Gone are the days when pour-overs and drip coffee makers are the only way to make coffee. There are many other ways to make your favorite cup of joe, from espresso machines to single-serve coffee makers, such as Keurig and Nespresso.
Owning a single-serve coffee maker is all fun until you run out of your favorite pods. If you own a Keurig coffee maker, you might wonder whether your machine can take other cups like the popular Nespresso pods. Here we will discuss everything you need to know about their compatibility and whether using Nespresso pods and different kinds of pods in your Keurig machine is possible.
What are Coffee Pods?
Before we tackle whether Nespresso pods are compatible with your Keurig coffee machine, let’s first define a coffee pod.
A coffee pod is a single serving of coffee packed in filter paper. It is usually small, round, flat, and wrapped in foil to keep it fresh. Compared to K-cups, coffee pods are stronger, more aromatic, and more flavorful in taste, perfect for those who like their coffee with a little kick. It is also more eco-friendly with minimal packaging and cheaper than K-cups. (Read Cleaning With Vinegar Coffee Maker)
What are K-Cups?
A K-Cup is a coffee sealed in a cartridge with a plastic ring and covered with a foil top. The inside of the capsule is lined with a filter material and keeps the coffee contained while it brews. K-Cups make it very easy to brew coffee and are available in various brands, roasts, and flavors compared to pods. While they might come in more options, they are less strong and flavorful than coffee pods.
Can I Use Nespresso Pods in My Keurig?
The short answer is no. You can’t use Nespresso pods in your Keurig coffee maker. The reason is that Nespresso pods are uniquely made for Nespresso machines only, and their size, shape, and functionality won’t conform with your Keurig coffee maker.
We’ll discuss their differences below and why you should never try to interchange these machines’ pods in your coffee makers.
Nespresso Pods vs. K-Cups: What is the difference?
Three main things differentiate these two: their sizes, shapes, and functionalities.
The first and foremost noticeable difference between a Nespresso pod and K-cup is their size. When you buy Nespresso pods and attempt to place them in your Keurig machine, you’ll see how they won’t fit because of their small size. To put it simply, they are not physically compatible with each other.
K-cups are relatively larger than Nespresso pods since a K-cup’s brewing size ranges from 4.0 oz to 30 oz, while a Nespresso pod’s brewing size only ranges from 1.35 oz to 14 oz.
When you put a Nespresso pod and K-Cup side-by-side, not only will you notice that their size is different, but also their shape. Nespresso pods are dome-shaped, while K-cups are cylindrical shaped. The Nespresso pod’s shape helps ensure more excellent aeration and repeating oxidization that draws more flavor from the coffee. Hence, it increases the crema it makes, which is the layer formed on top of an espresso.
Meanwhile, K-Cup’s cylindrical shape allows it to easily be punctured on the foil lid and the bottom of the cup and force hot water under pressure through the single-serve cup and into your cup or mug. (Read What Do Starbucks Baristas Make)
Nespresso and Keurig machines have an entirely different way of brewing their pods and K-cups. Nespresso adds hot water to the flat top of the pod and revolves at 7000 rpm to soak and extract the ground coffee beans. The heated water is pumped under high pressure into the holes of the pods, which causes the foil-covered side of the pods to rupture. The brew flows from the ruptured holes in the foil and then into the cup. It then produces a flavorful aroma like that of espresso machines.
Meanwhile, think of Keurig as a traditional drip coffee-making process. While a drip coffee maker uses a flash-heating chamber and gravity in its brewing process, a Keurig coffee maker employs a water and air pump to pressurize its brewing process. Five needles then puncture the top foil to allow the pressurized water in, while the bottom of the K-cup is punctured once to enable it to drain.
Can You Use Coffee Grounds in Keurig?
Unlike Nespresso pods that aren’t accepted, you can use regular coffee grounds in your Keurig! You can use ground coffee in your machine in two ways: recycling old K-cups or using a special My K-Cup Universal reusable coffee filter.
To brew using a My K-Cup reusable filter, add your coffee grounds to the fill line of your reusable filter. You should see two fill lines – one for a regular cup and one for a mug. After putting your grounds, place the cap on the reusable K-cup and put it in the machine as you usually brew. Close the lid and turn on your machine.
If you will recycle Keurig K-cups, make sure you take out the used coffee grounds thoroughly, then clean your K-cup and let it dry. Once done, fill your K-cup with your chosen coffee grounds. You should experiment with how much you should put, but don’t overfill it. Cover it with a DIY aluminum foil cover that must fit nicely on the cup. Once it resembles the regular K-cup coffee, place it in your machine and brew it like you usually would.
Reminders When Using Coffee Grounds in Keurig
Now that you know you can reuse your K-cups and use your coffee grounds, ensure that you keep in mind these reminders:
Never overfill your K-cup
You might be tempted to put as much coffee grounds as possible in your cup to make a stronger coffee, but don’t do it. If you overfill the cup, it might only block the machine, and the water will not be able to push through the grinds.
Use slightly coarse ground coffee
A slightly coarse grind works best with reusable K-cups. A coffee ground that is too fine will only lead to sediment in your cup, while too coarse will not extract much flavor since water will rush through the grounds too quickly.
Pick the smallest cup setting
Most Keurig coffee makers have different options, such as a 6, 8, or 10-oz cup. Go for the smallest cup setting for the best optimum flavor.
Can You Use Starbucks Verismo Pods in a Keurig?
Do verismo pods work in Keurig? Yes, they work! The sad news is that Starbucks has discontinued their Verismo pods since December 31, 2020, so you won’t see any of them in their stores anymore.
Coffee Pods You Can Use in a Keurig
Apart from the classic Keurig K-cups you can buy, there are also other brands you can use in your Keurig coffee makers:
Café Bustelo K-Cups
Café Bustelo K-Cups are perfect for those who prefer their coffee to be bold and rich since they are made of an espresso blend that is deep in flavor.
Illy Dark Roast K-Cups
Yet another intense flavor, Illy Dark Roast K-Cups, contain coffee sourced from the top 1% of Arabica beans globally. They might be made of dark-roasted beans, but they don’t have any bitter aftertaste!
San Francisco Bay Espresso Roast K-Cups
San Francisco Bay Espresso Roast K-Cups are perfect if you like a more toned-down coffee. They pour a concentrated espresso brew made of a medium-dark roast coffee blend.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use an instant coffee in your Keurig?
Yes, you can use instant coffee in a Keurig, but don’t expect it to taste like what a regular K-cup brews. Since instant coffee isn’t ground coffee, it won’t produce quality coffee and will most likely dissolve before it reaches your mug. (Read Can I Drink Bulletproof Coffee Twice A Day)
Can you use a K-cup in a Nespresso machine?
No, you can’t use K-cups in a Nespresso machine. As mentioned, K-cups are larger, have a different shape, and brew differently than Nespresso pods.
Can you use a K-cup in other coffee makers?
Yes, you can use K-cups in other coffee makers as long as they’re compatible. Some other coffee machines where you can use a K-cup include the Mueller Ultima Single-Serve coffee maker, the Gourmia 3-in-1 coffee maker, and the Hamilton Beach Single-Serve coffee maker.
Are Nespresso coffee pods authentic espresso?
No, Nespresso isn’t an authentic espresso. The coffee pods used in Nespresso machines are more tightly packed than espresso grounds, and the water is not forced through the same pressure as espresso machines.
In summary, you can’t use Nespresso pods for Keurig. They are not compatible in any way, and forcing them can only damage your Keurig machine. If you run out of K-cups at home, it’s best that you reuse your K-cups rather than using Nespresso pods in your Keurig.
When it comes to your coffee machine, never force what isn’t allowed; you don’t want to deal with a broken coffee maker in no time!