on December 7, 2014
The grind matters. More of a coarse grind works spectacularly well in these cups. I don't claim to be an environmentalist, but a friend and I had a discussion about how much waste K-cups create. For me, that was a factor...but the best part is the SAVINGS these fantastic little cups make. I have had them now for about six months, and can readily say, they hold up to daily use. My family of four makes about eight cups of coffee each day, and I laugh every time I use them, thinking of how much money I'm saving vs. K-cups that are at best, 50 cents each...with these, I estimate that I'm paying closer to 10 cents a cup. I have found that if you are someone who has a grinder (we do - a 10 year old Braun that works flawlessly), and/or you like most of the major brands out there that have a more coarse grind, you'll love these.
Finer grinds WILL jam up the cups, and you'll end up (unfairly) bashing these Brew & Save cups...so stick by the rules, and I PROMISE you'll end up loving them.
Some of the brands that come already ground at your local supermarket that I have tried that work well are:
Dunkin Donuts - Regular, Decaf, French Vanilla
Wawa - Regular and Decaf (for those that are lucky to get this AMAZING, and inexpensive coffee...try it!!)
New England Coffee Company (regular, decaf)
A couple that I tried, that WILL NOT WORK in these cups (the grind is TOO FINE and will CLOG the cups):
Gevalia (shame, because I really like this brand)
illy (also a shame)
If you're careful, you can check most brands simply by rolling the bag around a bit in the stores and listening....if it sounds like a bag full of dust, then don't buy it. If it sounds like a bag of sand, then go for it and give it a try...or better yet, look for some brands that actually indicate whether it's a fine or coarse grind.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO REMOVE YOUR K-CUP standard tray. You just open your Keurig (I use the Cuisinart, which I find to be the best I've ever owned, by a WIDE margin), and put the Brew & Save in just the way you would put a regular K-cup. How does this work without the pin punching a hole in the bottom!?", you ask....well, the cup has notches on the bottom that do not interfere with, or harm the Brew and Save, or the punch-pin in any way. If you look at the picture, there is a little "shoulder" that sticks out from the sides of the top of the Brew and save. Those curved bottom half circles "sit" in the notches of the K-cup holder perfectly every time, so you cannot mess it up. (See my attached photos of the open top, bottom, and the cup sitting in a Cuisinart K-cup brewer. The Keurig brewer has the same tray setup...I've owned both)
Cleanup is easy. I just turn the cup over, run warm water over the open cup, and the grinds fall down the drain. Anyone that knows kitchen tricks knows that coffee grinds are one of the BEST things for a drain. The grinds keep fats and oils from clogging the pipes by "scrubbing them" away, and coffee naturally absorbs odors and keeps the sink and drain smelling nice....so it's a win-win all the way around. The cups have been through my diswasher dozens of times with no signs of wearing, weakening or drying out.
So in summary - Easy to use, pays for itself, great for people that grind their own, or like a custom roast. Simply grind it more on the coarse side, and you'll be as delighted as I am with this simple, yet effective solution for expensive, wasteful k-cups. (Sorry, Keurig, but I still love ya anyway!)
on January 1, 2013
I purchased this at a discount dept store for less than half the price here and couldn't be happier with it! No draw-backs at all. No problem to fill, no problem to use, and no residue in the bottom of my cup with good quality already ground coffee. When finished I rinse them out in the sink and put the grounds down the disposal. I was desperate to save money on the K cups and found my answer in this little gem.
on April 1, 2013
5 - Stars if you use filters: 3 - stars if you do not. The Ecobrew 300 count paper filters work great inside these cups and as discussed below allow additional paths for the coffee to flow through thereby preventing grounds from plugging the screens. The lip built into the paper filter doesn't interfere with the impressive seal on the Brew and Save Refillable Cup. It does not need to be trimmed off as I previously reported; just push it away from hinge area and close the lid firmly.
Being plastic the Brew and Save Refillable Cup is easier to remove from the Keurig than the stainless steel units which conduct heat to your fingers more efficiently and therefore feel hotter. The plastic units are also less expensive.
My first use of this Brew and Save Refillable Cup was fantastic and I was reaching for a five star review. However, every cup after that would plug up the unit resulting in partially filled coffee cups. I even drilled additional holes in the unit to facilitate flow. Switching to a medium grind also did not help and resulted in weak coffee in my wife's flavored coffee. After several attempts I gave up on the B&S and purchased the stainless Ecobrew. While trying to make the Ecobrew function (same problems) I arrived at a system that worked well for both styles of refillable cups. That journey is chronicled below.
The seal on this unit is excellent and prevents the spattering and flow - around common with the Keurig brand refillable cups. With a course grind it might work ok; however to get the flavor I want I have over the years (several decades searching for the "perfect" cup) gravitated to the Melitta system using a fine grind. In addition I now make my coffee half regular/half decaf which drastically restricts my choices.
In making the reusable cups work for me I cut open a K-cup and observed that:
1. It uses a fine grind similar to the Melitta system.
2. The amount of coffee is 2 -1oz scoops for a mug as in the Melitta system.
3. It has a pleated paper filter in the bottom.
I use the coffee as in 1 & 2 above. To mimic the filter I use the paper cup - shaped ones that Ecobrew has for the Keurig refillable K-cups. The pleats on the filter provide a drainage plane so that the coffee can get to the perforations screens without plugging them and will drain to a different location if the first one plugs. This is the same idea as using two layers of building paper in home construction to prevent water penetration; giving it somewhere to drain.
The paper filters are cleanable; popping out of the reusable cup easily. I dump the grounds into the compost bin or garbage (guiltily) and rinse the filter under running water. I find cleaning the filters is easier than finding a new one although at about 3 cents each this is probably not cost effective (OK - I'm weird). Centering the filter on a used K-cup (the screened cups from the Keurig reusable cups work much better) and gently inserting it part way into the reusable cup allows it to dry with the proper shape or be reused right away. The filter last for 4-5 cups; when the flow starts to decrease it is time for a new paper filter.
Two 1oz - scoops fill the cup. Some tapping is required to settle the grounds when using the paper filters; but, until someone makes a paper filter that matches the shape of reusable cup - that is what is.
on April 15, 2013
I had the Solofil for the last 18 months. They worked great, but I like a 20 ounce coffee in the morning and I had to fill the cup twice, now I don't.
The Brew & Save is heavier, and the lid is more secure feeling. After 15 months or so, my old cup lid's hinge was failing so it was time to replace and I wanted to see if there was something better.
So here it is.
1. The price is better, about $4 a cup in the 5 pack.
2. Sits on the counter while I fill it.
3. Easier to clean.
4. Feels more substantial
5. Holds more coffee
I have a drip grind from the store grinder. There is a little settlement at the bottom but not enough to complain about. Over all I recommend this cup over the SoloFil.
After about 9 months of constant k-cup ordering, little plastic cups filling the garbage can and dollars flying out of my bank at light speed... I decided to try a refillable. I still like my donut shop (favorite by coffee people) k-cup but it's nice to have something for backup and to save myself some money.
Aside from the convenience and consistency of the regular k-cup method, there was one more thing holding me back from trying a refillable cup. There are so many negative comments out there about grinds in the coffee, what grind of coffee you might need (not regular drip variety) and spillage issues. I was a little uncertain if it would be worth the trouble to have any or all of these things to worry about.
Well I decided to trust the majority of positive reviews for the Brew and Save and with my Mr. Coffee and a standard grind for auto drip coffee I have not had any of the problems that I was concerned I could be facing. There is no special cup holder adapter to change, filling and cleaning are both fool-proof tasks. There is a fill line marked inside the cup and I go just a little below it and it comes out perfect. Sure it's not the pop in and huck it method you may be used to with standard k-cups but if you want to try a the eco/cost improved method, this brand is a good bet.
The two pack is good for one person because you can have one drying while you use the second one. I like to let them air dry before I use again so if you are buying for more than one person you might as well go for the five pack, it will be more convenient.