Keurig K-Cafe Latte and Cappuccino Maker Review
A foamy cappuccino is undeniably delicious but making one can be an intimidating prospect for the novice home barista. The Keurig K-Café by Keurig solves this problem, by making cafe-style drinks with the same convenience for which the Keurig coffee makers are known. Our Keurig K-Cafe Latte and Cappuccino Maker review will cover the highs and lows of this unique machine to help you decide if it’s right for you.
A Quick Review of the Keurig K-Cafe
While most Keurigs look like variations on the same theme, the K-Cafe stands out among the crowd. It’s the only one offering a built-in milk frother and the ability to brew concentrated, espresso-like shots for use in lattes and cappuccinos. Moreover, it also provides the option of regular coffee. But, the best feature of this coffee maker and a hallmark of the Keurig brand, is its ease of use. Better still, its clean-up is a piece of cake.
Although we consider the K-Cafe as one of the best Keurig coffee makers, there are a few downsides to it. If you’re hoping to brew large servings for a crowd, be aware that it isn’t compatible with K-carafe pods. And if you’re expecting the sort of rich espresso with thick crema that you get from your local coffee shop, you’re liable to be disappointed.
- Drink variety
- Milk frother
- Easy to use and clean
- Dishwasher safe
- Energy efficient
- Has a removable water reservoir
- No temperature adjustment
- No K-carafe pods
Full Review of the Keurig K-Café
Brewing – 4.5/5
The K-Cafe offers the greatest brewing versatility of any Keurig machine. This is due to its built-in milk frother and espresso shot option. While this won’t be the premium crema-topped espresso you might get from a cafe or a high-end home machine, it makes an excellent basis for a latte or cappuccino. You can also choose your preferred cup size, from 6 to 12 ounces, and choose between two brew strengths. Additionally, using a refillable K-cup with freshly ground beans is a great way to improve flavor (1) and be environmentally conscious. (2)
The frother works with any milk, including non-dairy options, and it can froth hot or cold. Hence, making iced beverages is no sweat. Pun intended.
A downside is that you cannot adjust the brewing temperature or factor in the altitude. Something to consider if you like your coffee blazing hot.
User-Friendliness – 5/5
User-friendliness is paramount for Keurig machines. This one is no exception, as it remains wonderfully simple despite its extra features.
The new milk frother is particularly impressive. The pitcher marks how much milk to add, and the touch of a button starts the magnetic spinner. Also, there are no messy or unreliable steam wands. Plus, when cleaning up, every component is dishwasher safe.
The K-Café’s magic is in the froth. The stainless steel frothing jug makes heating and micro-foaming faster and easier than most electric frothers.
The removable 60-ounce water reservoir rarely needs refilling and features a handle for easy transport. The drip tray and K-Cup pod holder are also removable for cleaning.
Lastly, if you like your coffee on the go, you’ll be pleased to find that the K-Cafe can accommodate a 7.2″ tall travel mug, which is a rarity among coffee and espresso machines.
Energy Efficiency – 4/5
Single-serve coffee makers are inherently energy efficient because they heat and brew quickly and don’t need a warming mode (3). The K-Cafe only takes about two minutes to get that delicious java in your hand. Though, of course, it will pull a little more juice if you’re frothing milk as well.
This coffee maker also features a Smart Start feature, allowing you to prepare everything while it’s heating. Thus, to avoid wasted time, it can brew when it’s ready. When done, it will automatically power down after 2 hours of inactivity.
Value – 4/5
The K-Cafe is not the cheapest Keurig coffee maker on the market. Yet, with the included milk-frothing capabilities and espresso feature, the value for money is there.
Is this really for you?
If you enjoy espresso drinks, but still want the convenience of a K-cup, this is your perfect coffee maker. It makes lattes and cappuccinos as approachable as any Keurig coffee.
It’s also a great machine if you like variety. While there may be better options for just coffee or espresso, if you’re a coffee drinker who occasionally wants to mix up the morning routine with a cappuccino, the K-Cafe can’t be beaten.
Don’t buy this IF
If you’re an espresso enthusiast looking for the perfect shot with a thick crema, the K-Cafe won’t deliver. It produces a strong cup of coffee that is a great basis for foamed milk drinks but not a real espresso. However, if you’re not interested in espresso drinks, you can save money by buying one of Keurig’s many other single-serve machines, like the K575.
The K-Cafe is not the best model for brewing large quantities of coffee because it doesn’t accommodate K-carafe pods. If you’re planning to serve a crowd, check out our Keurig K200 Plus review for a better option.
Finally, if you have limited counter space, you’ll have to decide if the K-Cafe is worth its bulk, as it measures a hefty 15″ wide. For a small space, consider a more compact machine, like the Keurig K15, instead.
The Bottom Line
The Keurig K-Cafe Plus is an excellent machine for those who want options. Thanks to its milk frother and espresso function, no other Keurig compares when it comes to variety. And despite these novel features, it stays true to Keurig’s form by being incredibly simple to use and straightforward to clean.
Whether you want a travel mug of black coffee for the road or a foamy latte to savor at home, the K-Cafe is the brewer that can do it all.
- Marulanda, C. (2018, December 17). Is Pre-Ground Coffee Ever Better Than Freshly Ground? Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2018/12/is-pre-ground-coffee-ever-better-than-freshly-ground/
- Hamblin, J. (2015, March 2). A Brewing Problem. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/03/the-abominable-k-cup-coffee-pod-environment-problem/386501/
- (2011, November). Energy Star Market and Industry Report: Coffee Makers. Retrieved from https://www.energystar.gov/sites/default/files/asset/document/ENERGY_STAR_Scoping_Report_Coffee_Makers.pdf
Coffee lover and Dad, on a budget. Since the wishes of my beautiful wife and two charming kids are of course of much higher priority than my own ones, I always keep an eye out for coffee products which give me the biggest bang for the buck!