How to Use a Keurig Coffee Machine Step By Step

Coffee Geek Lab / How to Use a Keurig Coffee Machine Step By Step
Yurii Brown

Certified Barista

March 27, 2021

You can hardly find a household that doesn’t have a Keurig machine in the kitchen. 

And there are many reasons for that. But it all comes down to one: they make great coffee

So, if you are a new happy user, it is time for you to learn how to use a Keurig coffee machine so that you could start enjoying your fresh, delicious beverages and the benefits they offer. Let’s dive right in! 

How to Use a Keurig Coffee Machine

A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Keurig Coffee Maker

Step 1: Set It Up

Even if you don’t know yet how to use Keurig, you probably understand that some prior set-up is required. Here’s what you should do:

  • Take the machine out of the box and remove the adhesive tape from the parts of your Keurig.
  • Place your machine near the power outlet. Keep in mind that you are very likely to use it often, so it’s better to find a good spot for your coffee maker. It needs to be easy to access and spacious enough to accommodate the machine.
  • Plug the cord into the power outlet. Voila, you can now use your Keurig coffee maker!

Step 2: Do a Cleansing Brew

Consider this step a test run that will help you prepare the machine for use and clean it on the inside for your first cup of coffee.

To do a cleansing brew before you use your Keurig, follow these steps:

  • Fill the water reservoirKeurig's water reservoir (but make sure not to exceed the “Max” line). If your Keurig features a built-in (non-removable) reservoir, you can fill a separate container with water (for more convenience) and pour it into the reservoir.
  • Place a mug or a container under the dispenser to catch the hot water.
  • Push the power button.
  • Wait for a couple of minutes for the machine to heat the water up. If your machine has the heating light, you will know when it is done warming up (once the heating light turns off). However, if your Keurig does not have such a feature, you can simply wait until the heating sound stops.
  • Once the brew size buttons light up, pick the largest size and press the corresponding button.
  • Wait for the machine to stop dispensing hot water.
  • Dump the water into the sink. You are now ready to brew your first cup of coffee!

You need to remember to clean your Keurig machine regularly. All kinds of stuff can build up in and on it, including coffee residue, oils, tea sediment, and even scale deposits from water. The most common cleaning solution in many households is vinegar (diluted with water). However, if you want a more efficient and effective cleaning, you can also get a Keurig descaling solution. It’s pretty easy to use (you just need to follow the directions on the packaging), plus offers an optimal combination of components for effective descaling.

Step 3: Choose Your Coffee

Choose Your Coffee

One of the coolest things about Keurig machines is that they brew countless types of beverages, including different coffee kinds, tea, cocoa, hot chocolate, and so on. You can even find decaf coffee pods for those days when you need to reduce your caffeine consumption.

Now, those plastic pods contain both ground coffee and a filter. Some models also implement built-in water filters for the purest flavor of your beverages.

Pick the flavor you want to try first but do not remove the foil lid.

Step 4: Place the K-Cup into the Machine

To do that, you need to lift the handle. It will reveal a pod slot that holds the capsules. It looks like a round chamber. Insert the coffee pod of your choice in there and push the lid back down. 

A quick note: you should not remove the foil lid from the capsule before you insert it into your machine. Every Keurig uses a special needle that will pierce the foil when brewing. If you remove the foil lid beforehand, it can result in coffee spillage all over the K-cup holder.

It’s best to use your Keurig coffee machine with filtered or bottled water, as tap water tends to be quite hard and may leave mineral and chemical buildup inside of your coffee maker.

Step 5: Place Your Mug Under the Dispenser

Place Your Mug Under the Dispenser

Your Keurig machine has a drip tray, which is placed right under the coffee dispenser and serves as both a tray for your mug and a container that catches all the coffee drops. Place your mug on top of it.

If your mug is too tall and doesn’t fit, you can either use a different one or try to remove the drip tray (some Keurig models allow for that).

Step 6: Select the Brew Size

Select the Brew Size

Typically, you have three options – 6, 8, and 10 oz – but some models brew 12 oz or even a full carafe. No matter how many options you have, picking one would not be a problem. You just need to press the corresponding button.

A quick tip:

Because this is your first time with Keurig, pick the smallest size first.

This way, you will know what cups to use in the future. I mean, you don’t want to pick your favorite mug and then watch it overflow with coffee because you’ve chosen the largest brew size (and your mug turned out to be too small for it).

Step 7: Brew Your Beverage

As soon as you press the brew size button, your machine will take some time to pump the water. This usually takes a few seconds. Then, it will start dispensing hot, fresh coffee into your mug.

Once you have your beverage, lift the machine’s lid, take the used coffee pod out, and throw it away. You can keep the pod compartment open for some time to let it dry. Or insert the next coffee pod and enjoy another beverage!

What’s great about Keurig coffee machines is versatility. There are many different models suitable for almost any user. There are even Keurigs that make small espresso-like shots or feature built-in milk frothers for cappuccinos and lattes.

Also read: Best Keurig Coffee Makers

Watch this short but helpful video guide to see how Keurigs work and what exactly you should do. 

Do Keurig Coffee Maker Instructions Differ by Model?

Well, while operating in pretty much the same way, different Keurig models have their peculiarities. For instance, the 1.0 series machines brew only the K-cup pods, while the 2.0 series work with K-cup, K-mug, K-value, and K-carafe capsules.

I know some of you find it boring, but reading the manual to your particular model is a good idea. One of the main reasons for that is compatibility issues.

You see, the 1.0 series support all pods available on the market. At the same time, the 2.0 Keurig models (like this K575 machine, for example) can brew only the Keurig-licensed ones, which means you are somewhat limited in what you can choose to drink.


Which Keurig model do you have? Do you find it easy to brew your coffee with it, or are you having any issues? Let us know in the comments!

How to Choose a Keurig That Would Work for You

These days, there are countless Keurig models available on the market. We are lucky to have such a variety to pick from, but shoppers often become overwhelmed and don’t know what to choose.

The best strategy is to narrow your options down. Answer a few questions:

  • How much am I willing to spend on my new Keurig?
  • How much kitchen space do I have for it?
  • Do I want it to come with bells and whistles and extra features?
  • Do I need a large water reservoir for more seldom refills?
  • Will a simpler model work for me?

By asking yourself these questions, you will easily cross unwanted models off the list.

And if you still find it difficult to make up your mind, I have a recommendation for you – the Keurig machine that I use myself.

Keurig K-Mini Plus

Keurig K-Mini Plus

  • removable drip tray;
  • 9-cup pod storage;
  • adjustable brewing size (6-12 oz.);
  • strong brew feature;
  • automatic shut-off feature.

The reason why I like this Keurig coffee maker so much is because despite being super compact and easy to use, the K-Mini Plus shows consistently good performance and brews great coffee.

“Another cool thing about the K-Mini is the fact that this model is compatible with a reusable coffee filter. This means that you can use your own grounds instead of buying coffee capsules. Plus, it’s a much better solution for the environment.”

This compact coffee maker has a lot to offer. It brews one cup at a time, but you can adjust the size of your beverage. Thanks to the removable drip tray, you can brew coffee straight into a taller travel mug. The K-Mini Plus has a strong brew function for those days when you need an extra kick of caffeine. And most importantly, this model makes delicious, rich coffee.

Pros Cons
Compact design, ideal for smaller kitchens Might seem too noisy to some users
Energy-saving auto shut-off function Takes time to heat water, which can be too long for some coffee drinkers
Sleek matte finish, would easily fit into any interior
Can accommodate taller travel mugs
Strong brew feature
Works with a reusable coffee filter
Good value for money

All in all, the Keurig K-Mini Plus can be considered a real gem. This small, attractive device makes good coffee and even allows for some versatility in use.

Yurii Brown

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