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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

K-cup cost: Is it expensive to make coffee with a Keurig Coffee Maker?

Are K-cups expensive?

You can buy a Keurig coffee maker starting at about $70.  Keurigs make a great cup of coffee very quickly using a special K-cup instead of a traditional coffee filter basket and ground coffee.  But how much do K-cups cost?  Is it more expensive to make coffee with a K-cup than from ground coffee or coffee beans?

Display of variety of K-cup coffee varieties
K-cup selection
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

High quality ground coffee or coffee beans sells for $9.99 for 12 oz.
A package of 18 K-cups sells for $11.99, with a net weight of 6 oz.

K-cups cost more than twice as much as ground coffee or coffee beans.
The cost per cup for K-cup vs traditional coffee maker:

One advantage of making coffee one cup at a time with a Keurig coffee machine is that you are less likely to waste coffee.  If you brew a pot of coffee with a standard coffee maker, you are more likely to waste some coffee if it gets stale or cold.  Even considering efficiency, making coffee with K-cups is much more expensive.

What is inside a K-cup?

A K-cup is a plastic cup with a built-in tiny paper coffee filter.  Ground coffee is placed in the coffee filter at the factory, and a foil lid is sealed over to the top of the K-cup to ensure freshness.  When you place a K-cup in the Keurig coffee maker, a hole is punched though the foil on top and through the plastic cup on the bottom.

Shows small hole in foil lid of K-cup
K-cup with hole punched through foil lid
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Shows K-cup with small hold in bottom from Keurig machine
K-cup with hole punched in bottom of cup
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

The Keurig coffee maker forces hot water into the K-cup through the hold in the lid using a special needle.  The hot water contacts the ground coffee in the K-cup and brews.  A tiny coffee filter is attached inside the plastic K-cup and filters the coffee, keeping the grounds inside the K-cup as brewing occurs.

Lid removed from K-cup shows coffee grounds inside
Ground coffee inside a K-cup
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

The small coffee filter from inside a K-cup
Coffee filter inside a K-cup
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Can you make your own K-cups for your Keurig and save money?

Yes.  You can buy reusable cups to use your own ground coffee to make your own K-cups that work in Keurig coffee makers.  Some reusable K-cups have disposable filters, and some have reusable filters.  The disposable filters cost only a few cents each.  Making your own K-cups using your own ground coffee is potentially a lot less expensive than purchasing K-cups.  Reusable K-cups start at less than $10 and will quickly pay for the initial expense.  Below is a picture of a MochaMate Refillable Filter Cup for Keurig K-Cup Brewers

Plastic refillable filter cup
Refillable K-cup for Keurig Brewers from Mochamate
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Save money by making your own K-cups:

Look for reusable K-cup filter kits on eBay.

Deals on Amazon:

Copyright © 2013 by Dr. Penny Pincher.  All Rights Reserved. Coffee Maker Journal

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