This is my Keurig K Mini Plus review – my verdict on Keurig’s smallest single-serve coffee maker.
I have owned the machine for six months, so have a solid understanding of its strengths and shortcomings of the machine.
I also own two of Keurig’s other coffee makers – namely the Keurig K Duo and the Keurig K Supreme Plus, so I can directly compare them to these two machines.
I’ll be evaluating the Mini Plus along five parameters in this review. They are:
- Quality of coffee it produces
- Ease of use
- Ease of cleaning
- Size and aesthetics
- What other uses have to say about the machine
Let’s get started.
Should I Buy the Keurig Mini Plus (Quick Verdict)?
I would recommend the Keurig K Mini Plus to anyone who wants a compact single-serve coffee maker. The Mini Plus can make good quality coffee from a 6 oz – 10 oz serving size, and you will struggle to find a more aesthetically pleasing or space-efficient coffee maker.
The machine does have a couple of downsides, however. These are:
- The machine’s pump has a tendency to deteriorate quickly, often struggling to pump the desired amount of water within a year of ownership. Regular descaling can often mitigate this, however.
- Since the machine requires new water for every brew, it is slow to make multiple cups of coffee.
The Keurig K Express has a better build quality and is a similar price to the Mini Plus. Therefore if you are not wedded to the sleek look of the Mini Plus, I would recommend going for the Express.
Overview of Product
The Keurig K Mini Plus minimises its footprint by stripping back a lot of the functionalities and buttons from the machine.
The serving size you make is determined by the amount of water you put in its reservoir for each brew (no pre-programmed serving sizes).
It has two brew strength settings, which are programmed by either pressing the strong button on or leaving it off.
Here is a table showing all the features and specifications of the Keurig K Mini Plus:
|Specification||Keurig K Mini Plus|
|Dimensions (Height, Width, Depth)||12.60 inches x 4.50 inches x 11.30 inches|
|Maximum height with lid up||16.80 inches|
|Maximum mug clearance (with drip tray removed)||6.00 inches (7.00 inches)|
|Reservoir volume||12 oz|
|Can the reservoir store water between brews?||No|
|Available serving sizes||6 oz – 12 oz|
|Preprogrammed serving sizes||No|
|Compatible with reusable K cups?||Yes|
Here is what the machine looks like with the pod storage in, with the pod storage removed, and with its K cup port and reservoir open:
Let’s have a closer look at how the Mini Plus’s features affect the quality of the machine.
Quality of Coffee
The Keurig K Mini Plus can make excellent K cup coffee in 6 oz – 8 oz serving sizes, and a decent cup at 10 oz. The machine makes watery coffee at any serving size over 10 oz, however, this is a universal problem with all Keurig coffee makers.
There are three factors that affect the quality of coffee that you can make from a K cup.
- Length of brewing time
- Coffee to water ratio
- Brewing temperature
Length of Brewing Time
The Keurig K Mini Plus has a “strong” setting which when on lengthens the machine brewing time from around 50 seconds to around 70 seconds.
I would always recommend brewing with this “strong” button on.
If you brew with the “strong” button on the Mini Plus can make an excellent 6 oz coffee with standard K cups, and a very good 8 oz – 10 oz coffee with reusable K cups.
Brewing without the strong button on will lead to a watery coffee, regardless of what serving size you make.
Coffee to Water Ratio
Standard K cups hold 0.36 oz (10 grams) of coffee grounds.
Since you want a 1:17 coffee to water ratio for filter coffee, a standard K cup only holds enough coffee grounds for a 6 oz serving of coffee.
Since the Mini Plus can make coffees of a 6 oz serving size, you can make a high-quality coffee with a standard K cup with this machine.
Many other Keurig Machines start at 8 oz serving sizes, so if you plan to brew with standard (non-reusable) K cups, the Keurig K Mini Plus will make superior coffee to most superior machines.
The Keurig K Mini Plus is compatible with My K Cup Universal Reusable K cups.
These hold up to 0.6 oz (17 grams) of coffee grounds – enough for a 10 oz cup of coffee.
Larger coffee requires longer brewing times, as well as more ground coffee.
The Mini Plus’s 70-second brew length (which isn’t actually that long in the grand scheme of things) allows it to make a full-bodied 8 oz coffee, but this does get more watery at 10 oz.
No K cup holds enough coffee grounds for a 12 oz serving size so I wouldn’t recommend ever making a coffee of this size with any Keurig machine, the Mini Plus included.
|Serving size||Coffee grounds required||How good is a coffee from the Keurig K Mini Plus|
|6 oz||0.36 oz||Very good with a standard K cup|
|8 oz||0.47 oz||Very good with a reusable K cup|
|10 oz||0.6 oz||A bit watery with a reusable K cup|
|12 oz||0.7 oz||Always very watery|
Since the Keurig K Mini Plus heats the water inside the machine, it is impossible to accurately measure brewing temperature.
The closest we can get to this is by measuring the temperature of coffee as soon as it is dispensed from the machine, this comes out at 160 Fahrenheit.
This is significantly lower than the ideal coffee brewing temperature of 195 Fahrenheit. I think it’s a fair estimate that the Mini Plus brews the coffee at around 180 Fahrenheit.
While this lower-than-ideal brewing temperature is reflected in the quality of coffee that you get from the Mini Plus, coffee machines that consistently brew at 195 Fahrenheit tend to cost much more than any Keurig Machine would.
Therefore I think that the brewing temperature of the coffee is fair for its price.
Overall the Keurig K Mini Plus makes excellent K cup coffee, with the quality of coffee it produces is one of the strongest aspects of this machine.
Ease of Use
The Mini Plus’s stripped-back functionalities makes it very simple to use. However, the machine is frustratingly slow when making multiple cups of coffee.
To make a coffee with the Keurig K Mini Plus, all you need to do 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 programme. I can’t imagine anyone finding difficulties with this.
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 Keurig K Mini Plus is frustrating to use 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.
Ease of Cleaning
The Keurig K Mini Plus is prone to making a mess, meaning that although it is quite easy to clean, you do need to clean it often. The fact that the machine does not tell you when it needs to be descaled is a major design flaw as failure to descale the machine when necessary will greatly shorten its lifespan.
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 K cup port and drip tray can be removed, 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.
Cleaning the Reservoir
The Keurig K Mini’s 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 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 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) afterwards to rinse out any vinegar/descaling solution.
Unlike other Keurig machines, the Mini Plus does not tell you when it needs to be descaled.
This is a major negative point of the 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 button.
Size and Aesthetics
The Keurig K Mini Plus is Keurig’s smallest and, to most people’s taste, their most aesthetically pleasing machine. This is epitomised by their pod and plug storage and wide range of available colors.
The Keurig K Mini Plus is Keurig’s joint smallest machine, along with the K Mini. Its lack of height means that it can only fit a maximum-sized mug of 7 inches (even with the drip tray removed). This is enough to accommodate a 14 oz travel mug but no bigger.
The Keurig K Mini Plus maximises its compactness by having pod and cord storage.
The pod storage makes it particularly suited for keeping all your coffee-making items on a crowded desk at work, and the cord storage means you can travel with your machine in your luggage without having to deal with a loose cord in your bag.
The Mini Plus comes in seven available colors. Cardinal red seems particularly popular among the machine’s customers.
You can find these colors below (you can also get the machine in white, but we know what that looks like already):
What Current Users Say
As of May 2022, the Keurig K Mini Plus has over 29,000 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars out of five.
Positive reviews of the machine tend to focus on its compactness and aesthetics of the machine:
April 2018 Amazon review: “The sleek design is very attractive, everything in one compact unit. With the cord storage and pod holder it’s simple to take the coffee-maker with you if you’d like.”
May 2022 Amazon review: “Great for small areas, but also makes great hot coffee. I bought the Cardinal Red to brighten up my kitchen – it’s fun and makes me smile in the morning. I also like the option for “strong” coffee – the water runs through the pod more slowly hence, more flavor.”
Negative reviews of the machine almost all centre around how its pump can quickly deteriorate and stop drawing water from the reservoir:
October 2019 Amazon review: “Worked ok when first received with the odd malfunction. Now it does not work more often than it works. Water is only partly drawn in and it stops. Having to repeat the process a number of times to draw the water through.”
January 2021 review: “Unfortunately, 2 years in, it has developed an unreliable brewing issue that many have mentioned in their reviews. Water won’t drain fully into the internal heating tank. Open and close the top 3-4 times, push the button again, and most of the water will go down, but not all, then it will brew a short cup.”
This deterioration of the pump is also spoken about a lot on the Keurig subreddit. From what people say it seems that this can be rectified, in some but not all cases, by descaling the machine.
I would recommend two products as alternatives to the Keurig K Mini Plus. These are the Keurig K Express and the Mixpresso single-serve coffee machine. Both are compact coffee makers that make single-serve coffees with K cups.
Keurig K Express – Better Build Quality
The Keurig K Express is only slightly larger than the Mini Plus. Most of this extra size is added to the machine’s depth in order to add a 42 oz reservoir on the back of the machine.
The Express is 1.5 inches deeper than the Mini, meaning that it will jut out slightly further on your countertop. There is virtually nothing between the two machines in terms of width and height.
The Keurig K Express has a better heating and pumping mechanism than the Mini Plus. This, combined with the storage reservoir, means that the Express can make multiple cups of coffee much faster than the Mini Plus.
The Express also tells you when it needs to be descaled. This should reduce the amount of technical issues that the machine has in comparison to the Mini Plus.
One thing that I don’t like about the Express compared to the Mini Plus is that the Express has a minimum serving size of eight ounces. This means that you need to use reusable K cups to get a decent-strength coffee from the Express. The Express does have the “strong” button, fortunately.
To find out more about the Keurig Mini Express, please read my comparison of the Keurig Express vs Keurig Mini.
Mixpresso Single Serve Coffee Maker – Cheap but Effective
The Mixpresso Single Serve 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.
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, along with the Keurig K Express.
The machine is not the cheapest, and you are paying for its compactness, aesthetic appeal and “strong” button. It makes significantly better coffee than its direct downgrade, the Keurig K Mini, due to its strong button. For more information on how these two machines compare please see my comparison of the Keurig Mini vs Mini Plus.