Most people who enjoy coffee are rather particular about how they like it. Some people don’t seem to care, as long as they get their fix every day. The type of coffee, the flavor of coffee, even the way it is made, is a very personal thing. Maybe you can’t leave the house until you have had that fresh hot cup of Colombian, or maybe you prefer a French roast. Maybe you like the flavored coffees, like Irish cream or mocha.
It’s not just the type of coffee bean that makes a great cup of coffee, but the coffee maker can also play an important role in all of that. It can make or break your morning routine. The type of machine you use can not only change your cup of coffee, but also the way you make it. There are a multitude of coffee makers on the market today, and all run the gambit of pricing, so you are spoiled for choice. Whether you like a regular drip maker, a fancy espresso machine, or the French press type, you will have no problem getting your coffee at home or at the office. Here’s the best Keurig brand of coffee makers:
There are indicator lights to show you where you are in the brew, easy button controls, and a cord that will easily wrap up and store inside the machine for storage or cleaning. The automatic turn off after 90 minutes of not being used is great peace of mind.
The drip tray is removable for easy wipe ups, and it comes in an assortment of colors. This single-serve coffee machine is well-built and reasonably priced.
Not only does this sleek machine look good, it is made to be fingerprint resistant, so it will look new and shiny all the time. It has a new, unique Quiet Brew feature that is Keurig’s own feature and a large, 52-ounce water reserve. You can brew up to five cups of coffee before needing to refill it again.
It features a programmable on and off, and the drip tray can be removed to accommodate your travel mug for easy clean up. The water tank can also be removed for ease of cleaning or maintenance, and it is compatible with the My K-Cup Universal Reusable Coffee Filter.
This is a nice machine that will last a long time, and is just slightly higher in price than the one mentioned previously.
You can program this unit to turn on or off automatically at set times, so you can wake up to a fresh cup all ready and set it to turn off to save energy and in case you forget, it won’t cause your house to burn down.
You not only get the maker, but you also get 6 K-Cup pods and a water filter handle, and two filters to improve the taste of your coffee.
The 70-ounce water tank lets you brew up to 8 cups without having to refill, and the water reservoir is removable, making it easy to clean and refill it.
K-Cup pod brew sizes include 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounce for variety, and this one also can hold a carafe of 22, 26, or 30 ounces for more coffee, or if you are entertaining. The pods for the carafe contain more coffee.
The strength control setting lets you brew a stronger cup, and there are five different temperature settings for those who don’t like it hot. You can also just get hot water, with just using the machine without the pods. You can get the other pods for tea, iced beverages, flavored coffees, and hot chocolate.
A removable drip tray at the base of the brewer catches drips and makes for an easy clean up – this machine will tell you when it needs some attention in the way of maintenance and it will tell you that in English, Spanish, or French. Ooh, La La! It also has a retractable cord to keep it hidden away.
You can set the maker to brew a regular cup of coffee or the extra strength brew, for a more intense cup of coffee, on those days you need an extra boost. It will tell you when it needs some maintenance and cleaning, and it has a digital clock, an extra large color touch screen for easy programming, and it has five different temperature control settings and a night light setting, to see your way around at night with different colored lights to choose from.
This machine will dispense just hot water and has the settings for other beverages, iced coffees, specialty coffees, and tea or hot chocolate. It can use a lot of different pods, the K-Cup in 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces. The Vue pod comes in 12, 14, 16, and 18 ounce sizes, the K-Mug with 12, 14, 16, and 18 ounce pods, and the K-Carafe pods in 22, 26, and 30 ounce sizes. That must just about cover anyone who wants coffee, to Miss Just Half A Cup, to Uncle Guzzle Guts.
You can tuck the cord in behind so no one has to look at it, and it is compatible with the 2.0 My K-Cup Reusable Filter. It comes with extras like pods, water filters, and water filter handle.
It has auto shut off after two hours of not being used, and a large, 48-ounce water reserve that can be removed for easy filling or cleaning and maintenance, and can handle K-Cup pods in 6, 8, or 10 ounce sizes. Plus, there is a removable drip tray to fill up your travel mug.
You can choose from over 500 varieties of coffee, teas, iced beverages, and specialty coffees, like mocha and Irish cream, from 75 different brand makers. There are 12 different varieties of beverages at purchase.
It has an easy, one touch start system and always brews in under a minute, so no one will be waiting long for their fresh cup of joe. It is fully programmable with a touchscreen, and you can choose the temperature you want, preset it to turn on and off, set the clock, and have a pleasant conversation with it in French, Spanish, or English. It has quiet brew, too, in case someone is concentrating super hard. Shh. There is not just coffee but specialty coffee, teas, hot chocolate, and iced beverages, and an extra large water reserve that will fill a lot of coffee cups before needing refilling, and it can easily be drained. Not just for office uses, it might be just perfect in a family with a lot of coffee drinkers. The difference between the home machine and office machine is that they are built for durability, so if you want to give your coffee maker a good workout at home, you may want to consider the commercial make.
It has an easy, one touch start system and always brews in under a minute, so no one will be waiting long for their fresh cup of joe. It is fully programmable with a touchscreen, and you can choose the temperature you want, preset it to turn on and off, set the clock, and have a pleasant conversation with it in French, Spanish, or English. It has quiet brew, too, in case someone is concentrating super hard. Shh.
There is not just coffee but specialty coffee, teas, hot chocolate, and iced beverages, and an extra large water reserve that will fill a lot of coffee cups before needing refilling, and it can easily be drained. Not just for office uses, it might be just perfect in a family with a lot of coffee drinkers. The difference between the home machine and office machine is that they are built for durability, so if you want to give your coffee maker a good workout at home, you may want to consider the commercial make.
Features include touchscreen programming and a 40-ounce water tank that is removable, making it easy to refill or clean. K-Cup pods work for 4, 6, 8, and 10 ounces, and will also brew a Carafe (22, 26, or 30 ounces with the K-Carafe pods for those days you need more). A strength control setting allows you to make a stronger cup of coffee with any regular K-Cup pod.
A removable drip tray at the base of the brewer catches drips and makes for easy clean-up. It will also dispense just hot water, as well. It comes with four coffee pods, water filter handle, two water filters, and a bottle of descaling cleaner to maintain the unit. Their carafe is sold separately.
As usual, this machine brews in under a minute, before you can even get out of your sports themed pajamas. It makes 6, 8, or 10 ounce cup sizes, and it has the feature to make tea, hot chocolate, and other iced beverages as well.
The removable 48-ounce water tank is easy to take out for easy refill or clean. You can remove the drip tray, as well, for cleaning or to use a large container like a travel mug. This machine won’t take up a lot of space on your counter or in the cupboard, if you need to store it after use.
You can program it to automatically turn off, and there are indicator lights to guide you. It is compatible with My K-Cup. It’s a nice, simple coffee maker at a reasonable price.
The slim water tank is just eight inches wide, but still has the capacity of 36 ounces of water, so you can still brew several cups of coffee before it’s time to refill. This is likely fine for the single cup serve types, as you don’t want the water sitting for several days at a time.
This machine also brews 6, 8, or 10 ounce sizes of cups, and it still does it in under a minute. Your coffee will be ready before you have even warmed up your pink fuzzy bunny slippers.
The drip tray can be removed for easy clean up and to fit in your favorite travel mug. Nothing says easy commute like a fresh cup of coffee. It features easy touch button controls and automatic turn off after two hours of no activity. Plus, this machine is one of the lower in cost, and still performs like a champ.
The side by side coffee spout and milk frother mean that you can get both ready at the same time. The milk frother can froth any type of milk – whole or skim and non dairy milks will all froth up nicely.
As per the Keurig standard, your coffee is ready in under a minute, and you have three settings for the frothing alone, for a cold froth, cappuccino, and latte. You can also make two different sizes with your espresso setting – 1.4 or 2.8 ounces.
You can get four different types of pods for the espresso machine, including a dark roast, a medium roast, decaf, and the classic, which is also a medium, full bodied roast.
Keurig is an American made and based hot and cold beverage brewing system for the home and for commercial use. It is manufactured by the Keurig Green Mountain company, headquartered in Waterbury, Vermont. The heart of the Keurig products are K-Cup pods, which are single-serve coffee pods that fit in to their coffee makers. Plus, they also make other beverage pods, and most of these other pods fit in each of their machines and brewers.
Keurig was founded John Sylvan and Peter Dragone, who met in the late ‘70’s at Colby College in Maine. Some years later, Sylvan left his tech job in Massachusetts, determined to find a way solve the issue of stale, boring coffee that most offices seemed to always have – a full pot that ended up sitting for a long time, getting stale or bitter and too strong, and sometimes even getting a burned taste.
He was living in Boston, and he worked at several different models and tried many different approaches, with a lot of trial and error trying to make the pod and brewing machine they have now.
Meanwhile, Dragone was working as director of finance for Chiquita, and Sylvan brought him in to work up a business plan.
They soon become partners and the then finally founded the company in 1992, naming it Keurig, which, according to Sylvan, claimed the name came from the Dutch word for excellent.
They began by making the pods by hand and were still trying to perfect the actual coffee maker. It was around this time that they contacted manufacturing consultant Dick Sweeney to act as co-founder and to jump start the automation of the production.
The first brewing machines were not standing up to perfection and were mostly unreliable and not working properly. No company can progress in the big bad world of business without proper backing and a good dose of cash, so when they were approached by who was then Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, they partnered up with them and with their investment, and were able to move forward.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters became the first coffee brand to have its coffee in the Keurig K-Cup pod for the new Keurig Single-Cup Brewing System, finally ready to be on the market. Also at this time, Keurig finally perfected its first brewing system, the B2000, made for the use in offices.
They began selling in New York, with the main market aimed at office use, and with an eye on some of Starbucks’ massive market. To keep brand loyalty and to satisfy all individual tastes, Keurig brought on a variety of regionally known coffee brands that had a wide variety of flavored coffee. Besides Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, they were able to secure some other brands that are well-known world-wide, like Timothy’s World Coffee, Van Houtte, and Tully’s. However, Green Mountain would be the main brand.
Keurig also began to branch out of the beverage world by offering other flavors and types of beverages in its K-Cup pods. These were drinks like hot chocolate and teas. The original coffee makers were very large, and connected to the office’s water supply. Keurig would sell them to local coffee distributors, who would install them in offices for little or no money, as they could depend on the K-Cups to make the money. The office coffee makers were profitable because the K-Cups were pricey, and an average office might go through a hundred or more in one day.
Afer, when Keurig had sold at least 10,000 commercial brewers, demand for a home type of brewer began to increase. There was initial difficulty in making a coffee maker small enough to fit on the average kitchen countertop, and also to make them within cost that would be affordable to the average person who wanted to buy one.
Finally, Keurig had a prototype ready for home use, but by this time, they were not alone. Several other well-known coffee maker brand companies had their own version ready to go, along with their own single-serve coffee makers and pods.
Keurig grabbed onto the increased awareness of the idea and sent reps into stores to give out free samples and perform demonstrations of its new B100 home brewer. Keurig and K-Cups quickly grew to be the popular brand of home brewing machines and the single-serve pods.
The original founders, Sylvan and Dragone, did not last through the massive mainstream production part of the company, but their name Green Mountain coffee is still used. In fact, they have gone on to drive the Keurig brand well in to the top selling coffee makers, and these machines can be found in millions of homes.
In 2014, owners of Keurig’s parent company, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, changed the name to Keurig Green Mountain to reinforce the idea of selling their Keurig coffee makers.
Then, later that same year, Keurig Green Mountain introduced the Keurig 2.0 brewer, with technology meant to stop people from using old pods or off brand name pods from being used in the newer machines. People were not happy about this move.
Since, Keurig has launched the K-Mug pod, a recyclable pod which brews larger mug and travel mug sizes. The machine Keurig 2.0 uses K-Mug pods, and can make 12, 14, and 16 ounce cups sixes, and the plastic is recyclable.
The Keurig 2.0 K-Cup pods now come in 400 different varieties and have over 60 different brands that people can choose from. Plus, the style of coffee maker 2.0 also has the ability to brew a carafe in addition to the cup, in three settings using the new K-Carafe pod. It’s great for those who may have needed to buy two machines, and now you can have it all in one.
Recently, the Keurig company debuted the K200, a smaller Keurig 2.0 model that can brew single cups or carafes of up to four cups, which comes in a variety of colors.
In a continued effort to grow and offer their customers a lot of choices, Keurig launched a line of K-Cups for Campbell’s Soup available in The Campbell’s Fresh-Brewed Soup Kits, and they come with a package of noodles and a K-Cup pod of soup. There are two choices for the soup options, Homestyle Chicken Broth & Noodle, and Southwest Style Chicken Broth & Noodle.
Keurig hot and cold beverages come in so many varieties of flavors and types, including coffees, hot or iced teas, hot chocolate, and now fruit based drinks like lemonade and cider.
Also new to Keurig is the line of Keurig Kold, a brewer which can handle a variety of cold beverages including soft drinks and sparkling waters. This machine brews not only Keurig’s own line of flavored sparkling waters and teas, sports drinks, and fountain drinks, but you can get beverages from The Coca-Cola Company, as well as Dr. Pepper and Snapple drinks for your home use.
As the company continues to grow and develop, the types of products and features that are becoming available on the Keurig brewers are seemingly endless. A different type of hot or cold beverage from any type of flavor you can dream up, it seems there is a cup of something for anyone of any discerning taste, ready for you in a minute.
There are also commercial coffee makers available, for use in offices, schools, colleges, healthcare facilities, food service industries, convenience stores, and commercial coffee shops. As this was the origin of the company’s beginnings, it is not surprising that they are still being used commercially. To find out about these types of heavy duty machines, you can contact the company through their website or a Keurig distributor in your area. These are not available for home use, and must be connected to a main water source.
This is a list of some of the coffee makers available through the Keurig line. There is no argument that this company makes nice, reliable coffee makers, so if you are considering buying one, here are another few tips in our buyer’s guide to help you make some informed choices.
Cost ~ This is always a consideration when making a purchase, but it’s important here, as these machines are priced far higher than most regular coffee makers on the market. The fact that many of them are single serve coffee makers must also be considered. If you buy an expensive machine that only makes one cup of coffee at a time, that’s great if that’s all you need. It makes a single cup within a minute or two, so if you like to drink more than one cup, you can easily have another very quickly, and always fresh, unlike coffee sitting on a hotplate in a carafe, which often can take on a burned flavor.
However, if you have several people in your household, or you like to entertain, you may need to think about a machine that makes a larger pot at a time. You don’t want to be making coffee for six people, all using the pods, as that could run up a lot of money and waste for just one evening, especially if people like more than just one cup. There are Keurig machines that hold a carafe, and many of them are within the single cup price range.
Not only is the machine expensive but the coffee pods are, as well. It’s more expensive than a pound of coffee and in some cases, more than even a premium blend of coffee in a bag or the types you can grind yourself at the store.
There is also the environmental cost, which we will look at later in this article, but if you are concerned about the planet, and, let’s face it, you really should be, you need to add that into your cost. Consider the cost of the pods and the cost to the environment.
Taste ~ This may seem obvious, but some people are very particular about their coffee. We all know someone who loves the brand name coffee and can’t say enough about it, and can’t seem to drink enough of it, regardless of how much it is costing them every day. Then there are those who wouldn’t drink that coffee blend if they were gasping for a drink and spitting out feathers.
The same may be said about these machines. Some people find it to be perfect, some not so much. If you have a more basic machine, without all the options and settings, it may be harder for you to find the right flavor and strength you want in your coffee. Many machines have the option to make it stronger, but it may not be the same as when you make it with a drip type of machine, as you get to measure out the coffee yourself and with the pods in the Keurig, they come pre measured and it may not suit your taste.
Test Drive ~ Try the machine out, have the coffee, and see what you think. There is a really big chance that you know someone who has one. Ask about the machine, the coffee, the convenience, and the overall cost, and any other questions you may have. Check them out in a store, ask your friends and relatives and co-workers about them, and ask them for the truth. Some will love them and be brand loyal to the end, and some may be more honest.
It’s a good idea to find out all you can – ask about warranty, about breakage, and if the machine breaks or has problems, how the support is and how easy it is to get them to repair it, or if it’s expensive and not worth it. Can you get replacement parts, or do you have to retire it to the coffee machine hospital for weeks on end, just to pay through the nose to spring her out again?
There are always advantages and disadvantages when making a choice to buy an appliance, and these machines are no exception. Some of the advantages are as follows:
- Fast. Most of these coffee makers finish their brew within a minute or two. Plus, if you have several people in the house drinking coffee, you can all have the flavors you all want without compromise and without waiting.
- One touch of the button and the machine starts. On some models, you can pre-program the machine to start and shut down at certain times, so you can have a fresh cup of coffee waiting as soon as your feet hit the floor.
- The programmable models allow you to preset the time you want, and many of them have an automatic shut off system to save energy and provide safety. Plus, you can get some of the newer models with more than one language.
- Many of these units can make different sizes of coffees, and some will have the capacity for a carafe or removable drip tray to fit in a travel mug. The choice of other flavors, tea, and iced beverages is also a great feature to use the same machine for other drinks besides coffee.
- Great Customer Service. They stand behind their products, their warranty, and their name.
Here are some disadvantages:
- This can be a big one, especially if you are on a tight budget. These machines are upwards to well over a hundred dollars, which might be too steep for many people, when you can get a perfectly good machine for twenty dollars. The cost of buying the pods is also steeper than even some premium coffee, pound for pound.
- The pods aren’t recyclable, at least not entirely, and are rapidly becoming mountains in landfills.
- Not all of these machines talk to each other, so some machines don’t allow the difference in cup size, which can leave your coffee too strong, or too weak, and some of the sold separate features, like K-Cups or filters may not always fit each model.
- If you have the single cup machine, it is not convenient if you have guests who all want coffee. You need to make several cups at a time, and this can be time consuming and costly. If you have to buy another coffee maker in order to accommodate guests, it’s another cost, and more space needed to store it.
The impact on the environment with the use of the plastic pods is nothing new in the world of a pod-using, single serve coffee machine. With the millions of people, both at home and commercially, using these types of machines, that’s a lot of waste.
You might not think you are having much of an impact, with your one or two pods a day, but now times that by several million households who only use one or two a day. Let’s also factor in all the offices who may use anywhere from 50 to 100 a day, and the cafeteria and the hospital and the corner coffee shop – now we’re talking impact.
It is because the K-Cup is made of plastic that also has a filter, coffee grounds, and plastic foil top – it isn’t very easy or convenient to try to separate each part for the purposes of recycling. With absolutely billions of these little plastic pods in the landfills every year, you need to ask yourself if that speedy cup of coffee is worth it.
Interestingly, the founder of the Keurig coffee machine doesn’t actually own one himself. He has expressed regrets at times for conceiving it, and not because he sold his shares for a comparatively low price, but for the impact it is having on the environment.
There is also the environmental impact on making the pods to begin with, that generates waste, pollution, and so many tons of plastic that isn’t actually used and is waste product straight from the factory. The greenhouse emissions and the water used to produce the plastic cups is enormous.
There was a way around this issue where consumers could buy a different brand of reusable pods, but with the new 2.0 brewing system, that is no longer an option, which to many minds, is just greed. The ability to buy your own coffee and fill the pods each time is a smart, economically sound idea, not to mention a relief to the landfill, but the newer machines have seen that it no longer can happen.
It’s like when your phone company or computer company keeps changing the head of the charger – it really comes down to money. But for a company that has always had the environmental finger pointed at them, and have seen sales drop, it seems like the smarter thing to do would be to stay ahead of it, rather than try to simply cash in.
The separate pieces of the pods themselves can be recycled, but the task of taking everything apart and putting them in each of their proper receptacles is a daunting task for the single cup user’s, and a near impossibility for the commercial user.
The Keurig company has since introduced recyclable pods for use, and claims that all the pods will be recyclable by the year 2020. But as the small pods consists of four separate parts, so you need to separate the pod parts. The pods have of a combination of plastic pod, the aluminum cover, organic material, which is the coffee grounds, and the paper filter.
While all of these items can be easily recycled separately, these pods cannot be recycled as a whole. Each of the components need to be separated and sorted into the categories for their recycling or composting. The paper filter is heat sealed inside the plastic, so it’s not easy to remove, and there again, not convenient.
Ain’t nobody got time for that. If you have someone in the house who is artsy, or maybe there is a preschool or a kindergarten near by who could use them for making things, or maybe your own kids or neighbors can reuse the plastic pods for some art projects, or other do-it-yourself types of tasks around the home, then you could recycle the pods. Perhaps you could make something in the garden, or do a school project. There are likely favorable options all over the internet.
Well, if you do care about the earth, there are a few new gadgets that will cut the tops off of the pods to help the ease and speed up the recycling process for you. There are several out on the market and not all of them will work the same, and not all of them will be as easy to use on all the pods. Again, it’s up to you. It might just be a novelty at first, and then it gets to be tiresome, or you cut yourself, or you just start to forget and then it’s just another gadget in the junk drawer, along with the bottle topper and the pedometer.
So, here we are. Back at the landfill. We all know that the K-cup coffee and tea pods are difficult to recycle because of the four materials: a plastic cup, which is lined with a heat-sealed paper filter, and the a polyethylene-coated aluminum foil top that is for the scan. Sure, the packaging keeps coffee fresh, but the cartridges are not biodegradable.
When you look at the big picture, you need to decide if your one minute cup of coffee coming out of your 150 dollar machine is still worth the price. It’s easy to look at the convenience of it all, and your pretty, sleek machine that makes tea and lemonade and hot cocoa for the cold days but the back end of it all may not be worth it all, in the long run. It takes a minute to make the coffee and a lifetime to get rid of the evidence.
Steps are being made to make the pods more environmentally friendly, but much of the damage is already done. If you are serious about closing in on your footprint, you can consider a French press type of coffee maker or the regular twenty dollar coffee makers, some that have reusable filters. It is just coffee, after all, and if you are making it at home to save money and stop buying from the fancy brand name coffee shops, there are cleaner ways to do that. It’s up to you.
Common Problems and General Care
As good as the machines are and as convenient as they are, like any smaller kitchen appliance, they can encounter problems and breakdowns. Some common problems can be small things, like the machine isn’t turning on, or the coffee isn’t brewing, or the machine stops half way through the brewing process.
Regular maintenance on these machines is very important. Many of them come with a descaling kit and solution, and you should use it regularly. Depending on the type of water you are using, you may get a build up inside of the machine faster that usual.
Common problems can be air bubbles in the hose, or other debris blocking them. There could be loose coffee grounds that got caught in the water tank, the puncture needle, or the hoses.
You should remove all removable parts for cleaning and inspection on a regular basis. Make sure there is no damage or other problems with them causing leaking or electrical shortages. Check them over carefully and put them all back so they fit in their spaces tightly.
Run the machine through with clean regular water or add a vinegar to it to clean out any coffee or calcium build up that may occur, and also to disinfect the coffee maker.
Check the electronic source, and be sure that the cord hasn’t suffered any damages or breakages, and check the water tank to make sure it is sitting in the chamber tightly. Check the drains where the water needs to pass through and keep the parts cleaned and workable.
Make sure the water tank is filled with clean water and that you allow the machine the proper warm up time. Check the pre programmed setting to make sure you didn’t change something without knowing and the coffee maker is simply obeying orders.
For electrical issues, contact the company or your warranty to see if you are covered. The Keurig company offers a good warranty and stands behind their name and product. They do offer excellent customer service.
That is a lot of information to help you make some informed decisions about the Keurig coffee brewing systems. There is no perfect appliance to everyone. One person will swear by it and the next won’t go near it. It’s up to you to decide what you want. Weigh the pros and the cons, and do your own research on the machines to see if it’s right for you.
They can be pricier than many machines, and there are other single serve coffee makers on the market, so if you are not brand loyal, you will have no problem sorting out your new coffee maker. If you are familiar with the brewing system that the Keurig makes, then you should be able to figure out if you can move forward with them or if the cost and environmental concerns are all too steep.
Overall, the Keurig line offers great machines providing a fast, fresh cup of coffee with all of your favorite brands and flavors, plus the ability to make teas, iced drinks, and more. It’s hard to beat the options and the value in one machine.