Convenience and the One-Cup Coffee Conundrum
A lot of people love having a great cup of coffee in the morning before they leave the house, but only want the ONE cup. If you’ve ever been in that situation, you know the feeling of staring at the coffee maker, wondering if it’s worth the bother of making a whole pot just for the one cup. In the early 1990’s, with the original intent of addressing the office coffee market, two former roommates in Maine developed a product that would brew a single cup of coffee, solving the problem of the office coffee pot becoming stale and bitter. From this idea, the Keurig machine, and its compact little individual serving pods, the “K-Cups,” were born. Just a few years earlier, the Nestle company had developed a similar machine, called the “Nespresso,” which aimed to make it easy to make your own individual cup of espresso at home. It similarly used a small, disposable pod, pre-filled with a single serving.
It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that both the Keurig and the Nespresso machines really took off. Along with their popularity, however, came a counter-reaction from environmentalists. It was correctly pointed out that, while convenient, the K-Cup and Nespresso pods were becoming environmental hazards, filling up landfills with millions of the discarded pods, which were 100% non-biodegradable.
Coffee purists as well looked down upon the lowly K-Cups and Nespresso pods, arguing that they just didn’t produce a quality brew. They weren’t entirely wrong.
Coffee purists as well looked down upon the lowly K-Cups and Nespresso pods, arguing that they just didn’t produce a quality brew. They weren’t entirely wrong. While increasingly you could order your K-Cups with a variety of higher-end blend and single source coffees, they were produced in such mass quantities that you could never get a truly fresh roast, and the brewing method simply doesn’t allow the water to stay in contact with the coffee grounds long enough to really develop a great flavor.
There is, however, a solution for those who are attracted to the convenience of these pods, but don’t want to contribute to the environmental degradation, or who still want a great cup – or both. For both the Keurig and Nespresso machines, there are reusable filters available, that can be filled with your own choice of coffee, giving you the opportunity to make sure that the coffee is the best you can buy, and ground fresh. Best of all, there’s nothing to throw away but the grounds themselves, after the cup is made.
There are also some specific tips for how to get a great tasting cup out of these machines. Here’s a short video that will explain how. The method used in the video is for the Keurig, but it works just as well for Nespresso. So drink up, without guilt, and enjoy!