Coffee drinkers worldwide can attest to the greatness found in a cup of coffee. With Keurig’s creation of the K-cup, coffee drinking has never been more convenient or customizable. Keurig created an additional type of K-cup that they modified for iced coffee making to make the process even simpler. Many are unaware of the differences between traditional K-cups and iced K-cups, so we’ve compiled everything you need to know to brew each of them effectively.

Brewing Method

The main contrast between these two K-cup types is the way you brew them. With traditional K-Cups, hot water flows through the coffee pod quickly, creating a balanced cup of coffee without additives. Alternatively, iced K-Cups require a more gradual brewing process, where the Keurig machine will dispense a smaller amount of water to account for the fact that you’re brewing it into a cup with ice. This allows the coffee to brew more slowly, resulting in a bolder, less acidic flavor.

Ground Size

The size of the grounds used in each is also a variance to keep in mind. Traditional K-cups utilize a finer blend of coffee grounds that Keurig intended to go through the brewing process quickly while still extracting enough flavor. In contrast, iced K-cups contain a coarser coffee ground to maximize flavor extraction without using too much water.

Ground Quantity

Likewise, the amount of coffee grounds held within the two cups also differs. Traditional K-cups contain a larger quantity of coffee grounds than iced K-cups because the ground size requires more contact with the water to produce the same flavor extraction. On the other hand, iced K-cups contain just enough coffee grounds to brew a small, yet potent, cup of coffee that is just the right strength when diluted with ice.

Preparation Temperature

Another core difference between traditional K-cups and iced K-cups is the brewing temperature. Traditional K-cups produce the best product at a higher temperature, around 192 degrees Fahrenheit, while iced K-cups brew closer to 169 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower temperature ensures that the coffee doesn’t heat up as much when poured over ice and helps maintain the flavor profile of the coffee blends.

Overall Cup Size

The suggested serving size also varies. Traditional K-Cups can accommodate standard 6 oz or 8 oz cups easily. However, iced K-Cups are better for 12 oz cups with ice. It’s important to note that using an iced K-cup with a smaller cup, or not as much ice, may result in a more concentrated and stronger flavor.

Finding the best brewing technique ultimately comes down to personal preference. Traditional K-cups are the way to go if you’re someone who loves their coffee hot. However, iced K-Cups are worth a try if you prefer your coffee cold and refreshing. Either way, 11th Street Coffee has the perfect set of products for you. We carry coffee and tea brew over ice pods designed to craft your favorite chilled drinks in seconds in addition to our large collection of standard K-cups. Shop with us today to stock up on your top choices at a reasonable price!

December 15, 2023 — Adam Foote