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.
Although I review 5 coffee makers with water lines, for those of you in a rush, here is my favorite.
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.
Who needs them?
Direct plumbed coffee maker are for high volume users.
Situations in which so much coffee will be drank that it would be a full time job for a member of staff to keep the water reservoir topped up!
I think that the most obvious need for a self filling coffee maker are work places where the machine could be used on an almost continual basis and where it just wouldn’t make sense for a water reservoir to be continually filled.
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.
For instance, one of these machines could be installed in a house if the homeowner drinks lots of coffee and could has the necessary plumbing skills to connect the machine to the water feed.
Or how about in an Airbnb rental? Wouldn’t a directly plumbed coffee maker make perfect sense?
The coffee makers in my guide are suitable for any size of business- small, medium or large.
What You Will Get
The following features are some of the most common features to be found in the coffee makers within my comparison.
Coffee is a very popular drink in an office but not everyone will want to drink coffee. You need a coffee maker that will make other hot drinks as well such as tea or hot chocolate.
All of the coffee makers in my comparison have this flexibility.
The Keurigs can make a variety of hot drinks because they use K Cups- a range of coffee capsules that number in their hundreds.
The Brew Express machines can provide you with hot water on demand- with which you can make a lovely cup of tea or a tasty cup of hot chocolate.
All three Keurig machines are K Cup compatible.
Loose Coffee Grounds
The Brew Express machines use loose ground coffee and not any coffee capsules, such as K Cups.
What You Won’t Get
None of the coffee makers in my comparison have some of the features that you would find in coffee makers with a larger capacity.
These include a place for spent cartridges, or used loose coffee grounds, or a reservoir for milk.
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.
Water Line DIY Hacks
All of the coffee machines in my comparison have official kits that can be purchased separately but they all cost quite a bit of money.
However, if you can’t afford to buy one of these kits, then there are other options.
And the video above shows a DIY hack that will add a water line to a Keurig.
Just remember that there are risks involved in these “unofficial” hacks.
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 K150 vs K150P vs K155
The first three coffee makers in my comparison are all made by Keurig and they are all almost identical.
Because the way in which these three brewers are different is most important, let’s have a look at their differences.
Differences K150 vs K150P vs K155
Water Line Connection
Most importantly, all three of these Keurig models can be directly connected to a water line but only one of these models comes with the necessary kit ready to go out of the box.
And that is the K150P.
The K150 and the K155 need a kit to be purchased separately.
This kit includes almost all of the pieces, including a water purifier.
On top of that, you will need to buy a new water reservoir.
Just check that the 15” inches of water line are long enough to go between your water line and where you have located your Keurig.
And unless you are very confident and experienced in plumbing skills, call a local plumber to come and connect if for you.
The K150 and the K150P brew five different sizes of coffee- 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 oz. servings.
The K155 only brews four sizes- 4, 6, 8 and 10 oz.
These models are almost identical in colors and design.
In fact the K150 and the K150P are identical.
And the K155 has a silver brewhead and not a black brewhead.
Now, that we have looked at the ways in which these three Keurigs are different, let’s now switch our focus to the ways in which these machines are identical.
K150 vs K150P vs K155
All three of these machines have the same dimensions- 13.9 inches high, 14 inches deep and 10.4” wide.
Size of Reservoir
Although the main focus of these reviews is the ability of these Keurigs to connect to a water line, the water reservoirs that are built into them are large- 90 oz.
This is just over 2.5 liters.
The reservoirs are removable and have a lid on top of the reservoir that opens up so that water can be poured in from above.
Full Color Touchscreen
All of these coffee makers have a full color touchscreen.
Unfortunately, I cannot find the exact dimensions of this color touchscreen anywhere!
NSF or National Sanitation Foundation makes sure that food, water and consumer products meet strict safety standards.
If a product has an NSF certificate, it has passed and exceeded those standards.
Auto On/ Off
The K150, K150P and K155 all have this feature.
Auto on and off means that a coffee can be programmed to turn on and turn off at set times of the day or night.
For instance, if it is used in an office you might want to program your brewer to turn on at 8 am, when people first start to arrive and turn off at 5.15pm when everyone has left.
This feature is not the same as “energy saver”.
This is another feature that all the Keurigs have.
Energy saver is a function that can be toggled on or off.
It enables the coffee maker to turn off when it is not being used.
The brew temperature on these Keurigs can be changed.
All of them are preset to brew at 193 °F but this temperature can be altered between 188 °F to 199 °F.
So, how hot do you like your coffee?
These three coffee makers are capable of using one of three languages; English, French and Spanish.
Now that we have looked at the K150, K150P and K155 let’s move on and look at two coffee machines from a different manufacturer.
Brew Express Coffee Makers with Water Lines
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.