The new Keurig K-Cafe Smart promises to make delicious coffeehouse drinks. I tried it for myself

The new Keurig K-Cafe Smart promises to make delicious coffeehouse drinks. I tried it for myself

Keurig


There’s a new Keurig on the block. The Keurig K-Cafe Smart, a new kitchen appliance that promises to make delicious coffeehouse drinks, is out now. And I was able to get my hands on one to test. Here’s what you need to know about the newest coffee maker you can buy.


Top product in this article

Keurig K-Cafe Smart, $250

Instant Pot Dual Pod Plus, $160 (regularly $230)


I was born in Germany, where afternoon coffee time is a ritual. During Kaffeezeit, adults drink coffee, kids drink an assortment of beverages, and everyone eats cake. It’s a daily habit my German parents brought with them when our family moved to the United States during my childhood.

I hopped onto the coffee bandwagon myself in college, where I fueled my two-a-day habit with a Keurig. I paired the Keurig with a milk frother from Amazon that I still use today. Even following a kitchen fire, I relied on my partially melted Keurig to keep me caffeinated, one K-Cup at a time. (I’ve since replaced that Keurig with a classic Cuisinart coffee maker and regular runs to Starbucks.)

When I heard that Keurig was coming out with the K-Cafe Smart, a new brewer that does more than just brew coffee, I was intrigued. And luckily, as a CBS Essentials shopping expert, I was able to get my hands on one to test out.

Keurig K-Cafe SMART

Keurig K-Cafe SMART

Keurig


The new Keurig K-Cafe Smart ($250) promises to help you create more than 70 coffeehouse drinks at home using coffee pods. This new model looks like a standard Keurig, but has an attached milk frother and way more buttons than the brewer I used during my college days.

The Keurig K-Cafe Smart connects to the Keurig app. You can schedule a brew in advance, brew remotely and more. The coffeemaker’s BrewID tech, meanwhile, selects the ideal settings for whatever K-Cup you choose to use.

Or, you can skip the app. The brewer has five temperature and six strength settings — the most customization Keurig has ever offered in a coffeemaker. And the milk frother has three temperature settings. The lowest is ideal for making iced drinks, while the highest promises to froth oat and almond milks.

This Keurig can create a highly-concentrated shot of coffee to mimic the profile of espresso. (There are espresso K-Cups available for purchase that you can use for the “shot” function, too.) The “shot” function is ideal for creating lattes, macchiatos and more espresso-driven drinks. There’s an iced coffee button, too, which brews at a lower temperature and flow rate.

Keurig K-Cafe Smart, $250

How does coffee from the Keurig K-Cafe Smart taste?

The brewer did in fact create a strong shot from the dark roast coffee K-Cups I have. I mixed the coffee shot with frothed milk, one pump of pistachio Torani syrup and a drizzle of Ghirardelli chocolate syrup on top. I was not a fan of the Dark Magic dark roast I tried from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, but that’s more a matter of personal taste.

My favorite cafe drink was the English breakfast tea latte I made. (Yes, Keurig machines make tea, too!)

Should you buy a Keurig K-Cafe SMART?

Personally, while I enjoyed using and reviewing the Keurig K-Cafe Smart, I’m likely to keep using my existing Cuisinart coffee maker and milk frother. I would, however, recommend it to someone who needs a new coffeemaker. You can do so much more than just brew coffee with it, plus K-Cups are incredibly convenient to use.

K-Cups tend to run cheaper than Nespresso pods, so you’ll likely save money in the long run by picking the Keurig K-Cafe SMART over a Nespresso machine. You can get K-Cups on sale at your local supermarket, or you can sign up for Keurig’s consumption-based subscription program. (You’ll save 25% on every order.)

The Keurig K-Cafe Smart is a really good choice for someone who loves regular coffee, iced coffee and easy-to-make cafe drinks. That said, if you’re looking for a machine solely to create the best coffeehouse drinks, you might want to consider a dedicated espresso machine such as a Nespresso instead. (CBS Essentials also recommends the 4.4-star-rated Instant Pot dual pod plus, which makes coffee from K-Cups and Nespresso pods.)

Keurig K-Cafe Smart, $250

These top-rated coffee makers are on sale now

Want to look into more options? These other coffee makers are on sale now.

Instant Pot dual pod plus: $160

instant-pot-coffee.jpg

Instant Pot via Amazon


Can’t decide between Keurig and Nespresso? Instant Pot makes a dual coffee- and espresso-maker, the top-rated Instant Pot Dual Pod Plus

This kitchen gadget is compatible with K-Cup pods, Nespresso capsules and ground coffee when used with the included reusable pod. It lets you brew up to 12 ounces of coffee and up to 6 ounces of espresso at a time.

The Instant Pot Dual Pod Plus is $70 off at Amazon right now.

Instant Pot Dual Pod Plus, $160 (regularly $230)


Keurig K-Elite coffee maker: $159

keurig.jpg

Amazon


The Keurig K-Elite coffee maker makes a single cup of coffee at a time but features a 75-ounce water reservoir so you can make cups of coffee for everyone in your family. The device features a strong brew button, an iced coffee setting and hot water on demand perfect for making tea and hot chocolate this fall. 

Keurig K-Elite coffee maker, $159 (regularly $189)


Nespresso Vertuo Plus: $176

nespresso.jpg

Nestle Nespresso via Amazon


This Nestle coffee device adapts its pressure, temperature and brewing time to make you the perfect cup of coffee and espresso. The on-sale Nespresso Vertuo Plus includes a complimentary starter set of Nespresso Vertuo capsules. 

Nespresso Vertuo Plus, $176 (regularly $189)


Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine by De’Longhi: $175

pixi.jpg

Amazon


Make espresso with a single touch. This slim Nespresso machine is perfect for smaller space. It features a high pressure pump and perfect heat control. This purchas includes a welcome set with 16 Nespresso capsules containing individual aromas.

Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine by De’Longhi, $175 (regularly $219)


Keurig K-Mini coffee maker: $80

keurig.jpg

Keurig via Amazon


This mini coffee device is a great option for small spaces. The 5-inch-wide Keurig coffee makers lets you brew up to 12-ounces of coffee, hot chocolate, tea and more. It offers an energy efficient feature that automatically turns the coffee maker off 90 seconds after you’ve brewed your cup. 

Keurig K-Mini coffee maker, $80 (regularly $100)


Keurig K-Duo coffee maker with carafe brewing: $159

Keurig K-Duo Essentials Single Serve & Carafe Coffee Maker

Walmart


Make a cup of coffee for yourself or make a whole bunch of coffee for the house. This K-Duo coffee maker lets you brew both. The carafe can brew up to 12 cups of coffee. Want to wake up to the smell of coffee? You can even program the Keurig K-Duo coffee maker to automatically brew a carafe up to 24 hours in advance.

Keurig K-Duo coffee maker, $159 (reduced from $190)


De’Longhi espresso machine: $170

De'Longhi Espresso Machine

Best Buy


If you’re shopping for an espresso maker, the 4.3-star-rated De’Longhi Espresso Machine makes shots of espresso with 15 bars of pressure and includes a manual milk frother.

“I love this so much,” wrote an Amazon customer who purchased the espresso machine. “It’s so easy to use and makes coffee so quickly. It was affordable compared to most espresso makers and the quality is amazing.”

De’Longhi espresso machine, $170 (regularly $208)


Keurig K-Select coffee maker: $100

keurig-k-select-coffee-maker.jpg

Keurig via Amazon


Make coffee with the press of a button. This simple Keurig K-Select coffee maker doesn’t include a bunch of fancy bells and whistles but it’s a classic. And it’s on sale.  

Keurig K-Select Coffee Maker, $100 (regularly $140)


Bodum Chambord French press coffee maker: $29

Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker

Walmart


For the coffee-fan who is looking to transition to a more involved coffee-making process, the French press is an easy, hands-on way to get more familiar with your morning brew.

Bodum Chambord French press coffee maker, $29 (reduced from $69)


Breville Barista Touch espresso machine: $1,089

breville-barista-touch-espresso-machine.jpg

Breville Store via Amazon


This all-in-one espresso machine with an integrated grinder can take your coffee from beans to espresso in under one minute. The machine features dose control grinding, optimal water pressure, faster heat up time and precise espresso extraction. 

Breville Barista Touch espresso machine, $1,089 (reduced from $1,200)


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