The new Keurig 2.0 brewer models offer an upgraded brewing system and several new features not available in the original K-Cup Brewing System machines.
Perhaps the most noticeable benefit of the new machines is that in addition to brewing single cups of hot fresh coffee, you can also brew a small carafe.
The 2.0 machines have large water reservoirs, are fully programmable (including coffee strength), and offer several cup sizes.
Currently these machines only work with K-Cups with special encoding that were made after July 2014 (as well as special Vue packs and K-Carafe packs). If asked, Keurig will offer a coupon to replace older K-Cups you may have on hand.
Users love how easy these machines are to use, the number of brewing options and the ability to make rich bold coffee.
As with all Keurigs, the 2.0 personal brewers need to be cleaned regularly to keep them performing at their best.
These machines are UL listed for Household Use Only.
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Keurig 2.0 Review
Keurig 2.0 brewers use the new Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology, which reads the lid of the inserted K-Cup to optimize the brew and produce the best possible flavor. That along with being able to choose coffee strength, brew a small carafe and choose multiple brew sizes is considered a big step up from the original K-Cup Brewing System line.
The 2.0s come in three models: K350, K450 and K550.
- The K360, K460 and K560 are the same as their 3, 4 or 5 series counterparts but may be packaged with a different assortment of K-Cup samples.
- The K300, K400 and K500 are identical to their counterparts but do not come with the optional water filter.
- Models beginning with a B instead of a K (B350/B360/B300, B450/B460/B400, B550/B560/B500) are identical to the K version with the same number.
When you compare the 2.0 models you quickly realize they are all very similar, although features differ slightly.
These new Keurig coffee makers operate just like the original Keurigs do – pop in a K-Cup and brew. But, the 2.0 Brewing Technology allows you to program the strength of the coffee (greatly appreciated by those who prefer strong bold coffee) and to choose between 10 brew sizes, from 4 – 30 ounces. They all brew a single cup in under a minute.
The included 32-ounce carafe, along with any of the limited number of K-Carafe packs, can be used to brew up to 4 cups at a time. Choose 2-3 cups (22 ounces), 3-4 cups (26 ounces), or 4-5 cups (30 ounces). The carafes take a little longer to brew, usually around three minutes.
One difference between the new machines and the originals, and this may be a biggie for some people, is that the new Keurigs will not brew without specially coded K-Cups. The advantage is that the machines read the code and alter the brewing process to produce the best possible cup of coffee from each of over 250 flavors of K-Cups. The drawback is that My K-Cup and third party reusable filters for ground coffee, as well as older and generic K-Cups, do not work with these machines. If you’re looking for a Keurig that accepts a reusable filter for ground coffee visit this page for Keurig comparisons.
All K-Cups now come with the encoded lids (look for the Keurig logo) so they’ll work with the 2.0 brewers, but many retailers will wait to order them after selling out of their older stock (made before August 2014). So, be sure you can find your favorite K-Cup flavors in the new K-Cups before purchasing one of these machines. Bed Bath and Beyond is one place to find them.
While there is the ability to make hot chocolate fluffy, do not confuse this with frothing for lattes and such. This is not the machine you want for those types of drinks.
These machines also can be programmed for Auto On/Off, accept water filters to clean up off-flavored water, have descale alerts, low water alerts and can produce hot water for other uses. The drip trays are removable so there’s room for travel mugs up to 7” tall. The large water reservoirs can be removed and filled at the sink, although they can also be easily filled while in place on the machines.
The energy saving Auto Off feature allows you to set the machine to power off in a specified number of minutes after the last brew. The Auto On feature allows you to specify when the machine turns on. Carafes can be set to brew at a particular time but not single cups.
The clock disappears once the machine is in sleep mode, but can be awakened by tapping the touch screen twice. All clock and brew settings will be lost if the machine is unplugged.
The 2.0 brewers are black and silver. Decal sets are available to customize the look of the machines by adding colored stripes, and texture. (the red decal set is especially attractive!). Currently, the decal sets are only available from Keurig.com.
The K550 allows you to change the wallpaper on the touch screen and choose night light colors to match (which illuminate the water reservoir): red, green, blue or white.
Because of the different pump, these machines are a little louder than older discontinued machines with Quiet Brew technology.
Removable parts, including the carafe, are not dishwasher safe. It’s recommended that you wash them by hand and dry with a soft cloth.
All plastic parts are BPA free.
Difference Between the K300/350/360, K400/450/460, and K500/550/560 – Model Comparison
|Water Reservoir||60 ounces||70 ounces||80 ounces|
|Brew Size Options||10 sizes||10 sizes||10 sizes|
|LED Display||Black and White, 2″||Colored, 2″||Colored, 3.5″|
|Unit Size||13.45” H x 10.43” W x 13.63” D||16” H x 12.7” W x 18.3” D||16” H x 12.7” W x 18.3” D|
|Weight||13.6 lbs.||13.7 lbs.||13.9 lbs.|
|Power Usage||1450 watts120VAC / 60 Hz||1500 watts120VAC / 60 Hz||1500 watts120VAC / 60 Hz|
|Hot Water Dispenser||No – Run a brew cycle without a K-Cup in place||No- Run a brew cycle without a K-Cup in place||Yes|
|Walter Filter Kit||Included with the K350 and K360|
Not included with the K300
|Included with the K450 and K460|
Not included with the K400
|Included with the K550 and K560|
Not included with the K500
|Cleansing Brew Option||No – Run a brew cycle without a K-Cup in place||No – Run a brew cycle without a K-Cup in place||Yes|
|Accepts My K-Cup Reusable Filter||No||No||No|
|Choose Touch Screen Wallpaper and Night Light Color||No||No||Choose red, green, blue or white|
|Choose English, Spanish or French Touch Screen||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Amount of Coffee Per Serving
These machines offer 10 brew sizes, including the 22, 26 and 30-ounce brews that require the carafe.
Types of Coffee Used
For 4, 6, 8 and 10 ounce cups, use K-Cups made after July 2014 with the special encoding in the lids, which some retailers may not yet stock (look for the Keurig logo on the lid). 250+ flavors of coffee and other beverages are available.
Larger cup sizes – 12, 14 and 16 ounce – require Vue packs, which are gradually being converted over to work in the 2.0 brewers (Vue packs fit the now discontinued Vue brewers). Look for a large dot in the 9 o-clock position on the lid.
K-Carafe packs are required for brewing small carafes of coffee. Currently, 10 flavors are available.
Vue packs and K-Carafe packs can be recycled after certain parts are removed.
Type of Coffee Produced
K-Cups are available in a huge variety of roasts and flavors, and from many popular coffee brands. Vue packs and Carafe packs have a much smaller selections to choose from.
If no K-Cup or K-Carafe is in place, the machines will produce hot water for use in making hot chocolate, tea, other hot beverages, oatmeal, soup mixes, etc. The K550 has a button that dispenses hot water while held down, while the other models produce hot water when brewing without a coffee pod in place.
K-Cups are available for making Hot Chocolate, Chai Tea, Iced Tea, Lemonade, Iced Coffee drinks, espresso, cappuccino, hot apple cider and a number of other hot and cold beverages. It’s important to run a cleansing brew after brewing hot cocoa so that the needles don’t clog up (instructions vary by model – see the manual included with the machine).
No coffee or water filters are required for this machine, but the optional Water Filter Kit with charcoal filters is included with the K350/K360, K450/K460 and K550/K560 machines. The water filter will improve the flavor of off-tasting water, producing better tasting coffee.
Keurig recommends bottled or filtered water for all of its machines, especially if your water has an “off” taste to it from chlorine or other substances. The optional Water Filter Kit included with the K350, K450 and K550 can improve the taste of the water but will not remove minerals that can collect on the inside of the machine. The manufacturer recommends not using softened water, overly hard water, distilled or reverse osmosis water.
Keep in mind that mineral deposits, which can affect brewing performance, are likely to build up in the machine, regardless of what water you use. Descaling removes these deposits and helps conserve internal parts such as heating elements. Hard water that’s high in minerals, like calcium, causes the fastest build-up, and means machines should be descaled more frequently than the recommended 3-6 months.
The Keurig 2.0 models track the amount of liquid going through the brewer and issue a “Time to descale” prompt, although you may need to descale more often if you’re using hard water.
It takes about a minute to brew a cup of coffee and up to 3 minutes to brew a carafe.
Most users feel that the convenience of K-Cups, Vue packs and K-Carafe packs makes them worth the extra cost over ground coffee. The cost can be reduced by purchasing in larger quantities (24+ per package) and by creating a monthly auto-ship subscription.
All programming options are handled via the easy-to-use touch screen (black and white for the K350, colored for the K450, and a larger colored screen for the K550). The Power Button icon is located in the bottom right corner of the touch screen. It will appear once the brewer has been plugged in.
To brew a single cup of coffee, place a mug in the drip tray (which can be removed to accommodate taller mugs). Lift the lid by the handle and place the selected K-Cup or Vue pack in the holder. Close the lid by lowering the handle. Select the brew size and “Strong”, if desired (or Hot Cocoa/Other if the instructions on the K-Cup say to do so). Press the “Brew” button.
To brew a carafe, remove the drip tray and position the carafe under the nozzle. Select a K-Carafe pack and insert it into the holder and close the lid. Make sure that the number in the circle on the lid is at 9 o’clock when inserting. Select a brew size and press “Brew”. If you remove the carafe before the brewer is finished, the brewing process will stop, and start again from the beginning of the brewing process (not where it left off) when the carafe is put back in place.
The brewing process is optimized for the K-Cup, Vue pack or K-Carafe pack you’ve selected. For some flavors and settings the coffee may exit in a pulsing rather than steady stream.
Keurig 2.0 Brewer Cleaning and Ongoing Maintenance
Wipe the machine down with a damp, soapy non-abrasive cloth. Don’t immerse the machine in water. Remove and empty the drip tray, but be careful, quite a bit of liquid can accumulate there.
Clean the water reservoir and lid once a week. Remove the reservoir and the water filter, if installed, and empty and wipe down the reservoir and lid with a damp non-abrasive cloth. Don’t dry with a cloth as it may leave lint behind.
Do not put any 2.0 brewer parts in the dishwasher, including the carafe.
Clean the carafe after every use by removing the lid and emptying it. Wipe it out with a soft, lint-free cloth, then rinse it thoroughly. Do not put the carafe in the dishwasher. Replace the lid, ensuring that it’s securely in place prior to brewing your next carafe of coffee.
Descale every 3-6 months, or sooner if you’re using hard water. Follow the instructions in this video to descale:
If the brewer is not performing as it should you may need to clean the exit needles, entrance needles and diffuser as shown in this video:
Store the brewer upright in a frost-free place (you won’t be able to empty the internal water reservoir so the machine should not be allowed to freeze). Empty the water reservoir before storing.
Keurig 2.0 Brewer Features
- Single-use personal coffee maker.
- Also brews a small carafe of up to 4 servings.
- Brewing process is optimized for each K-Cup, Vue pack and K-Carafe.
- Choose coffee strength.
- Choice of 10 brew sizes.
- Large water reservoir that can be filled at the sink.
- Program brewing start time for carafes.
- Energy Saving – Program Auto On/Off.
- Removable drip tray for tall mugs.
- Easy to read touchscreen with clock.
- Choose English, Spanish or French language touchscreen.
- High altitude settings.
- UL rated for Household Use Only.
This machine has a one-year warranty against defects under normal home use in the U.S. and Canada.
The manufacturer can be reached by phone 7 days a week and any time by email. Refunds and replacements are handled by the seller.
Replacement drip trays and other parts are available, but call the manufacturer’s help line first, as they may offer another solution. Keep in mind that the warranty will be voided if you open up the machine to try to diagnose a problem or fix it yourself.
What’s in the Box
Coffee maker, Carafe, Walter Filter Kit, Owner’s Manual, Quick-Start Guide and a small K-Cup variety pack. (The Water Filter Kit is not included with the K300, K400 or K500.)
K350: 13.45” H x 10.43” W x 13.63” D, Weighs 13.6 lbs.
K450: 16” H x 12.7” W x 18.3” D, Weighs 13.7 lbs.
K550: 16” H x 12.7” W x 18.3” D, Weighs 13.9 lbs
Cord: 3 feet long with a three-pronged plug. Can be hidden inside the machine.
Cup size: Machines measure 5.5” from the drip tray to the dispenser nozzle, and 7” without the drip tray.
UL Listed for Household Use Only. Not appropriate for office buildings and other commercial environments.
- A solid single cup coffee maker that’s easy to operate.
- Produces hot, fresh coffee.
- K-Cups make it largely mess-free and easy to keep clean.
- Each cup of coffee can be a different flavor – just use a different K-Cup.
- Can be used to make coffee and tea in a variety of flavors, as well as other hot and iced beverages, like hot cocoa and iced tea.
- The brew cycle is customized for each K-Cup to optimize the flavor.
- Can brew rich extra bold coffee.
- Choose between 8-10 brew sizes.
- Use compatible Vue packs to produce fully-flavored larger cups of coffee.
- Can brew a carafe of up to 4 cups with K-Carafe packs.
- Carafes can be programmed to auto-brew at a specified time.
- There’s no need to use special water, although filtered or bottled water is recommended, and hard, softened, distilled and reverse osmosis water is discouraged.
- No filters to deal with, although the included Water Filter Kit (K350, K450, K550) cleans up off-tasting water.
- Program it to turn On and Off at specified times to save on electricity.
- Does not accept My K-Cup reusable coffee filters, or third party equivalents, for brewing ground coffee.
- Will not brew with K-Cups made prior to July, 2014 (but Keurig will provide a coupon to replace those you have on hand, if asked).
- Some Vue Packs (for larger cup sizes) have not yet been converted to work with the 2.0 machines.
- K-Carafe packs come in just 10 flavors.
- Does not accommodate the height of some travel mugs.
- While you can program the machine to turn on and warm up at a certain time, you cannot program it to brew single cups at a specific time (you can set it to brew a carafe at a specified time).
- Needs regular cleaning of exterior and internal parts to perform well.
- Must run a cleansing brew (without K-Cup) after brewing hot cocoa and other milk based drinks.
- Removable parts are not dishwasher safe.
- UL listed for Household use only – not intended for use at the office or in other commercial environments (a plus if you’re looking for a machine for home use).
Keurig 2.0 User Reviews
Reviews of the Keurig 2.0 brewers on Amazon.com are mixed. On the surface it appears that people strongly dislike the new Keurigs, but look a little further and you realize that the bad reviews are from a specific type of user:
- Many users are unhappy that they cannot use older K-Cups they already own with these machines (Keurig will offer a replacement coupon, if asked).
- Many more dislike not being able to save money by brewing ground coffee in a reusable filter.
Users who don’t care about brewing ground coffee in their Keurigs seem to love their 2.0 machines.
They cite better coffee (and stronger brew options for those who love their coffee bold), ease of use, and that they appreciate having the option to brew a carafe.
It’s too early to tell what issues the machines may develop over time. Common issues in older model Keurigs – like partial cups and leaking – are often maintenance-related (clogged needles, scale buildup). We assume that will be the case with the 2.0 brewers, as well.
Complaints of coffee that’s not warm enough (with older models) usually have to do with starting out with cold water, brewing into a cold mug, or adding an excess of cold milk or cream to the finished cup. Avoid these by filling the reservoir with room temperature water, pre-warm the cup with hot water, and add the cream to the bottom of the cup before brewing into it.
The user guide contains this alarming statement: “WARNING – this product contains chemicals, including lead, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.”
Keurig Support assures us that all of their machines have been thoroughly tested and proven to be food-safe. All parts that come into contact with water, including K-Cups are BPA free and FDA approved for the temperatures they encounter. However, California Proposition 65 requires that manufacturers provide a warning if any of over 800 listed harmful chemicals are present in products sold in California.
Tips from Users
Run a cup of white vinegar through the machine (without installing a K-Cup) and follow it with several water-only brews to remove any lingering plastic taste and smell.
If your travel mug doesn’t fit, set the machine on top of a book or box to increase the height between the counter and the dispenser nozzle.
Avoid clogged needles by removing the K-Cup immediately after brewing.
Run a cleansing brew (without K-Cup) after brewing milk-based K-Cups like hot cocoa.
Check YouTube for hacks:
- To use old K-Cups, cut the top off a new one and tape it to an old one.
- Access more cup sizes with a magnet.
Be aware that the Energy Saver Auto-Off mode overrides the Auto-Brew timer for carafes. If Auto-On is set for 6 am., and you set Auto-Off so the machine turns off after 15 minutes of disuse, then make sure the machine is set to Auto-Brew a carafe before 6:15. Any later and it won’t work because the machine will have turned itself off.
The carafe does not keep coffee warm for very long but an insulated carafe can be purchased separately.
Keurig 2.0 Price
Keurig 2.0 Review Conclusion
The Keurig 2.0 brewers offer a new brewing system and tantalizing options for customizing your brew for the best possible flavor. Users almost unanimously agree that coffee from a 2.0 tastes better than that from the older K-Cup brewers, especially users who prefer rich bold flavor.
The larger water reservoirs mean having to refill less often, and the option of brewing a carafe means you won’t have to wait for that second cup.
Currently, only a limited variety of Vue packs (for larger cup sizes) and K-Carafe packs are available but we expect that to improve over time. Meanwhile, make sure the flavors you prefer are available in the packs you’ll want to use – including the new version of K-Cups produced after July 2014 (look for the Keurig logo on the lids).
If you prefer to brew with ground coffee, the 2.0 machines aren’t for you, since they don’t accept reusable filters for ground coffee. In that case, we suggest you consider one of the original K-Cup brewers found on this page.