Keurig Elite Brewing System Review

If you have been following me for any length of time, one of the first things you learn, is how much I absolutely adore my coffee. I mean, LIVE for my coffee. Like, so much when the kids play Whoonu with me, they all pray they get the ‘coffee‘ card for me. Well, with that knowledge, then one may deduct that perhaps it is imperative that I have a coffee maker that works. Right?

Back on November 24, 2009, I proudly wrote a blog post and review on the brand new Keurig Elite Home Brewing System coffee maker I had just bought. It was NOT a bad review. Quite the opposite. I believe I raved about what an awesome cup of coffee the new gadget had brewed.

Well, today is January 5, 2010 and I hate the damn thing. Okay, so perhaps hate is a strong word, but I am a coffee addict. And when a coffee maker cannot even survive in my household for a month and a half, we have problems.

So here are my problems:

  • The light on the ‘add water’ spot hardly ever lights up, even when clearly it needs water.
  • The ‘descale’ light has not lit as of yet, which is good since it predicts about every six months.
  • The problem with this, is that all of a sudden about a week ago, the water started coming out in a very slow trickle. I tried cleaning it. I tried running it with no coffee grounds, and then as a last resort, I tried descaling it. (two bottles of vinegar LATER)
  • When I called Keurig, the gal that answered the phone was nice enough for the first minute or so as she insisted that it needed to be descaled. Once I told her I had already done it, she seemed to get edgy and frustrated with me. It was as if the only solution to ANY problem with the stupid machine, MUST be to descale. Yeah. Well I would be THRILLED if that had worked. Instead I have an expensive coffee maker that simply is unusable at this point, the extra extension pod to use any coffee but is useless without the Keurig, and two HUGE boxes full of coffee pods that I can do absolutely nothing with.

So I reverted back to using my ridiculous $20 Mr. Coffee maker that has been around for about 9 years now. I mean really. My $20 coffee maker lasted longer than my $130 one?

Sure, makes sense. Do you have any experience with the Keurig – good or bad? Please tell me about it, maybe you can make me hate the company a little less.


  1. Karen says

    I also bought the Keurig Elite Coffee Maker, back in October, and it worked incredible the first month. After that, it would not pull water in from the tank to be heated. It would try to pump the water and then after a while shut itself off. I called Keurig, and the girl said to get a paper clip and poke it into the different areas, while I was on the phone with her and then it did make two cups of coffee. It seemed to do great, for three more days and then again the same problem. I called back again, and “we” descaled with vinegar. It seemed to work again for about a week, then again same thing would not pull water in, I called back, the CSR said he was sending a brand new machine and I needed to send in the part that holds the K-cup, and not worry about sending the other machine back. I got the New Machine the week of Christmas, and it worked incredible. Pulled water in so quickly, heated so fast, and the coffee came out in three streams instead of a trickle. I was thrilled. We use it 4 times a day, two cups in the morning, and 2 cups in the evening. Well, now, at the end of January, it will not work. Wont pull in water and its a hit or miss thing, with sometimes it works and sometimes it wont. I descaled it, and it worked fine for three days and now I have to pull the water tank up and put it back down on the connection several times, also plug and unplug, and it may or may not work. I have ordered 4 large boxes of coffee with the NEW machine, so I have all this K-Cup coffee and am not too sure what to do. If I call, its going to be the descale, or do you have well water, or use a paper clip, and I just don’t think I want to get another machine every other month until the warranty runs out and then nothing will be done. I bought my son the step up Machine for his birthday in October and he has not had one single problem out of his machine. His company where he works uses the Step Up Keurig machine also, and it gets some abuse, I am sure and they have never had a problem. But me… well. I love the way the coffee taste, but I hate this damn machine!

  2. says

    Karen, that did not make me love the company anymore, but it did make me feel better to know that I have honestly made every effort to make the problem right, and it still doesn’t work.
    I have actually talked TWO friends out of buying the Keurig, and they got something else. I am so disappointed, and yes I would love to have the “upgrade” but the problem with that is, I spent $130 a few months back, for a coffee maker I got to use a pathetic month and a half before it decided it wasn’t worth brewing coffee for me anymore. Now I’m supposed to go fork over that much money again, and pray that it doesn’t break this time. *sigh*
    I am glad to hear that Keurig offered to send you a new machine. I was also excited for a moment for you that it was working, until you reiterated what has been my experience with other people too. They always stop working about 3-6 weeks after they are used for the first time. What the heck does that say about Keurig.

    I will continue spreading the news about my dislike for the product until they can prove to me that it is a good product worthy of my time and effort to obtain another one. They are FAR too expensive for me to spend another cent.

    By the way, does anyone whose hasn’t broken need 68 little K Cups of various coffees? Because I cannot use them.

    (Karen, I actually wound up buying a Black & Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker – see this post for why, and the review.)

  3. Keith says

    Found your blog while looking for information about my Keurig. All of a sudden this morning, the refill pump was running but not drawing any water.

    I shut the unit off and called Keurig. They answered the phone with a live person at 7:45am on a Sunday, which was impressive from the start. I explained my symptoms and the CSR acknowledged this was an issue they were having with some units. She apologized for the inconvenience and offered to send me a replacement unit. I accepted.

    It helps if you remember that the company that makes Keurig is Green Mountain Coffee, so like HP and Epson, they are happy to sell you the printer for cheap so you keep buying the ink cartridges. Keurig probably doesn’t make a huge amount on the brewers, its the K-cups that are the real profit center for them.

    After sleuthing around on the internet, I have found out what the problem is. According to the techies out there, the pump that fills the tank (not the one that pumps the water through the K-cup) is a small unit that has insufficient drawing power to “self prime”. When any air gets into the system, the pump cant overcome the air pressure to draw water through.

    A temporary solution is to lift the water reservoir up about 1″-2″, then somewhat forcefully push it back into place. The theory being the forced water pressure clears the air blockage. It worked for me for now, we’ll see.

    I am still going to take Keurig up on their offer of a new unit – I’ll keep it in reserve if this unit keeps acting up

  4. Larry Tippett says

    I suspect that by now, you have either given UP on fixing your keurig or found a solution that is not posted here. I have been experiencing the same problem with mine and I have gone through the descaling of the unit and find it somewhat helpful for awhile. It seems a rather bit of a bother to keep cleaning it with stinky vinegar and then having to flush the unit for what seems forever to get the vinegar out. I actually used Pool PH test strips to check for vinegar still in the unit. Kept flushing until I got a good neutral PH reading.

    I found one youtube video that seemed to really make a difference. It too is probably a temporary fix, but it doesn’t involve vinegar and a lot of flushing, so it’s quicker, not to mention cheaper. Hopefully this video is still available:

  5. José says

    The problem may be due to the needles clogging, which is not a descaling problem (the needles can get clogged with coffee grounds, etc.) .

    Keurig customer service page offers several videos for maintenance issues at

    including this one on cleaning the entry and exit needles and K-cup pack holder:
    “If you are experiencing inconsistent brews, there may be some coffee grounds lodged in the needles that pierce the K-Cup® packs. This video will show you how to SAFELY clean this area of the brewer.”

    This has worked for me when the flow gets sluggish. Good luck!

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