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TOP 500 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
3,517 helpful votes
3,518 helpful votes
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5150+ comments|Report 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!
1,113 helpful votes
1,114 helpful votes
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1313 comments|Report 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.
477 helpful votes
478 helpful votes
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on December 9, 2015
We finally made the leap and bought a Keurig for our downstairs studio. Have set up a kind of coffee bar in our mini-kitchenette so we can have an afternoon cup of coffee without making a whole pot in our regular coffeemaker upstairs. Especially nice for a hot chocolate or spiced cider. We set up baskets with various drink types. Since our guest bedroom is downstairs too it's handy if we have overnight company so they can help themselves to whatever they fancy.
Really like the blue color. It's somewhere between a sapphire and navy. I like the pull out tray feature so my travel mug fits nicely if I want to make a coffee to go. It has also filled in as a back-up for our upstairs coffeemaker when it quit as we waited for a replacement.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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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.
1,926 helpful votes
1,927 helpful votes
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on April 19, 2016
Honestly, I got this for my daughter. She wanted a way to make coffee in the morning before school. Neither my husband or I drink coffee so we had no coffee maker at all. I spent hours going over reviews of the different Keriug's. This was my choice because of those reviews.
I like that it is quick to heat up. Taking maybe 40 seconds until you can start to brew? It is quick to make that cup of coffee or hot water for tea as well!
Some reported about it being noisy--I don't think that it is. I am used to the old time coffee makers and they are way noiser than this. It's easy to follow directions for cleaning and descaling.
I do make sure I run water through a cycle on the smallest cup choice if we use a k-cup and may not use it until the following day. I also leave the top up until the cup area dries because I found if you don't the silver needle can become rusted. I actually found myself using it a lot for hot tea. Whether it was k-cup tea or just running it through for hot water and using a tea bag. We also got hot chocolate cups as well. So it really is something the whole family can use.
I would recommend this product for sure.
1 helpful vote
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on October 30, 2017
Been a big hit so far. More expensive than brewing a big pot of coffee, but very convenient for single cups and variety. Since I stopped drinking coffee ( and making a big pot in the morning) my wife was struggling with either making a single cup or brewing a bigger pot of coffee. The Keurig solved that issue. Now she can get a steaming cup of whatever flavor coffee she's wants, whenever she wants it. I have started using it for an occasional cup of hot chocolate as well. A nice product...I hope it holds up well.

One little grip...the tray that sits below your cup has a small lip on it. I've nearly dumped my coffee twice while getting caught on the lip when removing the cup.
1 helpful vote
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on April 19, 2015
A little background: I'm a college freshman at a major university in the Midwest, and needed a brewer to help keep me warm with tasty hot beverages during the cold winters. I was primarily looking for an easy source of tea, hot chocolate, and basic coffee for sporadic early mornings.

The Keurig K45 works brilliantly for me. It takes about 45 seconds for the water to heat up as soon as the "on" button is pressed, which is fantastic. Dispensing the actual liquid (whether it be hot chocolate, tea, or coffee) takes another 20 or so seconds, and the temperature is perfect every time (although to the best of my knowledge, it cannot be adjusted). The water filter works great, although I do recommend pre-filtering the water to some degree just to avoid problems with the reportedly fragile internal water pump.

How does it taste? Amazing. I pretty much only use the third and largest setting (10 oz or about 1 mug), which produces perfectly concentrated green tea, Grove Square hot cocoa, and Starbucks brand coffee. IMO, it's far tastier than manually made hot cocoa, coffee, or tea.

The reservoir holds the perfect amount of water, and is extremely easy to fill as the lid comes off easily and the opening is quite large.

I only have two gripes about the product. First, its footprint is massive - I live in a single dorm room, and it pretty much dominates the surface of my dresser, especially when surrounded by K-cups. Second, K-cups are expensive.

That said, I can heartily recommend this brewer to anybody looking for a nicely-priced single-cup automatic brewing system. I've had zero problems with it, and it provides me with delicious hot beverages on a daily basis. Wonderful product.
1 helpful vote
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 4, 2016
We are late to the Keurig craze, but now that I have a Keurig K45, I am hooked. We looked all over for a Keurig K45. They aren't made any more, but in my opinion, they are the best of the Keurig machines. The main reason I like it is because I can use the reusable K-Cups and make my own coffee, which saves both money and the landfills.

The only thing I do not like about this machine, is that you cannot set the strength and the large cup size is a little weak. We've gotten around that by brewing the small or medium setting (yet another reason to use a reusable K-Cup)

I also keep a variety pack of hot chocolate and tea flavors so if someone comes by that doesn't drink coffee, they can easily make something else.

I am very happy with the Keurig machine. It's fast and makes great coffee.
1 helpful vote
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on February 4, 2015
This is my first Keurig. As compared to Dunkin Donuts coffee K-cups that I've used, the coffee that was included with the purchase was awful for my tastes. But not a big deal. DD, MacD, Panera Bread, Einstein bagel, many others, are all fine with me. And not sure about other Keurigs, but you have to wait after powering on for the water to heat, before you can press your selection size. But it's not that long a wait, and once done, the coffee is made rapidly. The reservoir is nice and holds water for a number of cups. They suggest that you only use filtered water and give you a filter that I think gets inserted in the reservoir. But instead of that, I'm using it with water filtered by a Dupont faucet filter attached to a dedicated faucet (I installed it in the hole in the sink for a soap dispenser) that removes 55 chemicals. Brita pitcher filters only 5 chemicals and Pur pitcher filter only removes 10. Both Brita and Pur faucet filters are similar in chemical removal to the Dupont. Been very pleased with that purchase and the filter seems to last a very long time.
American Std cold water only faucet:
http://www.amazon.com/American-Standard-7100271H-002-Heritage-Faucet/dp/B000TF3D1E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423089818&sr=8-1&keywords=american+standard+cold+water+faucet
Dupont filter:
http://www.amazon.com/DuPont-WFFM350XCH-Electric-200-Gallon-Filtration/dp/B007VZ2LMM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423089862&sr=8-1&keywords=dupont+faucet+filter
1 helpful vote
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