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It’s a little embarrassing to admit now that I used to drink an awful lot of instant coffee in my younger years.
True it got the job done but it really didn’t taste great. All I can say in my defense is that I didn’t know any better back then!
Part of the problem is that I was always in a rush, and super-convenient single-serve pod coffee makers weren’t a thing back then.
The coffee from these machines will never hold a candle to the brews you prepare manually. They’re a decent halfway house when it comes to combining flavor with convenience though.
In this Keurig K-Select review, I’m going to take a much closer look at one of the most popular machines of its type. Can it deliver a better cup of coffee, while still providing that crucial convenience?
Buying a Keurig machine
What do you need to know about Keurig coffee?
Purists often find the taste of K-Cup (or pod) coffee to be a little wanting. For the average coffee drinker though, I think it’s more than fine. If you’re used to instant coffee this stuff will knock your socks off.
What these machines offer in abundance is convenience, speed and variety.
If you’re in a hurry, you don’t want any kind of hands-on involvement with the brewing process and you just want a decent cup of coffee, Keurig’s probably got a machine just for you.
They’ll give you access to hundreds of coffee pod flavors to experiment with, and every machine is designed to brew extremely quickly. We’re talking a minute or less in most cases.
There are two things to consider when it comes to using a pod machine though. Both of these issues are by no means exclusive to Keurig machines.
First, you’re going to have to make an ongoing commitment to buying more pods to actually feed the thing. The cost of these can add up over time, so just make sure you’re OK with that investment in the long term.
By their very nature, pod-based machines also contribute their fair share of packaging waste to the growing mass of unwanted landfill.
In fairness to Keurig, it’s made great strides in improving how easy these things are to recycle. Just be aware that you’ll need to take a bit of care when disposing of them.
If the thought of adding to the world’s endless pile of clutter makes you feel uneasy altogether though, you can buy a separate reusable filter.
These don’t cost a lot of money, but owning one means you can keep using your favorite ground coffee along with the pods. I think that’s a good compromise.
While you’re shopping around, it’s worth keeping the following design elements in mind as well. That way you’ll find a machine that’s actually going to fulfill its purpose:
- Water Reservoir: The bigger the reservoir, the bigger the machine. At the same time, you don’t want to have to keep refilling the thing over and over, so consider carefully what capacity you’re likely to need in daily use.
- Brew Sizes: What serving sizes are available? There are very few options when it comes to strength control on most Keurig machines. The bigger the serving the – comparatively – weaker it will be.
- Design: Unlike many coffee maker manufacturers, Keurig has quite a fun approach to their machines. You’ll often be able to pick one up in a variety of colors. If you’ve got a bright and colorful kitchen, look for a machine that will compliment the rest of your kitchenware nicely.
- Size: A common mistake people make with these machines is not allowing enough space on top of the appliance’s height. You don’t want one of these things steaming up the underside of your kitchen cabinets. Allow an extra six inches or so on top of the official height dimension.
- Strength Control: If you like your coffee to have a bit more of a kick in the mornings, look for a machine that has the option to boost the richness of the brew. You won’t get a lot of flexibility here, but it’s nice to have the choice – even more so when you have visitors over who might like something a bit richer.
Keurig K-Select Coffee Maker
The Keurig K-Select is one of the go-to Keurig machines, and it’s designed for use in a typical household of coffee drinkers.
In terms of brew size and general functionality, it sits somewhere in the middle between the K-Classic and the K-Elite – both very similar machines.
In fact, I think it’s worth looking at both of those other coffee makers alongside the K-Select. A feature here and there might just tip you over into a different preference.
Like all Keurig machines, the K-Select pitch is a pretty simple one. It’ll help you sample a huge array of coffee pod flavors and get your coffee ready in a flash.
It’s almost impossible to mess up the brew, although that simplicity means you don’t get any say in how it’s made.
If that’s the kind of coffee machine you want, you might consider something like a grind and brew coffee maker instead. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you might consider a semi-automatic espresso machine!
Overall though I think it’s a really solid Keurig single serve coffee maker.
You will of course have to continue buying more pods over time, unless you decide to buy that reusable filter and stick to ground coffee.
You can always dip into the K-Cup pods as a treat if you go down that route.
- Very fast brewing. Once heated it gets a cup ready in under a minute.
- 52 oz water reservoir is a decent size for the average household. You won’t be refilling the thing constantly.
- Strong Brew settings allows you to make a meatier cup of coffee when you need it.
- Includes a hot water function for preparing other drinks like tea and hot chocolate.
- A great range of colors to choose from. You should be able to find something to suit your kitchen here.
- Limited to using K-Cups, unless you buy the reusable filter for regular ground coffee.
- Like all Keurig machines it has a plastic finish, and so will never feel like a premium product.
- It can take a few minutes to warm up properly before the brewing process can begin.
- Somewhat noisy, although that’s a common feature of this kind of machine.
- Keurig machines don’t have a great reputation for lasting the long game.
That’s a very broad overview of the K-Select’s capabilities, then. In the next section I’m going to take a closer look at some of the key features of the machine.
Weight these up with your own needs. You can always consider some of the alternatives I’ve listed further on down the page if you’re not sure whether this is going to be the right K-Cup maker for you.
There are quite a few brew size options with the K-Select. It’s pretty flexible, and offers four different sizes from 6 to 12oz. That latter option is your best choice if you want to whip up a brew to take on the go in your travel mug.
On the subject of travel mugs, the drip tray can be detached from the machine very easily. That makes it easier to clean and – crucially – means you can fit your travel mug (or larger cup) underneath the spout.
Just check the size of your travel mug first. You’ve around 7.5” of space to play with here, which should be enough for the average mug.
Keurig machines at this end of the market don’t typically offer a lot of choices when it comes to boosting the strength of your cup. I like a punchier start to the day myself so I always keep one eye out for this sort of thing on a coffee machine.
The K-Select does feature one stronger setting though. This is quite useful to have in general, as K-Cups don’t make the strongest coffee in the world. If you find it lacking, just activate this setting for a richer brew.
How about the reservoir on this machine though? No-one wants to be continually refilling their coffee machine as the day wears on, after all.
In the case of the K-Select, you’re looking at a 52 oz maximum capacity. Coffee maker manufacturers typically overstate how many cups you can get from a single refill.
Personally I think that’s enough for around five to six good cups. Any more than that and you’d be looking at rather weak coffee anyway.
There are Keurig machines with larger reservoirs, but that’s a reasonably generous size looking at the market as a whole.
Ease of Use
Keurig machines are designed to be extremely simple to operate, and the Keurig K-Select coffee maker is no exception.
All you have to do to get a brew going is pop open the top of the machine, add your K-Cup, then choose the brew size you want it to work with.
The K-Select handles everything after that point, and you’ll have your cup ready in just under a minute.
(If you ever lose your Keurig K Select manual by the way, it’s easy enough to grab direct from the company’s official website.
Hot Water Dispenser
As much as I love my coffee, my wife is more of a tea drinker.
The K-Select includes a hot water dispenser which she can use to get a quick tea on the go. You might find this feature useful if you want to make drinks like hot chocolate as well.
Using the water dispenser is pretty simple. You just have to open the brew handle and then close it again without inserting a K-Cup. After that it’s a case of selecting your drink size and the machine will dispense plain water instead.
I have quite a small kitchen at home, and although this is quite a common feature it’s always very welcome. I need to minimize clutter as much as possible, and so an appliance that provides more flexibility is always going to be a bonus for me.
There’s no getting away from the fact that pod-based coffee machines can make a bit of a racket during the brewing process. This is at least compensated for by the quick brewing time, so it’s a trade-off that’s just part and parcel of owning these machines.
For the K-Select, Keurig has included something it calls Quiet Brew Technology. The idea behind this is to take at least a bit of the edge off the volume levels.
Size and design
Keurig machines have a very recognizable design aesthetic, and we’re on very familiar ground with the look and feel of the K-Select.
There’s a standard matte black variation which is your go-to look when shopping for a machine that will sit naturally alongside your other kitchenware.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous though, then you might want to have a look at some of the brighter color options that were available at the time of writing this review.
If you like your appliances to have a little more flair, then these are all of the color options available for the K-Select:
- Matte Black
- Matte Navy (I really like this one!)
- Matte White
- Oasis (Turquoise)
- Sandstone (Gold)
- Vintage Red
Just be aware that some of these colors come with a higher price tag. You’ll need to work out whether that extra investment is worthwhile if it means the machine will suit your kitchen better.
How big is this thing though? Here are the official dimensions of the K-Select.
- Height (Unopened): 12.5”
- Height (Opened): 17.0”
- Width: 9.2”
- Depth: 11.6”
(Again, double check the height requirement, especially if you plan on situating the machine below cabinets. You’re going to need to insert those coffee pods in the top of the machine)
Extras in the box
If you’re completely new to the world of Keurig brewing, then you actually get a selection of half a dozen K-Cups included with the machine.
I think that’s a nice way of helping you explore the options that are out there, and maybe find a new favorite or two! Even if you’re just replacing your old Keurig, it’s always nice to have a few new flavors to play around with.
Additionally, Keurig’s also included a water filter handle to make using the thing easier, as well as a brew filter. That’ll help improve the flavor of your coffee further.
Before wrapping up this review I really wanted to include a brief mention of some alternative coffee makers.
They’re well worth looking at alongside the K-Select, and may be more suitable for your own circumstances.
This particular Keurig machine offers a little more functionality compared to the K-Select.
Notably, the K-Elite also has an option for a 4oz serving. That’s in addition to the K-Select’s 6, 8, 10 & 12. It also has a temperature control setting for tweaking the brew, and a dedicated Iced setting for making cool coffee drinks.
It is a little larger in all dimensions though. Not a huge amount (just an inch or so in all cases), but it’s something to be aware of when you’re looking for a home for your coffee maker.
The K-Classic is basically one rung lower down the machine range from the K-Select. It’s a good option if you are working to a smaller budget.
You only have 6, 8 and 10oz serving sizes to play around with here, but if that’s enough for you then the machine’s a perfectly good option.
You get fewer items included out of the box though, and won’t receive the main filter or the water filter handle. It’s also a little larger than the K-Select, so again check the amount of space you have to play with carefully.
If you want to dip into the world of specialty coffee drinks, but aren’t quite ready to flex your barista muscles, the K-Cafe’s an interesting alternative.
It’s still a K-Cup machine, but has dedicated settings for making things like lattes and cappuccinos. The water reservoir is also a little bigger at 60oz.
It’s still a machine with convenience at the core of its design though. It provides you with a bit more flexibility, and has proved very popular with its owners.
At the end of the day, all Keurig machines are designed to provide you with better coffee, but without you having to master the finer arts of brewing first!
In that sense I think the Keurig Select does a really good job. The brewing’s fast, you have more flavors to sample than you’ll ever likely get around to, and it’s very simple to operate too.
Click here if you’d like to read more reviews of the machine, and find out how people have been getting on with it.