5 Reasons We Ditched Our Keurig

This weekend, it finally happened. Our 4-year-old Keurig officially died.

For the first 3 years, I absolutely loved my Keurig. I raved about it. But the fact that it’s already dead irks me. It was a 4-year-old appliance. Nearly every other appliance in my kitchen is older than that and is still working fine. So we decided not to give Keurig a second chance, and bought a regular ol’ Mr. Coffee coffee maker. Here’s why.

5 Reasons We Ditched Our Keurig #breakfast #coffee #keurig #food #appliances

1. It started having issues about a year ago. I cleaned it regularly, descaled it with vinegar and water, used a paperclip to clear the needle, and took pretty good care of it. It kept doing this thing where it would brew a tiny little cup and then I could hear the water trickling back in to the water reserve. If I ran a few cycles of just water through after that, sometimes it worked. Sometimes I just brewed 4 tiny cups in a row with the same K-Cup to make a full cup. It was annoying and I was never sure if it would brew a perfect cup or would spit out a baby cup and ruin my morning.

2. The quality and longevity of the appliance. Until a year ago (when she too got a Keurig), my Step-mom had a Mr. Coffee coffee maker that she’d had for 15+ years. It still worked great. In 4 years of brewing one cup per day, my Keurig crapped out. A quick Google search and you’ll find hundreds (thousands?) of chat rooms and reviews of people who had the same issues I had.

3. The up-front cost. Once we knew we had to replace it, we tried to decide if we actually wanted to replace it with another Keurig or a traditional coffee maker. The Keurig we considered ran $119 at Target. The Mr. Coffee coffee maker was $39 (on sale from $49 at Target) and matched the stainless steel appliances in our new apartment.

4. The long-term cost. Even if you get K-Cups on sale, they run you about 50 cents a piece and brew a pretty small cup of coffee. I’d love to take a big cup in a travel mug with me to work, but that would take me 2 K-Cups to do, putting it at about $1 a day.

One study actually found that K-Cup coffee costs about $50/pound, more than double the price of high-end coffee and four or five times more than regular grocery store brands (Five O’Clock Coffee, Folgers, etc.). Turns out, one cup of coffee from a traditional coffee pot costs about 13 cents. If I drink one cup a day of drip coffee instead of a single-serving cup from the Keurig,( at 50 cents for a K-Cup brewed cup and only 13 cents per drip coffee) I’m saving about $135 a year.

And if we’re considering long-term financial costs, what about environmental costs? One K-Cup per day adds up to a lot of plastic in landfills.

5. Change in commutes. With our upcoming move, we are tacking on a bit of a commute to work for each of us. I know what you’re thinking, what does this have to do with coffee? Well, it’s basically longer for us to enjoy our coffee in the car. The reason I only drink one cup of coffee now is because that’s all I have time for in the morning. With more time in the car, I can see myself drinking essentially 2-3 cups worth on the way to work, as I do when I’m home on weekends.

Here’s what we finally decided on…

Mr. Coffee Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

And we love it.

Are you a Keurig person or a regular coffee maker person? If you do have a Keurig, did you ever have the issues I described?

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  • Mar

    I would have to say the environmental cost too. How have they not made those things recyclable yet?! Totally a coffee pot person. I think brewing a fresh pot is more social too.

    • It does create a lot of plastic trash. I also worry about the plastic + hot water causing cancer.

  • I am totally a Kurig person. I actually had NO idea people had issues with it until reading your experience, I was pretty shocked! I do not like K-cups though (funny how that works). I just find it brews too strong for my liking. What I do instead is purchase the whole beans from Starbucks, grind them up, and use my reusable k-cup contraption thing where you put the grinds in. So the $20 Starbucks beans (re: grind) lasts me a whole lot longer than the k-cups ever did (and cheaper, and less garbage I have to take out on Thursday mornings).. All this being said though, if I have people over; more than 5 people in total, I will pull out my old big coffee maker and brew a pot for convenience. Aint nobody got time to stand around and brew coffee for the neighbourhood

    • It’s definitely less expensive than k-cups to use the reusable k-cup pod thing. I just always found that to be a pain in the butt so I’d wind up just buying k-cups instead. I do love the way that keurig coffee tastes and I’ve had to try to get good at making brewed coffee the way I like it.

  • I completely agree! Our Keurig works fine, but truthfully it just doesn’t seem as functional as a plain old coffee pot. It’s a pain having to buy k-cups, it’s a pain to clean, and it’s a pain to wait around for a bunch of single brews. We were thinking about making the switch too!

    • When I had my Keurig, I always was annoyed at how expensive k-cups were at the grocery store. It’s painful to spend almost $10 on an itty bitty box!

  • Our Keurig isn’t even two years old and it is already showing signs of giving out. We maybe brew about three cups a day. We do use a stainless steel reusable pod with Folgers so the per cup use is definitely much cheaper. I have a little 5 cup Mr Coffee Maker from our pre-Keurig days that we have used in a pinch. I doubt we would replace the Keurig when it dies either!

    • I’m surprised they die so quickly, especially with how expensive they are. Also, it’s not like they are doing anything crazy (like a blender, chopping up frozen stuff). They are heating water and running it through a pod.

  • JC

    I could never get behind k cups because of the packaging. I’m a tea drinker so a biodegradable tea bag always seemed so much easier to me. This is all despite the amazing english breakfast that comes out of the k cup at work. That one breaks constantly as well. You made the right choice.

    • Really? I’ve never liked the tea from the Keurig. I always feel like if it’s used primarily for coffee, the other kinds of k-cups always wind up tasting a little like coffee.

  • I just read a really gross article about the hidden issues with Keurigs too! Apparently, even if you clean it regularly & take care of it like you did, there are still tons of hidden areas that are harboring bacteria. I don’t drink coffee – so it doesn’t really affect me, but I know tons of people that do. I think everyone got a little obsessed over the convenience of it all…

    • I often wondered about if there was a lot of bacteria in them or something. A lot of people never really wash their water tank and those things can get super super gross.

  • Our Keurig has given us a few issues too but, at 3 years old, it’s still working (knock on wood). It’ll go through a phase of unrest once a year or so.
    We use the reusable K-cup. The reason why I resisted getting a Keurig initially is because I didn’t want to buy K-cups. I like that we can brew our favorite coffees instead of sticking with K-cup style/brands. Of course, I could do this with a regular coffee maker, but I rarely drink more than one cup at once, so a traditional coffee pot seemed like it’d be a waste.
    Have you tried a french press? That’s a great way to make strong coffee!

    • I’ve never tried a french press but honestly, I think it would be too strong for me. Someday I’ll give it a try though! Right now I just brew up the the 4 on my coffee pot but that’s really only 2 mugs of coffee. I drink one while I’m getting ready and one while I’m driving to work.

  • I won a Keurig machine from Hilton via Twitter a year ago simply because I tweeted about how badly I needed coffee one morning. It was a totally bizarre scenario, but then sure enough, two weeks later, my UPS guy dropped off the machine. I thought the coffee was really mediocre, so I bought a couple of the reusable filters that I could use my own coffee in. It’s still just ok to me. I rarely use the machine, except for if I need an afternoon pick me up or I want hot water for tea. To me, the Keurig machine is really incapable of brewing a super good cup of coffee. My coffee maker makes a much better cup of coffee, and it’s less of a hassle and less wasteful. However, I have been thinking of replacing the Keurig with a Nespresso machine. While that is just as wasteful as a Keurig, the coffee is really amazing– almost as if you went to the coffee shop– and it also comes with a milk frother so I could make lattes and such.

    • I actually really loved the coffee that came out of my keurig. You definitely have to try a lot of different k-cups and find the ones you like. I always loved the green mountain coffee nantucket blend or colombian fair trade. I’ve heard that the nespresso is good but I think i’m going to stick with the simple stuff from here on.

  • I broke up with mine too and sold it on an online yard sale this summer. I always used the reusable k-cup because disposable ones couldn’t be recycled and you are so right about how expensive they are. I could only ever find one travel mug that fit under my keurig as well. I hated that if I wanted a larger mug of coffee or hot cocoa, I would have to brew several times.

    • Once you brew two cups in a keurig, you may as well just stop at Wawa or Dunkin Donuts. I do think Keurigs are good for people who drink just one cup of coffee a day.

  • I don’t know, man. I am all about my Kuerig. Maybe it’s because I am TERRIBLE at making coffee. It doesn’t matter how many times people show me exactly how to make it, I some how mess it up. but I will say that my Kuerig single serve died within a year of buying it. But we returned it to Bed Bath & Beyond and got a bigger one (because it finally came out in Red) I think after this one dies I will make the switch If I am being honest. Because when we have people over we just scoop coffee into a reusable cup but its time consuming. Anyways this gave me something to think about. Thanks!

    • I’m really bad at making coffee too. That was honestly my biggest fear. What I found out was that the directions on the coffee bag over estimate how much coffee to use (because they want you to use more, faster). The Mr. Coffee directions said to use less so I went by that and it tastes really good.

  • My mom has a Keurig and whenever I go home I use it and love it. I’m not a coffee drinker so I use it to make tea. My mom doesn’t like K cups either but she uses the ones from Tim Hortons. I would never buy one for myself but my family does get a lot of use out of it. Instead of just using it for coffee, we use it for coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and hot cider. Thanks for sharing! Hopefully hers doesn’t have any problems in the future.

    • See I never really loved using mine for other stuff. I always thought, because I make coffee in it so much, that the tea k-cups wind up tasting a little bit like coffee.

  • We have a regular coffee maker, in fact I think we bought the same one! We just replaced our old coffee maker about month or so ago. We thought about getting a Keurig, but the price deterred us every time. That and the k-cup price seems like it would add up. Sorry yours junked out on you though!

    • I’m definitely happy with the decision to go back to a regular coffee maker. Plus I set a timer and it brews right before I get out of bed. Motivation to get up in the morning!

  • I see the benefits of the Keurig, but I definitely need my regular coffee maker. We just drink way too much coffee to be making one cup at a time! My parents have both so they use the regular coffee maker in the morning for their big pot and then will use the Keurig after dinner or if they just want a quick coffee. It makes sense, I just don’t want 2 appliances on my counter!

    • I definitely could not do two appliances on my counter. We drink enough coffee that it’s been really good to make a nice pot of it.

  • I can’t even believe the passionate response this post triggered in me. I LOVE my Keurig so much. It’s definitely one of the things coming to my island. It came with me on vacation this summer even though there was a Dunkin Donuts feet away and a regular coffee maker in the cottage we stayed at. I bring my Keurig to work with me on Monday morning and then I bring it home again on Friday afternoon. One time, a lady saw me carrying it and she said, “That’s something you don’t see everyone day. A girl taking her coffee maker for a walk”.
    It is not my first Keurig. It’s actually my third. I had similar problems with my first two (although not after 4 years, I think they were both within the first or second year of owning) and I called Keurig to tell them the issue and they replaced them for free. Both times. I didn’t even have to ship the old ones back. I’ve had the current one for 4-5 years now and it’s doing great.
    If/when I have to replace it again, I will buy another Keurig. There’s definitely a cost savings with a drip maker, but I love that my cup of coffee is exactly the same every single time I make it. When I’ve used drip makers, I can’t seem to get a consistent taste. I blame math.

    • Well dang! Perhaps I should have called Keurig and told them I was unsatisfied. I did love the coffee that came out of my Keurig but with a little trial and error, I’m making really good tasting coffee out of my coffee pot too.

  • I have a random question! I’m not trying to be mean at all, so I hope I don’t come off as judgmental. I’ve never had coffee before, so I never understand what draws people to it on a daily basis. Is it something like a cigarette, but instead of nicotine you’re addicted to the caffeine? Does having coffee everyday make you feel a certain way? Maybe less stressed or something? I guess, really, I’m asking why you decide to drink a cup (or 3) of coffee every day?

    • I think some people are addicted to caffiene but it’s nothing like a cigarette. I’m not a smoker so I wouldn’t know but it doesn’t have the negative effects of a cigarette so I just don’t think we can compare the two. For me, coffee just makes me feel a little more awake, but not in a crazy noticable way. If I didn’t drink it, I might feel a little sluggish or my morning would start slower. For some people, their bodies get used to drinking it and then if they don’t drink it, they get a headache. That doesn’t happen to me. I definitely don’t feel stressed or anything. I think the reason people drink it is because it’s yummy and enjoyable. It’s this hot, creamy beverage that is just really soothing and nice to carry around in a mug in the morning. I love the taste (not black coffee, yuck. coffee with cream and sugar) and it’s just a really nice part of my routine. I hope that helps.

  • We have a Keurig, and I’ve noticed lately that the cups that it brews are getting smaller and smaller. It probably needs cleaned, but I’m too lazy to do that haha! I typically prefer a regular coffee pot, but the flavors you can make in a Keurig are a draw sometimes.

    xo Julie
    julieupstairs.wordpress.com

    • Definitely clean it before it gets worse. Mine started doing that and then eventually it would say “brewing” but it wasn’t. I did love how easy it was to make coffee and make different flavors though.

  • I never owned a coffee maker until I got the Keurig. I don’t drink a lot and never wanted to waste a whole pot. I love mine. I’ve had it almost three years and haven’t had any problems with it. *fingers crossed*

    • My fingers are crossed for you too! I did love mine for a long time and I see why people have them still, for sure.

  • I have a Keurig that is not even a year old and it scares me just a bit to see these ladies to talk about theirs giving out so soon! My husband doesn’t drink coffee so brewing a whole pot was always so wasteful (plus I like being able to change out what I drink everyday rather than drinking the same brew for a month), so we will probably ride the Keurig train for a while. I do hate that when company is over I don’t really have an option for brewing many cups at once! Totally sucks that yours gave out, but glad you guys found something that works just as good (if not better) for you! 🙂

    • I actually don’t brew a whole pot. My coffee maker makes 12 cups of coffee and I brew up to the 4. That’s about two big mugs of coffee for me each morning. It’s been really nice so I’m glad it’s working out.

  • My family has a Mr. Coffee and is much more satisfied then they seem using my keurig. I have had it for a while and haven’t had problems, but at least if it does start I now know I won’t be the only one!!

  • Keurigs are finicky things. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t had problems with theirs long term. I think going with the Mr. Coffee was a good call. My parents got one for their wedding in 1992 that lasted them up until about two years ago and worked perfectly throughout it’s life-span. Craziness, right?! Congrats on ditching the Keurig!

  • We got a Keurig this year. I only used grounds at first but now I’m getting hooked on K cups which I said I NEVER would because cost. I didn’t even know I was supposed to do anything to maintain it so chances are ours will not last even as long as yours!

  • Good points. I have been considering going back to my coffee pot at home and using my Keurig for work when I need a little pick me up. I miss having two cups in the morning without feeling like I spent a fortune!

  • My roommate’s mom swears the reason her Keurig has outlasted all of her friends’ is because she uses only bottled water with it, ha, but that seems like SUCH a nuisance! I’ve been wanting a Keurig for awhile, or perhaps a Nespresso machine 😉

  • I love this post. We have 2 in my house actually.. We have the high end one with the blue lights and the whole shan bang and we have a middle B40 model that I got in October 2010. The only one we are having problems with is the high end one. My other one, I only cleaned once and that was like last month other than that it runs great!! I think once they both crap out though (if the one ever does) I won’t be buying another one. We like ground coffee anyways and I think it would be easier to just brew a post for the entire family instead of each of us using a k-cup!

    • I really liked my Keurig until I started having issues with it. If it was less expensive for the machine, I wouldn’t have been so upset by it but it just bothers me that such an expensive item would die after four years.

  • We have a Keurig for the convenience factor. My husband and I work different hours. I’m an evening coffee person as well. It’s much easier for us to be able to brew one cup of coffee at a time when we each want it.

    I do miss having a regular coffee maker. I miss the flavor variety, I miss the taste (cause let’s be honest – a real coffee maker makes coffee that tastes way better), and I miss the affordability.

    Our Keurig did seem like it was gonna crap out on us recently, but we did the paper clip in the holes thing and it has worked since, but I agree that more expensive appliances should last more than 3-4 years!

    • The paperclip in the needle trick definitely helps. I also would, about once a week, brew a couple of cups of water, just to keep things moving. Then about once every couple months I would do vinegar and water to descale it.

  • I’m a big standard cup of coffee person for many of the same reasons you outlined above. A Keurig seems cost effective, but over time it’s really not. Plus I don’t know if it’s all in my mind or not, but I feel like coffee from a standard machine tastes better too.

    • I actually was really worried that I wouldn’t make the coffee from a regular coffee pot right. I was so worried I’d hate the taste. You definitely have to get the measurments right or it can be way too strong or too weak but I’m liking it.

  • I don’t drink coffee but do like a nice hot chocolate during the cooler months a few years back Tim bought a coffee machine and I use that to make my hot chocolate

    • I’m a big hot chocolate fan also, especially in the evenings. If I drink coffee anywhere close to bedtime, I’ll never fall asleep.

  • I got totally spoiled by having a Keurig when I worked at CHOP, but when I went back to school I couldn’t stomach forking over so much money for a coffee maker. I started using the regular coffee pot that we got for our wedding 2 years ago and have fallen in love with it. My favorite part is that I can program it so I wake up to fresh coffee!

    • That’s what I love too! Knowing that the coffee is already brewed and just sitting there waiting for me really helps me get out of bed.

  • Wait a minute, Keurigs have been around for four years?! Now that I think about it, we have had ours for a good while. We don’t drink coffee everyday though. I mostly use it for the ciders, lemonades, teas, etc and it’s nice to just have a small kcup instead of huge pitchers in the fridge. lol

    • Four years ago they were definitely the new thing. I got mine as a Christmas gift and I was stunned. They didn’t have k-cups so readily available in every grocery store then.

  • Kait

    It’s likely you’ll think I’m the most disgusting person in the world, but I haven’t cleaned my Keurig since I got it other than rinsing out the water tank. Gross huh? I guess I just never really thought about it and now that you mention it I’m going to Google ASAP!

  • We have a Keurig we keep in the pantry that we use only when one of us wants to make a single cup of coffee. It gets used once a week at the most. Our regular 12-cup coffeemaker sits out on our counter and we use it every day, and we’ve had it forever! I need more than 1 cup of coffee in the morning, and I like to take a 16-ounce travel mug with me when I take my kids to school. Also, I can’t feel good about all the waste a Keurig makes. We have a reusable filter in our 12-cup model and never have to buy filters. I hate throwing those little Keurig plastic cups in the trash can, what a waste!

  • We use a Keurig at work and I find it so wasteful, both money and trash! There have been some studies linking the cups to carcinogens as well (although I am not sure on the validity of those studies). I prefer to make a pot at home rather than the convenience at work.

  • My mom got a Keurig from her in-laws last year and at first, like you, I LOVED it. However, I drink a lot of coffee. Way too much to be completely healthy, but hey. Who’s counting? Anyway, when I would have to brew another cup and wait / fill up the water reservoir because other people used it too, it seemed like a lengthy and unnecessary process. When it came to my coffee maker, you could just make 8 cups at once and then whenever you wanted more, it was already there, waiting. All in all, I stopped using our Keurig because it took too long, wasted too much money (K-Cups are expensive) and there was too much waiting around.

  • I actually bought a second hand regular coffee maker in m first week of college and used it so so much it literally saved my life numerous times and I love it! Hope it will survive grad school 🙂 Enjoy your new coffeemaker!

    Love,
    Yara

  • Michelle

    I bought my Special Edition B60 Keurig brewer 4 or 5 years ago on Ebay for $80. I bought it slightly used, and luckily I have never had an issue with it. Hopefully, it keeps on lasting. They are not cheap! Also, I had bought a Keurig reusable coffee filter to put my own coffee in versus using K-cups. It saves money, the environment, and it tastes pretty good.

  • Mike

    Over the past four years, we owned two Keurigs. Both were the lowest priced models. The first one last 18 months. We bought the second machine about two years ago. It functioned properly, but in the end, we did not like it because of cost and inconvenience. We stopped using store-bought K-cups because using refillables cost less. However, we got tired of refilling and cleaning the reusables. We sold the second machine and bought a Hamilton Beach for less than half the price of the lowest priced Keurig machine. The HB has features of a Keurig priced three times as much. The HB is easier to clean and refill.

  • sam folly

    for the life of me i truly cannot understand why anyone would invest in a keurig. if i’m looking for convenience i’d rather drink instant coffee but otherwise, i find that making a big pot and sticking it in the fridge works fine for me. as soon as i have my cup or two i transfer the remaining coffee to a glass pitcher and off to the fridge it goes. i believe that coffee draws in odors as well so leaving it out/heated for too long makes it bitter/stale.

    i mean are you really saving time/money with a keurig? the k-cups are shit for the environment and it’s not like drinks from a keurig taste better than if you were to make them manually. so what are the benefits, lol? i think anyone pressed for time should just invest in a decent coffee maker with a delay setting and an electric kettle. you’ll never bat an eye at a keurig again!

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