If you’re about to buy a Keurig, then you’re the kind of person who wants coffee fast and easy. No song and dance, just java.
That’s totally cool – I’m the same. I like a quick hit, but I also want something that tastes good. Luckily, Keurig has our back by uniting convenience and customization to bring us “the perfect coffee maker”…or so they say.
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Look, I’m not a fan of Keurig, nor are most “coffee people.” But today, I’m going to set that aside, and review two of Keurig’s 2.0 models, K460 and K560, to see which one can bring us closest to the coffee-maker triad of taste, convenience, and style.
Will I discover that one of these is the holy grail of coffee makers? Probably not, but I’ll do it anyway!
Why buy Keurig?
Keurig is not the gold standard of coffee machines, but the brewer serves a specific purpose. Fast and easy!
The single-serve machines have a two-step process. One, pop your choice of pod into the machine. Two, push a button.
The brand states its machines are high quality, combining sleek designs with premium materials. On average, Keurigs are designed to last an impressive average of 5-10 years.
How is Keurig 2.0 different to Keurig 1.0?
Released in 2014, the Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology™ introduces several improvements where the Keurig 1.0 lineup fell short. The most important of all include superior flavor and upgraded brew sizes.
The newer models use larger K-Cup pods which give you a stronger brew. The 2.0 technology also includes additional functionalities such as touch-activated control on different strengths, flavors, and temperatures.
Keurig 2.0 K460 vs. K560
The Keurig 2.0 K460 and K560 are two very similar machines on the surface. Let’s dig deep to discover how these two compare.
|Keurig K460||Keurig K560|
|Size||16 x 12.7 x 18.3 in||16 x 12.7 x 18.3 in|
|Weight||13.7 lb||13.9 lb|
|Brew Size Options||9||10|
|Hot Water on Demand||No||Yes|
|Water Tank||70 oz||80 oz|
|Display||2.4 in. touch screen||2.8 in. touch screen|
|Accepts Reusable Filter||No||No|
- Size of the machine: It’s an even match in size, as they both come in at 16″H x 12.7″W x 18.3″D. Both have a plastic casing and the same power usage. The only difference is weight, with the K460 marginally lighter (13.7 lbs vs. 13.9 lbs).
- Mug size: The K460 has one less brewing size than the K560, with nine sizes. If you like getting your coffee in a mug, this means you can only choose 12 and 14-ounce sizes. The K560 has 10 brewing sizes, which means brewing with K-Mug pods can be set at 12, 14, and 16-ounce sizes.
- Hot water dispenser: The K460 lacks a hot-water-on-demand feature, so you’ll have to remember to preheat your machine for about three minutes, sort of spoiling the convenience of having a Keurig! In comparison, you don’t need to preheat the water to start brewing another carafe with the K560.
- Water reservoir size: The Keurig K560 has a very decent 80-ounce water reservoir, giving you over five cups of coffee when full. The K460 holds ten ounces less, which is surprising considering the machines are the same size.
- Screen size: Not totally a deal-breaker unless you have thick fingers that make interaction with the screen feel restrictive. The K560 has a 2.8″ color touchscreen, while the K460 has a smaller 2.4″ color touchscreen.
- Nightlight function: Don’t want to wake the house with your early morning coffee habit? With the K560, you can customize the nightlight with different colors and glow depending on your mood. This is not a feature on the K460.
- Maintenance: The K560 may last longer than the K460, thanks to the maintenance feature that alerts you to change the filter and clean the unit internally to avoid clogging.
- Price: If you have set a bigger budget, then splurge a little more on the K560, which is more expensive than the K460.
Which machine is better?
Both models have an auto-brew function and are upgraded with fully programmable brewing settings and a touchscreen to keep you happy for many years.
As both are compatible with all pod sizes, you get a choice of about 500 flavors from 75 different brands.
As with other things in life, giving yourself some wiggle room when deciding on which Keurig 2.0 model to buy can spare you from minor troubles in the future.
The somewhat insignificant upgrades found in the K560 model might be the better choice for your longer-term convenience and happiness.
But, in my opinion, the more basic features of the K460 – extra preheating time, one less brewing size, and smaller water tank capacity – aren’t a big issue.
If you have more patience than a 3-year-old, you won’t mind getting the K460 that delivers all the Keurig 2.0 convenience you would need at an affordable price.
Why not Keurig?
I didn’t touch on preferences in my review because both produce a similar-tasting cup, which is why I’m not a fan of Keurig.
Unfortunately, Keurig’s machines’ most appealing thing – fast, easy experience – is their biggest downfall.
Single-serve coffee makers produce weaker coffee because of the processes involved in creating a convenient experience. Here’s why:
- Stale grinds: Any exposure to oxygen during roasting and grinding triggers a reaction that destroys aroma and flavor. Before vacuum sealing coffee in those convenient little coffee pods, the roasted beans must cool fully to avoid trapping carbon dioxide. Add in the length of time between grinding and packing; your pod contains less than fresh beans.
- Warm water: Keurig machines don’t heat the water hot enough to release optimal taste. The optimal temperature for brewing is 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Keurig is pre-set to only 192 degrees. This leaves your coffee flat, under-extracted, and kind of sour.
- Fast brewing: Ideal extraction can take 2-4 minutes; Keurig takes just seconds. This, combined with the water and bean problems, will have you sipping on weak brown water instead of rich espresso.
It’s not the machines themselves – they are absolutely fit for their purpose. But it’s what they create that falls short.
So, at the end of the day, to answer the question, “Which Keurig is worth your investment?” Well, that depends on how much of a coffee snob you are.
If you simply worship at the altar of convenience, go for a Keurig with all the bells and whistles for a long and happy partnership.