How to Brew

How To Make Coffee in a Keurig Without K-Cups: A How-To Guide

Keurigs make quick and easy brews using K-cups but can be just as effective at making your morning brew without using a K-cup pod.


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Although they’re generally not considered a high-quality coffee maker, Keurigs are great for the average coffee consumer. They are also an easy and convenient coffee-making method in community settings like your office, the car shop waiting room, or hotels.

But have you ever been stuck with a Keurig and no K-cups? In such a situation, you may feel like coffee is out of reach, but that’s what your non-caffeinated brain is telling you. Read on to discover three effective ways to get coffee from a Keurig without K-cups.

how to make coffee in a keurig without k cups

METHOD #1 – Recycling K-cups

It’s super simple to make a cup of coffee by reusing a pod if you find yourself stuck without fresh K-cups but have coffee grounds or beans on hand.

What you’ll need

  • Recycled K-cup, emptied and washed
  • Coffee Grinds (medium coarse – coarse)
  • Coffee Filter
  • Aluminum Foil

Grab a used K-cup, remove the punctured aluminum cover, empty the leftover grounds, and thoroughly rinse. Some K-cups have a filter inside, and some don’t. If the pod you grabbed does have a filter, great! Simply use that, even if it’s still wet. If it doesn’t, then grab a paper filter and cut it to the size of the coffee pod, leaving some above the top.

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Add your grinds, aiming for 14 grams, or fill just below the pod’s rim. Cut a piece of aluminum foil large enough to fold in half and still cover the pod. Fold it in half for a more durable top and place it firmly on the pod, pinching around the edge to secure it (you’ll want the foil to go down the sides of the pod so that it does not sink into the pod once punctured).

Insert this into your Keurig and brew as normal.

METHOD #2 – Reusable filter

If you’re tired of creating waste with single-use pods and want to eliminate waste and save money, investing in a reusable pod filter may be your best bet.

What you’ll need

  • Reusable K-cup (check which is compatible with the style of Keurig you have)

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  • Coffee Grinds (medium coarse – coarse)

Simply add your favorite coffee grinds to your reusable filter to slightly below the brim. Use the same way as single-use pods. Dump grinds and rinses after brewing.

METHOD #3 – Instant coffee

If you cannot make a makeshift pod or don’t have a reusable one, you can always use a Keurig to make instant coffee.

What you’ll need

  • Instant coffee grinds

With no pod or grinds in your coffee maker, simply run a brew cycle in your Keurig to get a hot cup of water. Add your instant coffee and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Use Ground Coffee in a Keurig?

Your best bet is to invest in a reusable K-cup filter that you can refill with each use.

Do I Need a Pod To Brew Coffee in a Keurig?

Yes. You cannot just put grinds into a Keurig without using a pod or filter. You can reuse a recycled pod or a reusable filter for your coffee grinds.

What Kind of Coffee Do You Use in a Reusable K-Cup?

You can use your coffee of choice in a reusable K-cup. It really depends on what type of coffee you like. Always use a coarse or medium-coarse grind.

Can You Put Instant Coffee in a Keurig?

Instant coffee will dissolve in the pod and really doesn’t need to be filtered. If you want to use instant coffee, it’s easiest to bypass the pod altogether. Simply brew some hot water from your Keurig and add the instant coffee after.

What Grind is Best For Reusable K Cup?

Medium coarse – coarse. Aim for a French Press grind.

Happy Caffeinating!

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