The Best Keurig K-Cup Coffee Pods Reviewed | Fourth Estate

If you love the convenience of single-serve coffee machines, you’re in for a real treat today…

At A Glance: Our Top 4 Picks for Keurig K-Cup Coffee Pods

With single-serve machines, you get remarkable convenience at a reasonable price point. Many brewing methods, pour-over in particular, are pretty time-consuming even if they yield a first-class cup of joe. Most people today lead such busy lifestyles that time is of the essence and this is where single-serve machines come fully to the fore…

All you need to do is ensure the water reservoir is topped up, insert a capsule, hit a button and you’ll have a steaming cup of your favorite brew in less than a minute. First thing in the morning, even the thought of breaking out the French press can seem like a hassle. Using a single-serve machine like a Keurig, on the other hand, is no effort whatsoever.

Perhaps the most common objection to using a single-serve machine is that the capsules are expensive. What we would say to counter this is that if you eliminate your regular coffee shop run, or at least cut back on hitting Starbucks, the cost works out quite favorably.

We’ll talk a little more about our quest for the best K Cup coffee pods after a snapshot of our 4 overall winners so you can see the best of the best at a glance…

At A Glance: Our Top 4 Picks for Keurig K-Cup Coffee Pods

With single-serve machines, you get remarkable convenience at a reasonable price point. Many brewing methods, pour-over in particular, are pretty time-consuming even if they yield a first-class cup of joe. Most people today lead such busy lifestyles that time is of the essence and this is where single-serve machines come fully to the fore…

All you need to do is ensure the water reservoir is topped up, insert a capsule, hit a button and you’ll have a steaming cup of your favorite brew in less than a minute. First thing in the morning, even the thought of breaking out the French press can seem like a hassle. Using a single-serve machine like a Keurig, on the other hand, is no effort whatsoever.

Perhaps the most common objection to using a single-serve machine is that the capsules are expensive. What we would say to counter this is that if you eliminate your regular coffee shop run, or at least cut back on hitting Starbucks, the cost works out quite favorably.

We’ll talk a little more about our quest for the best K Cup coffee pods after a snapshot of our 4 overall winners so you can see the best of the best at a glance…

Caramel Vanilla Cream Light Roast

#1 Recommended

Our Pick: Green Mountain Coffee Caramel Vanilla Cream

For a pure taste sensation, our overall winner from these 30 K-Cup pods is the delectable caramel vanilla cream from Green Mountain. While a light roast, the aroma and flavor are second to none and, if you like your coffee sweet, you will not be disappointed.

Donut Shop Regular Medium Roast

Also Great: The Original Donut Shop Keurig Single-Serve K-Cup Pods

The Original Donut Shop’s medium roast is a bold coffee, meaning here that there’s simply more coffee in the pod than you’ll get with a regular caffeine fix. If you fancy some single serve with a nice payload but no acidity or bitterness, this is a fantastic example of single-serve K-Cup pods at their finest.

Caribou Medium Roast

Runner-Up: Caribou Coffee Single-Serve K-Cup Pod

 Stealing our second prize, Caribou’s fine medium roast packs a punch without overpowering your tastebuds. If you’re not sold on the idea of dark roast but you want something with a little more body, taste and aroma than light roast, Caribou occupies that happy middle ground with this inspiring blend perfect for your Keurig single-serve machine.
Green Mountain Breakfast Blend Decaf

K-Cup Decaf Coffee: Green Mountain Coffee K-Cups

For a super-smooth decaf that’s ideal at breakfast time but also all throughout the day, Green Mountain’s decaffeinated mélange beat off the other decafs we tasted to take the crown of best decaf K-Cup pods. Pop it in any Keurig machine without a hitch and drink it directly before bed without impacting your sleep quality a jot.

How We Find The Best K-Cup Pods

A little background next on how we performed this testing…

For the sake of consistency, we used the Keurig K55 throughout. As well as guaranteeing uniformity, this is also one of the best selling Keurigs on the market so we wanted to use a machine that the highest percentage of our readers are likely to own and use.

Here at Fourth Estate, we’re all committed coffee enthusiasts. What that means, though, is that we’re acutely aware that drinking too much coffee is not advisable. With a half-life of up to 10 hours, unless you want to be up all night, it pays to stop drinking caffeinated drinks some time soon after lunch. We’ll be probing decaf as a workaround to this later on in this bumper guide.

What all this means is that we took more than 2 weeks to plough through over 1000 K-Cup pods and we also needed to enlist some supporters to help us. A few readers and one of our favorite writers all lent a hand and we then spent a further week culling through the data, discussing the various coffees and voting on the 4 winners by category you see just above.

We are also aware that, in a sense, expecting to find the best K-Cup coffee pods is an exercise set to fail. Our hope is that you can use this huge guide to the best capsules to find the best coffee for you. Our site owner, for example, prefers espresso with a dash of milk whether that’s latte or cappuccino. Perhaps you find the idea of that unappealing and like a stiff, strong cold brew instead.

So we sincerely hope that among this welter of the best K-Cup coffee in a crowded marketplace, you can find something that you’ll stick with and that gives you precisely the drink you want.

As an aside, there’s also a significant body of opinion claiming that the coffee you get from these capsules is beneath that you can expect when you use freshly ground beans and alternative brewing methods. We can’t really argue with that. There really is no substitute for investing in a grinder, buying whole beans and blitzing them up directly before brewing. The method you use is, again, a matter of personal preference. What we would add is that this is the reason we use Keurig machines as well as other brewing methods not as a complete replacement.

Tips For Selecting The Best K-Cup Pods

Gloria Jean's Hazelnut

If you’re anything like us, the colossal selection of K-Cup pods at your disposal initially seems like a bad thing…

Where do you even get started?

Our advice for you would depend on whether you have a sound working knowledge of coffee and some idea what you like already…

Or whether you’re just starting out and need a little more guidance.

If you already have a pretty in-depth knowledge of the different kinds of roasts and what style of coffee works best for you, use our guide as just that… a quick reference guide. We’ve designed it so you can easily scroll through and see at a glance, by brand, which K-Cup coffee pods float your boat. With some manufacturers, the quality was so consistently high that we chose a handful of different pods while with others we simply curated the best on offer.

If you’re a decaf fan, scroll right down to the end where we collate the strongest low-caffeine capsules for your convenience.

If, on the other hand, you have relatively little knowledge of what coffee would make the best fit for you, you could do far worse than checking out this Coffee Variety Sampler Pack for Keurig K-Cup Brewers. Rather than being forced to outlay a considerable sum for a pack of 50 capsules when tasting the very first one might disappoint, you can road test a broad spread of varieties from all the major coffee companies. There’s one thing they all have in common, though: you’ll be able to pop any of them into your Keurig coffee machine, whether that’s from the original line or one of the rebooted 2.0 versions.

As an example of that, we just conducted a detailed test on the CBTL Contata. As part of the taste tasting, we went for some decaf capsules which were bland and tasteless, a pure waste of money… Until, that is, we discovered adding some vanilla powder rendered the coffee a lot more drinkable. Come back soon for our photo-studded description of this nifty machine. Moral of the story? If you don’t know what you want, play it safe and start out with that variety pack!


With the background of our testing process in place, we’ll get right down to business and present the 30 best K-Cup coffee pods for your single-serve machine so you can see which tempt you and which you’d sooner leave on the shelf.

30 K-Cup Pods from 15 Trusted Brewers

1) Green Mountains

Green Mountain Coffee Caramel Vanilla Cream

Caramel Vanilla Cream

If you prefer your coffee lightly roasted and flavored, this lip-smacking K-Cup pod from the stellar Green Mountain mixes caramel and vanilla for a wonderfully sweet coffee that managed to avoid being overpowering.

Given the power of the flavoring, there’s no sugar added and we would advise trying this neat before adding sugar unless you have the sweetest tooth. You’ll get no aftertaste at all and you don’t need to worry about excess calories despite the powerful taste and aroma.

Don’t be fooled by the recent change in packaging. These pods might have been redesigned but the contents remain the same.

Whatever Keurig machine you have at home, whether an original or 2.0, this particular pod is a great way to replicate those sugary Starbucks confections without needing to leave home or face the stiff daily bill.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Breakfast Blend

Green Mountain Breakfast Blend

If you want to start your day with a bang and the minimum of fanfare, pop one of these mighty Breakfast Blend pods in your Keurig and embrace the lightly roasted Arabica single blend.

As with all Green Mountain coffee, it’s certified Kosher so you can all drink with a conscience as clear as the water accessible in the communities this forward-thinking company help out.

A slightly nutty taste complements this wonderfully light roast so you’ll be asking yourself what you can taste without having your tastebuds flooded. For those who like their coffee subtle rather than feeling like a shot in the arm, this fine Breakfast Blend is the ideal way to ease into the day.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Hazelnut

Hazelnut Green Mountain

Another outstanding pack of 72 K-Cups for the flavored coffee fan, some low-key hazelnut in this light roast is a nice touch.

Those sweet and buttery undertones, as with most K-Pods we tested, is enough to leave you clear about what’s in your cup without dominating taste to the exclusion of everything else. This really is flavored coffee at its very best.

You’ll get all the convenience of a single-serve without needing to hit the coffee shop. If you’re debating whether or not these capsules represent value for money, try comparing it to the amount you’d drop on your morning espresso run then factor in the hassle factor you’ll avoid.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Southern Pecan

Southern Pecan Green Mountain

If you love your coffee nutty and you want something with a little more depth than the hazelnut above, we’d urge you to pop this pecan-infused pod on your shortlist.

Another roast at the lighter end of the scale, you certainly won’t be left wanting with these pods. At the same time, you won’t get that nasty artificial aftertaste that blights so many flavored coffees either.

Green Mountain is a company with sound values, too. A leading exponent of Fair Trade coffee with a desire to improve the lives of growers not just swell their bottom line, you can enjoy mouth-watering coffee without any guilt. If you’re looking for a delicious seasonal drink, try some pecan and you’ll go nuts!

Green Mountain Coffee Colombian Fair Trade Select

Green Mountain Colombian

Rounding out our quintet of Green Mountain, we stepped things up to a medium roast and this single origin Colombian packs a hefty punch without delivering a knockout.

Incorrectly listed as a dark roast, you’ll nevertheless get a depth and taste veering into that territory while still understated enough for medium roast lovers. Colombian coffee is great whatever the brewing method and it fully hits the spot when pushed through a Keurig.

Despite such flavor and aroma, this coffee is mercifully free of bitterness or taint. It’s no surprise whatsoever this has carried off the crown at a number of barista tastings. We were suitably impressed and it takes a rock-solid coffee to make us stand up and take notice.

2) Starbucks

Starbucks French Roast, K-Cup for Keurig Brewers

Starbucks French Roast

Celebrated and derided in equal measure, whatever your stance on Starbucks, they certainly have some jewels in the crown. This classic French roast stands up with the best of them and deserves a place on any list of the best K-Cup pods for Keurig coffee makers.

If you fancy a stroll on the dark side, this intense and smoky coffee pulls no punches whatsoever so only invest in these pods if you’re looking for a stunningly strong drink the Italians, never mind the French, would be proud of.

While remarkably dark, this coffee is pretty low on the acidity front so if you’re suffering from an ulcer or stomach complaint but won’t sacrifice your dark roast, it’s well worth speaking with your doctor about this Starbucks gem. It certainly gets our seal of approval.

3) Original Donut Shop

Regular Keurig Single-Serve K-Cup Pods

Donut Shot Medium Roast

The Original Donut Shop has an impressive range of K-Cup pods but it’s their regular that surprises and delights in equal measure.

A medium roast, this coffee is classified as Extra Bold. Be clear that this simply refers to the amount of coffee in the pod and doesn’t relate to the actual roast profile. Don’t worry about excessive bitterness either since the ODS has this coffee pretty well perfectly balanced.

As the company strapline goes, this coffee is “cheerfully uncomplicated” and if that’s the way you like your caffeine fix, we can’t recommend this sterling medium roast strongly enough.

4) Folgers

Folgers Classic Roast K-Cup Packs 12-Count

Folgers Classic

Folgers is a heavyweight in the coffee industry and this allergen-free coffee ensures you can serve up a consistently delicious drink every time with none of the hassle of more labor-intensive brewing methods.

If you questioned whether K-Cup pods could deliver drinkable coffee, the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Not just drinkable either but remarkably tasty with no standing on ceremony or waiting around.

As with most of the major coffee manufacturers, Folgers places a premium on sourcing coffee beans sustainably and, while a global giant, doesn’t ride roughshod over growers or farmers.

With a whopping 72 K-Cup pods in the package, you’ll get superb value to go along with that classic Folgers taste and aroma so what are you waiting for?

Folgers 100% Colombian Coffee, Medium-Dark Roast

Folgers Colombian

If you’re partial to Folgers coffee but fancy something with a little more body, this medium-dark Colombian is the ideal choice.

Sourced from South America and roasted in the southern states of the US, you’ll get a great single origin with homegrown attention lavished on it for the best of both worlds.

For a robust and rich drink that’s ready in less than 60 seconds, this roast is proof positive you can enjoy first-rate coffee without needing to go to the extent of using the pour-over method.

In the coffee business since 1850, Folgers is a brand you can trust and for any medium-dark lovers, this is as good as it gets in K-Cup pod format. Try it and you’ll be hooked!

Folgers Morning Café, Mild Roast Coffee

Folgers Morning Cafe'

Rounding out the trio of Folgers pods we tested, we stepped things down to something mild but by no means meek.

As with most of the multi-packs we road tested, you’ll get a full 72 pods saving you from the hassle of constantly restocking even if you’re a pretty heavy coffee drinker. Coming in at a pocket-friendly price, you’ll be astonished at how much you can save if you replace your regular coffee shop run with a Keurig machine and a good selection of pods.

For a fully caffeinated drink that won’t blow your socks off but won’t compromise on taste either, we’d urge you to check out this simple but appealing morning coffee so you can your days started the right way.

5) Newman’s Own

Newman’s Medium Roast Special Blend

Newman's Own Special Blend

We’ll kick off by alerting to the fact this special blend is relatively bitter. If you’re not a fan of that style of coffee – and many aren’t – save your time and money and check out one of the other 29 capsules that avoid this flaw.

On the plus side, the medium roast will satisfy most coffee fans, whether you tend to err lighter or darker. It’s a decent in-betweener that blends bean from Indonesia and Central America resulting in a deep, rich taste and a tantalizing aroma.

Despite its boldness, it’s not cloying and won’t overwhelm your taste buds. Just be aware of that bitterness in advance so you don’t end up with a nasty surprise and wasted capsules if that’s not your thing.

6) Peet’s

Peet’s Coffee K-Cup Packs, Big Bang Medium Roast

Peet's Big Bang

Peet’s coffee is an institution and this snappily named Big Bang is a medium roast with a surprising depth and body. Big Bang is a nice mix of Ethiopian, which is the same type of coffee you’ll find in the fresh bags. This is often a concern of customers new to single serve but one fully addressed by Peet’s.

Not only will you get that beautifully full-bodied flavor, you’ll get the outright convenience of a pod that yields that steaming coffee in less than 60 seconds so what’s not to love.

One thing to take note of with these particular pods is that a few disgruntled customers complained about the lids coming off during brewing and causing something of a mess. We’d advise you to do your own research here and to at least be aware of this potential flashpoint.

Peet’s Coffee K-Cup Packs, Brazil Minas Naturais, Medium Roast

Peet's Brazil

Another blend from Peet’s is next in line, this time a mix of Brazilian beans in a medium roast ideal for most palates. If you like a nice strong coffee without too much acidity and without being overpowered, this occupies a nice middle ground.

You’ll get just a hint of hazelnut in this blend but it’s so subtle as to be almost unnoticeable. This is not for you if you’re expecting a full nut experience but it’s a smooth, rich taste that we found went down a real treat.

As with all Peet’s coffee, the stuff that makes its way into these K-Cup pods is exactly the same as you’ll find in the fresh alternative so if you want gourmet coffee without the hassle of a more elaborate brewing method, these capsules make perfect sense. All you’ll need is a Keurig coffee maker to pop them into and you’re away laughing.

Peet’s Coffee K-Cup Packs, Colombia Luminosa, Light Roast

Peet's Colombia

Ethiopian beans come fully to the fore along with some of South America’s best from Colombia. The way Peet’s source and mix the finest of coffee beans is a joy to behold. And it’s even more joyous to drink the fruits of their labor!

Not everyone wants a thick, strong espresso or the very darkest roast. Light roast coffee doesn’t need to be bland or insipid and this Luminosa is a sterling example of subtle coffee that delivers fully.

Price-wise, you’ll end up paying just over a dollar for a pair of capsules so when you compare that to the prices in most coffee shops, you’ll see clearly that investing in a Keurig and a few packs of bumper K-Cup pods can save you money in the long run.

Peet’s Coffee K-Cup Packs, French Roast, Dark Roast

Peets French Roast

Having referenced dark roast, we’ve got the first of a brace of deep, strong and full-bodied coffees from Peet’s up next.

French roast is a classic and with this pack of K-Cup pods, you’ll get a smoky and enchanting aroma with a boldness that surprises but doesn’t overwhelm. Much like the Italians, the French are dyed-in-the-wool coffee fiends and it’s no surprise that this super-strong roast works so well in a Keurig.

And the best thing? You won’t need to go through the palaver of the pour-over method or the sluggishness of a French press to get that delectable smell and taste. Just pop the pod in your single serve Keurig and enjoy a steaming, golden cup of coffee less than a minute later.

Peet’s Coffee House Blend, Dark Roast K-Cup Packs

Peet's Dark Roast

Rounding out our flurry of Peet’s pods, we checked out another dark and enchanting blend, this time the House classic. Strangely, House blends can disappoint but Peet’s has mixed up some of South America’s finest beans and the result is a rich and robust dark roast that will delight fans of this profile.

You’ll get a full 60 pods in this keenly-priced multi-pack so you can avoid continual trips to the store while getting great value for money into the bargain.

The only issue with many of these Peet’s pods is the chance of grinds finding their way into your cup which is the last thing you expect from K-Cup capsules. We didn’t actually experience this during testing but there are enough complaints about this online that we feel duty-bound to raise this flashpoint. We’re always unfailingly honest here at Fourth Estate and you should always be armed with the full facts so you can make your own informed decision.

Our verdict? This is one of the most mouth-watering dark roasts in pod form so give it a try!

7) Eight O’Clock

Green Mountain’s Eight O’Clock Coffee Hazelnut

Eight O'Clock Hazelnut

One of the snags with more traditional brewing methods is the difficulty of getting properly flavored coffee without adding extra syrup. Overcome this by investing in some of these tasty hazelnut infused capsule from the stellar Eight O’Clock, true coffee experts brewing since the mid-1800s.

The Original and French Roast are ideal if you fancy a more traditional coffee and we’ll outline the Italian version next. If you want a bit more sweetness from some mildly roasted Arabica beans, we can’t recommend this subtle but powerful nutty coffee highly enough. Medium-roasted, this is a coffee for those who don’t want to feel like they’ve been punched on the nose when they wake in the morning.

For flavored coffee with impeccable brand heritage, Eight O’Clock coffee hits the mark around the clock.

Eight O’Clock Coffee Dark Italian Roast

Eight O'Clock

The popularity of dark roasts remains unwavering and the Italians are coffee maestros so it’s not remotely surprising this Seattle roast takes props from both and comes together in pod-form perfect for espresso and cappuccino.

As with most dark roasts suitable for espresso, you’ll get a strong dose of chocolate and a really vigorous depth. Fully caffeinated, be careful about drinking these pods after mid-afternoon or you’ll end up with problems falling asleep. First thing in the morning, though, there are few bold, strong roasts better suited to kickstarting your day.

8) Caribou Coffee

Caribou Blend Medium Roast

Caribou Blend

Moving on to Caribou next, you’ll get a Kosher and 100% Rainforest Alliance certified drink with all the convenience a single-serve K-Cup pod brings to the table. With beans grown at the optimum altitude on Sable Mountain, you’ll get a crisp and refreshing medium blend with Indonesian beans.

The acidity is offset by a fruitiness that doesn’t dominate and the closing taste is a burst of chocolate. If this sounds too good to be true, try it and decide for yourself.

Managing to be both sweet and spicy at the same time, this awesome medium-roasted blend works well throughout the day: just be wary of drinking any caffeinated drink from mid-afternoon or you’re likely to experience problems sleeping.

9) Barista Prima

Barista Prima Coffeehouse Coffee, Keurig K-Cups, Colombia

Columbia Blend

While it might not be the most instantly recognizable brand, those in the know appreciate the subtlety of Barista Prima Coffeehouse that won’t blow your socks off without straying into blandness.

You’ll get a fruity roast with just a trace of nuttiness running beneath. Not everyone wants a nutty coffee that feels like you’re eating a whole bag of them, and if you enjoy understated coffee, we’d urge to try something different and give this beauty a go.

With a total of 48 capsules in the pack and a bargain-basement price tag, these K-Cup pods are proof positive you don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy gourmet coffee from the comfort of home.

10) Wolfgang Puck

Jamaican Me Crazy, K-Cups for Keurig Brewers

Jamaican Me Crazy Brand

Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is a coffee hound of the first order. The amusingly named Jamaican Me Crazy brings top-notch coffee into capsule format and has all the imagination you’d expect from a creative genius like Puck.

If you’re looking for some tropically-inspired coffee with a twist, you’ll adore the flavor and aroma of coconut saving you from needing to buy that sweet, sickly syrup and delivering a burst of flavor you won’t need to sweeten.

With choice beans blended from the best estates, Wolfgang doesn’t disappoint with Jamaican Me Crazy in K-Cup pod format so we’d suggest you give some of this a shot if you want something different yet not outlandish.

Wolfgang Puck – Breakfast in Bed

2 Pack Cups

Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is a coffee hound of the first order. The amusingly named Jamaican Me Crazy brings top-notch coffee into capsule format and has all the imagination you’d expect from a creative genius like Puck.

If you’re looking for some tropically-inspired coffee with a twist, you’ll adore the flavor and aroma of coconut saving you from needing to buy that sweet, sickly syrup and delivering a burst of flavor you won’t need to sweeten.

With choice beans blended from the best estates, Wolfgang doesn’t disappoint with Jamaican Me Crazy in K-Cup pod format so we’d suggest you give some of this a shot if you want something different yet not outlandish.

11) Tully’s

Keurig, Tully’s, French Roast Coffee

French Roast Tully's

A 50-pack of classic French roast was next on our huge taste-testing list and the highly reputable Tully’s ramp up the roast with this dark and foreboding coffee that will start your day with a real zing.

You’ll save on packaging to some extent with the capsules bundled loose inside a box. Let’s face it, there’s already more than enough with plastic where single-serve capsules are concerned so this is a nice eco-friendly touch.

Smoky and remarkably intense, this coffee finishes with a bitter kick undercut with enough sweetness that it doesn’t leave a taint or aftertaste.

12) Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend Coffee for K-cup Pods

Dunkin Donuts Original Flavor

Equally famous for their coffee as for their classic donuts, Dunkin’ bring this charming medium-roast to the table for anyone who wants their coffee to perk them up without clubbing them over the head.

A few disgruntled users have complained about this brew seeming weak but we can’t really say we agree with that. Obviously, you won’t get the same strength as a dark and fuller-bodied coffee would deliver, but if you want that, it’s not a smart move to buy a medium-roast!

For a combination of refined taste, delicious aroma and all at a price you’ll love, road test these Dunkin’ Donuts K-Cup pods today and we’re confident you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

13) Cinnabon

Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll Coffee K-Cup Pods

Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Flavor

As we edge toward the end of our collection of caffeinated K-Cup pods, we’ve got the super-sweet Cinnabon signature coffee which is infused with brown sugar, cinnamon and some frosting to give even the most demanding sweet tooth a wonderfully decadent drink.

This is a light roast but you’re unlikely to be looking for something deep and dark if you’re on the trail of something this sweet. If you have had the pleasure of wolfing down Cinnabon’s trademark cinnamon rolls, this coffee perfect for your Keurig manages to capture that flavor and aroma and deliver it in the form of your favorite beverage.

14) Martinson Coffee

Martinson Coffee, Italian Roast, 24 Single Serve Real Cups

Martinson Italian Roast

The first of a quartet of Martinson Coffee capsules is next up in these best reviews in the guise of a traditional Italian roast.

You’ll get a remarkable robustness with a twirl of spice and smoke underneath combining to give you a first-class coffee capsule the Italians would be proud of.

According to legend, that enduringly popular saying, “a cup of joe” was based on Joe Martinson, founder of this legendary coffee company that’s still in business after more than a century in the trenches.

If you’re not sold on the idea of such a full-bodied Italian, how about a more restrained breakfast blend instead? That’s coming up right now…

Martinson Breakfast Blend

Martinson Cafe'

Much lighter and much more delicate, this Breakfast Blend is another attempt from Martinson to conjure up that perfect cup of joe for those who like a rather less vigorous type of coffee.

Smooth and mild yet anything but bland, this makes a great alternative to a short, stiff espresso for those who like to ease into their day without quite such a jolt.

The other advantage of this blend is that you can quite comfortably drink it long after breakfast is over. As with any caffeinated coffee, though, we’d recommend tailing off some time around mid-afternoon unless you want to be up all night!

Martinson Joe’s Coffee, Caramel Crème

Martinson Caramel Blend

Coffee comes in many guises and if you’re anything like us, a dose of caramel is always welcome. Martinson recognizes this and we were highly impressed with the caramel crème capsule.

The great thing about these flavored coffees is that they work equally well piping hot or poured over ice so you can take your pick depending on your mood.

When you try these capsules, it becomes abundantly clear that this company is one you can rely on whatever type of coffee they produce. 100 years and still going strong, go Martinson and it’s hard to turn back.

And if none of these profiles appeals, we’ll round out our ode to Joe Martinson with a smooth French roast…

Martinson Coffee, French Roast

French Roast

If you insist on your coffee dark, strong and long, we would point you toward this French roast from the Martinson stable.

This is a drink that takes no prisoners so steer clear unless you enjoy a really punchy coffee. Deep and ultra-bold with that familiar smokiness that the best French roasts boast, it seems too good to be true you can get this caliber of coffee in pod form but Martinson proves it’s eminently possible.

You can use this in any type of Keurig machine whether you stick with an original or prefer the retooled 2.0 iteration.

15) Marley Coffee

Marley Coffee, Catch A Fire, Light Roast

Marley Coffee

Another hard-hitting coffee pod with an inventive name, Catch a Fire from Marley is a light roast with a difference…

Chocolate is easily distinguishable but the twist comes with chili peppers to really make you feel like your mouth is ablaze but in a pleasurable way. Of course, if you’re not a fan of heat and spice, this coffee is absolutely not for you. If you’re partial to the odd jalapeno and hanker for something out of the ordinary, though, you won’t be disappointed.

Invest of some of this Catch a Fire for a real conversation piece next time you have your friends over for coffee and a catch-up. Just be sure to warn them in advance of what they’ll be letting themselves in for!

16) Coffee Variety Sampler Pack for Keurig K-Cup Brewers

Sampler Pack

Variety Pack

To round out our study of caffeinated pods, here’s something for any of you that still haven’t decided on which of the above might be to your liking…

This pack of 40 assorted capsules gives the opportunity to road test a broad spread for just fifty cents a pop without committing to a whole box you might not enjoy as expected.

These customized sampler packs come in the following variants:

  • Coffee
  • Bold Coffee
  • Flavored Coffee
  • Mixed
  • Decaf

In all cases, you’ll get 40 pods from a wide array of brands so you can really get a feel for which teases your tastebuds.

You won’t get any duplicates and all capsule are good for original line Keurig machines or the newer, 2.0 machines.

This pack would make a first-class Christmas gift or you could be selfish and treat yourself instead! What are you waiting for?

Best Decaf K-Cup

Before we launch into some summary reviews of the best decaf K-Cup pods for your Keurig, we’ll briefly touch upon some of the leading benefits of choosing decaffeinated coffee in the first place.

Benefits of Decaffeinated Coffee

  • Sleep Better: As you know, caffeine has a remarkably long half-life meaning it stays in your system for as much as 10 hours. With decaf, you’ll have no problems with your sleep and you can also continue drinking your favorite beverage deep into the evening rather than cutting yourself off some time after lunch
  • Can Help Reduce Risk of Diabetes: While this also extends to caffeinated coffee, drinking decaf can actually cut down on your chances of running into issues with diabetes. The high magnesium content goes some way toward explaining this. Don’t take our word for it: here’s a study outlining from a leading diabetic journal outlining this in some depth
  • Helps With Overall Heart Health: Decaf coffee can help with endothelial function. In plain English, this means it can help with blood flow which in turn enhances your cardiovascular health
  • Some Improvement with Brain Function: The presence of bioactive polyphenols in coffee, whether caffeinated or decaffeinated, have been shown in some animal studies to boost brain function. The important distinction in this study was that it was the coffee rather than caffeine responsible for this, so you’re just as well off with decaf
  • Detoxifying: Coffee contains various oils that can help protect your liver against a nasty toxin, Aflatoxin. Coffee also contains antioxidants that can help with overall detoxification. Again, this is true regardless of the caffeine content so you can get all the health benefits for your liver with none of the drawbacks of a caffeinated drink

With that glimpse at the benefits of decaf coffee in place, we’ve curated 7 of the best decaffeinated K-Cup pods for you so read on to see which takes your fancy before we round out for the day with a steaming mug of decaf!

Eight O’Clock Coffee Colombian (Decaf)

Eight O'Clock Blend

Marketed under the strapline The Original Decaf, this decaffeinated Colombian from the stellar Eight O’Clock Coffee delivers in fine style without keeping you up all night.

You’ll get 72 capsules at a price you’ll love so if you want coffee without being jagged when it’s time to fall into bed, we’d stridently recommend these pods.

Sweet and fruity, the drink is still balanced enough that these flavors don’t dominate. Medium-roasted, this occupies that delightful middle ground and is ideal for supping at any time of day.

San Francisco Bay OneCup (Decaf)

San Francisco One Cup

This French roast from San Francisco Bay is designed expressly for single-serve coffee makers and blends up the best beans from South and Central America for a lip-smacking drink that’s caffeine-free.

Roasted extremely dark, you’ll get a remarkably intense and deep flavor that you really wouldn’t expect from a decaf drink. The only reason this didn’t steal the crown of best decaf pod is because we’re acutely aware darker roasts are an acquired taste and it didn’t make sense to choose something that would appeal to only a small minority of readers.

If you like your coffee as black as the ace of spades, though, we’d urge you to check out these pods.

Tully's Decaf

Next up is another dark French roast from the legendary Tully’s.

Despite packing such a punch and coming in extremely dark, you’ll get no caffeine in these pods. The boldness referenced on the packaging simply refers to the extra coffee in the capsules but don’t worry, you’ll get plenty of depth and this coffee kicks like a mule on the taste front.

The Original Donut Shop (Decaf)

Donut Shop Flavor

If you can’t get enough of the donuts from the ODS, you should probably try their coffee, too. Rather than constantly heading to the store, though, why not treat yourself to a pack of 48 pods so you can enjoy your drink at home for a fraction the cost?

This medium roast replicates the regular medium roast but doesn’t contain the caffeine so if you need a drink to keep you going through the day without putting your sleep quality at risk, road test these capsules and see if you agree with us that it’s as close as possible to the real thing.

Donut House Collection (Decaf)

Decaf Cup

The Donut House has assembled a colossal selection of 96 pods in this decaffeinated light roast. If you’re looking for value for money but you’re not prepared to stint on quality, we give these pods our seal of approval.

With no trans-fat or gluten and also certified Kosher, this coffee makes a great fit if you have any dietary restrictions or you simply fancy availing yourself of some of the health benefits of the best decaf coffee.

This truly is an all-day-every-day coffee and one we can’t recommend highly enough.

Keurig Sampler Pack (Decaf)

Assortment Of K-Cups

Still undecided on which decaf seems most appealing?

If so, Keurig come running to the rescue and serve up this collection of samples of the strongest offerings from a variety of brands so you can conduct your very own taste test without worrying about wasting money on something inappropriate. (Remember our experience with the Contata!)

From Double Donut and Donut House through to the industry heavyweight Martinson, all the very best brands in the business are represented in this sampler pack so what are you waiting for?

Oh, perhaps something to store your pods in…

But we’ve got you covered there, too so check out these 3 options for keeping your capsule collection organized rather than overspilling your countertop and cluttering up the kitchen.

K-Cups Pod Storage

K-Cup Carousel

Single Cup Holder

If you don’t mind – or indeed actually want – your collection of pods on open display, why not invest in this nifty little carousel?

You’ll be able to see at a glance which ones takes your fancy rather than rooting through boxes or drawers.

This unit rotates fully through 360 degrees and comes finished in an understated powder black. Measuring just 13 inches high, this storage unit is perfect even if you’ve got a smaller kitchen with limited counter space.

Mind Reader Storage Drawer

Cup Organizer

This triple-drawered option from Mind Reader also holds 36 capsules so you can keep everything you need for the week ahead close at hand and tidily presented to simplify your coffee selection and streamline the process further. After all, with single-serve machines, convenience should remain uppermost.

The added kicker with this model is that your Keurig machine can slot neatly on top for the ultimate in space-saving storage that’s rugged and built to last.

While it’s a little more costly than the other pair, you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck with the perfect pod storage for the home or office.

DecoBros K-Cup Storage Drawer

Cup Display

If you want a more enclosed storage solution, this DecoBros storage drawer is the ideal solution.

As with the carousel above, you can house 36 pods, more than enough for your immediate needs.

Measuring up at 13 ¼ x 12 ½ x 3 1/8 inches, you’ll get plenty of capacity without eating up too much precious real estate in your kitchen.

While by no means essential, when it’s priced so keenly, this storage solution is almost a whim purchase and we’d recommend you picking one up to keep your supplies neat and orderly without ruining the lines of your kitchen.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Coffee Makers with Pods

As we mentioned earlier, many coffee hounds enjoy the convenience of a single-serve machine but would never want to sacrifice other brewing methods completely. These machines are certainly good enough for sustained and singular use but they work best to complement your other machines and equipment.

We’ll glance now to round out at a few of the advantages and drawbacks of coffee makers with pods so, if you don’t already own one of these machines, you can decide for yourself whether it would represent a sound investment or a waste of money for you.


  • Convenience: The primary selling point for all single-serve coffee makers is the fact you can get gourmet coffee in your cup in less than 60 seconds. Not only is making your coffee as easy as pressing a button, maintenance is close to nil and clean-up is an absolute breeze
  • Slash Waste: Since you’ll only brew a single cup at a time, you can kiss goodbye to those neglected half-carafes of French press wasting that precious and expensive coffee since it’s gone too cold to drink
  • Versatility: Whether you like your coffee short and strong in an espresso shot glass or you prefer a longer drink in a travel mug to help you on your way to work, you’ll be able to use just about any size of cup with the best single-serve coffee makers
  • Overall Value: If you compare purchasing pods to coffee shop prices, what initially seems expensive can be reframed as great value
  • Cut Down On Equipment: Perhaps you love great coffee but you’re not a real enthusiast hankering after grinders, frothers and hulking machines that soon come to clutter up your kitchen. If so, the space-saving single-serve machine is the obvious solution


  • Not Eco-Friendly: While it might be great for your expenses if you manage to stop heading to Starbucks quite so often, the excess of plastic used with capsules means single-serve hardly makes a green approach to drinking coffee
  • Cost: Yes, we know, we just explained how these pods can be considered good value if you use a comparison with coffee shop prices. It’s also true that buying your coffee in these kind of micro-doses is much more expensive than going for a half-kilo of freshly ground beans so it really does depend on your budget and how you view things. Is the glass half-empty or half-full? Only you can decide on the cost front
  • Limited Choice: While you inarguably have a vast selection of pods, it’s also possible that your favorite blend won’t be available in pod form. So think about how specific you want to get and remember you can always have the best of both worlds by using more than one brewing method!

Check out our article on single-serve coffee makers if you want a more in-depth guide to help you determine if this type of machine would work well for you.


We very much hope you’ve enjoyed this thorough guide to the very best K-Cup coffee pods as much as we enjoyed producing it.

Keep in mind the advice we gave you earlier…

If you approach the quest for the best K-Cup pods expecting to find a single holy grail that will suit the tastes of everyone, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It pays to think closely about what type of coffee you enjoy best. This will immediately narrow down your options. You should also consider testing out some sample packs if you’re not quite so clear on what you like or you simply don’t have quite enough knowledge or interest, preferring instead to simply taste test rather than taking a gamble on a single large pack you might not enjoy.

Come back soon since we’re as busy as ever and working right on through the holiday season. We’ve got plenty more detailed guides coming up as we continue to bring you the very best caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee along with as many handy hints as we can come up with.

See you soon!

Read More: 20 Best Nespresso Capsules

Our Top Pick: Green Mountain Coffee Caramel Vanilla Cream

Single Cup Green Mountain


For a pure taste sensation, our overall winner from these 30 K-Cup pods is the delectable caramel vanilla cream from Green Mountain. While a light roast, the aroma and flavor are second to none and, if you like your coffee sweet, you will not be disappointed.