If you have an espresso machine that’s K-Cup compatible, you’re probably wondering which types of K-Cups are best for you. K-Cups vary in terms of factors such as flavor, cost, environmental impact, and overall coffee quality. By considering such factors when purchasing, you’ll be able to find the best espresso K-Cups for you.
6 Best Espresso K-Cups
The six best espresso K-Cups include:
i. San Francisco Bay Dark Roast K-Cup
ii. Keurig Espresso Roast Variety Pack K-Cup
iii. Starbucks Verismo Espresso K-Cup
iv. Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend Espresso K-Cup
v. Lavazza Espresso Classico K-Cup
vi. Glorybrew Lady Vanilla K-Cup
Best Dark-Roast K-Cup- San Francisco Bay Dark Roast K-Cup
If you wish to make espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos with a full-bodied flavor, there’s no better type of K-Cup than this one from SF Bay. These K-Cups contain dark-roasted coffee blends that will lend your beverage a distinctive, robust taste that will instantly jumpstart your body and brain in readiness for the day.
SF Bay Dark Roast K-Cup coffee also has a dark chocolate aroma that’s welcoming to the senses and complements the strong flavor. These K-Cups are also compostable, making them a more eco-friendly alternative compared to non-compostable K-Cup alternatives.
A single pack contains 80 K-Cups (80 counts), ensuring you can brew for several days before needing to restock. The 80-count pack sells at $36.99, hence you get value for your money’s worth.
On the downside, SF Bay Dark Roast K-Cup is specifically designed for Keurig 2.0 models and may not be compatible with your brand of K-Cup coffee machine. Also, some users of this product have complained of the constant price changes, which can be quite frustrating.
Best Variety Pack K-Cup- Keurig Espresso Roast Variety Pack K-Cup
This variety K-Cup pack from Keurig is best for those who prefer to switch between different flavors of espresso from time to time. The 24-count pack contains K-Cups packed with coffee grounds of the following flavors: Caribou Real Inspiration Blend, Green Mountain Vanilla, Caribou Caramel, and Green Mountain Visa 44N.
The blending of different types of roasted beans results in a balanced flavor that’s not too strong, nor too light. Meanwhile, the caramel and vanilla flavors add a sweet taste to the final drink.
These K-Cups are designed to be compatible with K-Café and K-Latte models of brewers from the Keurig brand, and may not be compatible with other types of espresso machines. Also, if you’re an ardent coffee drinker, the Keurig Espresso Roast Variety Pack may not be the best for you, as a single pack only contains 24 K-Cups that you’re bound to quickly run through.
Best K-Cup for Lattes- Starbucks Verismo Espresso K-Cup
If you want to make high-quality, great-tasting lattes and cappuccinos, consider buying the Starbucks Verismo Espresso K-Cup Roast. This K-Cup contains dark-roasted coffee that will lend your drink a full-bodied flavor.
Produced from 100% Arabica coffee, these K-Cups make coffee that has a delightful caramel aftertaste. A single pack of Starbucks Verismo Espresso contains 6 boxes each containing 12 K-Cup pods. This translates into 72 K-Cups in total, making it a great purchase for frequent espresso drinkers.
One disadvantage of the Starbucks Verismo Espresso K-Cup is that it’s designed to only be compatible with Starbucks Verismo coffee machines. Thus, if you don’t have this type of brewer, it won’t be compatible. Some consumers have also complained of experiencing a burnt taste when brewing with this K-Cup.
Best Light-roast K-Cup- Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend Espresso K-Cup
For those who prefer mild coffee over dark and medium roasts, Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend offers flavorful light roast K-Cups. The subdued fruity taste and caramel tones add a cheery sweetness to the coffee. Since it’s a light roast coffee, it doesn’t have the kind of bitter aftertaste associated with dark and medium roast coffees.
A single pack of Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend has 24-96 K-Cups, ensuring you get value for money spent. For instance, a 72-count pack costs $42.49 on Amazon, which translates to only $0.59 per K-Cup.
Note: This K-Cup blend is approved for use by followers of Kosher dietary requirements.
One disadvantage of this K-Cup is that it’s not compostable, hence having a significant negative environmental impact. The mild taste also makes it an unappealing option for lovers of strong espresso drinks.
Best Medium-Roast K-Cup- Lavazza Espresso Classico
If you’re a sucker for authentic Italian espresso, which is renowned for its distinctive medium-roast flavor, you won’t regret grabbing yourself a pack of Lavazza Espresso Classico K-Cups. These K-Cups are packed with medium-roast coffee grounds for a bold and balanced flavor that will delight your senses.
To retain its quality and distinctive flavor, Lavazza espresso is packed in such a manner that moisture and humidity fluctuations doesn’t affect the freshness of the coffee grounds. These caffeine-rich K-Cups are compatible with all types of Keurig coffee makers.
Lavazza Espresso Classico has low acidity, thus, doesn’t cause stomach upsets even for people with digestive issues. The wide variety of sizes makes it easy to purchase according to your needs. You have the options of an 18-count, 36-count, 72-count, or 144-count pack to choose from.
Best Eco-Friendly K-Cup- Glorybrew Lady Vanilla K-Cup
If you’re looking to support a K-Cup brand with the least environmental impact while still enjoying a great-tasting espresso, consider buying the Glorybrew Lady Vanilla K-Cup pack. These K-Cups are 100% compostable and are approved by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). What’s more, the coffee beans are sourced from suppliers who follow sustainable practices, thus these K-Cups are also certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
Glorybrew Lady Vanilla K-Cup isn’t all about ecological conservation, though, as the combination of dark roast Arabica coffee and vanilla flavor lends it a unique, rich taste. The K-Cups are also compatible with both 1.0 and 2.0 generations of Keurig coffee makers.
This product has some disadvantages, though. Most significantly, it isn’t recommended for making pure espresso shots due to the vanilla additive. It also produces less crema than other comparable K-cup products and is thus not good for making cappuccinos that require a thick layer of foam.
Buyers Guide; What to look for in an espresso K cups
The main factors to consider when buying espresso K-Cups include compatibility, recyclability, flavor, cost, and the brand.
The most important consideration when buying espresso K-Cups is their compatibility with your coffee machines. If you’re using original Keurig K-Cup pods for your Keurig 1.0 or Keurig 2.0, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you’re looking to buy other K-Cup brands apart from Keurig, you’ll need to check the labelling to see which coffee maker brands and models they’re compatible with.
Note: You may not know this, but not all coffee machines that are compatible with K-Cups are made by Keurig.
If you’re an environmentally-conscious consumer (which you should be), it’s better to go for recyclable K-Cups instead of disposable K-Cups. Recyclable K-Cups are made of sustainable material and can be recycled after use. Meanwhile, disposable K-Cups aren’t made of biodegradable material and can’t be recycled.
Different types of K-Cups have different flavors since they’re roasted to varying levels. There’s dark-roast coffee, medium-roast coffee, and light-roast coffee. Different coffee drinkers have different preferences on how strong or mild they prefer their drink, thus, you should choose accordingly.
Nobody likes to buy overpriced coffee, and affordability is a factor you should definitely consider when buying espresso K-Cups. You can still compare the prices of different types of K-Cup brands even if the count per pack differs. Simply divide the price by the number of K-Cups to get the price per cup.
Different K-Cup brands use different secrets to lend their K-Cup espressos a unique flavor. Some of the leading K-Cup brands include Keurig, Starbucks, SF Bay, and Green Mountain.
- Rainforest Alliance: Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee