We published this review of the Keurig K40 Elite brewing system after extensive testing of this machine and many other single serve coffee makers.
Keurig is synonymous with single serve coffee.
The Keurig K40 Elite Brewing system is one of the most popular single serve coffee makers on the market garnering nearly 1,500 reviews on Amazon (a staggering amount of reviews for an appliance). More importantly, the average review rating is very high.
Since I decided to set out to buy two single serve coffee makers for our home and my office, I thought I’d test many models so that I would buy two I liked best. However, my testing provided some great review content that hopefully helps other people looking to buy a single serve coffee maker.
At the end of the day, I decided to buy the Tassimo T55 for our house and the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flex Brew coffee maker for my office. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the Keurig K40 Elite; instead I wanted a T-Disc system for our house and I wanted both a single serve and pot brewer for my office.
After testing and enjoy quite a few coffees brewed by the Keurig K40 Elite, here’s my likes and dislikes.
Pros and Cons of the Keurig K40 Elite
Price: This machine is priced around $100, which is pretty inexpensive for single serve coffee makers. I think it’s a good value.
K-Cups: It uses K-Cups. While I prefer T-Discs, it’s very likely you’re looking for a coffee maker that can use K-Cups. K-Cups are great because there are many brands of coffee that come in K-Cup form.
FYI, K-Cups offer many beverages including decaf, tea, hot chocolate and specialty coffees (latte, cappuccino, espresso).
Fast Brew: Many lower-cost K-Cup brewers take quite a while to brew a cup of coffee, but not the K40 Elite. This machine brews a cup of coffee in under one minute.
Large (48 oz. VISIBLE Water Reservoir: I like the fact this machine has a fairly large water reservoir so that you can brew several cups of coffee without having to refill the water. Also, and this is important from a convenience stand point, the water reservoir is visible from the front of the coffee maker so you can see at a glance when it needs more water. We have the Tassimo T55 which is an incredible brewing system, but one big downside is the water reservoir is at the rear and so I must crane my neck to see when it needs more water. Read my Keurig vs. Tassimo comparison article to learn more about the differences between these two popular single serve coffee makers.
Easy-to-Use: I prefer easy machines instead of machines with a complicated control panel and extensive menus. I pretty much only drink coffee and so I like having to press one button. The Keurig K40 Elite is easy. Once powered on, you need only press one button. You can choose to brew a stronger cup (the small coffee cup icon button) or a weaker, larger cup of coffee (press the larger cup icon) or even a bigger cup by pressing the largest cup icon. In a nutshell, you can choose from 3 sizes.
FYI, Keurig makers differ from Tassimo in this regard. Tassimo T-Discs control the strength of coffee via a barcode on the T-Discs. K-Cup machines control strength via the brewer. Of course you can buy stronger (i.e. darker) K-Cups, but you also can control coffee strength via the machine which controls coffee strength by how much water it dispenses.
It’s also very easy to insert a K-Cup. The K-Cup holder lid easily pops up and you simply place the K-Cup in the designated spot.
Accommodates Travel Mugs: If you use taller travel mugs, this is important. You can remove the spillage container and by doing so you can fit in taller travel mugs so you can brew a coffee directly into the travel mug.
Cons of the Keurig K40 Elite
Warm-Up Time: When you turn this machine on, there’s a 4 minute delay while the machine warms up the water. Once the water is warmed up, it brews a cup in about 1 minute. However, if you turn the machine off each day, you’ll have to wait a while for the machine to warm up.
Size: It’s a large machine.
Quality: There a good number of people who reported problems with their machine not too long after buying it. While I didn’t have this issue, based on weight and the quality feel of the machine, this machine doesn’t feel as well made as more expensive K-Cup brewers such as Breville or Cuisinart.
Taste: Generally, the taste of coffee from single serve coffee makers is dictated by the coffee brand you use. However, some people reported that the coffee from this machine tasted a bit like plastic. I didn’t have this problem, but I only used the machine for two weeks.
Can you use ground coffee?
K-Cups get expensive. It’s much cheaper to use your own ground coffee. You can use your own ground coffee if you buy a reusable filter.
Does this machine work with T-Discs?
No. Only K-Cups.
Which brands of coffee come in K-Cups?
Check out our list of K-Cup coffee brands here (scroll down to the table).
Can you brew tea, decaf and other beverages?
Yes. The type of beverage is dictated by the K-Cup. There are many, many K-Cup options, which is a huge advantage of using a K-Cup brewing system.
Keurig K40 Photo Gallery
Don’t expect the highest quality machine with the Keurig K40 Elite. You can feel it’s not nearly as sturdily built as the Tassimo T55, Breville or Cuisinart.
However, Tassimo, Breville and Cuisinart cost much more than the Keurig K40.
I think if you haven’t used a single serve coffee maker, this is a good machine to see if you like the single brew option. If you find yourself loving the single brew option, you can upgrade to a higher quality machine.
Overall, with the exception of those whose machines stopped working shortly after buying it (which can happen with any appliance, although there are quite a few reports of this on Amazon), this is a decent K-Cup brewer for the money.