Keurig K-Mini K15 Pod Coffee Maker Review
The Keurig Mini K15 has been around for quite some time. Not too long ago the K15 was featured as one of our "consumer choice" top products. However, in recent years, the lack of features and price range of this particular model have led to poor customer reviews. Find out more in our review below.
- Compact design
- Quick brew time
- 3 different cup sizes
- No water reservoir
- Only compatible with K-Cups
- No programmable features
- No temperature control
Affectionately known as the K-Mini, the Keurig K15 single serve coffee maker was near the top of our list of coffee brewers to test in 2018. It boasts simple button controls, energy saving tech and, of course, great tasting coffee.
But then again, what single cup coffee maker doesn’t brag those features? Having reviewed many Keurig machines before, my expectations were high, especially with regards to cleanliness and convenience – one of the cornerstones of Keurig’s brand.
Clearly, they’ve designed, the Keurig K15 to be simple, modern and convenient, but whether they’ve actually achieved that…
Find out what I and the rest of the Coffee Dorks team thought about the K-Mini below.
Keurig K15 Highlights
- Single serve coffee maker – only 1 cup at a time.
- No reservoir; simply pour in the water for a cup when you make it.
- Fits K-Cup pods only.
- Brews 6, 8 and 10floz cups.
- Small size: 11.1” tall, 7.5” wide and 10.5” deep.
- Removable drip tray.
- Simple button controls.
- Energy saving technology (auto shut-off).
- Recipe book included.
Design & Features
The first thing I noticed was the lack of features – it’s missing strength control and multi-cup reservoirs. As one of the largest manufacturers of quality coffee brewing systems, Keurig really have no excuse for poor design and craftmanship. Instead of designing multiple, high tech features, the K15 has a simple, stripped back design.
As a single cup coffee machine, this design works well. There are 2 buttons, the on/off button and “brew” button. The unit comes in white or black, it’s quite sleek while still being compact. Sure, the plastic look isn’t as nice as stainless steel, but this coffee machine doesn’t look cheap either. It will sit quite comfortably on the kitchen worktop of a small yet modern kitchen.
Just like other Keurig coffee machines, the K15 only works with the K-Cup pods (NOT K-Mug or K-Carafe). You can buy the cheap, fake K-Cup pods but there’s no guarantee they’ll work as smoothly.
If you are looking for:
- Temperature control
- Built-in grinders
- Time-saving reservoirs
- Programmable clocks
- And auto-start
You will be let down. The purpose of this single serve brewing system is to deliver you one quick cup of coffee. Brew time is approximately 120 seconds and the coffee delivered is at an instantly drinkable temperature. If you like your coffee scorching hot, this isn’t for you either. The machine will auto-switch off after 90 seconds of inactivity.
The taste is really dependent on the K-Cups you choose. With over 400 varieties to choose from, there’s no doubt that you’ll find at least 1 that you like… although you’ll spend a fortune trying to find that perfect cup. The K-Cups are not cheap.
Nonetheless, we persevered with our taste test and discovered a noticeable difference between the 6, 8 and 10floz cups. The 6oz was a strong, hearty brew while the 10oz cup was quite watery. The K15 internal coffee brewing system was not made by coffee connoisseurs, it seems. Adding more water for a larger cup just dilutes the K-Cup more, rather than triggering the machine to brew for longer or hotter.
You can also run hot water through the coffee maker by pressing the brew button without a K-Cup. This doesn’t let out boiling water, but the water is certainly hot enough to brew a decent cup of tea.
Performance & Functionality
To make a coffee with the K15, you measure how much water you need for your mug, pour this into the reservoir (the pouring hole is a perfect size, we didn’t splash water anywhere). Pop in your K-Cup and press “brew”. Wait about 120 seconds, sometimes longer (we assumed because the water was a little colder), and your coffee will fill your mug positioned on the drip tray.
The drip tray is quite short. Suitable for a conventional coffee mug, but if you’re using a tall hot chocolate glass or flask, you’ll have trouble fitting it in there. Luckily the drip tray is removable so you do have some adjustability for the height.
After testing the performance over a week or so, we saw no signs of wear or faults. There’s no complex circuit board to melt or fancy features to break.
The performance isn’t great, but it is reliable. Need a cup of coffee for this meeting? No problem. Need your morning cuppa in a rush? No problem.
Want to brew multiple cups? Looking for barista quality coffee? Try a different coffee brewer.
Keurig offers you just 1-year warranty on this coffee brewer, which isn’t great. It also doesn’t cover you for accidental damage, it’s purely for manufacturers defects.
Considering the price of this machine, you’d expect a bit more. Compared to other single serve coffee makers, the K15 model is quite simplistic and is lacking some basic features many people look out for when purchasing a coffee machine.
That being said, we did find the unit to be sturdy and stable. The cord is short, but that was fine for most of the coffee dorks who had spare sockets on their kitchen worktops.
The plastic “shell” of the machine is strong and sturdy – but obviously not as sturdy as stainless steel. If this fell off the counter you’d definitely need to replace it.
There’s also no water reservoir… which tempted several of the coffee dorks to just leave the water in the machine rather than filling up when needed.
The coffee brewer just isn’t designed for this and, personally, I didn’t want to risk it. Water may well leak through the machine, and coffee never tastes as good when made with stale water anyway.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Cleaning is simple, you just run hot water through the machine by pressing the brew button without a K-Cup.
You’ll also find simple instructions for descaling your coffee machine in the manual you should get in the box. You run the machine through with descaling solution 3 times, followed by a water rinse. The job is done in 15 minutes or so.
There are also some troubleshooting tips in the manual, but these are pretty basic “why won’t the machine turn on?” type of problems.
There’s no real support and guidance for more complex problems like water drips, leaks, temperature issues, problems with the auto-shutoff programming etc. If something goes majorly wrong with this machine, we get the feeling that Keurig would rather you just buy a new one than waste their time on customer support.
Concluding Thoughts on the Keurig K15
This is a great, little single serve coffee machine for a quick cup every now and then. We can see this coffee machine being a lifesaver in the office, ideal for meetings and hard workers. It’s sturdy enough to handle multiple people using it every day, and not too complex that your heavy-handed colleague will break the special features… in fact, it doesn’t really have any special features to break. This is why we do not recommend this machine for every day, at home use.
There are far better coffee machines in this price range with reservoirs and multiple features. If you genuinely care about coffee flavors and need something to provide top-notch, adjustable brews every day, check out some of the other reviews on our website. The K15 is not for you.
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