We know and love the Keurigs because they have advanced features to quickly make one cup of amazing coffee. It’s the main reason we are drawn to them in the first place.
What many don’t know is that Keurig released 2 different product lines; Keurig 1.0 (which is now known as the much catchier K-Classic) and 2.0. The former includes all original models produced until 2014 whereas the Keurig 2.0 was introduced as its successor before eventually being discontinued in 2019. But more on that later.
Firstly, let’s have a look at all the information below to see how exactly the 2 product lines compare and if it makes sense to buy a discontinued model.
- Original Keurig product line
- Compatible with Keurig 2.0 and third-party pods
- Simpler operating procedures
Keurig 1.0 is the company's original product line launched in 1998. They are compatible with reusable and many third-party coffee pods as well. Not in production anymore, you might be able to get some good deals.
- Includes K200, K300, K400, K500 series
- Non-compatible with Keurig 1.0 pods
- More control options
- Discontinued in 2019
Keurig 2.0 was launched in 2014 and introduced pod-scanning technology, locking out third-party pods and Keurig 1.0 pods. After 5 years of production and public outcry, this product line was discontinued.
Understanding A Keurig
The first thing to note is that Keurigs are different machines than you may be used to. They have a lot of programmable features, which is why they’re so easy to use.
- All Keurigs are built to brew one cup of coffee. This is their main draw, so people don’t have to brew a whole pot and then watch it get cold, stale, bitter, or all three.
- All Keurigs are made to be fast. They brew quickly, which appeals to the working class, who are busy with a lot of other things each and every morning.
- All Keurigs look stunning. The word ‘Keurig’ is dutch for ‘excellence,’ and that’s what you get in styling and programmable functions. Even though these coffee brewers do different things, they do them very well.
|Keurig 1.0 (K-Classic)
|Original models produced until 2014
|K200, K300, K400, K500 series
|Simpler operating procedures
|Control over water temperature and brew-strength
|Third-party K Cups compatibility
|Control panel with few buttons
|Digital control panel
A Brief History
It started just like any other great idea. John Sylvan and Peter Dragone noticed an inefficiency and wanted to provide a solution.
Initially, they designed a commercial coffee machine product line for office and workplace use. These moderately successful machines were enough to catch the eye of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, who became a primary investor. After extensive trial and error, they released a machine that was an instant hit.
Everything was running smoothly as they sold tens of millions of single-serve coffee makers. In 2014, Keurig would release the 2.0 machines and disrupt their operations forever.
Keurig 1.0 (Now known as the K-Classic)
As the machine that started it all back in 1998, it has not lost any popularity. It is still found in millions of homes around the world. This coffee maker model changed the way people start their day and has made it easier to try new coffee flavors all at the touch of a button.
We did not know what K-cup pods were until they ushered in a whole new way of brewing coffee. This simple invention has catapulted the Keurig 1.0 to stardom—not having to fuss with home-ground coffees and getting the proper ratios turned out to be just what coffee addicts wanted.
This Is A Massive Feature Of The Keurig 1.0
The K-classic also has reusable coffee pods for people like me who still want to grind their own beans. While I admit this is more time-consuming, I can be stubborn. This is also great to have for travelers as you can bring home your favorite hard-to-find coffee and still be able to use your Keurig.
Keurig 1.0 (K Classic) is compatible with many third-party coffee pods as well. This provides endless automatic and pre-set options and allows you to experiment with different coffee styles easily.
You don’t have to be a barista to use one of these either. The simple instructions and limited advanced options mean you can have a cup quickly whenever you want. This machine is preset with water temperature and brew-strength basic features to simplify the procedure.
Who Benefits Most?
A K-classic is great for household use. It’s great for a single cup of joe but can also make up to 10 cups of coffee at once. These machines are built for speed and convenience. All busy professionals love it for this and its choice of coffee pods.
Being able to use third-party pods has proven to be a massive advantage with this machine. Those tired of buying a giant can of the same generic coffee grinds will really enjoy a Keurig 1.0.
Best of the 1.0s — Keurig K-Classic (K55)
Even though there are fewer 1.0s to choose from, I found the K-Classic to separate itself from the other 1.0s. The thing that really grabbed my attention was the large reservoir. At 48oz, It has the capacity to brew up to six cups before a refill is needed.
This also has an auto-brew function which not all 1.0s have. This is very popular amongst the weekly commuters as it’s one less thing to worry about in the morning when you’re rushing off to work.
Lastly, I really like its simplicity both for controls and maintenance. The drip tray is removable so cleaning up quickly is no problem.
- Simple operating instructions
- Compatible with reusable K-cups and many third-party pods
- Indicator for when the brewing process is complete
- No control over water temperature settings or strength of coffee
- No water filter kit
Released with mixed reviews, the Keurig 2.0 was highly anticipated. After changing the way so many people started their day, it was inevitable that they would try to improve upon that further.
Keurig introduced several additional features: The ability to brew more at a time and increased control over your coffee. This means that you can adjust the coffee brewing temperature to get your optimal extraction and you can also change the strength at which it will brew.
This got many people excited; however, there was a drawback.
Keurig Made A Huge Blunder
The Keurig 2.0 machines are only compatible with 2.0 pods. There is less selection when it comes to third-party pod options. If you stocked up on your favorite flavor and then wanted to switch to a 2.0, you had to finish your 1.0 pods first.
This was not a popular strategy by Keurig, and they faced a lot of backlash for it.
Aside from the K cups being different, this coffee maker model has a lot going for it. Besides having more control over the brewing process and being able to brew more, it’s also smaller than its predecessor. It takes up a lot less of your countertop, which is excellent for anyone in an apartment or those who like to cook.
Who Benefits Most?
Coffee enthusiasts rushed to the stores so they could start brewing many different flavor profiles one cup at a time. Having this feature attracted a large populous of traditional coffee drinkers who weren’t entirely sold on the features of a Keurig 1.0.
Giving this power to the consumer was a great idea, but, unfortunately, it did not benefit those with a stockpile of Keurig 1.0 pods.
Best of the 2.0s — Keurig K575
The K575 has all the great features of the 2.0. It’s a bit more hearty without being too large on your countertop.
The reservoir is an enormous 80oz, allowing you to brew up to 10 cups of coffee before refilling.
The bonus here is the hot water on-demand feature. For those who like to mix in tea or hot chocolate, you can easily do so with the K575. It heats up water much faster than any tea kettle.
The cleaning features are also made simple, and I love the colored touchscreen. Selecting my coffee in the morning feels like I’m on the Starship Enterprise.
- Temperature control over water
- Strength control setting
- Makes up to 12 cups fast with use of the 4-cup carafe
- Takes up less space in your kitchen
- Programmed to only work with K cups
Keurig In Hot Water In The Media
This is one of those rare cases where “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” doesn’t apply. I’m sure Keurig wished people would just stop talking about the differences and just get back to loving their coffee and their coffee appliances.
However, Pandora’s box has been opened, and with Keurig continuing with DRM technology, this conversation is far from over.
Many have commented that Keurig is taking advantage of people who are already so loyal to them. This is the ‘hedge wall’ business model that all businesses want, but few get.
On paper, selling the consumer a product that only functions with the use of more products from that same company sounds like a great idea. But sometimes, consumers are savvier or less willing to get tied down to one operation. That is the case here.
Keurig faced a lot of public backlash for trying to corner its customers. The real salt in the wound is they had already released a generation of coffee makers that gave their customers freedom. It’s similar to when a new video game console comes out, and you have to buy all new games to go with it.
What Now? Is there Keurig 3.0?
As Keurig 2.0 was discontinued back in 2019, you might ask yourself: What happened next? Glad you asked. Although there is no 3.0, Keurig keeps producing coffee makers with new and exciting features while still staying true to their main principles: Making a cup of coffee one at a time, easily and quickly.
There Are Better Alternatives
Currently, there are around 24 in-production Keurig coffee machines. In case you aren’t sold on the old technology of the 1.0s or 2.0s, let me introduce you to the K-Elite; one of the best Keurig machines currently available.
A good alternative to the Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 models, The K-Elite combines the latest technology with convenience and ease of use. With its various brew sizes and large water tank, it can accommodate to most coffee drinkers.
One thing that separates the K-Elite from many other Keurigs is its ability to brew different cup sizes. It makes five different sizes, from strong 4-ounce cups to bigger 12-ounce cups.
Sporting a massive 75-ounce removable water tank, the Elite is ideal for larger households or office settings. Brew coffee after coffee without having to refill all the time.
While the Keurig K-Elite features some control options like temperature adjustment, it keeps the system relatively simple. Ultimately, like most Keurigs, this machine specializes in brewing simple coffees fast. Aside from that, the hot water option allows you to make tea, hot chocolate, or even instant noodles.
One thing that I really like about the Elite is its calcium indicator. This lets you know when it’s time to descale, allowing you to keep your coffee tasting fresh and the machine clean from the inside.
What is the biggest difference between the Keurig 1.0 and the Keurig 2.0?
The most significant difference between the Keurig 1.0 and the Keurig 2.0 is the K cup restrictions through barcode technology. The Keurig 2.0 is only compatible with Keurig branded cups specifically made for 2.0 machines. 1.0 cups will not work in a 2.0 machine. Keurig has since addressed this due to a more than expected public outcry.
Does the Keurig 2.0 use the same K cups as the Keurig 1.0?
No, the Keurig 2.0 does not use the same K cups as the Keurig 1.0. The 2.0 uses its own specifically designed K cups. For those wanting to switch to a 2.0 from a 1.0, you will have to buy all new K cups or keep your 1.0 until you have finished them.
Is the Keurig 2.0 easier to use than the Keurig 1.0?
No, the Keurig 2.0 is not easier to use than the Keurig 1.0. All Keurig 2.0 models have a digital touchscreen display that gives you control over your water temperature and the strength of your coffee. You can also brew in different volumes, which must also be set by the digital display.
Is the Keurig 2.0 discontinued?
Yes, the Keurig 2.0 is discontinued. But Keurig still makes machines that are only compatible with their K cups. Their new machines contain an automatic brew function called digital rights management (DRM). This reads the top of your K cup and determines whether you bought it from Keurig or not.
Is there a Keurig 3.0 line?
No, there is no 3.0 line. However, even after discontinuing the 2.0 line, Keurig keeps launching new machines with exciting features and technology.
So there you have it. The 2.0 line clearly didn’t achieve the success Keurig was hoping for, and eventually, the company was forced to discontinue its 2.0 machines altogether. Still, it’s good to know its history and main differences compared to the original 1.0 line.
While you can get a decent machine from either the 1.0s or the 2.0s, I would instead focus on their latest products released more recently. Not only do they feature the newest technology, but they also ensure compatibility across all Keurig machines.
Currently, Keurig has about two dozen in-production machines, and the K-Elite is our favorite. It takes ease of use to a new level and can accommodate to most coffee drinkers with its various brew sizes.