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Best K Pod Coffee in 2022

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Updated August 23, 2022

If you’re looking for the best K pod coffee, we’re here to help. K pod coffee is a simple, quick, and versatile way to make coffee and other beverages. These little pods make it easy to make a single cup of coffee in one simple click, and they come in a variety of flavors and roasts that appeal to many different palates. Plus, single-cup brewer machines can be used as hot water dispensers for an increased number of beverage options, including tea and hot chocolate.

While it may seem like the best way to get a fast cup of coffee, it’s certainly not the most flavorful. The problem with K pod coffee is that you can’t customize your beverage nearly as much as you might like. Additionally, some brands also may not contain good quality coffee, and others might be underfilled. Still, coffee K-cups are a viable option that’s often included in the best coffee makers for something quick and easy.

Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about coffee pods and how they work.

Top K Pod Coffees

 #1  Victor Allen’s Italian Roast K Pods

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is a great gluten-free option for sensitivity to the ingredient. It includes eighty pods, all in a deep, rich flavor. You’ll enjoy that these pods are compatible with multiple brewers.

Pros
  • Includes eighty pods
  • Compatible with new machines
  • 100% gluten free
Cons
  • Flavor profile might be weaker

You’ll love the smooth, full-bodied flavor of these k-cups. They offer an Italian roast that most people are used to. There are 80 k-cups included in this pack, so you’ll have an entire stock that’ll get you through quite a while. Unfortunately, if you need a super dark roast option, this might not be the right choice for you. Some consumers do report that it wasn’t as deep or dark as they would have liked.

The roast is deep and smokey, and it’s a completely classic brew. It is also 100% gluten-free, so it’s safe for those sensitive to that ingredient. You’ll also rest easy knowing this is a brand that does not use GMOs in its production. It’s compatible with all single-serve brewing systems, including the Keurig. This is a super easy-to-use set of k-cups that can pop into any brewing system you have at home.

 #2  Starbucks Breakfast Blend K Pods

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need delicious flavor notes, this coffee is perfect for you. It has the taste of sweet orange and brown sugar packed in, making it an excellent option for those with a bit of a sweet tooth.

Pros
  • Provides a lighter flavor
  • High-quality option
  • Has delicious flavor notes
Cons
  • Flavor might be too light

This medium roast option is fantastic for those who need something light and caffeinated. There are sweet orange and brown sugar notes, which is a lovely combination to start your morning right. Since it’s a “breakfast blend,” it’s quite literally made for sipping in the morning to get you going. Unfortunately, this roast might be a little too light for some people. This pack of coffee pods offers the most lightweight option of their medium roasts.

The fresh taste adheres to solid quality assurance standards set by the company. They put their products through rigorous testing to ensure that every sip is as good as the first. Only 100% of Arabica beans go into the production of these k-cups. This coffee is also sustainably sourced in partnership with Conservation International, so it’s a great option for those trying to be conscious about where their coffee comes from.

 #3  Keurig Coffee Lovers’ Collection K Pods

Award: BEST FOR SAMPLING BRANDS

WHY WE LIKE IT: These pods offer a lot of flavors, styles, and roast ranges. There are 20 varieties included, so you can find the perfect flavor for you. There are also multiple brands included, so you can try them all.

Pros
  • Multiple brands included
  • Has different flavors
  • Features 20 varities
Cons
  • Might have flavors you don’t like

If you’re looking to sample a large selection, this is a variety pack you don’t want to miss. It provides brands like Green Mountain, Tully’s, Newman’s Own, Revv, Laughing Man, Krispy Kreme, Cinnabon, Kahlua, Gloria Jeans Coffee, and more. However, having a lot of variety can be a double-edged sword. Unfortunately, this might mean that you find a few flavors you won’t care for that will just hang around your cupboard.

You’ll receive 40 different pods in this sampler pack. This gives you the ability to taste your way through multiple styles of coffee until you find the favorite few you want to stick with. Each one is high-quality and meant to open your horizons to new flavor profile possibilities. The different roasts, flavors, and styles will allow you to decide exactly what kind of morning coffee you want.

 #4  The Original Donut Shop Regular K Pods

Award: BEST FOR YOUR MORNING CUP

WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll love the full-bodied taste of this decadent coffee. The best part is that it uses recyclable housing, so you don’t have to worry about ecological impact as much. This is also a fully caffeinated option.

Pros
  • A full-bodied taste
  • Uses recyclable housing
  • Fully caffeinated option
Cons
  • Flavor might be a little simplistic

This brand has committed to sticking with 100% sustainably sourced coffee. You can trust that your morning cup is going to be ethical. This pack also contains 96 cups, which is more than enough to keep you stocked for a while to come. While fresh is a great way to describe the resulting coffee from these pods, some people don’t like the flavor all that much. If you need something more complex, this is not a great option.

You’ll enjoy the full-bodied flavor that this coffee brings to the table. It’s a medium roast with rich, deep tones most drinkers will love. It is also certified Orthodox Union Kosher, making it a safe choice for those who require kosher products for religious reasons. These pods are fully compatible with all Keurig coffee brewers. That means you’ll be able to use it with whatever model of brewer you happen to have on hand.

 #5  Solimo Dark Roast K Pods

Award: BEST FOR BOLD FLAVOR

WHY WE LIKE IT: This blend uses 100% Arabica coffee beans, which is an excellent quality option. It’s compatible with most brewing models, making it more convenient. This is a dark, bold option as far as flavor profiles are concerned.

Pros
  • Uses 100% Arabica beans
  • Compatible with most brewers
  • Is a dark, bold option
Cons
  • Might be a little too bold for some

With this set of K-pods, you’ll taste a deep, bold flavor with rich underlying notes. This is an extremely dark roast option that any coffee lover will appreciate. In fact, it’s the darkest roast that this brand has to offer. If you want a blend that uses 100% Arabica beans, this is the best choice. However, some drinkers might not appreciate how deep the flavor goes. It might be too dark for some drinkers.

This caffeinated option offers 100 French Roast coffee pods. This should be enough for you to get through at least a couple of months, if not longer. You’ll fully enjoy how convenient it is to have a pod each day. Each one packs a coffee that has bold, smoky notes. You’ll appreciate that these pods are compatible with both Keurig 1.0 and Keurig 2.0 machines, making them highly convenient for most people who brew at home.

 #6  McCafe Premium Medium Roast K Pods

Award: BEST FOR AVOIDING ALLERGENS

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you have any allergies, this is a fantastic choice. This brand avoids the 8 Major Allergens out there, so you’ll likely be safe. You’ll find that this option has a smooth, balanced flavor that is easy to love.

Pros
  • Doesn’t use 8 major allergens
  • Has a smooth, balanced flavor
  • Is a high-quality option
Cons
  • Is a fully caffeinated option

This is a great option for those looking to avoid certain allergens. The brand keeps their coffee as friendly as possible by avoiding the 8 Major Allergens as dictated by federal law. This includes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. However, those that have a lot of health concerns may not enjoy this option since it is fully caffeinated. If you need decaf, this won’t be the right fit for your needs.

This box of premium roast medium blend coffee has 84 total k-cups. This is more than enough to fuel your home for a while or to share at the office. It is a premium blend, so every sip should be as good as the first. You’ll enjoy the rich aroma, smooth body, and clean finish that this coffee has to offer. The roast profile lands towards the left of the center, meaning it’s a great option for both beginner drinkers and seasoned veterans of coffee.

Beginner’s Guide to K Pod Coffee

What is K Pod Coffee?

Simply put, K pod coffee is a small plastic cup containing a small filter and 9 to 13 grams of coffee (0.3 to 0.5 ounces). It’s usually topped by a foil lid stamped with the name of the particular brand you’ve purchased, like Green Mountain or Pete’s Coffee.

K pod coffee goes by many names, including Keurig coffee. K-cups, a name initially coined by the Keurig brand, is one of the most well-known, but you may also see other brands call them coffee pods or just pods. The coffee pod trend started with Nespresso back in the 1980s, but these days it’s hard to imagine a world without them. They make brewing a cup of coffee insanely easy.

K Pod Coffee vs Standard Coffee Grounds

K pod coffee differs from standard coffee grounds in many ways. The grounds in the pods are already premeasured, so they take the guesswork out of determining how much coffee you need to brew with your water. It also eliminates the need to grind your own beans, which makes brewing coffee faster and easier.

However, regular coffee grounds allow you to make more than a single cup. Because they’re not measured for you, you decide how strong you want your coffee and how much of it you want to make. You can also grind the beans fresh so that your coffee has more flavor and aroma.

On the contrary, if you are more interested in a professional coffee beverage more akin to a coffee shop offering, you may want to read more about the best Jura coffee machine.

How Does K Pod Coffee Work

The brewing process is rather simple. Whether you’re using a name brand Keurig, a Nespresso machine, or the best Keurig alternative, you simply insert a pod in the machine and push a button. The machine takes care of the rest. Because you don’t have to measure the amount of grounds, there’s no guesswork.

Once you start the brewing process, the machine pulls water from the water reservoir and injects it into the pod to extract the flavor, and then dispenses it directly into your cup. These machines are designed to use the right amount of water at just the right temperature, but you may find that your coffee lacks flavor simply because you’re not using fresh grounds.

With specialty machines, like Nespresso machines, the process is slightly more complicated. You insert a compatible pod and press a button, at which point the machine punctures 3 holes in the top of the pod, instead of 1.

The machine delivers water through a water line that wraps around a heating element to ensure it’s at just the right temperature when it reaches the capsule. It then pumps water into the capsule at high pressure until the side of the capsule bursts, releasing the rich espresso with a crema topping. The filter inside the capsule prevents any coffee grounds from making it into your cup.

Why should you buy K Pod Coffee?

There are plenty of advantages to choosing K pod coffee, among which convenience is paramount. Coffee makers that use coffee pods produce a cup of coffee in less than 60 seconds, which is fantastic if you’re in a rush to get to work but don’t want to stop at your local coffee shop or wait the 8-10 minutes for your drip maker to finish brewing.

Another added benefit comes in the amount of money you’ll save in the process, considering the average K-cup costs between $0.40 to $0.75 each. In comparison, a cafe-brewed cup of joe will set you back between $4 to $6. However, there are other things to enjoy, too.

Is K Pod Coffee Worth Buying?

  • It’s easy to use: Simply pop the pod into the machine and push a button. The machine does the rest, making it one of the easiest ways to make coffee at home.
  • It comes in many varieties: K pod coffee comes in tons of different flavors. Not only can you get a variety of coffee treats, but you can also find hot cocoa, tea, cider, and other hot beverages in pods. You can even create both cold brews and hot coffee.
  • It’s fast and convenient: Pods make it easy to get your morning pick-me-up quickly. It’s one of the fastest and most convenient ways to make coffee.
  • The machines are versatile: Machines that accept these pods are veritable hot water dispensers. You don’t even need a pod to use them for a variety of other things. You can dispense hot water for loose or bagged tea, packages of hot cocoa, and other beverages. Plus, you can purchase cartridges that allow you to use your own coffee grounds if you do choose to grind your own or use flavors that aren’t available in pods.

Why K Pod Coffee May Not Be For You

  • It doesn’t provide much flavor: You’re not going to get a professional cup of coffee with a pod. The grounds aren’t fresh, and the concentration isn’t always perfect for every preference.
  • It lacks customization: Although there are a lot of flavors and types of beverages that come in pods, the machines still lack quite a bit of customization options. They simply supply water to the pod and extract the flavor they can, but you can’t choose a lot of other options.
  • You can’t choose your brew strength: While there may be several sizes to choose from, the size doesn’t change your brew strength that drastically. There aren’t many options for creating a custom brew that suits your tastes and if you like strong coffee, you may be out of luck.

How Long Will K Pod Coffee Last?

Coffee pods have a shelf life similar to any coffee grounds, so they will last 8-12 months in proper storage. As long as you keep them in a cool dry place, they will be fine for this extended period of time. You also want to make sure that the seal isn’t broken when using a coffee pod. If you’re not sure how old the pod is, use your own judgement. If the seal is broken, you probably shouldn’t use it.

How to Choose K Pod Coffee

There are several key considerations when choosing the right pod coffee for you. First, you need to understand which roast is right for you, then you can choose from a variety of flavors, and finally the brand.

K Pod Coffee Key Factors

1. Which roast do I want?

Changing the roast is about as close as you’ll get to changing your brew strength if you’re using coffee pods. You can find them in varying roasts, but it’s important to understand what those roasts mean before choosing.

A light roast will have light acidity and a mild body with gentle flavors, like florals, fruits, and notes of citrus. You won’t be able to detect as many of the flavors used in the roasting process, which means you’ll taste more coffee and less toast or caramelized sugar.

Medium roasts are some of the most popular because they feature the most balance and appeal to a wider variety of people. They’re less acidic and sweeter than a light roast and have a heavier body. You may also detect some roasting flavors like nuts, caramel, fruits, and possibly chocolate.

Dark roast coffee will vary in flavor based on the bean rather than the particulars of the roasting process. A dark roast should have a heavy body with a rich flavor and smooth taste like toasted nuts and dark chocolate.

While you may enjoy a light or medium roast when grinding your beans fresh, you might have to upgrade to a medium or dark roast to yield stronger cups of coffee when using a pod.

2. Do I want a coffee blend?

Blends are popular among K pod users because they deliver a flavor profile that’s more consistent. A blend may include a variety of beans from many regions. For example, breakfast blends are light and fruity with bright acidity, while after-dinner blends are quite the opposite. They’re full-bodied, dark roasts with a smooth flavor.

You may also choose a mocha-java blend that offers a bold earthy flavor and hints of bright fruit. A single-origin blend is the most expensive option, but they’re often diluted to lower the cost. This blend is common as a specialty drink. You’ll also find a variety of other house blends, so only you can choose which you like best.

3. What brand should I get?

While most pods are interchangeable, a few are not. It’s important to find the right pods for your machine. While some people prefer to purchase their pods straight from the manufacturer of their machine, you don’t have to do it this way, as long as you’re sure they’ll fit. There are plenty of off-brand pods that will work in name-brand Keurig machines.

K Pod Coffee FAQs

How Much Coffee is in a K-Cup?

Every K-cup holds 10-12 grams of coffee, which is equivalent to two overflowing tablespoons. This makes a good 6-ounce cup of coffee if you like a bold roast, and you may even be able to use an 8-ounce cup size, but your brew will be diluted. For a rich, dark roast like this, it can still be a tasty cup. Milder roasts will taste even more diluted the larger the cup size, so it’s best to stick with six ounces. K-cups work better for espresso and cappuccino because the reduces water and the bolder roast produce a bolder tasting brew.

How Natural are K Cups?

K-cups vary in flavor from mild to bold and in roast from light to dark. There are also a wide range of other flavors as well as blends. There are dozens, if not hundreds of different types of K-cups, and they’re all loaded with the same grounds you would buy from the grocery store. However, these grounds aren’t always the most natural. In fact, flavored coffee is made by spraying the beans or grounds with propylene glycol and adding the flavor later. This propylene glycol is a preservative that helps the beans or grounds hold onto the flavor once it’s added and last longer after you’ve opened them. You ingest propylene glycol when you drink any flavored coffee, which can cause side effects. Even though the FDA deems propylene glycol as generally safe, it can lead to skin irritation, allergies, cardiovascular issues, respiratory problems, and several other conditions. This is the unfortunate reality of drinking all kinds of flavored coffees.

Are K Cups for Coffee Snobs?

Coffee snobs like to have complete control over their brew. They shun Starbucks and know the difference between Robusta and Arabica blends. They may even roast their own beans that they import from Hawaii, Guatemala, or Cuba. K-cups aren’t exactly what they would call “real” coffee. Even if you give them the option to brew their own beans in a reusable K-cup, they still can't control the water temperature, brew duration, or pre-infusion settings.

Can K-Cups Be Used with Other Pod Coffee Machines?

Keurig invented the K-cup and designed it to be used in their machines. After the release of the Keurig, other manufacturers released their own generic K-cups. As Keurig lost market share to other manufacturers, they released a 2.0 machine that was only compatible with the Keurig brand K-cup. While an old Keurig machine works with generic K-cups, a Keurig 2.0 is not. They began including codes on the cups that the Keurig scans to ensure it’s a valid cup before brewing. However, most K-cups are compatible with other single serve brewing machines. There are brands like Chefman, Hamilton Beach, and Bunn that will accept K-cups from all manufacturers. On the other hand, Nespresso, Bosch, and Philips all have their own branded pods that you must use in their machines.
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