Consumer Reports names best disposable pods for single-serve coffee makers

March 15, 2013 3:19:38 PM PDT
It's no surprise single-serve coffee makers are still growing in popularity. However, the cost of those disposable pods can be pricey. The average owner uses more than 1,000 K-Cups per year, so Consumer Reports just checked out some alternatives to traditional K-Cups.

Single-serve coffee makers are quick, fast and convenient, but the cost of pods can add up.

Alternatives to the K-Cup or pod promise to reduce costs. Consumer Reports just checked out three that let you use your own coffee.

"To compare we looked at how much it would cost to brew one cup of coffee per day for a year. And with K-Cups, that's about $220 to $275," Consumer Reports' Desiree Ferenczi said.

In addition to costs, testers also looked at convenience, brew time and taste.

First up are the Simple Cups, which claim it's "a fraction of what a K-Cup will cost." For $14, you get a pack of 50 disposable cups, filters and lids.

"When you add in the price of coffee, it is less -- about $185 per year," Ferenczi said.

But testers found the cups are hard to close, and brew time was a little longer than the traditional K-Cup.

Next, the reusable EZ-Cup. It sells for $13, plus about $8 for 50 of its biodegradable filters. With coffee, it works out to about $135 a year.

But the EZ-Cupwasn't much easier to use than the Simple Cups.

So how did the coffee taste?

In tests, using the same coffee, all three delivered similar results.

In the end, My K-Cup, Keurig's K-Cup adapter, was the clear winner. Testers found it was the easiest to use. And once you purchase the reusable My K-Cup for $18, your only expense is coffee, an estimated $80 a year. That's a big money saver.

Another plus with Keurig's My K-Cups is that they're a lot easier on the environment than the original K-Cup and other pods.

Now, if all this has you longing for a single-serve coffee machine that can use the alternative my K-Cups, consider the Cuisinart S-S 300 Compact Single Serve for $129. In Consumer Reports tests, it delivered a speedy first cup of coffee and is easy to use.

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