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LuckyGuy's avatar

What is the correct protcol for Keurig coffee maker usage?

Asked by LuckyGuy (43658points) November 24th, 2014

Are you supposed to leave your old K cup in the machine so the next person has to remove it and throw it out? Or, do you remove the used K-cup immediately and toss it when you take your full mug?

I was recently given a machine and am new to this trend. I am old-school and prefer to make a pot that costs a few cents per cup while bathing the house in the delicious aroma of French grind.

I find it difficult to accept paying about 50 cents per cup for something that is half plastic and foil and requires the expense of another 50 cents if I want a warm up. That warm up can only be in 6, 8, or 10 oz increments so I must be careful to not overflow.
If I’m going to pay $1.00 for a coffee I’ll eat at Joe’s where the waitress calls me “Hon”, asks me how my kids are doing, and keeps refilling the cup until I have get out my seat with my knees pinched together.

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31 Answers

Pachy's avatar

Mmmm, I’ve never reused a K cup, I just throw it out every time I make coffee just so I won’t have to do it when I make my next cup. As for the cost, I couldn’t care less. It’s an easy way to make a fairly decent cup of coffee—that’s my only criterion. Besides, I drink only one cup per day.

ragingloli's avatar

I think it is better to remove it immediately. Who knows how long it would stay inside.
The thing will start to grow mold eventually, and you do not want to have spores in your machine and in your next cup of coffee.
The espresso machine in our office just freshly grinds the beans right before brewing.

syz's avatar

You can actually get reusable cups for the Keurig. Or you could re-gift it.

(I toss mine when I’m done, seems rude to leave my trash for someone else to throw away.)

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have already reused a k-cup 3 times. I had a full mug with milk and sugar. When it got half way down I hit it again in the 6 oz size. When that got half way down I hit it again and got a more than full cup that overflowed and dribbled into the trap.

@syz I have one of those and will start to experiment.

@ragingloli That is something I had not considered. The environment is perfect for growth of all kinds of bugs – warmth, darkness, water.

canidmajor's avatar

There are claims all over the web that the coffee makers, like Keurig, have problems with mold and bacteria growth. Here is the Snopes on that.

That said, I’d remove the used cup immediately.

I also prefer the pot at pennies per cup, but if I had a Keurig I would trot it out if I had guests, very often people like something different than what I like. I think you can get boxes of mixed choices; caf, de-caf, cocoa, teas, etc.

And there’s way more than you asked. ;-)

elbanditoroso's avatar

I personally leave the cup in until the next morning. It may not be “by the book” but so what.

I will not use the refillable cups – if I wanted to make the effort, I would have never bought the Keurig, and kept on using my drip coffeemaker. You may call it a waste of money to buy these cups (by the way, you forgot the nitrogen in each cup that keeps coffee fresh). I’m not paying for the coffee only, but I am paying for convenience.

And I disagree with your economics. I was a Kroger yesterday and bought an 18-pack of Keurig cups for $5.99 – meaning that I am paying 33.3 cents/K-cup. So I am not sure where you get your $1/cup claim.

canidmajor's avatar

Not a bad point, @elbanditoroso about the cost. I wait til the brands I like go on sale for $6 per 12 oz. I use about ½ oz. per cup in my drip, so I’m paying about $.25 per cup.
My objection to the machine is the waste, the little empty cups, but I can appreciate the convenience for you.

ETA Of course this is different if one uses the canned generic grounds.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I throw them out immediately. And I don’t worry about the cost. It’s my one indulgence in the AM. There’s a local store here that sells 124 different varieties of K cups. Yum.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@elbanditoroso I got the $1 per cup this way. I usually have way more than 2 in a long sitting. I fill up once then I refill myself 2 more times by the time my leisurely breakfast is through. I would have to keep putting in new k cups if I did that without reusing.

I just don’t pull numbers out of a hat. You know me better than that. :-)

elbanditoroso's avatar

Speaking of Keurig… my major complaint is that I have to fill the water reservoir a couple times a week.

How hard would it be to install a water level sensor that would open a relay that would fill the cup to the water line automatically? It would be a separate line branching off the main water supply to the sink. Now that would be a true convenience.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@LuckyGuy – aha, different habits. One coffee a day for me. Ever.

I used to be a coffee fiend – 5–6 cups a day, drinking it all day, and it started doing terrible things to my stomach. So I quit cold turkey for a couple of years, and now I’m a one-cup-a-day person.

ragingloli's avatar

I do not quite get why anyone would want to use those little packets.
Why not get a machine with an integrated bean grinder and just buy a big bag of beans every few weeks?

LuckyGuy's avatar

@elbanditoroso The level sensing and switching is trivial. If I were the lead project engineer I’d make a wireless system that measured depth ultrasonically. The aftermarket system would be a cover replacement with a 1 inch square solar cell on the top face emblazoned with a fancy logo that looked like part of the unit. The cell would be big enough charge an ultracap that powered the transducer at a sampling rate of once per minute. Sample duration would be 10 ms max resulting in a duty cycle of 0.02% max. It would wake up when it sensed vibration and go back to charge mode when quiet. When it reached the low level it would send the on signal to the water solenoid which would likewise be powered by ambient light or a 9 volt battery good for years of operation.

For OEM, I’d use a pressure transducer on the bottom and integrate the water switch.

@ragingloli I had two families staying with me for a weeks vacations. They each liked different coffee: decaf, caf, strong, weak, Sweet and salty caramel, chocolate mint, etc. (I am not kidding.) They bought it for me so they could all have the coffee they like.

Now I have this monster taking up space on the counter. I’m sure I’ll think of a way to weaponize it. Give me time.

Pachy's avatar

@elbanditoroso, I totally agree about having to refill the water reservoir so often. I have to do it several times a week. It’s the only thing I don’t like about my Keurig.

@syz, I’ve tried using one of those metal refillable thingies but could never make the coffee come out right. Dunno know what I’m doing wrong.

jca's avatar

My Keurig makes a 16 oz cup, too. I get my cups from Costco – Paul Newman brand. I like it strong.

I think a nice protocol would be for each person to remove their own cup. However, I don’t think it’s too labor intensive if they don’t and leave it for the next guy.

I use filtered water in mine, because supposedly lime scale and other impurities in tap water can clog it up – just a heads up for you.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Good news! The used k-cups fit perfectly into a Brixia Model 35 mortar! With a range of 500m I will have no trouble with waste disposal. .

Buttonstc's avatar

My chief complaint about the K-cups is that there is just no getting around the fact that, compared to fresh ground beans (even older beans) the coffee just doesn’t taste good, AT ALL.

I’ve tried dozens of different brands but there’s just no getting around the fact that, regardless of nitrogen or not, those K-cups are full of old coffee. You never know how long they’ve been sitting in a warehouse and then the retail store shelves.

I mean, old coffee is not unhealthy or anything. It just, frankly, doesn’t taste that good.

I really really tried to like it but I just couldn’t get past the crappy taste (even with flavored varieties like Hazelnut which can usually cover for a multitude of sins.)

I’ll be selling mine on Craigslist soon. It’s just taking up counter space.

dappled_leaves's avatar

“What is the correct protcol for Keurig coffee maker usage?”

Don’t.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I was working on the weaponization angle, but that sounds perfect. You could even custom make mortars.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe , would you like reconstituted uranium with that latte?

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’ve figured out the perfect payload!!! It is a two part mix of redacted and redacted !
redacted grams of that would be spectacular!

jca's avatar

You know what I discovered with the regular coffee maker, which I use daily at work? I discovered that if you use strong coffee (French or darker even), you can use less. Costs the same, but you can get away with about ⅓ less = cheaper price per cup.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@jca Great idea! I will experiment with the refillable cup and see is I can pull the cost down. Keep doing it and I will eventually be able to afford that a trip to Tahiti when I retire.

crissy14's avatar

I’ve learned that if you leave the Kcup in the machine awhile, the cup holder has fragments of the old coffee inside, dispensing it into your next drink. After it makes my perfect cup, I immediately throw out the Kcup and rinse the holder.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@crissy14 Does that means you don’t reuse or refill your mug with the same kcup?
I am not at all fussy about my coffee. Mostly I consider it a hot liquid that enhances breakfast digestion and bathroom visits. If I get a little chocolate mint into my Rio Grande bold I just call it a fine flavoring nuance.
I am so easy to please.

crissy14's avatar

@LuckyGuy no, I do not reuse. They’re a one-time use. You remind me of my grandfather, hopefully you’re not equally disgusting ;)

He NEVER washed his coffee cup. It would have cake-like coffee buildup a ¼” thick in the bottom and he would drink out of it happily.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@crissy14 I know they are one time use but I fill my mug with 10 oz, drink it down and rehit the fill button on 6 oz. I might do that a third time.

I like clean dishes and mugs. I brush my teeth 3–4 times per day and shower at least once per day. Hopefully I’m not in the same category as your grandfather. :-)

crissy14's avatar

@LuckyGuy no, you don’t seem to be in the same category. I’ve never tried using the cup again. Never even crossed my mind to do so as I like my coffee strong…and clean. ;)

LuckyGuy's avatar

While just as hot, the third time you use the k-cup the water comes out (almost) clean. :-)

crissy14's avatar

Bleh. I choose not to drink foggy water with hints of what used to be. Has-been coffee, not for this gal.

Remind me to bring my own Kcup(s) if you were to have a Keurig party for a Fluther gathering.

LuckyGuy's avatar

If I host a fluther gathering I will use two of the big coffee makers: caf and decaf . You’re safe.

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