Are you looking for one of the easiest and most convenient home coffee machines? It doesn’t get much easier than a Keurig.
Choosing which Keurig to get, however, is a whole other story. There are tons of models to choose, each with their own benefits and limitations.
In this comparison, we’ll be putting the Keurig K-Café vs the K-Latte, which are two Keurigs designed to help you craft traditionally milk-based drinks like lattes. Here is what we’ll be discussing:
- The similarities shared by these models
- How they’re different from each other
- What you can consider before making your choice
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Water Tank Capacity
6, 8, 10, & 12 oz (plus shot size)
6, 8, & 10 oz (plus shot size)
Strong Brew Setting
Cold Milk Foam
If you’re a frequent café customer, you’ll love the Keurig K-Café. With an attached frother, it can create smooth and flawless milk foam for either cappuccinos or lattes. This could be the pick for you if you want to make a large variety of coffee shop drinks, or you’ll be sharing the machine.
In many ways, the K-Latte is a nice, beginner-friendly introduction to the world of café-style drinks. It comes with a simple, single-button milk frother that you can use to make toasty lattes. Get this one if you’re looking to make the occasional latte on a budget.
Pods and Grounds Compatibility
One of the greatest things about either of these Keurigs is that they almost scale up with you as you grow more familiar with coffee. The pods that they use are a great starting point; they contain pre-measured servings of coffee in tons of flavors. You can just choose one you like, put it in the Keurig, and let the machine brew for you.
But any coffee expert will tell you that freshly ground coffee is best. That’s because coffee grounds start to grow stale rapidly after being ground due to a process called oxidation.
With the K-Café or the K-Latte, you have the option of using your own fresh coffee grounds if you prefer that over pods. You’ll need to purchase the My K-Cup Universal Reusable Filter, which is sold separately from the machines.
Removable Drip Trays
The drip trays on the K-Café and K-Latte are surprisingly versatile. At a glance, you might think that all they do is prevent drips from messing up your counters, but they have additional uses.
They make cleaning a snap. You can just slide them off and give them a rinse in your kitchen sink. Sliding them off has one extra benefit: making more room beneath the dispenser.
With the drip trays off, you can fit larger cups beneath the dispensers, such as travel mugs. This will allow you to brew right into your biggest cups, so you can take them on the go with you.
Have you ever left your home, only to worry right afterward that you forgot to turn something off? It happens to everyone at least once in their lives.
With the K-Café and K-Latte, this isn’t something you’ll need to be concerned about because both come equipped with an Auto Off function. After two hours of inactivity, either one will automatically power off, saving you a little on your electric bill and preventing energy waste.
The key thing that sets both these coffee machines apart from other is their milk frothers. Either one includes an attachment that can generate milk foam for you, which you can use to top your favorite coffee flavors and blends.
Making lattes couldn’t be any easier. With the K-Café or the K-Latte, all you need to do is pour in some milk and press the button.
There are some differences between how these frothers operate, but their purpose is the same: providing you smooth, creamy foam to crown your drinks with.
As we mentioned earlier, the K-Café and K-Latte are both compatible with K-Cup pods. This means you have access to a ton of coffee varieties for either one.
You don’t even have to stick with just coffee. There are K-Cups made for many other hot drinks, including tea, hot chocolate, and apple cider.
Basically, both the K-Café and the K-Latte can use any K-Cup that you want them to. There is an amazing breadth of possibilities available to explore.
Water Tank Size
One of the most important parts to any coffee machine is its water tank. Water is absolutely essential to brewing coffee, and these Keurigs are no exception.
The more you think you’ll be using the coffee machine, the more often you’ll need to add water to the reservoir. So if you’re going to make coffee a lot, or you’ll need to provide coffee to family and friends, you’ll want a coffee machine with a bigger tank.
In this regard, the K-Café wins. With a 60-ounce water tank, it can hold almost twice as much as the K-Latte’s 36-ounce one. That translates to less stops for refills.
From day to day, your preferences change. A coffee machine that accommodates your changing preferences is naturally going to get more use. That’s why the K-Café and K-Latte each offer a few different cup sizes.
But when it comes to how many different drink sizes are offered, the K-Café has just a little more. You can get 6, 8, 10, or 12-ounce drinks, with an additional shot-sized portion.
The K-Latte, on the flipside, offers drinks in 6, 8, and 10-ounce sizes. It also has a shot-sized brew setting.
Basically, you’re getting an extra-large beverage size with the K-Café. This might be important to you, if you’re the kind of person who likes a nice, tall latte.
K-Latte Fold-Up Frother Stand
If you’re tight on space at home, then one thing you’ll be especially concerned about is the size of any potential coffee maker you’d buy. You won’t want to have to completely rearrange your kitchen to make room for it.
The K-Latte took space conservation into consideration with its design. The milk frother is detachable, and once removed, you can fold up the stand it rests on. With the stand tucked firmly into the side of the Keurig, you’ll have a few more inches of space to work with.
You can remove the frothing cup from the K-Café if you want. However, the stand it sits in does not fold up out of the way, so it doesn’t really free up any space.
K-Café Descale Light
No one likes to play frustrating guessing games when it comes to maintaining your appliances. The K-Café helps take the guesswork out of maintenance by providing you a notification light that will come on when you need to descale it.
Descaling is crucial to the health of your coffee machine, especially if you live in a place with hard water. Scale buildup can damage your machine, so knowing when it’s time to clean it up can help you immensely.
K-Café Strong Brew Settings
What if you’re craving a cup with an extra-strong taste? You might feel like a Keurig can’t do the trick, but you’d be pleasantly surprised.
The K-Café has a Strong brew setting, which you can activate by pushing the Strong button on top prior to brewing your drink. It will also automatically come on whenever you’re brewing a shot or a latte or cappuccino.
This will give your coffee a much bolder taste, which is perfect when you need something with a little more oomph.
K-Café Cold Milk Froth
While both machines include frothers, only the K-Café will permit you to make cold milk foam. Cold milk foam is the perfect topping for a refreshing iced latte.
To make your frothed milk cold, simply press the Cold button prior to frothing your milk. It will glow blue once it’s activated.
It’s also worth mentioning that the K-Café’s frother has more settings than the K-Latte’s. The K-Latte’s frother only has a single button, which will heat and foam your milk when pressed.
The K-Café, on the other hand, has cold, latte, and cappuccino buttons on it. When you press the cappuccino button, you’ll get a little less foam and liquid. The latte button will give you more liquid and foam. You can press the cold button before using either one if you don’t want your milk to be heated.
Even if you don’t think you’ll play with all these settings a lot, it’s nice to have them there. You never know who in your family or social circle will want to try out different drinks made on the K-Café.
So, Which One Should You Buy?
Now for the most important question: which one should you buy?
First, both of these are great coffee makers for brewing a simple latte at home. Neither of them will make a true latte, as that would require an espresso machine, but you’ll get a decent likeness of one.
The one factor that will most influence your decision here is what kind of drinks you’re looking for. You’ll get a bit more variety with the K-Café, because it can foam milk for cappuccinos in addition to lattes. Furthermore, it can make cold foam for iced drinks, which the K-Latte cannot do.
Not to mention the extra 12-ounce drink size on the K-Café. This is perfect for anyone who needs larger drinks more often to get them through the day.
However, one aspect that could sway you towards the K-Latte instead is space. If you don’t have much room to spare on your counters, the K-Café’s wide base could be too large. The K-Latte’s folding frother stand condenses it when you need a few more inches of wiggle room.
This is our suggestion:
Choose the K-Café if you want to make the widest range of coffee shop-style drinks possible, or if you’re sharing it with other people. Its larger water tank, extra drink size, and milk foam settings give you room for experimentation with drink recipes.
Pick the K-Latte if you just want a basic machine to enjoy the occasional latte with. It also works for those who want a personal machine rather than a shared one, as it has a smaller water tank.
You can find further information on both these Keurigs here: