Keurig K Classic Reviews: A Review of the Keurig K50 vs K55
Keurig is one of the most recognizable coffee makers globally, and the Keurig K Classic is one of its most highly-rated and popular models, but should it be? We decided to take a deeper dive after digging into the Keurig K Classic reviews that we could find. After it came in last on our top Keurig machine round-up guide, we wanted to share our thoughts.
Is the Keurig K Classic coffee maker really worth the accolades, attention, and most importantly, the money? In this article, we will review the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding the Keurig K Classic, so you can see if it is the right coffee maker to fit your needs. If you want our honest answer, we recommend replacing it with the newer upgraded Keurig K Elite.
The Keurig Scoop
Keurig took the coffee world by storm in the 2000s, revolutionizing homebrewing and the instant coffee market. Suddenly, it seemed, their machines were everywhere. Since then, they have released new models annually that deliver more and more sophisticated cups of coffee.
Keurig is an American company and an industry leader in coffee makers, especially pod-style drip coffee makers. “Keurig” is a Dutch word that most closely translates to excellence in English, which its founders sought.
They wanted to devise a system whereby office workers could enjoy a fresh cup of coffee any time of the day. They received funding from Green Mountain Coffee Company, and the rest, as they say, is history. The brand itself has passed through a few management and ownership stages, and Keurig is currently owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper, headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, and publicly traded.
Keurig K Classic Overview
The Keurig K Classic coffee maker is a premium single-serve coffee maker that can brew 6, 8, or 10-ounce cups of coffee. It has a large, transparent 48-ounce reservoir on the left-hand side of the machine, so you won’t find yourself continuously needing to refill it.
It lifts out easily, and in case you’re not keeping an eye on it, the machine has an indicator that will illuminate when you need to add more water.
It is a mechanically simple machine that Keurig designed to be easy to use for anyone. There is a removable drip tray to accommodate a taller mug. It operates by using three indicators and five buttons:
- Use the first button to turn the machine on and off manually.
- Use one of the following three buttons to select brew size (6, 8, or 10 ounces; the 6-ounce brew will be the strongest).
- The last button is for the automatic off function.
- The Keurig K Classic indicator lights tell you whether the machine needs more water, needs to be descaled or is heating the water currently.
The Keurig Classic is relatively light (around 10 pounds) and thus easily slides on the countertop and can be moved around without much trouble. It is just over a foot tall (1.5 feet when the chamber is open), just over a foot deep, and just under a foot wide.
It brews standard K-cups, with which you’re probably familiar (they take up half the coffee aisle at many supermarkets!), and are compatible with reusable K-cups if you prefer to use your ground coffee. Be sure to use caution when placing the K-cup in the chamber, as there is a sharp needle component on the top of the chamber.
In short, the Keurig Classic is a standard Keurig single-cup coffee maker that is simple to use, has some customizable features, and is popular on the market.View Latest Price →
Keurig K Classic Review
Now let’s get to what you likely came here for: a complete review of the Keurig K Classic coffee maker across several categories: design, performance, ease of use, and value for the money.
Design: 4/5 ⭐
The Keurig K Classic is relatively well-designed. It is sleek with clean lines, doesn’t have sharp angles, and fits neatly into the corner of any countertop. The water reservoir is easy to see and access. It is a stylish, modern machine.
That said, we docked it a point because it’s a little bit on the large side; especially compared to more compact coffee makers, you will not be able to store this machine out of sight conveniently.
Keurig itself makes several smaller models. In addition, it only comes in two colors: black and rhubarb, so your choices are limited in terms of appearance.
Performance: 4.5/5 ⭐
Overall, the Keurig K Classic coffee maker gets top marks for performance. For one thing, it is very fast; it only takes a matter of about 60 seconds from start to finish to brew a cup of coffee. There really aren’t quicker machines on the market for any kind of coffee.
Coffee snobs may (strongly) disagree, but the coffee it makes also has a pretty decent flavor. We certainly won’t claim that the Keurig brought out all of the subtle notes and aromas of the beans, but that’s not what it’s designed to do, either. Nevertheless, the final cup of coffee tasted just as the pod was advertised and was smooth and abundantly drinkable.
The machine is also quiet and requires very little maintenance. As long as you’re using a disposable K-cup, all you need to do to clean up is discard it when you’re done.
The machine requires descaling every 3-6 months, but that is also a relatively straightforward process, which is the perfect transition to our next section: ease of use.
Ease of Use 5/5 ⭐
If you haven’t figured it out on your own by now, we’ll spell it out for you: the Keurig K Classic coffee maker is very easy to use. This is true of all coffee makers made by Keurig, as part of their marketing positioning revolves around it being a no-fuss, simple brewing machine.
All you need to do is make sure there’s water in the reservoir, put your K-cup in the chamber, and select your brew size. In less than a minute, you’ll have a hot, fresh cup of coffee.
Keurigs are simple to use from day one. They come almost completely assembled and don’t require much setup--just fill the reservoir and plug it in.
The K Classic only requires a standard 120V outlet, and the most important thing to do before first use is to run a few cups of plain water through the system to clear out any chemicals or mess left from the manufacturing process.
Finding compatible cups is very simple since many companies label their products as compatible with Keurig’s branding. There are hundreds of brands and flavors of coffee that are packaged in K-cup form.
If they don’t make your personal favorite, you can buy a reusable cup and add your own grounds (this is also a more environmentally friendly way to brew coffee with a Keurig).
Even maintenance is easy. In order to keep your Keurig in tip-top shape, you need to descale it periodically, usually every 3-6 months, and the machine will illuminate an indicator light when that needs to happen.
Descaling couldn’t be simpler, either. Keurig sells a descaling solution, but you can also use 10 ounces of white vinegar mixed with water instead, which might be easier to obtain. Once the descaling solution (mixed with water) or the vinegar is in the reservoir, you run the brew cycle several times (without a K-cup in the chamber, obviously).
The machine will tell you when you can stop, but basically, you’re going to go through at least an entire reservoir and then some (you want to make sure you get all of the descaling solution/vinegar out of the machine before brewing coffee again). The whole process shouldn’t take more than about 20 minutes.
Value for the Money 3.5/5 ⭐
The Keurig K Classic coffee maker isn’t expensive. The sticker price is $119.99 on Keurig’s website, but we very much doubt that many owners pay that amount, as we found it for sale much cheaper (including on Keurig’s own website) at the time of writing. It appears as though it regularly retails for $79.99 or less.
That said, there are ways to get a far superior cup of coffee for much less money.
If you know what you’re doing, coffee brewing systems such as Aeropress, French presses, and other less high-tech coffee brewers yield a far better cup of coffee, time and again, for a fraction of the cost.
What is more, Keurigs aren’t built to last forever. They warranty their machines for one year, but anecdotal evidence shows that most users end up replacing their Keurigs after about five years.
Given that most people know a Grandmother who still uses the Bialetti she received as a wedding present, that’s not a very long time when it comes to coffee makers.
Keurig is continuously improving their machines and staying on top of brewing technology; it’s one of the perks of buying from them. While your machine might look and perform outdated well within a decade of purchase, even if it isn’t broken, you may want a new one, anyway.
All of that being said, it’s still a relatively good deal for a mid-range coffee maker.View Latest Price →
Who Will Love the Keurig K Classic
The Keurig K-Cup Classic is perfect for someone who wants a smooth cup of coffee fast. Keurigs, in general, are popular with:
- Only coffee-drinkers: whether you live with roommates or a spouse who doesn’t drink coffee, or all by yourself, there’s often no point in brewing more than a single cup of coffee, which makes Keurig so ideal.
- Moms and Dads: parents dump dozens of half-cups of stale, cold coffee after getting distracted before they could finish them. With Keurig, they can easily and quickly brew a brand new cup.
- All-day drinkers: Some people need their morning cup of joe, but then also depend on an afternoon pick-me-up. Keurigs are perfect because you can brew just the right amount exactly when you need it.
- Offices! The founders of Keurig and inventors of the first Keurig machine set out to create a coffee maker for offices, with which everyone could enjoy a fresh cup at any time of the day. They more than succeeded in this endeavor.
Because they are so low maintenance, anyone who wants to simplify their brewing ritual loves Keurig. Keurigs are also fantastic for people who drink coffee more for the caffeine than the natural flavors or who like sweeter, heavily seasoned, or non-naturally flavored coffee. In other words, not coffee snobs.
Which is our first group of people who will not like the Keurig K Classic: coffee aficionados. Many will tell you that for them, drinking a cup of coffee from a Keurig is similar to a wine sommelier drinking boxed wine. That said, these people are on a different level than the average coffee drinker.
One of the other most significant and most valid criticisms of Keurig coffee makers is that they aren’t environmentally friendly, and there is a lot of evidence to back that up.
We don’t have time in this article to delve into the numbers, but suffice it to say that since Keurig makes its K-cups from plastic, they have significantly added to the amount of plastic waste in landfills, oceans and waterways, and even incinerators, where they release toxic chemicals into the air.
Therefore, if you’re very conscious about your carbon footprint, Keurig isn’t for you unless you use the refillable cup. If you are looking for something a bit fancier than a Keurig K Classic, but want the convenience, check out the Technivorm Moccamaster we sell on our site!
Break it Down: The Pros and Cons
Let’s take a quick look at lists of the pros and cons of the Keurig K Classic coffee maker before we close:
✅Easy to use: simple and convenient
✅Hundreds of flavors and brands of coffee from which to choose, all in K-cup form (including several teas and other beverages)
✅A well-recognized, reputable company
✅Variety of brew sizes also allow you some control over the strength of the coffee.
✅Compatible with a travel mug
✅Mid-range price and frequently found on sale
❌It does not yield a complex or particularly nuanced coffee flavor
❌It does not allow the coffee consumer a lot of control over the finished product
❌Not suitable for the environment
❌It does not always reach the ideal temperature for brewing coffee (as agreed upon by experts, and the Keurig gets very close)
❌Unfortunately, the Keurig K probably won’t last more than five or so years.
❌You can’t brew more than one cup at a time, so it isn’t suitable for someone who likes to host parties and serve a lot of people coffee at once
Final Verdict: 4.25/5 ⭐
The Keurig K Classic coffee maker is an easy-to-use, low-maintenance, reliable coffee brewing machine. It has solid brand recognition, and you’ll find compatible K cups for brewing anywhere. It is reasonably priced for what you get even at list price, though it is almost always possible to find it on sale online or in brick-and-mortar stores.
It certainly isn’t the best product on the market by almost any metric, nor is it customizable in nearly every way. Even if it doesn’t break, Keurig is constantly releasing new models with bigger and better features, so you should plan to replace it in about 5-10 years.
All of that said, with a total score of 17 out of 20 possible points, you won’t be disappointed with the Keurig K Classic coffee maker. While not a favorite of coffee connoisseurs or environmentalists, the Keurig K Classic is a great brewer for just about everyone else.View Latest Price →