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What is K Cup coffee?

Updated on November 5, 2012
The inside of an empty K Cup
The inside of an empty K Cup | Source

K Cups are a type of packaged coffee made for Keurig coffee machines. These coffee machines have become popular because they are very convenient and easy to use. Keurig coffee machines make single servings of coffee, rather than a larger amount such as a pot of coffee. You have likely seen K Cups in supermarkets next to the regular selection of coffee. There is a fairly wide variety of coffees available in K Cups for use with Keurig machines.

The appeal of K Cups

As mentioned, K Cups are very convenient and easy to use. The Keurig machine heats water up and the K Cup is inserted into the machine. There is no fussing with filters. No measuring grounds, or even grinding beans. And no measuring water. There is a water reservoir that holds enough water to make several cups of coffee. Most machines have multiple sizes available to be brewed. This gives the user the choice to make a brew to their liking, whether weak or strong. Brewing a single cup is very quick. Cleaning up after making a cup is a breeze. All that is necessary is to remove the K Cup and discard it. Periodically, the brewer and some of the components need to be cleaned and descaled, but cleanup requirements after everyday usage is virtually non-existent. On top of all this, the Keurig is capable of making a really good cup of coffee.

Cons of K Cups

While single serve K Cups are a wonderful concept and definitely fulfill the needs of many coffee drinkers, it important to note some of the negative aspects of K Cups. However, you may find that the convenience and ease of use outweigh these negative factors. Some of the negatives about K Cups are:

  • They are much more expensive than brewing traditional coffee
  • K Cups are wasteful and the packaging is not recyclable
  • The selection of available coffees may not include a specific coffee you desire
  • A large cup of coffee may be weak or require more than one K Cup

Other considerations

According to Keurig, research and development is under way to address the problem of K Cups not being recyclable. For those concerned about K Cups being non-recyclable, at least there is hope that alternative materials for producing K Cups may eventually be used. Also, while the cost of K Cups is a concern for some people, one way to look at this expense is to consider what you would pay if you were to buy a cup of coffee from a coffee shop. Yes, K Cups are more expensive than traditional coffee brewing methods, but using a K Cup at home is still going to cost less than buying a cup of coffee. A Keurig machine is also convenient in workplaces and offices. If you are selective about your coffee, the breakroom coffee just may not cut it. It's less of a hassle to simply make your own cup of coffee using a Keurig and a K Cup of your choice. New varieties of K Cups are constantly becoming available for purchase so there are numerous choices of coffee for you to enjoy.


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