Keurig K-Café Special Edition review: ditch the Starbucks and get coffee shop quality coffee at home

A modern, easy to use machine for those coffee connoisseurs who are looking for an upgrade

Keurig K-Café Special Edition pouring a coffee with k-cup on countertop
(Image: © Future / Casey Clark)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

Instead of spending a pretty penny on coffee each week, the K-Café Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Latte & Cappuccino Maker brews a coffee shop-like cup in minutes. Plus, adding a milk frother makes it easy to make lattes and cappuccinos with the click of a button.

Pros

  • +

    Large reservoir (60 oz)

  • +

    Four cup sizes (6, 8, 10, 12 oz)

  • +

    Makes cappuccino, latte, and regular coffee

  • +

    Shot button

Cons

  • -

    Unsecure water reservoir lid

  • -

    Lines can be hard to see in milk frother

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Nothing quite like waking up in the morning and having a delicious cup of coffee. While most days, I opt for a traditional cup of joe, it’s always nice to have other options to choose from, like a latte or cappuccino. You can find these more deluxe beverages at a coffee shop, but usually at a distance and an added cost. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a Starbucks drink every once in a while as a treat, but to save some money and energy, you can make a coffee-shop quality beverage at home using the K-Café Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Latte & Cappuccino Maker. 

The Keurig K-Café Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Latte & Cappuccino Maker is available for $200 on Keurig’s website and Amazon. It has nearly 4.7 stars on Amazon and over 7,000 five-star ratings. 

Keep reading to see our full review of the Keurig K-Café Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Latte & Cappuccino Maker. From the settings to the overall taste, we’ve analyzed each feature of this single-serve coffee maker to determine whether or not it’s worth the price tag and one of the best Keurig coffee makers (or best pod coffee makers, for that matter) on the market. 

Keurig K-Café Special Edition: Key specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
TypePod
Type of coffee neededK-Cups
SettingsCoffee button, latte/capp button, strong button, size and brew buttons and milk frother (capp, latte, and cold), auto-off, descale, add water indication
Heating time 3 minutes
Dimensions12.5 x 15.3 x 11.7in (h x w x d)
Casey Clark bio pic
Casey Clark

Casey Clark is a freelance writer from NYC who covers shopping, food, and lifestyle content. She has bylines in The Wall Street Journal, Huff Post, INSIDER, TIME, and more. She’s tested many products, from coffee machines to mattresses, and loves giving readers the inside scoop on what’s worth the purchase. 

I drink coffee nearly every day and prefer dark and earthy coffee. I tested the K-Café Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Latte & Cappuccino Maker for two weeks and can keep it for ongoing use for all my morning beverage needs.

Keurig K-Café Special Edition: Price & availability

The K-Café Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Latte & Cappuccino Maker is available on the brand’s website and Amazon for $200.

Score: 5 out of 5

Keurig K-Café Special Edition: Setup

Upon opening the box from the packaging, I noticed it was bigger than the Keurig K-Duo I reviewed a few weeks back. It wasn’t massive by any means, but it was just not as sleek — I had to make a bit more room on our countertop to have it fit comfortably. 

It’s not the fanciest coffee machine out there. However, it’s more elevated than my K-Duo. Because of the milk frother component, it is a bit larger than a standard Keurig, but nothing that my small but mighty apartment can’t handle. 

The K-Café Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Latte & Cappuccino Maker, which came with a machine, a water reservoir, and a milk frother, was individually wrapped. 

It didn’t come with K-cups, specifically espresso or milk, so I had to supply that myself. Initially, I set it up, which involved rinsing each of the components (milk frother, whisk, lid, reservoir) and doing a “cleansing brew.” 

The cleansing brew involved running water through the filter as if you were making a cup of coffee. I filled the 60-oz reservoir to the MAX fill line, waited for the water to heat up, and then selected the six-ounce button as instructed in the directions. 

The lack of an LCD screen really left an impression on me. It’s not a good or bad thing; it's just something I noticed since other coffee machines I’ve used had that feature. In the same vein, I appreciated the buttons lit up for easy indication of what was selected, from the type of brew to the size.  

It’s worth noting it’s only available in one color, but silver is always a solid choice for a kitchen appliance as it blends right into any kitchen interior. 

keurig k-cafe special in the box

Unboxing the Keurig K-Café Special Edition (Image credit: Future / Casey Clark)

Keurig K-Café Special Edition: Design

The Keurig K-Café Special Edition has a 60-ounce reservoir to hold water, a milk frother, and a drip tray. Its modern design makes it suitable for any kitchen while remaining functional. 

That said, it’s a bit large, so if you don’t have that much counter space, you’ll want to consider that. The buttons are large and illuminate when selected. 

Score: 4.5 out of 5

keurig k-cafe special edition from above

Looking at the Keurig K-Café Special Edition all set up (Image credit: Future / Casey Clark)

Keurig K-Café Special Edition: Performance

Unlike other Keurig machines I’ve used, I’ve found the K-Café Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Latte & Cappuccino Maker to be a bit more difficult to use. It’s a bit more complicated since there’s the added step of using the milk frother for more intricate beverages (cappuccinos, lattes, etc.,) but at the end of the day, that just gives you more delicious options.

To begin the testing process, I started off by making the foam for a cappuccino and latte. I put milk in the frother to the designated line, selected cappuccino, and let it whip up. At the same time, I put the coffee pod in and made two shots of espresso. I followed the same process to make a latte but clicked the designated buttons, including the center ‘K’ button to brew. I also made regular coffee in different sizes and strengths without foam over the week. It was a pretty seamless experience. My only note is that I needed a bit of force to get out the foam. It didn’t come out as smoothly as my local barista does, however, at the end of the day it’s not really about how it looks but more so how it tastes. 

foaming milk with the keurig k-cafe special

Foaming milk with the Keurig K-Café Special Edition is easy (Image credit: Future / Casey Clark)

As someone who doesn’t always remember to pull out the plug, I appreciated the Auto-Off button since it let me leave the house worry-free in the morning without second-guessing whether or not I turned it off. There was a bit of excess dripping after the brew (1-3 drops max), but nothing too noticeable. This went away after my first use—looking back, it was likely because I was eager to drink my beverage. 

The reservoir was large, and even after consistent use, I didn’t find myself having to refill it constantly. Before refilling, I got a solid 2-3 days' worth of coffee. 

I loved how the coffee machine made no noise when heating up. I only knew it was finished when it went off with rhythmic beeps. 

In terms of day-to-day maintenance, I found cleaning the Keurig pretty easy. I’d put the reservoir in the washing machine and then do a hot water brew to clean out the inside of the pod. It was also easy to clean the drip tray with a damp cloth. As for the frother, I placed it in the dishwasher and washed the whisk and lid by hand. Of course, you’ll want to do this after the machine has cooled down a bit, so don’t injure yourself. 

Score:  5 out of 5

Keurig K-Cafe Special edition making milk foam

A K-Cup in place on the Keurig K-Café Special Edition (Image credit: Future / Casey Clark)

Keurig K-Café Special Edition: Taste test

Now that you know how to use the K-Café Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Latte & Cappuccino Maker and its features, let’s discuss taste.

As I mentioned above, I like dark and earthy coffee. This machine could brew me a cup that was up to par and nearly coffee shop quality. I will say that I preferred the cappuccinos and lattes over plain coffee, but I think that’s to be expected with the extra creaminess and sweetness from the milk.

If you like a stronger cup like myself, I’d select the ‘strong’ button before brewing. This will give you a more earthy and strong taste than a regular brew, which is slightly watered down.

coffee made with the keurig k-cafe special

An americano made with the Keurig K-Café Special Edition (Image credit: Future / Casey Clark)

Should you buy the Keurig K-Café Special Edition?

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Score Card
AttributeNotesScore
Price & availabilityIt’s a great value considering you can choose from three preparation methods that are coffee-shop quality. In terms of availability, it’s only available on Amazon and the brand’s website. ★★★★★
DesignI gave this coffee machine a 4 / 5 rating because it has an intuitive design, but It’s a bit on the bulky side which is not suitable for tiny spaces. Also, the reservoir lid is a little loose so it can easily flip off with the slightest amount of pressure.★★★★½
PerformanceFrom its quick heating time to delivering rich, flavorful coffee, this coffee machine checks all the boxes Although it may initially leave a drop or two behind, that easily falls into the drop tray for a mess-free experience that’s complete in less than three minutes — that includes lattes and cappuccinos too. ★★★★★

Buy it if...

You like lattes and cappuccinos 

If you’re tired of having the same old cup of coffee each morning, you’ll like this coffee maker because it offers different options. From the type of beverage to the strength and temperature of the foam, you have full freedom over how you want to prepare your coffee.

You like an intuitive, easy-to-use machine

Although this coffee machine is slightly more elevated, it is still relatively easy to use with its light-up buttons and simple mechanisms. If, for any reason, you get confused, then you can turn to the user manual for step-by-step directions to work through any issues that may arise.

You like your coffee strong

As I mentioned above, I like my coffee strong, and the additional button ensures that the cup is brewed to perfection. There’s also the option to not select it so if that floats your boat, then that is fine. 

Don't buy it if...

You have limited counterspace

It’s not the biggest coffee machine I’ve ever seen, but it’s larger compared to some other Keurig’s. Ensure you have at least a foot of room for the K-Café Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Latte & Cappuccino Maker. 

You want to use a carafe

Some people like making coffee the “old-fashioned” way with a carafe. If that sounds like you, you’ll want to opt for something like the K-Duo, which has a place for pods and a carafe. 

You’re not looking for fancy features (milk frothers, etc.) 

This isn’t your plain Jane coffee machine, but instead, it has some additional features to make more specialized drinks — think cappuccinos, lattes, etc. If that’s not important to you, then there’s no need to spend the extra money. 

How does the Keurig K-Café Special Edition compare?

I’ve tried the Keurig K-Duo and appreciate its simple yet versatile design. However, it’s not as advanced as the K-Café Special Edition. The latter is a step up from the former by adding the milk frother and excluding a glass carafe. In terms of taste, both machines make a high-quality, tasty cup of coffee in less than five minutes. The K-Café Special Edition is a bit more expensive, but that makes sense, given its size and advanced functions. 

If you’re looking for an even more elevated version without a carafe, you’ll want to check out the Keurig K-Supreme Smart Coffee Maker.  

How I tested the Keurig K-Café Special Edition

  •  Used the machine to make a cup of coffee (or two) every day for two weeks 
  •  Brewed cups using the milk frother 
  •  Followed the instruction manual for set up and assembly 

I reviewed the Keurig K-Café Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Latte & Cappuccino Maker at my apartment in Florida. I also had other people (friends and family) taste the coffee to see what they thought about third-party credibility. 

Read more about how we test.

  • First reviewed: November 2023
Casey Clark
TTR Contributor & Freelance Writer

Casey Clark is a freelance writer from NYC who covers shopping, food, and lifestyle content. She has bylines in The Wall Street Journal, Huff Post, INSIDER, TIME, and more. She’s tested many products from coffee machines to mattresses and loves giving readers the inside scoop on what’s worth the purchase.