First, let me say I don’t drink coffee. Can’t stand the stuff. Not even coffee ice cream. I will buy an iced latte once every few months, but it took me nine months to use the last coffee gift card I received. (That leads me to another question: why do my friends, who know my husband and I don’t drink coffee, give us coffee gift cards?) Anyway, I’ve been seeing a coffee commercial for the last two days that makes me stabby: the Keurig K-Cups.

Cheaper than the Coffee Shop, but Still Expensive
One person in my office campaigned for us to buy a Keurig and the single-serve cups to go with them, but was overruled by HR when they discovered that these K-cups cost at least 50 cents each. Fifty cents to brew coffee yourself using an expensive machine.

The High Price of Convenience
True, fifty cents could be more economical than brewing a whole pot if you only drink one cup of coffee a day, but there are cheaper options. If you’re that person, just pour yourself a cup at the office. In most offices, coffee is free. If you drink 2-4 cups and coffee isn’t free at work, invest in a cheap French press and brew it yourself for less than ten cents a cup. It takes slightly more work than popping the K-cup into the brewer, but a French press is a lot cheaper.

Oh My Goodness, the Waste!
This is the part that really got me stabby: the waste. Each of those single-serve cups is also a single-use cup. When you’re done brewing your one cup of coffee, you throw it out. That cup is made of plastic with a plastic and foil lid. Then the cup also contains a filter. So, you throw out a filter and plastic. According to various sources, that plastic isn’t recyclable. Coffee filters are at least a natural fiber.

Are We Really that Lazy?
Frankly, these K-cups make me sad for us as a country. Are we really so lazy that we can’t brew a pot of coffee the old-fashioned way? Is it too much effort to find a solution that will let you brew a small pot without a lot of plastic waste? Here, I’ve solved it for you. Buy one of these small French presses. I do actually own one of these. It was a gift from my mom because she likes to drink coffee when she visits. It’s easy to use and pretty quick. If I, a non-coffee drinker, can go to this slight effort to save money and the planet, surely those of you who consume a lot of coffee can do the same.

Let’s end the madness of the single-serve packets of coffee of anything else. Stop buying 100-calorie packs – make your own with zipper bags. Stop buying travel sizes unless you’re planning to travel. These small steps toward reducing packaging are the start of saving the planet, and it will be pretty nice to your wallet, too.


5 Responses to “That Makes Me Stabby: Single-Serve Coffee”

  1. Chris R on November 4th, 2009 2:34 pm

    I purchase whole bean coffee in bulk. It never goes bad until after you grind it.

    When you do grind it just before brewing a pot, your reward will be a fantastic cup of coffee. Coffee is such a simple pleasure and I won’t sacrifice that.

    I remember an old saying; instant coffee is man’s punishment for being lazy.

  2. David Hallstrom II on November 5th, 2009 10:56 am

    I love our Keurig at work and the convenience is so worth it! I have to admit though, I wouldn’t use it if I had to pay for the individual cups.

  3. Bucksome Boomer on November 6th, 2009 9:56 am

    I love coffee, but also think buying the individual serving packs are crazy for home use. I don’t get why Starbucks thinks there is a market for their Via product.

  4. Aryn on November 6th, 2009 10:24 am

    Seriously, Boomer. I guess measuring out instant coffee is just too much work to people used to stopping somewhere to buy their coffee. Sigh.

  5. Melody on November 29th, 2009 1:33 pm

    We have one of those pod machines at home. But we (I) make our own pods. It’s pretty simple using T-bags. T-bags are extraordinarily thin and meant for people who want to bag up their own loose tea. (note that you don’t just fill the bags as is but have to manufacture the pods from the bags). I think coffee is vile stuff but hubby says the pods work fine. And of course you can put in any sort of coffee you like.

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