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Keurig K75 Platinum Brewing System review: Try again, Keurig

Keurig's flagship K-cup machine came in last in our single-serve brewer taste tests.

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Katie Pilkington
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Katie Pilkington Associate Editor / Reviews - Appliances

Katie is a writer, a humor blogger, a Vietnam War historian, and an avid cook. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is hard at work on her first novel. When she's not writing about tech, she's reading about armored cavalry units in Vietnam, or teaching her labradoodle, Lola, to overcome her lack of opposable thumbs.

6 min read

With a retail price of $179, the Keurig K75 Platinum Brewer sits in the middle of the price spectrum among the sub-$200 single serve brewers we've reviewed. Overall, it is a reasonably priced, reasonably sized brewer that performs only adequately compared with its companions on the market. It has the ability to make coffee, tea, or hot chocolate using the brands available in the Keurig K-Cups or your own ground coffee or tea with the purchase of a separate reusable brew basket. One of our primary complaints about the machine centers around its construction, which seems light and not as durable as other models. It is also hard to justify purchasing the K75 when, for $20 more, you can purchase Keurig's newer Vue V700, or one of its competitors that simply make a better tasting cup of coffee.

Keurig K75 Platinum Brewing System
5.8

Keurig K75 Platinum Brewing System

The Good

Keurig makes it easy to brew a quick cup of coffee with the K75.

The Bad

We found the K75's brew bitter-tasting and watery compared with its competition.

The Bottom Line

With too many better brewers out there in the same price range, it’s hard to recommend the Keurig K75 Platinum.

Build/construction
The Keurig K75 Platinum is a sleek looking appliance. Perhaps the feature that grabs your attention first is its bright blue LCD-lighting that highlights the K75's control center and its 72 ounce water reservoir that sits to the left of the brewing apparatus. While we reviewed the Platinum version, this machine comes in Midnight Black and Mocha as well.

Keurig K75 Platinum Brewing System
Colin West McDonald/CNET

The Keurig K75 includes a digital clock, as part of a digital control panel. It has a drip tray, which is removable for cleaning and to make room for a taller travel mug.

Our primary concern with the construction of the K75 centers around the fact that it is made almost entirely of plastic, making the unit feel less durable than other models, which have at least some exterior components made from metal.

Colin West McDonald/CNET

Usability
The basic mechanics of the K75 are easy enough to understand. The faux-chrome lever lifts easily, granting access to the K-Cup receiver inside the machine. Sharp pins located both below and above the receiver will poke holes in the K-Cup. Once you fill the reservoir and heat the water, hitting the big Brew button will send hot water flowing into the hole in the lid, which then becomes a hot drink in the waiting mug below.

Once you turn the K75 on, it will automatically begin to siphon water from the reservoir into the internal tank where the machine will begin to heat it, a process which takes roughly four minutes. On first use, Keurig recommends you run a cleansing brew of hot water through the machine and into a waiting mug in order to prime the system. If you don't plan to purchase a Keurig water filter for the machine, the company recommends using prefiltered water, as it lessens buildup and lime scale in the internal mechanisms. Once this initial flushing has been completed, the machine is ready to go.

Keurig K75 Platinum Brewing System (pictures)

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You control the K75 with four buttons, not including the power switch located on the right rear side of the machine. Through the control panel, you can change the size of your beverage and therefore the Keurig's water output, with options for an extra-small cup (four ounces), a small cup (six ounces), a small mug (eight ounces), a large mug (10 ounces), or a travel mug (12 ounces).

Part of the problem lies in the fact that, while there are different output sizes to choose from, K-Cup coffee only comes in one size. This means that under the extra small cup setting, the flavor will be very, very strong, while a travel mug brew will be proportionally weaker. For a standard tasting travel-sized mug of coffee, we recommend you use two K-Cups and run two brewing cycles under the default small mug setting.

The K75 will also make tea, either from a tea-filled K-Cup, or with plain hot water and a tea bag in your mug. It can also brew iced coffee, which is to say that it can brew K-Cup coffee into a cup filled with ice. For this, Keurig recommends using specific Ice Brew-appropriate K-Cups.

Performance
The Keurig K75 required 43 to 50 seconds to brew a cup of coffee on the default settings once you've preheated the water. This data compares well with other brewers we tested. Given that all of the brewers performed at nearly the same speed, taste became our primary litmus test.

Coffee brew time (default settings, in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Bunn MyCafe MCU (8 ounces)
42 
Keurig K-75 Platinum (7.25 ounces)
44 
Keurig Vue V700 (8 ounces)
52 
Starbucks Verismo 580 (6 ounces)
57 

If you are accustomed to a really good cup of coffee in the morning, this machine will leave you disappointed. We performed two taste tests, which were standardized for all of the brewers in our test group. We conducted our first test with Starbucks House Blend particularly because Starbucks' House Blend is available in all three formats we tested: the Verismo Pod, the K-Cup, and the Vue Cup. We also tested the machines with a good, fresh ground coffee that we're familiar with, Cherokee Triangle blend from Louisville, KY's Java Brewing Co., using the My K-cup and Vue reusable coffee filters. For this second taste test, we were unable to test the Starbucks Verismo, as that machine doesn't support reusable filters.

The Keurig K75 brewed the Starbucks K-Cup in consistent fashion with our time tests, but the end product was a burnt and watery-tasting cup of coffee. With the reusable filter, our results were much the same: bitter, watery-tasting coffee without any of its usual depth of flavor.

Keurig K75 Platinum Brewing System
Colin West McDonald/CNET

Service and support
The Keurig K75 includes a limited one-year warranty for normal home use. Keurig recommends that you clean the external parts of the brewer (drip tray, reservoir, and reservoir lid) regularly. The company also recommends that you descale the K75 every three to six months, depending on the mineral content of the water in your area. To be safe, we recommend descaling every three months, regardless. In theory, the machine will tell you via a "De-Scale" alert on the control-center screen, but the manual states that you should take the initiative to perform the task even if the message has not appeared on schedule.

Descaling regularly can help preserve the lifespan of these machines. Calcium deposits can hinder their function and create wear and tear. Think of it like regularly changing the oil in your car. The process is easy enough and requires you to simply fill the tank with 48 ounces of undiluted white vinegar and then process the vinegar through the brew setting until the reservoir is empty. It's simple, and you can complete it in a few minutes. After all, if you're paying nearly $200 for this product, you want it to outlast its one-year warranty.

Colin West McDonald/CNET

You'll find a tab for replacement parts on the Keurig K75's product Web site. The Keurig Customer Service page includes many tutorial videos that will show you how to clean various parts of your brewer. For direct customer service, call 1-866-901-2739 or fill out the online form. Keurig also features a rewards club, through which you can earn discounted coffee, accessories, and machines.

Conclusion

Few serious coffee drinkers would claim an affinity for K-Cup coffee, but we were surprised that we noticed such a distinct taste difference in our test group. Compared with the Bunn MyCafe MCU, the Starbucks Verismo 580, and Keurig's own Vue V700, the Keurig K75 consistently made the least enjoyable cup of pod-based coffee. It was still drinkable, and that's all many people ask, of course. Cream and sugar should cover up any flavor deficit as well. Just know that you can find a better coffee maker out there, even one that uses K-Cups.

Keurig K75 Platinum Brewing System
5.8

Keurig K75 Platinum Brewing System

Score Breakdown

Performance 5Design 6Features 6Maintenance 7
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