k cups vs ground coffee

K Cups vs Ground Coffee: Which One is Best?

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K cups have been on the coffee scene for a while now. But coffee drinkers are still debating the k cups vs ground coffee options. Which one is best in the end for the perfect brew of coffee? It all depends on which way you look at it – taste, flavors, and costs all play a role here.

Are you still in the debate? Have you been drinking ground coffee while your mates are drinking k cups? Which way to go is a personal choice. But it helps to explore the topic some more. It could change your mind about ground coffee. Or, it could change your mind about k cups!

Let’s get talking about the two ways of brewing your coffee using k-cups and coffee beans. Find out why the debate continues. And decide for yourself which one is best for your coffee drinking experience.

Brewing: The K Cup or Ground Coffee Way

What is the difference between the k cup and ground coffee when it comes to brewing? A huge difference actually! And the resulting brew is not the same. This doesn’t mean you enjoy one more over the other. But understanding how each is brewed could help you decide which one would be your preferred option.

Brewing the K Cup Way

Let’s look at the k cup first. More goes into the details of producing k cups than we expect. For one, it comes in single servings. The cups are filled with ground coffee. But herein lies the difference. A different process is used when roasting and grinding the beans. Why? Because an even brew needs to be achieved constantly. The packaging also influences the brew.

The Keurig brewing systems use dedicated machines designed to use k-cups. Minimum effort is required to brew a cup of coffee using k cups. And, if it’s a single-serve you’re after you won’t go wrong drinking this coffee. If this appeals to you, this coffee will suit you well.

Brewing the Ground Coffee Way

Every coffee aficionado is well-clued up on the ways to brew ground coffee. But for the sake of this debate, I’ll mention a few methods used:

  • French Press
  • Drip Coffee Maker
  • Moka Pots
  • Espresso Machines

Many coffee drinkers love the ritual of making their own brew. From grinding fresh beans to measuring out the perfect quantity to managing the steep time could mean ground coffee is the way to go. You ca also use K Cups with some of these brewing methods without a Keurig coffee maker.

Flavors and Taste

Now, this is where the debate rages! Fans of the ground coffee brew will argue the flexibility of choosing your taste. If you’re grinding your coffee, it’s even more likely you’ll get a range of high-quality flavors and tastes as you can choose the best coffee beans for you. Using ground coffee gives you more control over how your cup of coffee will turn out. But you can also experiment with the flavors and taste.

The k cup limits the type of brew you end up drinking. K-cup coffee comes in different flavors, tastes, and coffee acidity. But they can be blander than your conventional ground coffee brew. Some coffee drinkers enjoy the flavors so we can’t fault them here. But don’t expect flexibility with your k cup coffee brewing experience.

What Costs are Involved?

Endless debates often focus on the cost and which one is cheaper – the k cup or the ground coffee brew? I’m going to give you a simple approach to doing a cost comparison.

  • The first price to consider is the Keurig coffee machine vs the conventional ground coffee makers. Whether we like it or not, the Keurig machine is more expensive. Using a French Press or drip coffee maker is often a cheaper alternative to brewing your coffee.
  • The next cost factor is the price per cup of coffee. I’m not going to get into the precise figures now. But if you’re serious about figuring out the cost, do some simple maths. Calculate how much each single k cup serving costs you. Do this by taking the overall cost of a pack of k cups and dividing it by the number of k cups in the package.

To calculate your ground coffee cost, figure out how many tablespoons you use every day. Work out how many tablespoons in the pack you purchased. Take the overall cost and divide by the number of tablespoons. This calculation will tell you how much each brew of coffee costs you.

In most instances, the k cup costs more per single serving but it’s dependent on how much you spend on your ground coffee. If you’re into premium organic coffee, you could end up paying more for your cup of coffee. And, how many cups you indulge in every day will influence your coffee price.

When it comes down to their favorite blend of coffee, most coffee drinkers will pay the price willingly.



Pros and Cons: K Cup vs Ground Coffee

By now you may be agreeing your choice is dependent on flavor, taste, and cost. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of both the k cup and ground coffee.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of K Cups


  • It’s quick and easy producing the right brew every time
  • It’s convenient
  • Clean up is done in no time at all – wipe around the machine and throw away the empty k cup
  • No preparation time needed – everything is done for you in one convenient k cup
  • No more stressing about measuring the right quantities


  • K cup coffee brew may taste fine but it doesn’t beat the freshly ground coffee brew
  • It’s mass-produced with no “uniqueness” included in the flavor and blend
  • As all the preparation has been done for you the choice to brew your coffee exactly the way you like it is not an option
  • It’s not an eco-friendly approach to coffee making with empty cups contributing to landfill waste
  • In most cases. it’s more expensive per single serving compared to ground coffee

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Ground Coffee


  • It’s cheaper per single serving compared to k cups which means you save per single cup
  • You can experiment with your brew
  • Grinding your fresh coffee beans means you have better flavors and taste
  • Has a richer, full-bodied flavor
  • The overall experience of making your coffee from grinding to drinking is an aromatic and pleasurable activity


  • It takes time to brew ground coffee
  • It can get messy
  • If you get the measurements wrong your regular brew may not be perfect

Are K Cups the Same as Coffee Pods?

While we’re on the topic of k cups let’s mention coffee pods briefly. How many times have you heard coffee pods being used to describe k cups? It’s quite a common mistake and no, they’re not the same.


coffee capsules


The difference lies in the packaging which varies hugely. K cups come packaged in a plastic cup while coffee pods are sealed in paper similar to a teabag.

The brewing process is different too. Coffee pods are placed into a coffee pod brewing machine while the Keurig coffee maker is used for k cups. They both produce a single cup of coffee. They’re a convenient way of making a quick brew on the run.

You’ll have to search for coffee pods. They’re not easy to find and their variety of flavors are limited. But, they’re biodegradable and the cheaper alternative to k cups if you’re looking to drink one cup at a time.


What are reusable k cups?

Reusable k cups are an alternative to disposable k cups. They’re more eco-friendly and can be used more than once. You can also use your favorite brand of coffee beans. This will mean more preparation time. The brew may still be blander than your conventional method of brewing coffee.

Do K cups expire?

The manufacturing process of producing k cups ensures the coffee is well-sealed. This means the coffee stays fresher for longer as long as it’s stored away from light and hot temperatures. Always refer to the manufacturer’s expiry date on the container for a best-to-use-by date.

The Final Word

Coffee makers and drinkers all have their own preferences when it comes down to their favorite coffee drink. Some love the whole process of making their own coffee while others like convenience, speed, and a single serving every time.

Whether you’re looking to save on time, money, or hassles, choosing the best coffee for you is personal. Both k cups and ground coffee have their advantages and disadvantages. Whenever it comes to making a choice it’s always a matter of weighing up the pros and cons.

Your regular brew depends on what you value most from it. Is it the perfect blend with tantalizing flavors or is it the Keurig route, quick and easy? Both ways, you’ll benefit. Are you still debating the options? Or have you decided which you’ll go with for your favorite brew every day?

Be open to exploring both options. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Have you got any comments or suggestions you would like to add? Please feel free to add to my comments section. I would love to hear from you!