Okay, warning. I’m going to go on a huge rant of semi-epic proportions. And with this rant you’ll take one of two sides in which you’ll say:
- YES! OMG! YOU NAILED IT!
- This guys an idiot.
The people in group one are the people that will, obviously, agree with this. The people in group two…won’t. And it’s not that they are stupid people, they’re just doing something stupid – at least in my humble opinion. And if you’re a home owner of a previous (or future house sit), don’t be offended. This is an observation and is in no way judging you, even though it’ll seem like I’m judging you by the condescending tone I’m about to use.
So what is this epic rant, you ask?
Keurig. Tassimo. Nespresso. All stupid.
Hey, I own a Keurig! Why do you think these are stupid? They save me so much time!
Is that all? They save you time? That’s all you’ve got? That’s you’re only argument as to why you have a $100 coffee maker that costs over $0.60 a cup thereafter?
Uhh, it tastes better too?
No. It doesn’t. And here’s a list of other problems with the Keurig (and other machines like it).
#1. Not recyclable
How is it we took a step back with something that had a very small carbon footprint? Coffee, brewed with those paper liners (biodegradable or bamboo) are so simple. Brew a pot, toss the grounds and filter in your compost. Heck, toss em in the trash, they’ll biodegrate. Keurigs and the like? Nope. Sorry, can’t even empty them out and recycle the plastic because that plastic doesn’t get recycled. Great idea.
#2. Price Per Cup
Since we’ve been house sitting we’ve stayed at a few places with Keurig/Nespresso systems. And we’ve had to buy the little brewing cups because, well, we want a cup of coffee. Now, for 12 Keurig servings it cost us $8 CAD. That’s $67 cents a cup. WHAT! Guess I’m not having a second cup! Brewing coffee in a pot will vary depending on how much you make if you use liners. If you want one cup, it’s going to cost more because of the liner, but we’re talking pennies a cup, like Kool-Aid. Unless you use one of those steel mesh filters, then you have a one-time cost. But typically, it costs about a dime per cup for your standard drip machine if you buy coffee in bulk.
I’m all for grinding beans. And many coffee aficionados will say a French Press is even better than your standard drip-machine or percolator. You can grind them as coarse or as fine as you want to when it comes to the aforementioned brewing methods – although drip machines are better when grinds are more fine. Not with those Keurig machines. You’re stuck with grounds – worse – your’re stuck with grounds in a non-recyclable, expensively tiny plastic cup.
#4. Cost of Machine
A standard drip coffee maker costs about $20. A Keurig starts at $80. Nespresso at $100, and Tassimo at $90. So you could buy 4 regular coffee makers for one Keurig and gift them to 3 friends (friends who may have a Keurig)
Standard drip-style coffee makers and percolators don’t need any add-ons. What the coffee-maker industry COULD do to make things even better is to have a standard brewing pot. They’re typically made from glass, and accidents happen resulting in broken coffee pots. If you bought a coffee-maker 5 years ago, chances are that pot ceases to exist and you’ll likely have to buy a whole new maker. Now, Keurigs have their own add-ons, too. You can buy this little device; Keurig’s Reusable K Cup ® so you can make regular ground coffee (the kind you scoop into a regular maker). That add-on is only $10. And that’s an Amazon affiliate link there because I do hope that if you have a Keurig and are reading this that you buy something that’s a little better for the environment.
We wash our coffee pots with vinegar and water. Back before we house sat we would also run a cycle of vinegar-water through our machine. Yep. We douched our coffee maker. Percolators and French Presses are even easier to clean. You pretty much just rinse them out. Those other machines? Well, here’s an interesting little video about what happens when you don’t keep your Keurig clean
Most coffee makers come with timers. So, you can prepare your coffee the night before and when you wake up, your perfectly timed coffee maker has brewed a pot and the beautiful aroma of coffee fills your home. Keurig: Turn on. Let it warm. Toss in non-recyclable coffee cup. Brew. I suppose the prep-time cancels out the “day-of” brewing method here. I see how people think it’s a time saver. Quicker brewing? Easier brewing? I don’t see it, but maybe. And if there is a time savings, I don’t think saving yourself 10 seconds a day should sacrifice saving the planet with that waste created by those machines.
To be fair, these fancy new systems allow you to create a pretty strong cup, like an espresso setting. And Nespresso does brew a potent cup of java. So if espresso is your thing, then fair enough.
Sadly, the grocery stores are picking up on these trendy machines too, offering more and more products for these machines and less for regular coffee makers. This means only one thing; there’s more money to be made on these new machines. It’s all about the Benjamin’s folks.
I get the convenience factor Keurig, Nespresso, Tassimo, and the like all provide, and how easy the whole process can be. But come on people. In a day and age where we’re trying to cut BACK on our carbon footprints the western world has decided to jump on THIS of all bandwagons? Really? More expensive coffee that’s worse for the environment?
I can only hope these machines are a fad, like pet-rocks, but I have a feeling they’re only just getting started.
Now go sell all your
stuff Keurigs, Tassimos, and Nespressos.