Is this the best brewing system? Keurig K130 review

For those who want the most convenient coffee experience, nothing beats pre-portioned coffee cups, such as the Keurig line of brewers.

These machines are built on making your mornings as simple as possible, without leaving any room for errors or inconsistencies. Recently, we put the Keurig K130 Brewing System through our extensive review process to see if it measured up to the average customer’s expectations, and here’s what we found.

If you’re looking for a backup coffee maker to keep on your desk or in your RV, this unit has a small footprint and doesn’t overload generators or inverters. Those looking for a fast cup of coffee every day would be better served by another machine

Master Reviewer

The Good

  • Uses convenient K-Cups, which eliminate the need to measure
  • Single-serve setup is perfect for those who only drink 1-2 cups per day, or for homes where everyone wants something different
  • An innovative mug sensor won’t dispense coffee unless there’s a mug in place. Unfortunately, it won’t “see” a clear mug, and it won’t fit most travel mugs
  • No mess – simply toss the used K-Cups and you’re done
  • Very small counter footprint – great for a dorm room or your desk at work
  • Easy-to-understand visual instructions placed right on the front of the machine – your guests will be able to make their own cups without your help

The Bad

  • K-Cups are generally expensive when compared to bulk-packaged coffee. Customers on a tight budget can opt for a reusable filter cup instead, although they will need to be filled and cleaned every time. We found that EZ-Cups by Perfect Pod worked well
  • This unit is intended as a commercial model. While there is no functional difference in that regard, Keurig does not offer a warranty on their commercial units
  • 700W (as opposed to the standard 1400 in Keurig brewers) means that this unit is going to brew slowly. This is because it’s intended for use in hotel rooms, where energy strain is a strong possibility. The taste of the coffee is not affected by the extra time.
  • There is no water reservoir on this unit – you must refill it every time you make a cup. However, the water tanks in other Keurig brewers are notorious for becoming bacteria-laden over time
  • This unit only brews 8 ounces of coffee per cup. There is no way to adjust this
  • Many customers have reported a “burnt plastic taste” after brewing the coffee
  • Very sensitive to any particles in the water – the life expectancy of the machine can be greatly reduced if you’re using water with a high mineral content. We recommend always using distilled water for your coffee, as it produces a better-tasting drink and helps to minimize maintenance     

In-Depth Keurig K130 Review

When you think of a single-serve home coffee brewer, most likely Keurig is the name that comes to mind first. However, most people don’t realize that Keurig also has a commercial line – the Keurig brewer that you may have seen in your hotel room was most likely a Keurig K130. These units are small, fairly portable, and require very little maintenance – which is exactly what the housekeeping department of a hotel needs to keep up with the already-high cleaning demands of a room turnover. But how well does it hold up for home use?

The short answer is that it holds up fairly well, most of the time. There are some quality control issues where some units will have a constant plastic taste in the brewed coffee. Vinegar rinses aren’t known to help with the problem, and since this is a commercial brewer, Keurig will not offer a warranty for home use. In fact, some customers reported that, when they tried to contact Keurig customer support about the problem, they were accused of stealing the machine– which doesn’t exactly give the company a good image. Still, many people fell in love with the K130 that they used in their hotel room, and for those who already know they like it, this is one of the least expensive Keurig brewers on the market.

With any inexpensive coffee maker, it’s expected that there are going to be some problems, and while we are appalled at Keurig’s response to these problems, purchasing through Amazon can help you with the customer service end of things. Amazon will usually take returns of defective products, as long as you buy from a seller who uses Amazon fulfillment. We consider this very important to pay attention to with this particular unit. You may be charged a restocking fee for sending it back, but an exchange might help you get around this issue. When the K130 is good, it’s actually pretty great for the price.

Keurig K130 Review Continued

How many times have you misplaced the user manual for one of your small appliances? Keurig has accidentally answered this problem by including a helpful picture guide right at the front of the machine. (Remember, this is intended for use in a hotel, and it wouldn’t be practical to leave the instruction manuals in the rooms where they could become damaged.) We found this step-by-step graphic on the front to be a bit more helpful than the actual user manual, in particular because the user manual suggests a fix for the plastic taste that, quite frankly, does not work. Once you’ve used it a few times, you’re probably going to be able to do it in your sleep – which is always a bonus with coffee makers – but it’s nice that you won’t have to explain to guests how to make their coffee, even if they’ve never used this kind of machine before.

Most of the “issues” with this coffee maker, aside from those already mentioned, are purely a matter of personal preference. Unlike most other Keurig brewers, the K130 doesn’t allow you to pick the amount of water that you use. Not only is there no setting for this, but there is also only a large enough water tank for one eight-ounce serving. This means that you will have to refill it every time you want a cup, but since this eliminates almost all of the necessary clean-up that other Keurigs require (and gives you fresher water for your coffee!) we’re willing to look past it.

This machine also brews slower than most Keurig machines – about 3 minutes for an eight-ounce cup – because of the 700W power limit. Most Keurig brewers fall around 1400W, but since this is intended for use in a commercial setting where too much draw can blow a circuit, we know some users might be grateful for this feature. In fact, this little machine is perfectly sized to keep in your RV or dorm room, without pulling too much power. It can also be run on most generators without any problem.

Key Facts

  • Pod Espresso Machine
  • 2/5 $'s
  • Single Serving
  • K-Cups

The K130 also features an innovative “mug sensor” that won’t dispense coffee unless a mug is in place. This, of course, is to prevent unnecessary clean-up required from housekeeping services, but we think you’ll like it, too. There are two big caveats to this feature, though. First, clear mugs cannot be “seen” by the machine, so it won’t dispense into a clear container. Second, this sensor’s wiring is a little flimsy, and unfortunately there is no workaround for this – if the sensor wire goes out, your machine will not dispense coffee, period.

Keurig K130 Overall

All in all, this is far from a top-of-the-line machine, but for those on a strict budget or with very limited space, this entry-level Keurig holds up to most of the same quality expectations as other Keurig brewers, as long as you don’t end up with one of the duds. This coffee maker is well-suited to those in small or power-restricted areas, but those who have the budget and space for something else will probably prefer their other option.