Keurig machines are great, there’s no doubting that. Getting cafe-level coffee at the press of a button is always welcome for coffee lovers. However, the one thing I don’t like about Keurig is the pod system. Granted, it offers great coffee and rich flavors, but the trade-off is that you produce a lot of waste and end up spending a lot of money just on new K-cups.
That’s why having a reusable K-cup is a great option for many Keurig owners. With these cups, you can use your own coffee to brew your favorite drinks, giving you much more control over the brew. On top of that, since they’re reusable, you can also use the K-cup over and over, saving you a lot of money in the process.
But if you want to get the most out of the K-Cup, it’s important that you use it properly. If you don’t use your reusable K-Cup properly, you could end up with sub-par coffee, or worse; you might even end up damaging the cup and machine.
So, in this guide, let’s look at all the steps to using a reusable K-Cup along with a couple of crucial tips to keep in mind when using a K-Cup. That way, you get top-quality coffee while also making the most out of your machine.
Read on to learn more!
Table of Contents
- What Is a Reusable K-Cup?
- What Coffee Grinds Should I Use for a Reusable K-Cup?
- What Kind of Coffee Is Best for a Reusable K-Cup?
- How to Use a Reusable K-Cup
- Tips for Getting the Most Out of a Reusable K-Cup
- How to Find the Best Reusable K-Cup
If you have a Keurig coffee machine, then you know that brewing coffee in them isn’t as simple as using a French press or a drip coffee maker. Instead of loading the coffee straight into the machine, you have to use a K-Cup, which is a pod of high-quality coffee that’s packed in a certain way to allow the Keurig to extract the best flavors.
Most K-Cups on the market contain high-quality coffee. However, the downside to this is that they are disposable and single-use. So, after using a standard K-Cup, you have to throw it away, which produces a lot of waste and can cost you a fair amount of money.
As the name suggests, a reusable K-Cup is one that you can use multiple times. These cups are made out of strong and durable materials. So, you can load your own choice of coffee grounds into the cup, load it into the machine, and get Keurig-quality coffee without having to throw away the cup right after.
These are a great way to get the most value out of a Keurig while also reducing environmental impact. You can check out this very informative video to learn more about how K-Cups work in a Keurig machine.
Generally, Keurig recommends using roughly-ground beans for reusable K-Cups. However, many coffee experts say that a coarser grind means that you lose out on flavor. So, to get the best of both worlds, we recommend a medium grind for your K-Cup.
On top of that, we recommend using freshly ground beans for your Keurig. While this means you need a coffee grinder at home, it can make a huge difference in terms of flavor, which is why we recommend using freshly ground beans in your reusable K-Cup.
The beauty of having a reusable K-Cup is that you aren’t limited in terms of what coffee you can put inside. In fact, with a reusable K-Cup, you can choose just about any beans you want. You can get pre-ground coffee beans or whole beans that you grind yourself if you want to get more flavor.
There aren’t any rules about the type of roast or bean you can use for a K-Cup. However, just ensure that the coffee is ground to the right level for a reusable K-Cup, which is generally medium. Ideally, you want your coffee grounds no larger than the size of a pea so that they can fit through most universal coffee filters.
Now that you know what a reusable K-Cup is and the ideal coffee to use for them, here’s a step-by-step guide to using them to ensure that you make the most out of the machine.
The first thing you need to do is prep all the tools. This means getting your clean and dry K-Cup and the coffee beans. If the coffee beans aren’t ground, now is the time to grind them to the ideal coarseness. Once the beans are ground, you have to place the filter inside the K-Cup and push it all the way down, then add the coffee.
We recommend filling the cup up to the top. However, make sure not to overfill it as it can affect the quality of the coffee that comes from the machine. For the best results, we recommend filling the cup up to ¾ of its capacity and then tapping it to ensure the beans are evenly distributed.
After filling up the cup and closing it, the next step is loading it into the machine. You can load the cup into the machine like any other K-Cup, so just follow the instructions for your particular machine.
Once the cup is in the machine, it’s time to start brewing. There are tons of brewing options on the Keurig coffee maker and even some of the other brands that use the same style of cup, so the choice is all up to you. After choosing your option, all you have to do is wait for the machine to do its job, and you will have high-quality, freshly brewed coffee readily available!
Even if the coffee is ready, the work isn’t done. The last step in using a reusable K-Cup is cleaning it. The sooner you clean it, the easier it will be. So, we recommend cleaning your reusable K-Cup immediately after use. And to make sure you don’t damage the cup or machine, ensure the cup is completely dry before using it again.
While reusable K-cups are great, many people get into trouble using them. This is why it’s important to understand troubleshooting methods for Keurigs and other coffee machines, so you know what to do when you run into trouble. But to prevent yourself from having problems with your machine and K-Cup, here are some tips for getting the most out of a reusable K-Cup.
Firstly, maintenance is key if you want the K-Cup to function properly and for a long time. So, right after using the K-Cup, clean and dry it before using it again. Using a dirty or wet reusable K-Cup in a machine can spell trouble that you can easily avoid.
For the best flavor and performance from your coffee machine, make sure to use the right grind size. While Keurig recommends coarse grounds for their K-Cups, most people find that medium grinds produce the best flavor while still working exceptionally well with Keurigs and other similar machines.
Another thing we recommend when using a reusable K-Cup is only filling it up to ¾. Overfilling your K-Cup can lead to you destroying the K-Cup and having to buy a new one. On top of that, filling the K-Cup with the proper amount of coffee also ensures that you get the best flavor and longevity from your cup of joe.
Nowadays, most reusable K-Cups are compatible with all Keurig machines. In fact, some K-Cups are compatible with other brands like Cuisinart and Mr. Coffee. However, there are still some older K-Cups that won’t be compatible with newer machines and newer cups that aren’t compatible with older ones.
Additionally, there are some machines that require an adapter before accepting reusable K-Cups.
So, make sure that the reusable K-Cup you have is compatible with your Keurig or coffee machine at home. Using the wrong cup can damage the machine, which can be very costly. Additionally, many reusable K-Cups designed for specific machines won’t fit in other devices anyway, which can be really annoying.
Using the K-Cup properly is only half of the journey. If you really want to get the most out of your machine, you need to find the right reusable K-Cup. We have a list of the best reusable K-Cups with a guide here, but if you’re looking for a quick rundown of the different features to consider when buying a K-Cup, check out our tips below.
Firstly, you have to make sure the K-Cup is compatible with the machine. If you buy an incompatible K-Cup, you won’t be able to brew coffee with the machine. And if you force it, you might end up damaging the cup or the coffee machine, which is something you want to avoid.
When on the market, you might be tempted to get the complex K-Cups with a lot of moving parts. While these cups are amusing, they can get in the way of the coffee experience because of all the steps you have to take to brew your cup of joe. On top of that, the more moving parts and complexity, the higher the chances of damaging the K-Cup.
The whole point on a reusable K-Cup is to be able to use it over and over. If you get a K-Cup made with sub-part materials, then you risk damaging or breaking the K-Cup just after a couple of uses. This is why another one of the major factors to consider when buying a reusable K-Cup is its durability.
The last factor to consider when buying a K-Cup is the design. Ideally, you want a reusable K-Cup with a design that matches your tastes. However, if you aren’t particular about how the K-Cup looks, then you don’t have to consider the design as long as you know that the K-Cup is compatible with your machine.
Ideally, a reusable K-Cup can be used to brew 4 oz of coffee. However, most machines have options for 6 oz and 12 oz cups of coffee. You can go for these options as well, but keep in mind that the potency of the coffee might be affected. For the best flavor, we recommend brewing 4 oz of coffee in your reusable K-Cup.
Cleaning a reusable K-Cup is similar to cleaning any other cup in the kitchen. To start, remove the filter and the coffee beans and dispose of them. From there, all you have to do is wash the K-Cup and then wait for it to dry before using it again.
Nowadays, most reusable K-Cups work with most Keurig machines. That said, there are going to be some models on the market that require an adapter before accepting reusable K-Cups. So, before buying a reusable K-Cup, try to check the make and model of your machine and check if you need any extra devices to be able to use it with a reusable K-Cup.
The amount of money you save when using a K-Cup can largely vary depending on the type of coffee you use and your coffee maker. However, the general consensus is that you can save up to $0.30-$0.80 per cup of coffee. While this doesn’t seem like much, these savings add up in the long run and is much more affordable than using disposable K-Cups all the time.