Keurig brand of coffee makers – a name that resonates in almost every American home today – went from obscure anonymity to billion dollar revenues almost overnight, most people think. But what they do not know is that for Keurig founders Peter Dragone and John Sylvan, ‘overnight’ dragged on for more than two decades. The reputation of the brand, whose name means ‘excellence’ in Dutch, is a testimony to the grit and willpower of two young men who refused to give up on an original idea in the face of adversity.

Dragone and Sylvan had been friends since their varsity days at Colby College in Maine around the late 1970s. A tech graduate, Sylvan quit his job in Massachusetts in early 1990. A germinating idea to solve the problem of lack of fresh coffee in office spaces had prompted his move. Tired of the full pot of brewing coffee that sat for endless hours at workplaces, turning bitter, stale and cold, Sylvan wanted to manufacture a single serve pod of coffee ground and a machine that would brew a fresh cup every time.

In 1992, after two years of living in Greater Boston and conducting several trials to build a prototype, he roped in his former roommate Dragone, to help create a business model.  Dragone was at that time working as a partner and director of finance for a reputed firm. Thus, Keurig was born.

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The cash-strapped duo did most of the tasting and testing themselves, to the point where Sylvan was diagnosed with caffeine poisoning after regularly consuming 30 to 40 cups of coffee a day.

Finally, the design and automation was perfected to create what you know as Keurig coffee makers, today.

The machine’s biggest plus it that it brews a fresh cup every time and does not let your coffee go stale. Today, after years of research and innovation Keurig manufactures single serve coffee pods – K-pods – in a vast variety of flavours. It also produces K-pods for hot chocolate and a range of teas. Although some users complain of faulty machines and complicated operational controls, Keurig has received largely positive feedbacks and is a popular product among coffee lovers.

Types of coffee machines from the house of Keurig

If you are considering purchasing a Keurig coffee machine and are wondering which would be the best model to invest in, you sure are concerned about performance and longevity of the coffee maker you buy.

But once you start comparing Keurig variants and going through user feedback from several sources, you will realise that the difference between the several variants of Keurig coffee makers has more to do with the number of features a machine has than its performance. This is because all Keurig machines using K-cups essentially utilise the same brewing methodology and perform similarly.

The one stark difference between the variants is the size of the water reservoirs each possess and the individual brewing capacities in terms of cup size options.

Keurig manufactures two main types of coffee makers – ones for home use (their one-cup cappuccino makers are pretty popular) and those for commercial utilisation. Two of the commercial machines – K145 and K155 (find indepth reviews of both on Freshpresso) – are also deemed suitable for home use and perform optimally when used by large families or offices with compact teams or small eateries and restaurants.

Since the machines are very precise in nature, they sometimes come across as mercurial to many users. Hitches and malfunctions most often stem from coffee grounds getting stuck inside the filter or the spray nozzle. But these blockages can be easily cleaned out to make your machine work as good as new once again.

In some instances, mineral build-ups occur in the machines components causing it to sputter and spew and resulting in the coffee tasting a bit off. A minor descaling process using chemicals can fix this trouble easily.

However, to ensure hassle-free and smooth performance, it is advised that you use spring water or bottled water in the machine to brew your cup of coffee and steer clear of undistilled or hard water that contains a lot of minerals leading to a build-up.

But in the off chance that your machine seriously malfunctions, Keurig is very good about offering prompt replacements.