Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black
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Color: Black|Style Name: K45|Change
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon June 21, 2013
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
7272 comments|2,636 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I prefer this original Keurig for one reason over the 2.0: I can use any off brand cups or fill-your-own filters in it. But I'm forced to use a 2.0 machine sometimes, and here's a simple trick to fool the sensor that only allows proprietary cups. This way you know that you don't need to buy all those expensive K-Cups. This simple trick is guaranteed to save you money AND allow you to enjoy the ease and quality of your Keurig. Note that only the 2.0 machines have the sensor.

1. Buy inexpensive, unlicensed K-Cups, the kind that get rejected by your Keurig coffee maker.
2. Cut the lid off of one licensed K-Cup. (see picture)
3. Trim the lid you've cut off so you just have the part the sensor is interested in (see picture)
4. Put what you've trimmed off right-side-up on a piece of tape that is sticky-side-up
5. Place this on the top of your unlicensed K-Cup.
6. Close the Keurig, which will allow you to stick your little sensor to the coffee maker for a permanent fix!
1212 comments|752 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 4, 2013
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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VINE VOICEon May 13, 2013
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.
107107 comments|1,385 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 8, 2016
Note: I love the coffee maker but felt that rating it only one star would help to bring this "fix" to someones attention that has a similar problem.

I bought this K45 early December 2014 (from a local retailer) and in January 2016 it would not fill a cup and the descale light came on. So...I purchased the "Keurig Descale Solution" locally ($12.99 ugh) and followed all directions. NOTHING happened. Still just a trickle of hot water. I was just about to throw it out and spend another $100 or more for another. (I love this thing when it works) Instead I decided to check out the insides so I got out some basic tools (small philips screw driver and a pair of needle nose plyers) After taking off the bottom metal plate and not finding any obvious problem and replaced it. I then removed the drip funnel and made sure it wasn't clogged. My next step was to remove the 2 screws that hold the black "framework" that holds the upper needle and I removed the top trim cover screws (2) and removed the top and found that the tube and right angle fitting between the check valve and the upper needle was almost totally clogged with black debris (I first thought that this must be plastic shavings that came off some internal part(s). I removed the plastic "saddle" and cut away the zip-ties that secure the fittings and tubing together. Cleaned everything and made sure the check valve was working properly by blowing from both ends. You'll only be able to get air through one end. I reassembled the valve and tubing and plugged the unit in, added water, turned it on and put the end of the tube in a bottle. It worked great!! I reassembled everything (needed the needle nose plyers to help reposition the #4 screws in the holes since my fat fingers were too big) The coffee maker now works like new. Now what was the source of the clogging material?? It was coffee grounds. I theorize that when the latching lever is pulled down the top needle pierces the K-cup and the coffee expands during the brewing process, some grounds can get pushed back into the tube. The right angle fitting trapped a bit of coffee over the many months of use and eventually limited the amount of water that could get past. The higher pressure resulted in the Descale Light coming on and less than half the needed water getting through. Note: I actually love the coffee maker but rated only one star to bring this possible solution to anyone that has a similar problem. CAUTION, do NOT work on the unit while it is plugged in. If you feel that you don't have the skill to perform the tasks I described above, DON'T TRY IT. When the water comes out the tube, it will be HOT. I will not be held responsible for ANY injuries that result from any attempt at fixing the coffee maker.
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on August 22, 2014
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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on August 25, 2015
This blue Keurig is beautiful and does not leak! What joy, to replace our old machine with this beauty. I gave it to my husband as an anniversary gift. Seriously, we like our coffee! He drinks his diluted, pushing the large mug image. I drink mine strong, pushing the small mug image. And when our kids come home, they like the midrange. So we all are happy sippers.

We had a Nespresso machine for years and while I liked the convenience of a fresh cup, I hated the restricted choice of coffees. There was no French Roast!

With the Keurig, I order organic coffee from San Francisco Bay Gourmet Coffee and it comes in recyclable cups, which endears me to my environmentalist son-in-law.
review image
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on January 22, 2014
If you fill the tank anywhere close to the fill line you will get 1 inch of dribble instead of coffee. You can even fill it an inch or two below the fill line and you get the same result. Then you have to empty some more water out, turn it off then on again, open and close the coffee lid, etc until it finally produces a full cup of coffee. Totally worthless. Bought this at Bed, Bath and Beyond on sale. Big mistake!
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on November 26, 2015
Update. I love love my Keurig! But! It all of a sudden went crap on me and was making some concerning noises and wouldn't produce a cup of coffee!!! I was immediately angry because I thought it cost too much to have it fail as quickly as it did!!! So, I contacted Amazon which they directed me to the mfg. Ooooo! Keurig customer service is awesome first of all. But we trouble shooted. I just needed to use a paper clip to poke in the upper and lower metal needles. Found a bit of gunk that came out. Was instructed to full tank and run two large cups just with water. (That pushed through any left over junk). Then run a cup of coffee. After that my Keurig works like new again.
Just thought I should share this info so you don't get upset too when this happens. I'm sure Keurig would be thankful I shared it too! Haha I should get a coupon on coffee now that I think about it. Totally kidding! Really just wanted to share it so no one else freaked out like I did.
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on April 21, 2014
Quit working after 4 months. Called Keurig customer service and they wanted me to watch a video on how to fix it. Well, it doesn't dispense, claimed the needles were clogged and they are not. Not a fan of Keurig
0Comment|46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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