Few coffee machines are quite as polarizing as Keurigs! Pop over to Youtube and you’ll find people who either hate them or can’t live without them!
At A Glance: Keurig Must-Haves
So the question is: Is a Keurig worth it?
Here’s the quick answer:
Keurig machines offer unmatched convenience in brewing coffee, but at a cost. The machines themselves are expensive, as are the pods. But there isn’t any machine that can produce a single serving of coffee as quickly and as easily as a Keurig can.
Now the more detailed answer!
To make things easier for you, we’ve already tested and compared the best products available to narrow the field down to these top choices.
|Keurig Coffee Lovers' Collection Sampler Pack||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Keurig My K-Cup Universal Reusable K-Cup Pod Coffee Filter||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Coffee Variety Sampler Pack||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|The Original Donut Shop Keurig Single-Serve K-Cup Pods||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
By far, the biggest advantage of a Keurig machine – any Keurig machine – is how incredibly convenient they are. The starter machines are also pretty small in size, so they don’t take up much space on your kitchen counter, either.
You simply pop a pod in the bay, close the lid, and push a button, and within a minute, you’ll have a single serving of hot coffee to start your morning right.
Let me tell you a little something about my morning routine:
When I wake up, the first thing I want(and sometimes NEED) is a cup of coffee. I used to own a Keurig, and it was so easy to just go and pop in a pod, idle around for a minute, and have a cup of coffee in my hand.
There’s no need to fiddle around with any beans, grinding, filters, or messy coffee grounds. Especially when you’re sleepy and your motor skills have not completely come awake yet!
Plus, there’s no need to measure anything. The cups are already pre-measured for one serving of coffee – you literally just have to pop in the pod and push one button. You can even leave water in the tank overnight without any issues.
So as far as convenience goes, Keurig machines rack up a nice big checkmark in the PRO column.
Pro: Variety of flavors
Keurig happens to control 30% of the market share of single cup coffee makers in the United States, so it’s no surprise that a lot of coffee companies have jumped on the Keurig ship and make pods.
All of your favorite names have their own pod offerings: Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Folgers are some names you’ll find that have their own pods. Angelino’s is a company that makes pods from freshly roasted beans.
On the Keurig website, you’ll see there are – as of this writing – nearly 230 varieties of pods available.
The Keurig machines are not limited to just being coffee makers. Keurig pods are available in a wide variety of beverages, like hot chocolate and teas.
In this way, it’s very flexible. You can have your coffee in the morning, and if you’re feeling like another kind of beverage later in the day, you can just pop in an herbal tea pod or a hot chocolate pod(my preferred drink aside from coffee) and have another piping hot refreshment in your hand in just one minute.
- INCLUDES: 2 K Cup pods from 20 popular varieties, including Green Mountain Coffee Breakfast Blend, The Original Donut Shop Regular, Newman’s Own Organic Special Blend, Caribou Coffee Caribou Blend, Tully’s Coffee Italian Roast, and many more
- VARIETY: Sample different coffees and discover your favorites from a wide variety of roasts, flavors, and brands
- COMPATIBILITY: Contains authentic Keurig K Cup pods, engineered for guaranteed quality and compatibility with all Keurig K Cup coffee makers
- PACKAGING: K Cup Pods are not in original packaging and may appear different than in the image
- Brews multiple k-cup pod sizes: (6, 8, 10 ounce) – the most popular k-cup pod brew sizes. Use the 6 ounce brew size to achieve the strongest brew.
- Large 48 ounce water reservoir: Allows you to brew 6+ cups before having to refill, saving you time and simplifying your morning routine. The water reservoir is removable, making it easy to refill whenever you need to.
- Descaling: An important part of cleaning your keurig brewer. This process helps to remove calcium deposits, or scale, that can build up inside a coffee maker over time.
- Auto-off: An auto-off feature is easily programmed to turn off your coffee maker after it has been idle for two hours, helping to save energy.
- Simple button controls: Just insert a pod, select your desired cup brew size, and brew a great-tasting cup in under a minute.
- NOTE: This is a medium roast Extra Bold coffee, Extra Bold (contains more coffee than regular K Cup pods). Extra Bold does not pertain to the roast profile of the coffee. while using please pre puncture the bottom of the K Cup by lightly pressing down on it when placing it in the pod holder
- Not too harsh, not too bitter just right
- Extra bold (contains more coffee than regular K Cup pods)
- Medium roast, caffeinated coffee
- Ensure high quality coffee every time with pods specially designed to work in Keurig brewers with exact grind and extraction
- BRAND STORY: The mountains are a special place. It's where Green Mountain Coffee Roasters was born. It's where we developed our adventurous spirit and commitment to improving the lands through sustainably sourced coffee. We're driven to bring the world a richer, better cup of coffee. Be bold. Be alive. Grab a cup and get out there.
- TASTE: An eye-opener as delightful as the dawn itself. Clean and bright, with balanced sweetness, nutty flavor, and a silky mouthfeel.
- ROAST: Light roast caffeinated coffee made with 100% Arabica beans and is certified Orthodox Union Kosher (U)
- SUSTAINABILITY: Committed to 100% responsibly sourced coffee by end of 2020
- COMPATIBILITY: Contains genuine Keurig K-Cup pods, engineered for guaranteed quality and compatibility with all Keurig K-Cup coffee makers
- Coffee, lattes & cappuccinos: Use any k-cup pod to brew coffee, or make delicious lattes and cappuccinos.
- Simple button controls: Just insert any k-cup pod and use the button controls to brew delicious coffee, or make hot or iced lattes and cappuccinos.
- Large 60ounce water reservoir: Allows you to brew 6 cups before having to refill, saving you time and simplifying your morning routine. Removable reservoir makes refilling easy.
- Smart start: your coffee maker heats, then brews in one simple process. No need to wait for it to heat before selecting your cup size.
- Energy efficient: Programmable auto off feature automatically turns your brewer off 2 hours after the last brew for energy savings.
Pro: Use your own coffee
Using one pod every day will certainly save you money compared to going to a Starbucks, but if you’re a family of coffee drinkers and you collectively drink 3-4 cups per day, you’ll find that the cost of pods will run very high very quickly.
Fortunately, there is a great alternative. Keurig makes reusable pods that you can fill your own coffee in and use it to brew just like a normal Keurig pod.
This does detract a little from the extreme convenience of ready to brew pods, since you’ll have to measure out and fill your pod with grounds, but your coffee will still be ready in just around one minute.
The cost savings will be quite significant.
Here is one type of K-cup available from Folgers:
- Contains 4 Boxes of 18 K-Cup Pods (72 Count Total)
- Folgers Classic Roast Coffee is made from Mountain Grown beans, the world's richest and most aromatic.
- Medium roasts offer robust taste and full flavor.
- Enjoy in any Keurig K-Cup Brewer
- Our Folgers coffee is roasted in New Orleans, Louisiana
The average cost per pod works out to be right around half a dollar.
A 30 ounce can of the same coffee works out to be around the same cost, per ounce. However, for brewing one cup of coffee, you’ll need one scoop of coffee, which is two tablespoons, or 0.35 ounces give or take.
That means you can have 3 times as much coffee using regular grounds than k-cups for the same price!
So it’s good of Keurig to allow this functionality of using your own coffee grounds in reusable cups.
Other pod machines such as Nespresso don’t have official versions of reusable pods, but people have made aftermarket devices to emulate the effect.
Here’s where things get testy.
Ask a coffee purist, and they’ll tell you that Keurig machines make terrible coffee. A lot of the aromas and oils from coffee that are extracted through more traditional brewing don’t get as much treatment as they deserve in Keurigs, and the result is a less-than-exquisite cup of coffee.
However, you need to remember that you’re getting your coffee in less than a minute – and the only other option you have is instant coffee, and don’t even get me started on that!
So given the constraints of time and convenience, the Keurig does not do an altogether bad job of brewing coffee. But if you want “pure” coffee, then you should consider other methods of brewing!
On the flip side, you have the freedom to try tons of different kinds of coffees and brands without having to worry about wasting coffee. There are sampler packs available which contain a variety of coffees. Normally, you’d have to buy a large quantity of grounds, but if you like to give your taste buds something new every day, try a new pod every day.
Con: Upfront cost
Now for the cons.
The first and most obvious disadvantage of a Keurig is the upfront cost. Keurig machines will set you back $100 at the very least.
Compared to other drip coffee makers, Keurigs are very expensive. When comparing to a French press, even more so!
For the cost of a high end Keurig, you could probably buy a grinder and a small coffee machine.
So to justify the cost, you have to weigh the convenience factor. Drip machines will take a few more minutes to brew, and you’ll have to manage the grounds yourself.
For deciding whether or not a Keurig is worth it – strictly for the money – ask yourself: “is the convenience of no-mess, quick coffee worth $50 to $100 to me?”
Con: Price and environmental cost of pods
Aside from the upfront cost, the recurring cost of pods will also run high very quickly. It will still be cheaper than popping into Starbucks every morning, but it is more expensive than using coffee grounds, or making your own grounds from roasted beans.
The second and more striking cost is the environment cost.
According to this article in the New York Times, Keurig sells billions and billions of K-cups per year.
Keurig says that pods actually use less water and fewer grounds than normal machines. That may sound like a good thing, but…
Even though they’re moving to recyclable pods by 2020, there is still a carbon cost involved in making the pods and recycling them.
Finally, even if consumers are offered only recyclable pods, consumers will still have to actually recycle them, which is an entirely different story! You’ll have to peel off the foil to separate it from the plastic, and your recycling center will have to deal with mountains of tiny plastic pods.
Keurig vs Espresso machines
Let me share my experience brewing with Keurigs and brewing with an espresso machine. I used to own a Keurig, but right now, I use a small espresso machine and a french press for my coffee.
Making coffee with the espresso machine is quite an involved process. I prefer cappuccinos, so I have to steam the milk, brew the espresso shot, and then combine both. It takes me about 4 to 5 minutes to make a nice cup of cappuccino – and the time will nearly double for every extra cup I have to make, since I have to foam the milk in every cup individually.
Back when I used a Keurig, I’d just have to pop in the pod, press a button, and add some milk – I prefer a spot of milk with coffee – and I’d be ready to go.
Is the Keurig coffee better than my cappuccino? No way! But is it convenient and still good tasting? For sure!
Keurig vs French press
I also use a French press at home. French press coffee tastes really great, because the water and coffee mix together really well and there’s a lot of time for the aromas and oils to get naturally extracted from the grounds.
However, a cup of French press takes even more time to brew than a cup of cappuccino.
First, I have to wait for my kettle to heat the water up to my desired temperature. My kettle only has one option, so I have to wait for it to finish boiling, then wait for it to cool down.
Then I pour the water into the French press and give it a few more minutes to brew, and finally I get to enjoy my coffee.
Does the coffee taste excellent and rich? For sure! But if you’re in a hurry or don’t wish to do so much for a simple cup of coffee, a Keurig is a good alternative.
Keurig vs drip coffee
Finally, let’s say you’re using a drip coffee maker. Drip coffee makers are the slowest of the lot, but their main advantage is being able to brew a large volume of coffee at once.
If you’re making coffee for guests, not only will the Keurig machine turn out to be quite expensive – you have to use that many more pods – it will take one minute per cup, and that may end up being the same as the time it’ll take your drip machine to brew that many cups.
Drip coffee tastes OK, to be completely honest. It’s not as good as espresso or French press coffee, or even Keurig, in my opinion, but the main advantage of a drip machine is the cost. For $20, you can find a decent drip machine.
Are Keurigs worth it? It really depends – there are a lot of factors, but I feel the deciding factor should be convenience and variety. If you’re a coffee purist, you won’t touch a Keurig machine or even go near one.
But if you want fast, decent coffee in the morning without the hassle of messing with grounds and/or beans, Keurig will do the job beautifully.
Last update on 2020-04-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API