Keurig K15 Mini Single Cup Coffee Maker Review
Are you looking for a single serve coffee maker that blends style, brewing capability, and energy efficiency into one compact package? The Keurig K15 might very well be the one for you.
In this Keurig K15 Mini review, we’ll cover the pros and cons of this handy little brewer. We’ll also advise on who will and will not love this product. Read on to find out which into which camp you fall.
A Quick Review of the Keurig K15 Coffee Maker
Single serve coffee makers like the Keurig K15 were originally designed for office use, to quickly brew one cup of coffee and avoid the problem of half-drunk carafes going stale (1). As it turns out, plenty of folks are looking for these qualities in their home brewer as well. The great news is that Keurig K15 delivers.
Keurig K15 is incredibly easy to use. Its simple light-up display tells you everything you need to know. Plus, when you’re done, cleaning up is a breeze because of its removable drip tray feature. An upgrade to the K15 from previous models is that it automatically shuts off after 90 seconds of inactivity, a fantastic addition for energy efficiency.
This is a compact, energy efficient machine that serves its purpose and serves it well.
Finally, the water reservoir of K15 is sized for a single cup, either 6, 8, or 10 oz. This minimizes the footprint of the machine and will be appreciated by those with small spaces. However, it could prove inconvenient for making many consecutive cups of coffee.
- Very easy to clean and use
- Small footprint
- Brews K-cups or the refillable My K-cup
- Affordable price
- Energy-efficient auto shut-off feature
- Single serve water reservoir
- Plastic construction lacks durability
- Coffee isn’t super hot
Related article: The best single serve coffee makers.
Full Review of the Keurig K15 Mini
Brewing – 3/5
The Keurig K15 is designed for convenience and not brew quality. Still, that doesn’t mean that K15 flops in the latter category. This little machine can accommodate three single cup brew sizes: 6-ounce, 8-ounce, and 10-ounce K-Cup pods. Moreover, it offers hundreds of flavors of K-cup available, including tea, herbal tea, and hot chocolate, you won’t lack variety. But, if this isn’t enough for you, know that K15 is also compatible with the refillable My K-cup, which you can use with your favorite brand of beans.
That said, there are no other parameters you can adjust on this machine. It brews a single strength of coffee at a single temperature (about 160 ℉) which is not quite as hot as those from larger Keurig coffee machines. Keep this in mind if you like your coffee scalding or you’re adding cold milk or cream.
User-Friendliness – 4.5/5
The K15 is exceptionally easy to use. A light-up display walks you through the steps of adding water and inserting the K-cup pod, and brewing your coffee is as simple as pressing the brew button.
Moreover, cleaning this machine is equally straightforward. By using K-cups you avoid messy coffee grounds, and the brewing compartment easily pops out of place to be rinsed after use. Also, for a more thorough cleaning, the brewing components are also dishwasher safe. Additionally, the removable drip tray features a floating indicator to let you know it’s full and slides easily out of place to be emptied and rinsed. Still, like all coffee machines, you need to descale it every 3 to 6 months, but this is easily done.
Whether you find the single-serve water tank to be a user-friendly feature will depend on your needs. That is, although K15 is a smart way to minimize the size of the machine, it could prove inconvenient in situations where multiple people want to brew coffee. Most importantly, you should make sure to measure the water in advance. It can be challenging to see exactly how much to add for the different brew sizes.
Energy Efficiency – 4/5
The real difference between Keurig K10 and K15 is the auto shut-off feature. In this era of prioritizing energy conservation, this is a very smart addition.
Like all Keurig machines, the K15 brews very fast, which is another energy-saving bonus. For instance, it takes about a minute for the water to heat up and another 45 seconds to brew the coffee, which is less than two minutes of energy use per cup. Pretty amazing, right?
From an environmental perspective, Keurigs and other single-serve pod coffee makers haven’t always had the best reputation. This is due to the increasing prevalence of K-cups in landfills. (2) Still, the availability of the My K-cup reusable pod has helped alleviate these concerns and made Keurig coffee machines an option for anyone. Have a look at our favorites here.
Value – 4/5
Above all, the Keurig K15 is an excellent value, both within its class of small brewers and when compared to other Keurig machines. Provided a small and efficient machine is what you’re in the market for. It’s inexpensive and comes in a variety of fun colors. The K-cup pod system means you don’t need to invest in a separate grinder, kettle, scale, filter papers, or any other paraphernalia that comes along with alternative brewing methods.
For a close comparison, the Keurig K-Classic is a slightly higher-priced model. Like the K15, it has no adjustable parameters to customize your drink. Nevertheless, the K-Classic does feature a 48-ounce water tank, a hotter cup of coffee, and a marginally faster brewing time. The trade-off is a larger footprint, which may not be ideal in small kitchens.
The ever-popular Keurig 575 has far more features, including a much larger water reservoir, touch-screen controls, and the ability to brew up to a 30-ounce carafe. On top of that, you can select between 5 different temperatures, adjust brew strength, and even set a timer to brew before you wake up. However, if these features aren’t important to you, you won’t get the value out of this more-expensive option. Here’s what we think about this coffee machine.
Is this really for you?
The Keurig K15 is perfect for a small office space or a compact home kitchen.
It’s inexpensive, quick and easy to use, energy-efficient, and comes in a variety of colors to suit any decor.
Don’t buy this IF
If you already have a K10 that hasn’t yet been recalled, there is very little reason to purchase the K15. Keurig K15 Mini was brought in to replace the discontinued K10 after a recall (3). The only new feature is the auto shut-off.
Furthermore, if you’re a heavy coffee drinker, or live in a household of coffee drinkers, the K15’s single-serve water reservoir might cause frustration. Instead, you would be better off with one of Keurig’s larger options, like the K-Classic.
In short, if you want the option of customizing your drink, the K15 won’t satisfy. In other words, if you want the convenience of a K-cup but prefer your coffee extra hot or extra strong, a higher-end Keurig model like the K200 Plus will be a better choice.
The Bottom Line
The Keurig K15 Mini is a great little machine if you’re looking for an affordable and stylish way to make quick coffee. Its small footprint means it fits nicely in even the most compact kitchens, and the upgraded automatic shut-off feature is an energy-efficiency win.
With hundreds of K-cup flavors to choose from, plus the option of your favorite ground beans, if you’re in the market for a single serve pod coffee maker, this one will not disappoint.
- McGinn, D. (2011, August 7). The inside story of Keurig’s rise to a billion-dollar coffee empire. Retrieved from http://archive.boston.com/business/articles/2011/08/07/the_inside_story_of_keurigs_rise_to_a_billion_dollar_coffee_empire/
- Oatman, M. (2017, June 24). Your coffee pods’ dirty secret. Retrieved from https://www.motherjones.com/food/2014/03/coffee-k-cups-green-mountain-polystyrene-plastic/
- Keurig Recalls MINI Plus Brewing Systems. (2017, December 14). Retrieved from https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2014/keurig-recalls-mini-plus-brewing-systems
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!