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Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker Review: A Solid Mid-Priced Option

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Summary

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Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker

✔ What We Liked

  • Fast, hassle-free brewing in under one minute with multiple serving sizes
  • Consistent brewing
  • The machine reminds you when it’s time to descale
  • Compatible with Keurig’s reusable filter which allows you to use any ground coffee
  • Keurig offers a number of bundled options to save on the purchase of this machine and K-cups
  • Easy to clean and maintain

✘ What We Didn't Like

  • Smaller water reservoir compared to other Keurig models (only 48 ounces)
  • You must use a descaling solution to descale the machine; this is more expensive than white vinegar and adds to ongoing costs
  • Not suitable for small spaces as it’s a bulky machine
  • This machine is not ideal for someone looking for control over the brewing process
  • Not eco-friendly compared to other coffee makers

Pod coffee brewers are a solid option for anyone who wants a hands-off coffee experience at home. The Keurig K-Classic coffee maker is no exception to this. However, there are a few things to keep in mind with this machine.

First, it’s a larger machine compared to other models offered by Keurig, so it’s not ideal for small or tight spaces. Despite being a large machine, it has a smaller water reservoir than other Keurig machines. If your household drinks a lot of coffee, it’s worth considering other Keurig models that have larger water tanks.

If you want more control over the brewing process, we recommend investing in a coffee grinder and an espresso machine or manual coffee maker, like an AeroPress. These require more work but allow you control over every element of the brewing process so you can get a perfect cup.

Finally, pod coffee brewers are generally not the most eco-friendly options due to the waste generated from the pods. This machine can be more eco-friendly by using the reusable filter, but we think there are better eco-friendly options on the market. Consider using a French press, a Moka pot, or an AeroPress with a reusable filter to minimize waste and maximize recycling opportunities (coffee grounds are also excellent for composting).

That said, if you want to enjoy a hassle-free cup of coffee at home, the K-Classic is a good option as it brews consistently and there are many K-cup options, ranging from coffee to teas to hot cocoa, so you can find something that you enjoy drinking.

Taste Review

I used this machine for two weeks and tried multiple different pods with it. Since it was not my machine, I used the pods that my hosts had on offer. These were Starbucks, Green Mountain, and Peet’s coffee pods, ranging from light roasts to dark roasts to flavored roasts. Overall, I tried about six or seven different types of pods in this machine.

Since the brewing process is the same every time, the machine makes a consistent cup of coffee. The largest impact on the coffee’s flavor is the size of the serving, the water, and the coffee pod. The 10-ounce serving will be less concentrated and intense than the six-ounce serving. I’d recommend the smaller serving sizes if you prefer a stronger brew.

The second factor that can impact the taste is the water you use. This machine doesn’t have a water filter, so very hard or very soft water can negatively impact the taste of your coffee. I’d recommend using filtered water from something like a Brita or your refrigerator’s filtration system.

Finally, the pods will make the biggest difference in the taste. I didn’t like the Starbucks pods as much as the Peet’s pods as I found that Starbucks coffee tends to taste burnt to me. Thankfully, Keurig offers a ton of options for coffee pods from brands like Dunkin’ Donuts, La Colombe, Illy, Caribou, and more. There are also specialty pods for hot cocoa, tea, and other milk-based drinks. All to say that you can probably find something you’ll like.

Overall, this machine (and generally all pod coffee makers) makes a consistent cup because there aren’t many variables you can change that will affect your brew. You won’t drink the best coffee ever from a pod coffee maker, but it’s a great option for people who want a hassle-free, quick coffee.

If taste is more important to you than a hands-off experience, I’d recommend investing in an espresso machine or a manual coffee maker, like a pour-over coffee maker or an AeroPress. These require some more work but give you more control over how you brew your coffee. Many great entry-level espresso machines are around the same price as Keurig’s high-end coffee makers.

Ease of Use

Like all pod coffee makers, this machine is amazingly simple to use. Simply fill up the water tank, pop in a coffee pod, and press a button to get a cup of coffee. It’s super fast too. You don’t need to worry about putting in a filter or measuring out coffee grounds to get a cup. The tradeoff for this machine is that it only makes single servings. You can’t brew a pot of coffee like you can with a drip coffee machine.

The machine offers multiple serving sizes, allowing you to brew six, eight, or 10 ounces of coffee. A standard-sized serving of coffee is five ounces, so technically the 10-ounce size is two servings, but most folks are likely just brewing that amount for themselves.

The other major factor that makes this machine easy to use is that Keurig offers subscription services for coffee pods. Once you find pods that you like, you set up a subscription to those pods and get refills every few weeks (you can select the timespan between refills). You can almost make your coffee-drinking set-it-and-forget-it by using this machine and a subscription service.

Features

Starting with the basic features of the machine, there are several indicator lights that tell you important information. The first light (“Add Water”) tells you when the water reservoir is low and you need to refill it. The second light (“Descale”) lets you know it’s time to do a deep clean of the machine. Finally, the third light (“Heating”) lets you know the machine is heating the water to brew your coffee.

Below these indicator lights are two buttons: Auto-Off and Power. If you press the Auto-Off button, this will program the machine to shut off in two hours. You’ll know Auto-Off is engaged if the indicator light next to the button is green. I find it annoying to press the Auto-Off button to make sure the machine turns off after a while. The Power button is self-explanatory (it turns the machine on or off).

Moving on to brewing features, this machine is compatible with the My K-Cup Reusable Filters. This is a reusable filter that allows you to use whatever ground coffee you’d like in your Keurig coffee maker. Some machines come with this accessory included. It may or may not be included with this machine depending on where you purchase it or what bundle you select.

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Keurig My K-Cup Universal Reusable Filter

  • Compatible with all Keurig home brewers and home coffee makers
  • Allows you to use any coffee grounds in your Keurig machine
  • Top-rack dishwasher safe and BPA free

The K-Classic has a removable 48-ounce water reservoir. I wish that the reservoir was bigger. In a household with multiple coffee drinkers, you might refill it once or twice a day depending on how much coffee your household drinks. Other Keurig machines with smaller overall footprints have larger water reservoirs.

The last feature to discuss is the drip tray. It is removable, which makes it easy to clean. It also holds eight ounces of overfill, so you won’t need to worry if coffee spills over. Because the tray is removable, you can use a tall travel mug with this brewer. It fits a travel mug up to 7.1 inches tall.

Time to brew 1 minute or less
Supplies needed
  • Keurig-compatible coffee or beverage pods
  • Keurig Descaling Solution (or other coffee machine descaling solution) for cleaning the machine
  • Optional: My K-Cup Reusable Filter (for using your own coffee grounds)
Coffee grind size N/A (if using the My K-Cup Reusable filter, use a medium grind)
Yield 6, 8, or 10 ounces
Ease of cleaning
  • Wipe the exterior of the machine and removable components with a damp, soapy, non-abrasive cloth
  • Rinse the removable components with warm or cool water and let air dry
  • Descale the machine every three to six months using a descaling solution

Cleaning

Cleaning the K-Classic is straightforward. Keurig recommends cleaning the machine about once per week depending on use. You can use a damp, soapy, non-abrasive cloth to clean the outside of the machine and the removable components, including the water reservoir, reservoir lid, and drip tray. After you wipe down the removable components with the soapy cloth, rinse them in warm or cool water and let them air dry before putting them back in the machine. Don’t use a cloth or towel to dry the inside of the water reservoir as you could leave lint particles. Keurig has a very helpful video on how to clean your machine.

When it’s time to descale, the “Descale” indicator on the machine will turn on. Even if the light doesn’t come on, Keurig recommends descaling the machine every three to six months. You’ll need to purchase Keurig’s descaling solution (or another coffee machine descaling solution) to descale. Do not use white vinegar to descale. Keurig also has a video on how to properly descale the machine.

Overall, this machine is easy to clean and maintain. My only gripe about the cleaning process is that you must use a descaling solution instead of white vinegar. Descaling solutions are more expensive than white vinegar so it adds to the ongoing cost of using the machine.

Appearance

This machine measures 13 inches high, almost 10 inches wide, and 13.3 inches deep. It’s around 17.5 inches tall when the lid is opened, so it won’t fit under low-hanging kitchen cabinets.

It also weighs 10.5 pounds. It’s bigger than many of Keurig’s other coffee makers, and for that reason, I wouldn’t recommend it for small or tight spaces. It also has a smaller water reservoir than some of the smaller models.

For example, the K-Supreme has a 66-ounce reservoir, whereas the K-Classic has a 48-ounce reservoir, and the K-Supreme has a smaller overall footprint than the K-Classic. Granted, the K-Supreme is more expensive if you’re just buying the machine, but the price difference is nominal. You can significantly reduce the price of the K-Supreme if you purchase a Keurig starter kit, which includes an annual coffee pod subscription.

I think the K-Classic looks less modern and sleek than some of Keurig’s other designs. I prefer the look of the K-Supreme and the K-Express lines as those coffee makers look updated and contemporary. This machine’s design seems dated in comparison. I know it’s called the K-Classic, but the design doesn’t feel timeless or classic.

Cost & Value

We think the machine offers a decent value, especially if you can buy it on sale or bundle it with a K-cup subscription through Keurig. The price per cup of K-cups is generally on par with the price per cup of high-end whole beans. In my opinion, high-end whole beans taste better than K-cups, so you’re paying for the convenience of using the pods.

The other ongoing cost to consider with this machine is the cost to descale. You must use a descaling solution. If you purchase this from Keurig, this adds roughly $20 to $56 in annual costs depending on how often you descale (Keurig recommends every three to six months).

Current price on Amazon $79.99
Cost for supplies
  • K-cups range in price from roughly $0.50 to $1.50 depending on how much and how frequently you purchase
  • The My K-Cup Reusable Filter is $15.99 (optional)
  • Keurig Descaling Solution ranges in price from $10.49 to $13.99 depending on if you purchase a subscription

About Rebecca Wessell

Rebecca is the co-founder of First Coffee Then. She has written for numerous publications, including ValuePenguin, Inc.com, Business.com, Christian Science Monitor, StartupNation, and NASDAQ. She loves to get into the nitty-gritty of how things work and applies this philosophy to all things coffee. Her favorite coffee beverage is a cappuccino (though La Colombe Oat Milk Draft Lattes are an extremely close second).

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