What Are The Best Espresso K Cups? – Top Picks

If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to read the whole article, we recommend getting Peets Coffee Espresso Capsules for a great espresso.

For a long time it’s been difficult to brew high quality espresso from home. You need a combination of high pressure and optimum temperature, but also high quality coffee beans. A good espresso coffee maker can help you with the first two, and an espresso specific K Cup can help you with quality coffee.

No dramas if you don’t have an espresso machine sitting at home. We’ve created this review on the best espresso K Cups which will make a perfect espresso whatever you choice of coffee maker is.

We will be reviewing these 5 K Cups:

Title
illy Coffee iperEspresso Capsule
EKOCUPS Artisan Organic Espresso
Our favourite
Peet's Coffee Espresso Capsules
Cafe Bustle K Cup
Barista Prima Espresso Roast
Preview
illy Coffee, iperEspresso Capsule, Classico Medium Roast Espresso Pods, Compatible with illy iperEspresso Machines, 21 ct (Packaging may Vary)
EKOCUPS Organic Espresso Coffee Pods, Fair Trade Organic Coffee Pods, Dark Roast Coffee, Single Serve Coffee for Keurig K Cups Machines, Hot or Iced Coffee, Gourmet Coffee in Recyclable Pods, 40 Count
Peet's Coffee Espresso Capsules Crema Scura, Intensity 9, 10 Count Single Cup Coffee Pods Compatible with Nespresso Original Brewers
Cafe Bustelo K-cup Packs, Espresso Style, 24 Count
Barista Prima Coffeehouse Italian Roast Coffee K-Cup for Keurig Brewers, Italian Roast Coffee (Count of 96) - Packaging May Vary
Roast Type
Medium roast
Dark roast
Dark roast
Dark roast
Italian roast
Flavours
Caramel and chocolate notes
Smokey flavours
Nutty and creamy
Slightly sweet
Woody and chocolate notes
Keurig Compatible
Title
illy Coffee iperEspresso Capsule
Preview
illy Coffee, iperEspresso Capsule, Classico Medium Roast Espresso Pods, Compatible with illy iperEspresso Machines, 21 ct (Packaging may Vary)
Roast Type
Medium roast
Flavours
Caramel and chocolate notes
Keurig Compatible
Title
EKOCUPS Artisan Organic Espresso
Preview
EKOCUPS Organic Espresso Coffee Pods, Fair Trade Organic Coffee Pods, Dark Roast Coffee, Single Serve Coffee for Keurig K Cups Machines, Hot or Iced Coffee, Gourmet Coffee in Recyclable Pods, 40 Count
Roast Type
Dark roast
Flavours
Smokey flavours
Keurig Compatible
Our favourite
Title
Peet's Coffee Espresso Capsules
Preview
Peet's Coffee Espresso Capsules Crema Scura, Intensity 9, 10 Count Single Cup Coffee Pods Compatible with Nespresso Original Brewers
Roast Type
Dark roast
Flavours
Nutty and creamy
Keurig Compatible
Title
Cafe Bustle K Cup
Preview
Cafe Bustelo K-cup Packs, Espresso Style, 24 Count
Roast Type
Dark roast
Flavours
Slightly sweet
Keurig Compatible
Title
Barista Prima Espresso Roast
Preview
Barista Prima Coffeehouse Italian Roast Coffee K-Cup for Keurig Brewers, Italian Roast Coffee (Count of 96) - Packaging May Vary
Roast Type
Italian roast
Flavours
Woody and chocolate notes
Keurig Compatible

espresso on saucer

What You Should To Consider

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when deciding on what makes a good K Cup.

Super Convenient

First things first, a K Cup does not produce the classic espresso as it uses a different brewing method. However, these K Cups recreate the espresso taste and flavour without the complicated steps requiring bulky and expensive equipment.

With Keurig machines, you just insert the pod, push a button and enjoy your espresso within seconds, it really couldn’t be easier. In this day and age where everything is done in an instant at your fingertips, K Cups are the ideal addition to your kitchen.

What Sort Of Flavours Do You Want?

You can still get different roasts of coffee beans within K Cups, meaning you can choose the pod that best suits your tastes. Generally speaking espresso is a dark roast, but it’s by no means a rule.

A light roast has a citrus, berry or floral type of flavour that leaves a tang in your mouth. This roast has the delicate flavours that a dark roast tends to lose in the roasting process.

Dark roasts are widely regarded as the best espresso coffee beans, but again that doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you. It has chocolatey or caramel flavours with a full bodied texture in your mouth. It is the most common as it’s the strongest in flavour of all roasts.

A medium roast is a happy middle between the two. With some tangy tastes such as berries, but still with a medium to full body, and darker flavours like chocolate and caramel.

It’s important to choose a roast that you prefer as it really alters the taste of the coffee – gone are the days where coffee was just coffee! If you’re not sure which type of roast is for you, I suggest buying one pod of each flavour and working it out that way before bulk buying one flavour.

Brand Ethics Are Important

It’s no secret that out of all the coffee makers, K Cups are at the top for being the least environmentally friendly. This is due to the single use, non recyclable nature of the packaging. Each pound of coffee consumed sends 50 K Cups to landfill – and with over 17 million U.S households and offices utilising Keurig coffee makers these days, billions of K Cups are in landfills every year. So what can you do to make your footprint smaller?

Keurig have created a reusable filter that now works in all of the Keurig machines, reducing single use filters. This could be a great investment while also saving the environment.

Keurig’s own brand Green Mountain works towards looking after our planet as well as their employees. In 2012, they pledged to make all K Cups 100% recyclable by 2020 – this is true if you seperate all components and recycle them individually, but not as one.

Making sure the brands you support are looking after employees and the environment means you’re doing your bit to create a sustainable industry. Future generations will enjoy their coffee like we do today. Make sure they owe you a thank you!

Is It Compatible With Your Coffee Maker?

The most important thing to check before buying your pods is making sure the particular pod is suitable for your coffee maker. The majority of cups fit all coffee makers, but it is definitely worth taking that extra minute to double check before buying.

espresso in white mug

Where Can I Buy K Cups?

K Cups are available pretty much everywhere. Many coffee shops stock them, as well as big supermarkets. Of course, you can choose from a wider variety of flavours from the comfort of your own home by buying online – the upside of doing this is that you can buy in bulk and save money at the same time.

By buying online, you open yourself up to a whole new world of brands that may not have their cups in the supermarkets yet. It’s a great way to support small businesses that have a unique taste but are perhaps not as popular as the conglomerates.

How Much Caffeine Do You Want?

With convenience comes caution. K Cups are so simple and effortless to use that before you know it, you can be 6 cups in and way over caffeinated if you are not careful on the amount caffeine you’re consuming.

Many Keurig coffee pods contain between 95 to 140mg of caffeine – lets put that into perspective. A standard 8 ounce cup of coffee should contain around 100mg, there is a huge misconception that an espresso shot contains more caffeine than a normal coffee, this isn’t true. An espresso contains the same caffeine than a normal coffee, there is just more caffeine per volume than a standard 8 ounce cup – aka it’s more concentrated.

The average healthy adult should have up to 400mg of caffeine per day – this is roughly 3 or 4 standard cups of coffee. Caffeine has actually been found to have potential health benefits, ranging from reduced inflammation to reducing risks of kidney stones and Alzheimer’s.

Long story short, a little bit of caffeine is good for you, a lot of it can be dangerous. Enjoy coffee responsibly!

illy Coffee iperEspresso Capsule 

best espresso k cups

Key features:

  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Medium roast
  • Caramel and chocolate hints
  • Single blend
  • Ethical company

The brand illy is established in Europe and is known for the quality of coffee it produces. They use Arabica beans with a smooth, rich and full bodied taste with notes of caramel and chocolate, each capsule contains around 7 grams of ground coffee.

illy was named one of the world’s most ethical companies in the beverage industry in 2019 by Ethisphere – you can enjoy your coffee guilt free knowing your money is being spent well!

Many people reported that these capsules even produce crema on top of the espresso – this is the frothy cream that sits on top of the drink and indicates fresh, good quality coffee.

Check price on Amazon

EKOCUPS Artisan Organic Espresso

best espresso k cups

Key features:

  • Dark roast
  • Fair trade and Organic
  • Keurig compatible
  • 13 grams of coffee per pod
  • Smoky

This brand prides itself on being 100% fair trade and organic by producing K cups that can be recycled. However, the cups have to be taken apart and the coffee emptied from them. There is an inner cloth-type bag holding the coffee within the plastic outer cup and it can be quite a job separating all of this – especially if you’re in a rush before work.

This coffee has a rich taste with a smooth finish without the bitterness of a dark roast. These cups come in packs of 40 which is perfect for bulk buying or an office environment where lots of cups are going to be made each day.

You can enjoy this delicious cup knowing there are no other chemicals involved in the process! Each cup is packed with at least 30% more coffee than the average brand to ensure a robust, bold cup of coffee each time.

Check price on Amazon

Peet’s Coffee Espresso Capsules

best espresso k cups

Key features:

  • Dark roast
  • Full bodied
  • Aluminium capsules
  • 100% arabica coffee
  • Compatible with nespresso

Peet’s coffee company has over 50 years of experience of roasting coffee which means you know you’re going to receive high quality coffee any time you purchase from them.

This espresso is full bodied with earthy, nutty notes paired with a creamy finish. The capsules are airtight sealed to preserve the freshness and give you the best espresso experience possible. This is a reflection of the Peets brand as they promise to deliver the freshest coffee they can.

They’re great value for money while giving you the perfect espresso every time. They use 100% arabica beans and create a rich, smooth, creamy foam on top of your espresso.

Check price on Amazon

Cafe Bustelo K Cup

best espresso k cups

Key features:

  • Rich
  • Dark roast
  • Compatible with all Keurig brewers
  • Cuban style

This cup is ideal for those who prefer their coffee really dark. Cafe Bustelo have created a bold, dark espresso that has the perfect balance of strong yet not too bitter, but if you do feel that it is too strong, this K Cup mixes perfectly with milk and sugar.

Cafe Bustelo gives the perfect insight into the taste of Latin America as it aims to recreate the flavour of a cafecito (Cuban espresso). It is made of 100% pure coffee beans without any artificial flavours or additives so gives the purest of flavours. Plus you can drink it rest assured there are no unwanted chemicals mixed in.

Check price on Amazon

Barista Prima Espresso Roast

best espresso k cups 

Key features:

  • Italian style
  • Woody, chocolatey notes
  • Dark roast
  • Keurig compatible

These pods offer a very rich flavour. It has soft and woody notes with hints of chocolate, and is perfectly roasted leaving no burnt after taste.

Barista Prima Coffeehouse is a brand of coffee roasted and sold by Green Mountain and so you can be assured that these cups are made specifically for Keurig.

It is more on the expensive side but has a flavour that is worth the extra few cents.

Check price on Amazon

Conclusion

To summarise, I feel that Peet’s Coffee Espresso Capsules are the best K Cups for an espresso. I think they produce great quality tasting coffee while keeping the consumers need at the forefront of their minds – with regards to freshness, experience and customer service.

You can check out more K Cup reviews here. Plus we have lots of Keurig reviews to help you figure out which one works best for you!

Let us know which one you went for in the comments!

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Tom Bolland

Tom Bolland

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