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17 Things to Know Before Buying the Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker

We just bought the Keurig K-Elite single-serve coffee maker. It was time to get a K-cup machine since there are many coffee brands that come in K-cups. This is one very easy and convenient machine to use and has a huge water reservoir. Read all the pros and cons in my Keurig K-Elite review here.

Keurig k-elite single serve coffee maker on my countertop

On a sunny Monday night, my wife, two sons and I went off in search of a new single-serve coffee maker. I’m very knowledgeable about single serve coffee makers having bought and tested 12 of them over the years. My wife and I like single-serve K-cup coffee makers because we wake up at different times and each only have one or two cups of coffee before heading out. Brewing a pot of coffee simply isn’t the best option for us.

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1. We switched from the Tassimo T55 to the Keurig K-Elite

For the past three years, we’ve used the Tassimo T55 which uses T-discs. However, there is way more K-cup coffee selection than Tassimo T-discs so it was time to switch to K-cups. That meant we’d likely end up with a Keurig.

As Amazon Prime members we’d normally buy on Amazon, but we’re heading off on vacation shortly and didn’t want the box sitting in the front for 10 days so we packed up and went to a local store that sells all kinds of appliances. Fortunately, the store had a huge selection of single-serve coffee machines including multiple Keurig machines.

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2. When it came to choosing a Keurig we went with the bigger water reservoir

Photo of large water reservoir for keurig K-Elite coffee maker

It came down to the Keurig Classic vs. Keurig K-Elite. The Classic is quite a bit cheaper but also has a smaller water reservoir. We decided to bite the bullet and opt for the more expensive Keurig with larger water reservoir. In the long run we won’t regret spending an extra $60 or so. After all, the real expense with these machines is the cost of K-cups, not the machine itself.

We got home and within 15 minutes had our new coffee machine set up on the counter ready for the morning. I forgot to buy some decaff K-cups because I was eager to try it right off the bat, but didn’t have them and didn’t feel like staying up all night as a result of gulping down a regular cup of coffee at 7:30 pm. I was resigned to wait until the morning to give it a shot.

4. You can get Starbucks K-Cups which are great

Morning came fast as it usually does and the Keurig K-Elite produced a great cup of Starbucks coffee within minutes. Not as fast as our Tassimo T55 did, but fast enough. I like strong coffee so chose the middle cup size (8 oz.). Did I mention you can buy Starbucks coffee in K-cups? That’s a nice plus since I like that coffee. In fact, I’m happy to have a lot more coffee brands to choose from going forward.

5. Recently I switched to Ethical Coffee Bean

Ethical Coffee Bean K-Cups

I drink a lot of coffee when working.  The K-cups were piling up. I was kind of disgusted by the waste so I decided to look for a biodegradable k-cup.  I found Ethical Coffee Bean on Amazon. I bought it. Tried it. LOVE IT.  I continue buying it to this day.

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6. Speaking of my office, I liked the K-Elite so much I bought one for my office as well

Keurig K Elite Coffee Maker in home and office

I liked the Keurig K-Elite so much that I decided to buy one as my main coffee maker in my office.  I’ve had it for over a year and it’s still chugging like new and I use this thing a ton. I’m talking 5 to 7 cups per day.

7. It brews coffee pretty fast… after it warms up

The warm up time is too long but once warm, it brews a cup pretty fast… something like one minute.  The first thing I do when I arrive at my office is turn it on so it starts warming up.  I actually miss our Tassimo for this reason; the Tassimo brews very fast.

8. You can set a timer if you brew at the same time every day

This machine has a timer option so if you wake up at the same time every day, you can have your cup of coffee waiting for you.  I don’t wake up at the same time every day so this feature is lost on me.  I would love it but I love not waking up to an alarm even more.

9. It’s big for a single-serve coffee maker

Don’t let the single serve fool you. This is one big coffee maker which is how I like it because I want a big water reservoir. A big water reservoir means I need only fill it once per day instead of twice.

10. It’s nice and quiet

Keurig K-Elite brews coffee quietly. The most noise is from the coffee streaming into the cup.  Some machines are terribly loud which I don’t like.  So for the noise factor, I have to chalk one up for the Keurig.

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11. Lots of brew size options but I never veer from my preferred size

Control panel on the Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker

The smaller the cup, the stronger the brew and vice versa.  My preferred size is the middle size (bottom left).  It’s a good-sized cup of coffee yet still nice and strong.

12. You can brew a cup a coffee directly into a tall travel mug if you want to

Removable spill tray on the Keurig K-Elite coffee maker

All you need to do is slide away the spill tray and you can fit most travel mugs.

13. It’s stupid simple to operate

I don’t like complicated. I’ve had complicated coffee makers with a million buttons and screens… it’s like trying to figure out a new computer.  The Keurig K-Elite is stupid simple to operate as you can see by the control panel above.  I’m talking push two buttons and you’re good go (one of the buttons being the “on” button at the top).

14. If you’re a real coffee nut and care about temperature, you can adjust it

If you’re a coffee nut, you can adjust the temperature at which the water brews coffee from 187 to 192° F. It’s 192° F. by default.  I go with the default. It’s good enough for me.  I can’t help but think if you’re really into coffee you probaby aren’t using a single-serve coffee maker but instead have some $3,000 espresso maker.

15. Here’s what I like about the Keurig K-Elite in a nutshell

  • Uses K-cups:  This is the main reason we bought this machine – we wanted to be able to buy K-cups which has a huge selection of coffee brands.
  • Huge water reservoir:  In my experience, the bigger the water reservoir, the better. It’s no fun anticipating a cup of coffee only getting delayed refilling the reservoir. It’s worse when you think you’re brewing a cup but it’s out or short of water.
  • Looks decent:  It’s not as cool-looking as Nespresso, but it’s not bad.
  • Easy-to-use (no hassle): I don’t like appliances with so many features that it takes forever to use or figure out. I love simple and Keurig delivers simple in spades.
  • Price:  This thing doesn’t even cost $200 which is great. You can easily spend north of $250 on coffee machines but not with this… and this is one of Keurig’s higher-end coffee appliances.
  • Accommodates reusable K-cup filters:  It’ll be nice to buy bags of ground coffee or beans that we grind with a coffee grinder and use our reusable K-cup filters (purchases separately) instead of spending a fortune on single-use K-cups every day.
  • Spillage container removes easily:  The spillage container with our Tassimo was nearly impossible to remove. Not so with this machine – it easily slides away to dump out the excess coffee captured.
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16. Two things I don’t care about this single-serve coffee maker

  • Size:  It’s a big machine that needs quite a bit of height clearance. However, I guess that’s the price you pay for being able to accommodate taller travel mugs and have a large water reservoir.
  • Slow: It takes too long to warm up. It’s annoying.  While this is the worst thing I can say about this machine, it’s still my preferred coffee maker. The pros outweigh the cons.

Other than that I don’t have any complaints. It does what I want it to do relatively quickly, very quietly and the coffee tastes good.

As simple and relatively inexpensive as this coffee maker is, many people have questions. Here’s a list of FAQ.

How long does the Keurig K-Elite take to brew a cup of coffee?

The brew time for a cup of coffee is about 1 minute which is pretty good for Keurig machines.

What’s the tallest cup that fits in the Keurig K-Elite?

You can fit a travel mug up to 7.2″ tall and many other types of coffee cups. As for a carafe, if it’s taller than 7.2″ you’ll need to brew into a cup and pour it into the carafe.

Can the brewing temperature be adjusted with Keurig K-Elite?

Yes, the temperature can be adjusted from 187° to 192° F.

Does this Keurig coffee maker come with reusable K-Cups for coffee grounds?

No, it doesn’t come with a reusable coffee filter but it works with them. We bought a reusable filter separately. This way we can save cost and waste using ground coffee instead of K-cups all the time.

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How large is the Keurig K-Elite water reservoir?

The water tank holds 75 oz. of water (2.2 liters). Since I use the 8 oz. brew size, that’s 9 cups of coffee which is awesome.

Can you program the Keurig K-Elite to brew coffee at a specific time?

Yes, you can program the “auto-on” to brew a cup of coffee at any time using the simple programmable clock and timer on the main control panel.

Does the Keurig K-Elite brew iced coffee?

Yes, there is an option to brew colder brew over ice.

Does the Keurig K-Elite come with a water filter?

Yes, it does. We didn’t bother using it, but it’s there if you prefer filtered water for your brewed coffee.

Does the Keurig K-Elite produce hot water on demand for tea and other things requiring hot water?

Yes, it does. Just choose your cup size and don’t put in a k-cup and it will produce hot water at the temperature you set. It’s faster than using a kettle.

Does the control panel have a touchscreen?

No, there is not a touchscreen. You use buttons to adjust the settings. I prefer this because it’s easier. I’ve used touchscreen appliances and it’s more confusing.

Does the K-Elite make espresso?

Technically, no it doesn’t. You need a proper espresso machine. Even if a K-cup claims to produce espresso, it’s not going to be the same as an espresso made from a proper espresso machine.

I took a pile of photos of the machine at home

Keurig K-Elite Single Serve Coffee Maker Front View

Screen and buttons on Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker

Notice how nice and simple the control panel. That’s one nice aspect of Keurig machines – they make them simple and easy to use.

This water reservoir is 2.2 liters (75 oz.) which is awesome. It’s very easy to detach and re-attach to the machine.

Photo of k-cup holder for Keurig K-Elite coffee maker

No instruction booklet needed for me. Just slap the K-Cup in the holder and shut the lid.

Photo of water spill catch removed from Keurig K-Elite coffee machine

The drip tray container is very easy to detach and drain. Also, if your cup such as travel mug is very tall, it has a removable drip tray to provide more clearance.

Wrapping it up…

If you have the space and want something simple, this is a great machine. In my view, it’s the best Keurig machine that works well and is ridiculously easy to use… and I’ve used 4 Keurig models over the years.

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