Saturday, July 9, 2011

First Impressions of the Ekobrew - Another reusable K-cup alternative - July 9, 2011

eKobrew Cup, Refillable K-Cup For Keurig K-Cup Brewers

I received my Ekobrew, which is another reusable K-cup alternative for the Keurig single-serve coffee system (much like the Solofill) about a week ago and have had the chance to use it twice. My verdict? It's great. It is possibly better than the Solofill, actually, and at minimum it works just as well.

Since the Solofill doesn't stand on its own, it is hard to see, but the Ekobrew is very similar in size/shape. 
What stands out to me about the Ekobrew:
  • Flat bottom! This makes it much easier to fill.
  • A different flow system for the water. For lack of more scientific language, it uses little holes around a cone rather than little slits around a flatter-bottomed bit. This seems to give me a richer cup of coffee than the Solofill does, although I have told you before and I'll tell you again that I'm no coffee snob. But it does seem to produce a darker cup, and the stream coming out of the Keurig looks darker to me toward the end of the brew.
  • Nicer packaging. I know, I know, but I'm a sucker for pretty. This comes in a lovely cardboard cylinder that is likely recyclable - nicer than the plastic that seals the Solofill, although the plastic does let you see the product more immediately, which has its pros as well. It looks nice on my counter and gives me a place in which I could store the Ekobrew if I wanted. And it also comes with DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS. Love that. Especially the part about how to clean it. I knew that already, but it was nice to have that in print.
  • A tiny bit easier to clean. The Solofill has a little indentation at the bottom that always gets clogged with grounds - I have to use my fingernails to pry that bit out. Not a huge deal, but since the Ekobrew is flat, that isn't an issue.
On the con side (and there aren't many), I am always worried that I'm going to somehow misalign the Ekobrew's flat bottom and mess up the puncturing spears inside my Keurig. There are openings at the bottom of the Ekobrew that I'm assuming make this impossible, but the Solofill's shape is more reassuring. It's a tradeoff for sure. Also it's not red. Go ahead and laugh. The brown says "THIS IS EARTH FRIENDLY," sure, but fun colors say "THIS IS FUN TIMES IN THE MORNING HOORAY!" Right? Right? No? OK, maybe not.

As with the Solofill, the Ekobrew takes seconds to use. Dump in the coffee, put in the brewer, dump out the grounds when done. As with my Solofill/Keurig combo, the Ekobrew finished the brewing cycle with water on the top and a bit dripping out. A minor annoyance.

I chose the Keurig system in huge part because I liked that I'd be able to use some sort of reusable K-cup, whether it be the My K-Cup, a rinsed-and-covered-with-foil K-cup, or some other system. I like that now I have TWO options from which to choose, and I love that neither the Solofill nor Ekobrew requires me to do anything to my Keurig machine that I wouldn't already do with a regular old K-cup.

So in a nutshell? I like the Ekobrew too. If you want immediate satisfaction, I've seen the Solofill at Bed, Bath and Beyond and you can use one of your handy-dandy coupons on it to bring the price down. If you can wait a bit (particularly if you have Prime and can get free shipping without having to buy extra stuff), or if you don't have a BB&B coupon/a store nearby, the Ekobrew is a few bucks cheaper on Amazon.

ETA: I've now seen the Ekobrew for sale at Cost Plus World Market and Whole Foods, plus it is available through, so it's pretty accessible now.

Now if I could just get my prize that I won from the Barista Prima Facebook page, I'd be able to review my new milk frother for you too...ahem.

NOTE/DISCLOSURE: I asked for and received an Ekobrew from the company for the purposes of this review. All opinions expressed are mine - if I didn't like it, I would absolutely tell you.

Update on February 11, 2012: My husband LOST my precious Ekobrew and I am going to be buying another to replace it. (Yup, I got my first for free for review purposes and I'll gladly pay to replace it.) I use it almost every single day - it has surpassed my usage of the Solofill and FAR surpassed my usage of K-cups, which are now almost too expensive to bother with. If you have a Keurig, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND you buy yourself an Ekobrew or two to go along with it. [We bought our second Ekobrew at Whole Foods.]

Update on January 9, 2013: This post remains my most popular by far. It's old now, but yes, I still use my Ekobrews (I now have two) all the time, still love them, and still recommend them. The links in this post are my referral links to Amazon, so if you buy your Ekobrew through one of them, I make about 2 cents. Thank you!

As of March 2013 this post is no longer accepting new comments.

May 2013 update: I've upgraded to the Keurig Vue! Check out my new post for more details and a code for 40% off this fabulous new brewer!

(This is my referral link. I get a small kickback if you click through and sign up for Amazon Prime.


  1. Maria,
    Just wondering if you are still using your Keurig. What method are you using to brew your coffee now, half a year later?

  2. Hi Jason! Wow, this post - the one that everyone seems to come to my blog for - is six months old already.

    I still use my Keurig every single morning and often several other times during the day, as does my husband. (I've now had it for over a year.) I often use it for coffee in the morning and afternoon and then for hot water for tea a few times a day as well. K-cups have continued to go up in price, so I don't buy them as often unless I can catch a sale (online or off) with a coupon. For that reason, I really use my Ekobrew a LOT now - 3-4 times a week for sure - and on occasion I use the Solofill as well, although definitely not as often. I continue to recommend both products to friends. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Oh, and my name is Marla with an L. I get that a lot - hey everyone who reads my blog/this post, my name is MarLa. Thanks!

  4. Better late than never....we just got an Ekobrew gizmo......the first cup we made was perfect. I don't look for any trouble from it. I DO like fun coffee, I do like QUICK coffee, I do like different kinds of coffee........but I do not like the price of the *K* this little Ekobrew should help lots.

  5. I've been using mine for about 6 months, just bought three more as I find they don't seal properly after considerable use. But that's OK, still the best product I've found.

  6. how fine of a grind can you use in any of them?