Can you help me choose a Keurig coffee machine?
January 21, 2012 2:33 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me choose a Keurig coffee machine?

I love coffee but am getting tired of the water-filter-measure-grind-scoop-cleanup cycle of making coffee in our office drip coffee machine. I want water-cup-push button-drink, so Im REALLY considering purchasing a Keurig machine and taking it into the office. Work has no problem with this and coworkers are more than welcome to bring their own K-cups and use the machine, I just need recommendations on which machine to buy.

I would prefer one that fits the taller 7.5" stainless steel coffee mugs.

Can anyone recommend a good K-cup compatible machine, or one to stay away from?


P.S. Just an FYI, Ive used K-cups before at a previous job where the boss had some huge industrial size Keurig machine installed and it made decent coffee. I dont really consider myself a coffee snob but it looks like there is a very good selection of coffees/teas/cocoas in K-cups.
posted by Fiat124 to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
As I understand it, they've got versions for personal use and versions for office use. If you're opening it up to co-workers, the personal use size might not survive. (I guess it depends on how many coworkers you have.)

I got the personal use travel mug size for xmas and I'm glad to have that size.
posted by vitabellosi at 2:49 AM on January 21, 2012

I think you can rent the larger machines quite cheaply (like a water cooler). You get a bigger machine and the maintenance is taken care of. Or I've seen deals where you buy X boxes of cups and the rental is free.
posted by carter at 3:18 AM on January 21, 2012

I would totally check out carter's idea. A member of my family used to work at a mid size regional coffee company and one arm of the company did rentals Keurig machines to small offices. I seem to remember him telling me it was pretty common to have to replace those units at least once a year if not more often (which interestingly enough usually involved just totally replacing the machine) even for a company that sells/services them it seems they usually aren't worth fixing)
posted by Captain_Science at 4:08 AM on January 21, 2012

Have you tried a Nespresso? I like the coffee better than k cups, there's similar variety, and the pods are recyclable. K cups aren't recyclable. I'm not sure about pricing differences.

Our office has a k cup machine and everyone hated it. We're trying to get work to get one of those machines that grinds the beans for a single serving.
posted by reddot at 4:10 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks all for the recommendation of renting the machine, but my office is not located in the US, so we wont be able to do that (which is what was going on at my previous workplace with the commercial size Keurig machine). Im going to order it online, have it shipped here and plugged into a 110-220 converter (rated for >1500W).

There are only 3-4 people in my office, so Im not expecting a line of people to use the machine, but I certainly dont mind if my coworkers use it as well.

Im looking at the Keurig Platinum Plus model, as it says it fits travel mugs AND has a rinser/hot water dispenser.

Anyone had or used this one before?
posted by Fiat124 at 4:29 AM on January 21, 2012

We've had the keurig special edition for almost a year and love it. Some things to consider:
- our size definitely does not fit most travel mugs but I'm not sure that it claimed too like the platinum
- we got sick of throwing out so much crap, having mediocre coffee and paying so much for the kcups. However, we didnt want to compromise the convenience factor. Our solution: We buy a bag of good coffee and grind it at the store on one level courser than "fine" if that makes sense. We bought an ekobrew which is like a my k cup that makes great coffee and isn't a pain in the butt to clean. So, every morning we just fill up the ekobrew and go. Highly recommend it!
posted by pintapicasso at 4:39 AM on January 21, 2012

I work in an office building where there a a number of Keurigs floating around in break rooms and people's offices, and I have one at home. You can't beat the convenience and I think it makes a pretty decent cup of coffee if you buy quality K-cups, keep the machine clean, and use filtered water. A couple of things:

- We currently have several Platinum Plus models and several Elites scattered across as many break rooms. These brewers are each getting used maybe 10 or 15 times a day. Keurig will tell you in their literature that these machines aren't designed for that kind of service and they won't honor the warranty if you do use them that way In practice, they seem to last about one to two years at that kind of usage. In my corner of the office floor, we are on our third "Elite" in four years. Considering the number of cups we got out of each, I think that is reasonable.

- If you are just going to "push the button" and get the coffee, the Elite would be fine. The Platinum Plus has a clock and can be programmed to auto-start and also has more cup sizes (five instead of two, I think). I don't know about the travel mug sizing issue for the Elite.

- The mini (what I use at home) is smaller and has a reservoir can only hold one cup at a time. If the brewer is only going to get used intermittently (once or twice a day), or if it is going to live on your desk, this might be a better choice.

- Keurig does seem to have some quality control issues around the pump and the sensor. There are plenty of anecdotes of people having issues with newish machine only brewing a half a cup at a time or other flaky behavior. Many of these problems are fixable with a careful cleaning, descaling, or doing a factory reset on the Keurig (yes, you can actually do a hard reboot on these things). If you run into issues, some are fixable and Google is your friend. And save your warranty information.

- The Elite and the Platinum Plus have a reservoir on the side. You can remove the reservoir to fill it directly in a sink but I wouldn't recommend that -- you are just going to wear it out faster. Buy one of those water filter pitchers at the same time and use that to fill the coffee maker

- In the U.S. places like Target and Costco sell a few varieties of K-cups, but everyone where I've worked has moved on to mail ordering them in larger quantities from places like or

Good luck with the coffeemaker!
posted by kovacs at 5:28 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have a personal-use Platinum Plus which we've had in our kitchen for probably 3+ years, and it's never failed or had any issue - it's been worth its weight in gold for us. And we went through about a year period where we roasted our own coffee beans at home, I just bought a reusable K-cup and still used the machine that way. That was definitely worth $14 at Bed Bath & Beyond, and no waste but still had the convenience. Now we are back to K-Cups out of sheer laziness.

My in-laws have one of the smaller ones, not the mini but it has two cup sizes and a small reservoir that lasts through a few cups, and that thing is LOUUUUD. The Platinum Plus we have is much quieter.
posted by kpht at 7:19 AM on January 21, 2012

I own the Platinum or the Platinum Plus, can't recall which. It fits travel mugs when you pull the cup stand thing out from under the dispenser. I love it and the coffee it makes is just fine.
posted by Sternmeyer at 7:22 AM on January 21, 2012

We have the Cuisinart model, as recommended to us at the store over the Keurig Platinum Plus model (at the time, something like $12 more). The reasons given: Metal construction made it more durable, and it had the charcoal filter included. From Amazon, at least, it is also slightly cheaper now. Quiet, fast, variety of cup sizes. Love it.
posted by shinynewnick at 8:09 AM on January 21, 2012

Someone bought a Keurig Special Edition for our office. It seems to be in constant use, making 10 or more cups per day, and it's still going strong after 9 months. So I'd recommend that one.
posted by cabingirl at 10:45 AM on January 21, 2012

Oh, and to add on - yes you can use travel mugs with it, and yes you can get hot water out, but just by brewing without a K-cup in there.
posted by cabingirl at 10:47 AM on January 21, 2012

We had that model in our office and it was used by 8 people daily. It had to be replaced every 8 to 12 months.

I am going to buy a Nesspresso machine for my personal use. I have no idea if those machines last longer or not.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:50 AM on January 21, 2012

Sorry for the delay in responding, but my Keurig Platinum just arrived and it is FANTASTIC!
I plugged it into a 2kw 220/110 converter and it works great. All my coworkers are getting on Amazon now ordering their own K-Cups. The only downside is that I ordered the Platinum Plus but received a Platinum instead. Am emailing Keurig to see what they can do for me.

Thanks all for the assistance!
posted by Fiat124 at 1:04 PM on February 3, 2012

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