The Keurig name quickly became synonymous with quick, simple coffee in the pod, but the best Keurig coffee machines can do a lot more than produce hot brews on demand. From a wide variety of portion sizes to built-in milk frothers, timers and more, you will find a plethora of fancy features in the best Keurigs of these days.
A pod coffee maker is far more convenient than drip or espresso machines. The Keurig coffee maker does all of the hard work and simply brews a single cup of coffee from the pickled pad in minutes. This is ideal when everyone in your household is in a hurry and has a different schedule. It also means minimal waiting, no more messy and, most importantly, no more wasted carafes dying down the drain.
Not only that, but with the move to recyclable K-Cup pods, the impact on the environment is constantly minimizing too. It's still a consideration, however, and you still need to find eco-friendly capsules to reduce your footprint. There are several other downsides to the speed and convenience of a Keurig coffee maker as well.
The coffee may be weaker than the best coffee makers and espresso makers, and the pods themselves cost anywhere from 60 to 80 cents each, which makes them much more expensive than ground coffee.
That said, with the ease of cleaning and the hassle-free approach to your morning coffee, there are plenty of reasons to check out the best Keurig coffee makers available. For that reason, I will review the Keurig K-Cafe today.
Keurig K-Cafe Review
If lattes and cappuccinos are your thing, the Keurig K-Cafe is the best Keurig coffee maker for you. The milk frother produces both hot and cold frothed milk for your coffee specialties.
And when you have a little leftover, you can store it in the fridge with the lid on. And cleaning is easy because the frother is dishwasher safe. If black coffee is no longer enough for you, this milk frother is for you.
Reservoir capacity: 60 oz
Size: 11.7 x 15.3 x 12.5 x 11.7 inches
Features: Brews 6-, 8-, 10-, and 12-ounce cups; Makes strong "shots" for coffee specialties such as cappuccino; Strong attitude towards increasing the strength of the coffee; Frother; Cold setting for cold, frothed milk; Automatic shutdown (2 hours); Descaling warning
Reasons to buy
+ Reservoir can be filled at the sink
+ Can be used with a reusable coffee filter
+ Makes four portion sizes
+ Dishwasher-safe frother for cappuccino and lattes
+ Automatic switch-off
+ Height adjustment
Reasons to avoid
Let's face it, the reason a lot of us enjoy cappuccino and lattes is because we love the frothy milk, not the espresso. If you're one of those people, you'll appreciate the K-Café's built-in frother, which makes it easy to make a frothy topping. You can get a stronger cup of coffee by choosing a dark roast and using the shot setting.
It's a bit more expensive than the simpler Keurig coffee makers on this list, but if you want to feel at home it's packed with features and extra accessories to experiment with, all with easy to use buttons, and smart heating for extra speed.
How does a Keurig coffee maker work?
Keurig coffee makers use K-Cups, small sealed pods containing ground coffee. After inserting the pod into a compartment in the coffee maker, you then select the size drink you want. The machine then pierces holes in either end of the pod and forces water through the ground coffee in the pod and down into your mug. Once the water is hot, the brewing process takes just a little over a minute.
How to care for and maintain a Keurig coffee maker
Find out how to clean your Keurig K-Cafe to ensure fresh brews and a seamless process every time.
- If you're using a reusable coffee filter, be sure to use coarsely ground coffee and fill the mesh basket only to the bottom of the brown band (2.5 tablespoons).
- If you find grounds in your coffee or you're getting a smaller cup of coffee than the size you selected, one of the needles may be clogged or need cleaning. Before cleaning the needles, unplug the machine. To unclog the exit needle, you need to remove and disassemble the pod holder and then use a paper clip to clear away any debris. Lift the head and use the paper clip to clean the entrance needle. We suggest that you watch this helpful video on the Keurig website before beginning the procedure.
- Every three to six months, or when you notice that brewing has slowed down, we recommend descaling your Keurig. Begin by filling the reservoir with 10 ounces of white vinegar (or Keurig’s Descaling Solution). Start the brew cycle without a K-Cup in place and let the machine run as usual, being sure to use a mug to catch the liquid. Repeat this process a second time with vinegar and then a third time with 10 ounces of fresh water.
Keurig coffee makers and the environment
Until recently, K-Cups were not recyclable and wound up in landfills. New recyclable K-Cups made of polypropylene have been developed and have been rolled out across the US through 2019 and 2020.
Keurig promised that by the end of 2020, all K-Cups will be recyclable, however there hasn't been an update on this initiative since then. That means you may have to double check you are buying a recyclable K-Cup pod. To identify recyclable pods, look for a symbol on the package if you're buying them at a store, or on the listing on Keurig.com if you're shopping online.
Although the pods are recyclable, they are not compostable. And they're only recyclable if you take the time to peel off the lid, toss or compost the coffee grounds inside and then rinse out the pods before throwing them in your recycling bin. There is also a concern that because they are so small, the K-Cups may be filtered out at recovery facilities and still wind up in landfills.
You can purchase a so-called My K-Cup Reusable Filter that you can use with your own ground coffee and then wash and reuse. Although it solves some of the problems associated with the pods, it does reduce the convenience of brewing with a Keurig, especially if you have many people using the machine throughout the day.
There are many people in the world who really want a single cup of coffee (this article was written by one) and Keurig coffee machines are the ideal solution: Quick? Check! Simple? Check! Consistent? Check!
So much so that, according to Statista, over 42% of American households now have a coffee machine for a cup. And now that Keurig machines have new tricks up their sleeves, such as making tea, white coffee, and iced drinks with coffee, the best Keurig coffee machines are ready to remain a staple in our homes.