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Keurig K75 Platinum Brewing System review: Try again, Keurig

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.

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