I. Unboxing The Keurig K55
Do you want Starbucks-style coffee without needing to leave home?
If so, you’re in for a real treat today.
Here at Fourth Estate, we’ve just taken delivery of our new Keurig. We’ve been putting it through its paces so we can serve you up with a really thorough guide to this awesome coffee maker.
As well as giving you all the information you need to know if this coffee machine makes sense for you, we’ve got a treasure trove of pictures and videos to bring things to life for you.
We’ll walk you through, unboxing the box, preparing it for use and then pressing it into action.
We chose this combination bundle which includes 40 assorted K-Cups shipped under separate cover.
For a small premium, you can buy the machine in bright red instead of the black model we chose. Both colorways come with the option of a Keurig Dash at extra cost. This Wi-Fi-enabled gadget orders your new K-Cups at the push of a button but we didn’t see fit to pay extra for this.
Alongside an honest appraisal of where the it stands and falls, we’ll also give you a thorough grounding on how to get the very best from this coffee maker.
The Keurig is not expensive although the K-Cups are not particularly cheap. The thing is, you should consider the price of these set against a comparable cup of coffee in one of the chains. In that context, our product actually represents superb overall value for money.
OK…Without further ado, we’ll move on to unboxing our new pride and joy so you can see exactly what to expect from the award-winning Coffee Maker.
Read More: Best Coffee Maker
If you opt for the same combo deal we did, you’ll get 2 boxes under separate cover.
In the main package, you’ll get the streamlined Keurig coffee machine along with a couple of bonuses…
There’s a water filter handle as well as 2 filters to get you started without running to the store. Just as descaling is crucial, properly filtering the water allows you to enjoy coffee from your machine at its very best.
In the K-Cup Variety Pack, you’ll get a quartet of beverages to whet your whistle:
- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Breakfast Blend
- The Original Donut Shop Regular, Medium Roast
- Newman’s Own Organics Special Blend Medium Roast Coffee
- Swiss Miss Keurig K-cups Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa
Right there, you’ve got something to kickstart your morning, help you relax into your afternoon then wind down toward bed with a delicious hot chocolate.
If you’re a Lipton fan, there’s also a surprise bonus inside the main package. You’ll get a trio of iced teas ideal for a summer’s afternoon. This is a small touch but one we weren’t expecting.
Clearly, though, 4 drinks won’t last long! For this reason, we opted for the bundle that includes a variety pack of 40 single serve K-Cup pods. In addition to the 3 coffee manufacturers above being represented, you’ll also get pods from Caribou Coffee and Tully’s. These extra K-Cups come in a broad spread of brands, flavors and roast strengths so there really is something for all the family.
If you want to save some money by investing in a real bumper pack of K-Cups, you can pay a little more for this awesome pack of 96.
The Keurig itself comes securely packaged. With everything nicely padded and protected, you’ll have no worries at all about any kind of damage in transit.
Seriously adhesive tape makes certain the brewer itself doesn’t end up coming apart in the box.
The clear instructions provided will walk you through operation. At a glance, you’ll see some ergonomic buttons on the right-hand side of your Keurig…
The Power button is at the bottom followed by an Auto Off feature you can easily activate with a single push. Heating and Descaling along with an Add Water button complete the core functionality.
Below these are 3 brew size buttons translating to the following sizes:
Pulling up on the lid, you can expose the removable K-Cup pod holder.
The substantial 48oz water reservoir sits to the left. This also slips out for ease of filling and cleaning. This is where you pop the water filter provided.
Front and center is the cup holder. This traps all surplus water and you can again pull it out for cleaning purposes. It comes apart into 2 pieces to make your life even easier when you’re wiping away excess coffee.
Now you’ve got a solid overview of what comes in the box of your Keurig K55 Classic, it’s time to get down to action and start brewing!
Read More: Best Single Serve Coffee Maker
II. Start Brewing The Best Coffee With Your Keurig K55
Once you’ve got everything out of the box and ready to roll, it’s time to get that coffee on the go.
1. Electric Power
The Keurig runs on standard 110 or 120 volts at 60 Hz. If your power supply is 220 volts, you’ll need to invest in a transformer so bear this in mind to avoid disappointment and unexpected expense.
2. Setting Up The Water Filter Starter Kit
First up, you’ll need to set up the water filter starter kit.
This is straightforward but requires a little preparation.
- Presoak the charcoal water filter for up to 5 minutes before inserting it into the water filter holder
- Rinse the stainless steel mesh for 1 minute. This is found under the lower filter holder. Just let it sit under running water
- Wash both the lower filter holder and the upper filter holder to remove any potential dirt from transit
- Insert the water filter into the water filter holder
- Set the replacement date dial for 2 months. This takes all the guesswork out of maintenance and is a nice touch
- Put the fully assembled water filter holder into its slot in the water reservoir and you’ve got your starter kit ready to go
It’s a good idea to run a brewer’s rinse before getting down to business. This flushes the system through for best results.
Taking the time to perform this dry run is well worthwhile. Don’t try to save 5 minutes by skipping this.
Here are the simple steps you need to follow to get this done:
- 1. Fill the water reservoir using either bottled water or filtered water according to preference
- 2. Put on the lid and pop the reservoir back on your brewer
- 3. Place a large mug on the drip tray then hit Power
- 4. The water will take 4 to 5 minutes to warm up. The red heating light will become illuminated until it’s hot enough to pour
- 5. At this stage, the 3 blue lights come on
- 6. Lift and lower handle but this time do not put in a K-Cup pod
- 7. Press the small mug button and the water will come out ending your first brewer’s rinse
3. 5 Steps To Brewing Coffee With Your Keurig
Although you might be desperate for a coffee by now, repeating the brewer’s rinse is a smart move. This will ensure that you get that golden cup of coffee from your Keurig without any taint at all.
1. Making sure your Keurig is still powered up, place your favorite coffee mug in the drip once again
2. Remove the water reservoir and ensure it’s topped up to the Max line
3. Hit the Power button. The red heating light will now illuminate. Keurig states that it takes 4 ½ minutes to heat the water fully. Many users report this is actually done in far less time, from as quickly as 3 minutes. Be patient once again and sit it out. You’ll soon have a coffee on the go! You’ll see only 2 of the main buttons activated during the heating time
4. Lift and lower the handle. When the 3 brew buttons blink, it’s time to start brewing your coffee. Do not insert a K-Cup pod yet. It’s time to perform one final brewer’s rinse. Press the small mug button and the water will come out once more into your mug. Remember here that you must lift and lower the handle each time you want to brew up some hot water. If you don’t do this, the 3 brew buttons will not blink ready for you to press
5. Now it’s time to brew your first real cup of coffee! Empty the water from your mug and replace it on the drip tray. Lift the handle and pop in your K-Cup pod. We’ll look at the mechanics of that in more detail shortly. Lower the handle and select your brew size (6oz, 8oz or 10oz) then wait for a piping hot coffee, sit back and relax!
III. How To Brew Coffee Properly With The Keurig Coffee Maker
As you can see above, brewing coffee properly with your new Keurig K55 is very straightforward. Indeed, this simplicity is one of the key selling points of these single serve coffee makers.
You won’t be overwhelmed with menu options like you’ll see on more expensive and intricate coffee makers. It really is as simple as pushing a few buttons and letting the machine do all the work.
The first step to getting the best coffee for your personal taste is to focus on the K-Cup pod or freshly ground coffee you most enjoy. If you are worried about the cost here, try comparing it to visiting the coffee shop for a latte and it suddenly starts to seem like rather good value. Get the coffee right and that’s half the job done.
Using bottled water or at least filtered water will also make a slight but important difference when it comes to the quality of the coffee in your cup.
Remember: do not remove the foil lid on the K-Cup pod. When you pop this pod into your machine, there’s a metal piercing holder above that punches a hole in the top of the pod. Hot water then enters the hole and disperses over the coffee. There’s another piercing holder beneath which makes a smaller hole in the bottom of the K-Cup pod. This allows the water to follow the paper filter and then make its way into your cup.
As long as you follow the simple instructions we’ve laid out above and use a coffee you really savor, brewing the perfect golden cup of your coffee with your Keurig K55 is an absolute breeze.
IV. Our Analysis
Rather than a lengthy text review, we’re going to break down the key benefits of the Keurig K55 next in an easily digestible manner.
Since this coffee maker is at its core a very simple unit, we’ll focus on exactly why we think it makes such great value for money and where the Keurig excels…
- Brews Multiple Cup Sizes With K-Cup pods: Not everyone wants their coffee in the same sized mug. With the Keurig K55, you can enjoy a smaller 6oz drink, a medium 8oz coffee or ramp things up for a large 10oz mug. Simply pop in your K-Cup pod, choose your mug size using one of the 3 buttons and customize to taste. The 6oz brew size delivers the strongest coffee
- Not Limited To K-Cup Pods: Since the K55 is one of the classic 1.0 series, there’s no barcode scanner meaning you can use any type of K-Cup pod fuss-free. It doesn’t matter whether they’re Keurig-branded or not. If you prefer using freshly ground coffee instead, you can invest in a reusable filter
- Rapid Brewing Time: Speed is of the essence with the K55. When you first turn the machine on, it will take up to 4 minutes to heat the water. Reheating the water after this point takes just 15 seconds. Brew time for the coffee is no more than 30 seconds. So, in the worst scenario, you’ll have fresh coffee within 5 minutes in the morning. Your second cup and onwards will be in the cup within 1 minute. You can’t ask for much more than that
- Auto Shut-Off Functionality: Your machine will automatically power down after 2 hours to save your power bill.
- Water Filter: Properly filtered water makes an already good coffee great. Whether you choose to use bottled or filtered water, this additional filtration is a superb touch for a cheaper coffee machine and extremely welcome
- Removable Drip Tray: Cleaning coffee machines can be a real chore. Removable parts make a tedious job a little easier. Since the drip tray is where all the splatter and excess coffee accumulates, being able to slip this out makes light work of cleaning duties and keeps maintenance to a minimum. This tray is also generously sized with a clearance of 7 inches. This allows you to use your favorite travel mug and enjoy coffee on the go
- Large, Removable Water Reservoir: With a 48-oz capacity, the water reservoir gives you ample liquid for a succession of delicious coffees before needing to refill. You should comfortably get 5 standard cups from a single refill. As with the water filter, this comes out easily so you don’t need to mess around topping it up under cramped conditions. If you plan to use bottled water, you can simply lift the lid of the reservoir and fill it that way if you prefer
- Easy To Clean: There’s no hassle when it comes to cleaning your Keurig. Every couple of weeks, remove the K-Cup holder, drip tray and water reservoir. Use a toothbrush to clean away all coffee grounds and any other debris that’s built up. Wipe down with a damp cloth. Using a very mild detergent, wash all the removable parts by hand. Dry with a cloth. That’s the extent of your regular maintenance so it’s only a few minutes work and well worthwhile to keep your Keurig at its best
- Descaling: To fight back against the build-up of minerals, descaling is an important element of ongoing maintenance. We will outline just below how you can take care of descaling your Keurig K55 the easy way
- Design: Design is highly subjective but we’d have to say that the K55 looks great on the countertop. The stripped-down simplicity means whether you have a minimalist kitchen or a more traditional one, this coffee machine doesn’t just do its job admirably but looks the part too
2. Things We Disliked
Now it’s time for a frank and honest appraisal of the Keurig K55’s drawbacks. After all, nobody wants to read product reviews that hide all the negatives only to result in a nasty surprise later down the line.
Lengthy Delay With Auto Shut-Off: The Keurig K55 shuts off automatically after 2 hours. While this is a valuable safety feature and one that can slash your power consumption, the delay is not to everyone’s taste. Indeed, some users initially thought the feature was not working at all. There’s no need to override this by manually switching your machine off unless you really want to. Be patient and it will do the job of its own accord. The purpose of the 2-hour time delay is so in the interim, the water stays heated saving you time and effort when you make your next coffee. If it powered down after 15 minutes, each coffee would take 5 minutes to make rather than less than 1 minute.
Limited to 110/120 Volts: Some electrical devices are dual-voltage working on either 110/120 volts or 220 volts. This Keurig K55, however, is not one of those machines. It works only on electrical supplies running 110/120 volts. While Keurig do clearly display this in their sales materials and on the bottom of the machine, some users buy in error when they have a 220-volt power supply. Don’t make this mistake. Check this list of voltage by country if you are not certain what type of supply you have
Build Quality of Buttons: Here we have an issue specific to our machine. When we press the smaller 6oz button, it feels out of balance slightly compared to the larger buttons. Functionality is not impaired and all buttons work effectively but it just doesn’t feel quite right. Several of our friends have this same Keurig K55. None of them have experienced this issue
Durability: One of the main negatives about this machine is that the amount of plastic on it suggests that it might not keep going for years. What we would say is to consider that this is by no means a range-topping coffee machine but more of a budget model. Think seriously about your intended usage. If you’re the sort of person who will press the K55 into action all day, every day as your primary coffee maker then you need to be realistic about the expected lifespan set against the cost. You’re covered for the first year by the comprehensive warranty. After this point, pumps tend to play up as well as the solenoids. If you want something built to really stay the distance under heavy use, look at some of the more expensive models in the impressive Keurig range
As you can see, the shower of benefits with this excellent, pocket-friendly coffee maker seriously outweighs the few drawbacks.
Before rounding out with some frequently asked questions, we’ll walk you through how to descale your Keurig K55 the easy way…
V. Descaling your Keurig K55
When minerals build up inside your coffee machine, this can clog things up and impair performance as well as taste. Descaling helps to get rid of this accumulation of chalky debris so should not be overlooked.
Luckily, descaling your K55 is a cakewalk.
You should shoot for a full descaling every 3 or 4 months. This depends on the mineral content of the water you’re using so err on the side of caution rather than pushing things to the stage where the mineral deposits get out of hand.
Although you can use white vinegar, Keurig strongly recommends using commercial descaling solution.
Ready to roll?
- Top up the water reservoir with 10oz of your descaling solution
- Put a mug or some kind of pitcher on the drip tray, lift the handle, wait for 5 second then close the handle. Make certain you don’t have a K-Cup pod in the machine
- Hit the Brew button. After flashing red, a solid red light comes on. Wait until all the descaling solution is discharged then empty the mug or container you used
- Add another 10oz of descaling solution to your water reservoir. Lift the handle, pause for 5 seconds then close it. You’ll get the same flashing then solid red light
- Turn off your machine and leave it for 30 minutes
- Turn the machine on. Open and close the handle then hit Brew
- Discard the solution once it’s all dispensed
- Fill the water reservoir to max level with cold water
- Lift and shut the handle then press Brew once more
- Discard the water once it’s in the mug. Repeat this step of flushing with clean water 3 times
- Wipe down with a damp cloth and your Keurig K55 is fully descaled and ready for action again!
VI. 5 Common Problems With The Keurig K55 and How To Fix Them
While you should experience no problems with your Keurig, as with any coffee machine, things can go wrong from time to time.
We’ll walk you through troubleshooting 5 of the most common problems that crop up with the K55.
1) Power Button Fails To Work and It Won’t Turn On
This is a surprisingly frequent occurrence but there are some failsafe fixes.
Firstly, don’t overlook the obvious. Check your machine is plugged in. We say this not to insult your intelligence but because we have done this ourselves!
It’s a good idea to check the outlet by plugging in a different appliance.
If all is good here, press the Power button and hold on to it. The display should light up.
Make sure the water reservoir is properly attached. If the magnetic contacts are not aligned, this sometimes causes the K55 to power down.
If you still have a problem, you are advised to contact Keurig’s customer care.
2) K55 Fails To Brew a Full Cup
There are 2 usual reasons for your K55 failing to brew a full cup of coffee:
• Your machine needs descaling
• The needles that puncture your K-Cup might be clogged up
Descale your machine using the simple procedure detailed above.
Clean the needles thoroughly by removing and washing them.
3) There Are Coffee Grounds In The Cup
If an individual pod is not glued down properly, the machine won’t puncture it as intended and you can end up with grounds everywhere.
The needles can become clogged so clean them as above.
Using anything other than a coarse grind if you opt for fresh coffee can also lead to grounds in your cup.
4) Keurig Keeps Pumping Water and Won’t Stop
The first line of attack should be to descale your Keurig.
Clean the water reservoir and also the needles to drive away any rogue debris that might have accumulated.
5) The K55 Is Making Lots of Noise
Take into account that Keurig’s are not quiet even when brand new and in peak condition.
Mineral build-up or clogged coffee grounds can lead to even more noise. They will also make the machine work much harder which will reduce its lifespan.
Always use filtered water and never use mineral water since this worsens the problem of scale building up.
We very much hope you’ve enjoyed this detailed breakdown of the outstanding Keurig K55.
Not everyone wants a coffee maker with a display panel like a plane cockpit and a choice of drinks that can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense and extremely affordable coffee maker from a brand you can trust, the Keurig makes a superb entry point into the world of single serve coffee makers.
While the uprated 2.0 series from Keurig certainly have their advantages, going for one of the classic 1.0 machines gives you a wider choice when it comes to pods. Without the barcode scanner forcing you to use only Keurig K-Cup pods, you can enjoy the coffee of your choice without feeling restricted. You can even sidestep the pods completely and plump for freshly ground coffee instead.
Over the coming months, we’ll be taking delivery of more and more coffee machines. These are not gifted by the manufacturer but paid for ourselves. This allows us to give completely honest reviews without feeling obligated to overlook the negatives since we spent our own money and have no vested interest to distort the truth.
But the good news is, with the Keurig, aside from the few minor grumbles above, you’ll get a fantastic single serve coffee maker at a price you’ll love. Check one out today!
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or feedback at all. We love to hear from our readers here at Fourth Estate Coffee.
Come back soon!
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense and extremely affordable coffee maker from a brand you can trust, the Keurig makes a superb entry point into the world of single serve coffee makers.