I’ve written about less-wasteful alternatives to the single use K-Cups used in Keurig K-Cup brewers. Each allows you to use your own coffee with the Keurig brewers. There are two routes.
One is to reuse a used K-Cup. I described step-by-step how you can refill used K-Cups, which is rather labor intensive. I also wrote a detailed review of the the My-Kap Kaps for Keurig K-Cup Brewers, a lid that fits on a used K-Cup. This does cut down on the labor of refilling a bit, but either way, you can only reuse a used K-Cup a limited number of times, and eventually it ends up in a landfill.
The other route is to use a device that takes the place of the K-Cup. Up until recently, the only option was Keurig’s own refillable filter basket, the My K-Cup reusable coffee filter. You can read my review of it here. Then along came the EZ-Cup By Perfect Pod. I have not tried this particular product, as some reviews indicated it could be a bit fiddly, and it also requires the use of proprietary paper filters, which did not appeal to me. Perfect Pod also makes a pod holster that allows consumers to use other brands of single-use coffee pods in Keurig brewers. Given that most other brands of pods are made from cheap coffee by the big corporate coffee roasters (Senseo = Sara Lee, Tassimo = Kraft), that isn’t even an option in my book.
Now we have another K-Cup replacement. The Solofill Cup, Reusable coffee filter cup. This invention appears to have resolved a number of the shortcomings of other methods.
- The Solofill drops right into the Keurig brewer’s holder, just like a K-Cup, so there is no need to remove the filter holder assembly, as required by the My K-Cup (which is an inconvenient step).
- The lid is attached and the stainless steel basket is integrated. With this one-piece design, no parts should go missing.
- The whole she-bang is dishwasher safe.
- The plastic is recyclable. It’s made from BPA-free plastic, which the My-Kap is apparently not.
- It’s “self-tamping” and water is dispersed through the coffee, versus just being shot through a single hole, as in most other alternatives.
The Solofill holds roughly 11 grams of coffee. This is about the same amount of coffee that is in an “extra bold” K-Cup, and so may also satisfy people who find regular K-Cups produce weak coffee. Or, to look at it another way, the Specialty Coffee Association of America, recommends 10 grams of coffee per 6 oz cup. Obviously, how the coffee turns out also depends on the brew size setting of the Keurig brewer — for the Solofill’s 11 grams the brewer should be set to brew a 7.25 oz cup, or even 5.25 oz (brewers vary in their brew size settings). For the sake of comparison, I found that the My K-Cup holds right around 14.5 to 16 grams of coffee.
The Solofill is compatible with 11 Keurig brewer models, two Brevilles, and one Mr. Coffee. However, an enterprising user has provided a simple modification for the Solofill that allows it to be used with Keurig models that would otherwise result in leakage.
I’ve not had a chance to test the Solofill yet, but it is getting excellent reviews on the Single Serve Coffee forums. If you have a Keurig brewer and give this product a try, please remember to fill it with sustainably-grown coffee, and feel free to leave your impressions in the comments.