How to hack your Keurig Machine, make better coffee, and keep K-Cups out of landfills.

K55 Keurig Classic

By Brad Beckstrom

Ahh coffee, the fuel of empires. There is something about that hot, head-clearing beverage as it hits the back of your throat. I like to have two cups in the morning to get me going, any more than that I start shaking and develop twitches. I think of coffee as a do-it-yourself beverage, preferring to brew it at home rather than frequent coffee shop lines or convenience store baristas. You might think it’s odd that I have a Keurig machine, the hugely popular coffee system that unfortunately is filling our landfills with plastic K-cups. K cups are certainly not frugal compared to buying a bag of good coffee at Costco or grinding your own beans.

It turns out that the Keurig Classic is one hell of a coffee maker without the K cups. Part of the reason for the machines success is the ability to get the maximum amount of flavor out of the minimum amount of coffee. The problem is is that the K cups often don’t have enough coffee in them especially if you use the 8 or 10 ounce setting, you’re just adding more water.  

The Solution

A while back I purchased a Keurig Classic that was on sale due to the fact that a newer version Keurig 2.0 was coming out with an enhanced digital display. (Hint avoid appliances with digital displays, especially unnecessary ones). I had talked myself out of this purchase until I noticed the display of reusable K-Cups next to the coffee maker. I took the leap, calling it an experiment with the intention of returning the machine unless I absolutely loved the coffee. The results were fantastic, not only could I use my favorite coffee, I only needed half as much to get the same taste versus my old plastic drip coffeemaker.


The Hack

I quickly found that the Keurig brand refillable K-Cup was useful but clunky to use and hard to clean. After a quick search on Amazon I came across about 10 different options for refillable K cup multipacks.  I snagged a four pack of these generic refillable K-cups from ValueCafe. About a $1.50 each and I’ve been using them for several years now. You just put in about one heaping tablespoon close the lid and you’re good to go.  I recommend trying some stronger brands of coffee as lighter coffees can be a bit weak when you’re brewing the large size with one tablespoon.  You can always reduce or increase the amount of coffee a bit and experiment.

These also really come in handy when you need to run out the door and pop a travel mug in for a quick fill up.  


Note: If you have one of the fancy Keurig 2.0 machines make sure you get refillable K cups made for those as the regular ones won’t work.

The Frug

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