Our Favorite K-Cup Pod Flavors in 2021
Whether you want to branch out to try some new flavors or try your Keurig for the first time, choosing a K-Cup pod flavor can be difficult. We created this helpful guide outlining our favorite K-Cup pod flavors for 2021 to make your choice easier.
What Is a K-Cup?
K-cups are plastic containers with aluminum foil tops that contain around 10 grams of coffee. John Sylvan designed them along with his Keurig brewing systems as a convenient way to enjoy a single serving of coffee in your home or work environment. They are easy to use and can brew a cup of coffee in a minute or less.
Pods vs. K-Cups: How Do They Compare
Depending on your model of coffee brewer, you will only be able to use either pods or K-Cups, so it is essential to decide which single-serving method you prefer before choosing a brand. Both products are more expensive than traditional grounds but provide quick and convenient cups of coffee.
Coffee pods have less variety and can be harder to find in stores, but they cost less and brew superior coffee. These flat packages are made with paper and contain 7 to 12 grams of coffee and a filter. Their compostable pouches also make pods more environmentally friendly, but they are only compatible with specific pod brewers.
Plastic K-Cups are significantly more challenging to recycle. They are also more expensive despite producing coffee with a slightly lower level of quality than pods. However, K-Cups are easier to find in most stores, work with several brewers from notable brands such as Keurig, and support a wide variety of flavors and brews for you to enjoy.
What to Look for in K-Cups
Part of the appeal of K-Cups is the broad scope of options you have in choosing your coffee. Try these tips to ensure that you buy the coffee that is right for you.
As a part of your daily routine, you need a coffee that fits your tastes. You can read reviews or buy smaller sample sets to avoid wasting money by purchasing large packs of a flavor you end up hating.
Brewing with K-Cups costs less than buying a cup of coffee from a local shop, but you should still try to find the best price for your favorite type of coffee when you can. Keep in mind that buying in bulk is always less expensive as well.
Buying a variety of K-Cups will prevent you from getting tired of the same cup of coffee every morning. Some easy ways to enjoy different brands include buying multiple small packages and buying a themed set or collection.
Our Favorite K-Cup Pod Flavors
Even if you have an idea of your preferred flavors, selecting one of the hundreds of options available can still be intimidating. We compiled this list of our favorite K-Cup flavors to help narrow your selection of pods until you find the right choice.
Dunkin Donuts Original Blend K-Cup Pods give you a classic coffee shop flavor that is just as good as the coffee Dunkin Donuts serves at its physical locations. It has a rich and smooth flavor that appeals to almost any coffee drinker, making it one of the most popular K-Cups on the market.
The original blend combines medium roasted beans from Central America with darker roasted beans from Indonesia. This blend makes it an appealing middle ground between dark and light roasts. Despite its mildness, this coffee has a full-bodied character complemented by cream or sugar.
These coffee K-Cup pods are relatively expensive compared to the other coffees that make up our favorites list. However, they still cost less than cups of coffee from Dunkin Donuts shops and are more convenient.
Although they come from a significant Canadian brand, Tim Hortons Original Blend K-Cup Pods are the most affordable choice compared to our other favorite coffee K-Cups. Tim Hortons uses Arabica beans sourced from South and Central America that its experts carefully select as part of a high-quality blend.
This product delivers consistent results that faithfully recreate the Tim Hortons signature flavor. It is light, refreshing, and balanced, following a recipe that has been successful for over 50 years.
As a medium roast, Tim Hortons Original Blend’s relatively mild strength appeals to many different tastes. It is a versatile coffee that will work at the end of a meal just as well as it will at the start of your day.
The Original Donut Shop
The Original Donut Shop Decaf Coffee K-Cup Pods cost about as much per K-Cup as other options in this list, but a more oversized carton with 96 K-Cups offers a more affordable option when buying in bulk. Both the regular and dark blends also appear in Keurig’s Coffee Lovers Collection Variety Pack as a testament to the brand’s quality.
In terms of flavor, Donut Shop Decaf K-Cups give you the same classic taste as the regular brew but without any caffeine. They use high-quality Arabica beans without any artificial ingredients to bring you a coffee that avoids the harsh or bitter flavors found in more robust blends. Donut Shop Decaf is pleasantly smooth, making it a fantastic companion for your donuts.
Like its other products, this Original Donut Shop coffee is “extra bold,” meaning that it contains more coffee in each K-Cup pod than other brands. Despite this, the decaf option strikes a careful balance as a medium-strength coffee. This strength between strong and weak is perfect for those looking for a classic coffee experience.
Panera Bread Coffee
The Panera Bread Light Roast K-Cup Pods entail lightly roasted Arabica beans, as the name implies, making them a favorite of coffee fans looking for milder options. Panera’s price is relatively standard for coffee from a major brand, so while it is easy to find more affordable options, these K-Cups are far from being the most expensive.
This coffee avoids any artificial ingredients, instead opting to highlight the natural flavors of the blend. You can expect Panera Bread’s light roast K-Cups to be balanced and bright, with a subtle hint of sweet nuttiness in both the flavor and aroma. If you enjoy the coffee Panera serves in its restaurants, you will enjoy these K-Cups.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Breakfast Blend K-Cups are another favorite that also found a place in Keurig’s Coffee Lovers Variety Pack. In addition to making consistently excellent coffees, Green Mountain also creates kosher products that are part of fair-trade programs and are more affordable than other coffee companies.
While Green Mountain offers one of the most diverse flavor catalogs available, the Breakfast Blend deserves special recognition as a light roast. It is perfect for coffee enthusiasts who want an alternative to more robust coffees without compromising on flavor.
These Breakfast Blend K-Cups are crisp and clean without being too intense. Its bright flavors highlight hints of citrus and nuts. The silky mouthfeel and sweet notes make this blend one of the best-selling Keurig coffees.
Blended and packaged in Italy, Lavazza Perfetto Espresso K-Cups contain dark-roast coffee that is 100% Arabica. As a high-quality espresso, its price is higher than some of the other options on this list but still comparable to products from notable brands.
Roasting for longer gives Lavazza espresso a dark flavor profile that is characteristic of Italian Coffees. This extra roasting provides the coffee with an intensity that may not suit customers who are less accustomed to darker roasts.
Those that do enjoy dark roasted coffee will appreciate this coffee’s bold flavors as well as a pleasant caramel aroma and aftertaste. The espresso pairs well with sweet pastries and is less likely than other coffees to upset your stomach due to its low acidity.
Common Questions about K-Cup Pods
Is there a difference between K-Cups and K-Cup pods?
K-Cups house ground coffee in a plastic cup topped with a foil lid, while coffee pods are flat paper pouches that include the coffee and a filter. Both K-Cups and pods are standardized to fit devices made by different companies, but brewers that use K-Cups cannot use pods, and vice versa.
Can Keurig use other pods?
Keurig machines can only brew coffee with K-Cup pods, so they cannot use other pods. However, Keurig offers a filter adapter called My K-Cup, which makes brewing with ground coffee possible.
Are K-Cups bad for you?
While some consumers worry about how the heat and acidity of coffee interact with the plastic in K-Cups, these pods are safe for daily use. Keurig uses food-safe material approved by the FDA in their packs, and their products are free from potentially harmful BPA. Their website also states that the water temperature in the brewer remains well below the softening or melting points of the K-Cup plastics.
How many times can you use a K-Cup?
Keurig designed their K-Cups for single use only, and its brewers usually do not recognize a K-Cup again after it punctures the aluminum top. You can find some workarounds online, but using the same K-Cup will create a second cup of coffee that is noticeably weaker and more bitter.
What is a good price per K-Cup?
At $0.50 per K-Cup, it is generally a good deal for those who purchase them regularly, but you can find even better prices with sales and promotions. Another way to save money on K-Cups is to buy in bulk, especially since they are sealed with nitrogen and stay fresh for up to twelve months after packaging.