An affordable alternative to Keurig coffee makers

I am not a “morning person,” so coffee plays a key role in perking me up and getting my day started on the right foot. When the java coming out of our old coffee maker started to get lukewarm, my husband and I decided it was time for a new model. I liked the idea of Keurig machines, but the price tag was quite steep, and I read a number of online reviews from various websites citing problems that occur with them after about a year of use. For these reasons, I researched other brands that might meet our needs.

I settled on the KitchenAid Personal Coffee Maker. After two months of use, I highly recommend this model. I bought mine from Target, where the price was $20 lower than that of the KitchenAid website and about half the cost of comparable Keurig models.

This machine makes hot coffee–we didn’t realize how poorly our other coffee maker was performing until we tasted the coffee coming out of the KitchenAid. I brew my coffee into the stainless-steel mug that came with the coffeemaker to keep it as warm as possible when brewing, then pour it into my personal mug when I’m ready to drink it. You can also drink directly from the mug that came with the machine or brew directly into a personal mug (I’d recommend a tall one to prevent splashing). A downside of the mug included with the machine is that it is not dishwasher safe.

The KitchenAid Personal Coffee Maker comes with a dishwasher-safe gold-tone filter, so you don’t have to use any paper filter unless you choose to. One reviewer on the Target website complains that this machine leaves “sludge” in the bottom of your cup. This is true, but it is a pretty small amount, so we just leave the last sip in our cup, and we never taste the sludge.

One complaint I have about the machine is the water reservoir. Instead of being totally see-through, it has a “smoky” finish that makes it difficult to monitor the amount of water you are putting in. We’ve found better visibility by positioning the coffee maker directly under an overhead kitchen light. I am sure KitchenAid used the colored finish to make the machine more attractive, but I would prefer a clear finish.

One of the great features of this machine is that it will make an 18-ounce cup of coffee. Many of the other machines we considered had a much smaller capacity.

The KitchenAid Personal Coffee Maker comes in silver, black and red and has a one-year, total replacement warranty. It is almost 15 inches tall, but is only 7 inches wide, so it has a relatively small footprint on our counter.

Because it uses a miniature, standard filter basket, it won’t take K cups, but I see no reason you couldn’t use miniature coffee filter packs or bags like these.

If you use a personal coffee maker, please share your experience (good or bad) to guide others when selecting a new model.


Filed under Product recommendations, Shopping tips

4 responses to “An affordable alternative to Keurig coffee makers

  1. Thanks for your review. I’ve also heard good things about the Mr. Coffee BVMC-KG2 as far as cheap alternatives to the Keurig goes. Still, I’m personally not fond of these single-serve pod coffee makers to begin with. I’d rather just use fresh coffee in a manual drip cone like the Hario V60.

  2. Alex

    The Attraction of Keurig is that it makes more than “Just coffee” They have pods for tea, apple cider, etc etc. I came upon your review because I love my home keurig but I want one for my office. The Price of the current models are far too expensive to justify it to myself for just office use. Hopefully i can find an alternative, I want to use my machine to make coffee and tea, and I don’t’ want to have to use tea bags, That’s the convenience of the kuerig I suppose, my search for the alternative continues, maybe I’ll just wait to Christmas and tell the wife to buy it for me haha

  3. Not so happy with cold coffee

    My brand new Keurig 525 Plus produced a tepid 165 degree “bleh” cup of coffee from an expensive brand.

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