A coffee machine can make the perfect cornerstone to your kitchen appliances, giving you fresh, hot coffee every morning for a fraction of the cost of a store-bought, takeaway drink. These machines come in a variety of sizes, with different functions available depending on your preference for how you take your coffee.
If you don’t insist on using freshly ground beans every morning, then a single-serve coffee machine that produces drinks from coffee pods could be just the thing for you. The Keurig K45 is an example of such a machine, brewing coffee, tea, hot cocoa and other specialty drinks from specialized pods of compacted coffee grounds (see Keurig K45 review in detail below).
Bought in bulk, these packs of coffee pods cost far less than your regular pre-work takeaway coffee habit, and what’s more, they can brew a small batch of drinks in about the same time it’d take to stand in line at Starbucks.
Keurig K45 Overview
The Keurig K45 brews the perfect cup of coffee in less than 60 seconds using a single-serve coffee pod that can be safely disposed of after each individual use.
It features a 48 oz. water reservoir that can be detached from the machine, as well as a variable cup size setting that can cater for 6 oz., 8 oz. and 10 oz. drinks sizes.
After an initial heating process, the machine is always ready and can brew a single cup of coffee in under a minute from its idle state.
What's more, you can activate an 'Auto Off' feature to automatically shut down the machine after 2 hours of disuse. The machine itself is typically found in one of two colors: coconut white, or plain black, lacking some of the color customizations seen in more modern and pricey variants of the Keurig machine.
However, like its brother and sister machines, the K45 has the familiar interface on the upper-right of the machine housing, with 3 physical buttons for drinks size control, and 5 LEDs for statuses, as well as a power button.
Who is the Keurig K45 for?
The K45 model is less suited to larger groups of people, where you’re likely to be brewing more than 4 or 5 cups of coffee at once.
Small groups aren’t an issue, as the sub-60 second brewing process means that 4 to 5 cups can be brewed quickly using individual pods and a single tank of water. However, as the water reservoir holds 48 oz., you’ll have to refill and reheat the water if you try to brew any more mugs in a single sitting, which will extend the serving time.
This does however mean that the machine is the perfect solution for families of 4 or 5 members or less, or for offices with small teams that want to make life easier during the morning coffee break.
For those who love their smartphones, tablets and other gadgets, this model might be less well suited, as some of the pricier models come with an LCD touch screen, meaning you never need to interact with physical buttons when you’re choosing the strength of your coffee, or the size of the brew.
It’s also worth noting that the color match options available on this machine are less than some other Keurig models, with basic white and black models being the most commonly available, as opposed to blues or reds.
What’s Included with the Keurig K45?
The Keurig K45 comes with the same standard components as all the other similar machines in the Keurig range, including a power cable, removable drip tray and removable water reservoir. Each of these components needs to be assembled when unboxing the machine for the first time, but the ability to remove them for cleaning or storage purposes later down the line is extremely useful.
Depending on where you buy the bundle from, you’re also likely to get a K-Cup Variety Pack as part of the deal, which contains a small selection of K-Cup coffee pods to get you started. However, there are some nice-to-have components that are not included as part of the package. Firstly, the machine lacks any water filters.
This isn’t simply a cost-cutting measure; rather, this machine doesn’t use water filters like some of the more modern and expensive units do. Secondly, there’s no descaling solution bundled in with the machine, so you’ll either have to purchase that separately, or make do with a cheaper household alternative, such as white vinegar.
You can find a number of unboxing and setup videos on YouTube and other websites for the Keurig K45 system. If you want to get a good insight into what’s included in the box, as well as how to set it up for first-time use, then check out this video on YouTube.
Keurig K45 Features
The K45 comes with the same physical build qualities as the K50 and K55 models, with a series of 5 LED lights mounted on top of the unit.
These lights display a variety of statuses, including when the machine requires a water refill; when descaling needs to be carried out; when the machine is in the process of heating; when 'Auto Off' is enabled, and finally when the machine is powered on.
Ease of Cleaning
Keurig coffee machines are renown for being simple to clean, owing to the fact that numerous components can be disassembled for easy access. The drip tray for example can be entirely detached from the unit, meaning not only that you can pour away spillages and immerse the unit in water, but also that you have space for larger travel mugs beneath the dispenser. The water reservoir entirely lifts away from the coffee machine, meaning that you can easily refill it from a faucet, or wash it in the same way.
Varied Brew Sizes
Except for 1 or 2 of the models, Keurig’s coffee machines offer you the ability to select the drinks size that you’d like to brew. This is done via the physical buttons mounted on top of the coffee machine, with small (6 oz.), medium (8 oz.) and large (10 oz.) settings available to choose from.
When the detachable drip tray is removed from the machine, you can also fit taller travel mugs beneath the dispenser to take with you. All these brew settings use the same type of coffee pod, and even the larger setting will produce a coffee with a strong, distinct taste. Of course, if you want a stronger coffee, you should select a smaller cup size, or use a dark roast for larger cups.
Always On/Auto Off
One of the benefits of the Keurig K45 is that it allows you to choose whether your machine is left in an always-on state, or whether it will automatically turn itself off after a certain period.
If the ‘Auto Off’ feature is left disabled, then your machine will remain idle indefinitely, so that it’s always ready to brew a coffee; this is useful for busy households on differing schedules, or small offices. However, if you’re conscious of energy bills or are a light coffee drinker, the ‘Auto Off’ setting will shut your machine down if it hasn’t been used in 2 hours.
How to use the Keurig K45
Setting up the Keurig K45 for the first time is straightforward. Of course, first you should remove all the packaging that the unit came in. Take care to look for any tape that may be holding components together, carefully removing all of it from the machine.
Next, ensure that the machine is placed upright on a flat surface; some people choose to position the machine on a flat sheet of rubber to reduce the noise given off during operation, but the K45 is a quiet machine and this more common on larger machines with a heavy-duty pump.
You should start by filling the water reservoir to the max fill line, then replacing it in the machine. Lift the handle on the coffee pod housing, then replace it without inserting a pod, and ensure that there is a mug of at least 10 oz. in size on the drip tray.
You should now be able to select the smallest drink size button, which will initiate the cleaning process, running heated water throughout the machine. Once this has completed, you can dispose of the contents that are dispensed and get on with trying your first brew from the K-Cup Variety Pack.
The process of brewing a coffee is the much the same as above, with the exception of inserting the coffee pod corresponding to the drink that you would like to brew. This video on YouTube provides an insight into how the machine functions when brewing a drink.
If you're happy to use unfiltered water, then you can take it directly from the kitchen faucet; otherwise, you can use filtered or bottled water, if you're concerned about impurities affecting the taste of your coffee. You should always keep the machine powered on if you want to achieve the shortest brewing time possible, though the 'Auto-Off' feature is useful for ensuring that you don't rack up energy bills from forgetting to switch it off.
The 3 brew sizes offered by the Keurig K45 will likely be enough for most coffee drinkers, but if you’re one of those people who likes a large drink, or you have a particularly large travel mug, then you might want to consider the Keurig K545 as an alternative coffee machine.
This machine is capable of brewing coffee sizes up to 12 oz.; what’s more, it has variable strength control, as well as being able to produce hot water on demand, so that you can tailor your drink to the exact size and strength that you are accustomed to.
Another viable alternative for large families or those who drink a lot of coffee is the Keurig K-Select model.
This coffee machine has one of the largest water reservoirs of any of the Keurig family of coffee machines, coming in at 52 oz. in capacity.
Like the above machine, it can also brew coffee sizes up to 12 oz. It is also cheaper; however, the trade-off is that it lacks some of the functionality of the K-Select.
Finally, we’ll look at the K-Mini K15, which is right at the lower end of the scale, both in terms of budget and its physical dimensions.
It is the smallest of the Keurig coffee machines, with a built-in water reservoir that can hold just enough water for a single hot drink to be brewed.
If convenience and saving space are your two biggest concerns, and you want a no-fuss cup of tea or coffee, then this could be the perfect machine.
It has one of the broadest range of color choices available for easy color coordination across the rest of your kitchen appliances, too.
However, you’re getting the most basic machine with no extra reservoir space, and no variable strength settings for your drinks. That said, you do still get the ‘Auto Off’ feature.
The Keurig K45 is an ideal coffee machine for small families in the home, or for small office-based teams, with a water reservoir that can brew a good 4 to 5 hot drinks before needing a refill.In terms of functionality and aesthetics, the machine has been somewhat bettered by Keurig’s own K50 and K55 bundles, but this is still a solid coffee machine that deserves attention.
This bundle also comes with a variety pack of coffee pods, unlike many of the other Keurig machines, meaning you’ll have everything you need to start brewing hot drinks straight out of the box.