In this Keurig K40 review, we’re going to look at one of the middle-of-the-road coffee makers produced by the Keurig brand. It’s most certainly not the cheapest, but it’s around two-thirds the cost of the priciest Keurig machines available, and it comes with some sample drinks pods to kick you off.
Having a coffee machine in your home might seem like an unnecessary expense, but when you total the cost of routine trips to the local café or coffee shop, you can soon recoup the costs and then even save money by switching out store-bought cups of coffee for a machine that does all the brewing for you. This machine is perfect for larger families and groups of friends, with its generous water reservoir.
Keurig K40 Overview
Also called ‘The Elite Brewing System’ by the manufacturer, the Keurig K40 is one of a wide array of varying size and cost Keurig machines, coming in around the mid-range in terms of price and stature.
Unlike the smallest models in the range that have a built-in, single-cup reservoir, the K40 has a large, removable water reservoir.
It can also brew more than one size coffee. Unlike the K15, for example, this machine has been a part of the Keurig family for far longer, first being available online in early 2007. Despite its long life on the shelves, the general customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive.
Also unlike some smaller models, this machine can double up and provide both pod-based hot drinks, as well as using ground coffee, though it cannot grind its own beans.
Who is the Keurig K40 for?
The Keurig K40 is ideally suited to small groups of people, be that a family home or a small business office.
Whether you’re making coffees for the whole family, or doing the morning coffee run for the whole team, you’ll appreciate having the large water reservoir that won’t need to be continuously refilled for each cup that you’re making. It’s also ideal for the person who uses a taller-than-average coffee mug for the car.
However, it’s less suited to somebody that wants a bare-bones coffee maker with no frills, as the price tag is reasonably high compared to smaller Keurig models. It’s also no good for anyone who wants to brew a whole pot of coffee and go back for seconds, without needing to run the machine again.
What’s Included with the Keurig K40?
As you’d expect, you don’t have to pay extra to get all the basic accessories; the bundle includes the removable reservoir and removable drip tray, as well as the necessary cord to power the machine.
You really won’t need anything else for the basic operation of the machine. However, you won’t get any descaling solution, but it’s a relatively inexpensive accessory to purchase separately from the coffee maker.
Unlike cheaper options, you'll also get some K-Cup pods bundled in with the machine so that you can try out a number of different hot beverages immediately after setting the machine up.
The type of pods included within the bundle are part of the 'K-Cup Variety Pack', which provides a selection of the drinks available through the branded coffee pods. However, you can also use other brand name coffees, which open up a range of possibilities, including Starbucks drinks and other mainstream names in coffee.
If you want a more detailed look at the machine, then you can check out this great unboxing video on YouTube for the K40 coffee maker, which should give you a fuller idea of what’s in the box.
Keurig K40 Features
Whereas some coffee makers can overcomplicate the process of brewing a quick cup of coffee, the K40 keeps things simple.
Once you've supplied power to the machine, you only need to press a single button to brew a cup.
There are multiple coffee cup sizes to choose from, represented by a small, medium and large cup icon on the machine, so you can tailor your drink to the amount of caffeine you need.
The Keurig K40 gets its water supply from a 48-ounce water reservoir, which can be detached from the coffee maker when refilling, or for more compact storage. With space for up to 6 cups of coffee worth of water, you can supply the whole family with coffee before needing to refill.
Being removable, it’s easy to clean and descale separately to the coffee maker itself, which can be done with official descaling solution or household products such as white vinegar. What’s more, the reservoir is visible from the front of the machine, so it’s always obvious when more water needs to be added.
With a single button press, you can control the K40’s ‘Auto Off’ feature; this is a useful piece of functionality seen on the majority of coffee makers belonging to the Keurig family. Controlled via a small button on the top-mounted control panel, the function automatically shuts down the coffee maker after 2 hours, saving on household energy and putting the machine to sleep until it's next needed. However, it can be turned off to keep the machine in a permanently ready state for the caffeine-lovers among you.
Compatible with non-brand coffee
The K40 machine can produce more than just coffee; additional hot beverages like tea and hot chocolate are also supported, and pods can be found in the Keurig range for those, too. That said, it's also possible to use off-brand coffee pods within this machine in addition to the branded K-Cups. This isn’t something that can be said for all coffee makers, so it’s a great bonus if you’re looking to use up an old supply or find a good deal on pods that aren’t in the K-Cup range.
Removable drip tray
The drip tray, provided with the product by default, can hold more than a cup’s worth of runoff, so if you accidentally forget to leave a mug beneath the coffee dispenser, you won’t end up with spillage all over your countertop. However, the best part about the tray is that it can be removed.
You should have enough space for most mug sizes, but some of the larger travel cups may struggle to fit beneath the dispenser spout with the drip tray in place. Thus, this feature is useful for those who like to take their morning coffee with them.
How to use the Keurig K40
Once you've unpacked and set up the Keurig K40, it's straightforward to start brewing your favorite hot drinks. Start by adding water to the removable water reservoir, up to a maximum of 48 oz.
If you don't like the thought of leaving standing water, or won't be brewing often, then you should ideally measure out what's needed with your mugs. Generally speaking, 48 oz. is enough for around 10 cups of coffee.
Select the coffee pod for the drink of your choice, and then place it into the pod housing after lifting the handle on top of the machine. Lower the handle and secure it in place until it clicks. Next, place your mug beneath the dispenser. Depending on the size of drink you want to brew, and whether you’re using a tall mug or travel cup, you can remove the drip tray to make more space.
When your mug is in place and the handle depressed, you'll note some blinking LED lights on top of the coffee maker. One of these represents the 'Heating' function, and if this is flashing red, then the water isn't yet heated sufficiently.
Otherwise, once the water is prepared, choose the size of coffee that you're after and hit the button to brew it, which should take around a minute. At this point, you can lift the handle back up and dispose of the spent coffee pod.
Depending on what you’re looking for, the Keurig K40 is of a reasonable size and won’t take up a great deal of space on your office desk or kitchen countertop; however, there are smaller options available.
For example, whereas this coffee maker measures in at 12.2 x 14.9 x 14.2 in, the K-Mini K15 has dimensions of 11.1” H 7.5” W x 10.5”.
This is in part due to the lack of detachable water reservoir on the K15, as well as the smaller mug housing area.
These differences make the K15 an ideal alternative if spatial requirements are one of your biggest factors in choosing a coffee maker
Moving on, we’ll consider the look and feel of your chosen coffee machine.
Regardless of the brand you choose, when you look at coffee makers from the lower end of the budget range, you’re going to get a model that uses basic buttons and LEDs to indicate things like your brewing status and water levels.
Such a basic design might seem out of place in a home that has begun to adopt smart home devices and other modern appliances.
So, it’s worth considering a machine like the Keurig 475. It features a large full-color touch screen, which has a digital clock display, a timed 'On/Off' setting, and other functions to be controlled with taps and swipes.
Next, we’ll look at the Keurig K575. Coffee makers that use coffee pods to serve individual cups of coffee are convenient, but they do sacrifice on the level of control that you have over the size, strength and flavor of your cup of joe.
If we look towards the other end of the price spectrum, there's the Keurig K575 Coffee Maker, which can craft coffees up to 12oz in size.
It boasts all the same features as the K40, including an Auto Off function and varying cup sizes, but can also vary coffee strength and pump hot water on demand, so that you can fine-tune the flavor of your hot drink with ease. Though it’s still a pod-to-cup machine, this gives you broader control over the finished product.
Finally, it's worth looking at an alternative from a different class of coffee maker.
The Hamilton Beach 49980A is an interesting beast, being capable of brewing from single-serve disc-shaped soft pods, whilst also being able to brew pots of coffee from loose grounds.
So, if you’re the kind of person that likes to try new ground coffee flavors from time to time, but don’t want to lose the ability to make coffee from single pods, then this machine could be an ideal alternative.