A Guest Post by John Thompson
Many of my friends and family own a Keurig. They go on and on about its convenience and how much cheaper it is than buying coffee from Starbucks. So why no Keurig for me? Besides the new Keurig 2.0 models not allowing the capability to brew your own coffee, there are a few other reasons to pass on the Keurig.
Cost. According to a recent post by Business Insider, the cost of a cup of Keurig coffee is about $50 a pound. Sound crazy? Well, it isn’t. Every one of those tiny K-Cups retail for somewhere between .31 cents to a dollar, with an average of about $.60 a K-Cup. And while this is cheaper than a cup of “black” at your local coffee house, compare that to the cost of one pot of drip coffee. CoffeeDetective.com suggests that the typical cup of drip brand name (Starbucks, Peets, etc.) coffee retails for around $.27 a cup. That’s roughly half the cost of drinking a K-Cup.
Volume. The Huffington Post recently reported that the average American consumes 2.1 cups per day, putting our numbers at $190 per year for the Coffee Potters and $800 for the K-Cuppers.” I drink more than a cup of coffee in a sitting. Honestly, I can nurse a whole pot if it’s available. Translation, I’m probably in the over 2.1 cups of coffee per day crowd, and somewhere around my third trip to a Keurig, the value of convenience is diminishing.
Heat. Keurig maintains that the best heat to brew at is 192 degrees Celsius. While opinions differ on what the best heat is, many coffee snobs prefer temperatures in excess of 195. Several Keurig fans suggest that you use room temperature water to brew and pre-warm your cup. These suggestions seem out of place with the purpose of the Keurig, which is convenience.
Quality. I’m not suggesting that Keurig coffee is bad. I save that criticism for Folgers or instant varieties, but fresh ground coffee is better. The documentation available to support this is abundant. With so many micro-roasters and mainstream blends to choose from, I can’t even imagine someone posing a significant counter-argument.
Machine: The machine is expensive and not as reliable as I would expect when paying for a premium coffee brewer. Keurig’s new 2.0 machine retails around $150. That is roughly $100 more than a great drip brewer. Common complaints about the K-Cup brewer range from calcium build-up, airflow problems (mainly from stuck coffee grounds), and warm-up time. In fact, my good friend who runs kcupbarista.com actually suggests that sometimes the best thing you can do while trouble-shooting your Keurig is to turn it upside down and give it a good spank.
Some gadgets are great, but for me the Keurig isn’t my cup of *cough* tea.