small, medium and large (6oz., 8oz. and 10oz.), chosen by pressing one of the buttons on the top of the machine. This model also includes an auto-off power-saving mode (2 hours) that can be activated or deactivated by pressing the button on the control panel - this setting is saved after the machine turns off so you only have to set it once. This model also comes with a new carbon-filter system (more on that in the Q&A). One small but important feature is the removable drip tray. This allows you to use a taller mug/thermos/travel cup without having to hold it the whole time at an angle. More on these details later. The K45 Elite also feature QuietBrew technology, something I was pretty skeptical about at first. Compared to other older generations, however, I did notice this to be somewhat quieter. I didn't feel as though the older models were particularly loud, but then again I'm not waking up at 4AM to go to work either so it's possible that this is a God-send for some people.

The reservoir holds 48oz. of water, although to be honest I feel like I'm constantly filling it (okay, I drink wayyy too much coffee). Still, it's a decent size, easily removed and if it were any bigger the Keurig would look unbalanced in terms of aesthetics, so I understand the reasoning behind it. After just a little bit of "thinking", I find that this model brews pretty quickly (around 1 minute total) although I wish that the "add water" warning would come on BEFORE you try to brew a cup. My wife was running out of the door for work and despite looking like it had at least a cup in it, the "add water" LED came on after I pressed it. Needless to say, my wife went to work coffee-less that day.

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THE DRINKS
Here's what I love about the Keurig: it makes GREAT coffee every time. As long as you have the right K-Cups, you are almost guaranteed a well-brewed cup of coffee without grounds or that burnt taste you get after an hour of it sitting on the hot plate. I'm also pretty pleased that it makes tea and other hot beverages (cocoa) without needing to be cleaned out first. After brewing four cups of coffee we ran a tea K-Cup through it and it tasted as good as it would have boiling the water in a kettle.

I'm a bold drinker myself, as is my wife, but we do have family that will only drink lighter roasts - I really love being able to offer everyone whatever they like best without anyone having to settle for whatever is in the pot at that time. This also goes for the few times we want decaf - usually we buy a bag of decaf that will sit for weeks before I'm in the mood for a late-night coffee...we've thrown away jars of the stuff before, now I just pull out the K-Cup I want!

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Q&A WITH KEURIG
I contacted Keurig directly with a couple of questions, and have provided their (paraphrased) answers below with their permission:

Q: With the new filter system, has the descaling process changed?
A: No, the carbon filter system is there to purify the water for taste, however it will not remove trace minerals and you will need to descale the Keurig when necessary.

Q: Does that mean that if you use your own filtered water, say from a Brita pitcher, you don't need to use the filters?
A: That is correct.

Q: I've seen reports of K-Cups and accessories for the Keurig system damaging it - would this be covered by the warranty?
A: Only Keurig-licensed K-Cups and accessories are covered by our warranty - you will see "Keurig Brewed" on the product's packaging. Without this notation we can of course offer diagnosis and repair, but it may not be covered by the warranty.

Q: Does using a Keurig (any model) provide any savings over a traditional drip coffee maker?
A: Given the wide variety of drip coffee makers available, it wouldn't be fair to give you an answer without proper research.*

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*ENERGY SAVINGS
Well, I appreciate the CS Rep's answer - I wouldn't want a guess of an answer anyway. Lucky for us, Energy Star has done the research for us. According to a 2011 study collecting data from numerous energy-related organizations, single-serve coffee machines offer substantial estimated energy savings over traditional hot-plate (drip) coffee makers. Of course, a lot depends on your usage (how often do you use it, how soon do you turn it off etc.) but overall their findings state that single-serve coffee makers like the Keurig offer between 43-45% energy savings per year. For my wife and I, this is a significant figure...especially after switching to LED lightbulbs to save on our electric bill.

The report also states that "reducing the duration of the active mode is the first and very simple efficiency measure to consider." The new 2-hour auto-off feature on the Keurig is a little lengthy compared to what EnergyStar suggests (30m-1hr), but is absolutely a welcome feature. I will link to the report in the comments so you can take a look.

Personally though I know the Keurig system by design does incur waste in terms of using more plastic, more places are offering Keurig recycling bins where you can drop off your empty Keurig pods for recycling. The energy savings potential was enough to justify the additional waste in our minds, and if you are super concerned about recycling, the Brooklyn Beanery uses Plastic #5 cups that are 100% recyclable.

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OVERALL

+ Convenient
+ Brews great coffee
+ Variety. Variety. Variety.
+ Includes filter system for those who don't have filtered water
+ Offers substantial energy savings depending on your habits

If you've decided you want a Keurig, I highly recommend this model. It is simple, efficient and makes a great cup of coffee. I would, however, advise on reading the negative reviews found on this site - many of them are well-written and contain stories about what happens when the Keurig does NOT work as designed. Personally I have yet to encounter any issues, but will update this review in six months or whenever something goes wrong.

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SUGGESTIONS

I thought I would add a few of our coffee suggestions to this review - these are some of our favorite K-Cups!

Dark, full body drinkers: Caribou Coffee Obsidian (YUM.)
Medium roast-lovers, plenty of flavor: Newman's Own Medium Roast
Light roast drinkers: Green Mountain Coffee Breakfast Blend
For people who like variety: Brooklyn Beans Variety Pack (note: not licensed)
Decaf-extraordinaire: Timothy's Decaf Colombian
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275 of 285 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only one word can describe this coffee maker "AWESOME", August 4, 2013
By 
lyle woodbury (Valley Springs, ca.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Kitchen)
Just bought my Keurig K45 Elite about 2 months ago or so and I love it. I am a avid coffee drinker and I enjoy a good cup or 2 or 3 or 4 of joe during my day. I usually don't have much time in the morning before work, i get up at 4 am, so with the ability to just leave it on and the water already hot, I have a hot mug of coffee in less than 30 seconds. If for some reason I do turn it off, it take less than 2 to 3 minutes to get ready. With over 200 types of K-cup flavors out there, you can't get bored. The taste of every K-cup I've brewed has been flawless and the taste is awesome. For some the cost of the K-cups is a deal breaker so I also purchased the reusable K-cup filter adapter and can brew my own favorite coffee and it is great tasting too. So if cost is an issue for the K-cups this is an alternative. The Keurig is quiet, fast, and it holds a nice 45oz reservoir of water so its always ready to go. I've tried other single brew coffee makers and they have all let me down. Even my nice $149.00 Cuisinart coffee maker can't compete with this when it comes to taste of my brew and speed. So if you are in the market for a new coffee maker look at the several different models Keurig has to offer. For me the Keurig K45 Elite was the best bang for the buck. It came with 12 free Variety K-cup brews, a free starter water filter kit, 3 buttons that light up in a cool LED blue to pick the size of cup you want to brew (6oz 8oz or 10oz), a auto shut off option button so if you don't want to leave it on all the time and it will remember the setting the next time you turn it back on, and most of all the wide variety of K-cup brews to choose from.
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618 of 669 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Drop in Quality, May 13, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Kitchen)
This is the fourth Keurig I've purchased and with each purchase the quality of the machine has deteriorated. I first bought one in 2007 for my small NYC office. About 15 people used it several times a day and it worked beautifully! We loved the ability for each of us to have the kind of coffee or tea, or even hot chocolate, that we preferred. When that machine wore out after about 4 years I felt that I had gotten more than my money's worth from it.

In 2008 I bought a similar machine for my home. It was as great as the one I had in my office. That one was used by the family, also several times a day, for about three years. When it broke I bought another just like the one we had. At that point, around 2010, I noticed that this third machine was not as well made as the first two. It had more plastic parts and splashed a lot of coffee outside of the cup as it filled. And it actually had a note in the box that said something like, "There will be splashing as your cup fills and that's normal." In other words, this is a design flaw and customers should just deal with it. (This problem did not happen with the previous machine.)

That pot broke and I just tossed it and started to use my old, reliable Melitta Grind and Brew, which I've had forever and it works great. But I have to brew a whole pot of coffee when I often just want one cup. So a few weeks ago I ordered another Keurig, more or less the same model I always had, from Amazon. Well, the product is even more cheaply made -- and for no reduction in price. This one broke yesterday after just a couple of weeks of use. And I should say that there are only two of us in the household now, so it didn't get heavy use and it was properly cared for.

Of course, I had just thrown out the box that it came in a couple of days previous, so now I have to come up with a box, pack the thing and return it. It's still under warranty, but the hassle of dealing with the return is just not worth all the trouble.

I suspect that Keurig got popular, then got greedy, and started making its coffee machines more cheaply in order to increase profits. So sad, because it really was an incredibly great coffee system. But I will not be buying another.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars High price for a short life., November 7, 2013
This review is from: Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Kitchen)
The water pump goes out on it before it is a year old. That is with filtered water, and low usage. Very unhappy.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good beverage preparation solution., July 28, 2014
By 
DiscipleC (Merritt Island, FL USA) - See all my reviews
I have been using this machine for a month or so now and am very pleased with it. It is simple to set up and operate and does a good job. I can have a fresh cup of coffee within 5 minutes of starting it up. Especially good for people like me who live alone. No more microwaving stale coffee to not waste a pot full. I can see using it as a long-term solution.

A word of advice if you are new to this type of system. I tried a wide variety of the beverage cartridges available for it and have now narrowed things down to the ones that suite my tastes. You may not be fond of some of the samples that come with the machine (I found that many of the samples were much to bland for my taste), but there is a huge variety available from a number of makers--mild to strong coffee, a variety of teas, hot cocoa, etc.-- and you are almost certain to find some that suite you too.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I loved my keurig, August 22, 2014
By 
Greg Zyhowski (Pittsburgh, PA, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Kitchen)
Well, I loved my keurig i, I drink tea and coffee my wife drinks coffee and we both used it and loved it. Then just over five months of use and it is gone. It will not pump water. I cleaned it as recommended and followed all the instructions. If I ever buy one again I will buy a service policy as almost everyone I know who has one and uses it on a daily basis has had problems.

It does have a one year warranty so I will update after contacting Keurig

Contacted Keurig tonight and spoke with a representative who was very helpful. She took me through all the recommended
fixes and nothing worked. We both were very patient and the end result is that since I had it for only 5 months and it
is warranted for 12, they are going to send me a new coffee maker. Will edit my review when the process is complete.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My husband and I don't do a whole lot of entertaining so this size seemed to be the best for us, November 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Kitchen)
Prior to this purchase, I did a lot of research on the different Keurig models. My husband and I don't do a whole lot of entertaining so this size seemed to be the best for us. Great choice! We each drink 2 cups of coffee every morning and this size reservoir works fine. The brewer came with a 12 K-cup sample pack, plus I ordered a 20 K-cup sample pack as well. The many reviews I had read indicated that in the beginning, you had to "kiss a lot of toads before kissing a prince", and they were right. Our preference is medium-dark coffee and it took a lot of sampling to find the right K-cup brand for us. The "Original Donut Shoppe" brand won out for us. A lot of the bold and extra bold were too bitter and a lot of the light-medium ones were too weak.

One of the reasons I was interested in the Keurig was the ability for me to have flavored coffee and my husband could stick to his black, without my using flavored Coffeemate. So far I have been disappointed in the flavored coffees I've tried. They just don't have enough of the flavoring and are very weak tasting. So I've gone back to my Coffeemate and add the right amount for my taste.

This review is for the Keurig itself, but I must add two more in conjunction with it: The re-usable K-cup option and the paper filter option.

In my research, I had also read many many reviews about the expense of the K-cups, all that plastic going into landfills, etc., and that many people had gone the route of the re-usable K-cup. The Ekobrew Stainless Steel Re-usable K-cup seemed to have the best comments, so I ordered 4 of them. Another great choice! It is very well made and the stainless steel is good quality. We can now use our medium-dark ground coffee we get at the grocery store. I ordered 4 so we could use a clean one for each of our 4 cups of coffee. I had read that if loose grounds were left under the lid, it wouldn't seal properly and the water flow would be affected. After each brew, after dumping the grounds, I rinse the Ekobrew in hot water and drop it into a big bowl with sudsy water to soak. When we have finished our coffee for the morning, I clean them with a toothbrush, rinse well, lightly towel dry and sit them out to finish air drying.

The product info said no paper filter was needed and we started out not using any. The coffee brewed perfectly, but after a while I got tired of the mess in dumping the grounds so I started looking at the different paper filter selections. There is one in particular that is specifically for the Ekobrew so I ordered a box of 300. And again, another great choice! The filter fits inside the Ekobrew nicely and the coffee actually brews better with it. It seems that the paper puts more resistance for the water to pass through and we get more coffee in our cup than before. (We only use the middle size on the Keurig, which is "small mug 7.25 oz".)

Summary: We love our Keurig. It took a couple of months going through the above steps to finally settle into a good coffee routine in the morning. We still keep K-cups on hand for the occasional guests. And it may sound to some people that the system of using the Ekobrew, paper filter, cleaning, etc. is too much work but I don't feel that way at all. I actually find it's not as much work as using the regular coffeemaker and a whole lot less waste. By the way, I had also ordered a K-cup storage drawer along with the Keurig--the Mind Reader "Anchor". See that product for my review as well.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love it, March 28, 2013
This review is from: Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Kitchen)
works great. fast brewing. I've had mine for two years without any problems. I would recommend this product to everyone.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money!!, March 16, 2014
This review is from: Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Kitchen)
Okay I purchased my 1st Keurig 11 months ago and it was highly recommended that I purchase an extended warranty (this should have been my first clue) which I did and fortunately when this one almost caught fire I was able to replace it with a new one????. Well so far so good (but I've only had this one for a week). Now my daughter tells me that the one I bought her for xmas 2013 has done exactly the same thing and is no longer working. Hmmmmmmm. I wonder about Keurig Quality Control. Does it exist? Probably not considering I have now heard about many of these so called elite coffee brewers have not lasted for a year. All the hype and extreme expense for these coffee makers and what you actually get is a piece of junk. WE will never ever leave this coffee maker plugged in when we are not at home. It is a convient way to make 1 cup of coffee but I am sure there are better top of the range old fashioned pots that would do the job and well.
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79 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Curling up with a great cup of coffee, May 21, 2013
By 
Chef gal "Sue" (San Mateo, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Kitchen)
I was given this model for Christmas 2012. I thoroughly enjoyed the initial
variety pack of K-cups to try different flavors. I was however concerned about
the waste issue of plastic K-cups, so I purchased a permanent cup. ( I think
it's called SoloFil) It is red plastic with a steel mesh cup. I bought a pound of finely ground gourmet coffee(Peet's) and voila, no waste. Just rinse the cup and you're ready for the next one. My coffee scoop has a flat round bottom that fits perfectly in the cup so I can tamp down the coffee exactly to the fill-line. I have a tall mug and can get a large brew and a small brew out of the same cup and this for a fraction of the cost of K-cups and all of the other brands. Enjoy!!
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