This article has been a long time in coming. This is both because Keurig machines are less popular in the world of specialty coffee and that there is simply a ridiculous amount of different Keurig models. You can literally get them in just about any shape or color imaginable!
Keurig Coffee makers are really about two things; convenience and consistency. No messing around with grinding, no careful observation, just push a button and you are away laughing. So if this sounds like you then we have put together this list of some of the most popular models to help you figure out which might be the right one for you.
What Are Keurig Coffee Makers?
Keurig coffee makers are single serve coffee makers. Similar to Nespresso machines they use pre-packed coffee in the form of K-cups. These are basically a single serve of pre-ground coffee that is packed in a plastic cup with a foil seal to keep the coffee fresh. There are hundreds of different flavors of K-cups available in every roast, blend or origin so you are sure to find one to make your perfect brew. K-cups for hot chocolate, chai latte and tea are also available.
Keurig coffee makers are very simple to use. You simply insert your K-cup, choose your cup size and it brews hot coffee straight into your cup. The appeal of these machines lies in the convenience, ease of use, and consistent coffee it produces. Depending on what Keurig model you opt to go for there are hundreds of flavors to choose from. Being a capsule machine, the coffee is not as nuanced or fresh as some other brewing methods, but it can still taste nice and give you that morning hit.
What To Look For In A Keurig Coffee Maker?
My K-Cup Compatibility
Some machines can accept My K-Cups. These are basically a reusable K-cup that allows you to add your own coffee or other flavorings and create your own brews. This is a great way to improve the taste of your coffee as you can use freshly ground coffee. It also significantly reduces the waste produced from using your Keurig coffee maker.
Different machines have varying degrees of programmability. Are you looking for a machine that can alter the brew temperature, coffee strength and allow you to brew varying cup sizes?
Compatible with 3rd party K-Cups?
Some machines can accept 3rd party K-Cups. These are basically cheaper versions of the K-cup so are a great way of saving money if you can find an alternative brand that you like.
Single serve or Carafe?
Are you wanting a coffee maker to brew just single serve beverages or would you like the option of brewing a pot full of coffee. Some Keurig models have the option of both single serve and carafes.
How many people are going to be using your machine? If there are multiple people you should opt for a machine with a larger water reservoir so you don’t have to refill as often. You could also opt for a machine with the option of making a carafe of coffee as well for multiple serves.
Keurig coffee makers come in all different shapes and sizes. Some have extra features like an energy saving mode, that turns the machine off when not in use. Or quiet brew technology where certain models are designed to make very little noise when in use. The higher end models have digital displays that you can control with a touch screen. If you like milk based beverages you can opt for a model with a milk frother or splash out and buy one from our list of the best milk frothers.
The Best Keurig Coffee Maker
If you are looking for a basic entry level model at a great price then the Keurig K-Classic is for you! The Keurig K-classic comes in 2 colors; black or red and is able to brew multiple K-cup sizes (6,8 and 10 ounce). It is easy to navigate, you simply insert your pod and select your desired cup size and it will brew your coffee in under a minute. The machine has lights on the top to notify you when it is time to descale, add water, or when it is heating.
The Keurig K Elite is the more premium model not just in looks but in features too. Along with all the basic features the K-Elite has more options for brewing including a strong brew option for those who love a bold brew and an iced coffee option perfect for those hot summer days. It also has the option of programming the temperature (from 187-192F) so your drink can be brewed to your preferences. The K-Elite has 5 different cup sizes (4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 oz.) available and brews your beverage in under a minute. It also has a larger water reservoir so you don’t have to refill as often. To top it all off it has quiet brew technology so there is minimal noise when the coffee maker is in use.
Looking for a coffee machine to cater to the whole office? Then the Keurig K155 Office Pro is for you! This coffee maker is sure to impress with an easy to navigate touchscreen interface and multiple beverage options available including iced coffee. It has 4 different brew sizes (4, 6, 8 or 10 oz.) and a huge 90 oz. water reservoir so everyone in the office can enjoy a beverage before having to refill it. The reservoir itself is also easily removed to be cleaned or refilled. Like the K-Elite the machine features quiet brew technology. While this machine has the capacity to cater to the whole office on the downside it can only brew single cups not pots of coffee and it is not compatible with My K-Cup.
If you are short on bench space then we recommend the Keurig K-mini model. It is available in 4 different colors and has a modern design to complement any kitchen. The main point of difference with this machine is that it is less than 5 inches wide (which is a huge difference compared to some other models which are quite bulky!). The Keurig K-mini is also more minimalistic in terms of features. It brews any cup size between 6 to 12 oz. and has a one cup water reservoir. Like all the Keurig machines it brews a beverage in under a minute. If you like a strong beverage you could opt for the K-mini plus model which features a strong brew option and also has a pod storage system built in.
If you love milk based beverages; lattes, cappuccinos; hot chocolates then you should consider the Keurig K Cafe model. The Keurig K Cafe model comes with a built-in Milk frother so you can produce more specialty drinks. The Keurig machine itself has all the features you would expect with 4 different cup sizes (4, 8, 10 and 12 oz.), a strong brew option, and also a shot button if you are wanting to make a latte or cappuccino. The milk frother has 3 options; creamy latte, frothy cappuccino or cold frothed milk if you are wanting to make an iced latte. This is a good option if you like both black and white coffee however if you are more interested in milk-based drinks you could also opt for a Nespresso machine which works in a very similar way but produces nicer tasting drinks. Check out our Nespresso machine guide here.
If you are wanting a versatile coffee maker with the option of both single serve and pots of coffee then the Keurig K-Duo Plus is for you. This sleek looking model has a huge range of brew sizes with the usual single serve 6, 8, 10 or 12 oz. cups or a 6, 8, 10 or 12 cup stainless steel carafe. The Single serve has many of the same features as the other machines, brewing a coffee in under a minute. It also has the strong brew option. The carafe option means you can use ground coffee to brew a whole pot of coffee. The machine comes with a 12 cup stainless steel carafe to keep coffee warm for up to 2 hours and a reusable mesh filter. The machine also has a Pause and Pour feature when brewing a pot of coffee so you can pause brewing for 20 seconds and serve fresh coffee right away. This model also has a 60 ounce water reservoir that can be positioned multiple ways to optimize counter space. The K-duo plus is compatible with the Keurig My K-Cup reusable coffee filter however it is not compatible with K-carafe pods, so you can only use ground coffee when brewing a carafe.
The Verdict: The Best Keurig Coffee Maker?
We hope this guide has given you some direction on what Keurig model might be right for you! In the end it really comes down to what you are looking for. The Keurig K-duo plus is a great model allowing for versatility to cater to all the family. Alternatively if you love milk based drinks the Keurig K-Cafe would be the way to go. If you are still not sold on Keurig coffee makers check out our article on the best Keurig alternatives for some other great options.