Keurig K cups are a convenient way to get delicious coffee without the mess and fuss of grinding beans and preparing a pour-over or drip coffee from scratch.
But what’s actually inside these perfectly portioned pods?
Do they contain dairy? Sugar? Or any other additives?
Most K Cups are made from a blend of roasted and ground coffee beans, and occasionally other natural ingredients like cocoa, tea, or fruit and do not contain dairy. This means that you do not need to worry about whether or not your stomach will be upset by lactose intolerance. Note, some of the specialty K Cups may contain lactose-free ingredients such as soy as an emulsifier, and a small amount of naturally derived flavoring powder.
Read on as we discuss what exactly is in your K Cup – You may be surprised!
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Table of Contents
Do K Cups Have Dairy Milk In Them?
No. Keurig K Cups do not contain milk or dairy products.
|Sugar||Depends on flavor|
|Nut||No, But Read The Packaging First|
|Keto-friendly||Generally Yes (Depends on flavor)|
|Vegan-friendly||Generally Yes (Depends on flavor)|
Note: while there is no milk in the K Cups themselves, some of the specialty K Cups may contain lactose-free ingredients such as soy as an emulsifier, and a small amount of naturally derived flavoring powder.
Do K Cups Contain Sugar?
Some Keurig K Cups contain sugar, while others do not. It entirely depends on the flavor of the K Cup. It is important to read the ingredient list on the packaging before purchasing.
For example, here are 10 Keurig K Cups that we’ve found contain sugar:
- Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend Coffee K-Cup Pods
- Starbucks Pike Place Roast Medium Roast Coffee K-Cup Pods
- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Caramel Vanilla Cream Coffee K-Cup Pods
- The Original Donut Shop Regular Medium Roast Coffee K-Cup Pods
- Newman’s Own Organics Special Blend Coffee K-Cup Pods
- Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Smooth Light Roast Coffee K-Cup Pods
- Starbucks Veranda Blend Blonde Roast Coffee K-Cup Pods
- Tully’s Coffee Hawaiian Blend Medium Roast Coffee K-Cup Pods
- Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend Light Roast Coffee K-Cup Pods
- Eight O’Clock Coffee Hazelnut Medium Roast Coffee K-Cup Pods
So What’s Inside A Keurig K Cup?
Most Keurig K Cups contain roasted and ground coffee beans, and occasionally other natural ingredients like cocoa, tea, or fruit.
The amount of coffee in each K Cup can vary, but most contain between 9 and 12 grams of coffee.
(Read More: For a full breakdown of K Cup coffee content check out this article)
There are also hot chocolate pods that contain cocoa, sweetner and chocolate powder, though ofthen the exact recipe is kept a secret.
The amount of caffeine in a K Cup also varies by type, and by manufacturer. For a full list of K Cup caffeine content check out this article.
Are Keurig K Cups Totally Vegan?
It depends on the flavor of the K Cup. Some Keurig K Cups are vegan, while others are not. It is important to read the ingredient list on the packaging before purchasing.
Generally, your K Cups might not be vegan for two reasons:
- It contains milk powder. As discussed earlier, most K Cups don’t have milk powder, but some specialty pods, like the Hot Chocolate or Chai styles might.
- It’s processed in the same facility that processes milk powder. This is often the case when the manufactured is making many types of pods on one machine. They haven’t put any milk powder into your K Cup, but there may be some cros contamination from other batches.
My favorite 100% vegan Keurig K-Cup option is the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Dark Magic Decaf Extra Bold Coffee K-Cup Pods. This option is a decaffeinated dark roast and has a bold flavor with notes of chocolate and dried fruit. It can be purchased from various retailers, including Amazon and the Keurig website.
What if I want my Keurig K Cups to taste like they have milk? Do they need any special treatment?
Keurig’s K Cups are designed to produce an authentic coffee experience without adding anything extra that would change the flavor of the coffee.
What about Keurig milk pods?
There is no such thing as a Keurig milk pod. Keurig K-Cups only contain coffee, and do not have any dairy or milk products. Some specialty K-Cups may contain lactose-free ingredients such as soy as an emulsifier, and a small amount of naturally derived flavoring powder, but there are no K-Cups that contain milk or milk products.
Do Keurig K Cups require refrigeration?
No, Keurig K-Cups don’t need to be refrigerated. The K-Cups are hermetically sealed which means they are purged of any oxygen before getting sealed completely air-tight!
Keurig recommends storing your K-Cups in a cool dark place, and out of direct sunlight. Inside your pantry is ideal!
That said, refrigeration certainly won’t harm the K-Cups and in theory, they should extend their shelf life. If you have spare room in your fridge, you might as well keep your Keurig K-Cups chilled to maximize their shelf life.
What is the shelf life of Keurig K Cups?
Keurig K-Cups have a specified shelf life of 6 to 12 months, depending on the manufacturer. However, the shelf life of your K-Cup does depend on how you store it.
K-Cups should be stored at room temperature in a dry environment.
If they are kept outside these parameters, the shelf life will decrease dramatically.
Keurig K-Cups are stamped with a best before date. Don’t worry if your K-Cups don’t get used by this date. In theory, they will last much longer and if stored correctly will only have a minor deterioration of flavor.
Do Keurig K Cups contain gluten?
Most Keurig K-Cups are gluten-free, which means that they can be enjoyed by anyone who is gluten intolerant without any worry about the ingredients contained within them. However, it is important to read the ingredient list on the packaging before purchasing.
Are there any health benefits of Keurig K Cups?
Yes, and no. There may be some health benefits associated with Keurig K Cups as recent studies show a link between drinking a small amount of coffee each day with many general health improvements such as:
- Weight loss and fat burning (See the best K Cups for weightloss and working out here)
- Improved focus and attention
- Lower risk of cancers and stroke
But this isn’t a free ticket to drink all the coffee you want. You should still keep track of how much you’re drinking each day so as not to over-caffeinate yourself. Please be aware that there may be health risks associated with over-consumption of coffee for those who do not have any tolerance to caffeine.
Read More: In this article we ask the question “Is Keurig Safe” and see what the science says.
Keurig K Cups are a convenient and delicious way to get your caffeine fix. They generally do not contain dairy, and most are gluten-free and sugar free. That said, It is important to read the ingredient list on the packaging before purchasing as ingredients do vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Remember to keep track of how much you’re drinking each day, as over-consumption may have health risks for those not tolerant of caffeine.