Trying to figure out which Keurig is best for you? Here you can read in plain English the pros and cons of the best Keurig machines. Below we have a general guide of common questions if this is your first time buying or using one if not you can skip straight to the reviews.
K supreme plus
This machine really has everything you need to get started on your home barista journey. You might look at the price tag and think it’s a bit much for a home espresso machine but if you want no headaches and a machine that just works this is absolutely the way to go!
How does Keurig work?
Your Keurig machine is basically a single-serve filter coffee maker like the coffee you would get in a diner on a smaller scale. You put single serve k-cups in your machine close the lid on them and hit go! It’s a very quick and clean way to make coffee but it’s not without its limitations.
The K-cups have a small paper filter about two-thirds of the way down the cup, this lets the coffee through and holds the water back. above it is the ground coffee. You will notice that your Keurig has a ‘needle’ embedded under the lid as you close the k-cup into the Keurig machine it will pierce the lid. The needle injects hot water into the pod which then begins to pour out of a hole in the button. Brewing you a fresh 6-12 ounce coffee. This is the basic setup of every Keurig but they all have different features so it’s important to shop around to find which Keurig is best for you.
How to use a Keurig machine
After you’ve figured out which Keurig is best and bought it you might want a quick guide on how to use it! I’ve broken it down into 7 steps but it’s always a good idea to look at the manual for your specific machine!
- Plug in your Keurig machine and lift off the water reservoir. Fill up the water reservoir with filtered or bottled water if you can.
- The machine may take a few minutes to warm up you should see the red heating light flashing. Once the heating is over place a mug on the drip tray and if this is your first time using it run two of the ‘small mugs’ through the machine and discard the water.
- Your first-time setup is complete! Place a mug on the drip tray and lift the handle.
- Carefully place your K-cup into the holder. You do not need to peel the lid open the needles will pierce your pod as you close the lid.
- Once closed, pick the small or large cup button and the brewing process will begin.
- The brew will be fully completed when air purges the last of the coffee out. Remove the spent K-cup carefully, it will be hot.
- Enjoy your fresh coffee!
How often to clean Keurig?
You should descale your Keurig every 3-6 months. You can do this with white vinegar as a non-toxic way to deep clean your machine (full instructions below) Don’t forget it’s a good idea to clean your Keurig needle as well as it can become blocked and your Keurig might not fill a full cup. The exterior and drip tray should be cleaned weekly.
How to clean a Keurig needle
Your Keurig has two ‘needles’ that may become clogged with coffee grounds overtime cleaning them is very simple. You just need a paperclip (or similar), a large mug, and somewhere to rinse your parts down. Always check the manufacturer’s manual for your machine before cleaning this is just a guide. This is how to clean a Keurig needle:
- Turn off and unplug your Keurig machine before cleaning the needle
- Remove the pod holder from the machine and separate the funnel
- Un-fold your paperclip and insert it into the tube in the top part of the pod holder
- Wiggle your paper clip to loosen any coffee grounds and rinse the pod holder. Be careful handling the sharp needle.
- Next, insert your paperclip into the ‘entrance needle’ this is the needle built into the lid of the keurig machine.
- Make sure you clear both holes and re-assemble the machine.
- Pour two rounds of the largest cup available on your machine without a K-cup inserted to rinse out the needle holes.
Keurig cleaning with vinegar
Keurig cleaning with white vinegar? it sounds like a bit of an old wives tale but this is actually straight from the official manuals of your Keurig machine. These amounts may vary from machine to machine to machine so check your manual. Cleaning out a Keurig with vinegar here’s how:
- Add 10 oz of undiluted white vinegar to your empty water tank and run a brew cycle without a k-cup into an empty mug.
- Add a further 10 oz of undiluted white vinegar to your water tank and begin to run a brew cycle just as the cycle is starting to brew power off your machine and leave it for 30 minutes.
- Turn your Keurig machine on and run the rest of the vinegar through.
- Run three brew cycles with just water until all the vinegar residue is gone.
Keurig not filling cup?
Follow the guides above on how to clean your Keurig needles & descale your machine if the problem continuous try washing the connection between your water tank and Keurig machine with a cloth whilst the machine is unplugged.
Can Keurig pods be recycled?
It’s awesome to say that as of 2020 all K-cups are recyclable! And not in the “yeah they’re recyclable but you have to save 200 of them then post them to Nebraska” sort of way. You can drop them in with your Kerbside collection no worries!
This is a big leap from similar pod machines like Nespresso who are recyclable but you have to jump through some hoops to achieve this, rather than just dropping them in your household recycling!
what can you brew in a keurig?
Should I buy a Keurig?
Keurig has filled a gap in the market for people who want a fast and convenient filter coffee for one. The simplicity of loading a pod and picking your size cannot be overstated. If convenience and ease of use are what you’re looking for then a Keurig is a great option for filter coffee drinkers.
The Keurig does have some drawbacks though, these won’t bother everyone but it’s worth knowing. Firstly the latte’s & cappuccinos you will be able to make with a Keurig like a K-cafe are really not close to the real thing some people seem to like them and that’s fine but without the pressure, you can’t make espresso and without espresso, you cant make cappuccino! If the milky drinks are the main thing you are after but you still want the simplicity and convenience I would highly recommend looking into a Nespresso machine that does a much better job of emulating espresso.
If it’s filter coffee you’re after and you regularly make more than one cup then I would look into getting a filter coffee maker and a cheap grinder this way you can use literally any coffee in the world and really explore what flavors you like best. Not only that but as an example, some quick napkin math reveals 1 cup of Folgers coffee from a filter would cost around 14 cents whereas the K cup would cost around 44 cents it doesn’t sound much but if you have coffee every day that’s $110 a year you could be saving! Or a great hack for this is buying a K-cup universal filter so you can load your own coffee in.
which Keurig is the best: The reviews!
K supreme review
The K-supreme series is the crowd favorite they look great and have a huge range of features. The K supreme plus and the K supreme plus smart have a few extra features I’ll cover below but first here are the features they all share!
Firstly they all look quite similar which I think is the nicest design of the whole Keurig range. They all have options to brew a 6, 8, 10 & 12 oz coffee. The water reservoir has a great handle and can be positioned to the back or side of the machine depending on your space.
The K supreme range all have 5 needle multi-stream technology which means your coffee gets a more even soaking, preventing over and under extraction. Over extracted coffee tastes burnt, roasty, and bitter whereas under-extracted coffee tastes cardboardy and sour. The five needles make it much easier to achieve extraction so you taste the coffee exactly as it should be.
The K supreme models also come with a strong button which slows down the process by 18 seconds extracting more flavor from the coffee. The strong button is a strange one as coffee generally has a goldilocks zone of how long you want water to be touching it and if you leave it too long you extract more flavor but it’s undesirable flavors similar to how if you left your teabag brewing for 10 minutes it would taste of tannins but this is just one to experiment with and see if you like it or not.
The K supremes all come with the iced button which lowers the temperature of the water as your coffee is brewing so you can pour it onto ice and make a tasty iced coffee.
keurig k supreme vs plus
The K supreme plus has a few extra features. Firstly you can now brew a 4oz coffee for a nice strong short brew. You will also notice it has a more elegant metal finish instead of the plastic of the K supreme. Another cool addition is temperature & strength control so if you like your coffee brewed stronger and extra hot you can now decide! A feature they have also added that I love is the ability to set 3 profiles for your family so with a hit of a button your Keurig can remember that you like and you extra hot strong 8oz coffee whilst your partner prefers a 12ox medium strength coffee. Pretty cool.
k supreme plus vs k supreme plus smart
Ok, now we’re getting into some fancy features. The k supreme plus smart has what Keurig is calling brew ID. Basically, they have had coffee nerds find the perfect settings to brew the different types of K-cup. Your machine recognizes the pod you have entered and offers you the ‘best’ settings for that coffee. Not only that but you can also set up your user accounts all from your phone, a much easier way of changing the settings. If you are all about the convenience of the Keurig machine it’s just stepped up a notch as you can now set brew times in your phone and your machine will automatically start brewing. Sounds great for 6 am Monday morning right?
Keurig K Elite Review
The Keurig Elite has most of Keurigs newer features in the ‘classic’ design. You have 5 cup sizes 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 oz. you can also make Iced coffee using the ‘iced button. This will brew coffee at a lower temperature than you can pour straight over ice. Like most of the higher-end machines, you will find a ‘strong’ button that will slow down the brew times may actually make the coffee taste worse but it depends on the cup size and type of coffee a feature to experiment with to figure out your preference for sure.
This is one of the few Keurigs with a dedicated hot water button for oatmeal or tea. This isn’t much of a ‘feature’ as you can just not add a k-cup to any machine and set it to brew to get fresh hot water. You can also set auto on/off feature so the machine is warmed up and ready to go on a morning without wasting power in hours you don’t use it.
This one comes lower down in the list because I can’t see a good reason you would buy this over the K supreme. That might be my bias because I prefer how the K supremes look over the classic style but also this machine does not have the 5 needle multi-stream technology that will make every coffee that bit better!
K cafe review
Ok, this is the Keurig I’m most skeptical of, unfortunately where I live I can’t get a hold of one but I have done a lot of research, and people seem to love it. Essentially this is your basic Keurig machine. You have a strong button and four cup sizes (6,810,12 oz) but it has one defining feature..it makes lattes & cappuccinos.
When I first heard about this machine I was quite confused like how the hell have Keurig made espresso!? Turns out the answer is they cheated! This machine has a ‘shot button’ that basically makes a 4oz filter coffee just with ‘too much coffee. I know most of you are probably scratching your head like yeah so what’s the problem? You just cannot achieve the same results of rich and strong espresso with filter coffee otherwise why would anyone ever spend $$$ on an espresso machine?
If you don’t mind a weaker latte this could be great for you. The milk frother is excellent and easy to use and it works cold for you can make “iced latte”. Pro tip: add some sugar to your hot ‘shot’ before adding the milk coffee that’s been brewed hot then made cold is more bitter so a little sugar will take the edge off.
In all honesty, if you want to make lattes and cappuccinos not filter coffee I don’t see much point in getting a Keurig. Get a Nespresso Machine. They are simple to use around the same price and designed to emulate true espresso much better than Keurig ever can.