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TOP 1000 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

**EDIT 2017**
After several years of off and on use, I no longer have this or any other Keurig due to the environmental considerations surrounding the plastic waste generated by single-serving coffee in general. It's back to the good old cafetière for this reviewer.
5150+ comments| 3,531 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? 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!
1313 comments| 1,119 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? 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.
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on December 16, 2015
I waited over a year to finally select a Keurig, and I am so glad I went with this one. Absolutely love it so far. Perfect for 2 adults to brew a couple morning cups of coffee, and perfect for when the kids want hot cocoa. I also enjoy having the choice of being able to fire it up in 2 minutes, throw a glass with ice underneath, and brew a pleasant iced coffee as an afternoon pick-me-up, or, my personal favorite- southern-style sweet tea on-demand.

Fantastic product from my experience!

P.S.- I would also highly recommend the Amazon spinning k-cups holder. Looks great on display next to it IMO ;)
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on April 2, 2016
This is my fourth Keurig brewer. I loved each of my previous three, but each one broke sooner than its predecessor. The first one lasted the longest -- about eighteen months. The second one lasted about eight months, and the third about six months. Eventually every machine started making straining noises, producing half cups of coffee and then eventually no longer working at all. Yes, I descaled them (although the last two should only have required it once each, because they broke so soon). After experiencing this poor product longevity three times, I vowed never to buy another unit, and I didn't for more than three years. But when they do work, they are wonderful machines and I succumbed again and I had this model delivered to me on February 25, 2016. It worked great out of the box, of course, and all was forgiven and I was in coffee heaven. On April 1, 2016, the machine began groaning again and immediately failed to brew at all. One reason I was willing to give the product line another try is that I have found detailed instructions online about how to repair a broken unit. So I may yet restore this unit to working condition. But I am leaving my review now because this broken unit has only been in service for five weeks. Five weeks!! It's brewed only approximately seventy-five cups of coffee before breaking. That's just not good enough, no matter how great the functioning unit is, and even if this is still under warranty. You have to be able to make a product that lasts significantly longer than these do, without repair or replacement. I've given two stars because when it works, it is a 5-star product. But it won't work for long.
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on January 11, 2017
This coffee machine is by far the best coffee machine I've bought! It's so quick and convenient to brew up an early morning cup of fresh, hot coffee. From the k-cups that I've tried so far, I noticed they taste slightly more watery than the coffee my old brewer made. But after a few cups and tastes of many other k-cups I have figured maybe the keurig filters the coffee grains more than usual coffee brewers. I don't regret the purchase!
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on February 15, 2016
The Keurig arrived a few weeks ago, and during the first week, it was great. The sampler really helped determine the kind of coffee I preferred and what I'd likely never buy. After the first week, I had gotten some tea for the Keurig and suddenly, the K cup overflowed and all the tea sediments went into my cup. I thought it was just a bad batch, but no, it started happening with everything I tried to make.

I did some reading and apparently this is a pretty common issue, along with a few other issues so do your research! I read that some people puncture two holes in the K cup because the K cups can't really handle pressure (um it's a $130 machine and it can't handle what it's designed to do?) so I started doing that and the problem went away. So, outside of having to puncture two holes in the K cups, I haven't had any other issues with it.

Also, if you buy the reusable coffee cups, just be aware that it won't taste as strong. I have Starbucks Verona K cups and the bag, the K cups taste nice and strong but the reusable cup makes the coffee in the bag taste like water.

Just be aware that you'll probably be married to the K cups for the rest of your Keurig relationship.
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on December 30, 2015
What can I say, it's a Keurig! If you've drank coffee from one, you know the quality. This isn't a newer model with all the bells & whistles but it works great, isn't complicated to operate & produces a fantastic cup of brew!

CONS:
There's no carafe size option
It seems like I have to fill the reservoir fairly often
It does take a couple minutes to heat up when it's first turned on
Instructions state to remove used pod right away. After the top is closed, the cup selection lights all flash which can be irritating it you're not brewing another cup but they stop flashing after a couple of minutes

PROS:
You can use ANY K-cup pods, even ones without the logo. (I just found my new favorite {non-licensed} coffee which I wouldn't be able to use if I'd bought a 2.0. It's packaged in a short pod with a filter bottom vs. plastic, so will leave less non-biodegradable material in our landfills)
The reservoir is easy to get at & you don't have to remove the entire thing to fill it like on some brands
Reservoir is clear so you can see when water is getting low
Low Water indicator light comes on to remind you to fill reservoir in case you don't notice
Won't brew if low on water so you don't wind up with a wasted pod & half a cup of coffee
Water filter feature is great if you have hard water like I do, don't have filtered water and don't want to use bottled water
Replacement filters are very inexpensive
Removable cup stand gives you room to brew directly into a travel mug
So convenient
Coffee tastes soooooo good
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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.
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on February 10, 2017
It took years for our old Keurig to die and i KNEW i wanted an older model that would easily take the re-usable K-cups. I like the K-cup coffee but that waste and cost is just too high. When the old K died, I went back to regular brewed pot-o-coffee, old school style for about a month, but wow, did I miss the convenience. I always say I need a cup of coffee just to make a cup of coffee and the old brewed stuff just seemed to take forever after being spoiled for YEARS with the ease and speed of my old Keurig. Although this one is configured a little different than the original Keurig, the upgrades are good. Easier to pick the cup size etc. But most importantly, it takes my reusable k-cups so I feel like I'm doing the planet a little bit of a favor every morning. And that cup of coffee I need? it's mine in under two minutes from grind, to K-start up to brew. Ahhhhhhh.
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