For those intimidated by the sight of a carafe or filter, Keurig’s wide range of coffee makers makes the process of brewing a cup more approachable. The brand’s catalog includes entry-level models like the Keurig K-Express and Keurig K-Mini. As single-serve coffee makers, Keurig emphasizes minimalism in the K-Express and K-Mini’s design. There are no complicated buttons, and all you need to do is pop in a K-Cup and wait for your coffee. But given their slim forms and near-identical target market, choosing can be tricky. Which one should you buy?
Keurig K Express vs K Mini Comparison Chart
Keurig’s K-Mini brewer is slimmer and more sophisticated-looking than the K-Express.
Unlike some of the best Keurig coffee makers, the Keurig K-Express and K-Mini are fairly compact machines. The K-Mini is slightly shorter and narrower, but both units should fit most counters. Its K-Cup compartment also looks integrated into the rest of the brewer’s body. On the other hand, the K-Express’s coffee nook appears to hang from the top of the coffee maker.
The K-Express has 6.5 inches of headroom for your containers, so travel mugs fit nicely. If you get the K-Mini, you may have to settle for a smaller tumbler that fits. You won’t find any carafe or heating plate on these brewers. Instead, they have a simple drip tray base for your cups and, at the top, a latch for raising the K-Cup compartment. The drip tray is removable for cleaning.
With the K-Express, you also get an additional moveable part outside the latch and drip tray. At its back is a removable water reservoir. In terms of aesthetics, however, the K-Mini’s matte finish looks more sophisticated than the glossy coating of the K-Express. Moreover, the K-Mini has more color options, like red and green. The K-Express is only available in black.
Capacity and Features
The Keurig K-Express has more features and a larger water capacity than the K-Mini.
One of the main gripes about the Keurig K-Mini is its modest water reservoir. For every brew, you’ll need to add fresh water. Keurig addresses this concern on the K-Express by adding a 42 oz. water reservoir. As mentioned in the design section, the reservoir can be detached from the brewer.
There’s hardly a learning curve with these coffee makers. If you opt for the K-Mini, you only need to press the power button above the K-Cup compartment to start brewing. In contrast, the K-Express has a basic control panel on its right side. Here, you’ll find buttons corresponding to the brewer’s key features. For instance, the K-Express can make three cup sizes — 8 oz., 10 oz., and 12 oz. Simply press the size that matches the cup size you need.
Below these keys, you’ll also find a Strong Brew button and indicator lights for adding water and descaling. Keurig’s K-Cups have been criticized for their weak taste and watery brews. By pressing the Strong Brew button before choosing a cup size, the K-Express extends the brewing time for a stronger cup of joe. None of these features are available on the K-Mini.
Care and Compatibility
The Keurig K-Express is easier to clean and maintain than the K-Mini.
The Keurig K-Express and K-Mini are easy to maintain. For the exterior, you can wipe the surface using a damp, soapy non-abrasive cloth. The drip trays on both coffee makers are also removable and can be rinsed and wiped clean. When it comes to the water reservoir, the K-Express has the advantage since it’s removable, too. On the K-Mini, you can only wipe the tank.
Over time, water used for brewing can cause a build-up in these coffee makers. To clean these accumulations, you’ll need to descale the K-Express and K-Mini. Keurig offers its own descaling solution, and the process is straightforward, thanks to step-by-step instructions. Typically, it takes around 250 brews before you need to descale the brewers. The K-Express makes it easier with a descale light indicator.
Although the K-Express and K-Mini lack settings for iced coffee, lattes, and cappuccinos, they are compatible with most Keurig K-Cups. Some popular pods include caramel vanilla coffee and dark magic coffee. You can also get your hands on original and special blends.
The Keurig K-Express is a better entry-level single-serve coffee machine than the Keurig K-Mini.
Keurig’s entry-level single-serve brewers are not out to impress coffee purists. For most who want a convenient brew, however, the Keurig K-Express and K-Mini do a decent job of making a cup of joe. While both are compact coffee makers, you’ll find more features on the K-Express. These include cup size options and a Strong Brew function to customize your coffee better. And for the added functions, the K-Express isn’t a huge leap in price. On the Keurig website, the K-Mini even retails for $10 more. If you’re looking for value, then the K-Express should be your choice.
While both are compact single-serve coffee makers, the Keurig K-Express comes with more features like cup sizes and a strong brew function.
The K-Mini does not have cup size functions. Instead, you’ll need to adjust the amount of water you pour into the reservoir.
The Keurig K-Express Single Serve Coffee Maker comes with a limited one-year warranty.
No, the Keurig K-Express brewer does not have a display.