Reservoir Capacity: 75 ounces
Size: 12.5 x 9.2 x 11.6 inches
Brew sizes: 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-ounce cups
Removable water reservoir: Yes
Milk frother: No
Strength settings: Yes
Temperature control: No
Iced coffee: No
Auto off: Yes
If you’re new to Keurigs, you might be wondering: What is the difference between the K-Classic and the K-Select? Both models are fairly barebones, and by name alone, it may seem like the K-Classic would be a solid introduction to the Keurig.
Well, the K-Select fixes a lot of the issues seen with the K-Classic — namely, stature. While the K-Classic is gargantuan in size, the K-Select is a slightly smaller model equipped with a larger water reservoir of 52-ounces (as opposed to 48-ounces) and a “strong” feature that brews a more robust cup of coffee. It retails at $140 — $10 less than the K-Classic — but provides a slightly tuned-up brewing experience, which is why it’s one of the best Keurig coffee makers. And like all Keurigs, this machine can whip up a single serving of coffee in roughly one minute.
Is the K-Select a better machine than its predecessor? Read on to find out in our Keurig K-Select review.
Keurig K-Select review: Price and availability
The K-Select costs $140, a little less than what the standard K-Classic usually retails for, though the latter can typically be found for $99 on sales. The K-Select is frequently on sale for less too — you can sometimes find it for $129 or less at retailers like Amazon and Keurig.
Like all Keurigs, the K-Select is limited to K-Cup pods to brew coffee, tea, and hot cocoa, which can run anywhere between $7 to $14 per 12-pack, depending on the brand name. This equates to roughly 60 cents to $1.15 per pod. The K-Select, however, is compatible with reusable K-Cups, which allows you to save some money if you have pre-ground coffee at home.
Keurig K-Select review: Features
The K-Select is a slightly upgraded version of the K-Classic as far as features go. It can brew 6-, 8-, 10-, and 12-ounce cups. It also has a “strong” button, which creates a bolder flavor of K-Cup coffee via a longer brewing process. It comes with a removable 52-ounce water reservoir and an auto-off feature that automatically shuts off the K-Select after two hours of inactivity.
The K-Select also comes packaged with a Keurig water filter handle and filter which you drop into the reservoir to purify the water. The only other Keurig model that comes bundled with a filter is the pricey K-Elite. Water filter cartridge refills typically cost $10.
Keurig K-Select review: Design
The K-Select is a leaner version of the K-Classic. It’s 12-inches tall (almost 17-inches with its latch open), 9-inches wide, and under 12-inches deep. It’s a counter hog, but if you’re replacing a traditional coffee maker with a Keurig, it’ll likely suit your space just fine. It has a basic black-plastic frame (but you can also grab one in teal, white, and red) and a plastic drip tray, both prone to smearing.
The machine has six buttons to hit — four for serving size, one for power, and one for the ‘strong’ brew setting — and three lights to indicate when water is low, when the K-Select is due for a descale, and whether the auto-off feature is active. The lidded water reservoir has a little notch on the inside to indicate the max fill line, and a window to see where the water sits via the exterior.
Keurig K-Select review: Performance
I’m admittedly not a huge fan of K-Cups, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned through testing Keurig machines, it’s that the addition of the brand’s “strong” brew function makes pod coffee taste way better. Regular Keurig brewing just doesn’t cut it for me, and the K-Select is no exception. But, its strong feature makes a whole world of difference when it comes to pod coffee flavor, and depth.
The K-Select can brew 6-, 8-, 10-, and 12-ounce cups in less than a minute, right after its initial warm-up time of roughly one minute. During testing, I found that I could brew a cup of coffee in as short as 30 seconds, with the longest brew time clocking in at one minute and five seconds, regardless of serving size. The K-Select begins warming up as soon as it’s powered on and takes roughly 45 seconds between each sequential cup to brew again.
The strong function adds another minute to the brewing process, which is a slower process in favor of a more saturated and carefully poured K-Cup serving. The longest I waited for a strong cup of coffee was one minute and 45 seconds. Even if I’m making myself a single cup of coffee, that timing is still impressive — especially when considering that all it takes to brew is inserting a K-Cup into the pod compartment, closing it, and pressing a few buttons.
But though Keurig machines may brew quickly, it’s also why these machines sometimes struggle to provide a tasty cup of coffee. Keurigs can’t produce crema, which is a caramel-colored layer of foam that is a result of both heat and pressure building up through the brewing process. Coffee lovers believe crema gives espresso and coffee a more complex flavor, which is why Nespresso machines have won so many people over. The K-Select can brew a bolder, tasty cup though, with a full flavor due to the machine’s strong setting.
Per the National Coffee Association, the optimal coffee cup is brewed between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. The K-Select, like many Keurigs, can’t heat its water to that level. The hottest cup I recorded post-brew was 182 degrees Fahrenheit, and although that temperature is certainly warm, it’s just not the piping hot cup I prefer in the morning.
The only real complaint I have with the K-Select’s brewing process is its splashing. While it’s dispensing water through the K-Cup, the K-Select will splash water and coffee on itself and the counter. I’ve had to wipe down my workspace a few times while brewing coffee, but this is the most I’ve experienced with any Keurig machine.
The K-Select doesn’t take much energy to operate, thankfully. During 20 minutes of use, the machine only used 125 KWH. It’s also fairly quiet when brewing, with the highest decibel reading clocking at 67 dB, despite the unflattering sputtering sound during the end of its brew cycle. The K-Select has the quietest warming cycle of any Keurig machine we’ve tested, and a brew cycle similar to the K-Elite, one of our favorite Keurigs. It’s the quietest, overall, of all the machines we’ve tested.
Keurig K-Select review: Ease of Use
The K-Select is fairly barebones and incredibly easy to operate. To use it, you simply turn it on, and while waiting for the machine to heat up, insert a K-Cup into the pod compartment. Then, select what size coffee you’d like, and wait for the brewing to commerce. If the water reservoir is low, a light will turn on to tell you to add more. If your machine is in need of a descale, a light will shine for that, too.
Its removable drip tray and water reservoir are top-rack dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning the K-Select simple. This is a fairly low-maintenance appliance, with the only real upkeep involving refilling its water reservoir, though that is a painless task.
Keurig K-Select review: Verdict
The K-Select is a decent machine that is a true entry-level Keurig for those wanting an introduction to the brand. It has an updated build compared to the K-Classic, and its strong brewing function makes the sometimes stale K-Cup coffee taste much bolder through a slower brew process. While it may lack the bells and whistles of a more luxurious Keurig model, like the K-Elite or K-Cafe, the K-Select still brews coffee at the lightning-fast pace that made the company such a huge deal in the first place.
It’s worth buying this machine over its predecessor, and if you’ve got the counter space to spare, it’ll do a decent job. If you’re looking for a bold single-serving of coffee, the K-Select is a solid gateway into the Keurig world, though it’s $20 more expensive than our Best Value pick, the K-Slim, and doesn’t offer the bells and whistles of our favorite, the K-Cafe.