They’ve been on the market for several years now, and it would seem they aren’t going away any time soon: single serve (and even multi serve) coffee pods. Keurigs, Tassimos, other machines with hyped up bells and whistles, all touting themselves as convenient brewing wonders. And it’s not just coffee, there’s tea, hot chocolate, and even soup and other concoctions available for these machines. But are they really worth it?
No matter how you look at it, K-Cups, pods, whatever the proprietary name they stick on these things, they always cost more than loose grounds, and with reason. You’re paying for extra packaging, pre-measured doses, and ‘convenience’. Compare for example, Folgers (I’m not picking on them, just using them as an example). A canister of grounds for a regular perc versus K-Cups. You’re always going to pay more for the K-Cups. A lot more. A lot more money, for far fewer actual cups of coffee.
All those pods create a ton of garbage. All that extra foil, plastic, and in many cases paper filter liners piles up to a lot of unnecessary waste. How much plastic does a canister with say, 1kg of coffee use? And it’s more than likely recyclable. How much garbage does 1kg worth of K-Cups create? A lot. Far more than the canister. And there’s another kind of ‘waste’ too. The way these things can waste cupboard/drawer space if you keep a lot on hand!
Are they really more convenient and time saving?
How much time do you actually save by using a pod versus measuring out your coffee? There are other single serve coffee makers available that come with mesh filters, like this one from Hamilton Beach. You can use any regular coffee grounds with it. The filter is endlessly reusable if cared for properly, and only takes a moment to wash. The machine itself is less than half the price of a Keurig, the machine itself is easier to clean than our old Keurig, and in my opinion, the coffee comes out tasting much better.
To conclude, after my own experience with a Keurig, I find the coffee pod phenomenon more gimmicky and overplayed hype than an actual worthwhile system. We’ll stick with our FlexBrew.