Aeropress Vs Keurig: Which Single Cup Coffee Brewer Is Best?

As someone who loves coffee, I've tried everything, from a French press to an espresso machine, Moka Pot, and more.

Two of the most popular brewing methods out there, however, are the Aeropress and Keurig. So what exactly are the differences between the two?

To help, I've done the research and put together everything I know about the two, from the brewing method to quality, convenience, and more, so you can compare and figure out which one you prefer!

As someone who has used both the Aeropress and Keurig coffee maker for many years now, here are the main differences.

1. Taste & Brew Strength

When it comes to the taste, I've got to say that the Aeropress takes the win for regular coffee.

It produces a cup of coffee that's smoother, less acidic, and more full-flavored as you have control over the brewing method and how fine your coffee grounds are.

In addition, you can use any ground coffee that you like for your Aeropress - whether that be pre-ground coffee or freshly ground coffee.

With the Keurig machines, you lose more flavor as the Keurig K-cups have less control over the acidity and strength as the ground coffee is already within the K-cup.

Lifeboost K Cups Beside A Keurig Machine

What about brew strength? You can brew everything from Learn How To Set Up Keurig Auto Brew! with the Aeropress coffee maker, as you have more control over the brewing process.

With the Keurig, you also get your choice of brew strength.

You're using coffee pods, so you can take your pick of what type of K-cup intensity you'd like to brew with your Keurig machine - whether that be mild or extra strong.

Another great thing about K-cups is that they come in a ton of different flavors, so you can make everything from lattes to hot chocolates - a great win for your taste buds, whereas the Aeropress leaves you with more traditional coffees.

2. Price Point

Overall when it comes to price, the Aeropress coffee maker is cheaper than Keurig machines. While the Aeropress will cost about $30, Keurig coffee makers will start from $80 or so.

It's important to remember that with the Keurig single-serve coffee maker, you also have to consider the cost of the coffee pods you'll be using with the machine.

Coffee pods cost about 40 cents for budget coffee and about $1.20 for the fancier stuff - making it an average of about 60 cents a pod.

You can opt to use reusable K-cups to decrease the cost of your monthly coffee pods. 

If you consume two cups of coffee a day, that'll add up to about $36 a month. On the other hand, a 2lb bag of coffee is around $12-$20 and will make 60 cups of coffee.

3. Versatility

Being able to control your brews is really important to many coffee drinkers, myself included. In this regard, I have to say that the Aeropress coffee maker is the superior choice.

While it will take some practice, you can easily take control of every aspect of the brewing method - whether that be water temperature, grind size of your ground coffee, pressure, and more.

Unfortunately, the Keurig single-serve coffee maker doesn't offer much to offer in this category.

The only control you have with single-serve coffee makers is choosing the K-cups or coffee pod you'd like to use and (on some models) the cup size.

However, I'd say both are pretty limited when it comes to capacity.

With the Aeropress, you can brew about 10 oz (290 ml) of coffee, while a Keurig coffee maker will give you about 50ml to 110ml per pod, depending on what you've chosen. 

Neither option is good for serving a crowd.

Making Coffee Using An AeroPress

4. Brewing Speed

If you need a fresh cup of coffee brewing for you the moment you wake up, there's nothing faster than a coffee maker like the Keurig.

These machines can brew coffee quickly; some will even argue it's on par in efficiency to instant coffee.

The Aeropress will take a bit more time and a lot more love as you have to heat water and ensure you've got all the parts ready, such as the Aeropress chamber, paper filters, ground coffee beans, etc.

Brewing coffee with the Aeropress will take about 3 to 4 minutes to prepare a cup of coffee, and the Keurig machine will give you a cup of coffee in a minute or less.

5. Durability & Portability

When it comes to portability, the Aeropress definitely wins.

It consists of separate parts, so all you've got to do is put it in a bag, and you can easily bring it with you when you're on the go and make delicious coffee! I love to take the Aeropress and make coffee while camping.

The Keurig is ultimately a machine, so it's not something you can just bring with you when you're traveling.

Durability-wise, I'd say they're both pretty equal - just as long as you take care of both of them properly.

The Aeropress is made of plastic but durable and resistant to scratches. The only part most prone to wear and tear is the rubber seal (which can easily be replaced).

With the Keurig, it's pretty sturdy and doesn't require much of a clean up, but you'll still need to maintain the machine to ensure it remains durable.

6. Sustainability

Comparing the two, the Aeropress is the more environmentally friendly option.

Unfortunately, most of the coffee pods for Keurig are made with plastic, so they're not the most sustainable - unless you use a reusable K-cup, of course.

That being said, the coffee pods are still recyclable. The finicky part about it, however, is that you need to separate the pod components in order to recycle them.

That means you'll have to recycle the plastic, aluminum, organic material, and paper filter separately.

While it's definitely doable, most people don't take the time to recycle them as there are several hoops that they need to jump through to make it happen.

Even though the Aeropress is made of plastic, the paper filter is compostable! Also, if you'd like, you can even get a reusable metal filter.

If your Aeropress becomes broken, you can also recycle it - which is a BIG plus! Since most of the Aeropress parts are made with #7 polypropylene plastic, you'll be able to recycle it with ease.

Extrracting Coffee Using An AeroPress

7. Ease Of Use

The Keurig definitely wins when it comes to this one. Many mornings, I've just rolled out of bed, pressed a button, and got a good cup of coffee.

The Aeropress isn't overly difficult to use, but there are definitely a few more steps.

The main thing with it is that you need to already have some coffee grounds, and you'll also need to have hot water.

It's also important to keep an eye on the brewing process, especially if you're making coffee based on personal preference, as there are some things to focus on, such as the temperature of the water, how fine the grind of your coffee is, etc.

8. Size & Dimensions

Not everyone has a whole lot of room on their counter, and when it comes to that, the Aeropress definitely wins. You can easily store it away after use in a cabinet or drawer - it's that convenient!

For the Keurig, similar to other espresso machines, manual coffee makers, and a drip coffee maker, it does require a good amount of space and an electrical outlet.

Even though the Keurig has a slim version, it will still take up more space than an Aeropress, which would be about the same as most light roast to dark roast - if not smaller!

As a comparison, a Keurig slim is about 12" in height and 15" in length - not to mention it's also about 6.5lbs in weight!

When you buy an Aeropress, on the other hand, you get a chamber, plunger, filter, cap, paddle, and scoop that weighs less than half of a pound.

It's something you can easily put in a bag and bring with you when you're on the go.

9. Cleaning & Maintenance

If I have to be honest, the Aeropress definitely requires more cleaning than the Keurig.

After all, you have to clean the Aeropress parts every time you use it, while that's not something you have to worry about for the Keurig.

The good thing about the Aeropress is that you can clean it in the dishwasher - just make sure it's on the top shelf.

For day-to-day use, however, you don't even need to put it in the dishwasher; just a quick rinse is sufficient.

Occasionally, you'll just need to remove the seal from the end of the plunger and wash it inside and out with warm water and dish soap, but it's not something you need to do every day.

In the long run, however, the Keurig requires more maintenance, especially if you use it often.

You'll need to descale it, clean it, and maintain it - if not, you run the risk of your Keurig no longer producing great coffee.

Not only will the quality of your coffee drop, but you might notice that your drink will also start to taste weird!

For example, here's how you'll clean your Keurig!

  1. Remove the water tank and clean it with soapy water. You'll also need to use an old toothbrush to scrub coffee residue from the drip tray
  2. Clean the pod holder to dislodge any coffee grounds and release clogs.
  3. For a more serious clean, you'll need to use either a descaling solution or white vinegar.
  4. Finally, you can start the brew cycle with fresh water. Do this a few times to remove any descaling chemicals or vinegar.
  5. Last but not least, wipe the exterior surface with a microfiber cloth, and you're good to go!
Cleaning A Keurig Machine

What Exactly Is An Aeropress & Who Should Buy One?

An Aeropress is a single-serve coffee maker that was invented by Alan Adler in 2005.

It doesn't require electricity or mechanical parts and instead uses hot water, air pressure, and strength to brew your coffee.[1]

Even though it can't produce the same pressure as an espresso machine (and not quite espresso shots), it works on the same principle and can produce a strong cup of coffee with delicious flavor.

Brewing Method:

  1. Place your paper filter onto the filter cap
  2. Screw your filter cap onto the Aeropress chamber
  3. Add your fine coffee grounds
  4. Steep your coffee in hot water, the water temperature should be about 175°F to 205°F.
  5. Press down on the plunger to get your cup of coffee once the extraction is complete.

Pros:

  • Highly portable, you can easily bring Aeropress with you while you're on the go.
  • It's versatile as you can adjust according to your personal preference and taste, and it's almost always guaranteed that you'll have a flavorful cup of coffee every single time.    
  • Since you're using freshly roasted coffee beans for the Aeropress, you'll have a smooth and consistent coffee of low acidity - quality coffee!
  • Other than needing heated water, the Aeropress is relatively easy to use and not difficult to clean.

Cons:

  • The plastic portion of the Aeropress isn't eco-friendly.
  • It can only produce a limited capacity of coffee, so if you'd like more coffee, this wouldn't be for you.
  • The coffee brewing process takes longer.

Who Would Prefer An Aeropress?

The Aeropress is great if you're quite particular about the cup of coffee you consume every morning and are used to coffee you might get from a drip coffee machine or French press.

You'd also like the Aeropress if you're looking for something inexpensive that you can bring with you when you're traveling or going camping to make your favorite cup of coffee.

If you like control over your grind size, water temperature, and brewing methods and like trying out different ones, this would take the win as you can easily make a personalized cup of coffee.

Water And Coffee In An AeroPress

What Exactly Is A Keurig & Who Should Buy One?

The Keurig is a single-serve coffee maker that's easy to use and great for busy individuals. It uses coffee pods, also known as K-cups.

Brewing Method:

  1. Place a mug on the drip tray.
  2. Lift the handle of your Keurig and insert a K-Cup.
  3. Close the lid and press the brew size button of your choice.
  4. Once the brewing process has finished, your drink is ready!

Pros:

  • All you have to do is press a button, place your coffee pod in the machine and your coffee mug below, and you've got yourself a cup of coffee - making it excellent for convenience.
  • It comes with various flavors along with different types of pods that you can choose from for consistent results.

Cons:

  • Not portable and isn’t eco-friendly.[2]
  • You don't have much control over the brewing methods and the overall brewing process when making that cup of coffee.
  • Can be quite expensive.

Who Would Prefer A Keurig?

The Keurig is great if you're looking for something easy to use when it comes to brewing coffee, as it only requires coffee pods. It's fast, simple, and requires minimal effort.

A unique aspect worth noting of the Keurig is also the fact that there's a wide variety of K cups that you can choose from - whether it be teas, hot chocolates, iced coffee drinks, and more.

Putting A Tim Hortons K Cup In A Keurig

Related Aeropress Vs Keurig Questions

Can you use K cups in an AeroPress?

Yes, you can use K cups in an Aeropress. Simply open it up and use the coffee grounds, and you're good to go!

Why do people love the AeroPress?

People love the Aeropress as it's easy to use and versatile when it comes to brewing method. You can make espresso-style coffee and even use the inverted method if you enjoy immersion-style coffee.

Why is AeroPress coffee less bitter?

The Aeropress coffee is less bitter as the pressure produced when you push the plunger through the chamber further extracts flavors. In addition, your coffee will also be free of grit as it needs to pass through a micro-filter.

How long does an AeroPress last?

An Aeropress can last about two to three years if taken care of properly. Some components may last much longer, which is why replacement parts are sold separately.

Is AeroPress good for beginners?

Yes, an Aeropress is generally good for beginners as it's not too difficult to learn, and you can easily customize your preferred cup of coffee with an Aeropress.

How long should coffee sit in AeroPress?

Coffee should sit in the Aeropress for two to three minutes. It also depends on the grind of your coffee. Finely ground coffee, for example, will have a shorter brew time and sit in the Aeropress for a shorter period of time.


Final Verdict

So, Keurig vs Aeropress, which one to go for? Well, it really depends on what you're looking for, along with your needs!

If you like testing out different brewing methods and are more particular about the taste of your coffee, I recommend an Aeropress.

If you're more concerned about the brewing time and have no issues using a coffee pod, I recommend using a Keurig.

They do, however, each come with unique advantages, so feel free to experiment if you can and see which method best works with your needs!

References:

1. https://www.cnet.com/home/kitchen-and-household/appliance-science-the-fluid-dynamics-of-the-aeropress-coffee-maker/
2. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/03/the-abominable-k-cup-coffee-pod-environment-problem/386501/

Karmy Widjaja

Author

Karmy Widjaja
Karmy Widjaja, holding a degree in Hospitality Administration, combines her academic background with a profound passion for the world of coffee. Her work is enriched with a wealth of insights, not only about the art of coffee making but also about the broader aspects of the coffee industry. Her quest for coffee perfection is a central theme in her engaging articles, as she continues to explore the vibrant coffee scene in Perth. And when it's time for a coffee break? Karmy's all about a laid-back flat white with almond milk – it's her go-to for a tasty coffee kick.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... flat white with almond milk.

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