On this K-Cups Tips page, the many K-Cups coffee and tea professionals at Markcol from both the online business as well as the physical retail stores provide insightful tips on K-cups and your Keurig machine and share them with all Canadians. Markcol employees share your enthusiasm for the K-Cups experience and look forward to sharing their knowledge with you. If you have a suggestion for tip please leave a comment at the bottom of this page and we will try to include a tip on that topic.

When ever possible we will try to put a link in the tip to any  products mentioned  so you can try it yourself and benefit from our expertise first hand!

K-Cups Tips #1: Brew K-Cups coffee over ice?

How To Brew K-Cups over ice.

Iced Coffee K-Cups Tips from MarkcolOne of the questions we get asked all the time at Markcol: “Where is the iced coffee?” The answer is simple; Every single cup in our stores can be made over ice! One of our favourite things to do here is experiment with K-Cups on our Keurig machine and we are always coming up with new, tasty drinks to enjoy. You can choose any K-cup you want and make it over ice.

The trick to this K-Cups Tip is to brew the cup on the smallest cup setting your machine can do; preferably a 4oz serving. Add your cream, your sugar and throw in some ice for a cold treat! The ice will melt and will give you a full size serving of your favourite coffee.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to make something a little bit fancier try frothing some milk (even chocolate milk!) and pour it over top. Add some whipped cream if you want! Or what about a flavour shot using your favourite Torani syrup? There are so many different ways to enjoy iced coffee from your Keurig; give this K-Cups Tip recipe for a “S’mores iced coffee” a go!

Brew 4oz of your favourite chocolate flavoured coffee
Add a cup of ice
3 pumps Torani toasted marshmallow syrup
Add desired cream/milk
Top with whipped cream and crushed graham cracker


K-Cups Tips #2: Double Double

How To: A True Tim Horton’s K-Cup Double Double

Tim Horton's K-Cups Tips from Markcol Now that you can get Tim Horton’s coffee in k-cups, one of the things you will need to know is how to make it taste exactly like what you would get at the drive-thru window at your local Timmie’s. One of the K-Cups Coffee Tips secrets we will let you in on is that Tim’s uses 18% cream in their coffee.

This could explain why you just can’t get it to taste right from your Keurig brewer. If you’re using anything other than 18% cream, then your Tim’s wont be a true Tim’s. Who knew a certain cream could be the key to a perfect cup of Tim’s?

Fun K-Cups Tips fact: did you know that Tim Horton’s serves Higgins and Burke tea in their coffee shops? For all you tea lovers, Markcol carries this tea in all of our stores so if that Timmie’s tea is what you’re after, we’ve got you covered!

Tim Horton’s has also made available their dark roast coffee, decaf coffee (which might we add is decaffeinated using the Swiss Water Process) and their French vanilla cappuccino for the Keurig brewer. You can find all of these available at your local Markcol location; which one will you be enjoying next?

K-Cups Tips #3: The Leap to Dark Roast

If you’ve been drinking the same type of coffee for years, maybe it’s time to switch it up. There are hundreds of options of k-cups available so why stick to one kind? Maybe you’re getting bored of the typical medium roast you’ve been drinking day in and day out and it’s time to take things over to the dark side.

K-Cups Tips: making the leap to dark roast can be a scary, daunting task; but we’re here to help!

Balzac's A Dark Affair K-Cups Tips from MarkcolIf you want to start things off a little lighter, you may want to try Martinson’s Dark Roast for a nice smooth, blend. This coffee is not bitter in taste but still strong enough to differentiate itself from a medium roast. Now, if you really want to dive into the dark roast, I can tell you that the darkest dark roast you will find on a Markcol shelf is Barista Prima French Roast; That’s if you’re looking for something extremely dark, almost bitter in taste and you’re feeling like a real dare devil. But we carry the lightest of dark roasts to the darkest of dark roasts and everything in between. A newer addition to the dark roast family here at Markcol is Balzac Coffee – “A Dark Affair”. I would rank this one in the middle in terms of intensity but this coffee will not disappoint. A full flavour dark coffee with rich, vibrant tastes. So next time you’re in Markcol why not give something new a try and switch to the dark side?

K-Cups Tips bonus: Don’t forget you can buy singles of the coffees you’re looking to try, and our employees are always eager to recommend a switch-up!

K-cups Tips #4: What’s In a Flavoured K-Cups Coffee?

Martinson Pumpkin Pie K-Cups TipsOne of the K-Cups Tips I get asked for at Markcol all the time is “How many calories are in this flavoured coffee?”. The answer will always be the same; there aren’t any. But then how can a pumpkin pie flavoured coffee taste just like pumpkin pie? There has to be some sort of sugar or something in it besides just coffee. The process for flavouring a coffee just involves spraying flavoured oil over the beans as they’re roasting, and the flavour gets roasted right in. The only k-cups you will find on our shelves with any calories, fat, sugars etc. are the tasty cappuccinos, hot chocolates, apple ciders, and lattes just to name a few.

One of the easiest ways to figure out if there’s something extra added to your coffee is right on the box itself… Nutritional information.

If you’re brewing just a regular or flavoured coffee you won’t find any of those Nutrition facts on the box, but as soon as something else is added it becomes necessary for the company to post exactly what’s in each k-cup.

Another way to tell is by looking at the ingredients. Regular coffees will simply say something like “100% Arabica coffee” (or whichever kind of coffee it is), while specialty k-cups will have everything listed for you. So next time you want to try that salted caramel coffee don’t worry about any calories until after you’ve added your cream and sugar!

Let us know if you enjoy reading our K-Cups Tips and feel free to ask our staff about any our over 350 K-Cups products.

K-Cups Tips #5: When to Clean Your Brewer

Keurig K-Cups Tips from MarkcolLike all small appliances, treat your Keurig right and it will treat you well for years. I love my Keurig probably more than any other kitchen appliance I own and I want it to love me back, so every once in a while it’s important to clean it inside and out. Today’s update for K-Cups Tips will help you do exactly that!

Have you ever noticed your Keurig just not performing to the best of its ability? Cleaning it is usually the first thing I recommend; it’s pretty much a fix for any issue with your brewer.

Keurig brewers have a “descaling” indicator to let you know when it’s time to flush your machine, but if you’re using your Keurig a lot you will most likely be doing it a kindness to clean it more often than the brewer asks. The cleaning process is painless, yet effective.

The first thing you will need is a product to descale the brewer. “Clean Cup Descaling Liquid” is available at all Markcol stores as well as online for $6.99, and each bottle gets you 3 uses. You’ll empty 1/3 of the bottle into the water reservoir and fill the rest with water. Then brew the solution through your machine.

Pro K-Cups Tip: I always recommend leaving the solution overnight to sit in the pipes of your brewer to really breakdown any build up. In the morning just flush your machine with regular water and the cleaning process is finished! Easy, and your Keurig will thank you!

K-Cups Tips #6: Hot Chocolate Hack!

Hot Chocolate K-Cups Tips for K-Cups coffeeYou may have noticed that here at Markcol we have a lot of hot chocolates. In the past couple of weeks alone we’ve gotten 2 brand new ones (Laura Secord Mint Hot Chocolate, and Skinny Girl Low Cal Hot Chocolate).

I love a good cup of hot chocolate, but I’ve found one common issue with them. I can never get all of the product out of the k-cup and into my mug! Of course I’ve found a way around this, and yes, I’ll share it with you!

All I do to get all of that yummy product out of the k-cup is puncture the cup multiple times! Put your hot chocolate of choice into the Keurig and close the lid. But don’t brew! Open the lid again, rotate the k-cup and close the lid again. I like to repeat this process 3, sometimes even 4 times before I actually brew the cocoa.

Once you start doing this, you’ll notice your hot chocolates tasting that much better. The problem is that the companies making these cups want to give you the best tasting cocoa they can, but sometimes the Keurig just can’t get through all of it (more product for better taste? That hardly seems like a problem.) So by punching these extra holes, you’re giving the product more space to get out of the k-cup, which means more flavour in your mug.

K-Cups Tips #7: Soup from your Keurig?

Kettle Kups K-Cups Tips Soup now available in CanadaIf you’ve been into our stores recently, you may have noticed something you never expected in a Markcol store: Soup in K-cups We’ve seen plenty of strange looks from our customers when they read our signs about how you can now have soup right from your Keurig. Crazy, right?  They’re even more confused when we tell them they are actually tasty!!

Kettle Kups is the brand that makes these K-cup soups and they come in 3 different varieties: chicken, vegetable, and beef. Although there aren’t any noodles or veggies or actual meat in these soups, that makes them completely customizable.

Put whatever you want in them or drink them plain. I personally like to throw in some noodles and my favorite vegetables. This way you’re getting exactly what you want in your soup, no wasted ingredients.

Some people have shown concern for traces of coffee in your K-Cup soup, or traces of soup in your K-cup coffee. This is avoidable simply by running a cycle of water through your Keurig machine before and after you use a Kettle Kup. You seriously have to try these K-Cups; we were skeptical at first too.

K-Cups Tips #8: Coffee Solutions for the Office
K-Cups Tips French Kiss Dark Roast

K-Cups Tips French Kiss Dark Roast

It’s not uncommon to find Keurig brewers for K-Cups coffee at the office these days. Almost everywhere you go has a brewer; Doctors office, schools, car dealerships. You can imagine these places would need to have a lot of coffee on hand at all times.

Your friends over at Markcol like to help any way we can so we came up with plenty of ways to keep everyone happy during the work week.

One of the easiest ways to keep stocked up at the office is to buy in bulk. We carry 3 bulk packs in our stores and these coffees just happen to be our best sellers. Freedom Ridge Wilderness Blend, Freedom Ridge Sunrise Blend, and French Kiss (Dark Roast). They come in larger boxes of 70 and will only cost you $32.99. That’s one of the best deals in our stores, and the coffee will please just about anyone.

Aside from just offering great deals, I’ll bet you didn’t know Markcol also has a brewer rental agreement. If you and your co-workers can drink $96 (that’s just 6 boxes of coffee) per month, we’ll give you an industrial brewer for free! It seems like a pretty good trade off, especially if drinking that much coffee is an easy feat where you work. We happily supply hospitals, police stations, fire stations, and more with machines and K-cups coffee, because we all need our caffeine to function sometimes. If it’s time to upgrade your coffee maker at work, come and see us at one of our stores and we can have you set up with a fancy new brewer in no time!

K-Cups Tips #9: K-Cup 2.0 issues? Soloclip to the Rescue!

SoloClip K-Cups TipsOkay, the Keurig 2.0 machine came out well over a year ago now and we’re still facing some of the same issues we were when it first launched. Some of our K-Cup coffees don’t work!!! This is the biggest, and maybe the only downfall with this machine. Keurig decided they were going to install a barcode reading technology into their machines (total “muahaha” moment on Keurigs end). So basically, some cups that previously brewed just fine, now won’t work on your brewer. If you are a 2.0 owner, you know the struggle of having to shop for specific cups that will actually work.

Now we’ve gotten our hands on a little device called the “Soloclip”. This awesome little gadget overrides that barcode reading technology and allows you to use whatever cup you want to in your Keurig 2.0 machine! A total saviour for those of us who like non-Keurig branded products. I think it’s safe to say that Keurig knows what a useless “advancement” (aka total setback) the barcode reader was, and actually caused A LOT of upset among their customers. But the Soloclip is a one time, permanent fix to this issue and they’re available at Markcol!!

K-Cups Tips #10: K-Cups Coffee Blends!

So everyone in Canada has their favourite k-cups that they use on the regular. But have you ever tried to blend two k-cups together to create something totally new and delicious!?  No? Then you are going to love this K-Cups Tip!

K-Cups Tips Duo Markcol in CanadaYou might not think that there’s much experimenting to be done on the Keurig, but let me tell you why you’re wrong. If you take 2 different k-cups that you think could work well together flavour-wise, you can have your own unique creation. It’s one of my favourite things to do on my Keurig. Who doesn’t love a good mocha? A mocha consists of coffee and hot chocolate mixed together.

There’s so many different combinations you can use but one of my favourites is using Timothys White Hot Chocolate and mixing it with Martinson Mint N’ Mocha coffee. Seriously delicious.

Another good one is using Marley Mystic Morning coffee and mixing it with Laura Secord Mint Hot Chocolate. Or whatever flavours you enjoy. The best part is you can make it decaf if you like, or choose between light, medium, dark, or flavoured coffee as well.

But the experimenting doesn’t end there. Another fun thing to do is mix teas together. One of my favourites is doing a China Mist Watermelon Marula & Snapple Raspberry Iced Tea mixed together and poured over ice to create a refreshing, tasty iced tea during our hot Canadian summers.

So next time you’re getting bored of your daily Keurig routine, remember this K-Cups Tip and try something different! You might just create your new favourite drink! What’s the worst that could happen?

K-Cups Tips #11: When it’s time to retire your Keurig.

A popular question I hear all the time is “how long should my Keurig last? It’s not performing as well as it usually does”. Although the life span of these machines totally depends on the way it’s treated over the years, your Keurig machine should last Keurig K-cups Tips machineyou a good 4-6 years if not more.

The lifespan of your machine also depends on how much you’re using it. If it’s working overtime, this could shorten its lifespan. A machine that has made 5,000 K-cups will be more worn than one that has made 500 K-cups.

Another thing I suggest when you think your Keurig might be kicking the bucket is to clean it! A lot of people don’t grasp the importance of keeping your machine clean. You’d be really surprised of the gunk that can buildup inside of your machine over time. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there!

Have a look at one of our previous blogs outlining when/how to clean your brewer! Once you’ve decided that your brewer is not going to come back to life, it may be time to purchase a new one! Although, if your machine hasn’t been around long enough for you to be willing to buy a new one, try going to the source: Contacting Keurig.

Keurig offers great customer service and will sometimes even replace your machine If need be! Another trick for fixing a Keurig is kind of my last resort when my machine is acting up, but you can unplug it and tip it over and give it a firm hit on the bottom of the machine. Sometimes water gets backed up in the pipes, or there could be air bubbles that need to escape and this method usually cures that!

Although your Keurig won’t last forever, if you treat it well, and follow these troubleshooting steps, it won’t go down without a fight!

K-Cups Tips #12: What Do Best Before Dates Really Mean?

On every box of k-cups you will find a “Best Before Date”. But what does it actually mean? Is the coffee bad? Is the flavour changed? Is it unsafe to drink? Markcol K-Cups Tip # 12 Best Before datesWell it actually doesn’t mean any of these things. I mean, obviously don’t drink one that’s 6 years past its best before date, but if it’s a few months to a year, or even just approaching it’s shelf date, you won’t notice any difference, and it might save you a few bucks too!

When a K-cups coffee pod has reached its magical designated best before date, what happens? Absolutely nothing. We at Markcol always want to provide a fresh product; But sometimes a k-cup pack reaches its date before it is sold. What do we do then? We mark down the price for you! A lot of times as soon as we say “it’s past its best before date” customers don’t want it. But how can an air tight, vacuum sealed K-cups coffee even go bad? A best before date, is just that. It’s a companies recommendation of when the coffee should be consumed by. And even though the date doesn’t actually compromise any flavour or quality or safety of the product, it’s essential to add this best before date because it is considered a “food” item. As long as the coffee is properly stored in a cool, dry place it is still perfectly fine to drink it. Don’t shy away from a great box of k-cups because the date it is just a little bit past its best before date. It will taste just the same as it always does.

K-Cups Tips #13: Solofill Solopod

Before you purchased your Keurig you probably had a favourite coffee that you made in your coffee pot or French press, etc. As creatures of habit, you probably looked for that coffee in a k-cup format when you got K-Cups Tips: solofill solopodyour Keurig brewer. Did you find it? If not, there is still a way to enjoy that coffee on your Keurig!

Keurigs are fast, convenient and reduce waste that comes from brewing a whole pot. Not all coffees though are available for the single serve brewers. But we think you should still be able to enjoy them! That’s where we bring in the Solofill Solopod. It’s a handy little gadget to accompany your Keurig and make your coffee choices endless. The Solopod is a reusable k-cup that you can fill with whatever you want. One of the best things about this product is that, unlike other similar products, you don’t have to remove any parts from your brewer to make it fit. It looks just like a regular k-cup; All you have to do is fill it with your choice of K-cups coffee, put it in your Keurig, brew and enjoy.

For optimal use we always recommend a medium or coarse ground coffee. A coffee that is ground too fine will just create a mess and it won’t allow water to run through the cup properly. Another great thing about the Solofill is that it’s environmentally friendly! If you compost the coffee grounds after use, you are literally creating no waste by using this method of brewing!

We can’t say enough good things about the Solofill. It’s dishwasher safe, BPA free and made with recyclable plastic. If you have a particular coffee you love, you can still use your Keurig brewer! If you’re looking for a refillable, environmentally conscious k-cup, the Solofill Solopod is your best bet!

K-Cups Tips #14: Flavouring Syrups & What To Do With Them

K-Cup Tips Torani Sugar Free Peach Syrup K-Cups Tips

I’m sure that on your visits to Markcol, or just by browsing our website you’ve noticed a number of different bottles of funky coloured syrups. I’m also sure that you’ve wondered what the heck to do with these weird syrups. Because you couldn’t possibly fathom putting peach flavoured syrup into your coffee (gross!).

Most people automatically think that they are just used to flavour your coffee. However, when you see a lime flavour or a root beer flavour, you start to second guess yourself because those flavours definitely do not sound good mixed with your favourite K-Cups coffee.

The truth is you can use them in anything! Of course you can use them in your coffee and tea. Pair your favourite medium roast K-Cup with the Torani Cupcake syrup, or just stick to a classic Salted Caramel or French vanilla. Try mixing a Sugar-Free Peach with your Soda Stream Machine. Or make a delicious cocktail with the Green Apple flavour! You can even be really adventures and look up some recipes for bacon cupcakes or pancakes with the Bacon flavoured Torani Syrup! I know it sounds strange but they are actually incredibly delicious! Time to touch into your creative side. Basically anything you could add flavour to, DO IT. These syrups are awesome and can really add that extra oomph to any drink or treat. One of the best parts is that they are potent, so a bottle will last you quite a while.

The world is your oyster when it comes to these syrups, keep it simple and classy or step outside of the box and try something you would never dream of trying, the result may surprise you!