There's nothing like a cup of coffee in the morning to get you going, but sometimes the same old jar of ground beans can get tiresome. Of course, you could also pick up a coffee on the way to work, but this can soon turn expensive; buying a Starbucks every morning before work would mean spending upwards of $25-30 a week on takeaway coffees (find our more about our Keurig K145 review).
There’s another option, which is having a bean-to-cup machine right in your own kitchen, but again the downside to these machines are that they require a constant supply of fresh coffee grounds, as well as a lot of cleaning and maintenance.So, what are the alternatives? A coffee maker that produces single cups of coffee from small, sealed coffee pods can do away with all the drawbacks highlighted above. When you work out the cost of an individual cup of coffee based on a pack of dispensable pods, the cost is far less, and cleaning the machine is far simpler. Below, we’ll look at one of the leading single-serve pod-based machines available.
Keurig K145 Overview
The Keurig K145 coffee maker is a single-serve unit that brews a single cup of coffee at a time, using specially designed coffee pods. Drinks can be brewed in one of 3 sizes: 6 oz., 8 oz., or 10 oz.
Machines within the Keurig range typically control such settings using either a push-button or LCD screen, but the K145 uses a control knob positioned on the top of the machine housing.
Speaking of which, the main housing of the machine is built from sturdy plastic, with some metal components.
Speaking of which, the main housing of the machine is built from sturdy plastic, with some metal components. On the exterior, there’s a neutral black and gray design that is tailored to the office setting, or a modern kitchen if you are purchasing it for personal use.
There are no varied color options to choose from, but given that the primary intended use of the machine is for commercial environments, this can be forgiven.
Who is the Keurig K145 for?
Much like some of the other coffee makers offered by
the Keurig brand, the Keurig K145 goes by another
name, the 'OfficePRO Brewing System.'
This name is more than just a label, as it is indeed well-suited to commercial environments, serving up coffee to office workers.
As we will touch on below, the build quality is excellent and lends itself to more regular and high-volume use, with components that are designed to go the distance. The combination of a large water reservoir and durable components means that the Keurig K145 can be put through regular, daily use, without breaking down.
What’s Included with the Keurig K145?
The K145 coffee maker comes with everything you'll need to get set up and running in no time. Of course, all the integral parts of the machine are included, such as the water reservoir and accompanying lid, the drip tray, power cord and so on.
The machine also packages in a bonus K-Cup Pod trial pack, which contains a select range of coffee pods with which you can get started. These are perfect for testing out the machine, but given that there are around 500 distinct varieties of hot drinks to try, you'll likely want to pick up a larger pack to find your favorite drink.
What’s not included within the machine package is any kind of water filtration system. For example, some other Keurig coffee makers feature a replaceable charcoal water filter, which purifies the water you place into the machine.
If you’re not using filtered or purified water, then you’re introducing another variable into the process of making your hot drinks, which can result in a degraded or more bitter taste. When you’re primarily using water that comes from the kitchen faucet to fill your machine’s water reservoir, having a filter can be especially useful.
Keurig K145 Features
The water tank holds 48 oz., with enough capacity to serve you and your colleagues, before needing a refill. Included in the package, you'll even get a bonus K-Cup trial pack so that you can get started brewing immediately after setting up the machine. Below, we’ll look at some of the most defining features and characteristics that make up this coffee maker.
One of the most commonly suffered problems with coffee makers is the pump system. Though it’s an infrequent problem, if a component fails, it's usually the pump; if this does happen, it can require a whole machine replacement. Fortunately, Keurig have used a heavy-duty pump component as part of the design for their K145 model, which increases lifespan.
Freedom of Choice
With the Keurig 145, you're given access to a range of over 500 diverse hot drinks, including coffee, tea, hot cocoa and iced drinks. When it comes to making a drink, the pods used for this Keurig machine are the K-Cup Pods, with a choice of around 75 well-known and popular drinks brands.
Fortunately, unlike the K200 2.0 coffee maker offered by the Keurig brand, the K145 is compatible with the older type of K-Cup Pods, without a barcode scanner to limit the choice of drinks available.
Every part of the K145 lends itself to convenience. The vast water reservoir is detachable and can hold 48oz of water, which is quick and easy to fill up directly from the kitchen faucet, or clean in the same manner.
The same can be said for the drip tray, which is also removable, thus being simple to empty out into the sink and rinse. Additionally, the built-in 'Drain' button means that you can quickly and easily remove excess water, too. All these features support the idea of positioning the machine within a commercial office and not having to routinely move it.
The K145 features an Auto Off setting, which ensures that the machine will turn off itself if not used for 2 hours. This is perfect for office use, as the machine is designed and intended to be turned on at the beginning of a working day and not switched off until everybody has clocked off for the evening.
As the machine is designed to remain turned on, your coffee takes less than a minute to brew, so you won't be left standing around the machine causing a queue at break times. You can also switch this setting off if you’d like it to be permanently available, but it’s worth keeping the feature enabled to save energy.
How to use the Keurig K145
Whether you're setting up in an office or at home, you'll want to start by unwrapping the power cord and connecting it to the mains power. Ensure that the 'Brew/Drain' knob is set to the 'Brew' indicator and insert a mug beneath the coffee dispenser, with the drip tray in place.
Next, rinse out your water reservoir and fill it to just shy of the maximum water mark. Replace the reservoir, ensuring that it locks into place, and then power on the machine and ensure that the handle is fully lowered. Press the flashing blue 'Brew' button and the machine will heat the water. In the first instance, this will take 3 to 4 minutes.
Finally, lift and replace the handle, then press ‘Brew’ once more, disposing of the dispensed contents into the sink. The process of actually brewing your first coffee is more straightforward than the initial cleansing process outlined above. Start by placing a fresh mug on the drip tray, and then lift the handle and place your desired K-Cup Pod into the holder.
Replace the handle, then use the rotating control knob to select your preferred drink size. Press the 'Brew' button to initiate the brewing process, which will remain solid blue while the process completes. Be sure to remove and dispose of the spent coffee pod once you’re done. Every now and then, you'll need to descale your machine to keep it in optimum condition, especially when you live in an area that has hard water.
Calcium deposits and scale can build up over time and though it's not toxic, it can affect the coffee maker's performance. You should descale once every 3 to 6 months, on average. To start off the process, you'll need a large 12 oz. mug and descaling solution.
You'll need to pour the solution into the water reservoir and top it up with water, before running the process once over to run the solution through the machine. Repeat a second time, pouring the dispensed contents down the sink both times.
Finally, run the same process a final time after refilling the water reservoir with fresh water, to ensure that no chemical solution is left inside of the machine.
In comparing this model to other coffee makers, we're going to start by looking at the Keurig K45. The two systems are very similar in design, with the same capacity water reservoir, as well as a shared 'Auto Off' function that automatically turns the machine off after 2 hours. The brew sizes offered by both machines are also the same and take the same amount of time to complete.
The differences in the K145 include a brew/drain switch positioned on the back of the machine, as well as a draining button that removes all the water from the machine's inner tank.
This means that it can easily be cleaned or moved without having to be dismantled. However, these features are offset by the machine being louder during operation due to the heavy-duty pump design.
Essentially, if you’d like a quieter machine as the expense of some functionality, the K45 is a viable alternative.
If you’re keen on having a machine that can serve large groups of people without breaking a sweat, then you may also want to consider the Keurig K200 2.0.
The water reservoir on this model is 40 oz., which is 8 oz. smaller than the K145, but the machine does also come with a range of different color customization options, as well as an LCD touch screen that is used to control all the different brew size and strength settings.
If this sounds good to you, then the one drawback to be wary of is the limitation around the kinds of coffee pods that you can use with the machine.
Since the upgrade from original model to the ‘2.0’ version, only newer varieties of K-Cup Pods can be used; a barcode printed onto the foil packaging is read by the machine before a drink can be dispensed.
Alternatively, at the other end of the scale, you’ve got the Keurig K15. This compact coffee maker is one of the smallest kinds of machine that you can buy, with a water reservoir that’s completely housed within the machine itself.
Though you’ll have to refill the water tank after every individual cup of coffee, it saves a decent amount of space on your countertop.
The drawback is that although this machine would work in a commercial setting, it’d be less suited to large groups of workers and more appropriate for a single person’s use on their own desk.
The Keurig K145 OfficePRO Brewing System is one of the more heavy-duty models that you can buy, yet the design doesn't sacrifice on speed or convenience. It's designed to be durable enough to serve a whole small office and has a pump that is built specifically to stand the test of time under heavy use.
Provided that you don’t care about the increased noise when compared to certain other models like the Keurig K45, you could even use this machine at home, for an alternative that’s guaranteed to last.