Keurig K-Mini and K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker Review for 2021
While preparing this K-Mini and K-Mini Plus review, I immediately saw what makes this coffee maker stand out from the 13 others I tested. Keurig K-Mini is an embodiment of convenience, simplicity, and ease.
To brew a perfect cup of coffee with this coffee machine, you require a k-cup, a coffee mug, and freshwater. It comes with a cord storage feature for easy transport and an auto-off option to save energy.
Not only is this coffee maker compact enough to fit between salt and pepper in your kitchen, but it also brews you a fresh cup of coffee within minutes.
Things to Consider before Buying a Single-Serve Coffee Maker
As a coffee enthusiast, you’d like to brew a cup of coffee on the go and save time doing so. However, most coffee makers are too bulky and not portable. That’s where a Keurig coffee maker comes into the picture. It brews coffee within minutes and is small enough to travel with it and enjoy coffee on the road.
Let’s face it: we all want to enjoy coffee but don’t have the time to learn everything it takes to be a professional barista. Single-serve coffee makers are easy to operate. They don’t come with tons of fancy features, but anyone can use them to brew an excellent cup of coffee. Their simplicity makes these machines popular.
Before buying a single-serve brewer, consider:
- Purpose of the brewer
- Water reservoir capacity
- Cup size serving – how many people do you need to serve with coffee?
- Compact and portability
- Programmable features for quicker brewing times
- Ease of use
Why You Should Consider the K-Mini and K-Mini Plus
This single-serve coffee brewer is approximately 5 inches in width, making it ideal for tiny spaces. So, if you’ve got a small kitchen, you don’t have to go without coffee, as this coffee maker has a small footprint that fits perfectly on your kitchen counter. You can squeeze this machine in your travel back or on a small kitchen counter space.
Are you a coffee lover who enjoys traveling? It’s now possible to sip your favorite coffee on the go; the K-Mini brewer makes it possible. It’s lightweight – it only weighs approximately 4.5 lbs, making it easy to carry it with you anywhere.
6oz to 12oz Cup Size
The Keurig K-Mini brews anywhere from 6oz to 12oz of coffee, and the actual cup size will depend on the volume of water inside the reservoir. For example, to get 8oz of coffee, I need to fill up the water tank with 8oz. And to get 6oz of coffee, I need to add 6oz to the water tank.
It’s worth noting that this machine uses the entire water in the water reservoir. This helps to minimize water wastage during brewing.
In other words, this coffee maker is designed for a single cup. Thus, if you’re the only coffee drinker at home who doesn’t brew coffee frequently, then this coffee maker will suit your needs.
The Keurig K-Mini is one of the most energy-efficient single-serve coffee machines on the market. It comes with the auto-off feature that lets it automatically turn off after 90 seconds of your last brew. This feature helps save energy.
Fast Brewing Time
Sometimes, you want to take a quick cup of coffee on your way to work or school. That said, you want a brewer that will make you a hot cup quickly.
That’s where this Keurig K-Mini comes in handy. You only need four easy steps to brew a mighty cup of joe: insert your Keurig k-cup pod, fill the reservoir with water, place a mug below the spout and press the ‘on’ button. That’s pretty much it! It took approximately two minutes to brew coffee in a 6oz cup.
While this machine has a plastic body, the coffee it brews is surprisingly tasty, and the flavor is consistent for each cup. The K-Mini coffee maker won’t allow you to control the strength of your drink, but the upgraded version, K-Mini Plus, has a button to help you manage the strength of your coffee.
To enhance the taste of your coffee, be sure only to add fresh water into the water reservoir. If you use contaminated or hard water, you won’t enjoy the resulting drink.
Travel Mug Friendly
This brewer has a removable drip tray that holds travel mugs as tall as 7-inch. Besides, if there’s an accidental brew, the tray can keep it all together for stress-free cleanup.
The cord storage and pod holder makes it easy to travel with this coffee maker. The cord storage also helps to keep your countertop neat.
Strength Control Button
The Keurig K-Mini Plus has a strength control button that lets you control your coffee’s strength and boldness. When you use this feature, expect the brewing time to be slightly longer, but the resulting drink will be worth the wait – richer and more robust.
Neither of these two coffee machines will let you regulate the brewing temperature. Most users agree that when using the K-Mini Plus coffee maker, water reaches 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit, which is below the acceptable, perfect temperature for brewing coffee, which is usually between 91 degrees C (195 degrees F) and 96 degrees C (205 degrees F). The optimal brewing temperature is 93 degrees C (199 degrees F).
But these temperature rules don’t always work for coffee makers with aluminum cups, including the k-cup compatible brewers. For example, Keurig states that water inside their coffee machines has a temperature of 192 degrees F. According to Keurig, this is the perfect temperature for brewing coffee.
Therefore, if this information is anything to go by, then water inside the Keurig coffee maker is below their gold standard of an optimum brewing temperature for coffee.
The temperature has a direct impact on the ultimate taste of the coffee. If it’s below 195 degrees F., then the coffee will be under-extracted, resulting in a weaker flavor.
But, the taste is a personal preference. So, it’s best to let your taste buds be the judge here.
This coffee maker’s noise isn’t loud enough to wake up someone sleeping in the next room. In my opinion, this is one of the quietest coffee brewers I’ve ever tested.
I found it relatively easy to clean the machine. Some of its parts, like the k-cup pod holder and drip tray, are dishwasher safe. Additionally, the Keurig K-Mini Plus has a removable water storage tank that allows you to take out any leftover water.
It’s essential to regularly clean the machine’s body with a sponge or damp cloth. Furthermore, Keurig recommends that the machine’s interior should undergo de-scaling every three to six months.
Ease of Use
The K-Mini is super easy to use. You need to top the reservoir with water, place a mug near the spout, and press a button. Voila! Delicious coffee will squirt right into your travel mug or cup.
People of any age can use this brewer. Plus, you don’t need to be tech-savvy to make tasty coffee from this coffee maker. Once you have your k-cups, you’re good to go and can make coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.
Price to Value
The Keurig K-Mini comes at a reasonable price, given the design, technology, and features. While there’s a price difference between models of varying colors, they all cost below $100. The machine brews excellent coffee, and a renowned brand stands behind this product.
However, the K-Mini Plus costs around $30 more than the K-Mini model, yet there aren’t significant differences between the two (more on that shortly).
In my opinion, the $30 difference is not worth it. While the K-Mini Plus can make slightly stronger coffee, has a coffee pod storage and removable water reservoir, these features aren’t strong enough to warrant that price difference.
The other k-cup compatible brands that you may want to explore are:
- Mr. Coffee’s k-cup compatible single serve costs $15 less than K-Mini.
- Flexbrew’s k-cup compatible model costs $25 less than the K-Mini.
- Black & Decker’s CM618 works with ground coffee only but costs $40 less than the K-Mini.
Keurig claims that its K-pods and coffee machines are made of FDA-approved and BPA-free plastic, making them safe to use.
However, research shows that even BPA-free plastic may contain other chemicals with estrogenic activity.
What is the Difference between Keurig K-Mini and K-Mini Plus?
Both coffee makers have tons of similarities: they are both energy-saving, have similar dimensions and width, cord storage, and handle 12oz, 10oz, 8oz, and 6oz coffee cups.
However, there are some distinct differences between the two, including:
Each of the Keurig brewers requires that you fill-up the water reservoir for each cup of java you brew, but the K-Mini Plus comes with a removable water reservoir.
This addition makes cleaning a breeze and adds an element of convenience when filling the reservoir with water.
The Brew Strength Button
While the two machines brew coffee that tastes nearly the same (because they use similar k-cup pods), the K-Mini Plus has an extra feature that makes coffee-making better – the strong brew button that allows you to brew stronger and bolder coffee.
The aesthetic difference between these two babies is that while both come in several colors, including Black, Oasis Blue, and Dusty Rose, the K-Mini Plus has a matte finish and silver detail on the drip tray and handle.
Life-altering? Probably not, but it gives you more options to select what suits your preferences and kitchen décor.
FAQs about the Keurig K-Mini and K-Mini Plus
Can I keep my Keurig Mini hotter?
You may put hot water in the coffee maker, but the plastic tank isn’t heated or insulated, making it lose heat fast. If you use extremely hot water, you may end up damaging the tank. Besides, Keurig machines come with an internal heating element. Thus, using hot water may not considerably affect your coffee’s heat.
So, to make your K-Mini hotter, you should:
-Double the cups as a single cup may allow heat to escape fast
-Use a mug warmer; it’ll keep your coffee warm for longer
-Start by running a brew cycle. Preheat the machine by using only water first
-Use a smaller mug, as it won’t lose heat faster. Consider using a mug with a top
Does the Keurig K mini have a filter?
A Keurig water filter is a charcoal filter that removes impurities, such as chlorine, from water to improve your drink’s taste.
For the Keurig K-Mini, it’s recommended that you use the Keurig My K-Cup Universal Reusable Coffee Filter. Additionally, Keurig suggests changing the filter every two months and de-scaling at three to six months intervals.
How Long Does a Keurig Mini Last?
If you use your Keurig brewer daily, then it has an average lifespan of five years. That said, there’s a one-year warranty from the manufacturer, which covers any material defects or the coffee maker’s working.
But with proper maintenance of your K-Mini, it may last longer than five years.
So, how do you increase the K-Mini’s lifespan?
- Clean the removable parts, including the drip tray, the tray’s cover, the reservoir, and its lid. You can put these parts on the dishwasher’s top rack or soak them in warm soapy water for fifteen minutes, then rinse and dry them with a towel
- Use a damp cloth to clean the rest of your K-Mini.
- De-scale the machine every month
- Use distilled water
- Rinse removable parts often
- Empty the reservoir if you plan to be away for a day or two
Final Words on Our K-Mini and K-Mini Plus Review
The K-Mini-Plus has a strong brew feature, a pod storage unit, a removable water tank, and multiple colors. However, the standard K-Mini lacks these features. The difference boils down to ease of access.
With the K-Mini Plus, you can remove the reservoir and easily refill it. You can also brew coffee with a more robust, richer flavor. These extra features can make a difference, which is why we think K-Mini Plus is a winner.