- Keurig K Cup Coffee Pods Buying Guide: Not All Pods Are the Same!
- Best Keurig K Cup Coffee Pods for an Effortless But Delicious Cup
- 1. Tayst Coffee - Our Top Pick
- 2. Gourmesso - High End Pick
- 3. Death Wish K Cup Coffee Pods - Strongest K-Cups
- 4. The Original Donut Shop - Most Iconic
- 5. San Francisco Bay Decaf Decaf French Roast - Best Decaf K-Cups
- 6. McCafé Colombian - Best Single-Origin
- 7. Green Mountain - Best for Breakfast
- 8. Solimo Dark Roast Coffee Pods - Best Dark Roast
- 9. Starbucks Blonde Roast K-Cup Coffee Pods - Best light roast
- Some Common FAQ around K-Cup Coffee
Breaking news: just because you have a Keurig coffee maker, it doesn’t mean that you can only drink this brand’s pods!
If you want to upgrade your morning brew, you can look at the best K-Cup coffee capsules from different passionate roasters.
Wanna find them as quickly as it’ll take you to brew them?
- Sustainable, plastic-free and home compostable
- Enhanced flavors thanks to their unique mesh
- Different roasts and flavor options
- Combines drip coffee and the stronger flavor of espresso
- From mellow medium roasts to the darkest ones and flavored K-Cups
- Commercially compostable
- Sought-after Hawaiian Kona coffee
- Grown on volcanic soil
- Best Coffee in America by Forbes
Keurig K Cup Coffee Pods Buying Guide: Not All Pods Are the Same!
To avoid disappointment, make sure you first understand exactly what you need and like:
Know the Difference between K-Cups and Capsules
You might have noticed that K-Cups, pods and capsules are often used interchangeably when talking about single-serve coffee, but this can be a problem if you’re about to buy the wrong ones for your machine.
- Coffee capsules is a more generic term that can apply to, for example, other brands like Nespresso;
- K-Cups, on the contrary, are coffee capsules that are compatible with Keurig coffee makers. Nespresso’s and some other capsules aren’t, so make sure you stick to those that specify ‘Keurig’ in their description.
Nowadays, lots of brands are making K-Cup pods that work with both Keurig models and other single-serve coffee makers: some of the ones we’ve included will work even if you have a different brand of single-serve drip coffee makers.
Type of coffee roast
Knowing the difference between roasts can help you find the right type of flavor for your taste buds:
- Because light roasts retain all the beans’ unique characteristics, they’re a great choice if you want to explore their nuances, especially if you drink your coffee black. They’re fruitier and more vibrant than other roasts and, because they have a thinner body, they’ll go down very easily;
- Medium roasts still allow you to appreciate the uniqueness of each bean but have a stronger body and a balanced, well-rounded profile;
- If you prefer coffee with a fuller body, then you should opt for dark roasts: while they lose most of the beans’ characteristics, they reward you with deeper flavors and sweeter notes.
Traditional coffee or flavored?
How do you usually take your coffee?
- If you prefer it black and unsweetened, then we recommend sticking to traditional coffee pods to make the most of their flavor;
- If you can’t help adding cream and sugar, then you’d probably enjoy experimenting with flavored K-Cups.
Best Keurig K Cup Coffee Pods for an Effortless But Delicious Cup
Here’s a little taste of what you can expect:
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Ready to find the best K-Cup coffee for you?
1. Tayst Coffee - Our Top Pick
- Plastic-free and home compostable
- Enhanced flavors
- Sourced ethically and sustainably
At the time of writing this article, only 28 drippers can flaunt the prestigious SCA certification. The fact that 12 of these are Technivorm Moccamaster models is a warranty in itself!
This innovative company has managed to solve the most common problem associated with K-Cups: plastic waste.
Replacing it with entirely compostable materials, they’ve also found a way to create a mesh filter that ensures even water filtration and, consequently, fuller flavors and a smoother mouthfeel. Nice one!
TOP TIP: to speed up the process, separate the coffee mesh from the ring before throwing them in your compost pile.
Tayst offers medium and dark roasts, decaf options, and even vanilla cream and hazelnut K-Cups.
Or, if you’re not sure, why not try their introductory box with 20 K-Cups and a beautiful free mug?
Bottom Line: Entirely plastic-free, Tayst Coffee pods are sourced sustainably and supporting both farmers and their community through the Rainforest Alliance. A proper guilt-free cup of coffee.
2. Gourmesso - High End Pick
- Premium K-Cups
- Stronger espresso flavor
- Commercially compostable
As the name suggests, this is a gourmet choice that combines the practicality of K-Cups and the stronger kick of espresso.
They’re also compostable (although only in facilities) and will turn into useful matter within 12 weeks.
They’re available in different roasts and flavors with catchy names: the Duke (mellow medium roast), the Knight (full-bodied dark roast) and the Noble (extra dark with hints of chocolate), as well as the pretty self-explanatory Lady Vanilla and Sir Hazelnut.Bottom Line: If you have a thing for espresso’s stronger flavors, this is as close as you can get to it with a Keurig coffee maker.
3. Death Wish K Cup Coffee Pods - Strongest K-Cups
- Higher caffeine content
- Chocolaty dark roast
- Coolest branding and packaging
Do you need an extra energy kick in the morning? How does the strongest coffee in the world sound?!
Featured on Forbes and translating into a bold, chocolaty flavor, this dark roast combines high-quality beans from different corners of the globe, all sourced ethically and grown organically. How is it so strong?
“We use both Robusta beans and Arabica beans. Robusta beans have nearly double the caffeine of Arabica.” Mike Brown, founder (1)
Available as 10, 20 or 50 K-Cups, you can learn all about them in our Death Wish Coffee review.Bottom line: If you want the strongest K-Cups, look no further. And, if you do happen to find stronger ones (good luck with that, ’cause we still haven’t managed to), they’ll give you a full refund.
4. The Original Donut Shop - Most Iconic
- Funky branding and design
- Higher coffee content
- Available as medium, dark or decaf
Can you think of something more iconic than donut shop coffee?
As well as their undeniably appealing design, the flavor of these K-Cups doesn’t disappoint: available as a medium or darker roast (or even decaf), they contain more coffee than traditional Keurig K-Cups and result in even bolder flavors.
Depending on your local rules, they also have the potential of being recycled.
Bottom line: As they say, “Not too harsh, not too bitter - just right.” We totally agree.
5. San Francisco Bay Decaf Decaf French Roast - Best Decaf K-Cups
- Dark French roast
- Minimal caffeine, maximum taste
- Plastic-free and commercially compostable
This brand is proof that ‘decaf’ doesn’t automatically mean ‘less flavor’.
Their K-Cups blend water-processed beans from Central and South America to create the boldest and most full-bodied decaf you’ve ever tasted.
Bonus points because they use plant-based materials that are commercially compostable.Bottom line: If you’re tired of bland decaf, these pods will be an awakening experience (but don’t worry: they won’t actually keep you awake).
6. McCafé Colombian - Best Single-Origin
- Fine Colombian beans
- Mellow coffee with fruity nuances
- Recyclable and Climate Pledge friendly
Made by the most famous fast-food company (well, the name is a pretty big McGiveaway), these K-Cups were actually a pleasant surprise.
They include 100% Arabica coffee sourced from Colombian farms. The result?
A mild medium-dark roast with fruity notes and a clean finish, packaged in recyclable K-Cups.Bottom line: Best way to combine the practicality of single-serve K-Cups and the superiority of single-origin beans.
7. Green Mountain - Best for Breakfast
- 100% Arabica
- Clean profile with a silky mouthfeel
Some people always end up chugging down their coffee on the go no matter how early they set their alarms. Some others prefer taking the time to enjoy it with a proper breakfast.
Part of the second group? Then you’re going to love this blend!
Consisting of a light roast made with 100% Arabica beans, this vibrant coffee with balanced sweetness and the hint of a nutty flavor is perfect to complement your favorite breakfast food.Bottom line: Flavorful and easy to drink, these K-Cups are delicious at any time of the day, but extra special in the morning.
8. Solimo Dark Roast Coffee Pods - Best Dark Roast
- 100% Arabica
- Darker than most dark roasts
- Bold and rich flavor
Let’s cut to the chase: traditional dark roasts aren’t dark enough for you. You need something that’s even darker than your mood before your first cup of coffee, right?
You can’t go wrong with this French roast.
“This is a category of dark roasted coffee characterized by an intense and smoky-sweet flavor, accompanied by a thin body and mouthfeel.” Lindsey Goodwin, The Spruce Eats (2)
Made with Arabica beans and roasted for longer, this K-Cup coffee ensures a bold flavor with a full profile and smoky notes.
It comes in packs of 100 K-Cups, so you won’t have to worry about it running out anytime soon.Bottom line: If you keep trying different dark roasts hoping to find the one for you, this French roast will end your caffeinated quest.
9. Starbucks Blonde Roast K-Cup Coffee Pods - Best light roast
- Vibrant light roast
- Made with Latin American beans
- Potentially recyclable
Fan of the more mellow roasts? Then you’re in for a treat.
This delicate light roast translates into vibrant flavors without feeling overly bold. On the contrary, it allows the toasted malt and baking chocolate notes to stand out without overpowering the beans’ nuances.
It’s available to purchase as packages of 32 K-Cups, perfect to keep you going for an entire month.Bottom line: Some of the best K-Cup coffee by Starbucks, especially if you prefer lighter roasts.
Some Common FAQ around K-Cup Coffee
1. What is the best tasting K cup coffee?
The best tasting K cup coffee is, in our humble coffee lovers’ opinion, Tayst Coffee. This is because, as the name suggests, they use a different type of mesh that guarantees an even filtration and a fuller taste.
2. What is the best medium roast K cup coffee?
The best medium roast K cup coffee is Gourmesso ‘the Duke’ medium roast, which adds the strong flavor of espresso to traditional single-serve coffee.
3. Which K Cup Coffee has the most caffeine?
Deathwish is the K Cup coffee with the most caffeine and is, consequently, the strongest capsule coffee that you can currently find on the market.
1. Adams, S. (2016, February 9). Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Death Wish Coffee Super Bowl Ad. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestreptalks/2016/02/09/meet-the-entrepreneur-behind-the-super-bowl-coffee-ad/#4946e7834dbb
2. Goodwin, L. (2019, March 10). What Is French Roast Coffee?. Retrieved from https://www.thespruceeats.com/french-roast-coffee-765178