Quick Answer: I would recommend the Keurig Mini Plus. It is Keurig’s best small coffee maker, and one of the best small K-cup coffee makers on the market.
This is my Keurig K Mini Plus review – my verdict on Keurig’s smallest single-serve coffee maker.
I have owned the machine for a year. I also own two of Keurig’s other coffee makers, namely the Keurig K Duo and Keurig K Supreme Plus, so I can directly compare them to these two machines.
The Keurig K Mini Plus is more expensive than most small K-cup coffee makers. It tries to justify this extra cost with its extra strength setting and its incredibly compact design.
I’ll be paying particular attention to whether these features can justify this machine’s premium price tag.
Let’s get started.
Should I Buy the Keurig Mini Plus?
I would recommend buying the Keurig Mini Plus. It makes the best-tasting coffee of all Keurig’s smaller coffee makers, and its pod and cord storage means that it takes up the least amount of space of any K-cup machine.
Keurig Mini Plus Pros
Its strong brew function and ability to make 6 oz serving sizes mean it makes the best-tasting coffee of any small K-cup coffee maker.
Its removable reservoir makes it very easy to clean.
It is the most compact Keurig coffee maker because of its pod and cord storage.
It has a cute look, especially with its fun range of colors.
It is the same price as many inferior coffee makers.
Keurig Mini Plus Cons
It can take up to 90 seconds to warm up before it can brew your coffee.
It is very loud when it brews your coffee.
It does not tell you when it needs to be descaled.
Overview of Keurig K Mini Plus
The Keurig K Mini Plus is Keurig’s smallest K-cup coffee maker along with the Keurig K Mini- for more info please see my Keurig Mini review.
The Mini Plus can brew 6 – 12 oz serving sizes of coffee with standard or reusable K-cups. It has two strength settings, and these affect how long the machine brews your K-cup.
The machine has a built-in K-cup pod and electrical cord storage which minimizes its footprint even further. Keurig has clearly designed the machine to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible, designing the machine in seven available colors.
The table below shows the key specifications of the Keurig Mini Plus:
|Specification||Keurig K Mini Plus|
Dimensions (Height, Width, Depth)
4.50” W x 11.30” D x 12.60” H
Maximum height with lid up
Maximum mug clearance (with drip tray removed)
6.00 inches (7.00 inches)
Available serving sizes
6 oz – 12 oz
Can the reservoir store water between brews?
Preprogrammed serving sizes
Descale button/Descale warning light
Compatible with reusable K-cups?
Here is what the machine looks like with the pod storage in and out:
What are the Differences Between the Keurig Mini Plus and the Keurig Mini?
There are three differences between the Keurig Mini Plus and the Keurig Mini:
- The Keurig Mini Plus has two strength settings which you can toggle between by pressing the machine’s strong button. The Mini only has one strength setting.
- The Keurig Mini Plus has a removable water reservoir. The Mini’s water reservoir is fixed to the machine.
- The Keurig Mini Plus has a pod storage container that can slot into the front of the machine. The Mini does not have this (but you can buy it separately).
I’d always recommend buying the Keurig Mini Plus over the Keurig Mini.
The Keurig Mini Plus’s strength settings and removable water reservoir mean that it makes better-tasting coffee and is easier to clean than the Mini.
There is only a slight bump in price for the Mini Plus compared to the Mini, and I think that the Mini Plus easily justifies this additional cost.
For more information on how these two machines stack up against each other, please see my comparison of the Keurig Mini vs Mini Plus.
I’m now going to assess the Keurig Mini Plus across five criteria:
- Quality of Coffee
- Ease of use and cleaning
- Design and build quality
- Value for money
Quality of Coffee
The Keurig K Mini Plus can make excellent coffee at 6 oz – 8 oz serving sizes, and a decent 10 oz coffee. The machine makes watery coffee at any serving size over 10 oz, however, this is a universal problem with all Keurig coffee makers.
The Keurig Mini Plus makes better-tasting coffee than most smaller K-cup coffee makers for two reasons.
- It allows you to brew 6 oz servings of coffee.
- You can lengthen its brewing time with the “strong” button.
I’ll now explain how these allow the Keurig Mini Plus to make a better-than-average K-cup coffee in a bit more detail.
Six Ounce Servings of Coffee
K-cup coffee machines that offer six-ounce servings of coffee make better-tasting coffee than ones that start at eight-ounce servings because K-cups only hold 10 grams of ground coffee.
This is only enough to brew with six ounces of water and still maintain the ideal 1:18 coffee-to-water ratio.
Eight-ounce servings of coffee brewed with standard K-cups are acceptable (although better with reusable K-cups). Servings over eight ounces brewed with K-cups are incredibly watery.
Reusable K-cups typically contain 17 grams of coffee, which is enough to brew a 10 oz serving of coffee and still maintain this ideal coffee-to-water ratio.
Twelve-ounce servings of coffee made with K-cups (standard or reusable) will always come out watery. You need to brew coffees of this size with loose grounds rather than with coffee pods.
The table below shows how well the Keurig K Mini Plus brews its different available serving sizes of coffee, as well as how to best brew coffee at each of these serving sizes:
|Serving Size||Coffee Grounds Required||How good is this serving size from the Keurig K Mini Plus?|
0.36 oz (10 grams)
Very good with a standard K-cup (strong button on)
0.47 oz (13.3 grams)
Very good with a reusable K-cup (strong button on)
0.6 oz (17 grams)
Good with a reusable K-cup (strong button on)
0.7 oz (20 grams)
Always very watery
The Keurig Mini Plus’s inclusion of a 6 oz serving size is the main reason why it makes better K-cup coffee than the Keurig K Express, another compact Keurig coffee machine.
The “Strong” Button
The Keurig Mini Plus’s strong button lengthens its brewing time from around 40 seconds to around 65 seconds.
This 65-second brewing time means that the Keurig Mini Plus brews coffee for the same length as my fancy Breville Precision Brewer. For context, my Breville Precision Brewer costs around twice as much as the Keurig Mini Plus.
Longer brewing times (up until around the two-minute mark) create better-tasting coffee as your ground coffee has more time to extract into your brewing water.
The Mini Plus’s “strong” button is the main reason why it makes significantly better-tasting coffee than the Keurig Mini.
Overall the Keurig K Mini Plus makes excellent K-cup coffee, with the high-quality coffee it produces is one of the strongest aspects of this machine.
Quality of Coffee: 9/10
The Keurig Mini Plus does not have as many functionalities as other Keurig coffee machines. However, I think that Keurig has smartly included the most important functionalities to make the machine produce great coffee, namely the six-ounce serving size and the strong button.
The Keurig Mini Plus can only make single servings of coffee with K-cups and reusable K-cups.
Although it does not have as many features as Keurig’s more premium models, like the Supreme and Supreme Plus, the Keurig Mini Plus has the two most important features that ensure it makes good coffee. These are:
- Six-ounce serving size
- “Strong” button
I think Keurig realized that more functionalities would necessitate a bigger machine, so chose just to keep the most important features and eschew the rest in order to make the machine as compact as possible.
Functionalities Rating: 7/10
Ease of Use & Cleaning
The Mini Plus’s stripped-back functionalities make it very simple to use. However, the machine is frustratingly slow when making multiple cups of coffee.
All you need to do to make a coffee with the Keurig K Mini Plus is turn the machine on, fill your reservoir with your desired amount of water, press the strong button, and then press brew when the brew button lights up.
The machine is so simple to program I can’t imagine anyone having a hard time brewing coffee with this machine.
The only mildly fiddly part of making a coffee with this machine is filling up the reservoir with your desired amount of water.
The Mini Plus’s reservoir has measurements on it, but these are not the easiest to read.
Usually, I just put roughly enough water as I want my coffee to have in my coffee cup and pour it into the reservoir, but if you like to dose your water precisely, you might find this a bit fiddly.
The only time when the Keurig K Mini Plus is frustrating to use is if you want to make several cups of coffee in a row.
The Mini Plus’s heating element is slow, to begin with, and as you need to add water for each brew, the machine needs to heat up the newly added water for each coffee.
This means that making three cups of coffee from the Mini Plus takes around six minutes.
If you anticipate that you are going to be making multiple cups of coffee from your Keurig machine regularly, you’re better off going for the similarly priced Keurig K Express.
The Express has a faster, more powerful heating element than the Mini Plus and can hold enough water for 4-5 coffees in its reservoir. This means that it can make three cups of coffee in about four minutes, compared to the Mini Plus’s six minutes.
Ease of Cleaning
The Keurig Mini Plus’s detachable parts make it easy to clean. I don’t like the fact that the machine does not tell you when it needs to be descaled, however.
There are four parts of the Keurig K Mini Plus that require regular cleaning. These are:
- The K-cup port
- The drip tray
- The reservoir
- The machine’s internal pipes
Let’s go through how easy it is to clean each of these parts.
Cleaning K-Cup Port and Drip Tray
The Keurig K Mini Plus’s coffee pod port and drip tray can be removed from the machine, taken apart easily (the parts slot together), and then rinsed in the sink. This makes cleaning these components really easy.
The needle at the top of the K-cup port should also be cleaned of any visible grounds when you see them.
This is best done by scraping off the grounds with a toothpick or straightened-out paper clip. I do this once every two weeks.
All in all, these components are very easy to clean.
Cleaning the Reservoir
The Keurig K Mini’s water reservoir doesn’t get dirty that quickly as you do not store water in there between brews. Still, you will want to give it a rinse and a scrub every 4 weeks or so.
Since the water reservoir is removable, this is very easy to do in the sink.
Descaling the Mini Plus’s Internal Pipes
The Mini Plus is easily descaled by filling the water reservoir with either descaling solution or white vinegar and then running a 12 oz brew without a K-cup in the machine.
Always run a couple of brews with water (and no K-cup) afterward to rinse out any vinegar/descaling solution.
Unlike most other Keurig machines, the Mini Plus does not tell you when it needs to be descaled.
This is a major negative point of the K Mini Plus. If you do not descale the machine as soon as it is required, this can cause irreparable damage to the machine’s pump.
Therefore it’s important to know exactly when the machine requires descaling.
According to Keurig’s website, their machines need to be descaled “once every three to six months”.
The vagueness of this instruction is because the regularity that you need to descale your machine depends heavily on how hard the water is in your area.
Given that it’s difficult to know how often your machine needs to be descaled, and that failure to descale your machine regularly enough can damage it permanently, I wish that the Keurig K Mini Plus had a descale warning system.
Ease of Use and Cleaning: 8/10
Design and Build Quality
The Keurig K Mini Plus is well-designed to save space and look good. Its heating system is poorly built, however, making the machine slow and noisy. Its pump also tends to deteriorate over time, however, this problem affects all Keurig machines.
External Build Quality
The Keurig K Mini Plus is, by quite a distance, the best K-cup coffee maker for someone with limited counter space. There are three reasons for this:
- The machine is super slim, at only 4.5 inches wide. This should allow you to squeeze it onto even the most crowded counter.
- The machine has a pod storage unit that fits into the machine without expanding its footprint. This unit can store nine pods. The Keurig Mini Plus is the only K-cup coffee maker that has this feature.
- The machine can store its cord inside its body. Only the Keurig Mini and Mini Plus can do this. It’s a really useful feature if you want to take the machine with you in your bag (to work or college for example).
As well as being compact, the Keurig Mini Plus is a really aesthetically pleasing machine. It is available in six colors. You can see them below:
Internal Build Quality
The Keurig Mini Plus does not have the best internal brewing system. Both its heating and pumping system are poorly built and this manifests itself in the following three problems:
- The machine is slow to heat up: The machine needs about 90 seconds to heat up and to recover between brews. This means that the machine is not suitable for people who are going to regularly make more than one cup of coffee at a time.
- The machine is noisy when brewing: And I mean REALLY noisy. This was my personal biggest annoyance with the K Mini Plus.
- The machine pumps less water over time: As the Mini Plus gets older it often struggles to completely pump all the water from its water tank into its body. This means that your serving sizes will get smaller and smaller over time, often until the machine is unusable.
Here is one Amazon reviewer complaining about this pumping issue:
I should say that this deteriorating pump seems to affect all Keurig machines, rather than being exclusive to the Keurig Mini Plus.
Design and Build Quality Rating: 7/10
Value For Money
The Keurig Mini Plus is good value for money especially compared to other Keurig machines.
The Keurig Mini Plus only costs around $10 – $20 more than the Keurig Mini and is a lot better than this machine.
The Mini Plus’s better value compared to the Mini is epitomized by the fact that the K-cup container that comes as standard with the Mini Plus (but not the Mini) costs $20. This is the same as the price difference between the two machines.
The Mini Plus also offers the “strong” button to justify its extra cost over the Mini
Although I think that Keurig machines are a bit overpriced in general, the Keurig Mini Plus is the best value for money Keurig machine, in my opinion.
Value for Money Rating: 8/10
Alternatives to the Keurig Mini Plus
I would recommend two products as alternatives to the Keurig K Mini Plus:
- Keurig K Express (better for groups of people)
- Mixpresso 2 in 1 (best budget option)
Keurig K Express – Better for Groups of People
Better for Groups of People
The Keurig K Express’s larger water tank and faster heating mechanism means it can make multiple coffees in a row faster than the Mini Plus. This makes it better for households with several coffee drinkers
The Keurig K Express has a 48 oz water tank and a superior heating mechanism to the Keurig Mini Plus.
This allows you to make several cups of coffee in a row much quicker with the K Express than with the K Mini Plus.
The Keurig K Express has two downsides compared to the Mini Plus. They are:
- The Express does not have a 6 oz serving option: This means that it makes inferior coffee with standard K-cups than the Mini Plus. The Express still has a “strong” button, however.
- The Express is four inches deeper than the Mini Plus: This means that it will jut out further on your counter, potentially taking up space for food preparation (this depends on how deep your counter is).
Because of these downsides, I’d still recommend the Keurig Mini Plus over the Keurig Express if you are the only coffee drinker who will use the machine. To find out more about the Keurig K Express, please read my comparison of the Keurig Express vs Keurig Mini.
Mixpresso Single Serve 2 in 1 Coffee Maker – Best Budget K-Cup Brewer
Best Budget K-Cup Brewer
The Mixpresso Single Serve 2 in 1 is significantly cheaper than the Keurig K Mini Plus and still makes comparable-tasting coffee to it.
The Mixpresso Single Serve 2-in-1 Coffee Maker is one of the most affordable coffee machines on the market.
Despite its low price it still makes a decent strength coffee due to the fact that it has one of the longest brewing times of all the lower-end single-serve coffee makers.
It can also make single-serve coffees with loose grounds, meaning that it can make a strong 12 oz coffee. This is an advantage the cheaper Mixpresso has over the more expensive Keurig Mini Plus.
The Mixpresso does lack durability with its plastic feel and customer reviews do claim that it breaks very easily, but with such a low price this is to be expected.
I would recommend the Keurig K Mini Plus. It is one of Keurig’s best small coffee makers and one of the best small K-cup coffee makers generally.
For more information on how the Keurig Mini Plus compares against other Keurig machines, please see my comparison of the Keurig Mini vs Mini Plus.