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The Honest Truth About K-Cup Tea

Chances are you've heard about Keurig machines and you’ve probably seen them around. And with good reason too: people love them for the convenience of making individual cups of coffee in just a few minutes. They use little containers known as “K-cups” that are filled with coffee in a variety of different flavors. Then, you just pop the K-cup into your machine and watch as the drink quickly fills your cup.  

Keurig has even partnered with Lipton, Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings, Good Earth, Honest Tea, Snapple, Tazo, Twinings, and Tetley to offer many different teas.

But how does it taste?

K-Cup: Taste vs. Convenience

Sometimes you have to trade convenience for flavor. Even though the ingredients in K-cups are backed by popular names, they often contain leaves that have the quality of instant tea.

Also, because of the brewing method, you can’t control the steeping time needed to make an extraordinary cup of tea. As a result, K-cup teas sometimes taste bitter or weak and just aren’t able to produce the same type of quality that an avid tea drinker would enjoy.

There are also a few specific reasons why K-cup teas might not be up to par.

  • Water temperature should vary to brew black, green, or white tea — black is 206°F, green is 185°F, and white is as low as 175°F. The Keurig machine does allow for temperature adjustments, but the internal parts on the machine cannot handle anything over 200°F.
  • The brew time helps a tea release its wonderful flavors and scents. K-cup teas aren’t brewed, however, like water filters through the tea leaves. Black teas should be steeped as long as 5 minutes while herbal infusions can go as long as 7 minutes.
  • The K-cup contains ground leaves, not whole loose leaves. Thus, you won’t get the full flavor profile from each unique tea that tantalizes your senses. Also, ground leaves usually come from the dust of “the good stuff,” which tends to produce an uninspiring cup of tea.
  • It takes away from the relaxing, calming, and mindful ritual of preparing the perfect cup of tea. Sometimes, taking a moment out of your day can do as many wonders for your mind and body as the actual tea itself!

Ultimately, if you drink tea occasionally and you like the big brand names at grocery stores, then you’ll enjoy the convenience and speed of the K-cup. If, however, you’re looking to indulge in the full tea-drinking experience and explore the wonderful array of tastes from the world of tea, we encourage you to try some of our certified organic, hand-blended teas from the finest botanicals on Earth.

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Pick up new skills on brewing tea by reading our resources to help make the perfect cup.

Want to learn more about tea? Check out our guide on all things tea here.