Keurig’s 2.0 lineup of coffee makers is sleek, versatile, and easy to use machines. With three different models to choose from, there is a Keurig coffee maker to suit most budgets and tastes. But which one is the best for the money?
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Let’s dive in and figure out which is the best Keurig coffee maker.
What Is a Keurig 2.0 Coffee Maker
The Keurig 2.0 is a line of pod-based coffee makers manufactured by the US-based company Keurig. These are incredibly popular coffee makers across the United States, equally at home on the kitchen counter as they are in restaurants and hotels.
There are a few different models and types of Keurig machines, each with its own functions, features, and brew capacities. There is bound to be a Keurig 2.0 coffee maker that suits you with so many different options to choose from.
Benefits of Using Keurig 2.0 Coffee Makers
Easy to Use
One thing that attracts most people to pod-based coffee makers over manual brewing methods is their ease of use. Pod machines are easy to use, allowing you to focus on more pressing morning issues (like drinking coffee!). Top up the water reservoir and turn on the machine— you are now ready to brew! Choose your cup size and press go— the Keurig 2.0 will take care of the rest.
Not only are Keurig 2.0 coffee makers inexpensive, but the pods that go with them aren’t too pricey either. Of course, you can find expensive ones, but on average, pods cost between 40 and 60 cents each. Usually, the more pods you buy, the less you’ll pay per pod. Buying large boxes of 40-80 pods really brings the cost down per pod.
Easy to Maintain
All coffee makers require some maintenance. It’s just a fact of life. Luckily, Keurig coffee makers are super easy to clean. No need to do any scrubbing or washing, just a simple cleaning cycle with a descaling solution is all that is necessary. It’s literally as easy as brewing a couple of cups of coffee!
How Does a Keurig 2.0 Coffee Maker Work
The Keurig 2.0 is a pod-based brewing system. It uses pods that are known as K-Cups. These K-Cups are essentially a small cup that contains ground coffee, as well as a filter to keep the coffee grinds out of your mug.
K-Cups are loaded into Keurig 2.0 coffee makers via the top of the machine. They are seated in a K-Cup holder before the brew head is closed.
Once a K-Cup is loaded into the Keurig and the brew head is closed, a small needle punctures the foil lid of the K-Cup. Hot pressurized water is forced into the K-Cup, extracting solubles from the ground coffee. Once the pressure inside the K-Cup becomes great enough, the bottom of the Pod ruptures, allowing the liquid coffee to flow into the mug, eagerly waiting below.
Making coffee using a Keurig coffee maker is very fast and easy to do.
Pros and Cons of Using a Keurig 2.0 Coffee Maker
- A very fast way of making coffee.
- Easy to use.
- Much of the coffee available in K-Cups is of poor quality.
- Isn’t able to build up enough heat or pressure to optimally extract the coffee.
Keurig 2.0 Models
There are three main coffee makers in the Keurig 2.0 lineup. The K350, the K450, and the K550.
All three coffee makers work in basically the same way, and all three brew coffee using the same size K-Cups. The differences between the machines are mainly in the feature sets. The K550 features quite a lot more than the K350.
The K350 is the baby of the pack. It features a slightly smaller water tank and fewer programmable features than the K450 and K550. But when it comes to the important stuff, like brewing coffee, it keeps up with its siblings easily.
With a 60oz water reservoir and brew-strength control, you will be able to brew anywhere from 4 ounces to a full carafe of coffee with ease and control.
The K350 is missing features like auto on/off and the programmable clock, but neither of these is essential for brewing coffee. After a simple coffee maker without bells and whistles, the Keurig K350 might be a great choice for you.
The Keurig K450 steps it up a little on the feature list when compared to the K350. This middle-of-the-line coffee maker utilizes a slightly larger 70-ounce water tank, making it a good option for larger coffee drinkers’ households.
We still have the same cup sizes here as we do in the K350, ranging anywhere from 4 ounces all the way up to a full carafe.
The Keurig K450 has a few more features that make it a slightly more robust machine— one that might make the morning times a little easier. With the addition of a programmable timer and an auto on/off function, the K450 is a more high-tech coffee maker. These additional functions mean that you can tell the Keurig to automatically brew a carafe of coffee at your chosen time each morning. Talk about convenience!
At the top of the lineup, we have the Keurig K550— King (or Queen?) of the Keurig 2.0 coffee makers! The Keurig K550 has all of the features of the K450, plus a couple of little aesthetic extras.
The machine is controlled by a larger, 2.8” touch screen. From here, we can control all of the same features as on the K450. With a huge 80-ounce water tank, you’ll be able to brew loads of coffee without refilling. Thanks to the multiple brew sizes, you can brew directly into a premium coffee thermos for a fast grab-and-go coffee.
Differences Between Keurig 2.0 Models
While each Keurig coffee maker is slightly different, they all do house most of the same features. The core of each machine remains the same. It’s just that the higher-up models have a few extra features, usually for added convenience.
Amount of Coffee per Serving
Each machine on the list, the K350, K450, and K550, can brew anything from a 4-ounce cup all the way up to a full carafe. So if cup serving size is your main concern, you can pretty much go with any and you’ll be happy!
The sizes available are 4oz, 6oz, 8oz, and 10oz when using standard K-Cups, and anywhere from 2 to 4 cups when using the K-Carafe pods.
Types of Coffee Produced
Keurig coffee makers are often compared to Nespresso coffee makers. But the two are actually quite different brewing systems. Nespresso machines produce coffee that is similar to espresso. It is heavy and rich, perfect for making a latte and a macchiato that contain milk and milk foam.
On the other hand, Keurig brewing systems produce a coffee that is closer to filter or drip coffee. These are perfect for drinking black, with or without sugar, or adding cream for a sweeter taste. You can control your K-Cup brews’ strength by using the strength control function or by brewing smaller cups of coffee for less dilution.
While coffee is the main reason most people own a Keurig, these coffee makers can actually brew a bunch of other drinks, too.
Fancy a cup of tea? These Keurig 2.0 machines can do that. Feeling like a chai? You can do that too. Maybe even try brewing a cup of hot chocolate using K-cups! Many people also use their Keurigs as a hot water dispenser.
Using a water filter is super important for brewing tasty coffee. Not only does it collect any nasties that may be lurking in the water, but it also helps the machine extract the coffee effectively.
Each Keurig coffee maker comes with a water filter that sits inside the water reservoir. These filters need to be changed, but luckily all the machines on the list let you know when it’s time to do so.
The water capacity you need for a coffee maker depends on how you want to use the machine. Do you want to top up the machine with fresh water every day? Or would you prefer to fill it and forget out it until it runs out? If you feel the former is more you, go for a smaller tank. They are easier to move around and carry when full.
Another thing to consider about water capacity is how much coffee you plan on brewing. If you are buying a machine to use in your hotel lobby, you’ll probably want to go with the largest capacity machine available. Likewise, if you live in a house full of coffee drinkers, a large water tank can be a lifesaver!
Brewing coffee using the Keurig is fast. Compared to manual brewing methods in which you need to boil the water and grind the coffee before brewing, making coffee with the Keurig is like lightning!
Making a full cup of coffee using the K450 will take around 2 minutes. Some of this time is spent allowing the Keurig to heat up before brewing. You don’t need to stand around and watch the machine either. You can press the start button, walk away and come back when it’s done.
There are three main ongoing costs of using Keurig coffee makers. The water filter, the solution you need to clean the machine, and, of course, the coffee itself. These ongoing costs aren’t specific to Keurig coffee makers but are something to consider.
Everything on all three of these machines is controlled using the touch screen. From here, you can select to brew tea or hot chocolate, choose your brew strength, as well as choose the size of your brew. The more advanced machines, the K450 and K550, have a few extra programmability features, which are also controlled via the touchscreen.
Coffee Making Process
The coffee-making process using Keurig coffee makers is ridiculously easy. Top up the reservoir with water, add a K-Cup and you’re ready to brew. While Keurig machines might not have the variety of features of grind and brew coffee makers, they are fast and easy to use.
How to Brew Coffee Using a Keurig 2.0
So you’ve got your Keurig and you’re ready to brew! Let’s first run through everything we’ll need to brew our first cup of coffee; then, we’ll go through the coffee-making process.
This guide will show you how to brew using a standard K-Cup. If your favorite coffee isn’t available as a K-Cup, you can always grind it up and use an eco-friendly reusable coffee pod.
- Keurig coffee maker
Step 1 – Fill the water reservoir
First, we need to fill the reservoir with fresh, clean water. Ensure the machine is turned off, remove the tank, fill it from the tap, or leave it in place and fill it using a water jug. Once the tank is full, ensure it is reseated correctly.
Step 2 – Power on the machine
Next, power on the machine. It may take a few moments to heat up. While the machine is heating up, choose your favorite K-Cup and mug.
Step 3 -Insert the K-Cup
Lift the brew head and insert the K-Cup into the holder. The foil lid will be facing upward. Once you are happy, that is in the holder correctly, close the brew head back down.
Step 4 – Choose your size
Using the touch screen, select the size you would like to brew. From here, you can also choose to brew the coffee a little stronger too. If you are brewing hot chocolate or tea, choose that option on the touch screen. Place your mug under the coffee outlet.
Step 5 – Brew
After selecting your brew options, all that is left to do is brew! Press the start button and wait. The machine may take a couple of minutes to complete the brew.
Step 6 – Enjoy
Once the Keurig has finishing brewing, lift the brew head and dispose of the K-Cup. Enjoy your coffee, tea, or hot chocolate!
How to Clean and Descale a Keurig 2.0
Cleaning is an essential part of owning a coffee machine. With proper cleaning, you can keep your Keurig as good as new for as long as possible.
Most of the common problems people have with Keurig coffee makers could be easily fixed with a regular cleaning routine. This routine doesn’t take a long time and certainly doesn’t require much effort. In fact, it is not a whole lot more effort than just brewing a couple of cups of coffee!
- Keurig 2.0 coffee machine
- Plain white vinegar
Step 1 – Clean the exterior of the machine
First, give the machine a good wipe down. Wash the drip tray and the lid of the water reservoir. Ensure the water tank is empty and that there is no K-Cup in the machine.
Step 2 – Add the vinegar
Next, fill the water reservoir halfway with plain white vinegar. You can also use a special Keurig branded descaling solution if you’d like.
Step 3 – Begin descaling
Place a mug under the coffee outlet and ‘brew’ one cup of the vinegar. You are essentially making a cup of coffee but without any coffee in the brew head. You can either discard the vinegar or keep it and use it for other cleaning purposes. Repeat this process until the tank is empty.
Step 4 – Rinse
Rinse the water reservoir and refill it with fresh, clean water. Now we’ll do exactly what we did in step 3, but instead of vinegar, we’ll use water. You want to keep running fresh water through the machine until no vinegar is left in the system. This may take a couple of tanks worth of water. Once there is no trace of the vinegar left— no taste or smell, you are ready to brew coffee once again.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
Investing in a quality espresso machine when opening a coffee shop can sometimes cost upward of $20,000! Fortunately, we don’t need to spend that much to buy a Keurig 2.0! When buying a more expensive Keurig over a budget model, the coffee generally won’t taste better. The more expensive model will have more features and programmability.
Do’s and Don’ts With a Keurig 2.0
- Do keep the machine clean. A clean machine will brew far tastier coffee and will last much longer.
- Do give the reusable K-Cups a try. You can load any coffee you want into them.
- Do use clean water for brewing your coffee. Clean, filtered water will always taste better for brewing coffee.
- Do use Keurig’s branded descaling solution if you don’t want to run vinegar through your machine.
- Don’t forget to replace the water filter when the machine alerts you to do so.
- Don’t forget that Keurig can also brew hot chocolate and tea!
FAQ About Keurig 2.0
Is Keurig 2.0 discontinued?
Unfortunately, yes. While the machines are still available through certain outlets, Keurig has replaced the 2.0 lineup with the K lineup. This includes the K-Elite and the Keurig K-Classic.
How much does the Keurig 2.0 cost?
Initially, the Keurig K350 was $149.95, while the K550 was available for $199.99.
How long should a Keurig 2.0 last?
The average lifespan of a Keurig coffee maker that is used daily is around 5 years. Depending on how well the machine is taken care of, this number may vary.
How do I fix my Keurig 2.0 screen?
Unfortunately, if your Keurig screen won’t turn on, it may mean that the screen is dead. But all hope is not lost! Before calling the Keurig customer support line, try unplugging it from the wall and plugging it back in again.
Does Keurig 2.0 need special K-cups?
The Keurig 2.0 lineup of coffee makers require K-Cups with a special barcode on the rim of the K-Cups lid to brew.
Why does my Keurig 2.0 taste bad?
There are loads of simple ways to fix Keurig’s problems. And the funny thing is, almost all of the issues Keurig users have could be fixed by cleaning your coffee machine using vinegar or descaling solution. Descaling your machine will make your coffee taste better, period. It clears out the old coffee that has built up in the brew head and the scale that has built up in the machine’s pipes.
How do I reset my Keurig 2.0 coffee maker?
First, turn off your Keurig. Unplug it and keep it unplugged for a few minutes. While it is unplugged, remove the water reservoir. Wait a few more minutes, then plug in and power on the machine. Reseat the water tank, then open and close the brew head. Your Keurig should now be reset!
Which Keurig 2.0 models don’t allow unlicensed K-cups?
All of Keurig’s 2.0 machines require K-Cups that have a barcode on the lid to brew.
Keurig 2.0 coffee makers are an easy way of brewing coffee at home. There are loads of different coffees, teas, and hot chocolates available to suit pretty much everyone! Choose the right machine for you and you’ll never be left without a cup of something hot and tasty.