Keurig was one of those kids who didn’t play nice on the playground. At least, that’s what we thought when they came out with their new line of brewers sporting the new Keurig 2.0 line of brewers. It seems they perfected their technology with their 1.0 line, but something was missing. In August of 2014, Keurig had their debut with brand new 2.0 Technology that offered two new features to their already popular machines.
For everyone who enjoyed Keurig’s 1.0 technology—even fell in love with it—you had a stark disappointment when you purchased one of Keurig’s new machines and discovered you couldn’t use your favorite brands of coffee anymore. I’ll spare you on what exactly their Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology is because you already know what it does—it tries to force you to change from your favorite brand to one that is specially marked with “Keurig Brewed” on it.
Stop. Wait right there. Once you’ve purchased one of these new machines, you might be tempted to return it. You can still enjoy your coffee, how you want and when you want. So let’s get to the root of the problem we see here—how to use old K cups in Keurig 2.0? I’m glad you asked.
You can take one of three paths to do just that. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying everything Keurig has to offer with your new machine plus retain the ability to brew your own coffee.
Option One: The Rogers Family Freedom Clip
The Rogers Family—the ones behind The San Francisco Bay Gourmet Coffee Company—came up with their own solution. They offer a little piece of plastic that you quite literally “clip” on the underside of the lid of your new Keurig machine. See, the machine has a small optical sensor on the underside of the lid that can sense, or “read” the rim of the K-Cup. If it’s an official K-Cup, the brewer will brew without issue. If it’s not, you get the dreaded error message telling you to use official Keurig K-Cups.
By clipping this on the bottom of the machine, there is a permanent sensor on the machine, and it won’t matter what K-Cup you use. Every single third party K-Cup will work—on the condition that it physically fits. Never force the lid of your machine over a K-Cup—this can damage the machine, then it won’t matter if you fool the sensor or not.
The only catch is this. The Rogers Family doesn’t sell their Freedom Clip by itself. It comes in specially-marked packages of their coffee. You don’t pay extra for it—it’s free. Who can blame them for pushing their own coffee with their own product? Give their coffee a try—who knows? Perhaps you’ll end up becoming a fan!
Option Two: Ekobrew Freedom Stickers
Ekobrew did their own research into the matter, and now they sell little orange labels dubbed as Freedom Stickers. These can be a bit finicky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s no problem at all.
When you lift the lid of your Keurig machine, take note of the sensor’s location in relation to the placement of the K-Cup. You’ll notice that it sits on the left side of the K-Cup rim. Place one of these labels on the edge of the K-Cup, then insert the K-Cup so that the label is in the nine o’clock position. This means that if you look down at the K-Cup from above, you’ll see a circle. Imagine the numbers of an analog clock surrounding the edge of the rim, then place the label over the number nine on the clock.
The point is this. The sensor is on the left side, so the label needs to be on the left side so the sensor can read it. If it placed anywhere else, the sensor can’t read it. This makes you want to take candy from babies and double-park in the WalMart parking lot—and no one needs that. Don’t be that guy.
Follow this word of wisdom before you become frustrated: before all else fails, read the instructions.
Now, Ekobrew sells a version of a reusable K-Cup filter for use in your new machine, just in case you want to brew coffee grounds of your choosing. It’s cool—you’ll get two Freedom Stickers when you buy it. Extra stickers are sold for about $6 for a package of 96 labels.
There are two additional benefits to the stickers. First, they are not one-time use stickers. In fact, we have been able to get more than a week’s worth of coffee from one sticker on one of their reusable filters—and we wash it daily. The second benefit is the fact that you are not limited to using it on Ekobrew’s filter. You don’t even need their filter—it’s just out there if you want it. Just buy the stickers and use them on whatever K-Cup your heart desires—if it physically fits, then add the label and brew away.
Option Three: Purchase a Third-Party K-Cup with Built-In Capability
This third option doesn’t use stickers or the Freedom Clip. The ability to fool the sensor comes built into the rim of the cup. An excellent example is the Eco-Fill 2.0 Deluxe for Keurig 2.0 reusable K-Cup. The only drawback to using this as your only solution is this. Due to the fact that the technology to fool the sensor comes built in, you must use this K-Cup with your own grinds, otherwise you’re stuck with commercially branded K-Cups. This doesn’t give you the option of using older K-Cups that were once compatible with Keurig’s 1.0 technology but incompatible with your new machine. I suppose you could technically use third party K-Cups, but you would need to open the pod and pour its contents into this reusable K-Cup, and who wants to do that?
Okay, now that you’re armed with new information, don’t make a hasty decision and return your new machine. DRM technology aside, Keurig’s new line of machines are simply awesome. No other machine on the market uses touch-screen tech to go through their menu of options. No other machine will allow you to use carafes while still keeping the single-serve functionality. Oh! And get this! There are reusable carafe-size K-Cups too! You are the proud owner of an incredible piece of technology! Give it a chance—don’t give up on it!