• Mark Strong

Wasteful coffee habits


I love coffee a little more than the average person. Some people just want something hot and stimulating, others want to load it down with creams and flavored creamers, and I say wincingly through clenched teeth: to each their own. But I'm not here to criticize mouth tastes, I'm here to criticize product tastes. For context: I'm boringly a drip-only kind of drinker, and I think the art of good drip is gone. While traveling this summer, I bought 5 drips from 5 different vendors, and only one of them was stronger than your average black tea. While you're rolling your eyes, I'm over here not generating a paper cup and plastic lid each time I want a hot beverage.


We were all minding our own business getting coffee to-go and only polluting then until 1998 when Keurig declared war on the planet. Their slogan: Now, we get to pollute from the comfort of our own homes! This writer thinks the Keurig machine is his least-favorite modern gadget invention. Considering we're in a (whispers) recession, the idea that convenience costs money is a little closer to our minds now that our dollars aren't stretching like the good ol days of 2020. Eatwithme.net writes "when buying in bulk, coffee grounds can cost as little as $0.40 per cup while K cups might be $0.60-$0.90 per cup." That cost difference spread out over a year probably isn't something anyone is worried about, but the disposable pods are what powers my dislike of the invention. Plastic. Is. Not. Recyclable. Haven't you been reading SKTL posts?

If you squint, you can read their disclaimer that all communities don't recycle
If you squint, you can read their disclaimer that not all communities recycle / Credit: Keurig.com
Keurig machine screen says This pack wasn't designed for this brewer.
Imagine making this phone call without coffee...

Real quick, I went ahead and tried to use one of these devil machines at work and got the picture on the left.


Yup, that's DRM (digital rights management) for COFFEE GROUNDS. The machine, erroneously in this case, refuses to brew coffee that isn't its brand. Can you imagine if your car spat back out Costco gas because it wasn't Shell? What about if your house came alive and shook off all that Sherwin Williams paint on it because your title deed said that the house could only be painted with BEHR? Do we all understand how ridiculous this concept is?


My call to action: use a reusable K-cup, or take a bigger step and go back to old drip machines. Protip: make sure you don't leave your black nectar on the heat plate for longer than 10 minutes. You might ask, "What if I only want one cup?" Personally, I use the De'Longhi Alicia, which uses the 1933 Bialetti moka pot design, but has a built-in heating system like an electric kettle. What a mouthful! How about a mouthful of great coffee that only produces recyclable waste and is easy to clean? It's a great choice for a quality single cup of the grounds that you choose. One inconvenience is waiting for the metal to cool down before washing. The device also loses a point for accessibility because you have to screw and unscrew the top, which is a challenge for those with limited dexterity. Mine was $60.


Credit to the article title image goes to How to Recycle and Reuse K-Cups (zephyrhillblog.com) .