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How Many Times Can You Use Coffee Pods?

by Alex Bider 29 Oct 2020
How Many Times Can You Use Coffee Pods?

So you’ve finally made that greener switch to reusable coffee pods, great decision! But now, you probably have a ton of questions about reusing coffee pods. Are you wondering how many times you can use coffee pods

Perhaps you want to know how to reuse coffee pods without losing your coffee quality. Well, we have good news for you – you’re in the right place.

In the past, coffee lovers had to wait for agonizing durations brewing pots of coffee before they could enjoy a mug of the stuff. Now, with the invention of coffee pods, we can have a steaming cup of coffee in-hand in under one minute. 

No surprise, these coffee pods quickly became the trend in Canada and all over the world. Indeed, the market has experienced an impressive 90% growth in the past decade.

However, this rapid growth raised the issue of sustainability as single-use coffee pods were quickly forming a giant heap of debris. Fortunately, there are now several ways around this problem. One of the most effective solutions is to reuse these coffee pods. How’s that for green and convenient?

Without a doubt, reusable coffee pods are decidedly more sustainable than their single-use counterparts. But, they have raised questions in the minds of coffee lovers trying to make that switch. Is there a maximum number of times you can use coffee pods? Just how many uses is too much for a reusable coffee pod?

In this article, we will answer all these questions and more. We’ll also walk you through how to use reusable k-cup pods. Finally, we’ll share tips to help you maintain the quality of your coffee even while reusing pods. But first, let us examine the impact of coffee pods on the environment.

The Growing Problems of Single-Use Coffee Pods

You don’t have to choose between being environmentally-conscious and a coffee lover. There is a delicate middle area where you can enjoy guilt-free coffee. Hint: you have to reuse coffee pods.

According to worldwide statistics, the growth rate of coffee pods has soared exponentially over the years. In 2014, about 34% of global coffee sales were through coffee pods. Fast forward to 2018, worldwide consumers of coffee pods spent a whooping sum of $3.1 billion. In that year, the coffee pods accounted for almost half of global coffee sales.

While there’s nothing wrong with these numbers, it is the waste that these pods leave behind that worries many. Indeed, the number of coffee pods that end up in landfills every year is enough to circle the world multiple times. If that made you raise an eyebrow, we’re on the same page. Single-use coffee pods are undoubtedly not the best for the environment.

Ironically, coffee pods are one of the more sustainable means of drinking coffee. At least when compared to other methods of brewing coffee, pods come out ahead. However, we can do better for the environment.

Thankfully, people are becoming more conscious of their carbon footprint and its impact on our world. Due to this, an increasing number of people opt to reuse their coffee pods rather than trash it. Indeed, if you can reuse coffee pods multiple times, you’re taking giant steps in the direction of sustainability.

In other words, you enjoy the ease and convenience of coffee pods without significantly increasing the debris in pod landfills worldwide.

You’re probably now wondering, ‘How many times should I reuse coffee pods?’ We’ll get into that shortly. 

But before we dive into various tips to help make your experience with reusable coffee pods enjoyable, let’s take a detour. Let us examine the benefits of reusing coffee pods.

Related article: How To Clean And Maintain Your Coffee Pods Machine

Advantages of Reusable Coffee Pods

Reusable coffee pods are precisely what they sound like – coffee pods you can use multiple times. However, if you’re new to the reusable coffee pod scene, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. 

Well, we’ll tell you. Without a doubt, the various advantages that come with reusing coffee pods are the reason they’ve become so popular. In the next few paragraphs, we will explore some of them. So, keep reading to find out more.

They are more sustainable

One of the essential benefits of reusing coffee pods is that they are more eco-sustainable. You see, billions of coffee pods end up in landfills all over the world. 

In 2018, that number was approximately 56 billion. That is quite a staggering number considering the implications of non-biodegradable materials in your landfills.

This is where reusable coffee pods come into the picture. The fact remains - the best way to reduce and manage waste is to cut down on unnecessary purchases. 

So, when you reuse coffee pods, you eliminate the need to buy more pods. As a result, you reduce the total number of pods that end up in the waste per year and, of course, your carbon footprint.

They are more cost-effective

Many people never realize this, but the cost of buying coffee pods can quickly become a hole in your wallet. For instance, assuming a price of $0.5 per pod, drinking three coffees per day will amount to almost $400 in a year. 

Remember, this number is for only one person. So, if your friends and loved ones share your passion for coffee, that number can easily double or even triple!

On the other hand, by reusing your coffee pods, you need only incur a one-time expense for the pod. Then, all you will need to do is buy a bag of your best coffee grounds (say, $15 per kg) and keep refilling your pod. 

With this calculation, three cups of coffee per day for a year will only amount to a mere $89. You get to save at least $300 per year, which you can channel to other expenses.

You get to enjoy a more fantastic range of flavours

You have to settle for whatever flavour of coffee comes in the pod you buy with single-use coffee pods. This can quickly get very boring, especially if you are a person that enjoys coffee with different flavours. 

However, with reusable coffee pods, you get to choose the blend of coffee grounds that are perfect for you. Moreover, if you want, you may add other ingredients into the pod before popping it into the machine to brew.

You can guarantee that your coffee is always fresh

One of the drawbacks of prepackaged coffee pods is that you never know how fresh they are. You see, coffee pods have a relatively long shelf life. As such, when you buy them, they may have sat in the store for as long as one year. While they certainly will not expire, more often than not, they will not be as fresh as they were at production time.

However, many will argue that you bear the same risk when you buy coffee grounds. But, at least when you buy a fresh bag of coffee, you can control how long it takes to consume it while it’s still fresh.

Now that you know some of the advantages of reusing your coffee pods let’s take a step further. If you’re wondering, ‘how many times should I reuse coffee pods?’ this next part is for you. Read further to discover the rules (if any) that govern the numbers of times you can use coffee pods.

Reusable Coffee Pods: How Many Times You Can Use Them

At this point, you probably already know what reusable coffee pods and the benefits they offer. But, when you buy coffee pods in Canada, just how many times can you use these pods? 

Right off the bat, there is no correct answer for the number of times you can use reusable pods. After all, the initiative behind the invention was for the long-term sustainability of the environment.

Most reusable coffee pods do not have a limit on how many times you can use them. If all goes well, most reusable coffee pods can last for as long as you own them. 

This way, you get to enjoy a lifetime of convenient coffee while reducing your carbon footprint and saving money on the side. However, several factors can influence this longevity.

Here are some of these factors:

The material of the coffee pods

Stainless steel pods typically last longer than their aluminum counterparts. In the same way, aluminum coffee pods are generally more durable than plastic pods.

How well you take care of them

Irrespective of how durable a material is, without proper care, it will eventually lose its integrity. The same logic applies to coffee pods. With good care, you can extend the number of times you use your coffee pods. This includes regular cleaning, washing, and whatnot.

Frequency of use

Depending on how much of a coffee lover you are, you can influence how long your coffee pods last. Although this is usually not a problem, the more frequently you use your coffee pods, the faster it may need replacement.

On the other hand, single-use coffee pods are exactly that – one use, and that's all. However, some people have found that they can use their single-use coffee pods twice before they have to trash it. 

But, there is a drawback to this. More often than not, the quality of the coffee drops dramatically after the first brew. So, if you consider this, it may not be the best idea to reuse such pods.

All in all, the number of times you can use reusable coffee pods is usually infinite. However, they may be some exceptions due to various brand standards. 

But, even in the worst-case scenario, every coffee pod has at least 100 uses in it. Our online store for coffee pods offers various high-quality and durable pods that are sure to meet your requirements. You can check it out here.

That said, let us give you some insight into how to use k-cup pods.

How to Use K Cup Pods: All You Need to Know

When you buy your coffee pods in Canada, you’ve only taken the first step towards enjoying high-quality coffee. Next, you have to brew it. Thankfully, using k cups to brew your daily cups of coffee is a relatively straightforward task.

However, if this is your first time using a Keurig machine. It is understandable how this task can seem a little daunting. In the few paragraphs, we’ll walk you through all you need to know about brewing coffee with k-cups.

Getting your machine ready

If you’re using your k cup coffee machine for the first time, there are a couple of processes you must first carry out. Not to worry, they are nothing complicated.

  • The first thing you need to do is plug your Keurig into a socket outlet.
  • Next, take out the water reservoir and rinse it clean with water. Note: some coffee machine models may have built-in water reservoirs, so you may be unable to remove them. If you have one of such, you will have to clean it by running water through it.
  • After cleaning the reservoir, the next thing you have to do is fill it with clean water. Take care not to fill it past the maximum point.
  • Then, press the power button to turn on the appliance. It should start heating the water automatically. Once it starts, wait for the boiling to stop,
  • Finally, you will have to run an empty brew cycle to clean out the inside of the Keurig machine. Put a mug on the drip tray, open the k-cup holder and then close it back as if you just put in a coffee pod. Then, tap the brew button.
  • Allow the brew cycle to run, and then pour out the water that collects in your mug. Remember, don’t put in a k-cup during the cleaning cycle.
  • Once you’ve done all this, your machine is now ready to receive its first coffee pod.

Brewing your coffee with a k-cup

Now that your machine is ready, let us look at how to use k-cups to get the brown, caffeine-full liquid we all love.

  • Replace the mug on the drip tray. If you want to use a travel mug, you may have to remove the drip tray as only the base will accommodate the cup.
  • Raise the handle on the machine and insert the coffee pod. You don’t need to remove the foil before placing the K-cup. This is because the Keurig machine has built-in needles that puncture the foil during the brew cycle.
  • Once the k-cup is safely in, push down the handle to close the lid. Make sure to completely secure the cover before moving on to the next step.
  • Then, push the brew button and wait for the cycle to finish. It typically takes less than a minute to complete the brewing process.
  • Once the brewing ends (the machine will release a blast of air), your coffee will pour into your mug.
  • There, you’re done! You can now enjoy your mug of coffee.

Reusing the coffee pod

Now that you know you can use some coffee pods multiple times, let us walk you through how to do it.

  • After brewing your first coffee with a recyclable pod, wait for the entire system to cool down. This wait is so that hot water or steam from the coffee machine does not burn when you try to take out the used pod.
  • Once the pod is out, remove the used coffee grounds. You may apply these to a compost farm to minimize waste.
  • Then, fill the reusable coffee pod with your preferred coffee grounds. Make sure to fill the pod to approximately 1mm from the top. Remember, you have the freedom to choose from the extensive array of options that exist.
  • Tamp and secure the lid to the top of the pod. More often than not, your cap will be either silicone, aluminum or stainless steel. Ensure that it packs the coffee grounds tightly.
  • Slot the pod into the machine like you usually will and press the ‘brew’ button. Then, wait for the appliance to run its cycle and pour out your steam cup of coffee.

To reuse your coffee pod, all you have to do is repeat the above steps. Note that this is no limit on how many times you can use reusable coffee pods. So, enjoy it!

Reusing Coffee Pods: How to Make Sure Your Coffee Stays Top-Notch

It usually takes a while for most people to adjust to the idea and usage of reusable coffee pods. In other words, you may have to experiment a bit to get your extraction of coffee grounds to a satisfactory level. 

Not to mention finding the perfect coffee grounds for you. On the bright side, trying different flavours and tastes of coffee can be quite fun. Notwithstanding, here are a few tips to help you shorten your transition curve.

Take good care of your machine

Even with the right coffee grounds, if your pod machine is not in tiptop condition, you may not get the results you want. To ensure your coffee machine keeps producing the best flavours, we recommend cleaning it at least once a week. That is not all. You will have to carry out descaling once every three months.

You’re probably wondering what descaling is. It is the process of removing buildups of calcium and lime on the surface of your machine. 

This will ensure that your appliance can always create an optimum pressure to brew your coffee. With proper care, no matter how many times you use coffee pods, your machine will keep giving you satisfactory results.

Pro tip: Don’t use vinegar for descaling. It never eradicates coffee oils. Instead, opt for a professionally formulated coffee machine cleaner.

Always use fresh coffee

We cannot overemphasize the importance of this point. Although several other factors come into play, your coffee grounds' quality is a significant determinant of the way your coffee comes out. Therefore, it is an excellent idea to invest in fresh, good-quality coffee. At this point, you should also decide on the flavours you want.

More Arabica grinds in your coffee make it rich in flavour, while Robusta will give your coffee that strong taste. Typically, you will need to combine both to get the best results. 

However, the ratio of the combination is subject to your preference. That said, you can check out our online store for coffee and coffee pods. We have an impressive range of products you’ll love.

Choose the right grind size

Another factor that will help you achieve top-notch coffee in pods is the grind size you use. The correct size of coffee grounds contributes to the strength and quality of your cup of Joe. 

As a rule of thumb, fine coffee grinds are generally best for coffee pods – reusable or otherwise. This is because the water will have to ‘work’ harder to get through the grounds, thereby facilitating a better extraction.

If you don’t want the flavour in your coffee as intense, you can use a coarse grind size. Otherwise, go with medium-fine coffee grind size. If you’re grinding yourself at home, we recommend using a burr grinder instead of a blade grinder. With burr grinders, you can achieve a more uniform blend, which results in a stronger coffee.

Use the right pod and lid

Most coffee machines are not ‘one size fits all.’ Therefore, when you buy coffee pods in Canada, you must purchase the one that suits your needs. Otherwise, you may have to endure a lifetime of mediocre, poor-tasting coffee. Or at least until you buy one that works. Once you have this part down, you can use your coffee pod any number of times without fear.

Besides, the lid on your coffee pods also plays a role in determining how your coffee turns out. If you’re using a fine grind size, a filter with more slots will usually work best. 

Conversely, filters with minimal spaces work fine with a coarse grind. For more, you can check out our online store for coffee pods. We offer an exciting array of pods that are both eco-sustainable and effective.

In Conclusion

As with everything else in life, there is a learning curve for proficiency with coffee pods. However, with the right information, you will soon be brewing like a pro. 

Hopefully, we have been able to clear the air on the number of times you can use coffee pods. To restate the facts, a single-use coffee pod is only suitable for that – one use. On the other hand, you can use reusable coffee pods an infinite number of times.

Are you looking to buy the perfect coffee pod for your machine? Check out our online store for coffee pods today!

Related article: How to Save Money on Coffee with Coffee Pods

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