Hi and welcome to my guide on using reusable k cups the right way to get the maximum benefit from them. You know already that they are a great way to get your coffee fix and not contribute tot the kcup landfill problem. But it can sometimes take a little guesswork. How much is too much? What fine-ness or coarseness of grounds is best?
Well, I’ll be answering all those questions and others in this post. Sometimes it’s tricky but I will share all the best practices for making your next cup the best tasting it can be, that I learned from trial and error.
As there are a wide selection of colors you can easily take your pick, and they are made to fit all of the different pod brewers on the market. Some are universal and some are for very specific models. Regardless, there’s a little guesswork involved, but you can use them almost exclusively to get a great cup of joe every time!
How Much to Fill It With?
I think the trickiest part is knowing how much to fill the cups. I remember when I first got my set (still use them to this day) and I filled it halfway and I thought the resulting coffee was disappointing. Too weak. The little dolphin shaped cutouts on the side, I used as a guide and if I filled it to just above them, the taste was much better.
Also included with my set was some little paper filter inserts, which were proclaimed to improve the taste, but I thought they were redundant.
One reason this part is so tricky is the fact that the more compacted coffee grounds are, the more difficult it is for water to pass through thoroughly. . So it’s a balancing act to get just the “right” amount of grounds to get a good cup. The fineness/coarseness of the grounds can have an impact too.
Fine grounds, which are mainly preferred for espresso, are not as suitable and coarse grounds are less suitable as well. I have found that a happy medium is best to strive for with particle grounds. If you grind your own beans, opt for a medium grind.
I fill my cups to about a fourth of an inch from the top roughly. That’s a little more than three-fourths full. It is also the equivalent of two tablespoons. In this experiment I did one time, I found out they will hold a little more than that, but I’ve found, that ideally, 2 tablespoons is a good amount, and I use a measuring spoon to do that.
In the cases that I’ve put too much in them, they have a tendency to get stuck in the pod chamber. So not only will your coffee not be any bolder in taste or strength, a too-full kcup might catch on to the piercing needle at the top and be difficult to retrieve afterward.
When you open your pod chamber, you want to be sure to line up the cup correctly. Most of them have indicator arrows on them or some other related symbol. It may be hard to see at first.
Some people will run a second cycle to get the best taste. It can work depending on your brewer settings. You may have to adjust to the size settings – if your cup uses a 10 oz that could be a 4 and 6 oz brew setting. You also may consider, if your brewer has it, using the “strong” or “pulse” setting to improve the taste.
Can You Clean Them?
After use the pod cups have moist grounds in them and they don’t empty out easily. Sometimes I will let one of them set up for a day in a sunny window and when they dry out, they are easy to empty. Of course it helps if you’ve got a good number of these too.
I don’t use soap, it’s not necessary, the natural oils from coffee are good to keep along the inside. If they are badly stained, you can run them through the dishwasher, just be sure to put them in the loading basket for silverware. I find that a thorough rinse is all that’s necessary. A little white vinegar may help too.
The longevity of these cups is good, in my opinion. One of them I accidentally cracked as I was tapping it against the side of the wastebasket to empty it, but it still retains its function. It’s a good idea to have more than one set of these on hand.
Best of luck and hope you enjoy your refillable k cups!