HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. The author received a complimentary item to test for the purposes of this story. Prices and availability are subject to change.
If there’s one thing I won’t pass up, it’s the chance to take a short stroll in the mornings to grab my boring-yet-satisfying coffee order: an iced latte with oat milk and just a splash of liquid sugar. But after doing an audit of my recent bank statements, I realized I spend entirely too much on this simple pleasure and needed to find a cheaper alternative.
Getting to test out Keurig’s new K-Cafe Smart coffee maker actually changed my views on “at-home coffee.” Before using the machine, I’d never even bothered getting a coffee maker for myself, mostly because lattes are literally the only coffee drink I enjoy and a full-fledged espresso machine hasn’t quite made it into my budget yet. So while I was skeptical of an under-$300 automatic coffee maker claiming to make barista-quality beverages from the comforts of my kitchen, I remained hopeful.
This brewer comes with a carafe-style 60-ounce removable water reservoir and makes 6-ounce, 8-ounce, 10-ounce and 12-ounce single servings. The quiet machine also boasts a ton of neat bells and whistles you won’t find in some other Keurig models, including a “Barista Mode,” which shows detailed instructions on how to make various drinks using K-Cup pods via the Keurig app and a built-in hot and cold milk frother. Speaking of the app, it’s extremely easy-to-use: You can brew a fresh cup while you’re still in bed (!) with just the touch of a button and even use the automatic refill feature to program it to order more K-Cup pods when you’re low.
The K-Cafe Smart also has a smart feature called “BrewID” that instantly recognizes the exact K-Cup pod you’re using and recommends different beverages you can make based on the strength of that particular brew, like lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, espresso martinis and Americanos. This is definitely one of my favorite functions because as a basic coffee drinker, it makes me feel like I actually know what I’m doing and lets me cosplay as a barista every morning. So far, I’ve been drawn to the Starbucks Sumatra K-Cup pod for my lattes, as the dark roast flavor really comes through strong and full enough to balance out the milk.
And if you have a small kitchen without much counter space to add anything other than essentials, let this coffee maker be the exception. It’s compact and measures only 11 inches wide and a little over 12 inches in length, so you can tuck it away in a corner like I do when it’s not in use.
So, do I think all of these fancy features are enough to warrant you to buy this Keurig and cut down on your daily coffee trips? I would definitely say yes. It’s simple enough to use if you’re a brew beginner, but tech-forward enough to make even the most skilled at-home coffee makers excited.