Easy to use and no mess! That’s what makes K-Cups so popular, along with the fact that there are so many great choices from Sumatran coffee and Kenyan coffee to Jamaica Blue Mountain and Hawaiian Kona coffee and many more – all of the fine coffees that a gourmet coffee lover wants!
Coffee K-Cups come in many varieties, from the Green Mountain Dark Magic Extra Bold K-Cup- a dark roasted, complex coffee that exhibits a heavy body with a spicy and smoky aroma and notes of chocolate – to the Green Mountain Kenyan AA K-Cup containing the renowned Kenya AA grade coffee which provides a silky mouthfeel and pleasant fruity/winey tones along with a wine-like acidity and delicious rich blackberry finish.
Most people know just how they like their morning coffee so they are generally unwilling to try something new. The Keurig single-serve brewing system may win you over, however, once you discover its ease of use combined with a quickly-delivered no-hassle premium gourmet coffee product.
Anatomy of a K-Cup
A K-Cup® is a pre-packaged plastic container of coffee, tea or hot chocolate that is designed for use with a Keurig single cup brewing system that brews the beverage in less than one minute without any preparation or clean up needed. The coffee K-Cup has a coffee filter inside, and ground coffee beans are sealed into the K-Cup plastic container with a tin foil lid.
Much of the popularity of the K-Cup comes from its ability to provide a premium gourmet coffee product while also providing ease of use and a very quick brewing time (typically from 20 seconds to 1 minute).
How Coffee K-Cups Work
The K-Cup is placed into the Keurig brewer which then brews the coffee by puncturing the foil lid as well as the bottom of the K-Cup and forcing hot water through the cup, and then the beverage flows into a mug.
This occurs due to a discharge nozzle piercing the K-Cup from above, penetrating the K-Cup’s top foil seal (which keeps the product fresh). The bottom of the K-Cup is also pierced by a nozzle so the coffee can flow out.
The roasted and ground gourmet coffee within the K-Cup is held within a paper filter, and when the brewing begins the coffee is infused with the proper amount of very hot water, thus extracting the coffee’s fine flavors and aromas, and the brewed coffee then flows out into the waiting mug.
The default temperature setting on a Keurig K-Cup brewer is 192 degrees Fahrenheit (89 degrees Celsius). This temperature can be raised or lowered depending upon user preference.
K-Cups are often referred to as K Coffee Cups, Coffee K Cups, and KCups.
K-Cup Coffee Choices
Hundreds of options are offered in Keurig K-Cups including numerous flavors and blends of coffee as well as Fair Trade coffee, organic coffee, flavored coffee, and coffees from Ethiopia, Sumatra, Kenya, Brazil, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Guatemala.
Keurig K-Cup Brewing Systems
Coffee K-Cups are brewed in the Keurig single-serve brewing machine using a patented brewing technology to provide a fast and fresh-brewed cup of coffee. K-Cups also provide hot cocoa, tea and other hot beverages, and the machines can be used to provide hot water (e.g., for making instant soup).
K-Cup coffee comes in many different varieties including Organic Coffee, Fair Trade coffee, Decaffeinated coffee and Flavored coffees. There are also many varieties of teas, soups and other products offered in K-Cups.
All of Green Mountain’s coffee is 100% Arabica varietal coffee, and there are more than 100 selections under the Newman’s Own Organics and Green Mountain brands.
Other companies that offer K-Cups include Barista Prima Coffeehouse, Twinings, Emeril, Caribou Coffee, Celestial Seasonings, Folgers, Tully’s, Diedrich/Gloria Jeans, Millstone Coffee, Timothy’s World Coffee, Van Houtte, Coffee People (Donut Shop Coffee), Wolfgang Puck, Bigelow Tea Company and Cafe Escapes.
Keurig K-Cup Brewing System Options
Keurig makes a variety of K-Cup brewers for household use, small office use, and for commercial use. K-Cup brewers are also made by Cuisinart, Mr. Coffee and the Breville company.
Commercial K-Cup brewers automatically remove the K-Cup once it has finished brewing and places the used K-Cup into receptacle built in to the machine. Commercial K-Cup brewers may also be connected directly to the building’s water line.
Also available is the “My K-Cup” reusable filter that allows users to brew their own premium ground coffee in their Keurig brewer.
Coffee and Espresso Brewing Tips
For tips on brewing the perfect cup of coffee see our section on Coffee Brewing. You can also read detailed coffee flavor profiles of Gourmet Coffees and instructions on preparing Espresso Drink Recipes.