The Keurig 2.0 Upgrade

When an upgraded version of one of your favorite counter top gadgets comes out, it’s easy to be overcome with excitement and pick it up right away. It’s no different in the case of the Keurig 2.0. I wish I could say this was a highly anticipated piece of technology, but when the K300, 400 & 500 arrived on retailers shelves in August of 2014 it came as a bit of a surprise; That didn’t stop customers from buying it before reading the fine print. After having seen this machine in action, it’s time to digest the pros and cons of the newest fleet of Keurig’s.

Upon removing the brewer from the glossy, new box, some things are instantly evident. The first question is probably why is there a carafe in the box for my single serve brewer? Well the new 2.0 machines boast the ability to brew a full carafe of coffee (approx. 4 cups). Ok so how do you get a full pot of coffee out of a small k-cup made for a single serve? Well Keurig introduces you to “Carafe Packs”. An XL version of your standard k-cup with the power to fill that carafe with some of your favorite varieties you’ve come to know and love in a single serve k-cup. The positive side of this feature: You can entertain a crowd with a pot of coffee or brew that full pot in the morning when you need it most. Not to mention you can finally ditch the old drip coffee maker that’s been hiding in a cupboard “just in case”. The con? 4 cups of coffee really isn’t a huge amount and the new Carafe Packs will run you about 14$ for just 8 cups. On top of that; I can understand Keurig wanting to target another audience, but the main point of a Keurig is making coffee cup by cup so that everyone gets the coffee they love, it is a single serve brewer.

So is a full pot of coffee on your Keurig really necessary? Well no, but having the option there is certainly a nice bonus for that “just in case” moment.

The next point to be made is possibly the most controversial aspect of the Keurig 2.0 brewing system. When Keurig’s cup design patent expired in 2012, that’s when we started seeing a lot of new k-cups hit the market. We’ve brewed coffee by Guy Fieri, Cake Boss, Marley coffee, Hurricane coffee, Grove Square and the more environmentally aware k-cups by One Coffee just to name a few. But after purchasing your 2.0 brewer, it won’t take you long to discover your new Keurig won’t accept these brands. In fact it won’t accept anything that isn’t a licensed Keurig product. You won’t receive any warning of this feature pre-purchase but as soon as you put one of these non-Keurig brands into your machine you will be greeted with an error message along the lines of “Oops, this pack wasn’t designed for this brewer, please contact Keurig.” So why would Keurig trap their customers into this barcode technology? The answer is rather simple; they want their customers to purchase their products, not a 3rd party version of their product. Well this simple technology similar to that of the Tassimo caused an uproar by consumers and k-cup manufacturers alike. Aside from just locking you into a Keurig brand, this barcode technology is also said to allow the machine to recognize what you are Keurig 2.0 single serve coffee K-cups in Canada from Markcol Coffeemaking and to brew you a perfect cup of it every time.

What Did Keurig Change?

To some avid Keurig fans, this technology was simply just a challenge they were willing to accept for greater coffee kind. That’s right, there are ways around the restrictions of the 2.0! What sets apart a 2.0 K-cup and any other cup? A Keurig licensed k-cup will have a white ring circling the outside perimeter of the cup; This is the portion of the cup the machine will be looking for. Without this white ring your machine will hold your favorite coffees hostage. Now the “hack”: Remove a white ring from a licensed k-cup and place it over top of the coffee you are trying to brew. The ever powerful Google and YouTube are amazing references to use when trying this. The next, more permanent solution to the white ring lies within your Keurig. If you’re not afraid of some disassembling of your machine this is the most convenient solution in the long run. I won’t go into full step by step detail but this hack basically means removing the side panel from your Keurig and locating the wires and simply popping out the green wire. This simple trick will allow you to bypass the DRM (Digital Rights Management) and brew any brand of coffee. Should you ever find yourself needing to reinstall the green wire just pop it back into the socket. Again there are numerous videos out there to walk you through this step should you decide to take this route. This lockout technology could be the most questionable thing put into a Keurig brewer.

2.0 users should fear not though; after a civil lawsuit you will soon start noticing most, if not all, of your favorite non-Keurig k-cup packs sporting a new white ring style cup design. These cups will have no problems brewing in your new machine.

Our take on Keurig 2.0

We’ve covered the two major, new features on the Keurig 2.0, some of the other conveniences added to these machines include programmable water temperature, an LCD display on every model, customizable wallpapers, 60-80oz water reservoir (depending on model type), 10 different cup sizes to choose from, night light and customizable coloured lights for the water reservoir. I’d say the 2.0 is the most visually appealing single serve brewer on the market today. Its sleek, modern look will stand tall and proud on your counter top. I love all the different programming options available on this machine; It’s a fun gadget to add to your daily routine.

Here is an independent test of a Keurig 2.0 machine.

After analyzing the Keurig 2.0 brewer, there are some major drawbacks to this machine no questions asked, but nothing that wont be overcome in the near future or with simple hacks. It’s convenient and the coffee is delicious; Plain and simple. Keurig is leading the way for single serve brewers and still remains on top of its game with a league of loyal followers to support it.