Keurig K45 Elite Review

keurig k45 elite brewing system

Keurig K45 Elite Review

Jennifer’s Rating: 4.4 Stars

This model is one that you can’t hide from – it’s one of the most popular Keurig models having spent a long time on the Bestseller list, and maintaing a good rating.   Although harder to locate at  the general big-box market, it still manages to keep a good following over time.

That being said it covers all bases except for being as programmable as some other contenders.  With this review I hope to highlight some of these things that put it on that Bestseller’s list as well as kept it there too!

Update 8/19/18: Being that this review is at least 3 years old, I felt it necessary to mention some changes that may affect the availability of the K45. Color availability and price ranges have changed somewhat, as this model is starting to become supplanted by the newer K50 and K55


The Keurig K45 Elite Single Cup Brewing System is a nice size. The removable reservoir holds 48 oz. The power cord is about 4 feet long.

Approximate measurements:

13 ” in height, 9.8 ” wide and 13.3″ in depth

Weight: 0.96 lbs

When you open the kcup chamber, the height goes up to about 17″ so a good thing to factor in if you are concerned about how much space there will be depending on your proposed location.

What’s Included?

In addition to the brewer you will also receive a sampler pack of 12 K-cups and a water filter. plus cartridge. Pretty much what is shown in the top photo. Use of the water filter is strictly optional but recommended for better tasting coffee. Periodically the cartridge will need to be replaced.

Also included is a start guide and a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Compatible Keurig K45 Elite Accessories 

(List is not exhaustive)

  • Keurig 5048 My K-Cup Reusable Filter
  • Keurig Replacement Water Filter Starter Kit (includes 2 cartridges)
  • Water Filter Cartridges in various quantities (6, 12 most common)
  • Replacement 48 oz Water Reservoir (comes in all four colors)

Keurig K45 Elite Main Features

  • Your choice of one of four colors: Black, White, Patriot Blue or Rhubarb ( a pretty magenta shade)
  • 3 brew size selections, 6, 8, and 10 oz. Indicator lights (need to de-scale, add water, etc.) and auto on/off 
  • The removable drip tray makes cleanup easy and accommodates most travel mugs.
  • 48 oz reservoir which will produce approximately 6 cups worth of coffee
  • You can use any brand of K-Cups with operation including tea or cocoa beverages as well

Control Panel and Buttons

With the K45, you’re looking at a basic control panel (no window or LED lightups) and pretty simple readouts; the key is to understand the color codes as described below:

Here’s a quick walk-through of the control panel:

  • “Add Water” light turns blue in the event the reservoir is getting low.
  • “Heating” light turns red in the pre-brewing stage.
  • “Auto Off” light turns green, when activated to go off in two hours.

The brew holder (to accommodate the refillable k-cups-not included) can be temporarily removed as well. You can separate the funnel from the top part to clean (tricky, but doable.) To replace the holder line up the arrows so it snaps into place.

keurig k45 brewer water filter cartridgeReservoir

The Keurig K45 Elite has a 48 oz reservoir which you can fill from its stationary location or you can remove it (use a pull out and up motion) and fill at the sink. Depending on your water purity preferences you can make use of the included water filter assembly.

The semicircle-shaped reservoir has tabs on the side that snap into place on the left side of the unit. Also, the water filter can be inserted into the reservoir; if you’re not familiar with these, they sort of resemble a thermometer and have a dial at the top in which you can set it so you will know when to change the cartridge (the carbon-filled sachets that do the legwork of removing impurities.) Rinse your cartridges thoroughly first before inserting them brand new. If you are already a user of filtered water, this tool may be strictly optional.

Ease of Use

If you have ever taken your Keurig machine with you as in travel or work-related reasons (e.g. parties) , you may find that draining the internal water tank is not an option (the company website includes this in the fine print.) Just wanted to point that out so it would come as no surprise.

The Keurig K45 Elite is one of the “classic” 1.0 series that uses K-Cups, and also the reusable My K-Cups in which you can fill with your own grounds.  As such if you want to save money and reduce your carbon footprint e.g. pod waste, the K45 will accommodate many of the refillable Kcup brands available.


At the time I started this review, in many cases you could grab the K45 for less than $200 – but as newer editions have come out on the market, it appears that the Keurig K45 has gone up in price  slightly depending on color -however at the time of this update (8/19/18) it looks like you can still get the black version for under $200.

Whether or not that is bad news may depend on your own personal tastes, someone like me always gravitates naturally to unique color choices. Apparently the prettiest colors get snapped up quicker which makes the price go up on them, I gather. Because of these variations I’m including all the best options below.

Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System BlackKeurig K45 Elite Brewing System BlackKeurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Coconut WhiteKeurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Coconut WhiteKeurig K45 Elite Brewing System, RhubarbKeurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Rhubarb

Keurig K45 Elite Consumer Reviews and Ratings

Apparently the Keurig Elite has stood the test of time, having been on the Top 100 list for awhile now. One common opinion is that there is more flexibility than with the newer Keurig 2.0 models that have certain restrictions with grounds being used. A few customers commented that this model was the closest to one of the earlier models (B40).

The use of bottled or filtered water makes the carbon filter less of a necessity, although the filter unit can be removed, it needs to be done so carefully.  If you’re using something like the Brita pitcher, you may opt to do this. The filter unit is not a substitute for the descaling process as it is not designed to remove trace minerals…just fyi. This could explain why many buyers have commented that the taste has been great – water quality can be a considerable factor.

QuietBrew technology was cited highly; (some people have said it’s noisy, but this one is subjective, just like the taste of their coffee.)

In general, many customers alternate between the K-cups and the reusable filter cups- cost being one of them and eco-awareness another. Having so many choices to sample, but also being able to save money by purchasing coffee beans in bulk to be grinded later and used in the reusable My K-cups, lets you have your cake and eat it too.

Altogether I felt like the many positive reviews from consumers were justified and fair with regard to the K45.


The major positives:

  • The attractive color options: I for one LOVE that rhubarb one 
  • The addition of the water filter and cartridge bonus
  • It heats up fairly quickly and auto shutoff feature is good too.
  • Allows for the use of K-cups and the reusable My K-Cups-pretty much “open platform” without the restrictions present in the 2.0 Keurig models.


The few negatives to call attention to:

  • Do not have temperature adjustment
  • Lack of programming options
  • Cannot drain the internal water tank

keurig k45 elite review


I’m pleased to report in this review the short learning curve involved. One customer said her six year old grandson managed to crank out some hot cocoa with ease. So if you have kids don’t be surprised if they want to follow suit.

From dads to grads, this Keurig machine has also enjoyed a great deal of gifting popularity as well as ownership. College students, senior citizens, stay at home moms, and other demographics, are finding this model easy to use, the product consistent and enjoyable, cleaning up hassle minimal, and also the wide variety of coffee flavors 

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