In a Nutshell:

The Keurig K Cafe is a decent-looking, superbly capable single-serve coffee machine that can make all your favorites.
Recommended For: Anyone looking for a pod-based machine and wants to create all their favorite specialty coffee drinks.

Brew Quality
Reservoir Size
Customization options
Ease of Use

Overall Rating



  • Affordable
  • Compact Size
  • Easy to Use
  • Pod Convenience
  • Consistent Results
  • Variety


  • Small Water Reservoir
  • Limited Customization
  • Can Contribute to Plastic Waste
Keurig K Cafe Coffee Maker

Recommended For: Anyone who’s looking for a pod-based machine and wants to be able to create all their favorite specialty coffee drinks.

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Are you one of the legions of people around the world who start the day with a pilgrimage to your local coffee shop to get a cup of your favorite caffeinated goodness? Does your day simply not feel complete without that morning coffee? Would you love to stop spending so much money supporting your friendly neighborhood barista and start enjoying the coffee house experience from home?

If you answered yes to those questions and if you’re specifically interested in a pod-based machine, then you’re going to like what you read in this—our Keurig K Cafe review.

As a pod-based machine, we’ll be quick to admit that it won’t be for everyone. If that’s what you’re looking for, and you want the freedom and flexibility to create all your favorite specialty coffee drinks, then you’ll absolutely fall in love with this model. If your interest is piqued, read on, and let’s take a closer look.

An Overview of the Keurig K Cafe Single-Serve Coffee Maker

We’d consider this a fairly strong component of our Keurig K Cafe review, with a couple of caveats.

Aesthetically, the K Cafe isn’t what we’d describe as a gorgeous coffee maker, but then, aesthetics are seldom the primary reason people buy a machine like this. If you want one, it’s because you’re jonesing for a great cup of coffee or a specialty coffee drink. Form matters, but function comes first.

Dark Charcoal variant of Keurig K-Cafe with three cups of coffee
Dark Charcoal
Black variant of Keurig K-Cafe with 3 cups of coffee
Special edition variant of Keurig K Cafe
Nickel Colored (Special Edition)

In any case, it’s not an ugly machine; simply that the design team seemed much more interested in packing as many features into the model as they could. We like that, and we expect most people will feel the same.

If you are looking for a beautiful coffee maker that will enhance the aesthetic of your kitchen, though, this one probably won’t impress.

It should be noted, while we’re on the topic of aesthetics, that there are two different variants of this model. If you decide you want one, you can order yours in dark charcoal, or you can opt to spend slightly more money and get the Special Edition variant, which comes wrapped in a premium nickel-colored finish.

We’ve received a few reader questions asking about the difference between Keurig K Cafe and the Special Edition, and that’s it. The Special Edition sports a brushed metal wrap. Functionally, the two variants are identical. 

Keurig K Cafe Coffee Maker with labels of its dimensions

If you’ve ever owned a coffee maker with a stubby little power cord, you’ll love the fact that this one sports a power cord that’s an impressive 30” long. That’s long enough to give you options in terms of where you put it, but here comes the potentially bad news:

The Keurig K Cafe dimensions are 12.5” H X 15.3” W X 11.7” D. At a glance, that’s not horrible, but check out the height. If you’re planning on storing this on your countertop under your kitchen cabinets, you’ll want to take a quick measurement before you spend money to be sure it will fit.

Assuming it does, the good news is that the machine only weighs ten pounds. If and when you need to move it (like when you have to refill the water reservoir), that will be easy to do.

Overall then, if you buy one of these, you’re getting a decent-looking machine that will blend in easily with almost any kitchen décor scheme, and it should be fairly easy to find a permanent home for it. Just be sure to measure the distance between your countertop and the bottom edge of your kitchen cabinets so you’ll know for sure before you buy whether or not it will fit there.

Reservoir Size of the Keurig K Cafe Special Edition

This is an average to a slightly above-average component of our Keurig K Cafe review. The water tank of this unit has a sixty-ounce capacity.

Detachable water reservoir of Keurig Cafe Latte Maker

That would be quite good if this was an espresso machine, but it’s not, or at least not exclusively. Given that you can brew up to twelve ounces of coffee at a time, that means that the tank is only good for five of the largest cups of coffee you can make.

If you’re not prone to drinking large cups of coffee or if you don’t drink much of it, that will probably be fine. But, you’re going to find yourself having to stop what you’re doing to refill the water tank more often than you’d care to if you’re a power coffee drinker or if you live in a busy household with multiple coffee drinkers.

This is by no means the end of the world, and very few people will regard it as a deal breaker, but it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting. And in this case, if you drink tons of coffee, bear in mind that if you get one of these, you and the water reservoir are probably going to be on a first-name basis.

The Boiler System of the Keurig K-Cafe

Here, you can tell that Keurig has tons of experience designing for the consumer market because the boiler is quite efficient. 

An image of the boiler system of Keurig K Cafe Single Serve Coffee Maker above a red cup placed beside the dark charcoal machine

Keurig has condensed the brewing process into a single step in order to minimize waiting. You just order your drink, and the boiler comes to temp and brews all as a single action. There’s no need to stand around drumming your fingers on the countertop as you wait for the machine to lumber to life and get ready to give you your fix.

You just load a pod, push the button and go. We like that, and we think you will too.

Granted, the wait time is not the best in class.

If you’re in a big rush, there are machines on the market that heat and fix your drink more quickly, but your total wait time here for an 8-ounce serving is under a minute—slightly less for smaller, more concentrated drinks and slightly more for ten or twelve-ounce servings or cold coffee drinks, which you can also make using this machine!

Our sense of it is that most folks will be just fine with that, so while we wouldn’t describe this as one of the stronger design points of the Keurig Cafe coffee maker, the wait time certainly isn’t excessive, either.

The Milk Frothing System of the Keurig Cafe Special Edition

We regard this as another very strong component of our Keurig K Cafe review.

Keurig K Cafe Machine with automated milk frothing system

First and foremost, this unit has a milk frother. That by itself is kind of remarkable because this isn’t, strictly speaking, an espresso machine. It’s a coffee maker, and there aren’t many coffee makers on the market that come with milk-frothing capabilities, so right off the bat, that’s a good thing and a point very much in this unit’s favor.

Of interest, the frother can texture both hot and cold milk. So if you’re making an iced drink, you can have textured cold milk to add to it, which is very nice.

Unfortunately, purists aren’t be impressed by the implementation of the frothing system.

Everything’s automated.

This isn’t like a machine with a steam wand that relies—at least partly—on the skill of the user to get the texturing right. At the root, you’ve only got three options you can pick from—Cold, Latte, or Capp. Those three produce pre-programmed results. Whichever option you select, the process will take about three minutes, and the machine will beep at you when it’s done.

Buttons for the coffee options of K Cafe Single Serve Coffee Maker

For most casual coffee drinkers, that’s fine, but if you’re looking for a machine that will allow you to burnish your barista skills, this one won’t do it for you.

On the other hand, if you want a very close approximation of a coffee shop specialty drink and you don’t want to have to spend too much time or trouble getting to that point, this one belongs on your short list of options to consider.

Even better, the automated frother cup is dishwasher safe, so after you’ve used it, you can just toss it in the dishwasher for a good cleaning. Simple and convenient. Given that pod-based machines are built around the idea of convenience, we regard this as an excellent fit and a job very well done by Keurig.

Control System, Care, and Maintenance of the Keurig K Cafe Machine

More expensive machines will use brightly lit LCD screens with pictures of the drinks you’re making and so forth. To save money, the design team of the Keurig K Cafe coffee maker opted to keep it simple, sticking with just a handful of buttons in a cluster on the top of the machine.

Control System of Keurig Cafe Coffee Maker

If you like your coffee stronger than average, press the “Strong” button to use the higher intensity. Use the “Shot” button to make hot lattes and cappuccinos and the “Cold” button when frothing cold milk to add to your drink. Each cup size has its own button.

Also note that this machine has a “high altitude” setting you can activate if you live in higher elevations (above 5000 feet), so the machine will function properly, and it has a two-hour auto-shutoff feature built in. All in all, this is a good, clean, simple design. 

Pros & Cons of Keurig K-Cafe Single Serve Coffee Maker

This is a great machine for money. Sure, we’d love it if the water reservoir was a bit bigger, but at the end of the day, that’s a relatively minor complaint.

The only other potential negative lies in the fact that it’s a pod-based machine, and some people just don’t like those. If you do, this is a solid choice that belongs on your shortlist. If you’re not a fan, then it’s unlikely that anything you’ve read here will impress you. It’s as simple as that.

Keurig K Cafe Review Conclusion

The K Cafe coffee maker is an excellent, surprisingly feature-rich, versatile, pod-based coffee maker that will enable you to make all of your favorite coffee shop drinks from the comfort of your home whenever you’re in the mood for one. If you’re specifically interested in a pod-based machine, we definitely recommend this one.

Other Options to Consider

If you’ve reached the end of our Keurig K Cafe review and you’ve concluded that this just isn’t the model for you, here are a couple of other options you may want to consider:

If you’ve decided you want a proper espresso machine instead of a coffee maker that acts like one, this is an excellent option. Where the machine we just talked about is mostly plastic, this one relies on mostly brushed stainless steel and has a look closer to what you’d find in your local coffee shop.

It also utilizes ground coffee rather than pods, so if you were hoping to find something that’s easy to use but not pod-based, this is a great option.

Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus

Recommended For: Anyone interested in pod-based machines.

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This is a gorgeous espresso maker that can do everything the machine we just talked about is capable of, but where the Keurig uses K-Cup pods, this is a Nespresso machine utilizing Nespresso pods. Like Keurig, there are an impressive number of options where pods are concerned, so you won’t run out of flavors to try anytime soon!

Official Manufacturer Support

Sources & Resources