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Reusing Coffee Pod K-Cups When Other Methods Fail

Misty103 is a pen name for a psychology graduate, freelance researcher, reviewer, and writer.

The Reality of K-Cups

K-cups are the small coffee pods that are used in Keurig coffee makers. Each K-cup is placed inside the coffee maker in order to brew one cup of coffee. On average, one K-cup costs about $0.66, which seems like a great deal for a cup of coffee until you realize that one pound of coffee in K-cups typically costs about $50. A pound of ground coffee normally only costs $8–$12.

K-cups might cost more than ground coffee, but they only take a minute to brew, and each one makes an individual cup so that there is no waste. They are also a lot more convenient, as they are just dropped in the machine, brewed, and then thrown out. There is no filter to clean or glass pot to worry about cleaning, yet it's still much more expensive than ground coffee.

K-cups versus home brew coffee

K-cups versus home brew coffee

The Cost-Effective Solution That Works Every Time

As an owner of a K-cup machine, I grappled with my enjoyment of the machine versus the amount of money I had to spend on the K-cups. To reduce costs, I tried the foil method, the use of reusable cups, and the cut, remove, and replace methods (see below for explanations of these methods and their cons).

Then I stumbled upon the single easiest method of reducing my coffee bill that worked every single time. That method was very simple: I would reuse each K-cup an additional time.

I found this method worked on the old and newer machines, as all I would do is take the K-cup out of the machine, and then when it cooled, I would put it back in and make a second cup. The first cup made with each K-cup was always a bit stronger, but the second cup was far from bad. In fact, I would often make my first cup and second cup back to back, and then put the second cup in the refrigerator for later. I even found that some people preferred the second cup to the first cup, as they liked their coffee to be a bit less strong.

This is the only method I have tried that successfully works every time!

Keurig machine

Keurig machine

Other Cost-Reducing Methods

Foil Method:

This method calls for the use of a small pairing knife to be used along the top of the K-cup in order to remove the top foil cover of the cup after it has been used the first time. Then the K-cup is emptied out, rinsed, refilled with ground coffee, and covered with foil. The foil is then sealed using a hot iron. Note: this method does not work on the newer machines that have sensors.

Cons: Messy, time-consuming, slightly risky due to the use of a sharp knife, sometimes the foil comes off during brewing and makes a large mess, risk of burn from iron.

Reusable Cups:

This method requires the purchase of a reusable coffee pod designed for the K-cup machine. These pods are filled with ground coffee and then brewed. However, they only work on the older K-cup machines without sensors.

Cons: Many people found out that they would only last for a certain number of brews before breaking, the pods were often messy, and not all brands would fit the machine correctly.

Cut, Remove, and Replace:

This method calls for the use of a small knife to be used to remove the foil on top of the K-cup that has the K-cup brand on it. The foil part needs to be removed carefully and cleanly as it is then sealed with a hot iron onto an off-brand coffee pod that is compatible with the K-cup machine but does not have the K-cup logo on it. A second way to use this method is to carefully tape the removed label inside the K-cup machine right over the sensor so that every pod reads as a K-cup.

Cons: Risk of voiding warranty, sharp knife can be slightly dangerous, does not always work, risk of burn from hot iron.

© 2018 Sefina Hawke