Keurig are some of the best single cup on the market, and they are on the list of the top sellers for the single cup niche. Keurig deserves to be on that list, because their coffee maker is reliable, brews a great coffee, and it is very convenient in use. For those who don’t want to use Keurig K-cups there is an option to use reusable k-cups. This allows serious money saving, and greater coffee beans selection.
Keurig 2.0 - A Bit of History
When the the new Keurig 2.0 was released in 2014, people were asking themselves: “Does the new brewer compare to the old one?” “Is it better?” “How affordable are the k-cups?”
I asked myself the same questions, and I did a bit of research, which I will share here with you.
Right of the bat, I can tell you that the new machine it is a step forward from the old one. And the differences are worth changing your old Keurig single serve with a new one. I’ll explain the improvements in a bit. However, the new machine was rated very poorly by a lot of angry customers, and you’ll see why.
Keurig K550 2.0 Brewer Review
Here are the main features of the Keurig 2.0 Brewer:
- Great, consistent coffee every time
- Easy, convenient, and fast to brew
- Great look, modern design
- Silent, it is amazing how silent it is compared to the old generation machines
- More control over the coffee strength
- Can brew a single cup, or a carafe
The new Keurig single-serve looks modern and the design is much improved. I never liked the look of the old machines. Although I loved them as brewers, their bulky, sturdy look is not my style. Fast forward to the 2.0 machine, it looks great, and it can find a place in anyone’s kitchen.
Pros and Cons of The Keurig 2.0 Brewer
Pros – Keurig 2.0
First, let’s see the improvements. The new Keurig impresses with a lot of things that I was missing at the old model.
The new machine brews better coffee than the old one. And no, it is not an impression; I brewed the same k-cup in both the old and the new machines, and the new one tastes better. When I invited my mom to taste a cup of coffee brewed with the new Keurig, she said that she didn’t notice much difference. She reminded me of numerous coffee gadgets that I acquired over the time, and ended up in my basement.
My taste was saying differently. I wanted to prove my mom it wasn’t my imagination, or “new gadget effect”. I did a little experiment, to eliminate any doubts. Because I knew which one was brewed in the new one, I asked other people. My little experiment told me that out of 7 people interviewed, 4 people said the coffee brewed in the Keurig 2.0 tasted better, and three people though, the coffee tasted the same.
The new machine can brew a carafe, so if you have guests, you can brew up to four cups at once. The machine includes a carafe, (which can be thermal, or not, depending on the model you buy. The k-carafe (the new larger k-cups) deliver coffee as delicious as the regular k-cups, there is no need to worry about that. Brewing a carafe, (4 cups), takes about 5 minutes, which is not too bad. Now you don’t have to wait in front of the machine to make 4 cups.
Major feature for me: the new machine has a strong cup setting. I love strong coffee, and one of the reasons I didn’t use mine more often, was because the coffee was a bit weak for my taste. I used my espresso machine to get a cafe crema instead, although it was a little more work. This new brewer from Keurig rendered my Gaggia espresso machine useless. I still use it to make espresso, but coffee is now brewed only with my new 2.0.
The machine has a hot water mode for making a tea or any other infusion.
Great points here, this is probably one of the most silent single-serve machines I have used. You know how noisy can a Keurig be. Not the case with this one.
Keurig 2.0 Cons
Let’s see what turned off so many customers on Amazon, and why the machine has so many one star reviews. The machine got so many bad reviews from upset customers, that Keurig devised a marketing plan to counteract the bad image on Amazon. They gave away a bunch of free machines in exchange for positive reviews. Why bother, you may ask. Well, Amazon is not only a major outlet for them, but it is also a trusted opinion outpost. Many people check the Amazon reviews before buying a product in a brick and mortar store.
Anyway, the marketing campaign seemed to have failed, because the Keurig K550 2.0 Brewer has a two stars average rating. However, the machine is still a best seller, despite the bad reviews.
Why the bad reviews, despite the great sells on Amazon? Well, the answer is simple: Keurig restricted the use of capsules, and the new brewer will only accept Green Mountain licensed k-cups. Since the patent on the old k-cups expired in September 2012, Keurig Dr Pepper Inc, formerly Keurig Green Mountain lost the control over the capsules market.
The new machine is trying to get some of that market back. The lockout mechanism on the new Keurig, is an optical device which reads the ring on the k-cup, or the k-carafe. The Ring on the capsules is marked with a special ink that is “read” by a device in the brewing machine. If the ink is counterfeit, the brewer will not start. Despite the bad feedback from numerous customers, Keurig K550 2.0 is a bestseller on Amazon. That means that people are not bothered that much about the restriction imposed by Green Mountain, but they are annoyed enough to refuse to leave a good review, or they are so upset that they will share that with the world.
I still think the new machine is absolutely awesome, even if I detest the decision to restrict the use of capsules. As it was expected, the restriction is not a problem anymore for the innovative. The solution is to use the top of an official k-cup to mask a third party capsule. Some will stick it on top of the unofficial capsule; some will mount the ring right on the machine, on the lid. The point is that it can be hacked; check the hacking section below, it contains a couple of videos.
Hacking the Keurig 2.0
This is a video describing how to trick the machine to accept any capsule.
So, going back to other cons I found, the injection needles need cleanup more often than the old models, but on the positive side the needles are easier to access.
Most models seem to come with a cheap plastic carafe, just order the thermal one from Keurig, it’s worth the extra price.
Even the original Keurig capsules might not work with the 2.0, if they are old enough. If you have these, just call Green Mountain, and they will replace them.
UPDATE on the DRM for Keurig 2.0
People got mad about Keurig’s decision to control capsules market for their coffee makers. Keurig understood this, and they are taking steps to remediate the issue and regain customers’ trust. Their first step was to release the “My K-Cup” Reusable Coffee Filter for Keurig 2.0 machines.
This is big for owners of the new coffee maker. Keurig President and CEO Brian Kelley admitted that “it was wrong” to take away the option to brew with your choice of coffee, and that’s why they brought it back.
While Keurig brought back the My K-Cup for the 2.0 brewer, the DRM was not removed. So in the end people felt like Brian Kelley's speech was just a PR stunt.
Consumers and coffee roasters are hoping for a complete policy change, that will allow any roaster to make Keurig 2.0 capsules without having to buy a license.
Metal Freedom Clip Compatible with All Keurig 2.0 brewers
The Freedom Clip, which was invented by the folks at Rogers Family Company, is now sold on Amazon, so if you want the freedom to choose your K-Cups vendor, and break away from the pre approved list of K-Cup vendors, you can get one.
2 metal freedom clips plus 2 silicone insert clips and 6 orange DIY freedom stickers and enclosed instructions.
The clip is durable and permanent, and you can leave it in place without removing it.
The My K-Cup sticker that comes in the kit, allows you to use any aftermarket reusable K-Cups.
If you would rather buy an unlocked, reusable K-Cup, here is a cheap option: Maxware on Amazon.