How Much Coffee Is In A K-Cup? (We Found Out!)

Curious about just what's in your K cups? That's exactly how I felt. I was drinking five K cups a day and started wondering just how much coffee I was actually drinking.

I opened up several different K cups to find out just what was inside. In this guide, I'll share the Keurig secrets and explain how much coffee is in a K cup.

I'll also share some tips on how to get the best coffee from your Keurig coffee maker.

A K cup is a small, single-serve coffee pod used in a Keurig coffee machine, with each K cup containing 8-12 grams of ground coffee. That’s about 0.3-0.4 ounces or 1-2 tablespoons.

K cups make it easy to brew delicious coffee at home, combining ground coffee and hot water to make a cup of coffee in seconds.

They have an outer casing and a chamber filled with ground coffee. They also have a paper filter used in the brewing process.

When used in a Keurig machine, hot water flows through the Keurig K cup pod, through the paper filter, and into your cup, creating a single K cup of coffee.

So how does Keurig decide how much coffee is in a K cup?

In coffee making, there is a ‘golden ratio’ for coffee.[1]

This states that when you brew coffee, it should have one or two tablespoons of coffee for every 6oz of hot water.

This ratio of ground coffee to water maximizes the flavor, creating a delicious coffee cup.

Coffee lovers swear by this ratio, but coffee is more art than science. Everyone likes to drink coffee differently, and when brewing coffee, you can add or remove coffee to match your tastes.

However, Keurig K cups are designed to cater to everyone. 8-12 grams of medium/medium-fine ground coffee beans in each K cup creates a full-bodied but not overly strong brew.

This is what makes K cups so popular.

Do all Keurig K cups have the same amount of ground coffee?

Your average K cup will usually have 8-12 grams of coffee grounds, but the volume of coffee grounds can vary slightly.

Some K-cup coffee blends will have more ground coffee, and specific brands, like Crazy Cups, have larger K-cup coffee pods that contain up to 30% more coffee grounds.

This gives you a stronger coffee with more caffeine.

Some brands provide the exact quantity of coffee in the specifications, but others don't.

The coffee grounds make up the majority of the weight of a K cup, so by checking the weight, you'll be able to see how much coffee individual K cups use before you start the brewing process.

San Francisco Bay French Vanilla K Cup

How Many Cups Of Coffee Can One K-Cup Make?

Keurig K cups are designed to make one cup of coffee, but they can technically be used multiple times.

How much coffee and how many cups you make with each K cup will depend on your taste preferences and the strength of the coffee grounds used.

K cups are intended to make a single cup of coffee and be thrown away afterward, and in my opinion, that's what you should do.

Most Keurig machines will let you choose between a 6oz, 8oz, or 12oz Keurig cup size.

The Keurig brewer and K-cup coffee pods should make a rich, flavorful brew when used for the first time, regardless of size.

You can leave the K cups in for multiple brews, but as you use the K cups again, the water will absorb less of the coffee flavor.

Each brew will become increasingly watery and weaker, with less caffeine.

If you want full-bodied coffee, I recommend using each K cup once. If you prefer milder, watery coffee, you can use your K cups a few times.

Technically, you can use each K cup 10-12 times, but there will be less and less flavor in each brew.

Using very bold beans (dark roast K-cups) can help to preserve the coffee taste over multiple brews, but for the best flavor, you should still only make one cup of coffee with each K-cup coffee pod.

The Reusable K-Cup (How Much Coffee Should You Put In It?)

A standard reusable K cup will fit 10-12 grams of coffee.

You should put 10 grams (2 tablespoons) of medium/medium-fine coffee grounds for each use. This will mean the reusable Keurig K cup is 80-90% full each time.

This should give you a delicious cup of coffee, but you can change the amount of coffee you use to match your tastes.

What is a reusable coffee pod?

Reusable coffee pods, particularly reusable K cups, have become increasingly popular.

They look just like regular K cups, but you can open them up and load your coffee grounds into them for brewing.

Once you’re finished, you can clean them out, store them, and use them to brew more coffee next time.

Why do people use a reusable K cup?

  • They save money
    Reusable K-cup pods can really save you money. An average K cup will cost around $0.40-$0.80 per pod. A reusable K-cup is an affordable option that only costs $5-20, and a good quality model will last a lifetime.
  • They're eco-friendly
    Reusable K-cups have a reusable filter that can be used repeatedly. Experts claim that coffee capsules make up about 576,000 tons of waste, so switching to a reusable can help to reduce waste.[2]
  • They give you more control
    Some regular coffee maker models are compatible with a wide range of coffee pods, but Keurig brewers can only use regular K-cups. This can limit your options, but reusable K-cups make it easier to customize and control your brew. This is beneficial for those who want to limit how much caffeine they're consuming.

What is the most I can put in a reusable K cup?

Some reusable K-cup models can fit different amounts of coffee, but most will fit up to 10 grams of ground coffee. However, larger reusable K cups can fit up to 15 grams of coffee.

Every reusable K cup will have a fill line (some even have two) that clearly shows you how much coffee it can take. Do not overfill the reusable Keurig K cup, or it could cause leaks and spills.

Refilling Reusable K-Cups With Coffee

Expert Tips For Using The Keurig Cups

1. Use Fresh Water

Keurig coffees have two ingredients; coffee grounds and water. You've spent time choosing the perfect coffee, so you should pick the right water too.

Many people use distilled water in their Keurig brewing, but it has some disadvantages when used to brew coffee.

Hard water will give you better extraction and coffee flavor. It can also help maximize the health benefits of coffee.[3]

I recommend using traditional tap water, regular filtered, or bottled water in your Keurig.

Every Keurig has a built-in water filter, too (alongside the paper filter in the K cups), so water quality isn't an issue.

2. Use the Right Grind Size

Always use a medium or medium-fine coffee grind with your Keurig. This allows the hot water to flow freely through the grounds and past the coffee filter, creating a hot cup of coffee.

Your standard K cup will always contain medium or medium-fine grinds.

However, if you use a reusable K cup, ensure your grind size isn't too coarse, or it could block the K cup and ruin the brew.

3. Pick the Best Coffee For You

There are thousands of K cups out there, and they all taste slightly different. Choosing the type of coffee, roast level, and flavor that suits you will make a big difference.

I recommend trying and tasting different K cups until you find the best one for you. If you're new to coffee, try a medium roast K-cup and then see if you prefer it darker or lighter.

There is no such thing as a standard K cup, and they all have slight nuances. Keep experimenting until you find one that makes your ideal coffee.

4. Select a Smaller Size

A Keurig usually lets you choose how much coffee to brew by selecting either 6oz, 8oz, or 12oz sizes.

The exact options will vary depending on the size of the water reservoir (the Keurig Mini has a smaller water tank than other models).

The smaller sizes will give you a bolder, more concentrated brew, whereas the larger sizes are weaker. Your average K cup is best on a 6oz or 8oz size because it has more flavor.

I recommend only using the larger 12oz size for bolder K cups or larger K cups with a higher volume of coffee.

5. Pre-heat The Machine

The optimal temperature for brewing coffee is 195-203 degrees Fahrenheit. Keurig coffee makers only heat water to 192 degrees Fahrenheit, so you need it as hot as possible.

Turn your Keurig on for about 5 minutes before you press the brew button. This will start the pre-heating cycle and warm the water.

I also recommend running a pod-free cycle. This is where you start a brew cycle without a Keurig K cup in the chamber.

This helps to heat the water and get it closer to optimal temperature when you do your real brew.

6. Use Fresh Grounds

The key to great coffee is using fresh coffee grounds.

Keurigs are filled with grounds and then vacuum sealed with an aluminum foil lid to keep them fresh. This gives them good consistency in every brew.

Check the packaging of your standard cup and look for any damage to the casing or foil lid. If it's damaged, throw the K cup away because the coffee could be spoiled.

If you use your coffee in a reusable K cup, I recommend grinding your own beans. This will keep them as fresh as possible and maximize their flavor.

Most coffee from the store will be fresh, too, so don't worry if you can't grind your own beans. Just make sure you store the coffee grounds properly when you're done.

7. Clean your Keurig regularly

Keurig machines can give you barista-style coffee at home, but only if they are well-maintained.

Cleaning your Keurig brewer every week and descaling it every 3-4 months should keep it working.

Typically, limescale and mineral deposits can cause blockages in your Keurig.

These are caused by hard water, so if you live in a hard water area, you may need to descale your Keurig more frequently.[4]

Cleaning Keurig Water Container

Related Coffee In K-Cups Questions

How much coffee is in a Dunkin' Donuts K-cup?

Dunkin Donuts K cups typically contain 10.5 grams of coffee. That's slightly higher than your average K-cup.

How much coffee is in a Starbucks K-cup?

One K-cup from Starbucks has about 8 grams of coffee. That's less than other brands, but they use bolder coffee blends, so it won't taste weak.

How much does a K-Cup weigh?

The weight of a K-cup is 10-12 grams. Around 8-10 grams of the weight is the coffee, and then the other few grams in weight are the packaging and the paper filter in the cup.

How much caffeine is in a K-Cup?

Each K cup typically has 75-150mg of caffeine, but it varies depending on the brand, and some K cups contain over 400mg of caffeine.

The Death Wish Coffee brand is perfect for anyone with strong caffeine cravings.

How many K-Cups do you need to make a pot of coffee?

Your average pot of coffee is 12-14 cups of coffee or around 60-70 ounces. You, therefore, need about 10-12 6 oz K cup coffees to make a pot of coffee.


Your average K cup contains 8-12 grams of coffee, but it varies depending on the brand of K cup you choose.

Some single-use K cups have a higher volume of coffee grounds, but there are usually no more than 14-15 grams.

Reusable K-cups usually fit around 8-10 grams of ground coffee, though some larger ones can fit more.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand how much coffee is in a K cup, and you now know how it’s used to make your favorite coffee drinks.


Kayla Stavridis

Kayla Stavridis

Kayla Stavridis is the Head of Marketing here at Barista HQ. While keeping up-to-date on the latest trends in coffee, you can find her sipping a cold brew with just a touch of milk on the beach in the afternoon and a Corona with lime in the evening. She is passionate about keeping you informed about what’s new in coffee.

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