Keurig coffee makers have been quite popular for the past decade now, mainly because of their ease of use and convenience.
It is estimated that more than 36 million Keurig units are being used in homes and offices across the US. Quite a huge number, Isn’t it?
Just put the k cup pod into the machine, press the brew button, and your coffee will be ready in a minute. The only easier way than this is to have coffee at some café.
But are Keurigs really worth it?
Well! The answer is not that straightforward it really depends on what are your preferences. If you are a casual coffee drinker who isn’t too fussy about taste and you want your coffee in a quick and easy way, then Keurig is definitely worth the investment. Keurig may not be right for you if you’re looking for an affordable way to make coffee and want to customize the taste of your drink depending on your mood.
Let’s cover the pros and cons of Keurig coffee makers from all angles and possibilities so that you can decide if investing in Keurig will be worthwhile for you or not.
Does Keurig make good coffee?
Typically this is the first factor that everyone considers when buying a coffee maker for themselves
The Keurig coffee maker makes a simple and smooth cup of coffee that tastes decent, but not great.
Keurig will disappoint you if you are picky about the great flavors and robustness of your coffee drink; however, if you are a regular coffee drinker who does not take coffee seriously, then you’ll find it good.
There are two main reasons why Keurig coffee is weaker than French Press or Drip coffee maker; first, the brew time is too quick so the grounds do not have enough time to fully extract the flavors, and second, the brewing temperature inside the machine is less than optimal.
Some Keurig models now have this feature, and I have found it to be more flavorful and better tasting than normal Keurig brew.
The best way to brew coffee from Keurig is to always choose smaller brew sizes (as larger brew sizes are watered down) and press the strong brew button. Follow this article for more tips on how to make Keurig coffee stronger.
Pros and Cons of Keurig coffee maker
Let’s go through the Pros and Cons of Keurig coffee makers quickly.
Pros of Keurig
- There can’t be any coffee maker more convenient and user-friendly than Keurig
- Quick – Brews coffee within a minute
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Sleek and Modern Design – Increase the beauty of your kitchen
- Wide variety of k cups available from top coffee brands
- Variety of machines are available from entry-level to advanced
Cons Of Keurig
- Machines are more costly than regular drip coffee makers
- The cost of a K-cup coffee pod is almost double the cost of coffee grounds
- Lots and lots of plastic k cups end up in landfills every year
- The taste of coffee is just acceptable
- Limited customizable options for brewing coffee
Reasons you should buy a Keurig | The Pros
The following are some reasons why you might be convinced to buy a new Keurig coffee maker.
1) Convenience and User Friendliness
No coffee maker can beat Keurig in terms of convenience and user-friendliness.
Keurig is freaking simple. Insert your favorite K-cup coffee pod in the machine, select your desired cup size, press the brew button and your coffee will be ready.
You don’t need to care about grinding the coffee beans, selecting the right coffee-to-water ratio, and waiting for the whole pot to brew.
No brewing experience needed – Even a kid can brew a perfect cup of coffee using Keurig.
2) Keurig is super quick
We live in a world where people are always on the go, so it’s natural for us to skip the hefty coffee brewing process and get our cup of joe as fast as possible, especially in the busy mornings.
For this reason, Keurig has designed its brewing system to prepare coffee in as little time as possible.
Keurig only takes 2 to 3 minutes to heat up for the first brew and only 40 to 50 seconds to brew a cup of coffee. That’s pretty fast compared to drip coffee makers which take almost 10 to 15 minutes for brewing a pot of coffee. As for the second brew, Keurig heats up even faster in under a minute.
Keurig is a single-serve coffee maker and is only quick if you want 1 or 2 cups of coffee at a time. In my opinion, Keurig is not a practical choice for bigger families or if you need to brew multiple cups at a time.
3) Cleaning and maintenance
The best thing about Keurig is it’s super easy to clean. Just remove the used coffee pod from the machine and you are good to go for the second brew.
But cleaning the pod holder after every use is essential to maintain the quality of the brew; otherwise, the coffee will start tasting bad and bitter because of the buildup of coffee residue and oils.
Still, it’s very easy to clean than a traditional coffee maker where you have to dispose of the coffee grounds and clean the mesh filters and coffee pots every time.
For the proper maintenance of the machine, it’s recommended to descale the machine once every 3-6 months or after 300 cups of coffee. It’s most important if you want your Keurig to last for longer.
4) Modern and Minimalistic design
The modern and decent design of Keurig coffee makers makes them a welcome addition to your kitchen.
They have a very sleek shape and body, so they can easily fit anywhere you want on your counter.
Having a portable design, these coffee machines are perfect for small apartments, college dormitories, etc.
Also, Keurig models often come in various color options, so you can select the one that matches the aesthetics of your kitchen.
5) Variety of K cups
In recent years, the popularity of single-serve pod machines has led to an abundance of variety in K cups.
Every top coffee brand like Starbucks, Lavazza, Peets, Illy, and many more manufactures K cups of Keurig coffee makers. With so many flavors and quality coffee available in the K-cup market, you can easily find the one that fits your taste best.
Additionally, K cups are not limited to coffee only, you can find them for other hot beverages such as hot chocolate, tea, and latte.
Finding coffee pods for other pod-based machines like Nespresso Vertuo, Dolce Gusto, and ESE pods is sometimes difficult, but it’s not the case with K cups for Keurig which are available everywhere from Online stores to local supermarkets.
6) Variety of Models
Keurig has been there for more than 20 years now and has launched various models to meet the demand of customers. For Example
Keurig Mini Plus: Compact and lightweight budget-friendly model
Keurig K Elite: High-end model with a lot of customization options to brew coffee the way you want
Keurig Duo Series: The Keurig Duo models can brew both coffee pot or single-serve coffee.
Keurig Supreme series: This is the latest series from Keurig that has advanced multi-stream technology for better extraction and more flavorful cup of coffee.
Keurig K café: This model has a built-in milk frother so you can easily prepare Latte and Cappuccino with a single button.
The Keurig company understands the needs of its customers and strives to meet them from every possible angle.
Reasons Why you shouldn’t buy a Keurig | The Cons
There is no doubt that Keurig is the most convenient coffee maker out there, but it does have many cons, including the high price tag.
1) The cost of the Keurig machine
Keurig coffee makers start at around 80 dollars for entry-level models like K mini and go to around 250 for advanced models like K café and K duo Plus.
In contrast, traditional coffee makers start at around 30 dollars and a good one with all the features can be bought for less than $100.
So Yes! You have to pay almost double while buying a Keurig.
2) The Cost of k cups vs ground coffee
Not only the Keurig machines are expensive but the recurring cost of k cup pods is also a lot higher.
The price of K cup pods is almost double the price of coffee grounds.
Following is a quick comparison between the price of K cups, ground coffee, and a cup of coffee from a local café.
|Cost of coffee per cup||0.7 $ (Pods cost between 0.5 and 1.2 dollars, on average)||0.4 $ ( Coffee Costs around 0.8-1$/ounce and one ounce can make 2 cups of coffee)||2 dollars on average for plain black coffee|
|Cost per year for two cups Daily||0.7*2*365 = 510||0.4*2*365 = 290||2*2*365 = 1460|
While K cups are definitely more expensive than ground coffee but still it is way better than wasting money at cafes like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts every day.
3) Ton of plastic waste
Keurig uses plastic coffee pods that aren’t fully recyclable, hence it’s not sustainable to brew coffee.
According to TheAtlantic,
“In 2014, enough K-Cups were sold that if placed end-to-end, they would circle the globe 10.5 times. Almost all of them ended up in landfills.“
The environmental impact of Keurig coffee pods has been widely criticized over the last few years. Fortunately, Keurig is taking action and is committed to making 100% of its packaging recyclable or compostable by 2025. In 2020, Keurig eliminated rigid polystyrene from its primary packaging portfolio.
Still, it’s far from being sustainable. You can do two things to combat this issue if you care about the environment (And why shouldn’t you?)
- Buy reusable coffee pods and fill them with your own coffee grounds
- Remove the lid of the used capsule, remove the paper filter, rinse it thoroughly with water, and then recycle only the plastic cup.
Of course! There is nothing convenient about either of these options and that kills the whole purpose behind investing more money in Keurig.
4) The taste is just acceptable
As mentioned earlier, Keurig doesn’t prepare a great cup of coffee, but it tastes just fine.
You won’t like it if you’re a coffee snob, but it’s also not as bad as some people say.
In general, it’s a problem with all pod-based coffee makers. If you are really after convenience, I’m sure Keurig will provide better flavors than any other pod-based drip coffee machine.
5) Limited customizable options
If you prefer making coffee your own way, then Keurig isn’t for you.
With Keurig, you are limited to using k cups, which means you can’t change the coffee-to-water ratio, you can’t use freshly ground coffee for ultimate freshness and also you can’t change the brewing time and water temperature.
In order to brew a perfect cup of coffee, these parameters matter a lot, and Keurig only lets you choose from pre-set values.
This is a good thing if you aren’t an expert in brewing coffee, but it’s definitely not for true coffee lovers.
Some Alternatives to Keurig
1) French Press
French Press is a simple yet elegant way of brewing a rich and strong cup of coffee.
In terms of taste, French Press is a better alternative to Keurig if you’re willing to put in a little more effort and time on the brewing process.
French Press does require some brewing experience since you have to select the right coffee grounds, steep them for enough time, and push the plunger accurately.
The French Press gives all the brewing parameters in your hand and actually allows you to make a rich and satisfying cup of coffee, and it is also a lot cheaper than Keurig.
2) Drip coffee makers
Traditional drip coffee makers are also a good choice but a better choice than Keurig if you are ready to give up on convenience.
The main difference between Keurig and Drip coffee makers is that drip machines use coffee grounds while Keurig uses K cups. Drip machines give you control over brewing parameters such as grind size, amount of grounds, and brewing time, while Keurig doesn’t. Apart from that the brewing principle is exactly the same.
Drip coffee makers are way more cost-effective than Keurig and perfect for big families or for brewing coffee at gatherings.
Nespresso is a good alternative for Keurig if you prefer strong and intense shots of Espresso over a regular cup of coffee.
Nespresso is also a Pod-based coffee machine brand based in Switzerland that is very popular in Europe.
If you are a strong coffee lover or if you prefer milk-based coffee drinks like Cappuccino or Latte then I suggest you go with Nespresso.
Additionally, Nespresso has a dedicated pod recycling system, so you won’t have to feel guilty about polluting the environment while also brewing coffee with the ease of pods.
Should you buy a Keurig? Final Thoughts
These are some questions you should ask yourself before buying a Keurig
Can you afford to pay double for a coffee machine and per cup of coffee for convenience?
On busy mornings, are you always pressed for time and you’d rather drink an average cup of coffee than spend time brewing a perfect one?
If the answers are yes then you should definitely buy a Keurig and it will be worth every penny.
However, if you are on a budget, or if you are a coffee enthusiast who always has the time for mastering a perfect cup of coffee, look into traditional drip machines or manual machines like French Presses and Pour Overs.
Read reviews of popular Keurig Coffee makers:
How Long Does Keurigs Last?
If maintained properly Keurig coffee makers can easily last up to 3 to 4 years. The key here is to always descale and clean Keurig on time.
Keurig is a top-notch brand in the single-serve coffee market and always takes the build quality of its product seriously. Also, Keurig offers 1-year replacement or repair warranty.
Should You Buy A Keurig 2.0 Brewer?
Keurig launched 2.0 brewing systems in the fall of 2014. These brewers only work with licensed K Cups being made by Keurig.
Keurig had to discontinue the brewing system after it saw a lot of backlash from customers over its compatibility issues with k cups.
Since Keurig has discontinued this series, I wouldn’t recommend buying it even if you get a really good deal because you may run into problems with k-cup availability and maintenance.
I am Johny Morrisson! Founder of CoffeeAbout
My love for coffee dates back to my childhood. I love trying out different coffee machines and recipes.
As a coffee enthusiast, I decided to start my blog last year to provide users with useful information on brewing methods.
During this journey, I have discovered many new things and facts about coffee that I will share with you here.