1,617 of 1,662 people found the following review helpful
Color Name: Black
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!
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.
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!
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.*
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.
+ 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.
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
357 of 370 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2013
Color Name: Black
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.
804 of 868 people found the following review helpful
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
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.
70 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2014
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
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.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2014
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
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.
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2013
Color Name: Black
works great. fast brewing. I've had mine for two years without any problems. I would recommend this product to everyone.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2014
Color Name: Rhubarb
Purchased this red model after my previous Keurig stopped working. This is going back because the temperature of the water is only 175 deg, at least 20 deg short of proper brewing temp. My wife uses this for hot water to make tea using tea bags, I make coffee and I noticed the taste was off and she commented her tea was funky. I immediately tested the temp of the water using a temp probe and consistently it was spitting out water at 175 deg.. I called Keurig and was told the hot water tank is set at 195 deg, but made some comment on what the water was going into, a thermos, insulated cup etc... Whats the difference?, measuring the water temp directly coming out of the machine was 175 deg and make no difference of the vessel its going into, and no way should it drop 20 deg from tank to cup. I don't know if most people are aware but the "IDEAL" temperature of water to brew coffee is between 195-205 deg. Customer service could not guarantee the operating temp of any other machine they sell.
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2013
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
Keurig K45 Elite Single Cup Home Brewing System I studied most all of these Keurig coffee makers. It was a very hard decision. I almost chose the cheapest one that you could use in an office. I am not really a coffee drinker; or wasn't before this. My mom had a doctor appointment several months back. In the waiting area was a Keurig and a carousel with all different kinds of coffee, chia latte, cappuccino and even tea. I have never used one before. But, I tried it, and it couldn't have been easier! I couldn't believe that I could choose from so many different types, take one, put it in the machine, push a button, and voila! I was obsessed with Keurig from that moment on. I knew I wanted to buy one from Amazon. I did not know that there were so many models to choose from! I kept going back and forth, wondering which one would be best for me. Finally, I decided that I was deserving of a good one that I felt would last. I did read so many customer reviews. They only confused me. This one is perfect! I used it for the first time today. There was a new water filter with it plus 12 different K-cup brands to try. I thought that was a special touch. You deserve to pamper yourself once in a while.... go for it!
39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2014
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I bought this for my wife for Christmas. Somehow the box it came in got tossed out with all the Christmas boxes. Oh well, I guess we're stuck with it. Anyway... shortly thereafter, we started getting about 1/8" of coffee, rather than a full cup. OK...some internet research tells me to take the thing apart and attack it with a paper clip. This is now something that has to be done about every 3rd day. Additionally, the unit will not even draw water half the time. It's very picky about exactly how close to the fill line you get. I'm not really sure. The water pump sounds like a dying cow. And really, those 3 cup sizes....who are they kidding? The biggest one is just a regular cup. The other two, worthless. I'm seriously wondering if anyone has ever actually pushed either one of those two buttons. I mean after the first time, when they realize what a joke they are.
Don't buy this. Live longer. There has to be something better.
83 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2013
Color Name: Black
Got this for Christmas from a relative, my wife liked it at her sisters house. We're giving up a Cuisinart DCC-2000 "Coffee on Demand" 12 cup brew machine that I bought Christmas 2000, 14 years old and still works fine. We drink about 3 cups each in the morning and I mix French Roast 1/2 with decaf Italian Roast. Keeps the coffee hot all morning and you can refill a cup or warm up a cup with no waiting. The timer has the coffee brewed and waiting when I walk in the kitchen in the morning and I can smell it when I wake up in bed.. what a nice smell!
Incidentally, our K45 Elite has three brew sizes, not 2
It's unique, looks good, and impresses people and the K-cups are cute (my wife's words) ?
This is great for an office environment where people can pick out the flavor they want and brew it on the spot, or for guests, or if you like different flavors of coffee all the time and the ease of putting a K-cup in, brewing a cup and then throwing it in the trash.
$$$ K-Cups are expensive, about $150/pound for coffee or about 75-90 cents a cup.
You have to wait for it to warm up before brewing in the morning and then leave it running if you want more cups semi quickly.
You have to wait for each cup to brew.
This model only holds 4-1/2 cups of water.. you have to refill it a lot if you drink very much coffee.
There is no control over how strong you make the coffee with the K-cups.
If you have a large car/work thermos, you have to make several cups to fill it. $$
You can't add more hot coffee to a cup you are drinking, you have to brew another one. $$
The K-cups are a lot of recycle waste compared to a #4 paper filters we use in the Cuisinart.
You can't mix a 1/2 decaf unless you make two cups and mix them, another hassle.
No timer for morning coffee wake up.
Solution #1, sort of:
Buy 2 Keurig "My K-Cup" refillable filters for about $17 and use coffee grounds of your choice.
A lot of buyers have had problems with these leaking or leaving sediment in the coffee.
You have to remove the K-Cup basket so you can't then use regular K-cups with out putting the basket back in.
Sort of a hassle to clean and refill with coffee for each cup, again, taking time.. going to work?
You sort of lose the convenience of popping in a cartridge with no work, but you aren't paying a fortune for coffee.
Solution #2 sort of:
Buy an aftermarket replacement refillable cartridge to replace the K-cups.
Many of these don't require removing the K-Cup holder but give varying results.
After a lot of reading reviews I decided on getting 4 Ekobrew refillable filters for about $20 and I will fill them in the evening so I don't have to do it in the morning while half awake and grumpy.
They can be easily washed out and reused and you don't have to remove the K-Cup holder so we can still put in other K-Cup flavors when we want to.
I also bought a 50 pack of "Simple Cups" K-Cup paper filters for $6 that supposedly will fit in the Ekobrew filter and make it that much easier to clean it after each cup.. you just throw the paper filter with coffee in the trash and put another one in with more grounds.
I'm not writing all of this to be negative, I just think that before you buy one of these you should really think about how you like to drink coffee and if this is right for you. I'm hoping my wife gets tired of the novality of it and I can plug our trusty Cuisinart back in and sell this on Amazon. Thanks,
***June 2014 Update***
Have been using this for 6 months so thought I would update my review.
Positives above still hold true. The convenience of trying out different flavors is nice, however, most of the flavored ones we've tried are sickeningly overly sweet. Different brew types is fun though, French Roast, Sumatra, etc.
Negatives still stand, except I have gotten used to the brew and start up time.. it isn't that big a deal and actually is pretty quick.
My biggest complaints are still:
Lack of control of brew strength - about the only control is to select a small cup setting or using one of the Ekobrew refillable cups which can hold more grounds.
Cost of Kcups - even on sale, they are expensive. The only alternative is to use the Ekobrew cups, but they are sort of a hassle and take away the convenience of the regular Kcups. I have since found that using the paper filters in these isn't worth the effort, I just fill them and afterwards wash them out, just don't drink all the way down to the bottom or you will get a mouth full of sediment.
Having to refill the water tank every four cups, though I've gotten used to this too. If I were buying one today, I would get a model with a bigger water tank.
I'm updating this from two to three stars