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Use Your Own Coffee with Single Serve Machines

Updated on September 17, 2014
Photo credit:  via
Photo credit: via | Source

What Coffee Machines Allow You to Use Your Own Coffee?

Single serve coffee machines are the hot trend in the coffee industry, because they are convenient, easy to use, clean, and don't take too much space on the kitchen counter. The problem with most of the single cup coffee makers is that you are stuck with the manufacturer's coffee pods.

Whether you want to save money, to expand your coffee choices, or to use that special gourmet coffee that your manufacturer doesn't carry, you should have the ability to use whatever coffee you want, and this should be easy to accomplish, and facilitated by the manufacturer. This isn't the case with all single cup coffee maker manufacturers. Following, we will show you which are the best single serve coffee makers to use with your own coffee.

Photo credit: Kungfuman via Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Kungfuman via Wikimedia Commons

Coffee pods and capsules

Reusable Coffee Pods, Coffee Disks, Coffee Capsules

Each company uses their own name for the coffee capsules, and many use their own capsule type in order to retain customers. Purchasing a single serve coffee machine is just the beginning of your self-imposed loyalty to the company that sold you the machine. While this isn't automatically a bad thing, it it could be when you calculate the price per coffee cup, or when you want to brew that smooth, low-acid Brazilian coffee with your single serve, and discover that they don't carry it.

Following you will be presented the major single serve manufacturers and the marketing names for their capsules/pods. There will also be presented the pods or capsules alternatives, so you can brew your own coffee. Note that there are on the market single cup coffee makers that do not need a coffee capsule or a pod. In my opinion, these are the best thing ever.

A separate note for the capsule/pod based espresso makers; I think that these are the greatest invention ever, and they are the most convenient way to get a nice espresso, without effort, and with consistent results every time. Using your own coffee with one of these it just defeats the purpose, since it is simpler to buy a manual espresso machine, and brew it that way.

Hamilton Beach Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker - Use Your Own Coffee - Single Serve - No Pods, No Capsules

This one cup coffee brewer is the best choice for people who like to brew their own coffee. The "Single Serve Scoop" coffee maker, eliminates the two most annoying problems related to using your own coffee with single serve makers, the mess associated with using refillable capsules, and the ability to adjust the ratio of water/coffee grinds to ensure the proper strength and coffee quantity.

This is a great looking coffee machine, with a slick design, it makes a coffee very fast, and the coffee comes out hot, as it should.

It has two strength settings, bold and regular to allow you to adjust for strength and coffee grind size, and the mesh scoop filter can hold enough coffee grinds for even a very strong cup.

There are two steel mesh scoop filters, saving you money even more, there is no need for paper filters.

Tips and Tricks

  • Make sure you don't overfill the scoop, or you will get weak coffee. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but if you put too much coffee the water will overflow and will not pass through the coffee grinds.
  • The bold settings adjust the water flow to a slower drip, so you can use finer coffee grinds, or just allow your regular drip coffee grinds more water contact, for a better extraction.

Why is the "Hamilton Beach Single Serve Scoop" the best single serve?

  • You can use your own coffee without the mess of other single serve.
  • The price per cup of coffee comes very low.
  • The metal mesh allows some of the coffee oils to pass through giving you a delicious coffee, compared to paper filter coffee machines.
  • One of the prettiest coffee machine out there.
  • Brews a cup in a little longer than a minute.
  • It is designed to be durable, made of stainless steel.
  • The coffee machine is inexpensive.

How To Use Keurig With Your Own Coffee - How To Use Your Own Coffee In A Keurig

Keurig is one of the "open" single serve coffee machines, and all the machines that use the K-Cup system. If you want to, you can use your own coffee using a specially designed refillable K-Cup.

Keurig has its own refillable capsule, named My K-Cup, and this is a great alternative, but there other companies who manufacture refillable K-Cups of same quality, or even better.

To use your Keurig machine with your own coffee you just need to buy a refillable capsule, and your favorite coffee beans. This will lower dramatically the cost per cup. Freshly grind your beans as for a drip machine or slightly finer, put the grind coffee in the capsule, pop it in the capsule holder and brew. You will love the coffee made with these refillable.

The regular K-Cups, have a paper filter that retains the oils that give coffee its specific aroma and flavor. With a refillable, you won't have a paper filter, but a mesh one, that will allow all the goodness to pass through. The water is pushed under pressure through the mesh filter to enrich even more the end result. In my eyes the Keurig coffee really shines if you are using a refillable K-Cup. The best ones, paradoxically are not the originals My K-Cups, as we would think, but a third party, the Ekobrew. See my reviews below.

KeurigMyK-CupReusableCoffee Filters(2) [R5Y7Z7G2] (PACK OF 2)
KeurigMyK-CupReusableCoffee Filters(2) [R5Y7Z7G2] (PACK OF 2)

The original My K-Cup from Keurig, designed by Keurig, and built by them. They should know best what's working with their coffee machines. The mesh filter allows you to make the best coffee ever.


Solofill Keurig Refillable

100% BPA free, stainless steel made, the micro-mesh is very sturdy, and it is quite large, taking about 2 tablespoons of coffee. That means you can make strong coffee, stronger than with your regular K-Cup, and you can use your favorite coffee beans, and all these while saving money.

Additionally, there is no need to remove or swap out the filter holder. The stainless steel mesh is perfect allowing more oils from the beans to pass into your cup.

Brewing tip: Make sure you adjust your grind size, if your coffee is too strong, or too weak. Finer grinds, give you a bolder coffee, but they tend to clog the mesh. Also the pump of a Keurig is not that powerful so do not compact the coffee too much in the refillable.

Ekobrew Classic Reusable Filter, Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 Compatible - Violet
Ekobrew Classic Reusable Filter, Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 Compatible - Violet

Ekobrew is the most popular refillable K-Cup on Amazon. It is the best selling, and it has the most reviews. a few thousand reviews means something. 100% BPA free, with a great design that makes it easy to clean. Best coffee with your Keurig, and the price per cup drops dramatically. Made in USA.Make sure your Keurig is compatible with this K-Cup.


Coffee Machines which use K-Cup

K-Cup Coffee Brewers

The most popular choice of coffee capsules is by far the K-cup. The reason is that the K-cup came with a great selection of coffee, changing the flavored, or decaf, or gourmet coffee is as simple as with the regular drip coffee. The availability of many coffee choices, and the relatively simple design needed to brew with a k-cup inspired many coffee maker manufacturers to make a k-cup compatible model.

The K-cups are proprietary, but the patent expired in 2012. Keurig also sells the My K-Cup, which is a great option to brew your own coffee. There are also third party K-cup compatible refillable cups, if you want to try them. Here are a few K-Cup brewers:

  • Keurig B60 Special Edition Brewing System
  • Mr. Coffee Single Serve Coffee Brewer powered by the Keurig technology
  • Cuisinart Single Serve Brewing System for K-Cup
  • Breville Gourmet Single-Serve Coffeemaker for k-cup capsules

Keurig B60 Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup

The Keurig Special Edition is a mid luxury single serve, with adjustable temperature, digital clock, and auto on and off.

The Keurig is the most sold single serve, because it appeals to most of the market. The abundant coffee choice would please 90% of the buyers, however for the most pretentious, whose preferences are very rare coffees, a reusable coffee filter is the best choice. I love Keurig for giving their users an option for reusable K-cups.The best part is that there are other refillable K-cups manufacturers, who have great products, and one of these products is the "Ekobrew Cup, Refillable Cup for Keurig K-cup Brewers".

Photo Credit Amazon
Photo Credit Amazon

Coffee Machines with Generic Coffee Pods

Generic Coffee Pods Coffee Machines

This is actually a great option for your single serve coffee machine. If you are planning to buy a single cup, this could be your choice. The coffee selection is unlimited, and to make your own pod is trivial if you use the pod maker. Even for coffee roasters it is very simple to launch a new coffee pod, the technology is simple, and there are no patents and trademarks involved.

Machines that work with generic, simple, paper coffee pods, (or coffee pads), are manufactured by: Senseo, Krups, Gevalia, Simple Human, Juan Valdez, Melitta, Bunn, Mr. Coffee, Hamilton Beach, Home Cafe, Grindmaster, De'Longhi, etc...

Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer Single Serve and 12-cup Coffee Maker

This regular drip machine can brew either in a regular coffee pot, or in a cup. You can brew your morning coffee without using the coffee pot, and make just a single cup. This is a great option to the more expensive single serve coffee makers. However, this is a regular drip machine, so the coffee taste is just not the taste you expect from a Keurig.

Keurig Single Serve
Keurig Single Serve

Single Serve Coffee Makers without Capsules or Pods

There are more and more single cup coffee makers that work like a regular drip coffee machine, without a coffee pod/capsule. These are becoming more popular, since they are easy to use, and have a small footprint, and make a great coffee.

Although one of my favorites is a single serve with ground coffee only, (the Hamilton Beach Scoop), the more versatile machines, that allow you to choose between regular ground coffee and capsules are the best, and they are the most popular. You can choose convenience, with the capsule, or pod, or you can choose perfection, with your Brazilian, low acid coffee, or you can choose low cost.

Coffee Machines with T-disks - Bosch Tassimo Single Serve Coffee Brewer

T-disks are proprietary, and there is no alternative for brewing your own coffee on a Tassimo single serve brewer. The t-disks are not cheap, and the coffee choice is limited. If you are happy with their coffee offer you are fine, if not, too bad, because you won't get other choices. The technology involves a bar code that tells the machine what brew the disk needs. There are no third party providers for refillable t-discs.

The advantage with T-disks is that you can brew various beverages from tea and coffee to hot chocolate, espresso and cappuccino, and the bar code simplifies the brewing process.

Perfect Pod Maker - Make Your Own Coffee Pods

This pod maker works for Senseo, Simple Human, Juan Valdez, Krups, Melitta, Bunn, Mr. Coffee, Hamilton Beach, Home Cafe, Grindmaster, etc...

Make you own coffee pods once per week for maximum freshness, saving money, and the ability to choose your own coffee.

Bunn My Cafe MCU - Single Serve Coffee Maker

Multi-Use Coffee Brewer - Bunn MCU is one of the most versatile single cup coffee makers on the market. It can brew coffee and tea, in various packaging, from capsules to ground coffee and loose tea. This is basically a 4 machines in one. Its versatility goes even further, by allowing you to brew up to 20 grams of ground coffee. I like strong and bold coffee, and this is the best feature. While I like the Keurig machines, I was always put off by the weak coffee they make, even with the small cup setting. What I like most about the Bunn My Cafe, besides its versatility, is that it can brew really fast. You will have your cup under one minute.

Now going back to coffee strength, I love strong coffee, as you already know, but when I make my mom a cup of coffee, it needs to be a regular to weak. No problem at all. This is actually so cool, I could play with it forever. You can put up to 20 grams of ground coffee in your basket, and select the brew size from 4 to 14 ounces. I wrote down the measurements for my mom, and I use those whenever she comes over.

What Can You Brew with Bunn My Cafe?

If you are a fan of K-Cups, you can use this machine for your favorite K-Cup capsule.

  • If freshly ground coffee is your thing, no problem you can do that too.
  • If you want to brew using pods, no problem, the is a special drawer for that.
  • Do you want to make a tea, from loose leafs? That is perfectly possible with another special drawer.
  • Great Drip Coffee

One of the major advantages of this machine is its versatility. If you are all about convenience, you can buy your K-Cups, and brew like with any Keurig machine, only better. You can get your favorite K-Cup, (pumpkin spice is ladies' favorite), and brew flavored coffee.

When you brew ground coffee, you will get the best smooth drip coffee. It doesn't compare to most of the drip coffee machines on the market.

Super Feature: pulse brew is the feature that allows the water to stay in contact more with your coffee or tea. This extracts more of the aromas in your coffee or tea. Your drip coffee will taste closer to a French Press coffee. Your taste buds will thank you forever.

How To Reuse Tassimo T-discs

© 2013 Dorian Bodnariuc


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    • Coffee-Break profile imageAUTHOR

      Dorian Bodnariuc 

      4 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      @shellys-space: Not to mention that you can use any gourmet beans, or low acidity beans, or any beans you want...

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 

      4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I found some generic basket filters for my Keurig coffee machine and I save a bunch on Kcups!

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      4 years ago

      There, you just answered my question! No one ever talks about the possibility of using your own coffee in a single serve coffee maker, but there's this local roasterie that I couldn't give up...


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