Keurig 2.0 Model K550 Coffee Brewing System review

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Keurig coffee brewing systems have been around for a while now.  There have been a lot of models over the years, but they remained pretty much the same.  They still only brewed a single cup at a time.  They all used the little pre-filled K-Cups available in a wide variety of flavors and brands.  If you preferred your own coffee, there was even a reusable My K-Cup accessory that you could fill with your own grounds.  Things have changed with the recent update to the Keurig 2.0 line.  The most obvious update is that you can also make carafes of coffee when you need larger quantities and the single servings when it’s just you, or when everyone wants a different hot drink.  Keurig sent a Keurig 2.0 K550 Coffee Brewing System to The Gadgeteer for review.  Let’s discover the good and the bad points.


The Keurig machine was delivered in a huge cardboard box.  This beautifully float-mounted on foam poster was inside, welcoming me to the Keurig 2.0 world.

There are three machines in the Keurig 2.0 lineup:  the K350, K450, and K550.  The models have many of the same features, and all three are capable of brewing either a single cup or a carafe.  They differ in a few ways, including the size of the touchscreen interface, and whether it is black-and-white or color, and in the size of the water reservoir.  I received the flagship K550, which Keurig describes as:

“The brewer has other great features including an extra large 80 ounce water reservoir, 2.8 inch color touch display, programmable clock, an auto brew option and a strength control setting for brewing bolder coffee. There’s even a separate setting for hot cocoa and other specialty beverages like lattes and mochas. The K550 model also has a customizable night light in the water reservoir and offers hot water on demand. So many options to choose from — not at all like a typical coffee maker.”


There were some extra items floating around in the box with the packaged K550.  I received a ring-bound introductory manual, seen in the front of this image.  There were several individual K-Cups, and four of the big, carafe-sized K-Carafe cups.  Keurig sent a sampling of various flavors in these cups, but they also sent along a $20 gift card so I could purchase some K-Cups for myself.  I thought this was a good idea, because I could try out a flavor that most appealed to me in the Keurig machine.  (Before I started the review, I headed over to the local Bed Bath & Beyond with my $20 gift card and a 20% BBB discount coupon I already had and purchased a couple of boxes of the K-Cups and K-Carafe cups.)

Testing the K550:  Getting set up

I opened up the box containing the K550 system and started unpacking all the following items.


The clear plastic object is part of the 2.0 Water Filter Starter Kit.   It holds a filter and fits in the reservoir to filter out unpleasant taste before the water is used to brew coffee.  The white package holds a filter.  Purchased separately, the 2.0 Water Filter Starter Kit has an MSRP of $18 and comes with two filters; a box of six replacement filters has an MSRP of $25.  Keurig recommends changing the filter every 2 months.  We have filtered water in our kitchen, so we don’t need to use this filter.

The user manual is in the gray cardboard case.


The machine also had some coffee packs to get you started.  There were four K-Carafes and six K-Cups in assorted flavors.


This is the standard black plastic pitcher that comes with the brewer.  It’s nice looking, and it seems to be double-walled for insulation.  It has a lid that stays on while serving the coffee to help hold in the heat.  Just visible in this photo is a rounded bump on the front that fits into a depression on the front of the brewer to let the Keurig know when you’re brewing a pot instead of a single cup.


The K550 has an 80 ounce water reservoir.  This is the largest reservoir that we’ve ever had on a Keurig machine at the Cloninger household.  The reservoir has a lid that flips open on the front end so you can easily load up more water as needed.  It fits onto the side of the machine that’s facing it in this image.


This is the drip tray that’s used when brewing a single cup.  The bump on the front of the drip tray fits into the bottom of the brewer.  This bump is a different size and shape than the bump on the carafe to indicate to the brewer that it’s brewing cups, not carafes.


The orange piece is covering the compartment that holds the coffee packs.  It works with both the single K-Cups and the bigger K-Carafe packs.  This orange piece must be removed before using.  I washed up all the parts of the brewer and assembled everything.


Here’s the K550 with the drip trap in place, looking like it’s ready to be placed on the kitchen counter and have water added to the reservoir.


It fits into the space used by my old Keurig K75 brewer.  It’s hard to measure because of the shape, but it’s about 11″ wide X 12″ deep X 13″ tall.  You also have to allow space above to open up the coffee pack holder.


When plugged in, the machine takes you through setting it up and getting it ready for brewing.


You can choose the language for the on-screen prompts, set the clock, and choose the clock display style (analog or digital).


You can also choose the wallpaper background for the touchscreen and turn on a nightlight that illuminates the water reservoir, if you want.  The nightlight can be programmed to turn on and off at certain times.  Settings also allows you to program the brewer to have fresh coffee waiting for you at a specified time (you’ll have to set up the machine with water, a coffee pack, and a cup or carafe to catch the brewed coffee, of course); select high altitude mode to ensure your brewer works properly at altitudes of 5000+ feet; and turn on a reminder for changing the water filter.


The touchscreen has three buttons on the right side.  The top button opens the settings routine.  The middle button, with the H in the water drop, has the machine dispense about 6 ounces of plain, hot water.  The bottom button with the power icon wakes the brewer from Energy Saver mode and begins the water pre-heating process when you want to brew coffee.


This is the K550 with its touchscreen and nightlight glowing green in my dark kitchen.  It’s not bright enough to read by or to make a midnight snack, but it’s a nice touch of color.

Testing the K550:  The Good

Before brewing the first coffee that we drank, we ran two or three hot water dispensing cycles and brewed one cup of throwaway coffee to make sure the internal structures were cleaned.


To dispense hot water, you have to press and hold the round, black brew button marked “Keurig 2.0”.  The machine automatically stops dispensing after 6 ounces.  This isn’t just a cleaning procedure.  This works anytime you need hot water for brewing a cup of tea with a tea bag, to mix up some hot cocoa mix not in a K-Cup, or maybe to mix up some hot cereal.

Now we are ready to brew some coffee.

Keurig’s claim to fame is that you can brew a single cup of fresh coffee when you want it.  You don’t have to drink stale coffee that’s been left on the heater plate of your automatic drip maker for who knows how long after it was brewed, just to save money.  You don’t have to nuke cold, leftover coffee in the microwave to make it a drinkable temperature again.  You always have a freshly made cup.

What happens when you have guests over or you have multiple family members who all want a hot beverage?  With the old Keurigs, you stood there and brewed single cup after single cup until everyone had their beverage.  This is fine when everyone wants something different, but it’s very time consuming and means the first person will be ready for another cup by the time you’ve gotten everyone taken care of the first time.  When everyone wants the same thing, or when you decide everyone will be getting the same thing, it would be nice to brew a larger quantity and pour it into serving cups.  With the Keurig 2.0, you can brew a pot of coffee using the supplied carafe and a K-Carafe coffee pack.


To brew a carafe, remove the drip tray and place the carafe under the spout.  You can brew with the carafe’s lid in place, if you want, but I left it off for the first trial.


Place a K-Carafe cup in the pack holder.  To make the large pack fit, I had to pull back on a lever at the bottom of the holder.  Don’t be sticking your fingers in random places while the pack holder is open.  There are large needles in here to puncture the top and bottom of the coffee pack.


Coffee packs that work with the Keurig 2.0 system are marked with a number.  The K-Carafe pack in the earlier picture is marked with a 1.  Once you insert the coffee pack and close the handle, you check the touch screen to make sure that the brewing number on the screen matches what’s on the coffee pack.  Then you select the size of your brew.  With the K550, I could choose 2-3, 3-4, or 4-5 cups.  I chose the 3-4 cups amount, pressed the Keurig 2.0 brew button, and the K550 started brewing.


Soon, I could see rich, brown coffee being dispensed into the carafe.  By the way, the carafe holds quite a bit of liquid.  I used a liquid measuring cup to check the capacity.  When completely filled with water, it held four full cups, or 32 ounces.


This is the amount of coffee brewed with the 3-4 cup selection.  These are 15-ounce Tervis Tumbler mugs, and you can see each cup is about 75% or so filled.  This amount is more than enough for the two of us for breakfast, especially considering I like my coffee to be about half milk.  We could have each had a cup, and there would have been enough coffee left in the carafe for Butch to have a second cup.

We used one of the Donut Shop regular blend K-Carafe packs for this brew.  This is a coffee that we’ve used before and liked in the single serving K-Cups.  I thought this particular brew was a bit strong for my taste, but that could have been because I didn’t have enough room to add the amount of milk I normally use.  It could also be that brewing the 4-5 cups amount would have diluted the coffee a bit and made it more to my taste.

The coffee was nice and hot, but not too hot to drink.  Butch and I agreed that it had a good flavor; it didn’t taste scorched.  It didn’t have any grounds or sediment, and it was clear, not cloudy.  It was a nice temperature and a good, flavorful brew.


Before I talk about single-cup brewing, let’s look at the touchscreen information.  Right now, only the K-Carafe packs and the standard K-Cups are available.  The Brew settings menu at the bottom of this page from the user manual shows the options and cup sizes available for those packs; compare those settings with the touchscreen representations in the upper middle and right of this photo.

In addition to the cup sizes, you can adjust the K-Cup brewing process to make the coffee stronger or to select special brewing for hot cocoa and other non-coffee packs.  On the carafe menu, you have the option to set a particular brew size to be your favorite.

You’ll notice there are lots of future brewing options that seem designed for travel mugs with larger capacities, one method that looks to brew a 4 ounce espresso, and another that seems to be a multi-step frothing process.


Now let’s brew a single cup of coffee.  I started by putting one of the provided K-Cup packs into the holder.


I didn’t check the Strong or Hot Cocoa options.  Since my husband was going to drink this, I selected the 6 ounce cup size because he has always used that size for his Keurig single cups.  Once the cup was in place, I pressed the Keurig 2.0 brew button and waited.


The touchscreen displays a caution message while brewing, reminding you that things are hot and you shouldn’t move the cup until brewing has stopped.   Butch said that cup of coffee was as good as he gets from his previous Keurig.  He’s brewed many single cups of coffee since this first one, and he’s liked how the K550 works with each.  His only complaint has been with some of the particular blends in the sample K-Cups that he hasn’t tried before and doesn’t like as much as his tried-and-true varieties.

The Keurig K550 has worked flawlessly for brewing single cups and carafes.  It’s quick and easy to use anytime you want a cup of joe.  When you leave the machine plugged in, it stays at a particular state of readiness, so the pre-heating stage is much faster than it used to be with our previous Keurig that could be powered completely down even when left plugged in.

As I mentioned earlier, because the machine is always semi-ready, you can set up the machine the night before, program then K550 to start brewing automatically at a specified time, and you’ll wake to the aroma and taste of freshly brewed hot coffee.  Even if you don’t choose to brew automatically, you’ll be ready to have a hot beverage quickly whenever you want one.

Testing the K550:  The Possibly Bad


All this sounds perfect – a machine that does everything that previous versions do and adds the ability to brew carafes and has future expansion for new types of brews.  There is a fly in the ointment, though.  When Keurig machines were first introduced, they were created by a coffee brewer company.  They were interested in working with coffee companies to produce the coffee packs for their machines.  They had a patent on the coffee pack format, and they licensed coffee companies to produce K-Cups with their coffees, teas, and cocoas to work with the Keurig machines.  Green Mountain Coffee bought a 35% interest in Keurig early in the history of the company, but they weren’t the only coffee manufacturer to produce the K-Cups.  Eventually, Keurig introduced a My K-Cup, which was a refillable coffee pack that allowed the owner to use their own coffee with the Keurig brewer.  This both reduced waste from throwing away all those disposable K-Cup packs and allowed the user to have exactly the coffee they wanted.  This could potentially save money, too.

Two things happened to change things.  Eventually Green Mountain Coffee Roasters bought Keurig outright, and the patent on the K-Cup pack expired.  Now a coffee company owned the brewers, and they had a vested interest in controlling the coffee used by the machines.  The patent expiration opened up the possibility that any coffee company could make K-Cup packs for the brewers without paying licensing fees, so grocery stores and coffee companies who weren’t working with Keurig before this could produce their own packs.  To regain control of the market for coffee for their machines, Keurig (a wholly owned subsidiary of Green Mountain at this point) changed the look of their coffee packs and the function of the machines for the Keurig 2.0 lineup.  (For more about Keurig’s history, check out the Wikipedia entry about them.)

In the above image, the Green Mountain K-Cup on the left is an old version we already had in the house.  The Barista Prima K-Cup on the right is the new format.  It has a white ring around the perimeter of the foil top of the coffee pack, and the Keurig 2.0 machines look for this white ring.  If the ring isn’t found, as with the old Green Mountain K-Cup, the machine won’t brew the coffee.


I tested this by pre-heating the water, loading up the old Green Mountain K-Cup, and closing the handle.  (I forgot to take a photo before closing the handle, so you can see the top of this K-Cup has been pierced when the handle was closed.)


When I closed the handle, I saw this message.  Even though it was one of Green Mountain’s own K-Cups, the machine says it wasn’t designed for this brewer.

Keurig says these restrictions are designed to brew a better cup of coffee.  By using an officially approved K-Cup and making sure the machine settings match the information on the K-Cup lid itself, the machine can brew a better cup, using the correct temperature and other settings for that particular type of hot beverage.  You’d think the machine should be able to read a barcode on the pack so it would be sure to brew the beverage with the proper information.  After all, the machine doesn’t know if you entered the correct info.  It just checks for the white ring.

You cannot use a My K-Cup with the Keurig 2.0 machines, either.  You won’t even find a My K-Cup for sale on the Keurig website for use with your older models now.

If you always buy official K-Cups and don’t bother with the store brands or with the reusable My K-Cup accessory, you won’t have a problem.  Just make sure you buy fresh boxes of K-Cups that say they can be used with the Keurig 2.0 line of brewers or just check to make sure they have the white ring around the foil top.  You’ll be able to brew anything you want from the hundreds of new packs mentioned by the warning message.  If you have stockpiled large amounts of the old-style K-Cups when you found them on sale, you should hold on to your old Keurig brewer, because you won’t be able to use them with the new machines. You won’t be able to use your own coffee in the My K-Cup or any of the off-brand reusable grounds holders, either.

Testing the K550:  The Optional


My review package also included a stainless carafe.  This is an extra-cost option with an MSRP of $29.99.  Like the plastic carafe that comes standard with the K550, the stainless carafe holds 32 ounces.


It is also double-walled, with a stainless interior.  The area between the inside and outside walls seems thicker in the stainless carafe.  It also has a lid that seals the top of the carafe, but the pouring spout in this lid is smaller and tighter than the opening in the plastic carafe’s lid.

I decided to compare the heat-retaining abilities of these two carafes.  I started with the plastic carafe and brewed a 3-4 cup sized pot, inserted the metal probe of my digital kitchen thermometer through the pour spout of the plastic lid, and took measurements of the coffee temperature over a 30 minute period.

When that test was completed, I pre-heated the Keurig again and brewed another 3-4 cup pot into the stainless carafe.  Because the spout was different on the stainless pot, I couldn’t feed the metal probe through the lid.  I had to just drop the probe in the pot and then close the lid down over the metal cable as tightly as possible.   Again, I took measurements over 30 minutes.

keurig-2-point-0-31You can see that the stainless pot holds the temperature much better than the plastic pot.  The plastic pot dropped 13 degrees in the first ten minutes, while the stainless pot only dropped two degrees.  Coffee in the stainless pot was 22 degrees warmer at the end of 30 minutes than was the coffee in the plastic pot.  Because the stainless worked so well, I took some additional readings for it.  At 45 minutes after brewing, the coffee had only dropped about 9 degrees from the starting temperature, and it was still 20 degrees hotter than the plastic pot was after only 30 minutes.  At an hour post brewing, the stainless pot had dropped 12 degrees from the starting temperature and was still 17 degrees warmer than the plastic carafe was after only 30 minutes.  The coffee in the metal carafe was still at 1650 after 1.5 hours;  the plastic carafe reached this temperature in about 15 minutes.

If you are only interested in brewing a carafe because you want to serve several cups of the same variety immediately, the plastic carafe will work fine for you.  If you’re like us and want three servings so that one of you can have a second cup immediately after the first is finished, you’ll probably be okay with the plastic carafe if you don’t mind a cooler second cup.  If you want to make multiple servings and drink it slowly, you’ll do better with the stainless carafe.

Testing the K550:  The Conclusion

In conclusion, the Keurig K550 Coffee Brewing System works very well.  It brews single cups or a carafe, to suit your need at the moment.  You can always have a hot, fresh beverage when you want one.  No more scorched coffee that’s been sitting on a coffee maker’s heating pad for half a day for you.  If you always want to use official Keurig K-Cups in either the single serving or carafe sizes and you make sure the packs you’re buying have the white ring and brewing numbers on them, you’ll have great coffee.  If you want to use store brand cups or use your own grounds in the reusable cup, you’ll be out of luck with the Keurig 2.0 line.  If you can live with the current restrictions, it appears that a whole new world of hot beverages will be opening up to you as Keurig expands their K-Cups into the future brewing methods shown in that chart in the user manual.  The K550 is priced in line with the other larger Keurig machines made for home use, and the single K-Cups are about the same price as the previous, un-ringed K-Cups.  You’ll have good coffee now and only new things to anticipate, if you can live with the restrictions.

Source: The Keurig K550 sample for this review was provided by Keurig. Please visit for more info.


Product Information

Price:$199.99 for the K550; $29.99 for the optional stainless carafe
  • You'll need the new style Keurig K-Cups for this machine
  • Brews single cups or multiple cups (when you use the K-Carafe packs and the carafe)
  • Seems to get to the ready state faster than the previous model we owned
  • Large variety of coffees, teas, and other hot drinks available
  • Programmable, so you can have that hot cup waiting for you when you get up
  • Optional stainless carafe keeps your beverages hot for a long time
  • Plastic carafe doesn't work as well to keep beverages hot over time
  • Can't use old-style Keurig K-Cups; must use new ones with the white ring for single-cup brewing
  • Can't use your own coffee in the reusable My K-Cup accessory

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92 thoughts on “Keurig 2.0 Model K550 Coffee Brewing System review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Janet,

    Great review!!! You answered all my questions about this new machine.

    Fortunately there are just two of us—and one drinks tea, the other coffee. Our older brewer is just fine, although I was wondering if it would provide anything I really wanted. It doesn’t.

    That nasty trick of the white ring on the lid is…NASTY. Fortunately the white ring cups work in my old brewer.

    But I will NOT buy the new machine because there are plenty of coffees out there that I like much better than the official Green Mountain cups. And many of those companies are now making cups for the original brewer that use far less plastic or are even compostable!

    I’m sorry that Green Mountain has such a nasty attitude, but I guess that’s just the way business goes these days. If you can’t make coffee that people really like, then make it so they can’t brew it in your product. I wonder if this will cause the new machine to not have good sales.

    I also wonder if the current machines sold by Keurig that brew only one cup will still have this nasty requirement.

  3. Thank you, Sandee! I just looked at Keurig’s online store; it seems that they only sell the Keurig 2.0 models, a Rivo cappuccino and latte maker, and only two of the original brewers. Even the Vue machine is missing from the website. It appears the older models are being phased out, so their machines apparently will all be version 2.0 in the future.

    I have seen some decent reviews of the Mr. Coffee machines that brew with the K-Cup packs. You could keep those in mind if something happens to your current Keurig machine in the future.

  4. Thanks for the review. I will never buy a Keurig 2.0 machine, as I want the flexibility to use any coffee I want. Once my Keurig machine no longer works, I may go back to a Mr. Coffee-type machine.

  5. @Ken,

    I love you and hackers and support groups and YouTube and the comments section of the gadgeteer!

    This is the free dispersion of information that will allow the little guy to win when big business behaves nasty.

    Thanks! While my old Keurig is doing fine, I don’t have to worry about the future.

  6. The review helped us who don’t know better about this Keurig 2.0 machine. At least, when somebody decided to buy this equipment, he or she already had the idea. This what I love most in gadgetteer. you always give information to those who need them.

  7. look you guy are all crying like a bunch of babies because you cant get you r coffee on your Keurig just stop. Keurig never tried to hide that you have to use there K-cups. if they did then ya i would agree with you but they didn’t so stop crying. look I’m for choice & i cant stand to loose another single serve coffee platform to a few ignorant people, but it’s up to us the consumer to let the coffee producers know that you want there coffee on the Keurig k-cup/ VUE platform. yes the VUE is the advanced setting that the reviewer was talking about I’ve gone to my local “Bed Bath Beyond” & saw the VUE coffee / latte pack re-labeled to work with 2.0.

  8. Janet: while I don’t have any plans to own one of these (I prefer my Aeropress, and use a large French press for company) I just wanted to thank you for the very in-depth review, and for The Gadgeteer being a site where such a long, detailed review can be posted 🙂

  9. Thanks for the thorough review, Janet. I was especially curious about the stainless steel pot and its heat retention capability and you answered that question nicely!

    I, too, am planning to boycott the 2.0 (although thanks for the hack info @Ken). Given the high cost of the cups, putting the white ring restriction on the cups is anti-consumer.

    1. Same thing, they just proprietorized the old cups by adding special ink to the ring around the top that a sensor can pick up… all “for your safety”. Haha nothing to do with their patent running out and no longer making money off the other brands.

  10. Thanks, Janet! I had already read about this silly ‘feature’ included to lock down the consumer into using only Keurig brand coffee. Seriously? It doesn’t get much more generic than ‘coffee’. Keurig can keep the 2.0. I will wait for the 2.1, after consumer boycotts force them to remove this restriction.

  11. @Pam T That stainless carafe would work as a nice thermal pot to keep your coffee warm, regardless of your brewing method.

    @Frank Yes, the white-ringed cups will work in the older machines. These cups are exactly the same as previous cups in size, shape, and performance. Only the design on the foil lid has changed.

  12. @MJ DiBella It looks like Keurig is pretty dedicated to the new 2.0 machines. It seems they have discontinued every machine other than the 2.0 line and the Rivo, with its built in milk frother.

  13. Great review! I was thinking about one for a Christmas present and will probably buy the 2.0, now that I know about the hack. Ahh… the benefits of being a Gadgeteer follower. Thanks, Janet.

  14. I also know about the hack. I am unwilling to pay top dollar for an appliance that has to be ‘tricked’ into doing its job. Keurig may indeed be dedicated to this model. I hope they are, since it appears they will be hanging on to a lot of them. And handling a lot of returns. Again, I will wait for this silly ‘feature’ to be removed before I buy.

  15. One thought about the hack: While you can trick it into using cheap, store brand K-Cups, you still can’t reduce waste and use your own coffee with a reuseable My K-Cup with the Keurig 2.0 lines.

  16. @Brian,

    We are not “babies” crying over this. We are echoing the rational arguments being made in lawsuits against Keurig.

    From various articles about the 2.0 DRM:

    [T]wo lawsuits were filed by companies that make their own portion cups for brewers that use Keurig’s K-Cup portion packs — Rogers Family Co., based in Lincoln, Calif., and TreeHouse Foods, based in Oakbrook, Ill.

    Both companies have already won lawsuits filed against them by Keurig when they introduced their portion cups, which the Keurig 2.0 will reject.

    In its court filing, Club Coffee alleges Keurig has violated Canada’s laws governing competition, trademarks and consumer protection by, among other things, telling retailers, coffee makers and consumers only Keurig’s coffee and tea pods will work in its brewing machines. Toronto lawyer Robert Russell, who is representing Club Coffee, referred to the statement of claim which says Keurig capitalizes on the resulting “anxiety” by having retailers sign agreements that forbid them from carrying pods made by Keurig’s rivals, including Club Coffee.

    “In fact, some Canadian retailers were told they couldn’t even talk to Club Coffee,” Mr. Russell said in an interview referring to the statement of claim.
    [T]he new sys­tem was designed to restrain com­pe­ti­tion and alloww Keurig to charge supra­co­men­ta­tive prices for the K–cups. The law­suits fur­ther allege that Keurig has taken other actions to main­tain its monop­oly, includ­ing buy­ing up com­peti­tors and enter­ing into exclu­sion­ary agree­ments with sup­pli­ers pre­clud­ing them from work­ing with Keurig’s competitors.

  17. @Janet,

    One of the videos I saw last night ( showed a woman with one of her little red plastic pods that she has been using over and over to brew her own coffee for just 6¢ a cup. And with no landfill.

    She was easily able to subvert the DRM and use the red pod over and over.

  18. To the group moderator: ‘@Brian’ appears to be the same person who, on, interrupts all rational discussions on this subject with name-calling. I am not sure how we become ‘babies’, but my own definition of ‘baby’ is someone who is required to let other people make his decisions for him. So my suggestion to Brian is, go drink the coffee Keurig will allow you to drink, and let the grownups here discuss their intention to make their own choices.

  19. If everyone had a Keurig 2.0, small roasters would be killed as they don’t usually put their coffee into Keurig certified K-Cups…so every Keurig 2.0 owner is no longer a potential customer. Also, last year Keurig sold 8.4 billion K-Cups. That’s alot of landfill.

    So Keurig has given us the ability to brew a carafe and taken away the option of using local roaster’s beans. Not a trade that’s good for roaster’s or the ecology.

  20. Janet – Great review! I recently met with a local company that will be launching their own line of one-cup coffee brewers in 2015. They went through with me the Keurig 2.0 brewer and how one will not be able to use older style k-cups. I understand not many consumers know that prior to purchasing one, and even then many don’t read the instructions and find out when trying to use the old style.

    While I love the design and function of the 2.0 system I will stick with my B130 model, like the hotel ones. It is easy to use, and effective for my simple needs.

  21. @Brian McClary Thanks! I agree that most people don’t seem to know about the restrictions before buying. With a couple of tricks, it does seem that people can use the old-style K-Cups, the unofficial K-Cups, and even the reuseable cups.

  22. I was interested in the carafe addition as I like coffee with my water 🙂 In fact, I put an old Mr. Coffee carafe on the platform of my single cup machine and keep pressing the large cup size until I get almost 7 cups. Then I take the coffee out and brew a small cup with just water. This also cleans out the machine. But it is a hassle to keep pressing that button so the 2.0 appealed to me. But I want to know can I brew a multi-cup with a single pod of coffee? The strength diluted this much is still drinkable, but I do it this way also because of studies done that more than 2 cups a day can contribute to glaucoma and I am in preventative mode. (I figure I can drink 8 cups coffee with one pod that equals one cup)

  23. @Janet, I can do that now with the Keurig one cup. I was hoping since the Keurig 2.0 can brew an entire carafe with the larger pods, then maybe it could brew an entire carafe with the one cup size pod too. It does not do this? Disappointed.

  24. Jane, It uses a giant coffee pack for the carafe, and it knows that it’s loaded with the giant pack. It will know the regular pack isn’t sized for the carafe and will expect that the small pack will be used for a single cup of coffee and will need to be replaced for the next.

  25. @Anton What a great idea! It looks much nicer than the taped on pieces of the foil ring that are sure to wear out eventually. Have you tried one yet, or are these just available now?

    I just ordered one. I can’t wait to see how it works!

    Thanks for letting us know!

  26. Janet,

    I haven’t tried one yet as I haven’t bought a Keurig 2.0 because of the lockout issue. But now, knowing that there are permanent ways around it, I’ll take the plunge soon.

  27. I just got this same unit recently from Keurig. Their customer support replaced my faulty previous model and sent me the updated one. I appreciated that service and like the new machine.

    However, anyone who wants to “boycott” Keurig should get a grip. There are about a thousand other companies you should probably be boycotting first. I think the fact that we now have DRM (digital rights management) in our coffee makers is hysterical and more a comment on a sad, consumer-driven society than anything else.

    Like a great card I saw today read: Only in America do people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what we already have.

    We coffee drinkers get the coffee makers we deserve.
    Happy thanksgiving.

  28. Well, we get the coffee maker we are willing to buy anyway. I am not willing to buy the 2.0.

    In fact, I am not sure this qualifies as a ‘boycott’ but I used to buy a fair amount of coffee from Keurig’s web site. Since the advent of the 2.0 brewer, I have stopped. I refuse to give Keurig any more of my money until this abomination is taken off the market. So in my case, Keurig has *reduced* their sales.

    It is my choice where to spend my money, not theirs. I have started buying my coffee from small, indie roasters…either locally or off

  29. @Jonathan

    I’m surprised you have agreed to let Keurig replace your machine with an inferior one—especially since you are getting a replacement for a faulty machine.

    You are precisely the customer that the various class-action lawsuits are on behalf of.

    You had a machine with a specific warranty. It had certain features. The machine broke. You were entitled to a replacement with at least the same features as the first. A certain features—the ability to brew your own coffee or any brand of k-cup—was deliberately crippled by Keurig.

    Keurig states that using a non-Keurig k-cup could damage your machine. Keurig never made that case with your previous machine.

    So, you were provided an inferior replacement. I suspect that Keurig management is delighted to replace older models with the limited brewing ability of the 2.0 machines. While it might cost them a certain amount to replace your old machine, they have now locked you into buying only their marked-up k-cups.

    As I read somewhere, it is the equivalent of having a toaster break, and when the manufacturer replaces the older one under warranty, it will only toast their own brands of bread. Not the bread from other companies. And no home-made bread, or bagels, or waffles, or toaster cakes, etc.

    Most likely you don’t have any need for non-Keurig k-cups or your own coffee in the individual coffee basket. If you did, as many others do, you’d be screaming to high heaven, as many others are.

    So, if the class action suit results in a replacement or a fix for the new 2.0 machines that can brew non-Keurig k-cups, I’m sure you will not take advantage of the results. After all, you have already gotten “a grip” and are boycotting thousands of other companies—most of which I guess have no direct affect on your life.

    But if that class action lawsuit is successful, I will be able to buy a 2.1 (fixed) version of the new machines to give to friends and bring to my office. Right now I am not buying their machine. If that is a boycott, so be it.

  30. @Anton,

    In addition to the plastic clip, Rogers Family is working on adding the “special ink” to the edge of their k-cups that is responsible for the DRM lockout on the 2.0 machines.

    I have no doubt Keurig will sue for DRM infringement. But the publicity of the big guy trampling a small, family-owned company will not be good for Keurig.

    And remember, Keurig’s patent on their k-cups expired in 2012. It is hard to tell what the copyright is on a pod of coffee.

  31. I suspect that the Rogers are hoping Keurig DOES sue them for infringement. This will allow a court to decide on the legality of the so-called ‘DRM’. Because frankly I do not think it is legal.

    Remember that DRM stands for *digital* rights management, and it was developed to protect the owners of easily-copied digital products. It has nothing to do with consumables. Coffee is the ultimate generic consumable.

    Calling this DRM is equivalent to saying it would be valid for (as an example) a Sony DVD player to suddenly refuse to play movies from Paramount or other companies. Nobody would buy that player. And nobody should buy this coffee maker.

  32. The Rogers Family Coffee Company isn’t hoping Green Mountain/Keurig sues them. The Rogers Family has already sued Keurig. “With regard to the lawsuit, Jon B Rogers, president of Rogers Family Co, claims that Keurig has tried to bully his company – as well as other cup manufacturers – to enter into exclusive anti-competitive agreements that would help Keurig maintain its monopoly.”

    It doesn’t seem there’s a patent on the machine itself, so it seems selling (or giving away) a clip to cover up a hole is no different than these skin companies selling decorative skins that cover a device. There are already other machines out there that brew using the Keurig-style pods – Mr. Coffee and Bunn both have models that work with the K-Cups, for example.

    I’m excited to try the Roger’s clip, but I wonder if it will prevent you from being able to use all these new styles of K-Cups on the horizon? This clip has the color the machine is looking for on these current cups, but perhaps the latte function will be triggered by a second color and the iced coffee function by a third – or whatever their future functions might be.

    Keurig doesn’t say that damage will result from using non-Keurig K-Cups, but they do imply it’s possible. They say that any damage or malfunction that is a result of using non-Keurig packs accessories can result in you paying a service fee if the non-authorized pack or accessory is determined to have caused the damage.

    Quite frankly, I’m more worried about the possibility of mold, algae, and germs growing in the interior reservoir damaging me! Google “mold in Keurig reservoir”. You can clean the external tank, but the interior reservoir and tubing aren’t so easily cleaned. This isn’t limited to Keurig brand machines, but any machine that holds water in a reservoir can be affected.

  33. I know they like to imply that non-Keurig K-cups can cause damage but that is beyond silly. All a brewer does is heat up water and drip it onto the top of ground coffee. The coffee itself never contacts any part of the brewer. So how could it cause damage?

    They might have a better chance of saying that unfiltered hard water could cause damage. But that wouldn’t do them any good because they don’t sell water.

    And, oddly enough, they don’t sell the filters either. Those come from another company and they are fairly generic. Just like the k-cup design is, or rather like it became the moment the patent expired.

  34. I sent a question to Keurig if I could use non-Keurig k-cups in my older (non-2.0) machine. This is the response I got:
    We are happy to hear from you. For your Keurig brewer, we recommend only using products with the Keurig Brewed® seal. These meet the Keurig standards for taste, quality, & safety and are tested to perform in the Keurig brewer.

    Using products made by any other manufacturer besides Keurig could damage your brewer.

    We want your brewer to last for many years so please remember that using unapproved products may decrease your brewer’s performance, overall life, and could affect its warranty.

    That’s a real threat that the non-Keurig k-cups can damage my machine, change the performance, and negate the warranty. And this for a machine that NEVER said I could use only Keurig-approved k-cups.

    This is FUD behavior at its worst.

  35. @Mary Jo I wasn’t implying that it could cause damage. I was discussing Sandee’s statement about Keurig’s implication that it could.

    And Keurig is a bit foolish to imply that damage could result from the pack since they admitted that they had only changed the design on the foil lids of their packs.

  36. I just realized that my iPhone has a similar situation. The iPhone 5 and later uses a new Lightning connector. Despite Apple’s attempts to squash non-Apple cords, there are many imitations (Apple calls them counterfits) cords.

    When I plug some of these cords in to charge the phone, I get a warning that “This accessory may not be supported.” And I can’t charge or sync the phone.

    But most of the time I just unplug and replug and the cord works fine.

    Now Apple is trying to keep me from buying non-Apple cords which are way more expensive than the cheapo ones. And if I can’t charge or sync, I will get the Apple ones.

    But if I look around I can find non-Apple cords that do work fine. But Apple isn’t locking me out of using non-approved cords. They’re just warning me.

  37. Sandee, I don’t know what model you have, but the warranty in the manual for my K75 says that the use of non-Keurig packs and accessories could cause damage to the machine that would result in a service fee if they are determined to have caused the damage.

    Yep, Apple’s warning you, and you found a work-around by unplugging and replugging. I’d be much more worried about frying my iPhone with a poorly made cable or power adapter than about damaging a coffee maker with the wrong color on the coffee pack.

  38. @Janet,

    You’re right. I’m sure my Keurig has a similar provision in its warranty. Keurig has covered all its bases.

    Oh well, I’ll leave it to the lawyers to thresh it out.

  39. How exactly would they prove that any damage was caused by the coffee pod? Since, as I pointed out, no part of the coffee itself ever touches the brewer.

  40. @Mary Jo Nothing I’ve said is an agrument against anything you said. I was simply discussing Sandee’s original statement about implied warranty violations if you use other cups. I even said that the threat was foolish because they admitted they only changed the printed design on the foil top. I said in the review that they still rely on you to change setting on the machine to select how the pack will be brewed. Unless somebody has a coffee that will explode if the water is too hot, choosing the wrong settings will only result in a bad-tasting cup of coffee.

    Keurig is doing what every other manufacturer does in this case. They are trying to use vague scare tactics to make you afraid to try using anything without their brand on it. They just added an extra feature that makes it harder for you to use other packs. The only way they could prove you’ve been using non-Keurig packs is if you forget to remove the Roger Family Coffee clip or other hack you’ve applied or by getting you to admit you used non-Keurig packs. Actually, it only proves you thought about using non-branded packs. I don’t know how they could prove that caused any damage.

    I’m not defending Keurig in any way. As a matter of fact, I just bought an old-fashioned percolator to try out. It doesn’t have a reservoir in which mold can grow.

  41. Oh gosh, I was not suggesting YOU were saying anything out of line. You didn’t. Keurig has done so, trying to scare and then force people into using their licensed coffee. And to date I have not read about a single benefit Keurig has supplied to the roasters in return for exorbitant licensing fees…unless you count allowing them to be used in a Keurig brewer. Which is nonsense since there are other brewers that are not so fussy about which coffee they brew. And (since I have one of those other brewers) I can say with assurance that they make a fine cup of coffee. They do it for less money than the ‘approved’ cartridges.

  42. I got mine today for xmas…it wont dispense the water. Never even got a chance to try it. I guess I will box it back up and return it. Hopefully the next one will actually work

  43. hello
    did you know that you can trick the keurig 2.0 into using other brands
    you can take the info off the single serving cup
    by cutting it close to the top
    then tape it to your single serving of your choice
    place as usual in the keurig 2.0 and it will brew i learnt this
    on the internet by typing in how to brew another brand in the keurig 2.0
    then i clicked on a site showing me how by cutting off the top where all info of keurig 2.0 single serving is and tape it to the brand i wanted to use up and place in the keurig 2.0 and it did work now i can use up all my left over brands this way it tricks the machine do not know if it will harm the machine i am not going to use it this way for long just until i get rid of my old brand. but i will still buy my favourite coffee flavours to brew once in a while that k-cup does not have

  44. Bought one at costco. Found out that it wouldn’t allow non-keurig pods in the machine or allow for you to use your own coffee. Checked out the hack on you tube (it works). Good machine_makes a good cup of coffee. I still returned it because of the proprietary nature of the product. It reminds me of Apple Computer. Good product, works great and you can only use apple connectors and chargers with it. Same kind of business model. I wonder it Green Mountain saw that and said, ‘let’s try that with coffee.’ A real turn off to me. I want to use my own coffee if I want to and I can’t.. I shouldn’t have to hack my machine in order to get it to do what I want. When I returned it I found out that a lot of these machines are being returned for just this reason, not because it can’t make a good cup of coffee but because they can’t put their own coffee in it. The word “offended” is the word they used and that about fits how I feel about it. I went and bought the Cuisinart keurig style brewer instead which I can put my own coffee into or use kcup pods in, probably even the new ‘branded’ kcups that keurig now requires for it’s brewers. Thanks for listening….

  45. Got the Keurig 2.0 450 model before Thanksgiving, I use it 6 days a week and only use filtered water, It sits on counter in kitchen and there is no direct sunlight on it, Today I found Green algae in the reservoir in a perfect circle pattern where the night light is. Seems to me that the night light on the unit is propagating the growth of the algae. Is anyone else seeing this in the new units at the night light? Can you turn the night light off?

  46. With the introduction of version 2 cups Keurig and Green Mountain should be boycotted and put out of business – as well as all their partners! There is nothing worse than corporate greed. Now only the huge players can get a Keurig “pedigree” to market their products, and Keurig charges them plenty to play! Consumers and small business get screwed. As one of many small, local coffee roasters, I will be hung out to dry, and my customers will be forced to drink overpriced, intentionally stale coffee! Boycott these losers and buy a generic coffee machine – support local business!

  47. I just recieved my new Keurig 2.0 K550. I have a question that I can’t find an answer to in the user manual. When you enable the night light is it possible to make a cup of coffee? Because right now I have my night light enabled and it is on and when I inserted a k-cup and lowered the handle nothing happened. Is it because the night light is enabled?

    1. I found the answer to my question. Also, I wanted to say Amazon sells the single cup for the 2.0 that allows you to use your own coffee.

  48. Bed Bath and Beyond now has the single cup for use with your own coffee that works in the 2.0. I still haven’t found one for the carafe size where you can use your own coffee.

  49. There are actually 9 models of keurig 2.0 300-350-360 400-450-460 …… you get the idea. It depends on where you buy it. For instance Sam’s and Costco its the 460 but at Target and Walmart its the 500 Amazon its the 550 etc. Havent been able to find a difference yet my self just know that where you get it seems to matter the support you get if something truly is wrong with it

    1. The difference is that the 300 series between the 300 and 360 you get more or less accessories with it. Like more coffee samples or a carafe. The 300 series is the base model. Not as many features as with the 400 and 500 series. Then within the 400 series again more accessories and the same with the 500 series. That’s the only difference. If you got to Keurig’s website it will show a comparison.

  50. I own the Keurig 2.0 550 model. I love it. I have no problems with it. Where I live they only sell the k-cups that work with the 2.0. The only thing that I think is stupid about this model is they say, “Hot Water On Demand.” On the touch screen there is an icon for hot water. But when you touch the icon the screen tells you to lift the handle and hold the black button down. I don’t need to be told how to get hot water. You would think that if you touch the hot water icon hot water would dispense.

  51. What about the internal components of the Keurig. Have they improved them since the original keurigs came out? Will the newest Keurig’s last more than 1-2 years which was the limit on the older models created during 2011 thru 2013?

  52. are there cup holder with needle replacement parts for Keurig model 550?
    Where can purchase? All other models are available everywhere.

  53. Have Keurig model 550 having difficulty getting a replacement part for the cup holder with needle.All other models can be found on various other sites. Anyone have any comments? Keurig is making it much more difficult to own their machine and expensive. Example the Keurig descaling liquid is the only one that
    is certified and more expensive! Cheapest place is Walmart or Target.

    1. Where I live walmart has the descaler for $14. Being that you only have to descale it at maximum every 3 months it’s really not that bad. It’s only $56 a year. And if that keeps your Keurig from breaking down you really are saving money.

    2. I don’t know why you say that Keurig is making it difficult and expensive to oen their machine. I have the same model as you do and I love it. All products require some maintenance. The water filters aren’t that expensive if you think about it. Where I live walmart has them for $25 for 6. That’s a year’s worth of filters. The descaler is only $14 at walmart. Being you have to descale every 3 to 6 months that’s not that much if it saves you from buying a new machine. I don’t know why you need a replacement cup holder with needle. You are able to clean those needles. They have a video at to show you how to do it. You can also buy a refill cup so you can use your own coffee at I don’t know why people are complaining so much about this machine unless most of the negative comments are coming from their competitors. I don’t mean you though. Like I said I have the same model as you do and I absolutely love it!

  54. Great detailed review. I actually just bought this machine. I was waiting on the cups to come out that you can put your own coffee in. Now I have the flexibility to use the K-cups or my own in the single service OR carafe function. Also, there is a company (Rogers Family Coffee) that you can get a free “freedom clip” from. Comes free with their $1.99 sample of coffee. You pop it on your Keurig and you can use ANY k-cup (Keurig brewed or not). I love my machine so far. Easy to use and clean and makes great coffee!

  55. I have the new 2.0 K550. Why can’ I set it to brew a 10 oz. cup every time instead of having to re set it with every cup I make. Every morning I have to put in a k cup then program strong and 10 oz cup. That kinda sucks the old one you set one time and that was it. Same cup every time. Has to be a way to fix that ???

  56. I bought the new 2.0. Purchased all my kcups specifically for this machine. Started to get the OOPS screen. It was coming up constantly and contacted customer service. Went through all the servicing and still kept getting the screen. Got a new one sent to me. New machine is doing the SAME thing! This time the plastic ball that is suppose to be used to clean it says it’s not for the machine (even though it came with it!). Wasted at least two boxes of expensive kcups and am getting very frustrated. Will be in contact with customer service again.

  57. If anyone out there still has old K-cup coffee from the 1.0 you can go by some cheap dots from the a store that sells the sticky dots that you normally use for marking prices on garage sale stuff (about the size of the diameter of your thumb). Stick it on the edge of your old K-cup and put it it so that it is at the 9 o’clock position when you brew. I buy my coffee from a maker that sells pods that are not cups (they just have the foil top and plastic ring with just the filter that holds the coffee, thus no cup). When Keurig first came out with the 2.0 they sent a snap in adapter that simulated the color that works with their pods to make the 2.0 work. All it was was a piece of plastic that snapped over the hole that reads the pod to fool it. Now they make their new foil tops the same color as the dot that was on the adapter. I’m sure that if you buy the same color dots and the ring on the new one of the pods you like and put them where I said they should work just fine.

  58. Your research of the Keureg 550 has some major inaccuracies. You basically talked me out of purchasing it because I like to grind my own coffee. It is a good thing that like some people I investigate further. You can buy several different types of reusable coffee filter is for the 2.0 series. Go to Amazon and look them up. You will find that you can brew your own coffee for a single serving or an entire carafe. If you’re going to produce a piece of journalism you must fully research before laying out this kind of information. I found your review to be extremely accurate in regards to the functionality of the machine. Please amend your post to accommodate for the inaccuracy which is a very big one. Then your research will be complete.

    1. Wayne P, check the date on the original review. It was not inaccurate when written, and at that point Keurig was insisting that they would not be making a reusable coffee filter that would work in the 2.0. They backpedaled on that last summer, and the actual product was not available, as I recall, until sometime in the fall.

    2. Wayne P,

      My review was from November 2014, soon after the Keurig 2.0 models were released. (You can find the date of publication to the right of the author’s byline at the top of every news article and review.) Everything in the review was accurate at the time. In the 14 months since this review was posted, I reviewed some Perfect Pod reusable cups that I purchased from Amazon that allow you to make a cup or a carafe using your own coffee. I also posted a news item saying that Keurig had admitted defeat and announced they would be issuing official reusable cups so you could use your own coffee.

  59. FYI I accidentally bought the packs w/o the white ring- so I taped another lid to it and brewed it accordingly
    The other thing- I don’t think I got a water filter holder in my package or can you tell me if there is no water filter holder
    I couldn’t see one in your pictures

    1. Connie, the fourth picture of her review here shows the filter holder and the package with the new filter in it. This same thing is what was included in my Keurig 2.0 coffee maker. If yours did not come with one I would (as soon as you can) contact the makers support and tell them. Maybe they will send you what was missing

  60. Connie, the fourth picture of her review here shows the filter holder and the package with the new filter in it. This same thing is what was included in my Keurig 2.0 coffee maker. If yours did not come with one I would (as soon as you can) contact the makers support and tell them. Maybe they will send you what was missing

  61. I dont understand the replacement date thats suppose to be dialed into the filter change install and replace do we enter todays date and which slot and then the the other slot will automatically be entered??

  62. Great review thank you, also great Q&A as well.

    The height is approximately 13 inches, how much under cabinet clearance is required to open the device please? My under cabinet space is 16 inches.

    1. Bill, you need 18 1/2″ to open up the lid to fill up the water reservoir and you need about 181/4″ to fully open up the area where you put in the K-cup (although you could get away with about 17 1/2″ and snake in the K-cup). Either way you will have to pull it out part way from under your cupboard to use it. I have a nice little 2 piece tray that you put your coffee maker on and it lets you roll it out from under cupboard while you use it and then afterwards you just push it back in. They advertise on Targets site a wood looking one and I have a black plastic one that you can find on Amazon at these two links that you will have to cut and paste to see them:

  63. pretty sure that a coffee machine does not fall under the digital millennium copyright act. it basically only applies to media. so as long as a keurig coffee maker doesnt play any drm protected media and then someone posts something on how to get around that, im pretty sure this is perfectly legal.

    1. Good point – you can’t make duplicates of their coffee grounds at home, so can’t violate their coffee material or process copyright (if any).

  64. My wife’s favorite mug holds 12 ounces: Our old old Keurig which we still have, does have a 12 ounce brew size option. How can she get the 12 ounces from the K550 model (do 2 runs of 6 ounces)?

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