• 10 Best K-Cup Coffees in 2022 (Coffee Educator-Reviewed) 1
  • 10 Best K-Cup Coffees in 2022 (Coffee Educator-Reviewed) 2
  • 10 Best K-Cup Coffees in 2022 (Coffee Educator-Reviewed) 3
  • 10 Best K-Cup Coffees in 2022 (Coffee Educator-Reviewed) 4
  • 10 Best K-Cup Coffees in 2022 (Coffee Educator-Reviewed) 5

10 Best K-Cup Coffees in 2022 (Coffee Educator-Reviewed)

If you don't have a lot of time to wait for your coffee to brew, K-Cups are a convenient and fast choice. Just pop one in your Keurig machine and your coffee is ready in under a minute! Plus, the sealed cups keep grounds fresh. However, K-Cups come in a variety of flavors and strengths, and it can be difficult to find an option that tastes fresh and suits your palate. If you're concerned about the environment, there are eco-friendly pods containing fair-trade coffee.


Given the plethora of K-Cups available online, you might feel a bit lost! But don't worry; our buying guide and list of the 10 best K-Cups will help you make a great cup of coffee. San Francisco Bay Coffee's Organic Rainforest Blend is our favorite because it has a flavor and roast level that appeals to many, and the brand is eco-friendly and socially conscious, too! For more options, read on, and be sure to check out our guide reviewed by a barista and coffee educator for all the information you need to make a good choice about K-Cups.

Featured in this article

Justin McMillan
mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 06-16-2022
Table of Contents

How We Chose Our Products

How We Chose Our Products

We carefully selected the best K-Cup coffees based on the points below:


  • The origin of the coffee beans
  • The roast and flavor profile
  • Whether it's made from single-origin beans or a blend
  • Seeking Arabica beans for the best flavor
  • Whether it uses fair-trade or ethically-sourced beans

Keep these aspects in mind to help you find the best K-Cups for your palate and preferences. Make sure to read our Buying Guide for more information, too!

Compare the 10 Best K-Cup Coffees

Image
San Francisco Bay Organic Rainforest Blend 1

San Francisco Bay

Hualalai Estate 100% Kona Coffee 1

Hualalai Estate

illy  Arabica Selections Brasile 1

illy

Gevalia  Colombia Blend 1

Gevalia

Starbucks Breakfast Blend 1

Starbucks

Cinnabon  Classic Cinnamon Roll  1

Cinnabon

Maud's World's Best Half Caff 1

Maud's

Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's Blend 1

Peet's Coffee

Kauai Coffee Vanilla Macadamia Nut 1

Kauai Coffee

Marley Coffee  One Love 100% Ethiopian Medium Roast 1

Marley Coffee

Name

Organic Rainforest Blend

100% Kona Coffee

Arabica Selections Brasile

Colombia Blend

Breakfast Blend

Classic Cinnamon Roll

World's Best Half Caff

Major Dickason's Blend

Vanilla Macadamia Nut

One Love 100% Ethiopian Medium Roast

Features

Best Eco-Friendly Central American Blend

Best 100% Kona Coffee Direct From Hawaii

Best Smooth Yet Bold Brazilian K-Cups

Best Colombian Medium Roast That's Less Acidic

Best Mild Breakfast Blend With a Bright Flavor Profile

Best for Those With a Sweet Tooth

Best Half-Caff Coffee That's Still Rich

Best Strong, Full-Bodied Coffee Without Bitterness

Best Milder, More Sophisticated Flavored Coffee

Best Smooth Single-Origin Ethiopian Coffee

Price$17.99$29.99$10.98$29.38$21.99$30.99$36.90$21.99$25.45$13.99
OriginCentral AmericaKona, HawaiiBrazil Columbia Latin AmericaNot providedNot specified Americas, Indo-Pacific20% Hawaii, rest not providedEthiopia
Roast levelMedium darkMedium darkMediumMediumMedium LightMedium darkDark MediumMedium
Flavor-----Cinnamon roll--Vanilla macadamia nut-
BeansArabicaArabica Arabica ArabicaArabicaArabicaArabica Arabica Arabica Arabica
Fair-tradeDirect-trade-Direct-tradeNoNoNoYesNoUnknown for Hawaiian beans, no for rest of blendYes
Amount36 pods1210 pods84 pods32 pods48 pods100 pods32 pods24 pods24 pods
Link

10 Best K-Cup Coffees

We researched the best K-Cups based on the considerations in our buying guide and reviewer satisfaction. We made sure to include a variety of origins, roasts, and flavors!


*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Justin McMillan.

San Francisco BayOrganic Rainforest Blend

$17.99

OriginCentral America
Roast levelMedium dark
Flavor-
BeansArabica
Fair-tradeDirect-trade
Amount36 pods
OriginKona, Hawaii
Roast levelMedium dark
Flavor-
BeansArabica
Fair-trade-
Amount12

illy Arabica Selections Brasile

$10.98

OriginBrazil
Roast levelMedium
Flavor-
BeansArabica
Fair-tradeDirect-trade
Amount10 pods
OriginColumbia
Roast levelMedium
Flavor-
BeansArabica
Fair-tradeNo
Amount84 pods
OriginLatin America
Roast levelMedium
Flavor-
BeansArabica
Fair-tradeNo
Amount32 pods
OriginNot provided
Roast levelLight
FlavorCinnamon roll
BeansArabica
Fair-tradeNo
Amount48 pods

Maud'sWorld's Best Half Caff

$36.90

OriginNot specified
Roast levelMedium dark
Flavor-
BeansArabica
Fair-tradeYes
Amount100 pods

Peet's CoffeeMajor Dickason's Blend

$21.99

OriginAmericas, Indo-Pacific
Roast levelDark
Flavor-
BeansArabica
Fair-tradeNo
Amount32 pods
Origin20% Hawaii, rest not provided
Roast levelMedium
FlavorVanilla macadamia nut
BeansArabica
Fair-tradeUnknown for Hawaiian beans, no for rest of blend
Amount24 pods

Marley Coffee One Love 100% Ethiopian Medium Roast

$13.99

OriginEthiopia
Roast levelMedium
Flavor-
BeansArabica
Fair-tradeYes
Amount24 pods

How to Choose a K-Cup Coffee - Buying Guide

In this buying guide, we will walk you through some important factors to take into consideration, including the coffee's roast and origin. 

Take Note of Where the Coffee Beans Are Grown

Take Note of Where the Coffee Beans Are Grown

The climate, altitude, and soil of the growing region are the main factors that affect the flavor and quality of coffee beans.


Central and South America have some of the best conditions for growing coffee, with Colombia being the leading coffee producer. In Colombia, coffee is grown at high altitudes and in volcanic soil. The result is a rich, slightly sweet flavor with a medium body and acidity. 


Africa and Southeast Asia have excellent coffee beans as well. Coffee from Africa is known for having a complex flavor profile with fruity notes, floral aromas, and crisp acidity. On the other hand, coffee from Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Indonesia tends to have a smooth, clean flavor.

Take Note of Where the Coffee Beans Are Grown

Hawaiian coffee is grown in volcanic soil, and the largest growing region is called "Kona." It's known for its mix of brown sugar, chocolate, honey, and fruit flavors. Since it's grown domestically, pure Hawaiian coffee isn't applicable for fair trade certification.


Since Hawaii is so small, this type of coffee is often blended with other beans. If you want to taste the unique notes, look for single-origin K-Cups. Or, look for a blend that contains more than 10 percent Kona coffee.

Choose Between Light, Medium, and Dark Roasts

Choose Between Light, Medium, and Dark Roasts

For a mild coffee, choose a light roast. It has a mild body with a high acidity level. Since it's only roasted for a short time, it still retains all the characteristics of the coffee beans and usually has a bright flavor profile with fruity or floral notes. 


A medium roast boasts a well-rounded taste with a medium body and acidity level. You can expect flavor notes such as nuts, fruits, milk chocolate, and caramel. If you find a light roast to be too weak but don't want a strong coffee flavor, choose a medium roast! 


Light and medium roasts are often best for single-origin beans since they let the subtle flavor notes shine. Medium roasts are often recommended for beginners since they are flavorful and rich without being overly bitter or acidic. If you often find coffee too strong or bitter, consider a fruity light roast.

Choose Between Light, Medium, and Dark Roasts

A dark roast is a great choice if you're into bold, full-bodied coffee. Because of the long roasting time, it has a slightly bitter and smoky taste. This roast flavor tends to overshadow the characteristics of the coffee beans. 


Dark roasts also have the lowest acidity and are gentler on your stomach. Since they have the least amount of caffeine, they're also a good choice for later in the day.


If you're making iced coffee, we recommend a medium or dark roast. A light roast may not give you a bold enough flavor! So, a stronger roast will still taste rich and flavorful over ice. 

Decide Between Blends, Single-Origin, and Flavored Coffees

Decide Between Blends, Single-Origin, and Flavored Coffees

Most K-cups boast a blend of coffees sourced from different regions to deliver a well-rounded, consistent flavor profile. Some common coffee blends are breakfast blend, after-dinner blend, or Mocha-Java blend. 


If you're a fan of unique flavors and want a coffee that showcases the beans' characteristics, look for single-origin K-Cups. They're sourced from one specific region and tend to be bolder than blends. Single-origin coffee can also help you figure out what notes you enjoy, making it easier for you to pick K-Cups and understand regional flavors.


There are also K-Cups with added flavor, like caramel, vanilla, or cinnamon roll. The coffee taste will likely be weaker, but flavored K-Cups are often aromatic and sweet. You can also find fun seasonal flavors, like pumpkin spice or peppermint. Most brands use artificial flavorings or a mix of natural and artificial flavors. 

Go With K-Cups Made With Arabica Beans for the Best Flavor

Go With K-Cups Made With Arabica Beans for the Best Flavor

There are two main types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. Robusta beans have about 25 percent more caffeine than arabica and are less acidic. They have a harsher, bitter taste with rubbery and grainy overtones. This flavor is the reason why they're less desirable than Arabica beans. 


Arabica beans have a lower caffeine level and feature a smooth, slightly sweet flavor with notes of fruit or chocolate. The high acidity of arabica beans gives your coffee a complex, wine-like flavor that the majority of coffee drinkers enjoy. 


So for the most flavorful and smooth cup of coffee, we suggest choosing K-cups made of 100 percent arabica beans

Consider Fair-Trade K-Cups for Better Conditions for Coffee Farmers

Consider Fair-Trade K-Cups for Better Conditions for Coffee Farmers

Many coffee farmers don't earn enough to support themselves and their families. If you want to help improve their working conditions, purchase fair-trade K-Cups. The Fair Trade certification ensures that farmers receive a decent wage and promotes agricultural practices that support the environment. 


Some companies have other fair-trade certifications or ethical sourcing practices. You may also see the term "direct-trade," meaning the coffee is bought directly from the farmers. Both fair- and direct- trade have pros and cons, but they are steps in the right direction. 


The more details provided about ethical sourcing and trade, the better! See if the brand provides specific information about their practices rather than vague statements. Even if a company doesn't have an official certification, it may have ethical sourcing practices. 

Consider Fair-Trade K-Cups for Better Conditions for Coffee Farmers

Products certified by the UTZ are also a great choice. They're sourced sustainably to help protect the environment and improve the lives of coffee farmers. 


Look for K-Cups made with recyclable or compostable materials to minimize single-use waste and help the planet even more. Most plastic K-Cups have recyclable plastic pods, but not all communities recycle them. If your community doesn't recycle them, consider options made with less plastic or without plastic at all.

Tips to Prevent Your Pods From Exploding

Tips to Prevent Your Pods From Exploding

K-Cups are known to have occasional issues with exploding in the machine. If the lid of your K-Cup looks a bit rounded, then it might have too much air inside and may explode in your brewer. Before brewing, poke the pod with a needle to release some of the extra air. 


Pods with a weak seal might also lead to a blowout. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to fix this. In this case, contact the manufacturer and ask for a refund or replacement.

More Ways to Enjoy Coffee at Home

Searching for more ways to enjoy your K-Cup coffee? Check out some of our favorite coffee and K-Cup accessories below.

Amazon's Best Selling Single-Serve Coffee Pods

There are so many roasts, origins, and flavors of K-Cup coffee! To check out more options, take a look at Amazon's best sellers below.

In Collaboration With Barista and Coffee Educator Justin McMillan

Justin McMillan
Coffee Educator
Justin McMillan

This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.

Author: Thuy Nguyen

Updated by: Sara Chittenden, 1/12/2022


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