Can tea be made in K-Cup? Of course it can! That doesn't mean that it should though. I've tried them while staying in hotels across the country, at friends houses and in office break rooms. Convenience sells but I'm here to tell you that K-Cups are quite possibly the worst thing to happen to tea since the invention of the tea bag. I don't mean to come off as a tea snob but they simply don't work. Here's why:
They're Poor QualityWhile it's certainly possible to make a K-Cup with a high-quality tea, it just isn't very likely to be found on the market. The whole principle behind the product is for them to be cheap (albiet deceptively in the same way that tea bags are priced) and quick. I can very easily find a cheap, drinkable loose leaf tea and brew it myself for pennies a cup. Why would I pay someone more than that for a lower quality alternative?
Tea Needs to Be Steeped
Coffee is generally prepared by grinding the beans into very fine particles and pouring water through. Tea, on the other hand, needs to be steeped in water for a specified amount of time. Even when using gongfu methods, the water is not poured immediately through. It is impossible to extract all of the flavors that tea has to offer in this way.
There's No Temperature Control
Teas often require different water temperatures, especially when it comes to more delicate varieties like Japanese green teas. Keurig's website states that the optimum temperature for coffee, tea, and hot cocoa is 192 degrees. Even if the machine is accurate, that's too hot for green tea and too cool for a lot of black teas and herbals. I've actually measured the dispensed temperature on a few different models and they actually vary quite a bit.
Your Tea is Going to Taste Like Coffee
Even after running several water only cycles to rinse the machine I can always still taste a faint hit of the coffee that was left behind. Coffee has a very strong flavor that usually sticks to whatever you make it in. While coffee in tea is definitely a thing (dirty chai lattes are awesome!), this is generally something most tea drinkers want to avoid. I've also had the unpleasant experience of accidentally running hot water for tea through someone else's used coffee pod. Yuck!
What do you think about tea in K-Cups? Have you actually tried any that are decent? Let me know about it in the comments!
If you're looking for easy ways to brew tea, check out my post on How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea.