I love my morning coffee, but I’m always in a rush. Pod-based coffee makers have been a blessing as a quick and convenient option for folks like me who don’t have time for traditional brews and can’t afford the daily Starbucks stops.
Released in 2016, the Keurig K55 coffee maker may seem basic, but it has come a long way since Keurig developed its first pod-based coffee machine in the 1990s. The first machines were initially intended only for offices, and it would take nearly a decade before they were re-designed for home use.
Anyone can use the Keurig K55 K-Classic coffee maker at home with various coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and iced options. It’s also called the K-Classic because it offers a classic brew with no special features.
Let’s take a look at how the K55 holds up today.
All Keurig coffee machines perform the same primary task: to make a single cup of coffee quickly.
Choosing one Keurig model over another comes down to personal preference considering details like extras and cost. They are tools of convenience, and while you won’t see a Keurig at your favorite coffee shop, they do offer consistency, speed, and variety at home.
If drink speed is the most important feature and you don’t want to wait the extra time it takes for other methods like drip machines or a French press, then a Keurig might appeal to you because most models take under a minute to brew.
On top of getting the drink quickly, you can brew smaller amounts of different beverages using the same machine so you can have different drinks with meals or satisfy multiple people’s drink preferences with just one device. Single-serve coffee machines can be great for single people or students, or roommates who can share the cost of K-Cup coffee pods.
That said, those benefits and convenience do come at a cost. You’ll need to give up some of the control over the coffee brewing process, like strength. The consistency of the Keurig means you’re limited by what the Keurig can do.
You won’t get the precision control a pour-over method will give you when it comes to water temperature or timing, nor can you make premium espresso drinks with this model. However, if you need a quick machine for entertaining or that first cup of the day, this might be one to consider.
The Keurig K55 is a straightforward single-serve pod coffee maker that offers 3 cup sizes (10, 8, and 6 ounces) and a removable 48 oz water tank.
The machine boasts a quick, fresh cup of coffee with a < 1-minute brew time and features a removable drip tray to fit travel mugs that are up to 7.1” tall.
- The large removable water reservoir
- Quick brewing (Under a minute once the water has heated)
- Auto-off feature as energy saver function
- Indicator lights eliminate guesswork
- One button brew operation
- Weak coffee and no control over the brewing process
- No way to make multiple cups or a pot at the same time
- Have to use K-Cup pods or My K-Cup for ground coffee
The Keurig K-classic coffee maker offers few special features, and perhaps that’s why it’s remained a favorite for fans of the Keurig line. It does what it’s supposed to do and doesn’t try to be something it’s not.
The best part about this coffee machine might be the water reservoir, both how large it is at 48 oz, which means three or four 10 oz coffees, and its placement on the side of the machine rather than at the back.
When I’ve owned a pod coffee machine (I’ve since switched to French press), it sits on my counter under my cupboards, meaning I have to pull it out each time I want to change the water or top it up.
However, the side is easily accessible, and as the reservoir is removable, it’s simple to remove it, fill it up at the kitchen sink, and replace it. It’s a good piece of practical design, and it’s a shame the many of the newer models seem to have changed to a tank at the back.
It’s an easily overlooked design choice, but early in the morning, if you just want a single cup of coffee to wake up enough to check your email or get breakfast ready for your kids, that’s one less thing you need to fumble around with. Just don’t forget to change the water filters after a specific period of time.
A Keurig’s goal is a quick, fresh, consistent cup of coffee, and the K55 reaches that by having a speedy brew time and few other features.
It isn’t a fancy machine; most special features have been set aside for a system that prioritizes delivering the coffee to you. The first cup will take a little longer because the water needs to be heated, but each subsequent cup takes less than a minute.
The Keurig K55 has no menus to scroll through, no automatic timer, and no digital clock, but one of the few features is the auto shut-off function, which turns off the machine after 2 hours by default.
The auto-off is a great energy-saving feature, and I like knowing that even if I get busy doing something else around the house or have to run errands, it will turn off without my intervention.
If you need more time, the auto shut-off can be disabled. Specific details are available in the manual, but it can be programmed to shut off after as little as 90 seconds of inactivity.
I think two hours is plenty, and if it isn’t, it doesn’t take long to turn on if you need another cup of coffee after it shuts off.
Some coffee machines offer a wealth of options and customization features, but the K55 isn’t one of them. Instead, it uses simple round analog buttons.
There are buttons for cup sizes (6, 8, and 10 ounces), a power button, and an auto shut-off button, along with a few indicator lights that tell you when to descale, and that’s it. It is a great first coffee maker for people who are nervous about technology because it’s easy to master and offers immediate rewards.
These simple controls may be one of the main complaints about the classic model. Later machines offer some customization to compete with more complex machines, but this button-only format delivers on its promise of speed and a minimal coffee process.
It doesn’t offer strength as a choice for your cup of coffee or a digital screen for a more accessible selection in lower light. The highest customization the K55 model provides is the auto-off which is programmable for a longer or shorter period of idle time.
The K55 being an older machine means it doesn’t come with much more than just the machine and user manual, and it doesn’t work with most of the newer accessories.
Like other single-serve coffee machines, there’s no option for a carafe; it’s single-serve unless you brew multiple coffees, which can be annoying. The drip tray is removable, though, and most travel mugs under 11 inches will fit under the nozzle so you can take your coffee to go.
When it comes to the variety of products, the K55 supports all the K-Cups currently available, including the My K-Cup universal reusable filter. While allowing for additional customization, my K-Cup is eco-friendly and helps reduce some of the environmental concerns.
This add-on allows you to use your own ground coffee in place of regular K-Cups, which will help cut down on the number of used K-Cups you throw away. While you still won’t have control over the heat, pressure, or strength of the coffee, you can use local beans and support local roasters in your Keurig brew.
Keurig has put out a demonstration video about My K-Cup showing its adaptability and configuring it for older and newer models.
The Keurig K55 coffee brewer isn’t perfect, and there are plenty of things it doesn’t do. If you wish to stick with the Keurig brand but want more special features, many other Keurig models are available in many different colors that range in price and features.
Thanks to its large water reservoir, this model may be too large to be easily portable or for students. Consider the K-Mini Single-Serve instead, which is more portable than the K55. At only 5 inches wide, it makes a great gift for student accommodations, small kitchens, or home office set-ups.
Other models such as the K-Select offer the same base features as the K55 and provide additional options like a strong brew button and a 12-ounce cup size. The K-Café model offers a milk frother and the ability to make milk-based drinks like cappuccino and lattes.
This model is slowly disappearing off the shelves, which is a shame because it does its job well. Although you can no longer purchase the K55 through the Keurig website, you can still buy one through many authorized dealers. The limited availability of this Keurig might be enough for you to consider looking into a more customizable Ninja single-serve instead.
When it comes to the K55, if you’re looking for a straightforward, easy-to-use single-serve coffee maker, this may meet your needs without all the bells and whistles.