K-Cups are one of the easiest ways to make coffee. Turn on your Keurig, pop in a pod, add water, and you’ve got a hot cup of delicious coffee! But have you ever been curious about the contents of these convenient pods?
You may be wondering how much caffeine you’ll find in a K-Cup, or whether you’re getting your money’s worth of coffee. And what’s really inside these mysterious coffee pods? We’re taking a close look at K-Cups to answer all of your burning questions.
What’s inside a K-Cup?
A K-Cup is more than the coffee inside it. It also has a plastic shell, foil lid, and paper filter. We took apart K-Cups from three brands to get a better look at the contents — so you don’t have to waste your precious coffee! Here’s what we found:
To understand what’s inside regular K-Cups, we compared two brands: the Keurig Starbucks Sumatra blend and the Rude Awakening blend.
When we peeled back the foil lid of a Keurig-brand Starbucks Sumatra K-Cup, we found finely ground coffee, a glued-on paper filter something like a cupcake liner, and a small plastic filter in the bottom.
Inside the Rude Awakening K-Cup, we found finely ground coffee and a glued-on paper filter made of a slightly different material.
Both had about the same amount of ground coffee — and the biggest difference was the plastic filter found only in the Keurig K-Cup.
Compostable Glorybrew K-Cup
As for the compostable Glorybrew K-Cup, there’s not much mystery. You can see the major elements from the outside, which is because it’s compostable. The lid is made of paper, attached to a bio-based ring. The grounds are held in by a paper filter — and there’s no cup to speak of.
In all three brands, we were amazed at the amount of coffee that came out. The vacuum-sealing process packs a lot of coffee into these small cups. It’s something like tamping for espresso — which makes sense when you think about the Keurig brewing process.
How much does a K-Cup weigh?
The average K-Cup weighs between 12 and 16 grams or 0.4 to 0.6 ounces. The packaging accounts for only about 3 grams (0.1 ounces) of that weight. If you opt for a lightweight brand like GloryBrew, that amount is even smaller — only a gram or two.
How much coffee is in a K-Cup?
Most of the K-Cup’s weight comes from the coffee grounds, which is great news in terms of value. Who wants to spend a lot of money on the packaging that heads straight for the trash or recycling bin?
The average K-Cup has 9 to 12 grams (0.3 to 0.4 ounces) of ground coffee. The actual amount inside your K-Cups depends on which brand you buy.
You’ll also find slightly more coffee in dark roast K-Cups — so if you want the most bang for your buck, you may want to stick to robust blends. And keep in mind that if you like your coffee exceptionally strong, you may end up using more than one K-Cup to make a single cup of coffee.
How much caffeine is in a K-Cup?
Okay, so that’s how much coffee is in a K-Cup, but what about the good stuff, caffeine? It depends on which type of K-Cup you buy, but the average K-Cup contains 75 to 150 milligrams of caffeine. A decaf K-Cup will have negligible amounts of caffeine, while an extra-strong pod could have quite a bit more.
How much coffee should you put in the reusable Keurig My Cup?
The My Cup allows you to use any ground coffee you choose — but you need to know how much to add. The good news? This is easy to figure out, and you don’t even need to measure! Just fill your My Cup to the MAX line.
The Bottom Line
So how much coffee is there in a K-Cup? More than you might think! Ground coffee makes up most of the weight of a K-Cup. Along with around 10 grams of coffee, you’ll find a foil lid, a paper filter, and maybe a plastic filter inside your K-Cups.
Now you know how much coffee is inside a K-Cup — and what else is in there, too! We hope this guide helps you understand what you’re buying and drinking. K-Cup coffee can be a tasty and affordable option, and it certainly pays to be informed.