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.
- 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?