CONSUMER REPORTS: K-cup Coffee Alternatives

Single-serve coffee makers are quick, fast and convenient, but the cost of pods add up.  Alternatives to the traditional K-cup or pod promise to reduce costs. Consumer Reports just checked out three that let you use your own coffee.

Desiree Ferenci of Consumer Reports said testers looked at how much it would cost to brew one cup of coffee per day for a year.

"With K-cups, that's about $220 to $275."

In addition to costs, testers also looked at convenience, brew time and taste.  First up, Simple Cups. They claim its "a fraction of what a K-Cup will cost."  Fourteen dollars will buy you a pack of 50 disposable cups, filters and lids.

"When you add in the price of coffee, it is less--about $185 per year."

But testers found the cups are hard to close, and brew time was a little longer than the traditional K-Cup.

Next, the reusable EZ-Cup for $13, plus about $8 for 50 of its biodegradable filters. With coffee, it works out to about $135 a year.

But the EZ-Cup wasn't much easier to use than the Simple Cups.  So, how did the coffee taste? In tests, using the same coffee, all three delivered similar results.

In the end, My K-Cup--Keurig's K-Cup adapter was the clear winner.  Testers found it was easiest to use. And once you purchase the reusable My K-Cup for $18, your only expense is coffee, an estimated $80 a year. That's a big money saver.

Another plus with the Keurig's My K-Cups--they're a lot easier on the environment than the original K-Cups and other pods.  Consumer Reports also recommends the Cuisinart SS-300 Compact Single Serve for $130.