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Which Reusable K-Cup Filter Is Best?

A guest post from our resident coffee addict, Jason!

I’m the only coffee drinker in our house, so making a full pot of coffee always seems like a waste. That’s why I find that, at least from a convenience standpoint, Keurig’s single serving coffee makers are pretty much perfect. From a waste standpoint, however, they leave a lot to be desired. All those little plastic cups filling landfills give my ethical side fits. Luckily, there are a number of cheap, refillable coffee filters on the market now, and I’ve tried out a few of them. Reap the benefits of my trial and error.

A cornucopia of coffee

Solofill, My K-cup, Ekobrew

  • Solofill Cup Filter Cup for Keurig Brewers:
    • Construction: I purchased this cup the most recently, but I’m already voting it most likely to break, because it’s made of a shiny, cheap-feeling plastic. It’s a cylindrical cup with what looks almost like a nipple on the bottom. The top has a hinged lid (the hinge is where it’s going to break, I’m sure) that releases water into the coffee through vertical slits. It’s designed to slide into the standard k-cup housing with the pins in the bottom.
    • Cleaning: This one is mostly straightforward. Just dump the old grounds, scrub it a bit on the inside and outside to get rid of the oils, and it’s good. The little nipple rinses right out with a sink sprayer.
    • Coffee: Of the three, this one seems to hold the least amount of coffee, which is both economical and its chief failing. Because of the vertical slits in the top, it seems to squirt more water past the coffee (instead of through it) than any of the others. I may need to experiment with the grind of my coffee a bit more to get this to work properly but, with a standard store-bought grind, it makes a pretty weak cup of coffee.
  • EkoBrew Cup
    • Construction: I’ve had this cup about nine months, and I’m quite pleased with it. It’s very similar to the Solofill, except that the whole cup is constructed of a much sturdier plastic and has a slightly better design, with more holes directing the water flow over a larger area of coffee. Also no nipple.
    • Cleaning: This one is pretty hard to clean. The coffee gets packed in around the bottom and forces you to poke it with tools (a chopstick works!) in order to get the grounds dumped out. Additionally, you’ve got to spray it longer to get the last few grounds rinsed out of the bottom.
    • Coffee: This cup takes almost as much coffee as the My K-Cup and definitely more than the SoloFill. It’s a good trade-off, however, because it makes a very good cup of coffee. I’ve experimented with a couple of different levels of grind, and it’s always great.
  • Keurig My K-Cup
    • Construction: I’ve had this cup the longest (probably about a year and a half), and the cup itself is still in great shape, mostly because of its design. The coffee-holding part of the cup looks like one of the standard single-use k-cups with the foil pulled off the top and a very fine mesh covering the sides from top to bottom. The big difference between this cup and the others is that it comes in three pieces: the mesh coffee holder, a torpedo-shaped tube that slides into the brewer, and a screw-on cover. To use it, you take the cup with coffee in it and load it into the big gray torpedo delivery system, then screw the cap down onto the top. This tube slides down into the machine in place of the standard holder with the pins in it. Be careful before purchasing this one, because not all Keurig machines allow you to remove the standard holder, as I learned to my chagrin after I bought this filter to use in the machine at work. That said, if this works for you, it will basically last forever, because none of the pieces have any parts that are going to break easily.
    • Cleaning: This one is very simple to clean. Just tap out the grinds, rinse it, stick a bottle brush in, and you’re done. There are three separate pieces, but they’re all really easy.
    • Coffee: This cup takes the most coffee of any of three. I’d say probably a little too much coffee, because I find that when I empty the grinds the coffee at the bottom of the cup is usually dry. Unfortunately, if you choose not to fill it all the way to the top, you get straight water leaking into the brew that’s never passed through any coffee grounds. However, if you do learn to fill it to the right level and use a finer grind (standard store-bought grind is only OK), this does make a good cup of coffee.

The winner for me in this competition is definitely the EkoBrew Cup, mostly because it makes the best, most foolproof cup of coffee of the three. I’m often only half awake when I try to fill these things up, and it gets big points from me because I don’t have to think about it at all. As a bonus, it’s also the cheapest.

Have you tried these? Or a different brand? What did you think?


Comment from Raquel
Time July 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm

This was super useful! I’m also the only coffee drinker in the house and hate wasting coffee. I’ve tried different varieties of k-cup coffee and never found one I was in love with. Even the Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks versions taste slightly off. Here I am, still using my big automatic drip. So I love the idea of using my own freshly ground coffee in a single serving. I’ve known about the reusable k-cups, but didn’t want to invest in a machine if it wasn’t going to make a good cup of coffee. Now I can ask for a Keurig for my birthday. 🙂 Thanks!!

Comment from Brenda
Time July 18, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Jason got the reusable filters specifically so he could drink your Intelligentsia coffee!

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time July 23, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Jason actually got the reusable filters in order to drink the Intelligentsia coffee you gave him, so thank you!

Comment from Dan
Time December 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Thanks for the detailed review…the info was very helpful. With so many different competing products out there (Solofill, EZ-Cup, My-Kap, My K-Cup, EkoBrew), it can be daunting to make a choice! I am going to give the EkoBrew cups a try, based on your post and other reviews I found online. Selling points were the consistency and quality of the brew (being strong enough), and durability. If I have to spend a few extra seconds on the cleaning end of things, it’s the least I can do in contributing to “being green”.

Comment from Dave
Time January 24, 2013 at 11:09 am

Have you tried using the Ez-Cup? There might be a few others, however I have only tried what you have gone through and the Ez-Cup. IMHO I like their products, but I did get different strengths of coffee with each of them. If you ever did tried it,

Comment from Tom
Time November 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I have 5 versions of these; 2 with paper filters, 3 without. I have the Solofill chrome, Ekobrew and the Keurig plus the one’s with paper, a Melitta and one other, the name of which escapes me. The paper filter on that one has a fold over paper lid, thin, that acts as a seal when wet, I guess.. The Solofill is by far the best of the lot. Someone said the hinged lid was most likely to break. Why? With proper use it should last a long time. The Melitta is a waste of money, IMO. It doesn’t take a lot of coffee and flavor is weak.

Comment from Chris
Time January 18, 2014 at 11:47 am

I have the brown Ekobrew filters (or possibly a knock off) as a gift and they always make a mess inside the machine and don’t make a very strong cup of coffee. the pour is nice and dark for the first 1/4, then turns very light for the rest.

Comment from Lenair
Time January 31, 2014 at 10:36 pm

I have a k-Cup and I bought an Ekobrew. I was having problems with the K-cup not letting the water flow except at a dribble – taking forever to make a cup of coffee but constantly causing the DESCALE light to come on. The Ekobrew worked GREAT with the first few cups and then I started having the same problem as with the K-Cup. The only way I can get them to flow like prepackaged cups is to use a VERY coarse grind. Any suggestions?

Comment from Jason
Time February 1, 2014 at 11:45 pm

@Tom, I said the Solofill was most likely to break because on mine the plastic of the hinge started to develop a stress line after the first two uses and did eventually break on me.

Comment from Jason
Time February 1, 2014 at 11:57 pm

@Lenair, I never really had very many real K-cups to compare the flow rate of the Ekobrew to. I just used the finer grind all the time. It’s a little slower, but it makes a better cup of coffee. And, in case you’re worried, it never did any damage to the coffeemaker.

Comment from frank star
Time April 13, 2015 at 2:22 pm

I drink coffee all day but my wife only has one cup in the morning. Keurig is so smile and convenient, I usually make her cup this way with the reusable k-cup that came with the Breville machine. I insert a used k-cup outer shell (with the hole semi-closed) over the basket and even though the coffee stream dribbles it produces one of the best cups of coffee ever…..

Comment from Wayne
Time May 3, 2015 at 10:00 am

The Keurig ‘K Cup’ Reusable Basket Filters can be difficult to clean since they use two layers of micro mesh–particulates and scaling occurs between them. Many times the recommended vinegar cleaning will not remove the blockage, forcing people to trash their old basket and purchase another $10 replacement basket filter.
After trying multiple cleaning agents and techniques, including drain cleaner, here is the only thing that will completely clean the basket, in minutes with very little effort:
1) Purchase a can of inexpensive lye-based oven cleaner.
2) Follow use precautions on the can for safety and heating.
3) Get a ceramic mug
4) Carefully spray the inside and outside of the filter over the mug.
5) Place the filter in the mug, with the base on the bottom of the mug.
6) Preheat oven to 200 degrees, less than the temp of boiling water.
7) Place the mug in the oven for 20 minutes.
8) Carefully remove mug. Since the mug is hot, do not subject it to cold water.
9) Remove the filter and thoroughly clean the basket filter.
10) When cool, thoroughly clean the mug.
Disclaimer: This works for me. This is a suggestion; you decide whether to try it.

Comment from Gary
Time November 30, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Has anyone used the Ekobrew Elite Stainless Steel Reusable K-Cup Filter for Keurig 2.0 & 1.0 Brewers? I like the idea of stainless steel over plastic. I have ordered my Keurig my have not received it yet.

Comment from Amy
Time February 6, 2016 at 10:36 am

How strong do you like your coffee? We like it strong in this house, and we just bought the Brew and Save brand. It’s awful. No one besides those who like a little coffee flavor with their sugar and cream MIGHT like it. Does the Ekobrew allow for a strong brew?

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