There are a ton of different K-cup coffee makers out there and I have personally owned and used a lot of them!
Instead of posting lengthy reviews on each machine I’ve decided instead to post one all encompassing page on this site where I post short reviews of every machine I’ve tried.
Below you’ll find my bite-sized reviews for many of the most popular k-cup coffee brewers; each of which is based purely on personal experience.
In most cases only a few major points will differentiate one coffee maker from another so let’s dive in.
Brewers I Don’t Recommend
The Chefman Instabrew
This machine is one of the cheapest k-cup brewers on the market. It’s also one of the skinniest models too measuring only 4.25 inches in width.
As for the coffee it makes the Instabrew is actually the fastest machine I’ve personally tried yet. The machines uses a 1000 watt motor to operate and it seems to work well.
I measured the time it took the machine to make a 8 ounce cup of coffee and here are the results.
The time to first drip measures the amount of time the machine heats the water before pumping the first drops into your cup. For me time to first drip took only 20 seconds from the moment I pressed the brew button on the side of the machine.
For the actual brew time the full cup was finished at the 1:39 mark making the brew time 1 minute and 19 seconds.
What’s nice about this is that the actual brew time of 1:19 is actually pretty good for making a tasty cup of coffee. It result in a better flavor extraction than units that speed up the brew time too much.
► See this post to see my thoughts on the best Keurig coffee makers of the year.
The worst part of the Instabrew however is the horrible taste that comes from the plastic interior of the machine. I bought this machine and immediately after pulling the unit out of the box I brewed a cup of coffee and it tasted and smelled terrible!
I then ran three water-only cycles through it, then three vinegar-only cycles, then ten more water-only cycles through the machine and I can still taste a chemical-like plastic flavor inside a cup of coffee from this machine.
I can only assume that this foul taste will diminish over time and eventually go away but at this point I have no clue how long that will take.
Not only that but the casing and lid for this machine seem pretty flimsy to me so I don’t have a lot of confidence that this will hold up long enough to make it worth all the initial cleaning to get rid of that smell and taste.
Despite the low price I paid for the Instabrew and despite the very fast brew time the machine sports I simply wouldn’t recommend this unit to anybody – the coffee just tastes terrible out of this machine and there are better options out there that don’t cost much more like the Mixpresso for instance.
Here’s the Instabrew on Amazon if you want to see current pricing, specs, or customer reviews.
Related – See the smallest k-cup coffee makers here.
The Farberware K-Cup Coffee Maker
I also own a Farberware k-cup coffee maker that I purchased in the Spring of 2018 at my local Walmart.
As far as I know this unit was only sold at Walmart too because I’ve never been able to find it on Amazon or anywhere else other than eBay. In fact these days Walmart seems to have stopped carrying it too and for good reason if you ask me.
Reviews in aggregate over on Walmart’s website give this machine low marks and I would echo those ratings myself.
Why, you might ask?
Well on paper the machine should be OK.
It’s got a bigger 1200 watt motor, doesn’t cost much, has a removable water reservoir, comes with a refillable coffee grind basket, and the time to full cup of coffee is only 1:47. The problem however is that the machine is simply made poorly.
The thing leaks a ton, and for no good reason either!
I love that the time to first drip is only 32 seconds and the brew time after that is a minute 15 but when you can’t trust the machine to keep your countertop dry you just don’t ever want to use it.
This is a very tall unit too so it isn’t very convenient to put under a kitchen cabinet – basically I see no reason to ever recommend this model to any shopper.
For kick and giggles you can check out the specs, pricing, and reviews for the Farberware K-Cup Brewer over on Walmart’s website even if it is out of stock.
Brewers I Do Recommend (If the Price is Right)
The Chulux K-Cup Coffee Maker (Plastic Casing)
Warm-up Time: two minutes flat
Brew Time: 47 seconds
Does not have a brew strength selector nor does it come with a loose grounds basket.
I do like the lid-lock feature on the Chulux brewers. They are easy to use and make sense to.
The puncture needles are not removable nor is the coffee funnel so keeping this machine clean is a bit harder and troubleshooting clogs will also be tougher.
Click through to see pricing, specs, and reviews on the plastic Chulux k-cup brewer on Amazon here.
The Chulux K-Cup Coffee Maker (Stainless Steel Casing)
This unit really is identical to the plastic casing unit in every way other than the stainless steel casing.
Without a doubt the SS version looks nicer than the plastic one and although you do pay more for the upgraded enclosure I’m not sure the upgrade is worth it as this is still a slow machine with a small motor that’s hard to clean.
I wouldn’t stop anyone from buying this or the cheaper Chulux K-Cup machine but I would recommend spending your money on alternatives like the affordable Mixpressos or Flexbrews or even the slightly more expensive Sboly.
You can see pricing, specs, and reviews for the SS Chulux on Amazon here.
The Mixpresso K-Cup Coffee Maker (New Design)
Before I used the Mixpresso k-cup coffee maker I actually expected it to be very similar to the Chulux brewers but in actuality I like this new model from Mixpresso a lot more.
It’s barely bigger than the Chulux brewers but it looks and feels to have better proportions while brewing at a similar speed.
Warm-up Time: 2-minutes and 3-seconds
Brew Time: 1-min and 2-sec
Obviously you can do math and see that this model takes a shade over three minutes to get you a cup of coffee once you press the brew button. That’s somewhat long if you ask me for a simple 8 oz cup but the machine does feel like it’s made to a higher quality standard.
Like the Chulux models this unit doesn’t come with a “strong brew” option nor does it come with a native way to brew your own coffee grind.
Another positive however is that the lower exit needle is removable which makes cleaning and dislodging any coffee grounds quite a bit easier.
I wish the entrance needle was removable but at least it’s designed a lot like the official Keurig needles to resist clogs.
Lastly I really like that this unit is the quietest of all the brewers I own or have tested. I love quiet appliances and this one is the best at not being noisy.
Check out the Mixpresso’s specs, pricing, reviews, and whatnot over on Amazon here.
And if you are looking for a larger unit that has a removable water reservoir then Mixpresso also has a good alternative for you to check out that’s still pretty affordable when compared to Keurig pricing.
The Mixpresso K-Cup Machine w/ Removable Reservoir
For only a little bit more money the removable water reservoir version can be had and I think it’s a great deal for the money.
It’s got a larger 1200 watt heating element and a big 45 ounce water chamber – the only thing it doesn’t add to the feature list is a strong-brew option or a loose coffee grounds brew option.
Check out this model from Mixpresso here on Amazon.
The Hamilton Beach Single Cup Flexbrew 49974
The Keurig K-Mini
The Keurig K-Mini Plus
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