If you've just spent twenty dollars for twelve cups of mediocre coffee, you've got Keurig problems. These undeniably attractive machines have made their way from the office breakroom with promises of perfect cups of java with no mess and no wait. But if you're considering buying one of these fancy coffee gadgets, read this list of reasons why you should stick to your old Mr. Coffee.
- Keurig machines are expensive! The most expensive Keurig costs around $200, and the cheapest Keurig costs about $100. The differences: color, size of the water reservoir, LCD display, number of lights, and button style. If you think those are worth $100, I've got a bridge to sell you.
- K-cups are expensive, too! Keurig machines use K-cups, sealed pods of ground coffee. For a pack of K-cups, you can expect to pay around $.50 per cup. Compare that to approximately $.25 per cup from a pound of premium ground coffee.
- They only brew one cup! If you’re a greedy misanthrope, this might not bother you. Keurig enthusiasts say the machine provides a conversation piece for guests to admire while they’re waiting for their coffee. I’m sure that employees of your local DMV like to say that the time you spend waiting gives you plenty of opportunity to get to know your fellow drivers.
- K-cups can’t be recycled! This might not bother you if your idea of a good time is barbecuing bald eagles over a tire fire, but K-cups are not recyclable. If you drink three cups a day, you’ll be putting a pile of empty plastic cups in the landfill the size of a kitten, even if you stomp on it. The pile of cups, not the kitten, sicko.
- You're stuck with Keurig! If you own a conventional coffee maker you can buy any coffee you want. With Keurig, you’re stuck with whatever K-cup coffee you can find. Or you can buy a reusable K-cup, experiment with grind sizes, and then gingerly spoon coffee grinds into it. For each cup. Convenient, no?
- Coffee geeks will shun you! Coffee drinkers who specialize in volume own an automatic drip, such as a Mr. Coffee. Old people, campers and retro hipsters own a percolator. The elite own a French press, and will tell you about it at every possible opportunity. All of these people would rather be boiled alive than own a Keurig.
- Keurig machines are unreliable! Keurig users universally praise Keurig’s customer service. They have a lot of experience with it; Keurig machines are notorious for having problems; they often fail after a year. Keurig will replace machines under warranty, but do you really want to buy a coffeemaker you’ll have to ship back to the factory once a year?
- Obsolescence! A Keurig requires a proprietary, disposable plastic cartridge to brew coffee. Eventually Keurig will go out of business, or will change the design of the cup. On the other hand, electric drip coffeemakers have been around since the 70s, and percolators have lasted almost a hundred years.
- The coffee sucks! Maybe that’s a bit strong, but people who refer to K-cup coffee as “gourmet” also think that a cappuccino is just coffee with creamer. The best coffee is made by grinding freshly roasted beans as needed, and brewing the grounds in a French press or similar device. When you buy a K-cup, that coffee was roasted and ground months before it got to you: nowhere near fresh. At twice the cost of premium coffee, you would expect it to taste at least as good.
- There are better options! The money for a Keurig, with all its problems, could be spent better. If you want good coffee, buy a French press. If you want convenience, buy any of the higher-end combination grinder/drip brewers that can be set to brew automatically.
For all the chrome and blue LEDs, Keurig coffeemakers aren’t worth the money. Avoid the problems and headaches by buying something cheaper and better. Like a French press.