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K-cup alternatives will save you money

Also, you can use your own coffee and tailor it to your taste

Consumer Reports magazine: March 2013

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Keurig Platinum B70 pod coffeemaker

Many people own a pod coffeemaker for its convenience, but using the coffee sold in the pod can be inconvenient to your budget. For a cup-a-day drinker, a year’s worth of K-cups costs more than $200. Now there are cheaper alternatives that let people use their own coffee and tailor it to their taste. We checked K-cups and three alternatives for cost, convenience, and brewing time, and our experts tasted the coffee that resulted from each.

Cost. In the long run, you’ll save the most with the reusable K-cup adapter. The costs we cite below include one cup of coffee daily brewed with beans bought for an average of $10 per pound.

Convenience. The Keurig K-cup adapter was easiest to use, though you have to wash it between uses. The Simple Cups product was hardest to use: Its lid was especially tough to close.

Brewing time. It will vary with different K-cup machines and serving sizes, but in our tests Simple Cups and EZ-Cup took longer than the K-cup or Keurig K-cup adapter. The adapter can hold a little more coffee than the others.

Taste. We used identical ground coffee in the K-cup and K-cup alternatives, and our tasters found that the coffee brewed in all four was of similar quality.

Bottom line. Any of the K-cup alternatives will save money. You’ll save the most, and limit trash, with a Keurig K-cup adapter.

Average cost for one year: bulk, $220; 24 count, $275. Sold with coffee inside; disposable.

Average cost for one year: $185. Use your own coffee; disposable cup, filter, and lid.

Annual cost after initial purchase: $135. Use your own coffee; reusable cup with biodegradable filter.

Annual cost after initial purchase: $80. Use your own coffee; reusable cup and reusable filter.

Editor's Note: A version of this article appeared in the March 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine with the headline "K-Cup Alternatives: Not Peas in a Pod."
   

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