Blasphemous as it sounds, this situation can arise. Maybe the Keurig coffee maker decided to quit on you. Or, you find yourself in a situation where you have the K cups but no coffee maker. It’s time to find your way out of this situation and get that sweet caffeine fix.
But can you use K cups in a regular coffee maker? The short answer is no. K cups only work with compatible coffee makers.
There are, however, some tricks and hacks you can use to brew coffee when you have a K cup but there’s no compatible machine. Here’s how.
The Pour Over Method Is Your Friend
Pour over coffee is at the height of its popularity. It’s a great method for brewing amazing coffee. For our current scenario, we’ll use a modified approach to this method. It’s useful for situations where you have no other coffee brewing equipment at hand except that trusty K cup.
We’re going to use the K cup as an improvised pour over coffee maker for this method. Playing to the strengths of the K cup, it’s built-in filter will come in handy!
Fair warning, this is a time-consuming method. And if you’re not careful, it can get messy. Here’s how you can brew your K cup with pour over method.
Step 1: The Necessary Ingredients And Equipment
- K cup
- Two coffee cups
- Hot water
- Sugar or sweeteners (optional)
- Milk or creamer (optional)
Step 2: Empty The K Cup
There won’t be a machine pouring hot water into the K cup, so we’ll have to handle that part ourselves. Remove the foil from the K cup and pour its contents into a coffee cup. Don’t discard or damage the K cup.
Step 3: Preparing The Filter
Carefully use scissors to cut off the base of the (now empty) K cup. The base of the K cup contains its filter, which we’ll need pretty soon. Try to cut as close to the filter without damaging the filter itself.
Essentially, you’re hollowing out the K cup. We’ll use the K cup to be the conduit for coffee flow. It will act as the pour over filter for preparing the coffee.
Step 3: Heating Water
Time to heat some water. Measure your desired quantity of water. It is better to use slightly more water than what you’ll require. Some water will be absorbed by the coffee grounds and some of it will not pass through the filter. Using more water ensures you get a full cup of coffee.
Heat water until it is about to boil. Just before the water boils, remove it from heat. Wait about 20-30 seconds. This way, the water will be at the right temperature for extraction from coffee.
Step 4: Let It Steep
Slowly and deliberately pour water into the cup with the coffee grounds. It’s best not to pour all the water at once. Rather stick to a small, yet consistent stream of water pouring into the cup.
Once all the water has been poured, allow 3-4 minutes for the coffee to steep. You go a minute higher or lower, depending on how strong you want your coffee.
Step 5: Pour And Filter The Coffee
Place the K cup filter we created earlier over the second cup. Pour the coffee-water mixture into the K cup slowly and gently. Remember to be slow enough so that the hot water doesn’t fill up the K cup. You’ll have to be slow and consistent with the pouring.
Go too fast and the hot water will quickly fill up the K cup, making it impossible to hold. There’s always a chance of spillage and making a mess. It pays to be careful. This method might end up taking a lot of time and feel inconvenient. But patience is the only way to make it work!
Step 6: Enjoy The Coffee
As the coffee is done dripping into the cup, it’s ready to go. Discard the K cup. You may choose to add sugar/sweeteners or milk, creamer, or other additives to the coffee. Enjoy your cuppa!
Use A Filter: The DIY Coffee Bag
As the name implies, this method makes use of an additional filter. It is inspired by the tea bag and uses a similar strategy. Of course, this assumes that you have an additional paper filter (or tea bag) available for brewing coffee. The greatest advantage here is that this method is simple and less intensive than the pour over method listed above.
Step 1: Gathering The Necessary Requirements
- K cup
- Paper coffee filter
- A string
- Coffee cup
- Optional additives like milk, creamer, sweeteners, etc.
Step 2: Preparing The K Cup
There isn’t much for the K cup to do in this method. It’s simply the source of coffee. Remove the foil of the K cup so that the coffee inside is easily accessible.
Step 3: Preparing The Filter
Preparing the filter is the major part of this method. Lay the paper filter on a flat surface. Empty the K cup on this filter, preferably at the center.
Now fold the filter so that the coffee grounds are packed securely inside it. Use the string to tie the ends of the filter so that it is secure. There should be no risk of the coffee grounds spilling out. The string can also function as the way to dip or remove the coffee from your cup.
Alternative Step 3: Prepare A Tea Bag
An alternate method here is to use a tea bag in place of a paper filter. Cut one side of the tea bag and remove all tea inside it. Once it is empty, transfer all the coffee grounds inside the tea bag. Use a string to secure the side that was cut so that the coffee grounds don’t fall out. This method is simple and requires minimal effort.
Step 4: Preparing The Water
Heat water to brew the coffee. You can use the same method described in Step 3 of the previous section. The aim is to get the right quantity of water at a temperature best suited for (coffee) extraction.
Step 5: Brewing The Coffee
Add the water to a cup. Now, introduce the coffee bag into the cup and let it brew. It is quite similar to steeping a tea bag. Let the DIY coffee bag steep in the water for 4-5 minutes. You can adjust the time depending on how strong you want your coffee to be.
When the time is done, you can remove the coffee bag. If you want the coffee to be slightly stronger, press the coffee bag gently with a spoon before removing it. This releases some of the absorbed water into the coffee cup. Since this water has spent quite some time in the company of coffee, it will make your beverage stronger.
Step 6: Your Coffee Is Ready
Once the coffee bag is removed, the coffee is ready to drink. At this point, you may choose to add additives like sugar, milk, etc. to your cup of coffee. Discard the DIY coffee bag, and enjoy your coffee!
Brewing K Cup Coffee Without A Machine
K cups only work with compatible machines and cannot be used in regular drip coffee makers. To use K cups in a regular coffee maker, the best way is to remove its foil and empty the contents into the drip machine’s filter. If there is no machine available, you can use one of the methods listed above to brew K cups without a Keurig coffee maker.
These aren’t the best methods, but they’re a great solution if you find yourself in a pinch. No need to give up coffee just because the coffee maker went out of order!