The EkoBrew is a hot item this holiday season. Refillable K-cups are the only way out of the Keurig sink hole, which gets deeper and deeper as you spend increasing amounts of money on stale K-cups. The Ekobrew or similar K-cup won’t turn your Keurig into a five-star coffee maker overnight, but when used properly it’s one hell of an improvement. Follow our tips for better coffee with the Ekobrew and other refillable K-cups.

1. Grind your coffee fresh and grind it right

Adding pre-ground coffee to an Ekobrew won’t make much of a difference. Grinding it fresh at home will. For best results, grind recently roasted whole beans to a medium drip roast setting. This coarse consistency is hard to obtain. Those cheapo $20 blade grinders just can’t get it right, so consider a quality hand coffee grinder or a burr grinder such as the Capresso Infinity to get the grind you deserve.

Think this is too expensive? Well you’re Keurig wasn’t cheap either, was it? You can always ask your grocer or coffee roaster to grind for you as a last resort.

Grind too finely and you’ll end up with grinds in your cup. Keep in mind that settings aren’t universal across grinders. You may need to use a regular instead of a drip grind. It will take some experimenting to get the best results.

Related: Check out our French press guide

2. Rinse after each and every use

The whole point of refillable K-cups is they’re reusable, right? Correct, which means you don’t want yesterdays nastiness in your coffee the next morning. Plastic absorbs taste and odor over time. Don’t leave used grounds sitting in your Ekobrew. Where do you think you live, a dorm? A quick rinse after each use should do the trick.

ekobrew k-cup

3. Check the fit and verify compatibility

Double check and make sure you insert the Ekobrew properly. Otherwise the needle inside the machine could puncture the Ekobrew. We wouldn’t want that now, would we? Clean off grounds around the silicone seal or water could leak out.

Also note that the Ekobrew is not compatible with the Keurig B30, B130, B150 or B155. Buyer beware.

4. Keep your Keurig in tip-top shape

Follow Keurig’s tips for keeping your coffee machine clean. Most importantly, decalcify your Keurig with white vinegar twice a year (more often in hard water areas) to avoid white calcium buildup. Left unattended, these deposits could clog your machine and send it straight to the junk yard.