Reasons to Love K Cups
I have tried a lot of coffee makers, but I've recently fallen in love with a Keurig K-cup coffee brewer. How can you fall in love with a coffee maker? Let me count the ways:
- It brews one cup at a time
- It can brew anything I want in less than a minute
- There is an endless variety of coffees, teas and hot chocolate or white hot chocolate k-cups available in the marketplace
- No more wasted or burned coffee in my coffee maker
- I can do it with one hand tied behind my back
Maybe it is because I'm a techie that I love my Keurig k-cup coffee maker so, but it now has an honored place on my kitchen counter. The only problem I have is deciding which k cup to make next!
K Cup Beverage Variety
When I first bought my Keurig k cup coffee brewer I was like a kid in a candy store. Sure, the box came with the coffee maker and 18 sample k cups, but I knew that wouldn't be enough to last me through the week, especially since I have a spouse who also loves coffee the way I do. So I decided to search the Internet and figure out what was out there to satisfy my coffee whims.
If you buy a Keurig (there are other pod coffee makers available on the market), register your coffee maker online. In return for about 1 minute of your time you'll get an online coupon for several boxes of k cup beverages. You can use the coupon to buy coffee, tea or hot chocolates from the Keurig online store. Other places to buy k cups includes Amazon.com, CoffeeCow.com and many, many others. You can also find them in many retail stores, such as Target.com in their coffee aisle. You'll also notice that many other online stores offer discounts to first time shoppers, so surf for the best deals.
Types of coffees you'll find for k cup coffee brewer include caffeinated, decaffeinated and half-caf, ranging from light brews to extremely bold varieties- and I do mean BOLD! Coffee companies offering k cups are numerous, from Emeril Lagasse to Green Mountain, Caribou,Tully's and more.
Teas are made from name brand tea purveyors such as Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings and Twinnings. My personal favorites are chai and Earl Grey, but you'll find many types of teas to choose from including decaffeinated varieties.
My kids benefit from my little coffee addiction as well. This little brewer makes hot chocolate and white hot chocolate. This includes dark chocolate beverages, milk chocolate and other flavored hot cocoa blends. (Warning: make the beverages for your children- a k cup brewer has very hot water in the dispenser!).
Storing K Cups
After I dove head first into coffee heaven, I found that I had more boxes of k cups cluttering my counter that you can imagine. I actually started storing them on top of my old 12-cup percolator and toaster. However, not everyone enjoyed my creative stacking abilities and I was forced to make a decision on how best to store my endless parade of k cup boxes.
While it is fun to stack the boxes on top of each other, there is a limit as to how high you can safely stack them. This is especially true as the boxes that are less full begin to buckle under the weight of fuller boxes. If you don't want to hear a crash in your kitchen as you're working on the computer in the next room, followed by the faint clattering sound of k cups hitting the floor, invest in a k cup carousel. They come in many different sizes to accommodate your counter space or sheer number of k cups that you collect. The round carousels are popular because you can spin them to find the variety you want. There are also two-sided towers, but sometimes when you remove a k cup from a bottom row, they also pull out a k cup above them. Finally, there are k cup box holders, which can hold anywhere from two boxes to eight. The only drawback to these is that they only seem to come in black. If they start making them in other colors (hint: white would be a good choice), I might jump on that wagon.
K cup coffees do have expiration dates so they may not taste as good a year from the day when you first purchase them. They have an expiration date stamped on them, so make sure you only order as much k cups as you can consume within a 12-14 month period.
Feeding Your K Cup Addiction
Coffee is my addiction and I acknowledge it. I try not to overdo it, but on the weekend it is possible that I drink more than my share of coffee. In order to feed this addiction of mine, I've discovered k cup coffee clubs. You can join these through online retailers, such as Amazon.com, and have your favorite coffees delivered every month or every few months, depending upon your needs. Before joining a coffee club, be sure that you have options such as canceling at any time or the ability to change the frequency of delivery. Otherwise you may end up with way more coffee than you'll be able to drink within a reasonable amount of time.
A bonus to joining a K-cup coffee club is that you'll get discounts on your purchases, which is yet another reason that I love my k cups; I love a good deal on my coffee purchases.
The Key to Making Your Own K Cups
There are several different K-cup brewing accessories on the market. I haven't found much of a difference in the way that they work.
What I do know from my own experience is that the only way to get your regular coffee to taste the same as it would in a K-cup version is to finely grind the coffee. I use a Krups coffee grinder and grind the beans finely before brewing a cup, much like an espresso grind (almost powdery looking). I fill the K-cup to within 1/4 inch of the top, then cap it and brew a cup. I have also found success re-grinding pre-ground coffee more finely and have achieved similar results.
In terms of saving money, purchasing a coffee grinder was well worth the investment!