If you browse around JavaPresse, you’ll quickly find that we’re not too big on Keurig coffee makers. They make barely drinkable coffee, K-cups are expensive and not at all eco-friendly, and you’re confined to a small number of coffee roasters.
However, if we’re being honest with ourselves, Keurigs have their place. They’re convenient, quick, and pretty painless.
If you own a Keurig coffee maker, I’ve got some good news for you: there’s still a way you can use it to make a decent cup. A reusable filter!
That’s right, throw your old, stale coffee K-cups out and get yourself a reusable one. It’s the only way to make good coffee in a Keurig.
Let me share with you why.
1. You Won’t Pollute The Earth With Insane Plastic Waste
In 2015, Green Mountain Coffee (the Keurig parent company) sold 10 billion plastic K-cups.
Let me string this out for effect: 10,000,000,000 K-cups.
That’s a lot of plastic.
Actually, it’s not just a lot - it’s enough to wrap around the earth… 10.5 times!
That’s right, in a single year, we bought enough K-cups to wrap the Earth 10.5 times. That’s insane - and it doesn’t even include Nespresso and other pod manufacturers.
Imagine if the whole world were using disposable K-cups. They would be everywhere - and it would be a nightmare. Now imagine if nobody ever used them. Literally no tiny plastic single-serve cups… anywhere.
Disposable K-Cups are a detriment to the environment - there’s no question about it. Even one of the founders, John Sylvan, expresses regret over creating them:
“I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it.”
Reusable Keurig filters, while still plastic, reduce plastic waste in landfills dramatically. If you’re a regular Keurig user, it’s an easy and effective way to reduce your footprint.
This is just one way you can play your part in making our planet safe and healthy for future generations. Reduce your use of regular K-Cups and grab a reusable one.
2. You Can Brew Any Coffee You Want
Right now, there are hundreds of coffees on the market for K-cups. However, these coffees are typically low-grade, low-flavor beans from profit-focused roasters.
If you really want your coffee to be convenient and taste great, you’ve gotta get your coffee from someone else.
Trust me on this. Freshly roasted, high-quality beans are unmatched. Ever tasted notes of pine, sweet oranges, bright blueberries, or fresh roses in your coffee? The best beans in the world have wild and rich flavors like these.
A reusable k-cup gives you the chance to buy beans from your favorite local roasters. They give you the opportunity to try not a couple hundred low-grade beans, but thousands of specialty-grade beans that are uber-flavorful.
Don’t settle on your coffee, your morning mug of wake-up delight. Brew coffee you love, coffee that inspires you with incredible and diverse flavors.
Here’s the only catch - you’ve gotta grind those beans right before you brew. Now now. I know. That’s less convenient than K-cups are supposed to be.
Hear me out.
Freshly roasted beans are only at peak freshness for 2-3 weeks after being roasted. After that, the flavors decline rapidly, sweet notes break down, and pleasant acids become bitter. This happens for many reasons, but primarily because oxygen causes the beans and everything in them to decay.
Ground coffee, since the particles are much smaller than whole beans, only has 20-30 minutes of peak freshness. That means, when you open a new bag of freshly ground coffee, you only have 30 minutes max of top-quality coffee. That first brew may be nice, but none of the ones after will be so flavorful.
Grinding your beans just a few minutes before you brew is the only way to enjoy coffee the way it’s meant to be enjoyed. Get yourself a simple, user-friendly hand grinder and taste the difference for yourself.
3. You Can Dial In The Flavor With Grind Size
Whoa! Here’s where things get really cool.
When you use a reusable filter, choose your own coffee, and grind just before brewing, you can refine your coffee’s flavor with small changes to grind size.
Essentially, smaller grounds extract a full brew faster than larger grounds. This is because it takes less time for water to grab things from small grounds, like aromatic oils, flavorful particles, crisp acids, and low bitter notes.
And, naturally, large grounds take longer to extract the yums.
So, if you don’t think your coffee is extracted enough, you can grind the coffee a bit finer to speed up the extraction next time around. And, if you think your coffee was too extracted, you can grind a little coarser to slow it down.
It’s all about finding balance and hitting that sweet spot - and it’s not hard.
Here’s how you do it.
When your coffee tastes sour, salty, or super zingy along the sides of your tongue, it’s under extracted. Brew with more balance next time by extracting more. Fining the grind will do the trick.
When your coffee tastes bitter, scratchy, or just dull and flavorless, it’s over extracted. Extract a little less next time by using a coarser grind.
Regular K-cups can’t offer you any of this control over your brew. The grounds within are stale and unadjustable. Sad!
Reusable Keurig filters allow you to have control over your daily mug’s extraction and flavor.
I cannot recommend a reusable K-cup enough. They’re eco-friendly, allow you to use any coffee, and empower you to refine the flavor to your tastes.
However, they really only help you if you’re using freshly roasted, high-quality beans. Low-grade beans will be just as dull and boring as the original K-cups and aren’t worth the effort.
Our Coffee Club sends you beans sourced from some of the world’s best farms. We roast them with precision in San Diego and ship them to you the next day. It’s the easiest way to always stay stocked with freshly roasted, uber-flavorful coffee, so check it out for yourself.
Images courtesy of Mike Mozart and Norman Lowery.