How Does A Keurig Work? Understanding This Coffee Maker

how does a keurig work
How does a Keurig work?

I was considering purchasing the Keurig coffee maker for my at-home coffee corner. Well, this high-end coffee maker has been surging in popularity lately, so I got curious about why many people are getting hooked on it.

Of course, the Keurig is a costly investment and I wanted to do some research before jumping over to buy a Keurig.

One of the things that caught my interest is how Keurig operates. If you are planning to purchase one, you might also be asking, “how does a Keurig work?”

What Exactly Is A Keurig Coffee Machine?

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Sometimes, we want to prepare our coffee the fastest way possible. For some, that means using instant coffee, while for others, the Keurig is a dream come true.

The Keurig coffee machine is designed to quickly brew coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and other hot beverages. Getting the Keurig means purchasing K-Cup along with it.

The K-Cups are small pods that contain pre-measured coffee grounds, which you insert into the machine. The Keurig will brew your coffee depending on your selected brew time, ranging from 20 seconds to a minute.

There are small Keurig models, such as the Mini-Keurig and the Keurig View. For this reason, you will indeed find one that fits your needs and requirements.


  • a variety of flavours
  • quick coffee brewing
  • has size options to fit your needs
  • lets you choose your strength and heat settings
  • no pre-programming needed


  • expensive
  • K-Cups are single-serve
  • cannot imitate the creamy coffee flavour that you can get from a drip machine

How Does A Keurig Work?

how does a keurig work
The Keurig uses a K-Cup to brew coffee.

By now, you already have an idea about the Keurig coffee machine. This coffee maker is a convenient way to make a single-serve coffee in a matter of minutes.

But how does a Keurig work? How can it brew coffee in such a quick time?

A Keurig is a countertop coffee machine that consists of intuitive components:

  • a reservoir
  • lid
  • drip tray
  • controls

You can connect the reservoir to the main water line so that you won’t have to refill it over and over. The drip tray is a small platform where you place your mug, and there are easy-to-navigate buttons that let you choose the heat and strength settings and the brew time.

There is also a lid that you need to lift so you can insert the K-Cup. These small pods contain fine coffee grounds that are enough to brew one mug of coffee.

Each coffee pod has a filter inside to ensure that you will get a smooth cup of coffee.

All you need to do to brew your coffee is to insert the K-Cup in the lid. After inserting your coffee pod, you can choose the amount of water you want to brew your coffee.

The amount of water ranges from small to large. The large is the most diluted and will fill a standard mug, while the small size is the most potent.

Once you have set the coffee size and brew time, a needle will puncture the aluminium cover of the pod.

There is also a bottom needle that punctures the bottom of the pod once the coffee grounds are fully saturated with water.

Then, the machine will send water to the hole at the aluminum lid through the coffee grounds inside the K-Cup. The water will also pass through the filter inside the coffee pod.

After the brew time, the bottom puncture will allow the brewed coffee to flow into your cup. And voila! In less than a minute, you will be able to enjoy your delicious coffee.

How Does The Keurig Heat Up Water Quickly?

how does a keurig work
The Keurig continuously warms the water in its heating tank, so there is no need to preheat once you brew your coffee.

This modern coffee maker has a unique design that allows it to heat water quickly. Once you turn the Keurig on, it recognizes the amount of water in the reservoir.

The machine then uses a pump to draw water from the reservoir to a heating tank. After filling the heating tank with water, the heating system turns on and brings the water to 190 degrees Fahrenheit in about two to five minutes.

The Keurig constantly heats the water within the heating tank when plugged in. There are also Keurig varieties that automatically switch off two hours after you last brewed coffee.

Since the Keurig is warming the water in the heating tank continuously, it takes a shorter time to preheat and boil water for the next cup.

Comparing The Keurig With The Traditional Coffee Maker

how does a keurig work
The Keurig has a fair share of similarities with a traditional coffee maker.

The Keurig is relatively new in the coffee space. Despite this fact, it is rising above the traditional coffee makers and is now one of the leading choices for personal and office use.

But before the Keurig came into the picture, traditional coffee makers were the choice of many coffee enthusiasts.

The Keurig and a traditional coffee machine have many things in common.

They both make regular coffee and come in different sizes to fit people’s needs. Both are also automatic brewers.

To understand if a Keurig is worth purchasing, let us compare it with a regular drip coffee maker.

1. Coffee Quality

A Keurig can provide you with a cafe-style coffee in the comfort of your home, whereas a drip coffee can only make a regular brew.

Now that Keurig is becoming more and more popular, different coffee brands have created coffee pods with different flavours. So, you can have Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, and Krispy Kreme coffee at home whenever you want.

how does a keurig work
The K-Cup coffee pods are available in different flavours.

2. Ease Of Use

You can have your coffee in less than a minute when you use a Keurig. It is also compact, so it will not occupy too much space in your kitchen.

Another convenient thing about a Keurig is that you only need to descale it every three to six months.

On the other hand, a drip coffee machine requires a permanent and exclusive space in your kitchen. The reason is that it can be pretty large, depending on your coffee maker’s water capacity.

A traditional coffee maker also needs regular cleaning. You need to clean the filter daily, and you need a weekly to thorough monthly cleaning to remove coffee residue.

3. Brew Time

Both the Keurig and drip coffee machine can make coffee within a minute.

However, the Keurig is relatively fast to prepare. You only need to get your mug, insert the coffee pod in the lid, and the machine will do its magic.

Meanwhile, making coffee using a drip coffee machine can take longer in terms of preparation. Such is that you need to grind your coffee beans just before brewing them to ensure optimal freshness.

4. Price

The Keurig has better features than any traditional coffee maker. So, it is not surprising that this modern coffee maker is way more expensive.

A decent Keurig coffee machine can cost approximately $150. Meanwhile, an average drip coffee maker is only around $20.

In terms of coffee consumption, you will spend an average of $800 annually in K-Cup and only $190 on coffee grounds.

A Keurig is worth purchasing if you love barista coffees like the ones you get from famous coffee shops. It is also a great coffee maker if you seek convenience.

Frequently Asked Questions

how does a keurig work
K-Cups are pre-measured finely ground coffee beans that you use for the Keurig.

Why won’t my Keurig make a full cup of coffee?

One reason why your Keurig coffee machine is not brewing a full cup is that the coffee grounds clogged the exit needle. You can remove the clog by running a cleaning cycle using filtered water.

Does The K-Cup work with all Keurig brewers?

All K-Cup coffee pods are compatible with any Keurig brewing system. This allows you to enjoy your favourite coffee, hot chocolate, and even tea in a matter of 60 seconds.

Can you replace Keurig needles?

Absolutely. You can purchase a new Keurig needle online and replace your old one when you need it.

It is worth noting that the bottom needle is easier to find and replace than the bottom puncture needle. Another thing worth noting is that replacing the needles in Keurigs will require you to replace the whole part that houses them.

Final Thoughts

The Keurig is a convenient coffee maker that lets you have your favourite coffee in less than a minute. To use it for brewing, you will need to purchase pre-measured coffee ground pods called K-Cup.

This brewing system has two needles that puncture the top and bottom part of the coffee pod. Hot water can pass through the coffee grounds and filter until it reaches your coffee cup.

That said, the Keurig is undoubtedly a convenient machine for people who love barista coffee like the ones available in coffee shops.