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Hands-on Gear Review
Keurig K55 Single Cup Brewer ReviewPrice: $120 List | $76.89 at Amazon
Pros: Very easy to use and clean, fast
Cons: Poor, plasticky taste
Bottom line: A very convenient machine if you can get over the plastic taste from the pods
Automatic Brewing: No
Dimensions: 13.0" x 9.8" x 13.3"
The Keurig K55 is incredibly convenient, and intuitive, but all of our testers agreed that its plastic pods add an annoying plastic taste to everything it makes. If you want the convenience of a single serving pod system, we would recommend the Nespresso Vertuoline. Its aluminum pods made much better tasting coffee in our testing.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Keurig K55 makes a quick and convenient cup, but we found that the Nespresso Vertuoline also makes a quick and convenient cup that tastes better.
The Keurig K55's overall score from our testing put it in the middle of the pack.
In the following sections we elaborate upon how the K55 performed in each of our individual testing metrics.
The taste test was where the K55 lost most of its points. It earned a 3 out of 10 in this test, putting it towards the bottom of a metric that saw scores ranging from 2 to 9. This low score was largely due to the plastic taste that the pods imbue into the coffee. This taste wasn't overpowering, but it was noticeable, and most tasters felt it greatly detracted from the overall taste. Unfortunately that plastic taste was even stronger when we used some of the most popular reusable pods that are available for the machine. Also, the pods make a decently strong brew when you select the 5.5oz size, but if you select anything larger the machine just adds more water to the same amount of coffee, resulting in progressively weaker brews.
The K55 shared the top score of 9 out of 10 in this metric with the Nespresso Vertuoline. The K55 is nearly foolproof. Just turn the machine on, insert a pod, and choose your cup size. Just remember, the machine uses the same amount of grounds no matter what size cup you choose, so selecting a larger size will just result in a weaker brew. The K55 cannot be programmed to automatically start brewing in the morning, but it can make a cup so fast that this really isn't an issue.
Here again the K55 was just slightly inferior to the Nespresso Vertuoline. It earned an 8 out of 10, just behind the Nespresso's 9 and well above the bottom score of 3. If you include the time it takes the machine to warm up before its first use it makes a cup of coffee in 4 minutes. The Nespresso can do the same in just 2.5 minutes. Once the K55 is warmed up it only takes 1.5 minutes to make a cup, which is on par with the Nespresso.
Ease of Cleaning
The K55 scored an 8 out of 10 in our cleaning testing, just off the top score of 9 but well ahead of the low score of 3. Along with the other pod style machine we tested, the Nespresso Vertuoline, the K55 requires no daily cleaning apart from the mug that you use. After brewing you can just grab the spent pod and throw it away. The K55 missed out on a top score because its descaling process took a full 70 minutes to complete, which was more than double that of the Nesrpesso Vertuoline.
The Keurig K55 lists for $120, which is $80 less than our favorite single serving pod machine, the Nespresso Vertuoline. However, as of this writing, the prices of these two machines were a bit closer than that, more in the order of $35. If you don't mind a little bit of plastic taste in your coffee than the K55 does save you some money, but most of our testers would be inclined to pay the extra money to get better tasting coffee.
The Keurig K55 provides all of the speed and convenience of a single serving pod machine, but lacks a bit in the taste department. Most users will likely be better off spending a bit more to get the Nespresso Vertuoline, which makes better tasting coffee.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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