Shark Rotator Professional Upright Vacuum NV501 Review

Shark Rotator Professional Upright Vacuum NV501 Review

Shark Rotator Professional Upright Vacuum NV501 Review - Shark Rotator NV501 Review - Shark Rotator Professional NV501 Review - Shark NV501 Review

Shark produces some of the best upright vacuum cleaners on the market today. They are versatile, easy to use, and efficient at collecting pet hair, dust, dirt, and debris. They also feature modern technologies and a sturdy structure that is surprisingly user-friendly.

Shark Rotator NV501 ranks among the best shark vacuums for many reasons. It’s not only suitable for heavy-duty cleaning but also has great features for its price range. Some of these outstanding features include excellent maneuverability, multi-surface cleaning, and exceptional filtration featuring HEPA filter and the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology.

This Shark NV501 review explores everything about it. We discuss its top features, its tools, plus pros & cons. We’ll also share our verdict on it.

Table of Contents

Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum NV501 Review: Main Features

Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum NV501 Review - Shark Rotator NV501 Review - Shark Rotator Professional NV501 Review - Shark NV501 Review

As mentioned above, this unit will definitely wow you because of how much it can get accomplished. But what makes it an ardent performer? Let’s find out…


Uprights usually have powerful suction and Shark Rotator NV501 is no exception. It sustains tremendous suction across carpets, rugs, bare floors, and above-floor areas such as the windows and ceiling. The suction also remains consistent while using attachments.

Multi-surface cleaner

Shark Rotator NV501 is fitted with a dynamic brush roll for all-surface cleaning. So, it effectively cleans carpets, tiles, wood floors, and above-ground areas. The vacuum certainly ranks among the best vacuums for its detailed cleaning and ability to handle various floor types.

Brushroll shutoff capability means that you can stop worrying about scratching your precious vinyl polished hardwood flooring as you vacuum.

Also, you don’t need to struggle to remove embedded dirt on carpets. This vacuum will do that for you. It also does a great job cleaning after pets, picking pet hair, and getting rid of odors and allergens such as dust and pollen.


The vacuum transforms easily into Lift-away mode. You only need to “lift away” the pod at the press of a button to increase the vacuum’s mobility. This way you can easily vacuum under furniture and up the stairs with ease. You also get accessories that enable you to clean the tight corners, crevices, walls, drapes, upholstery, and other above-floor surfaces.

Shark Rotator Professional Upright Vacuum NV501 Review - Shark Rotator NV501 Review - Shark Rotator Professional NV501 Review - Shark NV501 Review - Lift-away
Lift-away feature

Also, you enjoy great maneuverability boosted by Shark’s swivel steering technology. Besides, the brush roll has a power switch that allows you to control suction while transitioning between various surfaces. It’s also ultra-light thus easy to carry up and down the stairs or from one room to the other.

Filtration system

Shark NV501 uses a pre-motor felt and a foam filter plus a post-motor HEPA filter. This filter combination captures up to 99.97% of allergens. Moreover, Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology prevents allergens from escaping back into the air.

The filters are washable and need regular cleaning to maintain powerful suction. The pre-motor filters (foam and felt) should be cleaned every 3 months while the HEPA filter can be cleaned annually. Detach and rinse with clean water then leave them to air-dry completely before re-installing. In between rinsing, be sure to remove excess dirt by tapping the filter mildly as you empty the dirt can.

Overall, it is one of the best vacuums that help to fight allergies and asthma by preventing pollutants from being blown back into the indoor air.

Disposal system

Shark Rotator NV501 is bagless and uses an easy-to-empty dirt can with a capacity of 0.88 quarts. For routine cleaning, this should last you for a whole cleaning session unless the house is too dirty. It opens both ways – top and bottom thus no chances of leaving stuck-on dirt.

To ensure optimum suction, empty the can after every vacuuming session. You can do this by holding the dirt cup over the dirt bin and pressing the dirt cup button. Suction may be affected if you surpass the MAX fill mark but, since the can is transparent, you will see as it fills.

So, ensure that you empty the dust cup and clean it as often as you can. Besides the negative impact on suction, odors may start emanating from the vacuum if it’s not emptied on time.


Apart from a flexible main unit, Shark compliments its units with several accessories. These go a long way in making vacuuming enjoyable and stress-free.

This one comes with a wide pet upholstery tool, a 12-inch crevice tool, a dusting brush, and a premium pet power brush. They can be attached to the wand or hose depending on how far you desire to reach. So, cleaning of above-floor areas such as drapes and upholstery is sorted out.

The only challenge, however, is that there are only two slots for onboard accessories storage. That means you need to keep going back for them while cleaning and you also need to get a storage bag to avoid misplacing them.

LED lights

Shark Rotator Professional Upright Vacuum NV501 Review - Shark Rotator NV501 Review - Shark Rotator Professional NV501 Review - Shark NV501 Review - LED Lights

The Shark Rotator NV501 is fitted with two bright LED headlights on the floor nozzle. These lights help you to spot dirt and dust while cleaning at night or in dark areas. Therefore, you will not leave any part of the floor with unwanted specs of dirt.

Shark NV501 Review: Features & Specs Summary

Below is a breakdown of all you need to know about the Shark Rotator NV501 upright vacuum:

  • Type: upright, bagless
  • Weight: 15.5 pounds
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Power cord length: 25 feet
  • Hose length: 8.4 feet
  • Power rating: 1200 Watts, 10 Amps
  • LED headlights on the floor nozzle
  • Filtration: HEPA filters and foam filters
  • Anti Allergen Complete Seal technology
  • Dirt cup capacity: 1.3 quarts
  • Cleaning path: 9.5 inches wide
  • Dimensions (inches): 12.1L x 12.2W x 45.7H

Shark Rotator NV501 Review: Pros & Cons

There is no perfect vacuum. So, despite the many positives, expect to find a few shortcomings if you decide to purchase this unit.


  • Fairly priced
  • Strong, consistent suction that can be adjusted
  • It’s easy to use and maneuver around obstacles
  • Allows edge to edge cleaning using the sizeable power cord and hose
  • Convenient for multi-surface cleaning
  • Has a relatively large dirt cup
  • Bright LED lights help to spot hidden dirt
  • Excellent filtration system
  • It is fantastic for dealing with pet messes
  • Comes with extra tools for cleaning upholstery, stairs, corners, crevices, etc.
  • 5-year limited warranty


  • It does not have LED lights on the handle
  • The power cord may be short for if you need to vacuum large rooms
  • The cord does not auto-retract. So, you have to wrap it manually making storage cumbersome

Click here to see its current price.

Our verdict

There’s so much to like about the Shark Rotator Professional Upright Vacuum NV501. First, it is relatively light and extremely versatile. Secondly, on lift-away mode, you get to clean hard-to-reach areas with ease. The hose and the wand are not too long but they do assist in above-floor cleaning.

Also, you get a wide range of attachments to deal with pet messes as well as vacuuming above-floor surfaces. The only downside is that you only have two slots for onboard storage meaning you need to figure out where to store the rest.

Besides that, it has an excellent sealed HEPA filtration that helps to keeps allergens away from your indoor air. The dirt cup is also sizeable and easy to empty and clean. So, if you have a large family, pets, or both, this is the kind of vacuum you need – regardless of the flooring type in your home.


Types of Coffee Beans

Types of Coffee Beans

As you descend into the deeper circles of coffee enthusiasm, you start picking up on things beyond the basic tag of coffee. Whether you’re ordering beans or ground blends online, or simply perusing the aisles of a specialty coffee shop, you’ve most likely come across the words Arabica or Robusta. This tells you that not all coffee is equal, and in fact – the coffee plant genus has several popular varieties and over 100 species worldwide.

This time around, we’ll focus on the two most popular and widely available types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. These two types of beans have different flavor profiles, caffeine contents, and ultimately – prices – which may influence your decision next time you’re shopping for coffee. You may also come across some blends of these coffee types which are meant to offer you the taste of one species with a sweetened price thanks to the affordability of another species. But more on this later – let’s get to it!

The Two Most Common Types of Coffee Beans

Let’s look at the two most common types of coffee beans. Keep in mind that other than the species, the origin country of the bean also has an effect on the resulting flavor profile. The other 100 or so varieties of coffee are quite a bit rarer, so we’ll leave them for another occasion.

1. Coffea Arabica

Origins and production

Coffea Arabica is the most popular coffee bean on the market, and it accounts for nearly 60% of coffee production on a global scale. This species is likely to have been the first detected and cultivated coffea plant, with its first being documented in the 12th century and found in Yemen, the holy origin land of coffee. Today, Arabica plants are grown all over the world, and mainly in Latin America. Columbia produces exclusively Arabica beans, while Brazil is the biggest exporter of Arabica coffee globally.


Arabica is the most popular coffee bean because it hits the sweet spot between flavor, acidity, and caffeine content. The flavor profile of a specific Arabica bean will vary depending on the region it comes from and the variety. Still, it’s considered to be quite rich in taste with subtle notes that pop and result in a beautiful, full-bodied cup of coffee.

In general, Arabica beans have a milder, sweeter taste than the second most popular coffee bean, Robusta, and usually carry notes of fruit and berries. What fruits and berries accompany the flavor depends on the origin. For instance, Arabica beans from Sumatra oftentimes have hints of rose and dark chocolate. On the other hand, a lot of Arabica blends that come from Kenya have hints of orange blossom, butterscotch, and fig.

While Robusta beans are more bitter, Arabica beans have more of a pronounced acidity. This gives the coffee a somewhat wine-like dimension. Still, when you’re buying Arabica beans, look for a blend that’s not too acidic, as it can dominate the taste in a not-so-pleasant way.

Arabica is less bitter than Robusta because it has lower caffeine content. While Arabica beans contain about 0.8 – 1.4% of caffeine, the percentage doubles with Robusta beans, which contain 1.7- 4% of caffeine.

Arabica on the Market

As we’ve mentioned, Arabica beans are the world’s favorite coffee due to their flavor and quality. This also makes them more expensive than Robusta beans or Arabica-Robusta blends. Another reason that Arabica beans are pricier is that they’re much more sensitive and prone to disease than Robusta, so they take more care and produce a lower yield. This can mainly be attributed to the lower caffeine content in Arabica beans, as caffeine is a natural insect repellent.

Of course, within the Arabica world, there’s also a hierarchy of taste, quality, and price. For instance, the Hawaiian Kona coffee – a special Hawaiian Arabica strain – is one of the most desired and expensive types of bean on the market.

Drinking Arabica

We especially recommend using Arabica beans if you like your coffee black. While sometimes adding a splash of milk can add to the flavor (especially if it’s a dark roast), drinking this coffee black may help you fully appreciate its flavor palette.

2. Coffea Robusta (Coffea Canephora)

Origin and production

The second most popular subspecies of the coffee bean is Coffea robusta or just Robusta. This coffee bean accounts for about 40% of the global coffee market – so, as you’ve probably realized, Arabica and Robusta dominate the global coffee market. It’s also quite adequately named, as it’s robust and resilient to different conditions.

As we’ve mentioned, it has over twice the caffeine content of Arabica beans, which makes it a formidable foe to disease and insects. Because the Robusta crop produces a higher yield than Arabica and can persevere in less than ideal conditions, it’s also quite cheaper. Robusta beans have their origins in central and sub-Saharan Africa, and today they’re grown in the Eastern Hemisphere, mostly in Africa and Indonesia. Brazil and India produce both Arabica and Robusta beans.


As Robusta has twice the caffeine content of Arabica, it also has a more bitter taste. So while you’d find Arabica to have acidic overtones, Robusta is on the bitter side.

This bean is generally considered to be of lower quality than Arabica due to the harsher flavor profile. Overall, the taste of Robusta coffee is stronger, with grainy overtones, and has been characterized as having a bit of rubbery, burnt taste. As milder flavors are preferred in most coffee markets, Robusta is bumped further down the commodity scale. It’s only preferred in cultures that enjoy strong coffee. Most instant coffee and mass-produced, cheap, commercial beans are made of Robusta.

There are some exceptions, however. While you won’t be able to find high-quality Robusta beans in a regular market or convenience store, some specialty coffee shops offer exactly that. These are usually single-origin, craft coffees that offer tasty Robusta beans with overtones of rum and chocolate.

Robusta on the Market

As it’s much easier to grow, produces higher yields, and isn’t too popular for its taste – Robusta is much cheaper than Arabica.

Still, there’s a way to kind of get the best of both worlds and strike the right balance between cost and taste. You can easily find blends that are about 70% Arabica and 30% Robusta which carry the overall taste of Arabica with some hints of Robusta, and cost less. This especially works with dark roasts. But we did say kind of, and that’s because if you’re finicky about flavor, you will notice the difference.

Drinking Robusta

If you decide to go for Robusta or a Robusta-Arabica blend, the best way to cut the bitterness is to add some sugar and frothed milk or cream. A good, single-origin Robusta bean also goes great for espresso and espresso-based beverages.

Also, if you’re just looking for a quick caffeine fix to keep you up as you head to work with a bit of hangover, Robusta will do just fine. It will give you the kick you need to really wake up.

Honorable Mentions: Liberica and Excelsa

Liberica and Excelsa coffee beans are quite rare and account for a small part of the global coffee production. Still, their flavor profiles are unique, and should you incidentally come across either of them, you’d do well to give them a try.


Liberica coffee beans were originally produced on a large scale in the Philippines during a coffee “plague” called coffee rust that drastically damaged the Arabica population during the 19th century. The Philippines stepped out by mass-producing this tasty coffee bean strain. However, due to economic sanctions by the US (basically a neo-imperialist punishment to the Philippines for declaring independence from the US), this type of coffee bean quickly passed its heyday.

In any case, Liberica beans have an excellently unique flavor, with woody notes. It also has hints of flowers and fruits, with a smoky aroma.


Excelsa is actually a subspecies of the Liberica family, but it has a unique flavor that grants it a unique place in the world of coffee. These beans are generally grown in Southeast Asia and take up only 7% of global coffee production. While it’s rare to get purely Excelsa beans, they’re found in blends for an elevated flavor.

The taste of Excelsa can be characterized as being tarty and fruity.

A Few Words Before You Go…

Now you know what to expect from the different types of coffee beans available on the market. Keep in mind that to get the best tasting cup of coffee, you need freshly ground beans.

Different Types of Coffee Makers

Different Types of Coffee Makers

Coffee is the staple drink of every morning routine. Well, nearly every morning routine – a 2018 study published by the National Coffee Association reported that 64% of Americans drink coffee, and 79% of those coffee drinkers brew coffee at home. And this year – 2020 – is pretty much the year of staying at home (because you know, coronavirus), so if you weren’t brewing coffee in the comfort of your kitchen before, you’re probably doing it now.

There are quite a few perks of brewing your own coffee. At the very least, it helps save money. But coffee connoisseurs say that the trend with coffee these days is all about taste. It’s less about getting a kick out of your bed in the morning, and more about enjoying the drink. And with so many affordable, readily available coffee makers out there, drinking instant coffee is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Not to mention that one of the biggest instant coffee producers in the world – Nescafé – is owned by Nestle, a company that has a long, long list of transgressions against nature and humanity.

In any case, we’re here to introduce you to the four most popular types of coffee makers that can help you get a beautiful cup of java in the comfort of your home. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each coffee maker so that you can decide which one is the best choice for you depending on your lifestyle, budget, and taste.

1. Drip Coffee Makers

Let’s start off with the classics, and nothing is more contemporary Americana than drip coffee makers. Drip coffee makers can be found in homes, hotels, motels, offices, support groups… Their popularity can easily be attributed to their ease of use, consistent results, and ability to produce a big batch of coffee with minimal effort on your part.

Drip coffee makers are also quite versatile in terms of quantity – you can get one that brews anything between one and fourteen cups of coffee.

How does it work?

Drip coffee makers work using electricity. You plug the machine in, fill up the filter tray with ground coffee, fill up the water pitcher with water, and set the carafe on the heating plate. All that’s left for you to do is to press the start button and wait for your coffee to brew. A shower head at the top drips the hot water into the coffee grounds, allowing it to extract them before it passes into the carafe ready to drink.


A drip coffee maker is affordable, easy to use, and produces consistent results.


There’s not a lot of variety in taste as far as the brewing process goes, but you can get some variety switching up the beans you use.

Another drawback is that if the carafe sits on the heating plate for too long, the coffee may start tasting a bit burnt.

We recommend it for:

Families, homes, offices, and entertaining. Instead of sitting at the stovetop, babysitting your brew while your guests wait in the living room, you can let the machine do it for you.

2. Espresso Machines

Espresso machines can bring the full coffee shop experience to your home. If you’re an avid espresso lover, you may find the effort and additional cost that come with an espresso machine well worth the cup of full-bodied, rich, tasty espresso brew.

An espresso machine offers a lot of versatility, as you can recreate coffee shop specials like Americano, macchiato, cortado, and so on. If your espresso machine doesn’t come with a frothing wand, you can get your own milk frother to get that beautiful cream which is the signature ingredient in espresso-based beverages like cappuccino.

Espresso is usually made with dark roasts and fine grinds, which results in a concentrated, rich cup of coffee.

How does it work?

Espresso machines are electric-powered. There are different types you can choose from, which vary the level of labor that will be necessary on your part. You can decide between manual, semi-automatic, automatic, to super-automatic. The way they work is by heating water to a high temperature and allowing it to pass through a metal filter cup filled with pressed coffee grounds at quite a high pressure.


Espresso machines can help you get consistently delicious, rich cups of espresso.

They also allow a lot of versatility to recreate coffee shop specials.

Plus, a lot of them come with a frothing wand.


Espresso machines are usually quite a bit pricier than other coffee makers.

Other drawbacks of manual espresso machines are that they’re quite labor-intensive and require some technical knowledge.

We recommend it for:

Espresso enthusiasts and those who appreciate bold, rich-tasting coffee.

3. Pour-Over Coffee Makers

Pour-over coffee makers are a simple yet delicate way to produce a custom cup of coffee that’s per your taste. Pour-over coffee makers consist simply of a cup with holes on the bottom, which you can place over any mug or carafe to make as much coffee as you want.

Taste-wise, pour-over coffee makers generally produce a delicious, full-bodied cup of java.

How does it work?

Pour-over coffee makers generally consist of a cup with a base that’s meant to go on top of mugs or carafes, and holes at the bottom that allow the coffee to pass through to the container below. The cup-shaped coffee maker has a cone-shaped funnel in which you place a paper filter and fill it up with medium ground coffee. Then, you slowly add water to the pour-over coffee maker in several phases. The first pour is meant to allow the coffee grounds to bloom, i.e. to activate them and extract the initial flavor. The following gentle pours are meant to finish the coffee grounds’ brewing process.


Pour-over coffee makers are generally simple to use – although it’s important to take note of the series of pours to get the optimal taste of the coffee. They’re also quite compact and thus easy to travel with.

These coffee makers are also quite affordable.

Plus, they offer versatility when it comes to the amount of coffee you want to make.


Making pour-over coffee is a process. It takes a hands-on approach on your part, and may require more time than some other coffee makers to brew the coffee.

We recommend it for:

Pour-over coffee enthusiasts and those who need a single cup of coffee at a time.

4. Moka Pots

Moka pots are my go-to method when I want a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee that gets as close to an espresso as possible without actually using an espresso machine. Although it’s not as dark as an espresso, a Moka pot will give you a thick, deeply dark cup of delicious coffee that’s also made on the principle of using high-pressure to extract the coffee grounds.

Moka pots are one of the most affordable coffee makers you can get your hands on, and you can also use them to make espresso-based drinks like lattes and macchiatos.

Depending on the capacity of the Moka pot you buy, you’ll be able to create anywhere from one cup to twelve cups of coffee.

How does it work?

Moka pots work with stovetops or gas burners. They contain three chambers: the bottom chamber is filled with water, and the middle chamber (a metal filter) is filled with coffee grounds. As the water in the bottom chamber heats up, it generates steam. The pressure from the steam causes the hot water in the bottom chamber to travel up through the middle chamber where the coffee is, and extract it. Finally, it travels through a tube into the top chamber, where you get your lovely, piping hot, finished brew.


Moka pots are quite eco-friendly – they don’t create any waste other than used coffee grounds (which you can always find uses for!).

Overall, Moka pots produce a consistently good cup of coffee and they’re a great, much cheaper alternative to espresso makers.

Lastly, they work pretty fast – so you won’t have to wait too long for your coffee to be ready.


A Moka pot should be cleaned regularly, which can be a bit of a hassle considering it has three parts. To be fair, you should regularly clean any coffee maker you decide to get (or already own).

We recommend it for:

Anyone looking for an espresso alternative or a richly deep cup of coffee.

We also highly recommend it to campers – with a Moka pot, you’ll have coffee anywhere you go.

A Few Words Before You Go…

Hopefully, you enjoyed our guide to the most popular coffee makers you can get for your home. Depending on your taste, budget, or how much effort you’re willing to put it, you can decide which one’s right for you. And don’t forget – every perfect cup of coffee starts with freshly ground beans!

Should Kids Drink Coffee?

Should Kids Drink Coffee?

We generally consider coffee to be an adult pleasure. It has its place in the mornings preceding busy days, late into the night when you’re cramming for a university exam, on the kitchen counter of every office, during casual meetups with friends. But then the day comes when your 11-year old wanders into your home office asking if they can have a sip of your coffee. Can they? Should they?

When I was a kid, I coveted the drink that my grandmother made whenever her friends came over. I coveted the coffee-soaked biscuits that they were enjoying while I was forced to settle for orange juice and dry, unsoaked biscuits. When I was a kid, they would tell me that if I drank coffee, I’d grow a tail.

Obviously, your child won’t grow a tail if they have coffee, but there’s a good reason why we get asked this question so often. The main ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which has psychoactive and physiological effects on the body. If it gives adults that kick they need in the morning, what does it do to kids? Let’s take a look at what scientific research and experts have to say about kids drinking coffee in terms of whether they should, when they can, and what the limit should be.

Coffee, Caffeine, and Kids

The main active ingredient in coffee that causes concern over child use is caffeine. While it’s a myth that caffeine can stunt growth, there are other reasons why the young, developing brains and bodies of kids won’t benefit from drinking coffee. Rather, caffeine can cause some harm when consumed at an early age.

To begin with, there’s really not too much research on the extensive consumption of caffeine in children because, duh, who is going to force kids to do something potentially dangerous? However, there is enough research and expert opinion for us to get a general idea of what the problems are with exposing kids to caffeine.

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, tea, and cacao. Less naturally, kids have access to caffeine through soda and energy drinks. Still, caffeine itself has proven to have some positive effects on the adult body. For instance, moderate coffee drinking has been directly associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. It can even reduce the risk of some types of cancer or developing type 2 diabetes. However, the first problem is that these benefits haven’t been proven to apply to children drinking coffee.

The second problem is that caffeine is a drug. Sure, it’s the world’s favorite drug and one of the safest ones you can enjoy – but it is nonetheless a drug. As it’s a stimulant, the psychoactive effect that caffeine has on the brain is keeping it alert and concentrated. However, this can also have negative side effects, especially on children.

kid with coffee cup

That’d better be milk in her cup.

The Negative Side Effects of Caffeine on Children

A 2017 report by the USA National Coffee Association showed that about 37% of youths between 13 and 18 years of age consume coffee on a daily basis. But what can caffeine do to the developing, adolescent body and brain? Here are some of the potential negative benefits:

1. Disrupted sleep patterns and insomnia

Proper sleep is key for the growing, developing body of a child (child here includes adolescents, of course). Youths should be getting about 8 hours of undisturbed sleep every night to maximize their growth and development. However, teens that drink coffee regularly have reported sleeping less and waking up feeling much more tired in the morning. Plus, while adults have a higher threshold, kids can develop insomnia from drinking even less coffee regularly. If that’s the case for teens, imagine what high caffeine intake would do to a prepubescent child.

2. Psychological overstimulation and anxiety

According to research, while caffeine does improve concentration in children, it also increases their chances of developing anxiety. In fact, a study done on adolescent rats showed that increased caffeine intake during adolescence resulted in a higher risk of developing anxiety in adulthood. It also showed that early access to this stimulant increased the chances of rats seeking out more stimulating drugs later on in life.

If you’re saying rats aren’t people, you’re right. But oftentimes, science has been able to draw a connection between rat and human behavior – and that’s true in this case also. Research conducted on human young adults showed that increased caffeine intake from energy drinks can cause anxiety as well as a propensity to seeking other brain-stimulating drugs later in life.

It’s not all bad, though – there are certain doses of caffeine that have been deemed acceptable for kids – but we’ll get to that a bit later. First, let’s take a look at another problem that accompanies kid-coffee drinking which isn’t caffeine. Namely…

Coffee Beverages as Vessels for High Sugar Intake

One of the main issues with child and teen coffee drinking is the sugar that comes with a lot of the “special” coffees you’d get in places like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. Fine, so there’s both caffeine and sugar in a can of Coke, but some of the coffee-based barista specials you get at these stores are much, much worse.

I remember when I first started drinking coffee as a teenager I was getting it in the form of a Frappuccino from Starbucks. My mother was very vocal against my new favorite drink, and apparently it was for good reason. A grande Caramel Cocoa Cluster Frappuccino at Starbucks has 68g of sugar! Can you imagine that much sugar in a single beverage? The total caloric count of this drink is 450 calories, which is nearly a quarter of the total daily intake for a child or young adult. Dunkin’ Donuts, on the other hand, offers a Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin latte that has 55g of sugar. This is more than you’d get from a 16-oz serving of Coke. And unfortunately, these are the coffee-based drinks that kids are most commonly drawn to. They’re not (yet) fans of the nuanced bitter and bold flavors of coffee, so they get their caffeine fix in the form of unhealthily sweet desserts.

But let’s put this amount of sugar in some context. According to the American Heart Association, children older than 2 and below 18 shouldn’t consume more than 25g of added sugars per day. These drinks contain more than twice the maximum recommended value. The insane amounts of sugar that accompany these drinks can endanger a child’s health and at the same time increase their risk of developing childhood obesity.

The Bottom Line: Should Kids Drink Coffee?

This is where we get to the not-so-negative side of the answer. So far we’ve covered the possible negative effects that caffeine and coffee-based beverages can have on kids and teenagers. However, coffee, and indeed caffeine, isn’t the enemy. The answer to whether kids should be drinking coffee is the same answer given to most other dietary questions: the key is moderation.

While the AAP says that caffeine doesn’t have a nutritional place in a child’s diet, a little bit of coffee won’t hurt either. And really, when it comes to parenting, imposing too many restrictions can end up having an adverse effect on the child’s relationship to pleasures and experiences, or, worse yet, an adverse effect on the child’s relationship to the parent.

Experts say that in general, kids that don’t suffer from disrupted sleep patterns and aren’t showing early signs of anxiety can comfortably enjoy approximately one cup of coffee per day. This would be about an 8-oz cup of joe. As most adults should limit their intake to 200-300mg of caffeine on a daily basis, the number gets cut in half for kids. About 70-100mg of caffeine in a child’s daily diet (this should include soda or sport’s drinks – so there shouldn’t be both soda and coffee in a single day’s intake) will do just fine.

Still, if you can, it’s best to postpone introducing coffee to your kid’s diet as late in adolescence as possible. And sharing a few sips of your own cup of coffee with your kids won’t cause any problems, either.

A Few Words Before You Go…

The main question when it comes to kids and coffee arises from the ingredient in coffee we all love so much – caffeine. But it’s not just coffee that contains caffeine – it’s also soda and sport’s drinks to a lesser degree, and energy drinks to a higher degree. If anything, you should try to limit your child’s intake of energy drinks, as lots of studies have shown that they pose more of a threat to kids’ health than coffee. This can easily be attributed to the fact that they’re more marketable to children than coffee is.

When it comes to coffee, once your tween or teen starts showing interest in drinking coffee, try to keep them off sugary beverages loaded with calories and try to limit their intake to a single, modest cup containing no more than 100mg of caffeine per serving.

Best K-Cup Coffee Reviewed

Best K-Cup Coffee Reviewed

If for some reason you’re using K-Cups, you might as well use great K-Cups. While they are a scourge on the environment, and their inventor himself has gone on record saying he regrets ever inventing them, they’re basically unavoidable these days. Almost every office you’ve worked at has one. And lots of busy (or lazy) people have them on their kitchen counters – they are compact, they take next to no time to operate, and require practically zero effort on your part to produce a cup of coffee.

In any case, good things usually take effort. That’s why coffee lovers generally look at instant coffee and K-Cup coffee with a mixture of disdain and pity. And if you’ve drunk regular K-Cup coffee before, you too have figured out that it’s a far cry from the flavor you’d get using other coffee makers. Luckily, we’re here to introduce you to the best K-Cup coffee, so that you don’t have to compromise taste or eco-friendliness for convenience.

So, let’s take a gander at the best K-Cups coffee, which offer great taste, a strong caffeine punch, and aren’t just drinkable – but also enjoyable. Keep in mind that – if you care about the environment as we do – you’ll be happy to know that we’ve only included eco-friendly, compostable recommendations! You may also wish to consider getting a reusable K-Cup filter.

Best K-Cup Coffee in 2020

Before we get to our reviews, here’s a quick look at our top recommendations:

Best Overall

Best Quality

Best Decaf

Most Versatile

Overall Best: SF Bay Coffee Organic Rainforest

SF Bay Coffee Organic Rainforest Blend 80 Ct Medium Roast Compostable Coffee Pods, K Cup Compatible including Keurig 2.0

Our top pick has it all: flavor, quality, eco-friendliness, and affordability. This medium-roasted coffee blend offers beautiful notes of dark chocolate and sweet berry, giving you a well-bodied cup of coffee. The coffee pods are plant-based and thus 97% biodegradable.

In other words, you get all the taste of proper coffee and all the convenience of a K-Cup without any of the guilt! Neat, right? The SF Bay coffee company also offers a lot of variety, so if you prefer dark roasts – as many people do with K-Cups – you can choose from an array of dark and medium-dark roasts (like the dark French Roast or the delicious Fog Chaser).


The SF Bay Organic Rainforest Blend is some of the best tasting K-Cup coffee you can find. Unlike regular K-Cups, which use a sort of diluted coffee formula in the capsules, the SF coffee pods are filled with freshly roast, ground coffee, which allows for a flavorful result. This particular blend is made with 100% arabica (the good kind of beans) medium roast coffee, which delivers a full-bodied cup of coffee adorned with acidic notes. It has delicious hints of sweet dark berry, jasmine, and lovely dark chocolate.

The SF coffee pods made it to the top of our list also thanks to their excellent quality. The beans used are of certified organic origin and are also certified Kosher. The blend is made using beans from the most popular coffee-growing regions: Mexico, Columbia, Guatemala, and Indonesia. As the pods are packed with freshly ground coffee, if you keep them in a well-enclosed container in your home, you’ll never have to be subjected to stale-tasting coffee.

We love that these K-Cup pods are eco-friendly. The pods are made of plant-based materials that are commercially compostable. This means that you can get the convenience of a single-use coffee pod without the negative, wasteful impacts on the environment.

You may assume that high quality would come at a ridiculous price – but this is far from the truth in the case of the SF K-Cup pods. Their price per pod is quite affordable, which gives you excellent value for your money. In fact, it’s the most budget-friendly option on our list!

Lastly, the SF Bay Coffee company is a family-run company, which cares about their legacy to the world – so they back their quality with a satisfaction guarantee.


The taste of the coffee isn’t always consistent – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just keep in mind that since the company is always creating the blends, the taste of the coffee will vary based on the most recent batches of beans.

Best Quality: Cameron’s Coffee Single Serve Pods B01MQN9N79

Cameron's Coffee Single Serve Pods, Kona Blend, 12 Count (Pack of 6)

To give you some context if you aren’t familiar with the concept, Kona is some of the best-tasting and most highly valued arabica coffee in the world. It grows only in some parts of Hawaii, and it owes its sought-after taste to the special climate that accompanies the region.

So naturally, we found the best Kona K-Cup coffee on the market, and it’s Cameron’s Coffee K-Cup pods! They taste amazing and guess what – they don’t cost much either. Plus, we delivered on our promise: these pods are commercially compostable.


Cameron’s Coffee Kona blend K-Cups pods combine the simplicity of a single-serve coffee with the taste of a quality brew. Although the blend contains only 10% Kona arabica, it’s enough to give your cup of coffee the desired, delicious signature taste. The flavor is rich and bold yet smooth, with lovely overtones of chocolate and nuts. The roast is well near ideal for a Keurig’s coffee machine.

Cameron’s Coffee Kona blend offers great value for your money. While normally, Kona-based coffee blends are quite expensive, these pods are quite affordable. As we mentioned, it’s only 10% Kona – but it’s still 100% arabica. To keep the ground coffee in the pods fresh for as long as possible, keep them well sealed in a Ziplock bag.

Cameron’s Coffee pods are also one of the more eco-friendly options on the market. Rather than using plastic, the ground coffee in the pods is placed in a coffee filter which is commercially compostable. Keep in mind that industrial composting facilities aren’t available everywhere, so unless you compost yourself, it may be a bit tricky to find the adequate facility.


One drawback with the Cameron’s Coffee pods is that the top doesn’t always get properly pierced by the Keurig’s machine, so it may need a bit of help on your part – which can be considered a hassle since you’re trying to make coffee in the most fuss-free way.

Best Decaf: Tayst Decaf Coffee Pods

Tayst Decaf Coffee Pods | 30 ct. Defiantly Decaf | 100% Compostable Keurig K-Cup compatible | Gourmet Coffee in Earth Friendly packaging

Sometimes, you want coffee but you don’t want caffeine. And, most coffee lovers don’t just drink coffee for the kick in the morning – we drink it for the taste. Well, the Tayst Decaf coffee pods bring just that: all of the flavor with none of the punch.

Tayst also just happens to be one of those awesome K-Cups producing companies that deliver their delicious grind in compostable and biodegradable containers. And if you’re not a fan of decaf, Tayst also offers a broad variety of blends, roasts, and flavors: from deep and dark coffee to zany vintage vanilla.


Tayst’s Defiantly Decaf coffee pods will break down all the prejudice you may have for decaf coffee. Taste-wise, it’s not just a filler between your morning cup of java and your afternoon’s final charge. It’s an event all of its own. The flavor is dark and rich, delivering a full-bodied cup of joe. It pairs quite nicely with a splash of milk.

Tayst is another single-serving coffee pod company that has done its work in the way of eco-friendliness. The K-Cups coffee pods contain no plastic and are 100% biodegradable and compostable. Additionally, the coffee is Rainforest Alliance-certified, which means that the coffee beans are harvested in an environmentally conscientious way which conserves natural resources and doesn’t disrupt the life of local farm communities, but rather supports it.


While the pods are biodegradable and compostable, they do come in some additional packaging which is a bit wasteful and will require more recycling – that is, if you’re trying to reduce waste.

Most Versatile: GLORYBREW Compostable B06XCPS9TL

GLORYBREW - 36 K Cup Variety Pack - 100% Compostable Keurig Coffee Pods - Rainforest Alliance Certified Medium & Dark Roasts Biodegradable…

The Glorybrew Variety Pack Compostable K-Cup coffee pods are the most versatile K-Cups option on the market – you get three beautiful coffee blends that will suit the taste of any coffee enthusiast. The coffee blends deliver consistently flavorful cups, and they vary from medium to extra-dark roasts. And – as any coffee lover will tell you – if you’re using a Keurig’s machine, you can’t afford to go below a medium roast. Light roasts taste like watered down coffee on a Keurig’s machine. Oh, and, of course – the Glorybrew pods are compostable and biodegradable.


The Glorybrew Variety Pack will offer you a neat introduction to all the blends that the company has to offer. All three blends are made of flavorful arabica coffee, so in the end, which one’s best will depend on your unique taste. You get The Duke – a medium roast with a bright aroma and mellow aftertaste; The Knight – a dark roast that will deliver a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee; and The Noble, an extra-dark roast that will produce a beautifully intense cup of java with sublime chocolate overnotes.

The Glorybrew blends are made of high-quality coffee. They’re all 100% arabica and don’t contain any additives or preservatives.

The Glorybrew is another eco-friendly option, in more than one way. To begin with, the pods are 100% compostable and biodegradable, as they’re entirely made of organic materials. In fact, this product is certified by the BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute). Additionally, it’s Rainforest Alliance Certified, which means that the beans are sustainably grown and sourced, and don’t contain harmful additives.


The bottom part of the pod’s filter is sensitive to breaking, so you may end up with some coffee grounds in your cup of coffee or your coffee machine on occasion.

Another drawback is that these K-Cups are a bit pricey.


SF Bay Coffee Organic Rainforest Blend 80 Ct Medium Roast Compostable Coffee Pods, K Cup Compatible including Keurig 2.0

The SF Bay Organic Rainforest blend is our favorite K-Cup coffee due to its excellent taste and quality – which come at quite a reasonable price. The pods deliver a full-bodied cup of medium roast with lovely dark chocolate and sweet berry overtones – and just a slight hint of jasmine. The coffee is also certified organic, which means that no harmful chemicals will make it to your morning ritual – as far as the coffee goes, at least. The coffee pods are biodegradable as they’re plant-based, so you’ll be able to enjoy your convenient, single-serve, no-fuss coffee guilt-free!

Cameron's Coffee Single Serve Pods, Kona Blend, 12 Count (Pack of 6)

For those looking to get some high-quality arabica in the mix, Cameron’s Coffee Single Serve Pods are the best quality Kona coffee K-Cup option on the market that combines excellent taste with affordability. Although the pods contain only 10% Kona, the rest is still pure arabica, and the blend is artfully made to allow the unique taste of Kona to pop. These pods deliver a bold and smooth cup of coffee, with notes of chocolate and nuts. The pods are commercially compostable.

Tayst Decaf Coffee Pods | 30 ct. Defiantly Decaf | 100% Compostable Keurig K-Cup compatible | Gourmet Coffee in Earth Friendly packaging
Tayst Decaf Coffee Pods. The best decaf K-Cup coffee are the If you have some experience with decaf, you probably know that decaf coffee – usually – isn’t nearly as delicious as regular, caffeinated coffee. Well, Tayst is the exception that proves the rule. The coffee grounds in the pods are darkly roasted, so they deliver a rich, full-bodied experience without the twitchiness that accompanies the third cup of coffee mid-day. In fact, the flavor is so bold that you’ll want to add some milk to it! The pods are also completely compostable and biodegradable, and the company is Rainforest Alliance – certified.
GLORYBREW - 36 K Cup Variety Pack - 100% Compostable Keurig Coffee Pods - Rainforest Alliance Certified Medium & Dark Roasts Biodegradable…

The most versatile K-Cup coffee is the GLORYBREW Compostable. With this option, you get three beautiful blends for any flavor – dark and rich, mellow and smooth, and intense and chocolatey. So if you’re not sure what type of K-Cup is your type of K-Cup, the Glorybrew Variety Pack is a great way to get an idea of what your favorite roast and blend is. The pods are compostable and biodegradable, and Glorybrew is also a Rainforest Alliance member – which also means that there are no additives or preservatives in the coffee.

How to Choose the Right K-Cup Coffee for You

Now you know everything about the best K-Cup coffees on the market, which will certainly improve your opinion of just what that Keurig’s machine can do. Still, the question remains – which one is the right choice for you? Let’s go over the main factors you should consider when choosing your new order of K-Cups.

Coffee Roast

One of the main criticisms that K-Cups get is that the resulting cup of coffee tastes weak, diluted, and old. However, since we’ve filled our recommendations with filter-based pods that contain actual grounds of coffee rather than regular plastic cups which contain some sort of a coffee concentrate, this criticism mostly doesn’t apply.

The part which does apply concerns coffee strength. Light roasts simply don’t go with Keurig’s machines. Light roasts shine when it comes to drip brews or pour-over coffee. When we’re talking Keurig’s machines, you should opt for everything above medium roast, and in fact – the darker and oiler, the better. So medium, medium-dark, dark, and extra-dark roasts all work well for this brewing method. And from this generous variety, all that’s left to you is choosing which type of roast is most to your liking.

Pods Over Cups

The original K-Cups, which is what we mean by cups and which you may have used before, are different to the K-Cups pods that we are recommending. The difference between the two is in quality, taste, and eco-friendliness. That’s right, we’re not just trying to push you to be more eco-conscious, we’re also trying to give you the best tasting option.

The cups are filled with coffee concentrate which goes through various factory processes and just sort of tastes, meh at best. The best reviews you’ll find for K-Cups of this sort is that they are acceptable or that they taste like vanilla, or caramel, or whatever. But most coffee lovers aren’t just in it for a syrupy, Starbucks-inspired cup of sugar. Plus, these cups are made of plastic which is adding to the neverending piles that are suffocated land and water.

K-Cups pods on the other hand, taste way better. That’s because they’re filled with freshly ground coffee, and if you store them well, they’ll maintain that freshness until it’s their turn to be brewed. There’s no chemicals, additives, dilutants, or any of that – it’s just an easy single-serve portion of proper coffee. In fact, you’ll see that your Keurig’s machine will finally shine using these pods. Not to mention that pods are generally either biodegradable or compostable or both – so they definitely have the upper hand when it comes to reducing waste and pollution.


We talk a lot about taste, quality, and environmental consequences – but what about money? We are kind of programmed to believe that the more of these tags a product has – like “eco-friendly” or “biodegradable” or “organic”, the pricier it will be. But this isn’t always the case – in fact, it’s even less so over time. As the human negative impact becomes more obvious with each passing day, some of these selling points are becoming a norm. So, no: a biodegradable, compostable pod will not cost you more than a single-serving piece of plastic.

In any case, our top picks vary in price, and favorite K-Cup coffee also just happens to be the most affordable. Even though the blend is organic – which people may think should be priciest – it’s not the case. The current cost per pod of the SF Bay Rainforest Blend is about $0.42.

The next stop on the scale is Cameron’s Kona Blend – which again, you’d expect to carry a salty price due to the coveted Kona coffee in the blend. However, it costs only about $0.50 per pod. The Tayst Decaf Pods are pricier, costing around $0.77 per pod, and the Glorybrew Variety Pack is by far the costliest, with pods that cost $0.84 apiece. As prices are subject to change, make sure you check the latest price when choosing.

Brewing The Perfect K-Cup Coffee

The appeal of Keurig’s machines is the simplicity. All you do is insert the K-Cup, press a button, and pick up your drink-ready cup of java a minute later. However, there are a couple of steps you can take to make sure that you get a great cup of coffee every time…

Choose The Right Roast

We’ve gone over this – go for at least medium, up to extra-dark. The best way to have control over the roast is either to get one of these awesome pods we’ve been talking about, or to get a reusable K-Cup filter which you can fill with a fresh grind of your own choosing every day. The latter is a bit more work but will deliver some great tasting coffee.

Regularly Clean Your Machine

With any brewing method, you’ll need to clean your coffee maker regularly. Otherwise, stale coffee and bacteria will accumulate and affect the taste of your coffee for the worse. To keep your taste buds safe from trouble, you should regularly clean your Keurig’s machine. And don’t worry, by regularly, we mean once every two months or so.

The easiest, most foolproof way to clean a Keurig’s machine is to run a cycle of white vinegar through it (no coffee – just vinegar). You can also do half water, half vinegar. Then, send two more cycles of pure, regular water to get rid of vinegar residue. I do the same thing with my Moka pot to prevent the bitter taste that accompanies old coffee buildup.

A Few Words Before You Go…

We hope that our reviews and buying guide have been useful in your search for the best K-Cup coffee for your Keurig’s machine. We tried to create a list for you which doesn’t compromise taste or eco-friendliness for convenience and price. In a nutshell, we tried to bring you the best of the best! If you want to learn more details about each K-Cup variety, follow the links to the Amazon sites.

Best Overall

Best Quality

Best Decaf

Most Versatile

And since we have you (not that we have you), check out our product reviews, guides and recipes, which are sure to bring the best of the restaurant/coffee shop experiences into your own home.

Amazon product information last updated on September 17, 2020. Images, prices and links from Amazon Product Advertising API.