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Danielle Abraham

Keurig K-Iced review: great for keeping your coffee routine quick and simple

Keurig K-Iced Single serve coffee maker.

Keurig has been a staple in the single-serve coffee machine market for well over a decade, thanks to its quality products that let you brew a decent cup of coffee quickly and easily using K-Cups. One of their latest machines, the Keurig K-Iced, continues this tradition, while its budget price and compact dimensions put it on par with the best Keurig coffee makers

I tested the sleek, slim, and affordable Keurig K-Iced for several weeks, drinking at least a cup of coffee per day. Size is hands down the best aspect of this machine. At only 5.1 inches wide, it’ll easily slide next to other appliances on the counter. So, if you live in a smaller space, it’s the perfect coffee maker. Even while keeping things tiny, you still get a 42oz water reservoir and removable drip tray for convenience. Though the coffee maker looks nice, the excessive use of plastic in the build makes it seem cheap. Since it’ll only set you back $99, that isn’t surprising. 

Brewing coffee is as simple as can be, as the Keurig K-Iced ditches the sometimes complicated LED touchscreens, opting for physical buttons instead. All you need to do is insert a K-Cup, select your type of brew and/or size, and the coffee immediately begins brewing, delivering a fresh cup in under 2 minutes. It doesn’t get much easier than that. You will need to toss the K-Cups after each brew as there’s no waste bin and occasionally wipe the machine, but maintenance as a whole is pretty simple. 

Beyond making just a regular cup, you can opt for an iced–hence the name—or strong brew. Admittedly, I found the strong brew hindered the coffee’s taste. Luckily, the regular and iced brews faired better. Each had good flavor, and the iced coffee, which you use a tumbler full of ice to brew, didn’t taste watered down. Was the coffee exceptional? No, but it’s on par with other Keurigs, and when it’s so quick and easy to make a fresh cup, it’s hard to complain too much. 

The Keurig K-Iced is a solid single-serve machine ideal for those short on space and time. It’s not the best coffee maker you can buy and lacks extra features like a milk frother and programmability. But if you crave simplicity and affordability, the Keurig K-Iced might be your perfect match. 

Keurig K-Iced: Key specs

Keurig K-Iced: Price & availability

The Keurig K-Iced retails for a very reasonable $99.00, though you can often score deals or find bundles for even more savings. It’s available directly from Keurig or at various retailers, including Amazon, Kohl’s, and Walmart. You can also grab the K-Cups used with the Keurig K-Iced at almost any grocery or retail store.

This coffee maker is a slightly suped-up, newer version of the Keurig K-Iced Essentials, which doesn’t make a strong brew and has larger dimensions than the K-Iced. Keurig also has the K-Slim + ICED Single Serve Coffee Maker that retails for $20 more, offers a slightly slimmer width, and a bigger water reservoir, though you don’t get the strong brew option. 

Score: 5/5

Keurig K-Iced in box (Image credit: Future)

Keurig K-Iced: First impressions

The Keurig K-Iced arrived in a small, compact box that was easy to pick up and maneuver on my own. I was a little disappointed to see that the box was damaged and hoped it didn’t affect the coffee maker.  Once you open the first box, there’s another one inside that displays features and images of the machine. After opening the second box, you’re greeted by more packaging for safety during travel and the coffee maker underneath.

The materials used in the packaging weren’t as sustainable as I would’ve liked, but not terrible. Most of the shipping material was recyclable cardboard, while the machine came wrapped in a thicker plastic material that may or may not be recyclable. It depends on your recycling service provider.

After removing the plastic wrapping, the Keurig K-Slim + ICED was revealed—and luckily undamaged. It came fully assembled and almost ready to use straight out of the box. I really just needed to rinse the water reservoir and do a simple cleansing cycle before the first use. There is an option to put a Keurig filter into the machine to help with hard water, but that needs to be purchased separately. I opted out of this step. In total, assembly took maybe 2 or 3 minutes at most. You can’t complain about that. 

I placed the coffee maker right on my counter, and I was pleasantly surprised by just how small a footprint it left. If you’re tight on counter space, like me, you’ll love just how compact this machine is. The Keurig K-Slim + ICED looks nice, sleek, and simple, with its gray coloring and silver accents blending well in my home. However, everything from the body to the handle is made of plastic, with some parts feeling pretty sturdy and others not as much. That does make me question how great this coffee maker will perform and how long it will last. 

Keurig K-Iced: Design

The absolute best thing the Keurig K-Iced Single Serve Coffee Maker has going for it is its size. A super skinny width of 5.1 inches makes it easy to slip next to other appliances in your kitchen or tucked away in the pantry. As someone with limited counter space who constantly shuffles around appliances on my countertop to make room, it’s wonderful. It fits perfectly in useless, unused spaces on the counter. The coffee maker's height of 12.6 inches means it’ll have no problem fitting under my cabinets, and I can even open it up and pop in K-Cup without needing to slide out the machine. However, this Keurig is long at 12.9 inches, making space for the water reservoir. 

It’s compact, so you probably won’t need to move the Keurig K-Iced out of the way often, but when you do, it’s light, weighing just 4.4 lbs. It’s easy to pick up, especially if the water reservoir is empty. I’ve used plenty of coffee makers, and some are so hefty and bulky that they’re a pain to move anywhere. I’m happy to test something that makes moving it around so simple. 

Side view of the Keurig K-Iced (Image credit: Future)

A big contributing factor to the Keurig K-Iced's lightness is the material used in the build—a whole lot of plastic. I don’t mind plastic elements in small appliances; it’s inevitable. But the sheer amount used makes me question the longevity of the machine. The body feels sturdy and solid, but some elements like the drip tray, handle, and buttons for control just feel cheap. Even the needle to puncture the K-cups appears to be plastic. Given this Keurig's reasonable price tag, it’s understandable but disappointing. 

Even if this coffee maker feels cheaply made, it looks sleek and nice. My machine is a lovely gray color with a sheen. It should match any kitchen well. If you’re looking for a different color, it also comes in a clean white. 

As I mentioned, K-Iced has a water reservoir that holds 42oz. It’s great you don’t need to constantly worry about filling up the Keurig each time you use it. I usually need to add more water every 4 or 5 brews, and the reservoir is simple to remove and fill at the sink. The machine even has a blinking indicator light that lets you know if you need to add water. There’s also a light indicating when the machine needs descaling. 

Removable water reservoir on Keurig K-Iced (Image credit: Future)

The Keurig K-Iced has a removable drip tray, allowing the machine to accommodate larger travel mugs. However, I found it a bit flimsy and easy to knock out of place when moving the machine or even placing cups at the wrong angle. At least the tray holds a good amount of drippage, as I’ve yet to empty it after over two weeks. 

The controls on the Keurig K-Iced step away from the light-up LED touchscreen I’ve seen many small appliances gravitate towards. Instead, you get large, plastic buttons that you press in. The buttons work well and have good feedback. When you insert a K-Cup, the lights on the buttons will blink, and you can either just select the size: 8 oz, 10 oz, and 12 oz, or the brew type: Iced or Strong and then the size. The light will illuminate, indicating your selection, and immediately begin brewing. There is no start/stop button, so be sure you’ve got your mug ready to go. 

Buttons on the Keurig K-Iced (Image credit: Future)

Unfortunately, there’s no waste bin on the Keurig K-Iced that automatically deposits the K-Cups. That means you’ll need to toss them after each use. The pods are plastic, and some are recyclable. But it takes some work to recycle them and involves removing the used coffee grounds. Keurig does offer a few more environmentally sound K-Cups, but they are not the norm. 

Score: 3/5

Keurig K-Iced: Performance

The Keurig K-Iced is a joy to use. I appreciate its simplicity in a world that’s constantly trying to jam every feature imaginable into kitchen gadgets. That means almost anyone should get the hang of this machine in a matter of minutes, and that’s hard to complain about. 

To brew a fresh cup of coffee, the most demanding step is putting in a new K-Cup by lifting the handle, inserting the pod, and lowering the handle back down. If it’s done right, you’ll hear a lovely crunching sound—the K-Cup getting punctured—and see all the lights on the machine blink. From there, you press the button(s) to get your brew going. For a regular cup, you press one of the three size options, 8oz, 10oz, or 12oz, and the machine will immediately begin brewing. For the strong or iced brew, select one of those two buttons and the size, and your brew will begin—a very uncomplicated process. Unfortunately, you don’t get a waste bin with the Keurig K-Iced, so you need to remove the old K-Cup before beginning another brew. 

Putting a K-Cup in the Keurig K-Iced (Image credit: Future)

Over several weeks of use, I tested every single setting and size on the machine, observing how it performed.  To start, I followed the process I mentioned above and used the 8oz regular brew setting. All I had to do was press the 8oz button, which stopped all the other lights from blinking and left only the 8oz one glowing. Almost immediately, I started making my coffee. At first, the brew was very light in color and then began to darken, lightening again towards the end; this happened with every single coffee I made in the machine. The entire process took under a minute and a half and was pretty quiet at only 60dB, leaving me a fresh cup of joe with a temperature of 140°F. There’s no beep at the end to tell you when your coffee is done. But it’s pretty obvious, as the water begins to spit out when finishing. I loved how quickly it brewed. Some Keurigs take a while to heat up, and the Keurig K-Iced isn’t one of them. 

Next up was the 8oz strong brew. So before selecting the size, I pressed the strong button, which began to glow consistently. Next, I pushed the 8oz size option, and like clockwork, the brew began. It took the same amount of time as the regular brew, just under 1.5 minutes, and was the same temperature, 140°F, when it finished. 

Most importantly, I tested the iced brew, the signature feature of the K-Iced. You are supposed to use a tumbler full of ice when making an iced brew, but for testing, I first wanted to see the temperature, time, and amount of coffee brewed without ice. Again, I stuck to the same process, selecting the iced setting and then the 8oz size. It began brewing similarly to the others, only it took slightly longer at just over 1.5 minutes and was slightly cooler at 130°F—which could be attributed to the extra time. However, there was significantly less coffee brewed. I measured about 5oz. It appeared darker in color and more concentrated. I assume this was to make up for dilution from the ice. 

I performed the same testing, only with a tumbler and ice this time. Immediately after brewing, the temperature was 60°F, so not the ideal iced coffee temperature and most of the ice hadn’t melted, leaving only a pathetic amount of coffee in the cup. Luckily, after a minute or two, more ice melted, leaving more coffee in the glass and a cooler temperature. 

Keurig K-Iced brewing iced coffee (Image credit: Future)

When it came to testing the 10oz and 12oz size options in all the settings, there wasn’t much of a difference compared to the 8oz. They took slightly longer to brew but still under 2 minutes, while temperatures were slightly higher at about 160°F. Overall, every brew was quick and easy, making the K-Iced perfect for those short on time who want a cup of coffee fast with minimal effort.

During all the different brews, there were a few things I noticed. After inserting the new K-Cup, occasionally, a few coffee grinds would immediately fall into the mug. There was also a good amount of coffee spatter that ended up on the machine, which you would need to clean up afterward; it was a slight annoyance but nothing that a damp cloth couldn’t quickly fix. Of course, you will also need to fill up the water reservoir every four or five brews, which was an added convenience, as machines like the Keurig K-Mini Plus require you to do it every single brew. It’s simple to remove the water reservoir, and its plastic lid helps keep debris out. 

As for maintenance, there is very minimal upkeep with the Keurig K-Iced. I mentioned refilling the water reservoir, wiping the coffee splatter on the machine, and tossing the K-Cups. Beyond that, you’ll occasionally need to empty the drip tray. It’s loosely in place, to begin with, so I had no problem sliding it out to empty and rinse. The tray wasn’t even close to full, even after over two weeks of use, meaning you won’t need to worry about this often. Keurig also recommends using a “Risne Pod” weekly to reduce flavor carryover. But honestly, you can just run the machine once or twice without a K-Cup and save yourself some money. 

Removable drip tray on Keurig K-Iced (Image credit: Future)

The one more involved cleaning process is descaling, which helps with hard water and keeping the coffee maker running at top capacity. Luckily, you don’t need to determine when to descale it yourself, as an indicator light will glow, letting you know it’s time. It should be after 250 cups of coffee or every three months. I never had to descale the Keurig K-Iced, but the instruction manual provides an easy step-by-step guide, and it should take about 20 minutes. All in all, the maintenance is pretty painless and on par, if not easier, than most coffee makers. 

From set up to use and maintenance, the Keurig K-Iced makes everything simple and fast, ensuring I have no problem fitting it into my daily routine. However, you’re getting very minimal features, so don’t expect to find a milk frother, a separate water line, or programmability with this coffee maker. 

Score: 4/5

Keurig K-Iced: Taste test

Perhaps most important of all, how did the coffee taste?

During my testing, I used several pods, including ones from Peets, Starbucks, and a generic brand. To be honest, I’ve used Keurigs before and didn’t have high expectations, especially since I had just finished testing the Bruvi BV-03, which made exceptional coffee. Plus, my go-to coffee maker is an espresso machine that freshly grinds the beans, and that’s hard to compete with.

Still, I went in with an open mind, and the coffee pretty much met my expectations. It tasted fine. I drank all my drinks black—no milk or sugar—which is how I prefer my coffee most days. That way, I could also make a note of the flavors, body, and acidity of the brews.

The 8oz coffee on the regular setting left some subtle flavor notes and a wonderful aroma but was generally dull with a very thin body. However, I found the 8oz strong setting failed at its purpose. The coffee was less flavorful—those small flavor notes from the regular brew were gone—and tasted a little burned. That was the case with all the pods and the cup sizes I used.

Hot coffee brewing  (Image credit: Future)

As for the iced coffee, I tasted the brew sans ice, and it had a strong, bitter flavor; not as strong as a concentrate but had more happening than the regular or strong brew. When I brewed over ice in a tumbler, the iced coffee was decent. I was expecting it to be watery, and it wasn’t. Was it overly flavorful? No. Still, considering the little effort I needed to put in and how quickly it was ready, I was impressed that it tasted as good as it did. 

Based on taste, the Keurig K-Iced is definitely not a machine for coffee connoisseurs, and they already probably knew that. But if you’re just looking for a basic cup of coffee with a good amount of flavor that can be enhanced by cream and sugar, the K-Iced is a great place to start. Plus, there is a wide range of K-Cups available at almost any retail store from top coffee brands, so after trying a few, you can hone in on what you prefer. There are even tea or hot chocolate pods available. Just be prepared for some possible flavor carryover.  

Score: 3/5

How does the Keurig K-Iced compare?

The Keurig K-Iced is a solid single-serve coffee maker, but you’re limited to a brew size up to 12 oz. That means if you have multiple people in your household or want to serve bigger carafes of coffee, you’ll need to grab a different machine. One option that lets you still make single-serve pod coffee in addition to brewing carafes of coffee up to 55oz using grounds and filters is the Ninja Dual Brew Pro. It costs about twice as much money but has added functionality, like programmability, a separate water line perfect for tea or oatmeal, and a milk frother. Plus, you still get a strong and iced setting, similar to the Keurig K-Iced.

Single-serve pod coffee machines often make coffee connoisseurs turn up their noses, and the Keurig K-Iced, though it makes a decent cup of coffee, isn’t an exception. However, the Bruvi BV-03 is an easy-to-use single-serve pod machine that is an exception. It brews an absolutely delicious, rich, and flavorful cup of coffee just as quickly as the Keurig K-Iced. You aren’t limited to just brewing coffee either, as this coffee maker goes head to head with the best Nespresso machines, making lovely espresso with the perfect golden crema. The Bruvi can even be controlled from your phone, has a separate water line, and makes a variety of brew types, including stronger, iced, and cold brew. That’s only scratching the surface of what’s on offer. Just be prepared to pay a premium for the machine and the B-Pods required for use.

If you’re looking to keep it in the Keurig family but want more features than the K-Iced, check out the Keurig K-Café Special Edition. With this coffee maker, you get a simple single-serve machine that adds an automatic milk steamer to make lattes, cappuccinos, or cold foam. That means you can make specialty coffee drinks at home. However, don’t expect to get your typical espresso with the golden crema. Instead, you’ll enjoy stronger shots of coffee. This option is also bulkier and more expensive than the K-Iced.

Should you buy the Keurig K-Iced?

Buy it if...

 Don’t buy it if...

How I tested the Keurig K-Iced

• Tested for several weeks, using the machine daily

• Replaced a Casabrews espresso machine

• Used every setting available 

I tested this coffee maker for several weeks. Throughout those weeks, I used the regular, iced, and strong setting in every size available on the machine, measuring the time to brew with a stopwatch, temperature using a food thermometer, and noise level with a sound meter on my phone. Of course, I also made a note of taste, having at least one cup of coffee per day, ensuring the machine maintained peak performance after moderate use. 

Luckily, I didn’t need to make any changes to my home or routine when using the Keurig K-Iced. In fact, it made my morning coffee routine easier, as my Casabrews espresso machine is slightly more involved. 

For more on how Top Ten Reviews reviews products, head to our how we test page. 

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