Keurig K-Cafe Review (2022) - Can it Actually Froth Milk?

Last Updated On : August 2022
Author: Felipe
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Summary

Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker Review
Source: keurig.com
Overall Rating
84%
Design & Build Quality
80%
Features & Ease of Use
83%
Coffee Drink Quality
75%
Cleaning & Maintenance
90%
Value for Money
90%

The Bottom Line

With the Keurig K-Café, enjoying delicious specialty beverages at home has never been so affordable or easy. The milk frother can prepare hot or cold milk froth and is extremely easy to clean. However, this machine can be too large for some kitchens and does not come with many coffee brew customization options. The K-Café offers great value for your money if you like to enjoy specialty coffee beverages.

The Keurig K-café single-serve coffee machine is a great choice for coffee lovers who want a budget coffee machine with the ability to make lattes and cappuccinos while having the convenience of pods.

This machine has a sleek, modern design but rather large design, and makes great-tasting milk coffee. Its highlight is its milk frother. It can both prepare hot or cold froth milk and has a handle and spout to pour milk like at a coffee shop. It is also supremely easy to clean!

However, the K-Café lacks some features when it comes to brewing coffee.

So is the K-Café worth it?

Read this Keurig K-Café review to find out!

Specifications

  • Model: Keurig K-Café

  • Type: Single Serve K-Cup

  • Display: None

  • Colors: Charcoal

  • Dimensions: 12.5” H X 15.3” W X 11.7” D

  • Weight: 10.0 lb

  • Cord Length: 30”

  • Power Rating: 1,500 watts

  • Warranty: 1 year

Key Features

  • Single Serve Cup Sizes: 2-oz shot and 4 sizes (6, 8, 10, and 12 oz)

  • Lattes & Cappuccinos: Yes

  • Drip Coffee Sizes: No

  • Temperature Control: No

  • Strength Control: Yes (regular and strong)

  • Iced Setting: No

  • Fits Travel Mug: Yes, max height of 7.2"

  • Milk Frothing: Yes

  • Carafe Type & Heating Plate: No

  • Water Tank Capacity: Removable 60 oz water tank

  • Multi-Position Water Tank: No

  • Auto On: No

  • Energy Saving Auto Off: Yes

  • Programmable: No

  • Pause & Pour: No

  • High Altitude Setting: Yes

  • MultiStream Technology: No

  • BrewID Technology: No

  • Wireless Connectivity: No

  • Automatic Ejection of used Pods: No

Keurig K-Café Review

Design and Build Quality

The Keurig K-Café has a sleek and modern design that will look great on any kitchen countertop.

The machine is made of plastic, but it is solid and well-built.

It's one of the largest Keurig coffee machines. It has a width of 15.3 inches, rivaling full-sized automatic espresso machines. However, it's only 11.7 inches deep, so you could turn it around if you are really tight on kitchen counter space.

One of the most prominent features of the design is the milk frother system. It's located on the right side of the machine, it’s made of stainless steel, and has a handle and spout to help you pour the milk into the coffee.

Inside the milk frother, there are marked lines to guide you on the required milk levels for lattes or cappuccinos. The milk frother is also removable for easy cleaning.

On the left side of the machine is the water reservoir. It's removable and has a handle, which is great for refilling and cleaning. With a 60-oz capacity, it's of adequate size for most coffee drinkers.

The K-Café user interface is very straightforward and features the typical Keurig button control panel. The K button is surrounded by the 4 k-cup sizes and coffee shot button. On top, you can find the strong brew button, the coffee, latte & capp, and power buttons.

On the milk frother side, there are three more buttons. These are the latte and cappuccino selection buttons, as well as the cold frothing button if you want the machine to froth cold milk.

Finally, the Keurig K-Café is travel mug friendly. If you remove the drip tray, it can accommodate travel mugs that are up to 7.2" tall.

Note that Keurig also sells the Keurig K-Café Special Edition single-serve coffee machine (pictured below). The only difference between the K-Café Special Edition and the K-Café is that the former comes in a Nickel color finish, and the milk frother handle and drip tray are made of metal. Besides that, they are exactly the same.

Keurig K-Cafe Special Edition Coffee Maker
Source: keurig.com

The Keurig K-Café is a modern and sleek coffee maker that prominently features its stainless steel milk frother. It has a fairly removable water tank and an intuitive user interface, and it’s designed to be easy to clean. It even accommodates travel mugs. The only downside of the design is its large footprint.

Ease of Use and Features

The Keurig K-Café is very easy to use, even for first-time users.

The controls are straightforward, and the machine does all the work for you (well, you need to press a few buttons) once you have inserted a coffee pod and added fresh milk to the milk frother.

To brew coffee, simply press the coffee button, select the cup size you want, and then press the K button.

To brew lattes or cappuccinos, press the "latte & capp" button instead. The strong brew and shot buttons will light up, waiting for you to press the K button to start the brew.

The highlight of this Keurig coffee maker is the milk frother.

Not only can it prepare delicious milk drinks, but it's also extremely easy to use and clean.

The K-Café milk frother comes with the following features:

  • The milk frother has a handle and spout, allowing you to pour the frothed milk into your coffee.

  • Inside it, there are two handy reference lines, representing the min and max milk levels.

  • It can froth milk for both lattes and cappuccinos

  • It has the option to froth either hot or cold

  • The milk frother is removable and dishwasher friendly (top tray)

The coffee maker itself only has just a few features:

  • 4 cup sizes (6, 8, 10, and 12 oz)

  • Coffee shot option, which dispenses 2 oz of coffee

  • Strong Brew option for a stronger brew

  • Altitude settings, to account for the change in the boiling point of water in higher altitudes

The K-Café also includes the Smart Start feature. With this feature, the coffee maker heats up while allowing you to press the brew button, without having to wait for the machine to heat up.

There are some features from other Keurig coffee makers we would have liked to see in the K-Café, such as more coffee strength and temperature settings, similar to the K-Supreme lineup.

The Multistream technology is also missing, which could have potentially improved the drink quality.

We point out that these lack of features given this is the only Keurig coffee maker that does milk.

In short, the Keurig K-Café is very intuitive to use with its typical Keurig button control panel. It offers many features when it comes to frothing milk, including hot or cold frothing. However, it lacks some features from the coffee side of things, such as temperature control, more coffee strength settings, and the MultiStream technology.

Coffee Drink Quality

The Keurig K-Café can brew both coffee and espresso-style beverages.

Let's get something out of the way first though - this coffee maker does not brew real espresso. So the intent is to drink the coffee shot it dispenses with the frothed milk.

If you enjoy pure espresso and want the convenience of pod machines, you'll have to look into Nespresso machines. A good alternative is the Nespresso Essenza Mini or the Nespresso Vertuo Next.

Overall, the quality of the milk from the K-Café is quite impressive given the cost of this machine.

It delivers two distinct textures and foam proportions for the latte and cappuccino options. The latté option results in a smooth and silky foam, whereas the cappuccino option results in a more airy texture with more foam on top of your drink.

The frother has a handle and a spout to allow you to make coffee shop-style drinks. Although you will not get the perfect micro-foam for latte art, you can still attempt to do some latte art thanks to this pouring system.

Although it is implied that the K-Café can prepare lattes and cappuccinos, you can prepare other delicious coffee drinks such as latte macchiatos. To prepare one, first froth and pour the milk into your coffee glass, wait a bit for the milk and foam to layer, and then brew the espresso shot. You'll get a beautifully layered coffee drink.

The K-Café can also froth cold milk for iced lattes for icy coffee milk drinks.

However...

The coffee system lacks many features that could have made for more delicious coffee drinks. We emphasize this given this is the only Keurig machine that does milk.

We feel like there is a lot of emphasis on the milk frother, but not enough on the coffee maker. For example, this machine does not feature Keurig's MultiStream technology for a more even coffee aroma extraction.

You only get one type of "espresso" shot. The Strong Brew option is automatically selected for the coffee shot option and cannot be deselected.

More strength settings would have allowed for greater customization of the espresso shot to suit more preferences.

You're also stuck with one temperature setting. Again, more temperature settings would have resulted in better customization of the coffee brewing process and control over the final drink temperature.

Finishing on a good note, this coffee maker is compatible with the My K-Cup Universal Reusable Coffee filter. This allows you to use your own ground coffee and potentially improve the drink quality of this coffee machine.

In short, the Keurig K-Café prepares delicious lattes and cappuccinos. It places high emphasis on the milk frothing system but not so much on black coffee since it lacks temperature control, the MultiStream technology, and more coffee strength settings.

Cleaning & Maintenance

The Keurig K-Café is very easy to clean and earns high marks for this category.

The milk frother should be cleaned after every use, but it can be removed and is dishwasher safe.

The water tank, drip tray, K-Cup Pod holder, and funnel are all easily removable and should be regularly rinsed.

At least weekly, you should clean the entrance and exit needle with a straightened paper clip to remove any leftover coffee grounds.

The K-Café can alert you by means of lights whether the water tank needs more water, or whether it needs to be descaled.

You can use Keurig's Descaling Solution or white vinegar to descale this Keurig machine. The process should be repeated every 3 to 6 months and takes about 45 minutes to complete.

In short, the Keurig K-Café is arguably one of the easiest-to-clean coffee makers with a milk system. Minimal effort on your part is needed as the milk frother is dishwasher safe and the coffee maker components easily come apart for rinsing.

Value for Money

The Keurig K-Café Single Serve Coffee - Latte & Cappuccino Maker retails for about $200.

This is more expensive than most regular coffee makers, but on par with Nespresso VertuoLine machines (which require you to purchase a milk frother separately).

If you are into lattes and cappuccinos (and most likely you are since you are reading this review), the K-Café offers excellent value, provided you’re not a black coffee purist.

A cappuccino or latte will cost you $5 at a coffee shop, whereas it will cost you about $0.80 on average to make one at home using this machine. In other words, your coffee consumption could cost you about $1,825 per year if you buy milky coffee drinks every day, whereas with this machine the cost would be just less than $500 (including the cost of the machine and K-cups for 1 year).

So within Year 1, you could easily save over $1,000 by getting the K-Café! 

And not only you will save money, but also have a home coffee maker able to deliver delicious hot or cold-frothed milk coffee drinks.

However, if you are one who seldom drinks coffee with milk, then we recommend you look at other Keurig coffee makers, such as the K-Duo Plus or K-Supreme Plus SMART. They cost roughly the same and have more coffee-related features.

In short, the Keurig K-Café coffee maker is an excellent value purchase if you buy daily specialty coffee drinks. It will save easily save you $1,000 within Year 1 of purchase.

Our Verdict

Keurig K-Café
  • Design & Build Quality - 80
  • Features & Ease of Use - 83
  • Coffee Drink Quality - 75
  • Cleaning & Maintenance - 90
  • Value for Money - 90

Summary

With the Keurig K-Café, enjoying delicious specialty beverages at home has never been so affordable or easy. The milk frother can prepare hot or cold milk froth and is extremely easy to clean. However, this machine can be too large for some kitchens and does not come with many coffee brew customization options. The K-Café offers great value for your money if you like to enjoy specialty coffee beverages.

Overall
84

Pros

  • 4 cup sizes (6, 8, 10, and 12 oz) sizes plus a 2 oz shot
  • The milk frother creates distinct milk textures for lattes and cappuccinos
  • Hot or cold milk froth options
  • The milk system is very easy to clean
  • Very good value for a machine that makes specialty coffee

Cons

  • Large machine
  • No MultiStream technology for a more flavorful coffee
  • Needs more strength and temperature control settings
  • Does not brew real espresso

What Should I Get - A Keurig, Ninja, or a Nespresso Machine?

Both Keurig and Nespresso offer great options to conveniently make single-serve coffee. So which one is good for you? It depends on your preferences.

  • If you like espresso coffee or specialty coffee drinks, then get a Nespresso machine. The best Nespresso machine, in this case, would be one from the OriginalLine. If you like specialty coffee make sure you also check our recommended automatic espresso machines since some Nespresso machines can cost as much!

  • If you like to have espresso coffee and drip coffee (or have many opinions at home), then again, a Nespresso machine would be best. However, this time look for VertuoLine ones. 

  • If you like to conveniently make regular coffee, then the best option is Keurig coffee makers.

  • If you want convenience but don’t want to deal with pods or capsules, we recommend you check out our best ninja coffee machines post!

K-cups and coffee beans

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Keurig K-Cafe and the Special Edition?

The difference between the Keurig K-Café and the K-Café Special Edition is that the K-Café Special Edition has a nickel finish and features a metal milk frother handle and a metal drip tray. Besides this, (and the price) they are identical.

Can the Keurig K-Café make regular coffee?

Yes, it can. It can brew 4 sizes of single-serve coffee (6, 8, 10 and 12 oz).

Does the Keurig K-Café warm milk?

Yes, the K-Café's milk frother warms the milk while it froths it. It also has the cold froth option for icy drinks.

Does the Keurig K-Café have a filter?

The K-Café is compatible with water filters but does not include one upon purchase.

Can you make espresso in a Keurig K-Café?

No, the Keurig K-Café cannot prepare espresso as it does not use a 9-bar pressure brewing system. It does dispense a concentrated 2-oz coffee shot. But if you are a purist, we recommend you look at actual espresso machines.

What's the difference between a latte and a cappuccino?

Both drinks use espresso coffee as a base, but the milk quantity is what differentiates these two drinks. The latte contains more steamed milk and just a bit of foam, whereas the cappuccino contains more foam and less steamed milk. Depending on where you are, there are different variations of these two drinks. One example is the Spanish latte.

Can you make iced coffee with Keurig K-Café?

Yes, you can. Simply brew some coffee over ice cubes, and then select the cold milk frothing option.

Can you use non-dairy milk with the Keurig K-Café?

Yes, you can. As per Keurig's website, you can use lactose free milk, skim milk, 2% milk, whole milk, and nut milk. Cold and fresh milk delivers the best results in all cases.

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