There's no denying the popularity of Keurig's coffee machines. Their famous ease of use, however, comes at a hidden price with the inventor behind Keurig coffee technology himself expressing deep concerns about the little coffee gadget he helped unleash upon the world. Apparently K-Cups by design are a caffeine addict's dream and a rip-off -- not to mention unconscionable landfill fodder.
A fast java fix
According to The Atlantic, John Sylvan is the individual we can all thank (or blame) for creating the K-Cup brewing system in the early 1990s. Based on recent comments to James Hamblin of the Atlantic, Sylvan describes the technology as possibly habit enabling as nicotine saying, "It's like a cigarette for coffee, a single-serve delivery mechanism for an addictive substance."
Way too pricey
Getting hooked on Keurig isn't Sylan's only bone to pick with K-Cup brewers. Keurig's creator also feels that being locked into the company's system is just too expensive. Taking decidedly no-frills coffee grounds then tacking on a premium price (to the tune of $40 per pound), is how parent company Keurig Green Mountain racked up a whopping $47 billion last year in revenue.
This certainly is a costly road to travel for the sake of a little extra convenience. Worse, the vendor's newbakes DRM protections right into compliant brewers so using unsanctioned K-Cup coffee pods in these machines is challenging if not completely fraught with frustration.
Plastic, plastic everywhere
The tiny K-Cup may seem harmless but with Keurig admitting to selling 9.8 billion pods last year, the petite packaged will undoubtedly have a massive environmental impact. While this figure includes the newer Vue and K-Carafe style pods which are recyclable, the older older original K-Cups are not.
Sylvan concurred telling the Atlantic, "No matter what they say about recycling, those things will never be recyclable. The plastic is a specialized plastic made of four different layers." From the mouth of the K-Cup man himself, those are damning words to be sure.
Of course coffee drinkers aren't without plenty of compelling options outside of Keurig, or pod-style brewers all together. Drip java is enjoying a real renaissance with premium coffee shops serving up artisan pour-overs daily. A crop of newalso offer the power to make truly delicious pots of java at home, given you use them .