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- Keurig coffee machines are already mainstays in homes and offices across the United States, but this latest model promises to be the most modern iteration yet.
- While I’m still not thrilled by the environmental impact of those K-Cup pods, it is the case that this particular coffee maker offers much more customization than previous Keurigs.
- Perhaps the most compelling function is the Brew Over Ice option, which allows you to make cold yet fully flavored coffee during the summer month (or the winter – whatever your heart desires).
- The machine itself will cost you $127 (originally $170), but don’t forget about the cost of all those K-Cups you’ll have to buy.
If the sound of coffee beans grinding isn’t the soothing melody you’d like to wake up to in the morning, but the smell of coffee is what it takes to get you out of bed, Keurig’s line of coffee makers is likely the right choice for your kitchen. For years, the company has been delivering easy-to-use machines that require as little work as possible to make a cup of coffee – after all, it’s the first thing in the morning. Do you really have the mental capacity to think all that much?
And while simplicity has always been at the heart of Keurig machines, that straightforwardness has also come with some drawbacks. You can’t do much customization when you’re just putting a K-Cup into a Keurig, and there also hasn’t historically been much variation when it comes to how big of a cup of coffee you could make. But this all changes with the introduction of the Keurig K-Elite coffee maker.
I’ll be the first to say that I’m generally not the biggest fan of these instant coffee makers. Not only did they suffer from the aforementioned lack of personalization when it came to my morning cup of joe, but I also couldn’t (and still can’t, really) get over the environmental impact of those K-Cups. Sure, you can separate out the pod components to recycle them separately, but that creates a hassle that the Keurig is supposed to eliminate. But luckily, Keurig has already started selling recyclable K-Cups, and by 2020, the company promises that 100% of its pods will be, in fact, eco-friendly. (You can also find plenty of highly reviewed reusable K-Cup coffee filters on Amazon.)
And when it comes to the customization aspect, that’s where the new K-Elite coffee maker comes in. When Keurig says that its new machine delivers “the most beverage customization in any Keurig single cup coffee maker model,” it’s telling the truth.
There are a few standout features of the K-Elite that I found to be quite useful. As far as taste is concerned, there’s a Strong Brew button that does indeed up the strength and taste of your coffee’s flavor, at least when compared to a cup I brewed without selecting the Strong option.
Then, there’s the all-important Iced Setting, which allows you to brew coffee over ice without ending up with the watered-down taste that you normally get when you end up pouring your hot coffee over a few frozen cubes. Instead, I found the coffee to be flavor forward, but blessedly cold. Sure, it’s not as good as cold brew that you might get from your neighborhood coffee shop, but it certainly does the trick. And best of all, this setting only requires the touch of a button, too – to avoid any confusion, the button reads “ICED.” And if you’ve a particularly sensitive palette, you may find that the ability to adjust your brew temperature between 187 and 192 degrees Fahrenheit can also make a difference in your coffee’s flavor.
This new Keurig also boasts a large 75-ounce water reservoir, which means that you can make up to eight cups of coffee before having to refill again. The Keurig I had in college certainly didn’t have this luxury, and I was constantly running back and forth between a sink and my coffee maker to ensure I had enough caffeine for the day. That said, the K-Elite also comes with the option to brew a wide range of cup sizes, all the way from four to 12 ounces. You’ll select these sizes based on the associated icons on the machine. One thing to note – the icons don’t actually tell you exactly how much coffee you’re getting, but for the record, it’s four, six, eight, 10, and 12 ounces.
One of my favorite features of the K-Elite actually had nothing to do with coffee at all. I was a huge fan of the hot water on demand function, which is located right next to the STRONG button on the machine. Rather than having to get out a kettle, I can just turn to my Keurig and have it dispense hot water for my tea or oatmeal. That’s actually even more efficient than the under-a-minute brew time the machine promises.
I’ve never found Keurigs to be particularly loud, but the K-Elite’s Quiet Brew Technology claims to minimize noise when the coffee maker is in use. That comes in handy if you leverage the Auto On feature, which was extremely handy when it came to ensuring that my Keurig was on and ready to go at exactly 6:30 a.m. And seeing as it only takes a minute to brew coffee, that meant that I basically had my coffee in hand at 6:31. Similarly, you can automatically shut off your Keurig to save energy once you know you’ve had your last cup of caffeine for the day.
All in all, if you’re looking for a straightforward and easy-to-use coffee machine, it’s hard to go wrong with Keurig. The K-Elite will set you back $170, and comes in Brushed Silver or Brushed Slate.