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A Brutally Honest Review of the Keurig Kold Drinkmaker

I’ll be the first to admit that I love my SodaStream. It’s quickly become my favorite appliance and I honestly can’t image living without it. On-demand soda has become a fact of life.

As convenient as the SodaStream is, it’s still not ideal. I have to remember to either buy or make syrups, of course. But even if I just want plain soda water with a slice of lemon, I still have to make sure I have enough CO2. I have come to dread the regular trip to the store to replace my CO2 canister. And these days, it’s harder and harder to find stores that carry replacements. On top of all that, I have to remember to chill the water before I fizz it, otherwise, I’m stuck twiddling my thumbs until it cools.

That’s why I as so intrigued by the Keurig Kold. It solves several major inconveniences for people who drink a lot of soda. Because the carbonation comes in each pod, and the machine flash chills the drink as it mixes, all you have to remember is to buy the pods. You can even order them on Amazon.

On top of that, their product tastes great out of the pod. There’s no need to customize anything.

> > Click here to see ratings, specifications and prices on Amazon < <

How Much Soda Do You Actually Drink?

If you don’t drink a lot of soda, the Keurig Kold really doesn’t make sense. It’s expensive, and it takes up a lot of counter space. You may want to consider more affordable SodaStream instead. You can even store it in a cupboard and just pull it out when you’re going to use it.

Similarly, if you like to do a lot of experimentation, you’re probably better off with the SodaStream. The Keurig Kold only has 24 flavors and it doesn’t allow for any customization.

If, on the other hand, you drink soda regularly and you want a solid product—especially if you like Coke brand products—without really having to do anything, the Keurig Kold is your best bet. It’s simple and delicious. No other frills necessary.

> > Click here to see ratings, specifications and prices on Amazon < <

Keurig Kold Pros

Despite it’s drawbacks, there are some pretty great pros to Keurig Kold. Here are five reasons why the Keurig Kold is better than anything else on the market.

1. Coke Products Available

If you’re loyal to Coke, this is a big one. Official Coke brand products have never been available through SodaStream, but they are now available exclusively through Keurig Kold. Available Coke products include Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, and Canada Dry Ginger Ale. The taste of these products is much more authentic than any of the imitators available for SodaStream. Although it’s not identical, it is definitely close.

2. No CO2 Required

If you’ve ever used a SodaStream, you know the woes of running out of CO2. It’s always at the worst time. If you only have one canister you need to wait until it’s totally empty to replace it. In contrast, stocking on backup canisters costs money. Plus it’s getting harder and harder to find places to buy refills. The Keurig Kold functions much differently from the SodaStream and doesn’t need CO2. Instead, the CO2 is in the pods themselves so you’ll never worry about running out.

3. Hands Off

Using the Keurig Kold is quite a pleasant experience. It’s designed to make the process as hands-off as possible. This means there’s no need to screw in bottles, making sure they’re aligned. You also don’t need to keep pushing buttons trying to figure out the perfect carbonation level, or attach and remove a CO2 canister. There are only two things to do with the Keurig Kold. Fill the water reservoir, every six uses and put in the pod when you want to make a soda. After that, you can step away and just wait for your soda to magically appear in your glass.

4. Less to Carry

It’s pretty obvious that pods are a lot of easier to carry than cans or bottles. If you’re considering the Keurig Kold as a replacement for commercial soda, it has a big advantage there. Lugging cans and bottles home from the store is not fun, especially if you drink a lot of soda. Walking is basically not an option. And of course, if you use a SodaStream, you still have to lug CO2 canisters around on a regular basis. With the Keurig Kold, carrying a pack of pods home is easy. Plus, you can order them on Amazon!

5. Flashed Chilled

Another huge perk of the Keurig Kold is the fact that the soda is flash chilled in the machine. You can fill the water compartment with room temperature water and it will come out a cool 39.2°F. That’s actually why the machine is so big and noisy. It’s a lot harder to cool something than it is to heat up. Conversely, you either have to remember to put the water in the fridge before you make soda with the SodaStream, or you have to put it in after you make it and wait for it to chill. This also means you don’t have to obsess over making sure there’s enough water in the water compartment. If you run out, you can just fill it and resume making soda right away.

Bonus: Free Glasses

The Keurig Kold comes with two free glasses. Sure, you already have glasses, but these are high-quality and the perfect size for a Keurig Kold soda!

Keurig Kold Cons

Of course, there are alway cons. Here are six reasons why the Keurig Kold worse than other options on the market.

1. It’s a Beast

Any way you put it, the Keurig Kold is a beast. First of all, it’s big, measuring 19.2 x 12 x 14.9 inches. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of counter of space. Much like a fridge you also need to keep a gap at the back so it doesn’t overheat. Not surprisingly, it’s also quite heavy—a hefty 23 pounds. Remember it’s basically a mini fridge. This means it’s pretty cumbersome to move around. Finally, it’s quite loud. So is the SodaStream mind you, but only when you’re using it. The Keurig Kold hums while it’s plugged in and it’s quite noisy for 90 seconds while you’re making a soda—over 50 decibels.

2. Long Cooling Cycle

The Keurig Kold needs to run a “cooling cycle” before you can use it. I’m not exactly sure what this is but I do know it takes two hours and it’s a must. You have to do it every time you plug in the machine so there’s another reason why you have to be willing to commit counter space to the Kold. As long as you leave it plugged in, you should only have to do it once unless the power goes out. Outlets are always at a premium in my kitchens so this is particularly annoying. Of course, it’s also a disappointment to unbox your shiny new purchase and realize you can’t use it quite yet.

3. It’s Expensive

Chances are, you’ve already heard how expensive the Kold is. If not, I suggest you sit down. The machine itself clocks in at the $300-$400 range but that’s not the end of it. The pods are quite expensive too. A box of four starts at $5 ($1.25 each), and in some cases, the costs runs close to $14. Each serving is 8 ounces (the size of a can) and in many cases, cans are cheaper. If you’re excited about the Keurig Kold, then the price might not be a big deal. But you have to really want it.

4. Single Serve Only

Another drawback of the Keurig Kold is that you can only make one serving at a time. While the SodaStream carbonates a liter at a time, the Kold is limited to 8 ounces. Now this is good if you only drink a little bit at a time because you can make it fresh each time. It’s also good if you have a house full of people with different preferences because everyone can make their own. The problem is if you’re entertaining and you want to make everyone sodas, it takes forever. Each serving takes 90 seconds to. If you have three people over and you all want soda it’s going to be a full six minutes or more before you all have a drink in your hand.

5. No Customization

The Keurig Kold does one thing really well. If you want a Coke product with no customization it’s fine. If on the other hand you prefer to customize your carbonation level, the amount of syrup in your drink, or even make your syrup, you’re out of luck. The Kold is only designed to work with it’s 24 flavors. If they’re not what you’re looking for, you’re out of luck.

6. Not Environmentally Friendly

Let’s be honest, those pods are far from environmentally friendly. While SodaStreams are more sustainable than commercial soda, the Kold is worse. The pods require more packaging and they’re more difficult to recycle than cans or bottles. Keurig has long been criticized for its unsustainable practices and this shows they really don’t care. No doubt all those pods will end up in a landfill somewhere.

Warning: Beware of Seal

Like most pods, the Keurig Kold pods come with a seal that needs to be removed before using it. No big deal right? Unless you forget to take it off, which is actually pretty easy to do. If you do forget to take if off you’ll end up with soda, no flavoring. If you try to run it again, you’ll end up with flavored water, no carbonation. At $1.25 or more a pod, it’s an expensive mistake. And sadly, the kind of thing I would do all the time!

The Verdict

A lot of people love their Kold. It’s easy, simple, and it makes great Coke products. Nothing wrong with that! If you’re just looking for the occasional soda, especially Coke product, it’s great. It costs a bit more, but it’s much simpler than the SodaStream and will serve your purposes better.

If you prefer customization and want to experiment, if you drink a lot of soda (including soda water), or you value sustainability, you’re probably better off with a SodaStream. You’ll have more flexibility and since it doesn’t need to be plugged in, you can even keep it out of sight and save on counter space.

What do you think of the Keurig Kold? Let me know in the comments!

1 comment… add one
  • Heather May 7, 2016, 11:32 pm

    You say a glass is 8 oz., the same as a can. Cans of soda are 12 oz. so it’s actually 2/3 of what a can holds.

    For me the biggest con is that with the Soda Stream, I can use thawed frozen juice concentrate for syrup, eliminating artificial sweeteners, colors and the evil, corn syrup. Because (and this might come as a surprise to some people who do not read their labels) even the non-diet versions of the Soda Stream syrups contain artificial sweeteners, as do the Kuerig Kold pods. My mother-in-law who does not even have a Kold machine got some as a sample from Keurig with something she ordered for her coffee machine and she gave them to me, which is how I know this. That’s why they taste so nasty. At least with the Soda Stream, I can use my own “syrup”.

    If anyone ever figures out a hack for it like the refillable pods I use for my Keurig 2.0 and the price comes down by a lot, and I mean A LOT, then I might consider it.

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