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Keurig K-Mini review

A barebones pod machine that serves as the easiest intro to Keurig

Keurig K-Mini on kitchen counter
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The K-Mini is a slender Keurig machine that excels at its one function of brewing pod coffee. Its power cord storage makes it extra portable, while its one-cup reservoir saves space where it matters.

Pros

  • +

    Brews a cup in under three minutes

  • +

    Cord storage makes it easy to move around

  • +

    Lots of color options

  • +

    Compact size is great for saving space

Cons

  • -

    Lukewarm brew temperatures

  • -

    Makes flat tasting coffee

  • -

    Longest brew time of all tested Keurigs

Keurig K-Mini: Specs

Reservoir Capacity: None
Size: 12.1 x 11.3 x 4.5 inches
Brew sizes: 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-ounce cups
Removable water reservoir: No
Milk frother: No
Strength settings: No
Iced coffee: No
Auto On/Off: Yes

The K-Mini is Keurig’s classic coffee machine made small, with power cord storage, a single-cup water reservoir, and a width of only five inches. Built to be non-intrusive, the K-Mini is a decent appliance for small living areas, saving countertop space. Simply fill the water reservoir with 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-ounces of water, and brew the exact size of coffee you want. 

The Keurig K-Mini has a single button and can brew a cup of coffee in less than three minutes. It’s one of the best Keurig coffee makers because of its compact size above all, as you will see in our Keurig K-Mini review. 

Keurig K-Mini review: Price and availability

The Keurig K-Mini has a list price of $79, but it’s frequently on sale for less. Like other Keurig models, prices may vary depending on color.

Like all Keurigs, the K-Mini only accepts K-Cup branded coffee pods to brew coffee, tea, and hot cocoa, though thankfully, grocers carry a wide range. These pods can run anywhere between $7 to $14 per 12-pack, the lower end being grocery chain branded pods and the higher end Starbucks branded. That’s about 60 cents to $1.15 per K-Cup. The K-Mini is compatible with reusable K-Cup pods, which can accommodate pre-ground coffee.

Keurig K-Mini review: Features

The K-Mini is pretty barebones as far as Keurig machines go. It features two buttons — one to power it on and the other to brew — and a water reservoir fit for up to 12 ounces. 

Keurig K-Mini power button

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It has a single light around its large brew button to show when your machine is heating up, and, of course, it has a latch to raise the compartment that the pod slots into. That’s about it.

Keurig K-Mini hidden power cord

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Unique to the K-Mini, though, is the power cord storage located on the back of the machine. You can feed the cord through the appliance’s back and stow it away, making it great for moving around, or even just hiding an excess of cords in your kitchen.

Keurig K-Mini review: Design

Unlike the K-Classic, the K-Mini doesn’t look like a hulking machine. It’s roughly 12 inches tall, and 4.5 inches wide, which is almost half the width of the K-Classic. With the latch open, it’s roughly 13 inches in height. Its slim silhouette fits neatly on a counter and can easily stand between other appliances you may already have in your kitchen. 

Keurig K-Mini on kitchen counter

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The K-Mini has a shape similar to a dry food storage container, but with plenty of color options to make it stand out. You can grab one in black or make your K-Mini pop on the counter in pink, green, two shades of blue, red, or gray.

Keurig K-Mini water reservoir

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The only potential downside to the K-Mini’s design is that its water reservoir, located at the rear of the machine, isn’t removable. This means you may have to pull the K-Mini out to reach it, depending on your counter situation.

Keurig K-Mini review: Performance

My experience with the K-Mini’s coffee is similar to that of the K-Classic, which is to say: not good. No matter what size of coffee I brewed with the K-Mini, all K-Cups tasted identical — that is, somewhat stale and flat. Although, if you’re a known fan of K-Cups, your opinion may vary.  

Keurig K-Mini coffee pod compartment

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It takes just over two minutes for the K-Mini to warm up and brew a single cup of coffee. While testing, the shortest recorded brew time was two minutes flat, and the longest two minutes and 30 seconds. This is lightning quick, but it may be the culprit of why K-Cups don’t always taste all that great. The K-Mini stabs open a coffee pod, then sputters warm water through it without fully soaking all of its grounds or allowing them to steep.

Keurig K-Mini brewing coffee

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Temperature is another vital part of brewing coffee, and the National Coffee Association says the optimal cup is brewed between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. The K-Mini is unable to produce coffee at this temperature. Out of four cups of coffee, each cup I brewed ranged between 180 to 189 degrees Fahrenheit, despite the serving size. Though Keurig makes a few machines that provide added options like temperature adjustments and brew strength, the K-Mini doesn’t offer this. So don’t expect a piping hot cup of coffee from this machine.

It’s also the noisiest Keurig machine we’ve tested, outputting 80 decibels of sound at the end of its brew cycle. Like all Keurigs, the heating cycle is low volume, but when it comes to brewing, its biggest noisemaker is the sputtering at the end of filling a cup. That loud spattering also manages to spray water around the machine and counter space.

Keurig K-Mini review: Ease of Use

The K-Mini is a breeze to use and eliminates some of the flashy lights on other Keurigs for the sake of a two-button operation. You simply fill the water reservoir up to the 6-, 8-, 10-, or 12-ounce line, turn it on, insert a K-Cup, and press the large glowing button to start brewing. The whole process takes less than three minutes. The worst of it is potentially having to pull the K-Mini out some to fill its reservoir up, but with such a small container, it’s as easy as filling your mug up with water and just dumping it in. 

Keurig K-Mini water reservoir

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Maintaining the K-Mini relies on Keurig’s descaling solution, which you need to use every three to six months to clean your machine. The K-Mini’s drip tray is removable so you can hand wash it, but its built-in water reservoir means you’re stuck with relying on Keurig’s descaling solution, or some vinegar, to thoroughly clean the inside of the tank.

Keurig K-Mini review: Verdict

The K-Mini is perhaps the easiest starter Keurig machine you can buy. Its compact size makes it a step above the larger K-Classic, and its one-button brew cycle makes it the simplest machine in the Keurig line. While the K-Classic may have a larger water reservoir, the K-Mini basically performs the same job at a lower cost and with less counter space. Plus, it can brew K-Cups up to 12-ounces — the K-Classic has a cap of 10. Its stow-away power cord makes it easy to hide unwanted visual clutter and easier to bring the K-Mini along for a weekend trip.

Still, Keurig machines can suffer from impractical brewing methods that result in a stale-tasting cup of coffee. The K-Mini can’t brew coffee at consistent or appropriate temperatures, and even at its best, its coffee tastes similar to what you’d find at a cheap diner.

Saying that, the K-Mini might be best for those who already know they enjoy K-Cup coffee pods and want the single-serve coffee pod experience at home. The ability to brew a cup of coffee in under three minutes is definitely enticing, and having that convenience with a push of a button is unbeatable — especially at its price. However, the best Keurig experience we’ve tested has been with the K-Cafe and the K-Elite.