Using a single-cup coffee maker is usually as simple as popping in a coffee pod and selecting your desired mug size. You also need to know how to fill the unit's water reservoir so that coffee brewing is possible. Single-cup coffee makers have gained popularity among homeowners as well as workplaces and businesses, so it's good to understand their use even if you don't own one yourself. You never know when you may encounter one in a waiting room or break area.
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Coffee in a Flash
Verify that the machine is plugged in and that the power is on. You'll find the power button on the top right side of most units. When the power is turned on, the unit will begin gurgling and heating the water to 192 degrees Fahrenheit. Wait until the unit has finished the heating process to proceed.
Fill the reservoir. Keurig machines store enough water for several cups of coffee. Some have reservoirs that lift away from the machine; others require that you pour water into a static reservoir. The reservoir lid is on the top left of the machine. Lift it to pour in the water. You may hear a buzzing noise. This is normal, and is the sound of the machine pulling water into the heating chamber.
Insert the K-cup into the machine. The K-cup goes into a special slot in the front. To find it, gently lift the gray handle on the front of the unit. This will expose the round coffee chamber. Insert the pod into the hole and use the handle to close the coffee chamber. When the chamber is fully closed, your Keurig display will read "Ready to Brew." If your unit lacks a display, the buttons on the right side of the unit that allow you to choose a cup size will blink.
You may feel a slight resistance as the coffee chamber latches. This is normal and not cause for concern.
Place your coffee mug on the tray at the bottom center of the machine. Be sure your mug is appropriately sized for the machine you're using. Usually, you'll want a mug that holds 10 ounces or more and will fit on the tray.
Choose your mug size, if your machine provides this option. On some units, you will need to press the "brew" button. Others will automatically begin brewing when you press the appropriate mug-size button. If you have not used a Keurig before, it's best to choose the smallest option so the cup does not overflow.
Remember to open the coffee chamber and remove the used K-cup. Keep the coffee chamber open and unlatched between uses.
A common complaint about Keurig coffeemakers is that they are wasteful. The K-cups are plastic and are thrown away after use. Keurig now produces a reusable cup that is refillable and reusable, and it works with any kind of ground coffee. You may wish to consider using this instead of disposable cups.
John Zaremba began writing professionally in 1997. He has worked at some of the country's finest small daily newspapers, including "The Beacon News" and "The Patriot Ledger." Zaremba is a graduate of the University of Illinois.