The 15 Best K-Cup Coffee

This-Cafe-Ole-Kona-Blend-in-Keurig-K-cup-by-HEB-Grocery-Stores

There are many different brewing methods for coffee, but few offer the same level of consistency and convenience as single-serve in the form of K-Cups.

All you’ll need to enjoy coffee from these pods is a Keurig single-serve coffee maker. A Keurig single-serve machine is one of the most popular choices. We also review a selection of single-serve machines from other brands right here.

Choosing the best K-Cup coffee can seem daunting with so many of these pods available – there are hundreds of options. To simplify things, we’ve rounded up our selection of the best coffee, decaf, tea, green tea, and cocoa in convenient pod-based form.

If you’ve never been shopping for K-Cup pods before, consider the following pointers:

  • Type of beverage: While the focus of today’s guide is coffee, we also offer up pods containing various other beverages, so decide first on what type of drink you’re looking for. Assuming it’s coffee, think next about how the beans are roasted.
  • Roast profile: Coffee roast profiles include light, medium, and dark. We include offerings from all roast profiles today. Light roasts contain the most caffeine, while dark roasts are packed with more flavor and body. If you’re looking for a roast profile to appeal to most people, go with a medium roast.
  • Traditional or artificial coffee: In addition to standard coffee in the roast profiles noted above, we also include some K-Cup pods today with artificial flavorings. If you’re a fan of mocha, coconut, or caramel, enjoy these flavors in pod form.
  • Caffeinated or decaffeinated: Most of the blends we review today are caffeinated, but we also throw in some decaf options.
  • Pack size: Most of the K-Cup bundles we review below come in value packs of 90 or more pods. This form of coffee will not degrade over time, so you can comfortably buy in bulk without any of your supplies going to waste. That said, you should think twice before buying a large bundle of pods if you have never tried the blend before. If you’re still stuck, we include a couple of variety packs today, allowing you to try a wide spread of capsules before committing to a large pack of your favorites.

OK, if you keep these elements in mind, you should have no problem at all finding the best K-Cup coffee.

A final word before we launch into our reviews: it doesn’t have to be all or nothing with single-serve coffee. The optimum method of making the perfect cup of coffee is to grind fresh beans right before brewing. While this might be true, there are many occasions when you might simply want to snatch a quick cuppa. Investing in a single-serve machine, then, doesn’t mean you can’t continue brewing using other methods as well!

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I. The 15 Best K-Cup Coffee

1. The Original Donut Shop Keurig K-Cup Pods

The-Original-Donut-Shop-Keurig-Single-Serve-K-Cup-Pods

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 72
  • Roast: Medium
  • Dimensions: 12.1 x 8.1 x 6.2 inches

One of the primary draws of investing in a Keurig coffee maker is the huge choice of K-Cup pods at your fingertips, not just from Keurig, but from many powerhouse brands like The Original Donut Shop.

This medium roast is a classic house blend designed to appeal to most coffee drinkers. The taste is surprisingly full-bodied for a medium roast, but you’ll get no discernible aftertaste to mar the experience.

You can make up to 12oz of coffee from each K-Cup, and you’ll still enjoy a powerful flavor and aroma, even if you load up on milk and sugar.

Each pack contains 72 pods, meaning you won’t need to worry about stocking up too often. Compatible with all Keurig single-serve coffee makers, you can even recycle the packaging, removing one of the common bugbears about these pods and their environmental impact.

To recreate the trademark blend of your favorite coffee and donut shop at home, give these medium roast K-Cup a shot and let us know how you get on.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Appeals to wide range of tastes
  • Certified Kosher
  • Bumper value pack
  • Slightly insipid

2. Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend K-Cup Pods

Caribou-Coffee-Daybreak-Morning-Blend

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 72
  • Roast: Light
  • Dimensions: 11.8 x 7.9 x 6.26 inches

Caribou Coffee serves up a value pack of K-Cup pods to help you get your day started the right way.

These pods contain a light roast made from arabica beans giving you a coffee that’s crisp and refreshing rather than overpowering – the perfect breakfast beverage, in other words.

You’ll also detect notes of caramel in the coffee, and you’ll also get a hint of floral undertones.

Although this coffee is a light roast, it is also fully caffeinated – indeed, light roasts often contain more caffeine than dark roasts – so you’ll still get a kick with this coffee, even if the profile is not as dominant as you find in darker roasts.

Not only do these K-Cups work with all Keurig pod-based machines, but you can also use them in just about any single-serve coffee maker.

Rainforest Alliance and kosher certified, this coffee hits all bases and promises you lip-smacking coffee at the push of a button. What’s not to love?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Light and refreshing coffee
  • Works with most single-serve coffee makers
  • Ideal breakfast beverage
  • Changed formula not to everyone’s liking

3. San Francisco Bay Coffee French Vanilla K-Cup Pods

SF-Bay-Coffee-French-Vanilla-80-Ct-Flavored-Medium-Roast-Compostable-Coffee-Pods

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 80
  • Roast: Medium
  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 8.9 x 6.5 inches

San Francisco Bay Coffee has a deep bench of K-Cup pods, widening your options when it comes to single-serve coffee. Of the many options available, this French vanilla blend is one of the most popular, and with just cause.

You’ll enjoy a medium roast of arabica beans with traces of vanilla and almond running through. While the manufacturer uses plenty of natural flavors, this is not an all-natural blend, so you’ll get some artificial flavors in the mix. On the plus side, this helps sharpen the flavor and aroma of the vanilla.

This US-based company is family-owned and family-operated, so you’ll get the benefits of a personal touch combined with the quality control you would expect from a large organization.

All the packaging is recyclable, so take advantage of great coffee with push-button ease without beating yourself up about your eco-footprint.

As long as you don’t mind the slightly artificial taste that accompanies this and many other French vanilla blends, you’re in safe hands with San Francisco Bay Coffee.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Naturally caffeinated
  • Infused with delicate vanilla
  • Family-owned firm
  • Slightly artificial taste

4. Keurig K-Cup Variety Pack

Coffee-Pods-Variety-Pack-Sampler,-Assorted-Single-Serve-Coffee

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 40
  • Roast: Light, medium, and dark
  • Dimensions: 3.5 x 7 x 6 inches

For many people, one of the problems with Keurig single-serve coffee makers is choosing the tastiest K-Cup pods. What if you have no idea where to start, and you don’t already have a favorite blend? Well, we would strongly recommend picking up this variety pack so you can try a range of blends without committing to a full box of coffee you might not like.

You get 40 different K-Cup pods in this bundle, and the manufacturer promises not to duplicate blends. You’ll even enjoy some premium blends from Wolfgang Puck, among myriad other appetizing coffees.

All blends are represented here, so whether you prefer your coffee roasted dark, medium, or light, there is something for everyone. You also get a decent mixture of traditional coffees and artificially flavored blends like French vanilla, caramel, pecan, and chocolate.

Compatible with all Keurig single-serve machines including those from the 2.0 range, these K-Cup pods are among the most rewarding choices for newcomers to the Keurig single-serve ecosystem.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Great way of testing multiple blends
  • Roast profiles to suit everyone
  • No duplicate pods
  • Need to check expiration dates closely

5. Peet’s Coffee Light, Medium, and Dark Roast K-Cup Pods

Peet’s-Coffee,-Dark,-Medium,-and-Light-Roast-Variety-Pack

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 40
  • Roast: Light, medium, and dark
  • Dimensions: 12 x 7.8 x 4.25 inches

Peet’s is among the most famous brands in the coffee space, so how do these K-Cup pods stand up?

The first thing you’ll appreciate is the offering of 4 different blends, with 10 of each style of K-Cup pod in this value pack of 40. You get a light, medium, and dark roast, and you’ll also benefit from the iconic Peet’s house blend. However you like your coffee, there should be something for everyone in this bundle.

This company is perhaps best known for its signature blends, a tantalizing combination of coffee that’s great, but tastes even better when blended. All blends are roasted by hand, too.

You can use these pods in all Keurig single-serve coffee machines, including the newer machines from the revamped 2.0 line.

As long as you can handle the pronounced aftertaste associated with Peet’s coffee, you should be delighted with the scope and quality of these pods.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 4 different proprietary blends
  • Enjoy all roast profiles from light to dark
  • Great value for money
  • Strong aftertaste

6. Victor Allen’s Coffee for Keurig 2.0

French-Roast-for-K-Cup-Keurig-2.0-Brewers

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 42
  • Roast: Dark
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 7.9 x 6.3 inches

If you’re a lover of dark roasts, you don’t need to go without just because you have a single-serve coffee maker. On the contrary, Victor Allen’s Coffee brings you a powerful and darkly roasted that’s well worth a place on your shortlist.

This blend makes use of all-arabica beans, giving you a superior taste to that delivered by more cost-effective robusta beans. This blend has a velvety body, and you’ll get hints of smokiness, too. The strong flavor and aroma might not be to your liking, so we would suggest trying some of this coffee first if possible before you invest in this bundle of 42 K-Cup pods.

Not only is the coffee gluten-free, but it’s also non-GMO, so you can buy with complete confidence that none of the ingredients have been genetically tweaked.

This company has been producing first-class coffee for over 40 years, so why not place your trust in Victor Allen if you’re looking for an impeccable dark roast?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Trace of smokiness
  • Rich and creamy dark roast
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
  • Distinctive taste polarizes opinion

7. Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa K-Cup Pods

Swiss-Miss-Milk-Chocolate-Hot-Cocoa-Keurig-Single

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 28
  • Roast: N/A (cocoa)
  • Dimensions: 7.7 x 7.6 x 3.9 inches

Many fans of single-serve Keurig machines are unaware that you can make more than juts coffee in these machines. Swiss Miss brings you a top-notch cocoa made from milk and milk chocolate, allowing you to make a delicious bedtime drink when you’re not in the mood for a caffeinated beverage.

There are 3 iterations of this cocoa available. In addition to this milk chocolate version, you can also find cocoa infused with peppermint, as well as a low-calorie option.

The cocoa is imported and of a premium grade so you can expect a sweet and creamy chocolate sensation. Be prepared for cocoa that’s laden with sugar, though. If you want fewer calories and less sugar, opt for the dedicated blend mentioned above.

Compatible with all Keurig coffee makers from both old and new generations, you can enjoy single-serve drinks from morning to night without disrupting your sleep.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Made from blend of imported cocoa
  • Works with all Keurig coffee makers
  • Flavored naturally and artificially
  • High sugar content

8. Peet’s Coffee Major Dickason’s Blend K-Cup Pods

Peet’s-Coffee,-Major-Dickason's-Blend

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 32
  • Roast: Dark
  • Dimensions: 5.6 x 3.7 x 5.7 inches

Next up is another offering from Peet’s Coffee.

The Major Dickason blend is named for one of the brand’s most loyal customers, giving you a dark roast made from only the best arabica beans.

As you would expect from a caffeinated dark roast, you’ll be rewarded with a complex flavor profile and a powerful body. While pod-based coffee cannot compete with a fresh espresso made from recently-ground beans, Peet’s Coffee makes a reasonable attempt at replicating the joy of a fresh dark roast.

Unlike some K-Cup pods, the packaging here is completely recyclable.

This bundle provides you with 32 K-Cups, but you can also choose from smaller boxes (10 or 24 pods), or large bundles (54 or 60 pods). All that remains is to decide which of these makes the best choice for you and your family.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Roasted by hand
  • Completely recyclable packaging
  • Dark and powerful blend of arabica beans
  • Some leaking reported

9. The Original Donut Shop Coconut Mocha K-Cup Pods

The-Original-Donut-Shop-Coconut-Mocha

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 96
  • Roast: Medium
  • Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 7.9 inches

Next up in today’s quest for the best K-Cup coffee is another entry from The Original Donut Shop, so what do you get for your money here?

This is a flavored blend rather than a traditional coffee, so if you want a straight-up cup of joe, explore some of the standard K-Cup coffee pods above and below. If you don’t mind artificial flavorings, you’ll embrace the coconut and mocha infusion bringing out the very best in the medium roasted beans.

The bundle contains 96 pods, meaning you should be stocked up for a month or more, even if you consume loads of coffee on the daily.

Suitable for use in all Keurig single-serve coffee machines, the chosen blend is made from arabica beans and is fully caffeinated.

Aside from a handful of gripes concerning quality control, there’s not much else to knock about this wonderfully-flavored medium roast from The Original Donut Shop. All you’ll need is some donuts on the side!

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Delicately infused with coconut
  • Value pack of pods
  • All-arabica blend
  • Quality control concerns flagged

10. Newman’s Own Organics Special Blend Decaf K-Cup Pods

Newman's-Own-Organics-Special-Blend-Decaf

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 96
  • Roast: Medium
  • Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 7.9 inches

For lovers of coffee looking for an all-day drink that won’t interfere with sleep, Newman’s Own Organics serves up this special blend of decaffeinated K-Cup pods. Get tasty coffee with push-button ease, minus the caffeine.

Each bundle gives you 96 pods, so it makes sense to ensure you enjoy this blend of decaf before committing to a bumper box.

The medium roast should appeal to most tastes, and you’ll get a smooth but bold taste along with a delicate aroma.

Certified USDA organic, Fair Trade, and kosher, this blend ticks every box except caffeine, so for anyone who wants a cup of joe without the jitters, try some of this decaf and you won’t look back.

The only complaints we unearthed among a glut of positive reviews concerns the questionable packaging. When it comes to the coffee – and that’s what counts – you should have no concerns.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Decaffeinated blend
  • Strong, smooth, and bold
  • USDA Organic and Fair Trade
  • Some complaints about packaging

11. Café Bustelo Espresso-Style K-Cup Pods

Café-Bustelo-Espresso-Style-Dark-Roast-Coffee

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 96
  • Roast: Dark
  • Dimensions: 11.9 x 7.9 x 7.9 inches

While there is no substitute for lovingly-made espresso using a dedicated semi-automatic machine and freshly-ground beans, not everyone wants to commit to the expense and hassle of making one. If you’re looking for some strong espresso-style coffee to start your day at the push of a button, Café Bustelo has the pods for you.

You get great overall value considering you have 96 pods in each pack, but you should be confident you enjoy this style of coffee before picking up a big bundle of coffee that goes to waste.

The dark roast has a very full body, partnered with a delicious aroma that reminds you of a French coffee shop. You won’t get any of the bitterness and acidity that can taint some dark roasts either.

This is a versatile blend that works well with or without creamer and sugar.

As an added kicker, the recyclable packaging removes at least some of the environmental footprint from these K-Cup pods.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Full-bodied and robust
  • Works well with no cream or sugar
  • Compatible with Keurig coffee makers
  • Quite weak for dark roast

12. Java House Cold Brew Coffee K-Cup Pods

JAVA-HOUSE-Cold-Brew-Coffee,-Colombian-Medium-Roast-Coffee-Concentrate-Liquid-Pods

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 36
  • Roast: Medium cold brew
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 8 x 6.3 inches

Choosing the best K-Cup coffee is highly subjective. Picking the right roast profile is half the battle, so if you enjoy a more neutral medium roast, Java House produces some of the tastiest pods in this class.

Beyond this, the coffee in these pods is cold brewed. This immersive brewing method leaves the beans extracting overnight, resulting in arguably the finest cold coffee you can get. One of the key benefits of cold brew is the way the acidity and bitterness are removed from the coffee, giving you an incredibly smooth beverage.

Made from Colombian arabica beans, you can drink this coffee hot or iced over water to taste. This is a no-nonsense coffee that won’t overwhelm you but won’t leave you feeling shortchanged either.

This is one of the most versatile choices up for grabs when you’re hunting for K-Cup pods and should appeal to all the family and guests.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Super-smooth cold brew
  • Very little acidity
  • Fragrant notes of caramel and chocolate
  • Tastes slightly bland

13. Caribou Coffee K-Cup Pods

Caribou-Coffee-Keurig-Single-Serve-K-Cup-Pods

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 24
  • Roast: Medium
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches

Caribou Coffee is a highly reputable brand with a commendable stable of coffee blends to suit all tastes.

Many people buying coffee for all the family opt for a medium roast. Most coffee lovers partial to light roasts or dark roasts will readily drink medium roasts, so you’re getting a crowd-pleaser that doesn’t compromise on quality when you opt for medium-roasted beans.

Rainforest Alliance certified and also kosher, you’ll get 24 K-Cups in each bundle, a great way to try this blend without committing to a huge and expensive bumper pack.

The taste is strong and the consistency thick and creamy, surprising for a medium roast. You may also find this coffee is slightly stronger than medium roasts you have tried before.

Overall, this is a striking yet subtle blend well worth popping on your shortlist if you’re still undecided on which K-Cup pods make the right choice for your home kitchen.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Strong and syrupy taste
  • Rainforest Alliance certified
  • Clean and refreshing blend
  • Quite strong for medium roast

14. Bigelow K-Cup Pods

Bigelow-K-Cup-for-Keurig-Brewers,-English-Breakfast-Tea

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 24
  • Roast: N/A (English Breakfast tea)
  • Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.2 x 7.95 inches

If you have tea lovers at home, why not let them share in the enjoyment of your single-serve coffee maker? Invest in these Bigelow K-Cup pods and you’ll get some delicious English Breakfast tea that works well at any time of the day beyond breakfast, too.

Each bundle consists of 4 packs of 24 pods, giving you almost 100 cups of tea at the push of a button. As with single-serve coffee, making your tea couldn’t be easier. Fill up your machine with filtered water, pop in the pod, and bypass the lengthy steeping time associated with making tea in a pot.

This tea is designed to be consumed with or without milk. For those who prefer black tea, you’ll find this blend is low in acidity and doesn’t impart a strong aftertaste either. That said, we found some scattered gripes about the tea tasting too strong.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Enjoy great tea with push-button ease
  • Powerful English Breakfast blend
  • Ideal with or without milk
  • Some find flavor is overwhelming

15. Twinings of London Green Tea K-Cup Pods

Twinings-of-London-Green-Tea-K-Cups-for-Keurig

Features

  • Number of K-Cups: 24
  • Roast: N/A (green tea)
  • Dimensions: 7.8 x 6.3 x 4.5 inches

Last but certainly not least in today’s roundup of the best K-Cup coffee isn’t coffee at all but green tea. We have tried to include something for everyone today, and also to demonstrate that you can make much more than coffee in a single-serve machine.

This bundle gives you 24 K-Cup pods of green tea, but you can opt for smaller or larger bundles to suit.

Twinings uses only the finest leaves to produce this sencha green tea, a refreshing drink loaded with potential health benefits and containing no caffeine at all.

There are no artificial ingredients included and you’ll be buying into one of the most well-established tea companies in the world. As long as you don’t mind digging deeper for this green tea, you’ll get a crisp and natural drink that makes a great alternative to coffee.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Sencha green tea on demand
  • Extracted from the finest leaves
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Quite costly

II. FAQs

1) What are the benefits of K-Cup pods?

The convenience of single-serve coffee made with K-Cup pods is the key draw. With this type of pod-based coffee, you’ll get your beverage in 60 seconds flat. Single-serve machines are also very low-maintenance, and they require almost no cleaning up either. When it comes to the pods to go in these machines, you have a massive choice. All roast profiles are available, from light to dark. You can also find artificially-flavored coffees alongside traditional blends. Beyond this, you can find K-Cup pods containing decaffeinated coffee, tea, green tea, and cocoa. K-Cup pods involve no waste at all. The immediacy of the method also means you can cut down on coffee equipment in the kitchen. You won’t need a grinder and you won’t need a tamper or milk frother either. All that’s required is a single-serve machine, whether from Keurig or another brand. Also, while K-Cup pods might not be cheap, drinking this coffee works out far cheaper than heading to your local Starbucks each day.

2) What are the drawbacks of K-Cup pods?

The main downside of single-serve coffee is the amount of materials used for packaging and production. Despite the sustainability on the growing end of the industry, there is much room for improvement in terms of eco-footprint. Increasingly, K-Cup pods are recyclable to mitigate this. Even so, there is still a great deal of plastic and metal used to make these pods. If you only occasionally drink coffee, the cost of single-serve pods should be negligible. Those who drink multiple cups throughout the day, though, might find the cost of single-serve starts to mount. You can get much better value by drinking freshly ground coffee made in a French press, for example, but you won’t enjoy the same level of push-button operation or speed of delivery. Overall, the benefits of K-Cup pods dramatically outweigh the drawbacks.

3) How much caffeine does each K-Cup pod contain?

The caffeine content of K-Cup pods varies from 75mg to 150mg per 8oz cup. This depends on the roasting strength, as well as other variables. Counterintuitively, the darker the roast, the less caffeine it will contain. If you’re looking for coffee with the most caffeine, choose some of the lightly roasted K-Cup pods above. Bear in mind that decaffeinated coffee will also contain some caffeine. Decaf has anywhere from 2mg to 4mg of caffeine per 8mg cup, unless otherwise specified.

4) What is Fair Trade coffee?

Fair Trade is market-based approach to sustainability in the coffee industry intended to change the power dynamics of the coffee supply chain. Any coffee that is Fair Trade certified promises a fair price to the farmers selling beans. Minimum prices always ensure a fair deal for everyone. Certification is awarded to farmers in democratically organized co-ops.

5) What is the Rainforest Alliance?

Rainforest Alliance certification is designed to help ensure that wildlife and the environment are protected when coffee is produced. The harvesting and processing is done sustainably, with workers fairly paid and living conditions in the growing areas improved through medical care, clean drinking water, and improved access to education.


III. Conclusion

Well, if you turned up here at Madiba struggling to choose between the enormous array of K-Cup pods up for grabs, you should now have plenty of decent options.

While single-serve coffee doesn’t use freshly-ground beans and can’t really compete with more conventional brewing methods in terms of quality, the convenience is unrivalled.

So, if you’re looking to enjoy serviceable coffee in no more than a minute with no waste and no grinding beans, all that remains is to pick up a suitable Keurig single-serve machine along with a selection of the best K-Cup coffee.

Bookmark our blog before you head off today and be sure to pop back very soon!

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