145 of 166 people found the following review helpful
ByCraig M. Schmidton September 7, 2011
I am not sure if i like these things or not. As of this writing I have not been able to make a cup of coffee equal to the pre-made k-cups. Its either too strong or too weak. Usage wise it is fine. very easy to clean. top stays shut. it fits fine in our machine. I think these little devices are very sensitive to the grind level. The say use drip grind but that has not been easy to find. I am not giving up on it but as of now I cant give it a high rating.
This Ecobrew reusable Keurig K-cup is great for brewing your own coffee. It seems to have been very well designed and is easy to use. One of the things I felt bad about when I bought my Keurig coffee maker was the fact that although it was a great convenient coffee maker... it does tend to produce lots of waste when you buy the disposable k-cups. I think this product also ends up saving you lots of money in the long run too. K-cups can be quite expensive. I really love this product and I really can't find anything bad to say about it. There is another product called the Solofill that essentially does the same thing but is made from another company. I own both products and if you're curious to how they stack up against one another, check out the paragraph below. You may want to do research to make sure that your Keurig coffee maker is compatible with the EcoBrew or Solofill. I know that some K-cup coffee makers are not compatible with these products. I own the MR. Coffee single K-cup coffee maker and can say that it's compatible with both of these products. If you want to know more about the Mr. Coffee Keurig coffee maker, feel free to read my review on that as well :)
EcoBrew VS Solofill
First off, I'd like to state that I purchased both the Solofill and the Ecobrew. Both of these products are really great reusable Keurig filters that let you brew your own coffee in a Keurig coffee maker. These essentially let you make your own K-cups with your own coffee... and they're reusable! I would rate the Solofill as 4.5 Stars out of 5 and the Ecobrew as a 5 out of 5 Star Product. The Ecobrew is a bit better than the Solofill because it is easier to rinse out. The Solofill tends to collect grinds at the very bottom and it's very hard to get the few last grinds out. The Ecobrew also fits better in my Mr Coffee single cup K-cup brewer. The Ecobrew seems to have a slightly larger capacity for coffee grinds too, which may mean it's capable of brewing slightly stronger coffee. And lastly, the Ecobrew has a flat bottom that can sit on a counter top by itself. This makes it much easier to fill than the Solofill. With the Solofill, it couldn't be balanced on a table-top so I had to cut out the bottom of a small dixie cup to make my own "stand" in order to fill it properly.
When first ordering a couple of ekobrew cups, I had high hopes that they would make my recent hand-me-down Keurig B44 a viable alternative to my Cuisinart drip machine. But, my hopes were quickly dashed upon first use. The second cup wasn't much better. Third time's a charm, right? Wrong. Things were just not good.
I experienced many of the same problems that are mentioned in other reviews: leaky, messy brew, and weak coffee. I was pretty disappointed in the prospects of my new Keurig adventure, but was also determined to make this work and, after some experimentation, I did. The solution is a tiny washer.
If you look inside the upper clamshell of your Keurig machine, you'll see the injector needle that punctures the top of standard k-cups. Around this needle is a gasket that presses against the top of k-cups to form a seal. This gasket is the problem. It does not put enough pressure on the cap of the ekobrew to form an adequate seal, causing water and coffee to spew out from the cap. To fix this, slide the gasket down and off of the injector needle (use caution as the needle is sharp), slide a washer up onto the needle, then slide the gasket back on. Your leaky, messy brew should now be a thing of the past.
The washer hack also made my coffee noticeably stronger, but additional solutions may be required to satisfy your desired strength. Prior to putting in the washer, I began tamping the coffee in the ekobrew cup. That helped, and I still continue to tamp even after the installation of the washer.
The washer I used is rubber, 1/16" thick, 5/32" inside diameter, and 3/8" outside diameter. Specifically, I used a washer from Lowes with item number 136493.
Seriously, I love my Keurig. I love the convenience and the coffees. But what I don't love is buying $50 dollars worth of coffee every month. I tried the filter that Keurig gave me with my Platinum B70 model and it made my awesome Guatemalan Coffee I used to brew the "old fashion way" into a watered down mess no matter how fine I ground the bean or how much I reduced the cup size.
I was skeptical about buying another kcup filter when I saw this offered on Amazon, but the video add on the ekobrew website had me sold. I bought the ekobrew Cup before it was available for sale with high hopes, and it has totally lived up to my expectations! My freshly ground coffee tastes better than any Kcup I have ever had! I forgot how good some of the beans I bought were. No Joke. If you are like me and have a few roasts of beans you just love and don't feel like breaking the bank trying every kcup under the sun to find blends that please you then get it. You won't be sorry.
The only negative part is you have to rinse it out but that is no big deal. Just pop the top and tap it on the sink and the grinds come out then rinse. No scrubbing or anything. I may buy another to have one handy to fill while the other is brewing since I make about 3 Kcups worth of coffee in the morning to fill for two travel mugs for the wife and I. THANK YOU ekobrew!
I've been using the regular Ekobrew refillable k-cups for a while now and for the most part been satisfied with them. They've had to be replaced periodically because after a while the plastic 'hinge' breaks. Also, the silicone ring has been known to break (or mysteriously disappear), but then we use them a LOT here so I still would consider them durable overall considering the amount of use they get. They work well and are BPA free so I was happy enough with them. But I do try to cut down on plastics if I can.
When I saw the stainless steel refillable k-cups I felt this would be a better alternative for me to the all-plastic version and possibly alleviate the hinge breakage problem. This set comes with a metal coffee scoop which we also needed, so it was just what I was looking for. The scoop is not marked 'stainless' though I believe it is, and it has a very convenient clip attached so it won't get lost. :)
The stainless steel cups are shaped so that the pin in the Keurig that would normally pierce a k-cup doesn't get damaged when the cup is placed in the Keurig properly. These cups do not have screens - they have tiny holes on both sides and at the bottom of the cup for easy coffee flow.
Like the standard Ekobrew refillable k-cups, you do not have to remove any pieces from your Keurig to use them. Just drop in the k-cup holder like you would with a regular k-cup. These cups are the same size as the standard Ekobrew refillables. I am using them in the Keurig B60.
The only plastic is on the inside lid and the small side 'handles', as shown in the pictures.
We use a regular coffee grind and what I have found is that with these cups there is almost no coffee 'silt' at the bottom of my cup (though if you use a finer grind your mileage may vary). You can actually drink that last sip! lol
The hinges are metal so I am hopeful with our regular use they will outlast the plastic refillable cups we have been using.
There is no Fill Line inside these cups. If you rely on that to make your coffee, you may have to use the scoop as a guide. I use 1 scoop for my coffee - my husband uses 1-1/2. No problems brewing either way. The scoop is standard size and holds 1 level tablespoon of coffee.
If you usually just tap out the grounds from your k-cup after making your coffee, you may find these need to be rinsed out almost every time you use them. The holes are very small and do not release the wet grounds as easily as the regular refillables do.
So far I am happy with this stainless set as they seem to be of good quality, though I'm still leary about the durability of the silicone rings on Ekobrew cups as that has been an issue before. If the ring holds up I will not regret having spent more money on these, especially since I am also cutting down on the plastics in my home and that is important to me. If you don't rely on a fill line to make your coffee and you like the idea of cutting back on plastics, I think you will like this set. :)
I've used Keurigs for about 7 years (before home models were being made) and reusable filter for 2 years). Here's what you need to know:
USE REUSABLES These are better than disposables for a few reasons: 1. can get the coffee and/or blend of your choice - not limited to what comes in k-cups 2. costs much less per cup 3. less waste created / environmentally friendly 4. downside is inconvenience, but see HOW TO USE below for lessons learned from a veteran
WHICH ONE TO GET Ekobrew is the best design. I've used solofill, Keurig's my k-cup, and ekobrew. All work ok but:
1. My Kcup has more parts to clean, leaked more grinds into the coffee too.
2. Solofill is good but not quite as good as ekobrew. Side walls and water distributor on ekobrew is better. And with the flat bottom, the ekobrew is easier to clean. Coffee grinds get annoyingly stuck in the bottom of the solofill, whereas the Ekobrew can be rinsed out in one shot. Solofill is probably fine if you make one cup a day and put it in the dishwasher. But I make a bunch and the inconvenience of the solofill cleaning was enough to make me prefer the disposables over it.
3. Ekobrew got the whole thing right. Side walls allow you to fill 2/3 with coffee and make an ideal brew - water has room to mix with the coffee. The water distributes very well through the perforated funnel on top. And cleaning is easy (see how to clean #5).
HOW TO USE - FOR CONVENIENCE AND GOOD COFFEE This is actually really important. Until I got it down to a system by trial and error to have it (1) not take much extra time compared to a disposable and (2) tasting good (not weak), I kept going back and forth on using these vs. disposables for the convenience factor. But with these steps I am fully converted to using the reusables.
1. Put your ground coffee in a Tupperware container. I like something that will hold about a bag of coffee and is relatively deep (not wide and short) so it's easy to scoop out of it. This make it very convenient to scoop 2/3 of a container full of coffee, shake the extra back into the container. Keep it air tight in the cabinet with your mugs (or in the refrigerator). Much more convenient than trying to scoop from a bag or than using a spoon to scoop into the cup.
2. Blend your coffee if you like. If you're like me and drink lots of cups a day, using the tupperware method (1 above) allows very easy mixing. I pour half a bag of decaf and caffeinated each into the container and shake well. Use a somewhat stronger blend than you might otherwise get since Keurig brews fast I do find the final flavor is less strong than if you got the same at Starbucks for instance.
3. Scoop 2/3 of the ekobrew with coffee. You want the coffee just above the bottom of the sidewall so water won't seep out without going through the coffee, but not too high that there's no room for the coffee to push thru (it will leak out and around the sides then). Make sure your ekobrew is completely dry, and then you can scoop with it directly and not try to spoon it in). Wipe off the sides back into the tupperware and close.
4. Brew like a normal k-cup.
5. Cleaning. This is really important to keep it from being inconvenient and took a while to work out. a. Do this right after brewing - do not let the grinds sit in the ekobrew or they will harden and be more difficult to clean out b. Pick the ekobrew up by the top sides (not hot there) and you can walk it over to the sink over your brewed coffee so it doesn't drip on the counter / floor c. Open the top and hold it upside down directly over the drain and low (so the grinds don't spread all over the place) d. Rinse through the bottom with cold water, with the cup upside down. All the grinds should come out in one quick shot and go right down the drain e. Shake and set to dry.
6. Have more than one of these if you like several cups a day. You have to wait until they are completely dry to reuse or else the scooping method (#3) won't work.
Using these steps above, I've completely replaced the disposables without it being materially less convenient. I get the coffee of my choice and its much less expensive, and there's no waste.
Every day for more than a year I used the Ekobrew plastic refillable k-cup (the brown version) and was very pleased with the results. It allowed me to use any coffee I wanted and I saved quite a bit of money by not having to buy pre-filled k-cups. However, I occasionally got grinds in my brewed coffee like other reviewers have found and began wondering if the Ekobrew cup wasn't sealing as well any more. When I saw an Elite Stainless Steel version of the Ekobrew available I decided to give it a shot since many reviewers said it did a better job sealing the grinds in than the plastic version. From the moment I took the Ekobrew Stainless Steel Elite Cup out of the package I could tell it was a quality product! The stainless steel version of the cup has a much better o-ring seal than the plastic version which helps ensure coffee grinds don't sneak out of the k-cup and into your brewed coffee. Also, instead of the mesh found on the sides of the plastic version, the stainless steel cup has perforations on the sides. These perforations are much smaller than the holes found on the mesh of the plastic version and do a much better job of preventing grinds from escaping. In addition, the stainless steel cup has a much stronger hinge than the plastic version, which should help ensure this refillable cup lasts for a very long time.
I've been using the Ekobrew Stainless Steel Elite Cup every day for three months now and it consistently brews a great cup of coffee and I never see any grinds in my mug. Like the plastic version of the Ekobrew, the stainless steel version cleans very easily by rinsing it under the sink. The stainless steel version of the cup seems to require a bit more water pressure than the plastic version to fully clean out, but nothing beyond the normal water pressure of most sinks.
Overall, I'm extremely happy with the Ekobrew Stainless Steel Elite Cup. It's a bit pricier than the plastic version, but in my opinion well worth the higher price tag to keep those pesky grinds out of my morning coffee.
At first, we did not get along. It spit and spewed in our B60 and made me mad that I had paid full price for two of these new K-cup replacements. Good coarse grind, check. No grounds around lid before closing, check. Not too full, check. Seated properly in Keurig, check. My best guess was that the lid was not sealing properly because there was a little wiggle room when closed, so I contacted the company by email and asked if a replacement seal would help. I was delighted when they offered to send replacement Ekobrews. The next morning, we tried something different. We removed, cleaned and replaced the rubber piece that surrounds the needle that inserts into K-cups in the top of the machine. That helped, a lot. The next cup we decided to try turning the Ekobrew around so that the hinge was at the front of the machine. Perfection! I cannot explain why, but it worked. I did let them know right away that replacements were not necessary, but they were already in the mail! We now have an alternative to K-cups that makes a great tasting cup of coffee, can handle enough to brew a nice strong travel mug full and is easy to fill and clean. We will continue buy K-cups when the price is right, but when it isn't we can still have great, single cup coffee without breaking the bank. Just as a note, we tried the Solofill, which is a good product, but it just did not hold quite enough coffee for a happy mug.
Having owned a Keurig B145 for less than a week, I was immediately excited at the prospect of getting refillable cups to put my own coffee in. Not to knock the Keurig coffees, but I'm partial to the Mill Mountain coffee available here in Virginia. I received my ekobrew cups today and have made two cups of coffee with them. I probably don't have the classiest tastes in coffee but here are some notes:
- the first cup I made I filled to the "fill line" imprinted on the inside of the cup. Doing this made a rich cup of coffee but a smaller serving than the 8 ounces it was set to. Some leakage had occurred after I opened the clamshell. It also seemed like the pump ran longer, however it didn't seem to be "struggling" like other reviewer have said, just longer running.
- the lid on the ekobrew cup seems flimsy and bowed which I suspect is partially to blame for some of the slight leakage I'm noticing. The leaks are not a big deal as it doesn't come out of the unit, but it certainly isn't as clean as the K Cups when you go to remove.
- the second cup I made using one heaping teaspoon of coffee. This filled the cup slightly over halfway. Of course this lead to a weaker cup of coffee than the first, but the Keurig seems to operate more like I'm used to AND I get more of an accurate serving size. The coffee from this run wasn't watery, just not as rich as the first.
- Many people complain of residue at the bottom of the cup which I've noticed as well. This is a non-issue in my opinion as every cup of coffee I've ever purchased from a shop has had large grounds at the bottom. The residue this leaves is much finer- like microscopic particles.
- Cleanup is obviously more than the K Cup "pull-and-pitch", but it isn't as bad as other reviewers seem to describe it. When you pull the ekobrew out of your Keurig, hold a dishrag underneath and walk it to the trashcan. Knock the grind against the inside of the can, then rinse under the faucet. It takes me about 5 seconds of rinsing to remove all the grinds. Voila, you're done.. certainly not the onerous task described by others.
Overall this is a fine product which will give you the flexibility you want with your Keurig machine. It may be messier than a standard K Cup, but IMPO that's the trade-off for saving money and having your own coffee in your mug. Enjoy!
Just got the Ekobrew today and tried it out. I have been a Solofill fan since they came out but the Ekobrew design seems to beat the Solofill. First off, the flat bottom makes it easy to fill. I usually run two cycles for a larger cup of coffee. With the Ekobrew the lid stays shut and doesn't leak water at the top. I was surprised how easily the grounds came out and just a quick rinse and it was ready to go again. Seems to be the best choice around for avoiding the high cost of K cups.