I Hate K-Cups

I’m just going to come right out and say it.  I think K-Cups are the most stupid fucking wasteful and deplorable examples of laziness I can currently think of.  I keep seeing them everywhere, and every time I do I get irritated with them. 

For those of you not in the know (and too lazy to click the link I provided above), K-Cups are a coffee brewing system that makes coffee by using single serving little cups placed in specific coffee machines.  The systems are said to be able to brew coffee in a mere 20 to 60 seconds.  Furthermore, no measuring is required, as the cup has the specified grounds for a single mug of coffee.

Now, let me list the ways that these annoy me. 

First and foremost I see this as an extremely wasteful product.  As each K-Cup, correlates to only one cup of coffee, there is additional waste product (more than just grinds) created with each cup of coffee brewed.  While I have read about the My-K Cup, which allows conventional coffee grounds to be used (thus creating less waste) and some K-Cups are supposedly “recyclable” (and yes those quotation marks are intentionally sarcastic), the main K-Cups I see available and advertised are nothing short of additional wasteful plastic products.  Coffee brewing does not need to be remotely this wasteful at all.  Grinds can easily be composted.  As can coffee filters (and you can opt, in most cases, for stainless steel or copper, mesh filters that can be reused indefinitely.  This is what I do and it works great).  As such, generally only the packaging creates a certain waste product, and even those are more often being made recyclable or compostable.  I think it is appalling to endorse such a blatantly wasteful product.

Secondly, the illusion of quick convenience and ease of K-Cups irritates me to no end.  I brew myself two cups worth of coffee every day.  Often times I also grind my own coffee beans.  How much skill and time does making this coffee take me?  Hardly any, maybe a minute or two of production and about five or six minutes to brew.  Is that more work and time than just putting a little plastic cup in a machine and pushing “Go?”  Yes, it is.  But serious get the fuck over it.  If you feel like spending less than ten minutes preparing your daily coffee is an issue then I think you are probably needing to do a lot of re-evaluting.  Even furthermore, on the easy of not having to measure or figure out the amounts, making coffee is almost one of the easiest things you can do.  Pretty much every bag of coffee has instructions on how to brew it, and if not, a quick look on the Internet will certainly solve that problem.  If you use a french press to brew your coffee it is simply warming up water (which you have to do with the K-Cup systems too by the way), adding the grinds, pressing them down, and letting it steep for a few moments.  It is really not anymore more difficult.  If you do use a drip system (like I do) here’s a hot idea, how about during the six or so minutes of brewing you get a few other things done instead of just standing around watching the drip-drip-drip.

Lastly (kind of), from what I can tell by my astute research (which is really just looking at prices at stores) the K-Cups are significantly more expensive than brewing your own coffee.  Most of the K-Cup boxes I have seen contain something like 16 K-Cups, which is 16 cups of coffee.  They run about $12 to $14 for a package of them.  According to Scott, who roasts coffee at Palmetto Bean here at the library, one of his 14 oz bags of coffee can produce 45 cups.  He charges $8 a bag. So on top of it all, from what I gather, K-Cups are not even really economically that great.

So let me sum this all up.  Basically, from best I can tell, K-Cup systems can produce a single cup of coffee in a minute or less all at the expensive of spending more money and creating unnecessary waste.  To me this is moronic and really just demonstrates a general problem with people and overall laziness.  We are all too often willing to essentially spend more for the appearance of saving time and doing things easier.  For all I can tell, K-Cups are a crock and a waste and really just ridiculous.

Allow me to be fair though, I have offered my rant and rage, I now invite those of you who choose to use K-Cups to explain to me why you think it is a better system than conventional drip coffee makers or french presses.  I am willing to admit that perhaps I have missed some overwhelming secret amazingness about the K-Cup systems and if it can be proven to me I will work to amend my stance.  Until then however, I think they are fucking stupid.

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~ by Nathaniel on December 28, 2011.

16 Responses to “I Hate K-Cups”

  1. You have given me a whole new view on k-cups that sadly never occurred to me. I will never look at that little monster in the corner of my kitchen the same way again  In my defense it was a gift. That phrase “necessity is the mother of invention” long ago turned into “laziness is the mother of invention” and shortly, if not already, there will be no longer be a distinction between “need” and “want”

    • Thanks for the comment and I am glad to hear my post made you think about the K-Cups. I think that most people who have an use them did not od so with any intention of being wasteful. They got it as a gift, or saw the convenience and thought “Wow! Nice!” Honestly, from a purely marketing perspective, you kind of have to give Keurig some cred for them, as they have unquestionably been successful. But yes, you are right about the distinction between “need” and “want” often being very minimal and blurred. It is a challenge at times, but I think it is well worth us all asking ourselves, “Do I really need this or do I just want it?”

  2. I’ve had the same thoughts.

    I don’t drink coffee, but I know folks often brew a pot with 6, 8, 10, or 12+ cups. I’d imagine K-cups are gaining traction in offices. At a modest volume, say +/- 8 K-cups, it would take as long, or longer, than brewing a pot of coffee. At which point the time savings is out the window and it’s just an overpriced, wasteful system.

    Plus, refilling from a pot of coffee would takes literally 3 seconds, so it’s just an upfront time cost for the person brewing the coffee.

    I can hear the defense already, “But I like a different flavor than everybody at work”. To which I’d say, get over yourself, or brew the pot and you can pick the flavor.

    • Agreed entirely. In addition, while this opion may not be shared with all, there is really only one flavor I see being needed to be included in coffee, and that flavor is called bourbon, which you should probably be ading at your own measurements anyways . . . oh, and also not at work. I hear people frown on that kind of coffee enjoyment in the workplace.

  3. I first learned of the “k-cup craze” when the school I then worked at got a Keurig. a somewhat new, local company offered us a free Keurig if we agreed to buy our k-cups from them. they offered dozens of flavors, you could mix-n-match several flavors into one box, and they delivered to the school for free. all of us coffee drinkers were pretty thrilled that we wouldn’t have to go get stale coffee from the lunch lady anymore.

    later on, my husband and I received one as a gift, and I started ordering k-cups from the same company that delivered to our school. I sadly never thought much of the waste-factor, probably because I don’t drink coffee every single day. we did get one of those inserts that you can put your own grinds into, so I think I’ll try to start using that once we use up all of the k-cups we have.

    so I guess I think it makes a lot more sense in a workplace setting, but for the home – I agree with you. you’re really not saving that much time, and are creating a lot of waste in the meantime. thanks for getting me thinking!

  4. My wife wanted Kuerig for X-mas. I hated the whole idea and said so. Our drip coffee maker makes a wonderful pot of coffee (it makes 1/2 pot of pretty good coffee). I don’t like the K-Cup waste, or the energy waste of keeping the hot water ready, most of all I hate the K-Cup expense. And I told my wife all this.

    Well, we now have a Kuerig coffee maker (my wife got one for X-mas). The thing make a good cup of coffee and fast. It’s difficult to make a (good) single cup of coffee fast. The only way I know to the make a (good) single cup of coffee is to use a French Press or a Vacuum maker. And neither one of these are fast.

    To make a long story short. I love the thing and this is what I love about it. I can get an excellent cup of fresh coffee in 30 seconds, any time I want. Key words, Excellent Coffee and Fast!

    You would think that the smell of brewing coffee and the anticipation would enhance the flavor that first cupa in the morning. Well, while I think the smell of brewing coffee is one of the great pleasures of life. I would rather push the button and get my coffee and get going.

    While the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, the train to hell is probably powered by convenience.

    So it boils down to waste vs convenience!

    I drive a car, I could ride my bike instead.
    I take a hot shower every morning, I could take a cold one.
    I heat my house in the winter, I could wear a coat.
    I go out for fast food, I could stay home and cook.
    And now I drink excellent coffee and get it fast.

    Ah, where does one draw the line between waste/expense and convenience?

    Am I young and foolish or old and wise?

  5. So after we got a k cup monster for our wedding… for christmas my husband got one of those reusable k cups. He can put his own coffee, tea or hot cocoa in the reusable cup. I’m not sure what my opion of this is. It doesnt make the kuerig machine less silly but its less wasteful.

  6. My roommate has a k-cup machine. Wait, let me clarify: my roommate the environmental lawyer has a k-cup machine, and she buys packages of those disposable, stupid, single-use plastic k-cups. She tried to convince me that it was less waste than using a reusable filter and a bag of ground coffee because she makes herself a cup of coffee once every two weeks and says that any coffee she buys from the store will go stale before she has time to use it. Then she tried to justify it by saying the cups were recyclable — although she never recycles them after using them.

    I don’t even know where to start explaining the wrongness of this situation.

  7. The K-cup is not recyclable in a home or business recycling system but Keurig can arrange a waste-to-energy collection system for businesses that buy K-cups directly from Keurig. If a business buys K-cups from a distributor (which most do), then there is a fee to collect used cups for burning. K-cups are not recyclable because the plastic has multiple layers of materials. Sustainable management of resources means reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting. Keurig created a new product that can only be landfilled or burned, both of which have negative impacts to the environment as there is no “away”. Corporations need to look at the end-of-life of a product during the design phase. Keurig should take more responsibility for financing the system to correctly recycle it. Waste-to-energy is not the solution. We have a finite number of resources on earth. Future generations depend on us to make the choice between the proper management of waste both upstream and downstream (the system of extraction, transportation, manufacturing, transportation, production, transportation, retail store, transportation, consumer use, transportation, collection by hauler, transportation, then ultimately landfilled, reused, recycled, composted, or burned) or convenience. Everyone has their own threshold of where to draw the line but the wise understand that consuming at a rate of 4 times the earths resources is not sustainable. What can we do? vote with our $$$ and buy sustainable products.

  8. I’m a tea drinker. Someone gave me a Keurig for I gift. I put in in our downstairs mini-kitchen that overnight houseguests use. I cannot tell you how much I love to have that machine down there and all those little k-cups so I don’t have to deal with the proper caffeination level of my frickin guests, whom otherwise I love – lol.

  9. I don’t know if others agree on this, but I do think the Keurig makes a superior tasting cup of coffee. This does not, however, mitigate the waste and cost factors. At all. On the other hand, coffee made in the Keurig using the refillable filter gadgets is just as good tasting as coffee made with the pods. I think those things are ridiculous, no mistake, and to make things even more ludicrous, the price of those cups has doubled since Green Mountain cornered the market on them and now controls the supply completely. I hope they have shot themselves in the foot on that and people who did not previously respond to the environmental aspects of this issue will at least figure out that they can respond to the pocketbook aspects of it.

  10. K-Cups are stupid indeed. Nothing about them makes any sense at all, and if the only arguement for them is that they make a decent cup of coffee, so can you if you measure out the right amount in your drip system. If you do that, then you save a ton of money. Not only do you have to purchase that hideous looking brewer, but the lame named K-cups. I have to relate K-cups to people who drive Prius’, they seemingly appear as if their poo does not stink. They are one in the same, and one could sell them a bridge since they save so much money in gas, they have enough cash to waste on everything else. My head hurts from K-cup stupidity. It is times like these that when ever I feel bad about myself, I can think of the people who brag about K-cups along with peopple who wear thier pants around their knees and the people with “butt-slut” tattoos and face tattoos.

  11. Right on. I am with you on the K-cups. Why they are such a hit mystifies me. We rented a vacation house that only had a K-cup machine. My darling Blue Collar Guy and I couldn’t stop commenting to each other about how wasteful, expensive and pointless the K-cup method was. Since we both drink coffee, one of us had to wait for the other to make their cup anyway. It would make me cringe to throw his piece of trash away so I could make my own 10 oz. piece of trash right afterwards.

    -D

  12. I grind my own coffee and use a 4-cup Mr. Coffee that I bought for $20. It works fine for me. I don’t understand how anyone could prefer an expensive and wasteful system such as the Keurig brewers.

  13. I agree with you holeheartedly. I actually came across this post by searching “I hate K-Cups” at work while lamenting the K-Cup system currently in place in my office. I’d like to add just one thing – that the coffee produced by K-Cups is absolutely horrendous. I’ll take bodega coffee over this garbage any day. Cheers.

  14. I concur with your analysis. I actually found this post in my search for a like minded opinion on the matter to help relieve some of my anger about it. It’s just one of those silly things that really bothers me to the point that I need to seek out sanity to restore just a little faith in humanity.

    I noticed a comment that mentioned that in a work place setting these actually make sense. I would have to disagree. My office of 4 people will go through a 12 cup pot of coffee in under 3 hours. If we had to change out the damn k-cups that many times in 3 hours I’d argue it would take longer than simply refilling my cup. In addition since we tend to make 2-3 pots a day if someone wants a different brew they are more than welcome to make it.

    Another argument for the k-cups is that they make a superior cup of coffee. While the coffee they make may not be bad (and may even be good) I don’t see any buristas using them which leads me to the conclusion that you can make better coffee without them. I realize that is an argument from authority but come on, we’re talking about k-cups. Perhaps the people with this argument are just really bad at making their coffee. You might benefit from a quick youtube tutorial on the topic.

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