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K-cups are really one of the easiest ways to make coffee. Even if you’re already using them, though, you may not know what’s in your K-cup. In particular, I’m sure we’ve all asked this question: how much coffee is in a K-cup?
On average, a K-cup has 9–12 grams of coffee. The amount of coffee in a K-cup can vary depending on the brand of the K-cup and the coffee blend. Bolder blend K-cups usually have more coffee than regular ones.
In this article, you’ll learn all about what’s in your K-cup. That includes how much coffee is in a Keurig pod, the amount of caffeine in a K-cup, and more. Brew a cup, sit back, and enjoy!
How Do K-Cups Work?
Before we get into the details about the coffee and caffeine content of Keurig pods, let’s take a quick look at how these K-cups work.
A K-cup is a little plastic cup that is used to make a single serving of coffee. Inside that cup, there is a filter that contains the ground coffee.
The Keurig machine punctures the top and bottom of the K-Cup lid using two needles (or more than two for my favorite Keurig, the Keurig K-Supreme Plus Smart). Water then flows into the K-cup, passing through the filter. The water picks up that caffeinated goodness from the grounds, and coffee flows to your cup—leaving the used grounds behind. There’s a lot more to how Keurigs work, but that’s how K-cups turn into a deliciously simple cup of coffee.
(Note: K-cups are the trademarked product of Keurig Green Mountain. Keurig has also partnered with brands like Folgers and Starbucks to produce branded Keurig pod varieties.)
How Many Tablespoons of Coffee Are in a K-Cup?
In general, there are around two tablespoons of coffee in a K-cup. The exact quantity of coffee can differ, though, depending on the brand and the type of blend.
The table below shows the typical amount of coffee in a K-Cup for different blends of coffee:
|K-Cup Roast Type||Amount of coffee|
|Light roast (and breakfast blend)||9–9.5 grams|
|Medium roast||10–11 grams|
|Dark roast (and extra bold)||11–12 grams|
How Many Cups Of Coffee Does a K-Cup Make?
Generally, you want to use 1–2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water, according to the National Coffee Association USA (NCA). But that is really just a general guideline. The perfect coffee-to-water ratio depends on your coffee taste preference and the grounds you are using.
Remember: There are roughly two tablespoons of coffee in a K-cup. While most Keurig models have multiple cup sizes, K-cups are designed primarily for a six- or eight-ounce coffee cup. Long story short: you can make just one cup of coffee using a K-cup.
Depending on how strong you like your coffee and the coffee size you are brewing, you might be able to get a second cup of coffee out of your K-cup—but I wouldn’t recommend it in most cases.
One of the big differences between the K-Select vs K-Elite was the introduction of the 4-ounce brew size on the K-Elite. That’s the only Keurig cup size that you can brew two servings of from a single K-cup without losing too much flavor.
How Much Caffeine Is In A K-Cup?
On average, there are about 75–150 milligrams of caffeine in a K-cup. However, this can vary depending on the brand and roast level of your K-cup coffee.
Dark roast K-cups generally have more caffeine than lighter roasts. Decaf K-cups should have little to no caffeine. Some of the strongest coffee K-cups, meanwhile, have 400 milligrams of caffeine or more. That’s 4x as much as a standard cup of coffee!
How Much Coffee Do You Put in a Reusable K-Cup?
Most reusable K-cups are designed to be filled 90% full of coffee, leaving enough space for the lid to close properly. That should be about two tablespoons of grounds for most refillable K-cups.
Be careful not to overfill your reusable K-cup. If the lid doesn’t shut properly, it can cause coffee to leak out during the brewing process. That’s especially true of low-quality refillable Keurig pods, but it can even happen with some of the best ones like the Keurig My K-Cup.
More K-Cup Goodness
In case you skipped here for your answer: K-cups usually have 9–12 grams of coffee, depending on the blend and brand you use. And these K-cups have an average caffeine content of 75–150 milligrams.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your Keurig coffee, be sure to check out how the Keurig Strong button works. That tiny button revolutionized Keurigs, turning weak brown liquid into a delicious brew. I’d also suggest my ultimate guide to buying K-cups if you want to find your new favorite K-cups.