15 Best Espresso K-Cups For A Rich Espresso Experience 2020

Top 10 Best Espresso K Cup Coffee Pods for a Rich Experience

For a bold, complex, and flavorful caffeine fix, espresso is hard to beat! It is stronger than your ordinary coffee. 

Espresso, however, is hard to make. From the pressure to the size of the grinds, there are different factors that will come into play.

Thankfully, with the best espresso K-cups, things will be a lot easier. By simply using a compatible brewer, all that you need to do is to load the K-cups, start the machine, and wait until your drink is ready to savor.

With so many options out there, which one provides the best bang for your buck? Read on to find out!

Top-Rated Espresso K-Cups

SF Bay Coffee Espresso Roast 80 Ct Dark Roast Compostable Coffee Pods, K Cup...
Starbucks Blonde Roast Verismo Coffee Pods Blonde Espresso Roast for Verismo...
Café Bustelo Espresso Style Dark Roast Coffee, 72 Keurig K-Cup Pods
Our Score
9.2
9.1
8.7
MSRP
$34.49
$189.99
$31.48
Device Compatibility
Most Kcup style brewers including the Keurig 2.0
Keurig 2.0
All Keurigs
Count
80
72
72
SF Bay Coffee Espresso Roast 80 Ct Dark Roast Compostable Coffee Pods, K Cup...
Our Score
9.2
MSRP
$34.49
Device Compatibility
Most Kcup style brewers including the Keurig 2.0
Count
80
More Information
Starbucks Blonde Roast Verismo Coffee Pods Blonde Espresso Roast for Verismo...
Our Score
9.1
MSRP
$189.99
Device Compatibility
Keurig 2.0
Count
72
More Information
Café Bustelo Espresso Style Dark Roast Coffee, 72 Keurig K-Cup Pods
Our Score
8.7
MSRP
$31.48
Device Compatibility
All Keurigs
Count
72
More Information

#1 San Francisco Bay OneCup

San Francisco Dark Roast

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If you want to enjoy full-bodied, rich, high-quality coffee in an instant, this is one product that should be on your radar.

The dark roast blends notes of dark chocolate and smoky brown spice perfectly, which means it has a strong taste on its own, but you can also use it in lattes, mochas, or cappuccinos.

The pods of SF Bay feature an outer bag and a one-way coffee valve. They are designed for Keurig K-cup brewers, but they are also compatible with brewers from top brands, such as Bunn and Cuisinart.

Using this coffee also means that you will be doing something good for the environment since the pods are made of plant-based material and they come with a compostable ring.

Pros

  • Compatibility with Keurig brewers as well as other top brands
  • Rich flavor
  • Eco-friendly

Cons

  • Might be too strong for some

#2 Starbucks Verismo Blonde Roast Single-Serve Verismo Pods

Starbucks Blonde Espresso

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The mere fact that this is from Starbucks can already give you a good reason to get it over others. 

It is compatible solely with the Verismo System, which has been exclusively developed by Starbucks. It might be seen as a downside, but it’s a system that quickly brews and produces an almost perfect cup of coffee. 

A quick brew and a single-serve coffee is a good combination for those who don’t want to leave their house in the morning without some caffeine in their system.  

High-quality arabica beans used in the making of this blonde roast provide further reason to prefer it. 

It has a softer and smoother flavor compared to a traditional espresso while still being full-bodied. The flavor will complement almost any kind of milk that you want to use in your drink.

If you are not one to stick with the same flavor every morning, you may also give the Starbucks variety packs a try. The pack surely has something that will hook you up.

Pros

  • Quick brew
  • Smooth flavor
  • Good with milk

Cons

  • Compatible only with the Verismo system

#3 Café Bustelo Espresso-Style K-Cup

Cafe Bustelo Espresso Dark Roast

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You are about to have a very important meeting that will start any time now and you’re in dire need of a cup of espresso?

Café Bustelo’s K-cup will brew in under a minute and it won’t lose its bold flavor and strong taste.

The dark flavor of this robust coffee is sure to be a treat for your taste buds. It is made of 100% pure coffee beans without any fillers or additives, so you can be confident of its purity.

Even when you add milk, sugar, or creamer, the rich espresso flavor will still be evident.

The pod is made by a company with more than eight decades of experience in the business, so you can be confident that its taste will be hard to match.

However, you should bear in mind that these K-cups can clog some Keurig machines if they are not cleaned after every use.

Pros

  • Quick brew
  • Robust flavor
  • Compatible with Keurig

Cons

  • Compatible with Keurig

#4 Starbucks Espresso Roast Verismo Pods

Starbucks Espresso Roast

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Domination of the coffee market all over the world by Starbucks is no surprise because they serve great coffee. It’s simple as that.

This one will allow you to enjoy the Starbucks experience even when at home or in the office. 

It has a dark blend and complex flavor, which is made possible with the use of high-grown beans. 

In terms of flavor, you can also expect a hint of sweetness, which balances the bitterness of the espresso.

However, it is also worth noting that some people complain to have tasted burnt chocolate after having this.

Moreover, like the product from Starbucks that was mentioned earlier, it is compatible only with the Verismo System.

Pros

  • A match to the coffee you’d get from a Starbucks coffee shop
  • Complex flavor

Cons

  • Complex flavor
  • May taste like burnt chocolate

#5 Lavazza Espresso Classico Keurig Rivo

Lavazza Espresso

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The maps that show the number of Starbucks stores by countries made quite a circulation on social media, but the interesting part is that there’s only one in Italy. 

If nothing, it’s the perfect evidence of how much trust Italians have in their own coffees, and Lavazza Classico lives up to that reputation.

With notes of tropical fruits, this is one of those that will have a refreshing taste.

It is a medium roast, so you can expect that the flavor will be well-balanced, allowing it to provide the best of both worlds with just the right level of bitterness and sweetness.

On top of that, it features notes of tropical fruits and floral qualities in its making.

Lastly, though, it should be noted that this is made specifically for the Rivo system from Keurig. It will not work on other Keurig models.

Pros

  • May taste like burnt chocolate
  • Perfect for the fans of Italian espresso

Cons

  • Compatible only with the Rivo system

#6 Gevalia Vanilla Latte Espresso Coffee

Gevalia Kaffe

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And now for something completely different: Vanilla-flavored latte espresso roast made of arabica beans.

It has smooth and creamy flavors of luxuriously balanced vanilla. It has an Espresso Roast flavor, but you can expect that it will never be too bitter.

It is even made better by the fact that the kit includes froth packets, which have non-fat dry milk, sugar, and other ingredients that will complement the taste of the espresso.

Making a high-quality espresso drink will be easy with this product, even if you are not a trained barista. Its compatibility with all Keurig machines will make it even easier.

Pros

  • İnteresting blend
  • High-quality beans
  • Compatibility
  • Use of real milk

Cons

  • Vanilla might not be for everyone
  • Expensive

#7 Gevalia Cappuccino K-Cup Pods and Froth Packets

Gevalia Cappuccino

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This is from the same manufacturer as the product that has been mentioned above. 

While the base is still espresso, the main difference is that this one is actually a cappuccino, while the one above is a vanilla latte.

It will allow you to make cappuccino in just two steps. It also comes with a froth packet to easily make cappuccino like a pro.

Like the one above, froth is made using real milk and it gives the coffee a smooth and creamy taste.

Based on the information from the manufacturer, each cup, including the froth packet, only has 91 calories.

Pros

  • Use of real milk
  • Compatibility
  • Quick brew

Cons

  • Expensive
  • We understand that packaging is done rather poorly with this one

#8 Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Vanilla

Green Mountain Espresso Roast

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The products of Green Mountain are 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified, and they are mostly made of high-quality raw material imported directly from South America.

These features will probably attract purist coffee-lovers, and they won’t be disappointed once they taste their vanilla roast.

However, if you are looking for the bitter taste of the traditional espresso, let us tell you that this is sweet and balanced.

It capitalizes on the robust flavor of espresso, which is combined with the subtle sweetness of vanilla, making it the perfect drink for those who hate beverages that are overly bitter. 

It has no sugar or any other artificial sweetener, which will provide a guarantee of its purity.

Pros

  • Compatible with every Keurig coffee machine
  • Quality raw material
  • Balanced flavor

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Might be too smooth for some
  • Not available on Amazon

#9 Brooklyn Beans Express-O Coffee Pods

Brooklyn Expresso

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For purists who love their dark roast coffee, this is another excellent product to consider. 

It is made using 100% Arabica coffee, so you can expect unadulterated flavor in every cup.

It is rich and smoky and features high levels of caffeine, which can be quite overwhelming for those who don’t like espresso or cannot tolerate caffeine.

The company is known for being small, and they take pride in the fact that they brew in small batches, providing assurance that they pay attention to every detail.

Pros

  • Quality beans
  • Very strong

Cons

  • High caffeine levels

#10 Barista Prima Espresso Roast Coffee

Barista Prima Espresso Roast

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Want to enjoy Italian-style espresso while making your own coffee? This is the perfect K-cup for you.

It has a soft and woody flavor with evident hints of chocolate. It is extra bold, so this is for those who like their caffeine fix to be extra-strong.

It is also perfectly roasted, so you can expect that there will be no burnt aftertaste in every sip.

Pros

  • Almost as good as Italian coffee
  • Extra bold flavor
  • Balanced flavor

Cons

  • Expensive
  • High caffeine levels

Can You Make Espresso in a Keurig?

Making Espresso With Keurig

No, you cannot make a genuine espresso using Keurig. This is because making espresso has a set of very specific requirements.

You will need coffee with a fine grind. A tamper is also required to prevent water from being forced in between the grinds.

High pressure and an ideal water temperature are also important components of the process. These things will be possible only with a fully-equipped espresso machine or Nespresso.

Keurig made an effort to compensate with the production of the Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker, which can brew shots. However, despite producing the strength of espresso, it still falls short of meeting the pressure and temperature requirements to make real espresso.

While there are espresso K-cups, including those that have been mentioned above, the drink that will result from any of these machines is not true espresso.

Purists will agree with that! Nonetheless, the flavor and aroma of K-cups are strong enough to resemble what you can expect from an actual espresso.

Keurig Rivo Espresso

While it is indeed true that you cannot make a true espresso using Keurig, you might have a different perspective when you learn all about the Keurig Rivo.

The latter is the company’s convenient espresso maker that functions with the touch of a button.

What makes this unique is that there is already a milk frother including, making it a great investment for cappuccino lovers.

The Rivo will make an espresso using the compatible pods. Nonetheless, the pressure that the espresso is subjected to is still different from the actual process, which is why it is safe to say that it isn’t a true espresso but flavored like one.

How to Make Espresso with Keurig

If you have a Keurig and you want to make a drink that is as close as possible to a true espresso, below are the simple steps you have to follow:

  • Start by filling the reservoir with water. Remember, good coffee starts with good water.
  • Insert the espresso K-cup in your Keurig. Lift the handle in front of the unit and place the K-cup in the slot. Close the chamber.
  • Depending on the model that you have, there is a sign saying that it is ready to brew. In some models, there is a light.
  • Put a mug on the drip tray. Choose the size of the mug on the control panel. There are also some models wherein you have to manually push the Brew button to start.
  • The brewing will now start and the espresso will start pouring on your cup.

Are Keurig Espresso Pods Worth It?

Devoted coffee lovers know how hard it is to make a decent cup of espresso at home.

You need to grind the beans, you need to get the right ratio of water and beans besides other necessary measurements, and you need brewing time, but in the end, you might still not get the taste you have been after because it needs skill, knowledge, and patience.

K-cups are here to eliminate all that, and even if the end-product is not equal to a pure, well-brewed cup of espresso, it will be decent enough for you to want more.

In addition to the standard decency of taste, K-cups also offer convenience in terms of time. You might be late to a class or a meeting but still not want to compromise an intake of caffeine. K-cups will save you a lot of time while providing you with fresh coffee.

Lastly, K-cups have a variety of different flavors, most of them are quite exciting and cannot be pulled off at home in a purist espresso setup unless you are a very experienced and skilled barista.

Considering all these factors, our verdict is that they are definitely worth it, since they are convenient, time-saving, and have various flavor options.

How Do Espresso Pods Fare Compared to Real Espresso?

To get the whole picture and provide you with a thorough answer, we have to look at three main factors.

  • Taste – Espresso pods, however well-crafted they may be, will never be able to live up to the flavor standards of a well-brewed espresso.
  • Convenience – As we have stated above, making a well-brewed espresso requires skillful measurement, patience, and time. It might easily get messy, too, and you might ask yourself if it is worth all the effort. Espresso pods eliminate all that hassle while saving you a lot of time. In the end, in this age, as anyone would agree, time is of crucial importance
  • Performance – Since espresso pods are never able to meet the strength of the real espresso, the performance you get from them will also be no match for the real thing. However, they will keep you caffeinated, and they will do it much more quickly.

Wrap Up

You want espresso, but you want it to be less costly and less messy? More importantly, you want it now?  

Then, you need not worry anymore! With the best espresso K-Cups reviews we offered, you’re that much closer to your ideal choice! Even though the taste may not satiate your thirst for genuine espresso at first, once you experience how convenient it is, you won’t want to bother going for anything else. And that’s without even mentioning the wide array of flavors you’d have on offer.