How To Use A Reusable K-Cup? (Steps To Follow & Expert Tips)

I need coffee to function, but I was spending a fortune on disposable K cups.

At first, I resisted switching to a reusable K cup because I thought it would make brewing more challenging. But that's not the case, and it's actually a really simple way to make great coffee.

In this guide, I'll show you how to use a reusable K cup to brew a delicious cup of coffee in 8 simple steps. This will help you save money and become more environmentally friendly.

There are lots of reusable K cups out there, and you need to find one that works with your Keurig coffee maker.

Once you've bought your reusable K cup, here's what you need to do.

1. Remove The Adapter (If Applicable)

Some reusable K cups (particularly the Keurig My-K-Cup) have had an adapter on the outer casing.

This allows you to use it in Keurig 2.0 models (like the Keurig Supreme). Remove the grey adapter if you’re not brewing with a Keurig 2.0 model.

If you're using a smaller filter pod, you may not have an adapter to remove.

2. Remove The Lid

Your reusable K cup will either have a hinge or twist lid. If it has a hinge, pop it open.

It has a twisting mechanism; turn it counterclockwise until it comes loose. Look for an unlock symbol on the top to indicate the lid is loose.

3. Fill The K-Cup

Measure out coffee grounds and carefully pour them into the reusable coffee pod. Don't go above the fill line, or it could cause a leak when you turn the coffee machine on.

4. Seal The K-Cup Lid

Place the lid back on top of the reusable K cup. Twist it closed until you see the lock symbol, or close it tightly if it has a hinge mechanism. Make sure it’s completely secure.

5. Remove The Keurig K Cup Holder (Optional)

Keurig coffee makers have a built-in K cup holder. If you're using a smaller reusable K cup, then it may slot right into this K cup holder.

However, if you're using a larger reusable K cup (like the Keurig My-K-Cup), you need to remove it.

Check whether your reusable K cup fits. If it doesn't, push up from under the brew head to remove the K cup holder.

6. Load The K Cup Into Your Keurig Machine

Lift the handle on your Keurig to open it up, set the K cup inside and align the arrows on your Keurig coffee maker and K cup. Lower the handle to close your Keurig.

7. Make Your Brew

Load up the water reservoir and place your mug (or travel mug) under the brew head. Choose your size, and let your Keurig run through the brew cycle.

Let your reusable cool off for a few minutes, then remove it from the holder.

Tap the K cup lightly against your surface to loosen the grounds, then remove the lid and empty the grounds into the compost bin.

Never pour your ground coffee beans down the drain because they could clog your pipes.

8. Clean Your K-Cup

Rinse your K cup to remove any residual grounds and leave it to dry. Wash your K cup once a week, either by hand or in the dishwasher.

Make sure you put it on the top rack to get it fully clean.

Not all reusable K cups are dishwasher-safe. Check the individual K cup instructions to avoid damaging the device.

Refilling Reusable K-Cups With Coffee

What Exactly Is A Reusable K-Cup? (An Overview)

Reusable K cups are coffee pods that can be used multiple times. They offer a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to make K-cup coffee at home.

All Keurig brewers are slightly different, but most reusable K cups will fit every Keurig coffee maker.

Make sure you check the compatibility of your reusable K cup to ensure it will fit in your Keurig machine.

Reusable K cups are typically either made from BPA plastic or stainless steel.[1]

Plastic reusable K cups are cheaper but less durable.

Stainless steel reusable K cups are longer lasting but more expensive (though they are usually the more affordable option in the long run).

All reusable K cups are slightly different and come in different shapes and sizes. However, they will all have three key parts:

A filter basket or filter holder

This is the outer casing of the reusable K cup that you load with coffee grounds when you prepare your coffee.

Mesh filter

This filter sits inside the filter basket and allows hot water to pass from the Keurig over the grounds and into your cup. It should keep the ground coffee out of your coffee.

Mesh filters are typically made from stainless steel or other metal, though some brands even use gold plating on the K cup’s filter.

The size of the filter will vary. A standard filter will keep out a medium coarse grind size but will let fine grinds pass through.

If you’re brewing with a finer grind of coffee, you need a filter with smaller holes.

Cap or lid

This is on the top of the reusable K cup and connects to your coffee maker. The hot water enters through the lid and passes through the ground coffee beans.

Lids are usually either hinged or twisted off.

You'll need to remove it to load your own ground coffee into the reusable K cup and then seal it up again before you put it in the Keurig machine K cup holder.

Adding Coffee To Reusable K-Cups

Exciting Benefits That Make Reusable K-Cups Worth It!

Your Coffee Will Taste Great

One of the many benefits of reusable K cups is that they give you fresher coffee than a standard K cup.

A regular disposable K cup has ground coffee that has been loaded weeks or months in advice. This can taste great, but even the best K cups aren't as fresh as you can make at home.

With a reusable K cup, you can use truly fresh coffee. You can grind your own coffee beans to get the perfect grind size and freshest brew.

By using these fresh coffee grinds in your reusable K cup, you get a fresher cup of coffee to enjoy.

Just note that your grind size may also depend on your particular reusable K cup.

I have found that some of these devices require a courser grind, or else I end up with a cup full of coffee grounds.

It Helps The Planet

Most K-cups aren’t biodegradable and are difficult to recycle. In fact, around 30,000 single-cup coffee pods end up in landfills every day![2]

A reusable K cup is more environmentally friendly and helps limit your carbon footprint.

They let you make coffee in a more sustainable way because you don't throw them away; you just store them until next time.

So you'll reduce the waste you produce, which is better for the environment. It's an easy way to make your home more eco-friendly.

Money-Saving Madness!

A great benefit of reusable K cups is that they can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

The average K cup costs $0.40-$0.90 per single-use pod. If you drink 3 K cups daily, that can be over $2.50 spent on coffee every day, and over $17 a week! 

A reusable K cup will cost anywhere from $2-$20. It does cost more upfront, but you'll save a lot of money in the long run by purchasing a reusable K cup.

Consider the fact that the best reusable K cups can last a lifetime, and you can quickly see how cost-effective using a reusable K cup can be.

It's Convenient

Reusable K cups are more convenient because you don't need to continuously stock up on K cups.

You just need some ground coffee, and you can make any coffee you like at home using a reusable K cup.

It Lets You Control Your Brew

There are a wide variety of K cups to choose from, but when you use a reusable K cup, you have complete control.

You can choose the type of coffee, customize the grind size, and change the coffee strength and flavor by changing how much coffee you use.

Add more coffee grounds for a stronger cup of coffee, and use fewer coffee grounds for a weaker cup of coffee. It's all in your control, so you can make your brew your way.

Top View Of Reusable K-Cups On Table

How To Fill A Reusable K-Cup With Coffee? 

K cups make concentrated coffee, so you don’t need too much ground coffee.

I recommend you start with about 10 grams (or 2 tablespoons) of ground coffee for each brew. This will give you a full-bodied coffee regardless of the size you choose.

Once you get more experienced with your reusable K cup, you can experiment. You can add more coffee if you prefer strong coffee or less coffee if you like it weaker.

You can also experiment with different grind sizes. A finer grind will give a stronger coffee taste, and a coarser grind will give a weaker coffee.[3]

Just remember, don't overfill your reusable K cup. Stick to the fill line, or you may cause spills and leaks. I may have discovered this the hard way.

Tips For Using Reusable K-Cups In Different Machines

Keurig 2.0

  • The Keurig 2.0 is not compatible with all K-cups because it scans them differently. Make sure you use a compatible reusable coffee pod, like the Keurig My-K-Cup, or it won't work.
  • The Keurig 2.0 needs a specific adapter to secure the reusable K cup in place. The Keurig My K-Cup has this as standard, but you may need to buy it separately for other models.

Keurig K Cafe

  • The Keurig K Cafe has ‘multi-brew’ technology and 5 needles in the brew head to pour hot water through single-use pods. If you are using the Keurig My-K-Cup, you need to remove the red stopper from inside the lid. This will allow water to flow into the reusable pod properly.
  •  If you use a Keurig My-K-Cup, you can use the Keurig K Cafe to make different coffees, including an espresso shot.

Keurig Compact

  • Make sure the needle is aligned between the Keurig Compact and the pod. It’s easy to damage this Keurig machine, so don’t force it closed. Adjust the coffee pod until it aligns and fully closes. This is the same for the Keurig Mini Plus too.
  • Some warm water may leak out the top of your reusable K cup after brewing. A little water is normal, but stop using it if you notice it is leaking heavily.

Keurig Duo

  • If you are using a new Keurig My-K-Cup universal, remove the grey adapter before inserting it.
  • Line up the white line on the reusable K cup to the Keurig Duo so it locks in place.

Keurig Elite

  • If you are using a standard reusable coffee pod (like the Perfect Pod purple reusable K cups), you don't need to remove the basket from the Keurig Elite; it will fit right in.
  • Ensure you align the needle properly with the coffee pod to get the desired brew. Don't force the Keurig to close, or it could damage the machine.
  • You can set the Keurig Elite to brew iced coffee, which is beneficial in summer.

Keurig Slim

  • For larger reusable K cups, you will need to remove the needle basket. Perfect Pods and other popular alternatives will slot right in, but the Keurig My-K-Cup won't.
  • Remove the red stopper from the lid of the Keurig My K-Cup before you brew.
  •  A small amount of hot water may leak from the Keurig Slim. This is normal, but stop using it if you notice a lot of water.
  •  Use a medium/fine grind in the pod to stop water from clogging and leaking when you brew coffee.
Reusable K-Cups With Coffee Filter

Common Reusable K-Cup Questions

What is the best grind size for a reusable K-Cup?

A medium-fine grind is best in a reusable pod. This gives you strong flavor but limits the risk of the grounds clogging and causing a leak in your kitchen.

Can you use regular coffee in a reusable K cup?

Yes, you can use any ground coffee you want in your K cup.

Do reusable K-Cups need filters? How does it work?

Reusable K cups have mesh filters built in. However, you can add a paper filter to stop any sediment from getting through into your coffee. It can also make cleaning easier as all the grounds are in the paper filter. Just make sure any paper filters fit properly and don’t cause leaks.

How many times can you reuse a reusable K cup?

That depends on the K cup you buy. If you buy a high-quality reusable K cup, it should last several years. If you buy a cheaper, less durable reusable K cup, it may only last 6-12 months.

How often should you wash a reusable cup?

You should empty your reusable K cup and rinse it out after every use. You should give it a deeper clean once a week by putting it in the top rack of your dishwasher or cleaning it with a soft sponge.


Your reusable K cup will save money and make your household more environmentally friendly. Plus, it will make coffee even more convenient when you know how to use it.

Hopefully, this guide has shown you how easy reusable K cups are to use so you can stop buying new K cups and start brewing cost-effective coffee.


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.

Leave a Comment