Coffee K-Cups: Which Ones Are The Best?

I understand a few of you may not have time to read the entire article, so we recommend getting San Francisco Bay Coffee Dark Roast.

K Cups are a hugely popular way of brewing your coffee, and there are hundreds of different brands out there that make good coffee pods. It can be hard to find the right ones that are going to suit you, which is why we’ve put together this list.

The best coffee K Cups for you are going to depend on what roast you like, how much caffeine you prefer, and how sweet you want your coffee, so we’ll save you a bit of time and help you come to a decision quicker.

Here are the coffee K Cups we’re going to be taking a look at:

latte and espresso on table

 

Types of Roasts

Firstly, it’s good to know the difference between the roasts of coffee, as they can differ in taste massively. You might have to try the different ones to find which one you prefer the most, but that’s all part of the fun.

Light Roasts

Light roasts tend to satisfy those with a sweeter tooth who don’t like that strong coffee taste. These beans normally have a pretty crisp acidity and bright, vibrant flavours, like citrus, floral or berry. Depending on how the beans are grown, processed and roasted then they can have a very wide variety of flavours and aromas.

This type of roasting is unique for bringing out all of those subtle flavours from the coffee bean. It’s designed to let the beans retain all of their flavour, and highlight the characteristics of a coffees origin.

To achieve this, the beans reach a temperature of 350-400F (175-200C), where they barely reach what is known as ‘first crack’. A stage where the moisture from inside the bean expands and breaks through the outer wall of the bean to make a ‘cracking’ noise.

It’s summed up as being a roast that’s sweet with a tangy taste, and a strong aroma. Because they aren’t roasted for long, they tend to have quite high levels of caffeine.

Medium Roasts

This type of roasting is similar to light roasting in the way that it keeps a lot of the unique flavours of the beans. However, it goes a bit further in roasting to reveal some of those deeper, sweeter flavours.

As a result, a medium roast’s characteristics tend to be well rounded with a slightly darker look and a sweeter taste. They have less of a grainy taste that is characterised with a lighter roast, meaning its well balanced.

Medium roasts tend to be the perfect middle ground for a lot of people because they’re less acidic, tangy and intense with their flavours, but still roasted enough to show some of those deeper sweet notes, like caramel or chocolate.

There’s less caffeine per gram in these roasts than the light roasts, as the beans become less dense.

Dark Roasts

Dark roasted coffee can give you bold, rich, darker flavours. They move more towards chocolate, caramel, nuts and sometimes have a smokey tone. They’re heavy bodied, and have a bolder, richer taste and often leave a slight bitterness, depending on the roast.

They tend to go to the stage we call the ‘second crack’ and beyond, where the vapour is released again. Because they’re roasted for a long time, they have the least amount of caffeine in them. The idea is to really bring out the deep flavours in the coffee that you would never get with a light roast. There’s little room for citrus or floral flavours, and more sweet and rich flavours.

It’s difficult to try and imagine all of these flavours of the different roasts from reading. If I were you, I’d try a light and dark roast coffee next to each other, you’ll really be able to see the difference, and it’ll all make a little more sense.

If you want to learn more about the roasting process, give this video a watch!

Things To Consider

Your Roast

So, if you’re new to this world of coffee, and before researching which K-cups you should get, you didn’t even know that there were different roasts of coffee, then maybe you should get a few different ones and experiment.

If you know which roast you like, then make sure the Keurig pods or cups you’re ordering are that roast in particular. It’s super frustrating realising that you’ve ordered a light roast coffee accidently, when you’re a fan of the darker roasts. So double check!

Ethical Brands

If ethical sourcing is important to you, then you’ll be pleased to know that Keurig work with a lot of brands and manufacturers that promote good ethics. For example, Green Mountain works toward looking after and preserving the environment, as well as paying their employees well.

The Fair Trade Certification is generally a good way to determine whether or not a brand is ethical with their employees, and the methods they practise. Today, the coffee industry is working hard to be 100% sustainable, so there are a lot of brands out there doing good. You just have to make sure you’re supporting them.

Some smaller brands of coffee that are really tasty but not very popular, may not have their Keurig cups in all the supermarkets yet. Ordering online opens up more doors when it comes to which coffees you can try too.

latte art being created with milk jug

Any Questions?

How Many Uses Do You Get Out Of A K Cup?

K cups are designed to serve you a single cup of coffee. They have anywhere between 9-12 grams of coffee in them. This means if you do try to use the same K cup twice, your coffee beans are going to be over extracted, and your coffee is going to be watery and weak.

Are K Cups Recyclable?

This is a touchy subject in the world of K cups. The waste is a big problem. There are a few companies that are producing biodegradable cups or pods, and more that are trying to make them recyclable friendly. But normally you have to take the K cups apart for them to be recycled, which most people don’t do, as the aluminium and plastic need to be separated for them to be processed.

You can check out our post on reusable K Cups if you want to learn more. They’re a perfect way of reducing the waste, and it means you can try any type coffee grind that you want.

Do You Have To Use A Keurig?

K cups are designed for Keurig coffee makers, but you can use other coffee makers that also use a K cup/coffee pod method to brew coffee. Just double check that your machine definitely brews coffee this way. If it doesn’t I’d advise you to look at other ways to get your coffee. Check out our Coffee Guide!

The Best Coffee K Cups Reviewed

San Francisco Bay Dark Roast

best coffee k cup
Key Features:

  • Rich, dark chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Full-bodied
  • Smokey finish
  • Compostable/Biodegradable
  • Central and South American Beans

San Francisco Bay doesn’t just produce great quality coffee, but they’re also a brand that you want to get behind and support. What a lot of people notice, me included, is that you’re always greeted by this beautiful aroma coming from these pods.

The price of these pods is also super reasonable considering you get a pack of 120, and I’m sure you’ll go through them all in no time once you’ve had your first sip. It’s very rich and has a full taste, with no bitterness.

Their pods are made from compostable materials, including a paper lidding, plant-based ring, and a mesh coffee filter. The brand has four main pillars of ethics. Pay the farmer above the cost of production, work to improve the quality and quantity of coffee the farmer produces, and improve the social conditions of the farm, and the community.

One downfall is because they are made of compostable and eco friendly materials, they’re not as strong as the plastic K cups. Sometimes they may burst in your machine, making a slight mess, but the reports of this happening are few and far between.

Top quality dark roast coffee, and an ethical brand.

Check price on Amazon

Green Mountain Light Roast

best coffee k cup
Key features:

  • Bright and vibrant flavours
  • Balanced sweetness
  • Slightly nutty
  • 100% Arabica
  • Recyclable

Green Mountain is another great coffee brand that delivers a tasty, well balanced coffee. It’s easy on the acidity, and smooth in the flavour. For these reasons, it’s a perfect pick for those who don’t want that over-powering coffee taste in the morning. The light roast means it’s high in caffeine giving you that extra boost you may need.

Their brand is founded on sustainability and the promotion of small, family run farms and locally owned companies. They are also committed to being 100% sustainably sourced by the end of 2020, to help reach the coffee industries goal for being completely sustainable.

This brand offers a win-win scenario with their light coffee blend giving you a beautiful flavours, and also having environmentally sustainably aimed ethics.

Check price on Amazon

Military Grade Coffee K Cups Dark Roast

best coffee k cupKey features:

  • Hints of chocolate and caramel
  • Super smooth taste
  • High caffeine content
  • Well balanced flavour
  • Non GMO and organic

If you love your caffeine and enjoy that extra kick that a strong cup of coffee gives you in the morning, then you’ll enjoy these K-cups. They contain nearly double to the amount of caffeine as a regular pod. But this isn’t the only reason they’re on our list.

These K-cups are incredibly smooth and go down a treat, especially with those dark, rich sweet flavours of chocolate and caramel. Not to mention they’re organic and contain no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) which is good for looking after your insides.

10 percent of all NET profit go towards ‘The Gary Sinise Foundation’ which helps military veterans with PTSD, housing and other important needs.

There are some people that found the pods quite bitter, and the flavour not to be as strong as they’d like, but on the whole, a well balanced and on the sweeter side dark roast that’ll give you a caffeine kick.

Check price on Amazon

The Chosen Bean Medium Roast

best coffee k cup
Key features:

  • Caramel and dark chocolate
  • Almond
  • Brown sugar aroma
  • Easily recyclable
  • Organic
  • Fair Trade certified

By far the best thing about these K cups, is that they’re freshly roasted to order. Everytime they ship orders out, their coffee is small batched roasted that day, meaning it’s definitely fresh when you get your delivery.

As well as top quality freshness, their filters are specially designed to not absorb any of the flavours when the coffee is being extracted. This allows up to 50 percent more coffee for a richer and larger cup. Unlike other K cups, their lid is also made out of the same recyclable plastic as the cup, so you don’t have to faff around separating them to make sure they get recycled.

All their coffees are Fair Trade certified promoting their good brand ethics. All the ingredients they use, from the fertilisers on the farms, to the roasting process is all organic, preserving the land and looking after our health.

This coffee isn’t bitter and the aromas coming from the bag are strong. They offer a wide range of flavours and roasts so you can pick your favourite ones to try.

Check price on Amazon

Newman’s Own Special Blend Medium Roast

best coffee k cup
Key features:

  • Bold and strong
  • Smooth
  • 100% Arabica
  • Not bitter
  • Organic

Firstly, it’s good to acknowledge that this brand has given away over half a billion dollars of its profits to charity. Recently, they changed their policy so that 100 percent of their profits are given away to help the less fortunate.

So, they’re a great company to support as they’re basically a charity in themselves, but is their coffee up to scratch? Well, people certainly think so. It’s got a great balance of flavours and has no bitter aftertaste.

They deliver consistently good quality coffee and at a good price, but they don’t do anything as far as biodegradable packaging or recycling is concerned.

Check price on Amazon

Conclusion

Well, there are our favourite K cups for coffee. It’s difficult to choose between so many good brands with super tasty coffee however, personally I’d recommend San Francisco Bay Coffee Dark Roast.

They’re a brand with great ethics and have the environment in mind, while also producing some amazingly tasty coffee with complementing flavours.

At the end of the day, finding the K-cup that’s going to be best for you is going to come from trial and error, but hopefully we’ve set you off on the right track with some top quality brands.

Check out this review of an amazing Keurig coffee maker, the Keurig K475, to get you started brewing you K Cups!

Let us know which K Cup you went for in the comments!

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Tom Bolland

Tom Bolland

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