Like every Keurig owner, you probably love the convenience of your coffee maker. Whether you make just a single cup a day or a lot more, knowing that your favorite beverage is just a press of a button a way is always comforting.
But you also know that those pod costs can pile up. Although you’re still saving a lot of money by making your coffee using a Keurig machine, as opposed to visiting a coffee shop, it would still be great to save as much as possible on the cost of your K-Cup pods!
This is what we’re going to focus on in this post. We’ll show you the best options for cheap K-Cup pods, whether you’re looking for coffee packs, tea packs or variety pack. We’ll also answer common questions about K-Cup pods.
Are K-Cup Pods Recyclable?
This is one of the most common questions about K-Cup pods. People love their K-Cup coffee, but they are also concerned about the environmental impact of plastic. Unfortunately, the majority of big brand K-cup pods are still not recyclable. But there are some smaller ethical brands that are offering recyclable as well as compostable K-Cup pods.
We’ve already talked about recyclable K-Cup pods in a previous post. And we’ve mentioned Intelligent Blends K-Cup pods as a great option to get recyclable as well as cheap K-Cup pods. Intelligent Blends uses fully recyclable pods. They offer different coffee roasts -some are Organic-, tea – also with organic options, flavored coffee and many variety packs. Their coffee is Kosher-certified. And since you’ll be shopping factory-direct, you can buy them for as low as $0.39 per pod. Intelligent Blends K-Cup pods are compatible with all Keurig brewers, including Classic Keurig, Keurig 2.0 and K-cup compatible coffee makers.
What Is The Cheapest Price Per K-Cup Pod You Can Get?
This is something we cannot guarantee for sure, as prices are changing constantly. But as of the time of writing this post, the cheapest pods we could find are as low as $0.25 per pod. Some of Victor Allen coffee K-Cup pods seem to be one of the cheapest available.
What Is The Best Dark Roast K-Cup Variety Pack?
Maud’s Dark Roast Variety Pack includes three type of dark roast coffee:
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Their most popular roast, with roast level 8. It’s a strong, full-bodied blend with notes of toasted nuts.
- French Roast from the Coast: Very dark roast (roast profile 9). It’s the boldest roast, with burnt undertones. Produces a bold and flavorful cup of coffee.
- Espress-O Yourself: here, you’ve reached the highest level of dark roasts (level 10). This very dark roast will remind you of a classic cup of espresso. It’s the darkest and boldest blend Maud has created.
This variety pack is available in 72 ct or 144 ct. You can buy it as a single-time purchase or subscribe to save even more on its price.
Bold and Dark Roast Variety Pack:
This pack includes Dark roast and Bold flavors from different brands. It has a total of 40 K-Cups.
What Is The Best Flavored K-Cup Variety Pack?
Another great variety pack by Maud’s is their flavored pack. Their flavored pack includes a number of gourmet flavored coffee:
- French Toast Roast: cinnamon with a taste of maple syrup and butter.
- Sister Hazelnut: smooth flavor of toasted hazelnut and vanilla.
- Gone Banana’s Fosters: Subtle notes of banana and vanilla ice cream with buttery brown sugar, cinnamon and dark rum.
- Raspberry Choco-Latte: taste of raspberry blended with chocolate flavor and powdered sugar.
- Hottie Biscotti Vanilla Almond: notes of Vanilla Ice cream with toasted almonds.
- Jamaican Rum Yum: Notes of sweet molasses, caramel coconut and vanilla.
As most flavored coffee, the roast is medium. The pack is available in 100ct for $0.44 per pod.
Cappuccino K-Cup Variety Pack:
If you prefer your flavored coffee with milk, Maud’s Vanilla and Mocha Cappuccino pod
is something to consider. This pack contains:
- 22 ct of Vanilla Cappuccino pods: this is a dark roast blend mixed with creamy vanilla flavor.
- 22 ct of Mocha Cappuccino pods: which is dark roast coffee mixed with chocolate flavor.
These pods already contain powdered milk in them so you get nicely blended coffee, milk and your choice of vanilla or chocolate flavor.
Are There Organic K-Cup Pods? Where Can I Buy Them?
Yes! Luckily, there are many brands that offer organic K-Cup pods.
Maud’s Organic Variety Pack K-Cups:
This premium K-Cup pack includes 4 single-origin, USDA organic coffee. They are also Fairtrade certified and they contain %30 more coffee!
This variety includes:
Colombian – Guatemala – Sumatran and Ethiopian. Total of 96 ct.
San Francisco Bay OneCup Organic Rainforest Blend:
This brand of K-Cup pods, known as OneCup, promises to give you French Press-like experience, thanks to its mesh filter pod. It contains USDA certified coffee, and this specific blend contains a mix of medium roasted coffees from Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Indonesia. Some parts of OneCup pods are compostable.
Green Mountain Single Origin Organic Sumatran Coffee:
This pack from Green Mountain features organic FairTrade single-origin coffee from Sumatra. The coffee is dark roasted with notes of spice and brown sugar. These pods, however, are not recyclable.
Best Tea K-Cup Variety Pack:
Prefer tea to coffee? We got you!
Maud’s Organic Tea Variety Pack:
This variety pack of gourmet tea will appeal to any tea lover. It has different blends of teas for you to discover and enjoy.
- Royally Good English Breakfast: Classic english breakfast tea that contains a blend of Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan teas. This full bodied blend can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with some milk and sugar.
- Organic Passion Tea with Envy: Green tea blended with sweet tropical fruits for a refreshing and healthy blend.
- Uncle Earl’s Going Grey: the humorous name for this blend is not the only thing to smile about, but also the smoothness of this classic Earl Gray black tea.
- Organic Peppermint Pattie: Peppermint tea is the perfect choice for relaxing at the end of the day. It’s also highly recommended for the support of the digestive system. This blend has a highly aromatic taste and cooling sensation.
Celestial Seasonings Tea Sampler:
This pack includes a count of 22 K-Cup that include:
- Lemon Zinger herbal tea.
- Fair Trade certified Green Tea
- Sleepy time Herbal Tea
- English Breakfast black tea.
Two Rivers Assorted Tea Sampler:
Includes a 40 count of 29 different tea flavors. However, please note that this sampler is only compatible with Classic Keurig machines and not Keurig 2.0 machines.
How Can I Try Maud’s Coffee and Tea Pods Before Buying a Large Amount of Pods?
We understand that you don’t want to buy a large count of pods of coffee you’ve never tried before. That totally makes sense! That’s why Maud’s made sampler packs available. These are cheap sample packs with a small count of pods that allows you to taste each pod before buying in large amounts. You can check out the coffee samplers here, and the tea samplers here.
By the way, Maud’s is Intelligent Blend’s in-house signature line. So when buying Maud’s, you’re buying recyclable pods, too!
K-Cup Pods vs. Soft Pods, Are They The Same?
K-Cup pods are often referred to simply as ‘coffee pods’. But for the longest time, that name was used to describe another type of coffee pod, which is also known as the soft pod. And that’s where the confusion comes from.
A soft coffee pod and a K-Cup Pod are entirely different things:
- A coffee pod (soft pod) is a flat pod containing coffee ground in a round paper filter. These pods cannot be used in a Keurig machine, but designed for other brewers. You can use them in some espresso machines as well as some single-serve brewers, but they have to state that they are compatible with ‘soft coffee pods’. These pods are available as tea pods, too.
- K-Cup coffee pod: that’s the plastic pod you’ve been using all along (if you already own a Keurig coffee maker). K-Cup pods work in Keurig and K-cup compatible coffee makers.
Keurig machines only brew K-Cup pods and you cannot use a soft pod with them.
If you use your Keurig brewer often, maintaining and cleaning the needle, nozzle and internal parts of your Keurig is a must to ensure that your coffee taste the same. As you use more K-Cups, especially if you’re switching between drinks (hot chocolate, tea, apple cider…), some of that brew’s residue will remain in the machine.
The obvious way to clean that residue will be to run a cycle without inserting the pod to run hot water through the nozzle. But overtime, that will not be enough as oils and residue continue to build up.
How To Clean Your Keurig Needle and Nozzle The Easy Way:
Cleaning kits that include descaling solutions and water filtration tabs are great for filtering water and cleaning the machine’s heater/water reservoir. But descaling is done every few months, and you’ll need to keep the needle/nozzle clean more often than that, especially if you use your machine daily.
For such a task, there are Cleaning Pods. These pods, which look exactly like a K-Cup pod, are inserted and “brewed” in the exact same way. The cleaning cups, which include cleaning solution, will mix with the hot water and run through the needle and nozzle for a thorough clean.
Urnex Keurig K-Cup Machine Cleaner:
- Pack of 5 pods.
- Cleans oil buildup and residue inside Keurig coffee machines.
- Compatible with Classic Keurig coffee machines only (not compatible with Keurig 2.0)
- Phosphate-free and odorless. Biodegradable.
Descaling and Maintenance Kit for Keurig Brewers:
- Set of 10 cleaning pods and two replacement filters (4 months supply).
- Brews just like a K-Cup. Works on reducing flavor carry-over between brews, cleaning build-up and residue.
- Compatible with Keurig 2.0 and Keurig Classic machines as well as any other K-Cup brewing machines.
- Water filters are used to clean your water from chlorine and each filter should last 2 months.
Maxiliano Cleaning Kit for Keurig Brewers:
- Two step solution for cleaning and descaling your machine.
- First step is a cleaning pod, second step is a descaling tablet.
- Effectively removes all stain and limescale.
- Works with all Keurig brewers. May not work with SOME Keurig 2.0 brewer, in which case, you can ask for a refund.
- Non-toxic and no after taste.
- Pack includes 1 cleaning pod and 2 descale tablet.
Common Questions and Answers:
– Can I Just Use Vinegar to Clean My Keurig?
Using vinegar to clean and descale coffee machines, especially Keurigs, is a common thing. But it is not as effective as you might think. Vinegar is a strong enough acid to kill some bacteria and get rid of some calcification, but it is not strong enough to get rid of oil build up from coffee or brew residue. Plus, Vinegar has a very strong smell and taste. It will require you few rinses to get rid of the smell and taste. Otherwise, you risk brewing coffee with vinegar taste in it.
– Is Using a Cleaning Pod The Same as Descaling?
No, it is not the same. A cleaning pod is used to get rid of oil build up and residue and taste transfer caused by brewing different type of pods. It helps in cleaning the needle (which punctures the K-Cup) and the nozzle and it is recommended that you use it on a weekly basis. On the other hand, descaling is done less frequently (over 6 months periods and more) and is done mainly to avoid calcification.
– Is Cleaning My Keurig’s Nozzle/Needle Necessary?
If you want to maintain the quality of your coffee drinks and keep your machine working for a longer time, then yes, frequent cleaning of your Keurig is necessary.
Coffee is a very subjective thing. It’s a popular drink for sure, but every person enjoys it differently. From sugar, milk, cream or any other additives. Or roasts from light to dark, we like our coffee in many different ways.
If you ask someone who dislikes coffee for a reason why, their answer will most likely be the fact that it is a bitter drink. But is coffee is supposed to be bitter? What contributes to its bitterness? and if you don’t like it, then how can coffee be less bitter?
What Makes Coffee Bitter and How To Fix It
- You’re using the wrong roast: when buying coffee ground, you could be buying a dark roast which is known to be on the bitter side. A dark roast is basically coffee beans that are roasted for a longer time. The beans are darker and therefore taste stronger and bitter. If you don’t like this, simply go for a medium or light roast for a more balanced taste.
- Coffee Ground Is Not Fresh: If coffee has been roasted long before its use, it will most likely taste bitter. Make sure you buy beans that have been freshly roasted and use them within a month of roasting time.
- You’re brewing the coffee for too long: this is especially true if you’re using a manual brewing method (french press for example). If the coffee ground is steeping for longer than 5 minutes, the taste will start getting and more and more bitter. Make sure to use a timer when steeping, the less you steep your coffee, the lighter it will taste.
- Coffee Grind Size Is Wrong: Believe it or not, the size of the coffee grind you’re using influences the taste of the coffee brew. Using the wrong grind size, or an inconsistent grind will make the coffee taste either bitter or sour. That’s why investing a good quality grinder is an important thing.
- Water Issues: There are two water related issues that you could be doing. First, the water could be too hot (yes, that’s a thing – believe me!) The best water temperature for brewing coffee is 195f to 205F, while boiling water temperature is 212F. So, let your water set for 30 seconds or so to cool down a little before use. The second water related issue is that you might be using less water for the amount of coffee you’re brewing, which results in a very strong brew.
Try one or two of the tweaks above to your next coffee brew and we’re sure you’ll enjoy a delicious and less bitter coffee!
Manual coffee brewing methods are about the most economical way to make your cup of coffee at home. Two of the oldest, as well as most popular methods of brewing coffee manually are a French Press (or press pot) and a Stovetop Moka pot.
What we’ll try to answer in this post today, is the difference between these two brewing methods and which can result in a better cup of coffee.
French Press Coffee, What It Is and How It Works:
You’ve probably seen this type of coffee pot before. The pot with a filter press inside it. That’s known as the French Press or Press Pot. It’s a very simple method of brewing coffee manually by adding coffee ground and hot water and letting it steep for a few minutes before pressing down the coffee ground to stop the steeping process.
French Press results in a oily and full-flavored cup of coffee. Since you have control over when to stop the steeping, it’s totally up to you how strong you want the coffee to be. Most people would steep their coffee for 4 to 6 minutes, but if you prefer to leave it longer, it will result in a stronger but possibly bitter and more acidic cup of coffee.
French Press Pots are usually made of glass, and some are available in stainless steel which gives you more durability and keeps the temperature of your coffee hot longer. It’s a very simple gadget to use and clean. It doesn’t need a stovetop or electricity to work, so it’s quite portable and can be used anyway.
Stovetop Moka Pot, What It Is and How It Works:
a Moka Pot is a traditional Italian coffee making tool that is used as an alternative to the more complicated Espresso machine. It is very simple to use, just by filling it up with water and coffee ground and placing it on a Stovetop, the process of coffee brewing starts.
Moka Pot doesn’t exactly make a shot of espresso, as espresso requires a high-pressure pump machine to make, but it makes coffee just as strong that is usually drank in the same quantity as espresso. So, it is the closest way to making espresso-like drink without a machine.
As it’s called stovetop moka pot, it requires a stovetop to make the coffee. And this is an important thing to keep in mind when buying a moka pot, make sure that the pot you’re buying is compatible with your type of stovetop (gas, electric or induction…).
So, Which Is Best?
Between French Press and Moka Pot, there is no best or worse. These two methods are completely different and produce totally different cups of coffee. If you prefer to drink a larger cup of coffee that is more inline of a drip cup of coffee, then French Press could be more to your taste. But if you like your coffee extra strong and in smaller (European like) cups, a Moka pot should be a good choice for you. Either way, we believe both coffee brewing methods to be great and deserve a try.
How Does a Moka Pot Compare to Pod/Single Serve Espresso Makers?
A single-serve espresso maker, like a Nespresso for example, does not compare to a Moka Pot. Actually, a single-serve espresso maker is much like a traditional espresso maker, it produces an authentic cup of espresso. A single-serve espresso maker is an electric gadget with a pump , so you should expect a great cup of espresso from it with a lot of easy.
How To Make Moka Pot Coffee:
How To Make French Press Coffee:
A French Press is one of these really simple tools that allow you to brew a delicious cup of coffee in quick way, anytime and anywhere. When using a french press, you’re keeping all the oils from the beans in your cup, which gives you a really bold and flavorful cup of coffee. But what’s the best way to make a great cup of coffee using a french press? We’ve posted some graphics and videos before explaining how to make a french press pot, but this post is our definite guide.
Like any other brewing method, with French Press, many factors will affect the result of your coffee:
- Your coffee grind: of course, fresh is better. But also, the coffee grind has to be the right consistency.
- Amount of coffee: now you got the grind right, you have to add the correct amount of coffee.
- Water temperature: the optimal temperature for brewing coffee is about 200F to 205F. That’s water just off the boil.
What You’ll Need:
A French Press:
We’re assuming you already have a French Press. If not, then we highly recommend looking at Bodum’s french presses. They’re the most popular and a personal favorite. Bodum has a wide range of presses to choose from, in different styles to suit every taste.
How To Choose the Right French Press?
Apart from aesthetics, the first thing you’ll have to decide on is the capacity of the french press. How many cups will you be brewing? French presses are available in sizes of 2-cups, 4-cups, 6-cups and up to 12-cup (12 cups is about 51 oz).
Design wise, there are many to choose from, however, the interior remains the same (all stainless steel):
There’s the glass with plastic shell and handle. Glass with stainless steel shell or full stainless steel body.
Which one to choose is completely up to you, of course, you’ll still get the same result. We recommend the stainless steel french press over others only because it’s more durable (doesn’t break) and it keeps the temperature of your coffee longer.
Grinding your beans fresh makes a lot of difference in the quality of coffee you’re brewing. Coffee grinders can be expensive, but you don’t have to invest in a large grinder if you’re only grinding to brew using French Press. There’s a number of inexpensive quality grinders that you can choose from:
A manual burr grinder is highly recommended here. With a few twists, you’ll have fresh ground coffee ready to brew. The only downside to a manual grinder is that it can get tiring after a while.
Your second option would be to get a blade grinder. This isn’t recommended over a burr grinder, but if you’re on a budget, it’ll do.
This is where you’ll measure the right amount of coffee ground. You’ll need about 7 grams of coffee for each cup you’re brewing.
You can use a simple digital scale for this, or you can use a scoop with a built-in scale. The Hario scale pictured above features a built-in timer which is quite helpful in all brewing methods or even kitchen uses in general.
How To Brew Using a French Press:
Now you have all your tools ready, here’s how to do it:
- First thing you’ll want to do is rinse your french press with hot water. This is crucial in helping to maintain the right brewing temperature once you add your coffee and hot water.
- While the press is pre-heating, measure the right amount of beans. If you’re grinding 8-cups, you’ll need about 56 grams of coffee.
- Start grinding your beans. You’ll want the coffee to be coarse for this.
- Discard the water you used to pre-heat your french press. Add the coffee and add the boiling water. At this point, you’ll want to add only have way up. This will help saturate the coffee evenly, which gives you a better flavor.
- Let the coffee sit for about a minute, after that stir the coffee and add more water all the way to the top.
- Let the coffee continue to steep for an extra 3 minutes.
- Once 4 full minutes are up, gently press down the plunger.
Now you’re all ready to enjoy your cup of coffee!
- Some people recommend refrigerating coffee beans to keep them fresh. NEVER do that. It will stale your coffee in no time, actually. Always keep your beans at room temperature.
- If you’re using a glass french press, it’s recommended that you use a wood stirrer instead of a metal spoon, just so you don’t accidentally break the glass.
- Don’t want to grind your own beans? Your best option then is to buy fresh beans that have just been roasted from a local coffee shop and have them grind it for you. The idea here is that you don’t want to use beans that have been roasted months ago, this changes the quality of coffee and will certainly result in a bitter cup.
Type Of Coffee Gear
- Espresso Machines
- Single-Serve Espresso Machines
- Coffee Grinders
- Coffee Pod Organizers
- Tips and Info
- Coffee Makers
- Pour-Over Coffee Brewers
- Pour-Over Coffee Tools
- Single-Serve Coffee Makers
- French Press Pots
- Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
- Dual Boiler Espresso Machines
- Electric Milk Frothers
- Electric Water Kettles
- Stovetop Moka Pots
- Vacuum Siphon Coffee Makers
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