The Keurig K-Duo Essentials is a basic, intro level machine perfect for families or roommates with different coffee drinking habits. Keurig’s dual brew design makes it one of their more compelling offerings.
Keurig, as we know, is a huge name in the coffee maker industry, helping make home brewing better and more accessible.
Their Keurig K-Duo Essentials machine combines their pod system with traditional drip coffee making for a more well-rounded coffee experience. But is it any good?
At the Coffee Arsenal, we value every cup of coffee we drink – and life’s too short to spend it drinking bad ones.
We’ve sipped enough coffee from enough coffee makers to know when a good one comes along, and we’re dedicated to bringing you the best in-depth coffee maker reviews on the internet. Simply put, we drink the bad coffee so you don’t have to.
Our Keurig K-Duo Essentials review will help you understand what the K-Duo Essentials is, how it works, and whether it is the right machine for you.
Overview: Keurig K-Duo Essentials Review
This is a long Keurig K-Duo Essentials review. As such, we thought it pertinent to write a quick overview detailing the K-Duo Essentials’ most essential tidbits before digging into the details.
The K-Duo Essentials comes with a large 60 ounce reservoir, and allows you to brew standard single cups of coffee in 8oz, 10oz, and 12oz sizes, or 8, 10, and 12 cups in a carafe.
It has a multitude of well thought out features, including pause and pour, auto-off capabilities, a built in carafe heater, and special water heating capability (we will explain this feature more in detail later).
Here’s a video review of this coffee maker:
Keep reading to learn more about this machine.
|Specifications||Keurig K-Duo Essentials|
|Brew Sizes||8oz, 10oz, 12oz, or 8, 10, 12 cups|
|Water Tank Capacity||60oz|
|Removable Water Reservoir||✔️|
|Water Filter Compatibility||❌|
|Product Dimensions||12.74″ (16.3” when open) H x 12.27″ W x 13.44″ D|
|Travel Mug Friendly||✔️|
|Hot Water On Demand||✔️|
|Auto Brew (Scheduled Brew)||❌|
|Pause and Pour||✔️|
Differences Between The Keurig K-Duo Essentials and K-Duo
One of the most frequently asked questions surrounding the K-Duo Essentials is how it differs from Keurig’s K-Duo.
The K-Duo Essentials is a stripped-back version of the K-Duo – keeping only the essentials! As such, there are a few features you lose.
The Keurig K-Duo allows you to brew single cups of coffee in the 6 oz size. The K-Duo Essentials does not. The K-Duo also allows for auto-brewing and programming. The K-Duo Essentials does not.
Other than these features, the K-Duo and K-Duo Essentials are the same machine, brewing the same quality coffee and boasting the same versatility and footprint.
Key Features: Keurig K-Duo Essentials Coffee Maker Review
In testing this machine for our Keurig K-Duo Essentials review, there were some standout features we noticed.
Design and Build Quality
The Keurig K-Duo Essentials takes Keurig’s original pod system and adds a traditional drip coffee maker to the mix.
The machine is well designed, with brew buttons for both single cups of coffee, and carafe brewing. In addition, the drip tray can be removed to accommodate travel mugs up to 7 inches tall.
The K-Duo Essentials is made almost entirely of plastic. While it doesn’t have the most premium feel, it looks fine and outward durability has not been a problem.
The Keurig K-Duo Essentials is a larger machine, with dimensions and weight as follows:
- Height: 12.74″ (16.3” when open)
- Width: 12.27″
- Depth: 13.44″
- Weight: 8.47lbs
It is bulkier and heavier than most Keurig machines, so keep that in mind.
Ease of Use
The Keurig K-Duo Essentials, like other Keurig machines, is paramount in its convenience. There are a few particular features that further enhance the K-Duo Essentials’ ease of use, and make for an excellent brewing experience.
First off, the machine heats up and brews in one fell swoop; no more waiting for the water to heat before selecting your brew option. This is great if you’re busy in the morning, and just makes it easier to use the machine.
The carafe plate has a built-in heater, which keeps the coffee warm. This is incredibly convenient, as it allows you to brew coffee and drink it throughout the day, without having to reheat it (or drink cold coffee).
Reheating coffee in a microwave rearranges its chemical makeup and completely ruins its flavor profile.
The K-Duo Essentials comes equipped with a pause and pour feature, allowing you to remove the carafe mid-brew and pour a cup of coffee. The machine will stop brewing for 20 seconds, and then resume.
This is a must have feature for those of us who need our coffee first thing in the morning.
The machine will auto turn off the coffee maker one minute after the last single brew, and auto turn off the heating plate after two hours. This helps make the machine more energy efficient.
If you want to learn more about how to use this machine, you can check its official use and care guide below.
The K-Duo Essentials brews both single cups of coffee and drip coffee in a carafe.
The K-Duo Essentials offers three single-cup brewing sizes: 8 oz, 10 oz, and 12 oz. Unlike the K-Duo, you cannot brew 6 oz cups of coffee.
You can choose between 8, 10, and 12 cup options for drip coffee. The glass carafe holds up to 12 cups, and comes included with the machine.
The Keurig K-Duo Essentials comes equipped with a massive 60-ounce water reservoir, capable of brewing six single cups of coffee (at 10 oz size), or a full carafe of drip coffee. This minimizes refill frequency, further enhancing convenience.
The water tank is a little more difficult to fill than in other machines due to its location at the rear of the brewer, and it lacks a comfortable handle to hold.
Now for the most important part of our Keurig K-Duo Essentials Review- the coffee!
In our testing, the K-Duo Essentials single cup brew was surprisingly robust and flavorful. Brewing is easy and convenient.
The machine heats up and brews at once, meaning you don’t have to wait before selecting your brew size. The drip coffee was good, with nice strength and flavor.
While the carafe coffee won’t satisfy the pickiest connoisseurs, it’s good enough to impress the everyday coffee drinker.
Also, a downside of this machine is that it doesn’t come with a reusable filter for carafe brewing, so you will need to spend extra money on paper filters (You can buy a reusable mesh filter here!)
Pros and Cons
There are a few pros and cons of the Keurig K-Duo Essentials that are worth considering when deciding if this is the right machine for you.
- Versatile and can accommodate many coffee drinkers
- Fast to heat up and brew
- Auto shut off feature to save energy
- Hot plate to keep carafe warm
- Pause and pour feature allows pouring before brewing is finished
- Almost no customization settings
- The water reservoir is in an uncomfortable position, and it is not easy to remove
- You need to buy paper filters for carafe brewing (or buy a reusable filter)
This, as we’ve talked about in our Keurig K-Duo Essentials coffee maker review, is a good machine. However, it’s not for everyone. If you’ve read through this review and think you need something different, here are a few alternatives.
1. Keurig K-Duo Plus
- Key Feature: Programmable carafe auto-brew
- Brew Sizes: 6oz, 8oz, 10oz, and 12oz
- Water Reservoir: 60oz
- Material: Plastic
- Brand: Keurig
The Keurig K-Duo Plus is a similar machine, hailing from Keurig’s same product line. The Keurig K-Duo Plus builds on the K-Duo Essentials with some additional features.
First off, the Keurig K-Duo Plus comes with a strong brew option. This is especially appreciated when brewing a full carafe of coffee, as the full carafe brewed by the K-Duo Essentials leaves a little strength to be desired.
The carafe included with the K-Duo Plus is the same size as the one included with the K-Duo Essentials, at 12 cups.
However, with the K-Duo Plus, the carafe is insulated. This keeps your coffee warm for up to two hours, and eliminates the need to reheat the coffee.
Another feature you gain by upgrading to the K-Duo Plus is the ability to program your brew. You can set a time for the coffee to brew up 24 hours in advance, meaning you can wake up to a full carafe of piping hot coffee.
In all, the K-Duo Plus offers much of the same versatility as the K-Duo Essentials, and includes some lovely additions that enhance the coffee maker’s coffee quality and experience.
2. Keurig K-Elite
- Key Feature: Five brew sizes
- Brew Sizes: 4oz, 6oz, 8oz, 10oz and 12oz
- Water Reservoir: 75oz
- Material: Plastic
- Brand: Keurig
While lacking some of the versatility of the K-Duo Essentials, the Keurig K-Elite offers brewers a much more customizable single cup brewing experience.
The main selling point of the K-Duo Essentials is its ability to brew both single cups of coffee and a full carafe. The Keurig K-Elite scraps that and instead focuses specifically on the details of the single cup brewing experience.
The Keurig K-Elite comes equipped with a massive 75 ounce water reservoir, compared to the K-Duo Essentials’ 60 ounce reservoir, and brews coffee in 4 oz, 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, and 12 oz sizes.
The Keurig K-Elite offers brewers the ability to control water temperature, ranging from 187 degrees to 192 degrees (Fahrenheit). The machine also comes with an altitude setting, which is essential for those living higher up.
The K-Elite allows brewers the opportunity for a more powerful brew with its designated strong brew button.
The K-Elite boasts straight forward controls, auto on and off features, and indicators for water refills and cleaning.
Overall, the Keurig K-Elite offers a compelling alternative to the Keurig K-Duo Essentials if you want an experience more customizable, and tailored to the single cup brewing experience.
Is the Keurig K-Duo Essentials for You?
In this section, we will help you decide if the K-Duo Essentials is for you or not.
The Keurig K-Duo Essentials Is for You If…
You want a basic coffee maker to satisfy the needs of an entire household or group. The K-Duo Essentials really stands apart for its ability to brew both single cups of coffee and an entire pot.
This is great if you have a family who drinks a lot of coffee, but you also want to maintain the option of brewing a single cup at a time.
The Keurig K-Duo Essentials Is Not for You If…
You like your coffee really strong, or you value the option to customize your brew.
The Keurig K-Duo Essentials is a good machine, but it isn’t for those more picky coffee drinkers. If you want to be able to change things like strength or temperature, you would do well looking elsewhere (we recommend the K-Duo Plus or K-Elite).
The K-Duo Essentials also isn’t for those who are looking for a machine that makes specialty drinks such as espressos, lattes, or cappuccinos. The K-Duo Essentials makes plain drip and brewed coffee only.
Final Words: Keurig K-Duo Essentials Review
The Keurig K-Duo Essentials is a great machine valued by owners for its convenience and versatility. If you’re looking for a machine that accommodates everyone, the K-Duo Essentials is a fantastic choice.