Do you work in an office where you current coffee maker just doesn’t cut it?
Are you constantly filling the water reservoir in order to keep up with demand?
Are your colleagues about to revolt?
Perhaps you need a coffee maker with a water line?
Finding one is a tough ask because there are only a few models available and there some of the information about these models is very suspect!
For instance, you might have heard that the Keurig K155 Office Pro can be fitted directly to a water line.
The truth is that it can’t- so just be careful.
In my round up, I review five plumbed coffee makers and two water line kits that can be connected to certain models of coffee makers.
I do this in three sections:
- Review of 3 K- Cup brewers
- Review of 3 loose ground coffee machines.
- Review of 3 water line and filter kits
But if you are in a rush here are my best three plumbed in K Cup brewers.
A comparison of my best ground coffee maker with water line can be found here.
What is a coffee maker with water line?
A coffee maker with a water line is a coffee maker that has a direct connection to a cold water feed in much the same way that refrigerators, that have water and ice dispensers, are.
These coffee makers are also called self filling coffee makers and directly plumbed coffee makers.
It means that you will never have to fill a water reservoir ever again.
Ideal buyers of plumbed coffee makers
Direct plumbed coffee makers are for high volume users.
Situations in which so much coffee will be drank that it would be a full time job for someone to keep a water reservoir topped up!
The most obvious place would be an office environment but there are other ideal locations for these devices.
But it is easy to see that there are other circumstances in which a coffee maker with water line would make a great deal of sense.
Sticking with the workplace theme, a directly plumbed coffee maker would also make perfect sense in a food service setting, such as a staff restaurant or canteen.
Commercial restaurants and bars are yet another place where you would want a plumbed in coffee maker- particularly if there is a “bottomless coffee” policy, where customers can access the machine themselves- it will just your staff so much time.
And what about it the hospitality industry? How about buying one for the foyer of a hotel or in the dining room of a B&B? And finally, directly plumbed coffee makers make perfect sense for Air Bther location could be in a house where lots of coffee is drunk.
Or how about in an Airbnb rental? Wouldn’t a directly plumbed coffee maker make perfect sense in that situation? Not having to repeatedly fill a water reservoir, isn’t that one less thing to break?
Top features of coffee makers with water lines
Compared to other kinds of coffee makers, plumbed in coffee makers aren’t feature rich.
On the whole they are fairly simple creatures that lack some of the sophistication of other types of coffee machine.
For now, I will just briefly mention some of the top features.
They include touch screen control, different brew sizes and K Cup compatibility but I write about these in much more detail later.
The Link between coffee and happy offices
In this section, I want to look at the benefits that coffee can bring to a workplace.
A survey by Staples in 2016 showed that 25% of respondents would choose coffee over their smartphones and one in three of them would run down a street naked than give up their cup of coffee.
Other benefits that coffee has include its ability to boost your productivity and it has been shown to add to a supportive workplace.
Pros and Cons of Coffee Makers with Water Lines
In this section, I want to look at the advantages and disadvantages of coffee makers with a water line.
To kick off, let’s start with the advantages.
Pros of self filling coffee makers
The most important pro is that the water reservoir will need to be manually filled again.
This saves waiting times and it saves staff time because there is no need to manually fill the reservoir.
Cons of self filling coffee makers
I think that a directly plumbed coffee maker has three possible disadvantages.
Firstly, there is a water quality issue.
Your machine will have unfiltered water going into it.
How good is your local water? You might need to add a water filter to your setup.
Secondly, connecting a water line to your machine restricts the position of the machine because it can only be sited close to a water pipe (and an electrical socket.)
And the final con is that you might need to pay for a plumber to connect the water line to your coffee machine.
 Keurig K3500 Single Serve Coffee Maker
If you are looking for a single serve plumbed in coffee maker that will continuously brew cups of coffee all day, then you should take a closer look at this Keurig model.
And here are the specs:
|Cup sizes (oz.)||4 | 6 | 8 | 10 |12||Travel Mug Friendly||Yes|
|Control||Touchscreen||Hot Water Dispenser||Yes|
|Temperature Control||Yes*||Dimensions||17.4” H x 12.0” D x 18.0” W|
|Strength Control||Yes||Storage Bin||Yes|
|Multilingual||Yes||Drainable Internal Tank||Yes|
This is a great looking machine which will look stylish in almost any setting, with its bold stainless steel brew head in striking contrast to the black coloring of the rest of the machine.
Controlled via an elegant touch panel, once you have inserted your favorite K Cup flavor (and placed your cup on the drip tray), you will have the choice from five different serving sizes (from 4 oz. – 12 oz) and you can then select whether to make your drink “strong”.
Pressing the brew button will then decant your drink into your cup and once finished the empty pod will be ejected into the bin.
Although the storage bin is large and can store lots of empty K Cups I couldn’t find any specifics on exactly how many- but not to worry as when the bin needs emptying a message will appear on the touchscreen.
If you just want hot water, then don’t use a K Cup and just select the serving size that you want.
In terms of the displayed language, the K3500 can easily switch between English, French and Spanish via a menu at the bottom of the touch screen.
The exact temperature that each cup is brewed at cannot be controlled by each individual user- instead the temperature is set within a settings menu- which is password protected.
To make sure that the K3500 can perform flawlessly when in constant use , it has in two water storage tanks.
These tanks help the brewer to deliver back to back drinks.
Pros of K3500
Powerful options for each user
Easy to switch between languages
Cons of K3500
Only compatible with K- Cups
Hot water option a bit vague
 Bunn My Cafe MCO
Bunn’s My Cafe MCO is another single serve coffee maker, which I don’t think looks as stylish as the Keurig K3500- there is just a little too much stainless steel for my liking.
But before looking at just how it performs, let’s quickly check on the specs:
|Cup sizes||S M L (4oz -16 oz)||Travel Mug Friendly||Yes|
|Control||Touchscreen||Hot Water Dispenser||Yes|
|Temperature Control||Yes*||Dimensions||16.8” H 11.7” W 20.1” D|
|Strength Control||No||Energy Saver (Standby)||Yes|
Not surprisingly, it does things a little differently to the Keurig brewer.
I don’t think it offers individual users as much control as the Keurig does.
Whilst the Bunn brewer can dispense any size of drink between 4 oz and 16 oz, each user can only choose between a small, medium and large size- and the exact size of these servings is set by the owner within a password protected settings menu.
It is the same for the default language settings.
The My Cafe MCO can provide instructions in three different languages- English, French and Spanish.
But whereas the K3500 allows each user to select their language of choice, the Bunn coffee maker requires the language to be chosen in the original set up process and any change can only be done by the owner.
And this model doesn’t allow a user to control “brew strength”- there is no “strong” option on the menu.
And then there is the lack of clarity about what coffee pods can be used in it.
I think that K- Cups can be used and that other types of coffee pods can be used but I cannot find definitive information on this.
Like the Keurig brewer this Bunn machine doesn’t allow an individual user to set the temperature that the coffee is brewed at.
It does have a bin that any spent cartridges are ejected into but the machine will not tell you when the bin is full.
On the flip side, a feature that this brewer does better than the Keurig is that you can choose via a button to just have hot water dispensed.
Pros of Bunn My Cafe MCO
Compatible with more than just K- Cups
Hot water option clear
Cons of Bunn My Cafe MCO
Limited size options
No strength control
Languages not easily swapped
 Keurig K150P
For my third single serve coffee maker, the winner of the best budget option, I have chosen an older Keurig workhorse, the K150P.
And before we do anything else, let’s check out the specs.
|Cup sizes (oz.)||4 | 6 | 8 | 10 |12||High Altitude||Yes|
|Control||Touchscreen||Hot Water Dispenser||Yes|
|Temperature Control||No||Dimensions||13.9″H x 14.0″D x 10.4″W|
|Strength Control||No||Storage Bin||No|
|Multilingual||Yes||Drainable Internal Tank||No|
Now, when you buy the 150P it comes with the kit that you need to plumb in this Keurig machine- and a water filter is included.
A quick glance at the specs seems to show that there aren’t too many differences between the K150P and the K3500.
The newer brewer does provide strength control and a storage bin whereas the older model doesn’t.
But apart from the fact that the 150P looks its age and the K3500 looks stunning, the biggest difference is internal storage.
The K3500 has two internal water tanks which means that it can make back to back hot drinks in less time than the K150P can.
And for a plumbed in coffee maker that is positioned in an office or a faculty room, that is a very important quality to have at “break time.”
Pros of K150P
Number of brew sizes
Cons of K150P
And now let me discuss another type of coffee maker with water line- machines that use loose ground coffee.
And here are my top three models:
Ideal buyers of loose grounds plumbed in coffee makers
These models cater for a slightly different market than the single serve coffee makers that I looked at earlier.
Whereas single cup coffee makers only brew one cup of coffee at a time, they also provide an incredible variety and range of hot drinks, including coffee- so called gourmet or speciality coffees.
Plumbed in coffee makers that use loose coffee grounds are only ever serving one type of coffee- there are no different flavours here.
And these brewers also brew coffee by the pot and not by the cup.
And then the coffee is kept hot either via a hot plate or by a thermal flask.
So are these loose ground machines more suited to restaurants or airports rather than offices?
I think that it a very difficult question to answer.
Research seems to show that younger people drink more gourmet coffee than older people and so the location of a coffee maker doesn’t seem to be as important as the demographic of the audience.
But let’s take a closer look at each of these models.
 Bunn Axiom 3 vs Wilbur Curtis G3 Alpha vs G3 Airport Brewer
These three plumbed coffee makers have more similarities than differences I think.
Water Line Kit
Of the three coffee makers that I compare in this section, this Bunn model would be perfect in an environment where lots of coffee is drank because with its three hotplates, it has the capacity for three decanters of coffee.
These decanters or coffee pots need to be purchased separately and each decanter holds 12 cups of coffee.
Brew Express Plumbed Coffee Makers
There are two coffee makers from Brew Express which I want to review next.
Brew Express are a much smaller company than Keurig, but they have manufactured two self filling coffee makers; a countertop coffee maker (BEC-110-BS) and a recessed coffee maker ( BE-110-BS).
These two coffee makers are exactly the same in every way apart from the dimensions and the price.
Differences BEC 110 BS vs BE 110 BS
The recessed coffee maker has a much smaller “depth” because most of it is “buried” in a wall but it is also thinner and shorter than the countertop model.
Firstly, the countertop model is much cheaper than the built in model.
And now, the dimensions.
Let’s take a look.
Countertop 13.5” H x 12.25” W x 7.5” D
Recessed 11 ¾“ H x 9 ⅞” W x 2.5” D (with a further 3 ⅞” buried in the wall.)
Similarities BEC 110 BS vs BE 110 BS
Both of these models can be connected directly to the water line.
And unlike the Keurig coffee machines, the Brew Express comes with a complete plumbing kit, with everything that you could possibly need to connect your coffee maker to your refrigerator’s water supply line or via the main water supply (which is probably located under the sink.)
This kit is so simple that most people should be able to install it themselves, without using a plumber.
And if you want to check out the video for yourself, look below.
What are some of the other stand out features?
Firstly, this coffee maker is SCAA (Specialist Coffee Association of America) certified.
And that certification is the real deal.
SCAA does not hand out these certificates willy nilly.
In order to be successful, a coffee maker must pass several rigorous tests.
And one of the most important is about how consistent the brewing temperature is.
Adjustable Cup Selector
This Brew Express model allows you to fill 2 cups (8 oz.) half carafe (5 cups or 23 oz) or a full carafe (10 cups, 50 oz. )
It is up to you.
This is a blue night light that is controlled by an on/ off switch.
Pause and Brew Sensor
Do you want a cup of coffee NOW and you don’t want to wait?
This machine has an infrared sensor that means that you can take the carafe out without spilling coffee everywhere.
This coffee maker brews coffee fast.
It will brew a full carafe in a touch under 6 minutes and two cups in just over a minute.
Now, that’s not too bad…
Auto On and Off
You can program the coffee maker to turn on or off at any time of day.
Water Line and Filter Kits
In this last section, I want to look at water line kits.
These kits can turn coffee makers which aren’t plumbed into coffee makers which are.
And there are three kits that I want to look at.
All in one direct water line plumb and filter kit (for Keurigs)
The first one is the all in one direct water line plumb and filter kit.
This is the kit that is included with the K150P when you buy it.
It is the kit that you need to connect a Keurig K150, K155, B150 and B155 to the water supply.
It is expensive because it includes a new water reservoir.
Filtered water refill DIY kit (for Keurigs)
This kit will enable you to connect most non commercial Keurig models directly to the water line.
However, there is a compatibility checker on the page.
This kit is much cheaper than the kit illustrated above.
But, if you have a K150 or B150 do not be tempted to buy this kit to cut corners!
This video provides a step by step guide to installing a water line.
Inline Water Filter Kit for Nespresso Coffee Brewers
Are you a coffee junkie who is fatigued by the relentless trips to the sink to refill your water reservoir?
Are you feeling left out because you don’t own a Keurg?
Well, if you own a Nespresso coffee maker, you to can live the plumbed coffee maker dream!