Drip Coffee Maker Vs Keurig - Which Makes The Better Coffee

Drip Coffee Maker Vs Keurig – Which Makes The Better Coffee

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 13:14

There are many “battles of the brew” in the coffee world as coffee lovers seek to make the most delicious cup of coffee right here. This article is all about the drip coffee maker Vs Keurig battle.

I’ve written this article in a neutral, factual manner and most importantly in an impartial fashion as some people will prefer a drip coffee maker – and there are times when I love a good drip coffee. There are some who will prefer a Keurig K-Cup.


there are times when I have a preference for a Keurig K-cup coffee pod. Good coffee is good coffee.

Who wins? Which is best, when and for whom and why?

To find all that out, you will need to keep reading.

What Is A Keurig K-Cup?

A Keurig K-cup coffee pod machine often referred to as Keurig K-Pod coffee maker is the flagship coffee maker of Keurig Dr Pepper, a company acquired by Green Mountain coffee roaster and renamed as Keurig Green Mountain.

The K-Cup coffee pods need their specialist machine, K-cup brewers to perfectly make and brew the coffee in their single serve, single cup of coffee, hot chocolate and tea pods.

The K-cups are predominantly made of plastic, aluminum and a paper coffee filter. The K-cup pods are filled with tea, coffee, chocolate powder or fruit powder – depending on which one. They are then nitrogen flushed and then sealed with aluminum foil for maximum freshness. Oxygen, moisture and light cannot enter a K-Cup pod.

One of the widespread problems with K-cups is that they are not recyclable. There are some companies addressing this issue with reusable K-cups being made more available.

It would be a plus point if the manufacturer of Keurig machines gave the consumer K-Cup options that included purchasing recyclable or reusable options. The company does need to address the K-Cup environmental issues.

The K-cup coffee makers brew the pods by first piercing the foil cap with a spray nozzle at the same time it pierces the bottom of the coffee pod with a discharge nozzle. The coffee grounds in the K-cup pod are contained in a paper filter. The next step involves hot, almost boiling water which is pressurized and forced through your K-cup pod.

The default brewing temperature is 192F (89C). On some models, you can adjust this temperature to 187F (86C).

There are 500+ varieties of Keurig K-cup options from 60+ brands. All the top 10 coffee brands in the US have Keurig K-pod coffee capsules for your machine, with fruit drinks, teas and chocolate all available.

What Is A Keurig K-Cup
A Keurig K-Cup Machine

Read: How to use K Cup machine

What Is A Drip Coffee Maker?

Automatic drip coffee makers and traditional drip coffee makers are coffee brewing devices that use a drip filter for brewing coffee.

Water is poured into an electric drip coffee machine which then heats up the water before dripping onto a bed of ground coffee.

The hot water then seeps through the grounds absorbing and collecting the ground’s coffee compounds, coffee oils and flavonoids then to the coffee filter, usually a paper filter and then into the coffee pot below.

A paper filter, to note, will filter out the coffee oil while other filter types such as a cotton or cloth filters will not remove the coffee oils. A metal filter will not remove the coffee oils, while a cloth filter will remove only some of the oils.
The coffee oils contribute to the flavor of the coffee and I don’t recommend the use of a paper filter. This is applicable to all brewing methods.
A standard or traditional drip coffee maker makes coffee in a similar way, literally the same process with the exception that the water is not heated by the device. Hot water is poured over the grounds manually.
The average drip coffee maker that you have seen many times before is made of plastic. I am not at all a fan of hot water – for any purpose, being in contact with due the xeno-estrogens and other toxins possibly getting into my beverage, or food. 
What is a drip coffee maker
A Drip Coffee Maker

Drip Coffee Maker Vs Keurig K-Cup: What Is The Quality Of Coffee Like?

This is possibly one of the more important points – which makes the best tasting coffee. Of course, each one will make coffee which will largely depend on the coffee beans that you are using.


the brewing method and technique has a large contributory factor in how your coffee will taste. If you doubt this, try the same coffee with different brewing methods and see how different they taste.

What Is The Quality Of Coffee Like
The Quality Of Coffee Is Good From Both

Keurig K-Cup

Keurig K-cups have hundreds of different options for you, some 500+ and each year there are more added as new companies and coffee makes get into the US$5bn a year Keurig K-Cup market.

Your Keurig coffee pods are sealed for freshness and is pre-ground coffee which is not going to be as fresh as grinding whole bean coffee right before you brew up a cup of coffee.

Then there is the roast question – when were the grounds roasted? Last week? Last month?

You simply don’t know. Coffee is freshest and at its optimum 48 to 72 hours after roasting.

At Latte Love Brew we encourage you to get in on the home roasting revolution and roast your own coffee beans and buy raw unroasted coffee beans.

It is fair to say that, regardless of which K-cup coffee pod you are using, the resulting Cuppa Joe is not going to be a fresh cup.

Another drawback and why I ended up getting rid of and stopped using coffee capsules is the internal filter in the little capsules and pods is the cups of coffee produced are not as full of flavor as they could be due to the paper filter in the pods.

I’m not suggesting K-cups or any coffee capsule based system are not tasty – they are and most certainly can be. I’m just saying they are not as tasty or as fresh as they can be. I’ve used various pods and capsules in a French press, a siphon coffee maker and an automatic coffee maker and got better result due to there being no paper filter to prevent the coffee oils from getting into my cup of coffee.

Yes, I do on occasions, buy K-cups and other pods to make a quick and good cup of coffee using them. Usually I use my French press for that.

The quality of your cup of coffee made with K-cup coffee pods will depend on which brand you use and which flavor, which blend and so on. What I can share with you is the Green Mountain brand, are of better quality than the low cost generic ones.

You can get reusable K-cups and make your own and fill them with your own freshly roasted and freshly ground coffee beans.


The drawback is the size of the cup. With K-cups you can’t really brew a decent sized cup of coffee as they lack enough grounds, even the refillable / reusable ones. It seems that these coffee pod machines use a standard 4 ounces to 6 ounces as their cup size which is 120ml to 180ml. For me and for most people it is on the small size.

Standard coffee makers tend to have an 8 ounce to a 12 ounce size depending on the manufacturer.

Drip Coffee Maker

Drip coffee machines or traditional drip coffee makers do have the advantage of being able to make you a good strong cup of coffee in batches, lots of it and in a more than reasonable amount of time. That said, they are not as quick a Keurig coffee maker, and you will not be brewing up any fancy pre-mixed drinks like an exotic chai tea, a hot chocolate, an apple cider and so on as you would with a Keurig coffee maker.

Making coffee in bulk or in batches is what I like about drip coffee makers, especially when I am working from home. The standard drip coffee pot, a decent sized one, can hold up to 60 ounces and often more. 60 ounces is a good 5 12 ounce (360 ml) cups.

That is more than enough for me and my girlfriend and will last us all day.

Taste wise, well, you can and will get a good fresh cup of coffee brewed with the beans of your choice, and you will know when they were roasted by checking the roasted on date, or, of course, you can roast your beans yourself.

You are limited, though, to just making basic black coffee or black coffee with milk, nothing special.

If you have people coming over or unexpected company, you are best to use a drip coffee maker than a Keurig coffee maker as you might end up spending quite some time making coffee for all your guests.

You will also get the freshest coffee with a drip machine and a good tasting batch provided you use freshly roasted beans that you have ground right before you start your brew.

Drip Coffee Maker Vs Keurig
A Modern Drip Coffee Maker

Brew Time

If you are just switching on your Keurig for the first time or have had it off, then it can take 3 or 4 minutes for the water to heat up and reach the temperature from which it is then ready to brew. After that it will take about 1 minute per pod to make a cup of coffee.

For a drip coffee machine and regular coffee makers, you can expect a cup of coffee to be ready in a similar amount of time. A full carafe may take a little longer, maybe as long as 10 to 15 minutes.

How Are They Different?

The main difference between a Keurig Coffee and a Drip Coffee is the range of different coffees and drinks that you can make and the quality of the coffee.

You can expect to make gourmet coffee of coffee shop quality and the type of coffee that a barista would be happy to serve. Many popular coffee brands sell K-cup pods that you can use to make your coffee at home.

However, the fast brew time and the small paper filter inside the pods means you are not getting the full aroma or oils into your cup.

I’d say the taste is similar but not as good as the well known franchised coffee outlets. These single serve machines can only do so much.

With a drip coffee maker, you are very limited as to the type of coffee drinks and the range of drinks that you can make. In many ways, they are a one-trick pony where this is all they do, make strong black coffee that you can add milk too.

You have no assortment of coffees in a pod, but you can and will enjoy the full aromas of coffee and be able to use any type of ground coffee that you want to. You can, which is my advice, grind your own beans for maximum freshness.

An interesting plus point is you can brew and make your coffee with specialty beans.

There is no café quality coffee with drip coffee.

The Advantages Of A Keurig Machine

The advantages of a Keurig Machine are all centered around the convenience of K-Cups. Some would say that it is all about the coffee pods – and they are spot on – it’s all about the pods.

There is more to a Keurig machine than café-style coffee though.

Here are some of the plus points to a Keurig Machine:

  • No skill required to operate the machine at all.
  • You can consistently make great coffee.
  • They are fast and practical. Almost Instant coffee!

The Advantages Of A Drip Coffee Maker

Naturally, there are advantages of a drip coffee machine, other than being a cool looking semi retro traditional coffee maker that is like a throw back to the 1980s they make a good pot of coffee that can be kept warm all day long.

A lot of the modern versions have a built-in timer and can be programmed to brew just before you wake up. Nice cup of hot coffee ready for you when you rise in the morning is a good plus point.

  • You can use any coffee beans you want.
  • You can have a full-bodied fresher cup of coffee.
  • No plastic waste, better for the environment.
  • Generally speaking, they are cheaper.
  • You can use any filter you want, paper, cloth, metal.

Keurig Vs Drip Coffee Maker: Which Should You Choose?

Which one you choose, be it a K-cup coffee maker or a drip coffee, depends entirely on yourself and what you prefer. You can go for a coffee maker with a clock and timer that makes a full carafe of more than decent coffee and a lot of nice features that have less of an environmental impact.


you can decide on a machine that takes about a minute to make a coffee, as long as you have left the machine plugged in and switched on, and use the re-usable pods and also have a reduced impact on mother nature.

Which to choose in a one Vs the other scenario I’d opt for the Keurig and make my own pods. I’d also aim to get as small a grind size from my grinder to get more grounds in the pod and try and get a decent sized cup of coffee (or I’d use two pods!).

Fortunately, with the Keurig Duo which is a dual K-cup and drip coffee machine, you will get the best of both worlds, and it does not cost all that much more than a regular Keurig K-cup machine.

You don’t need to make an either or type of decision. You have the K-cup facility for special dinner parties and gourmet coffee and drip coffee for other occasions.

Keurig Duo
A Keurig Duo

Frequently Asked Questions About Drip Coffee Maker Vs Keurig

Is Drip Coffee Better Than Keurig?

Drip coffee and drip coffee makers have an advantage over a Keurig K Cup coffee maker where you can brew a large batch of coffee and just enjoy a whole carafe as you are working from home (as I do) or whatever the case may be. Brewing a whole batch is good when you have a dinner party, and it is easy to make coffee for a group of people.

It’s not an either or type of thing as you can enjoy drip coffee and Keurig K cups with a Keurig Duo.

Yes, one of the advantages of a drip coffee maker is the ability to have a large batch of coffee that is kept warm for long periods of time thanks to the thermal carafe or the hot plate.

No, Keurig K-cups are different from drip coffee makers. K-cups and pre-packaged coffee pods that have a small coffee filter and brewed using a jet of hot water. The range of coffee pods available include gourmet style coffee as well as regular coffee.

Drip coffee is very different. The coffee from a drip coffee maker is brewed by spraying hot water over pre–ground coffee beans and then drips through a filter and into the coffee pot below.

Yes, a better option than Keurig is a home espresso maker. With an espresso machine you can make a number of different beverages and have full control over all the variables that affect the flavor.

It is significantly cheaper to use ground coffee than K-Cups. K-Cups can end up being 3 to 4 times the cost of ground coffee on a per cup basis. You can use reusable K-Cups and put your own ground coffee in them and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Nespresso is the biggest competitor to Keurig in the single serve coffee market. For coffee machines out with single serve machines, Bunn is their main competitor.

Frappé-Ing It All Up – Drip Coffee Maker Vs Keurig

When it comes to the batter of the brew between a drip coffee maker Vs Keurig and which to buy, the end result is a draw!

Keurig, the manufacturer, has a machine that combines both a drip coffee maker and a K-cup and thus you can enjoy the best of both worlds. However, only go for this option if you are going to take full advantage of it and use the K-cup coffee pods and make drip coffee.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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