Every morning, 365 days a year, we wake up, roll out of bed, and stumble into the kitchen to prepare a cup of coffee. For many people, sitting on the couch with a large mug of steaming coffee is the highlight of their day – a moment of calm before the hectic day ensues. This is why it’s essential to find a coffee bean and beverage style that provides you with the utmost enjoyment.
At Good Fika, we want to help coffee enthusiasts find the style and variety that is right for them. We strive to change the minds of people who think that drinking coffee is merely a way to get caffeine so that they can complete their daily tasks. We want people to love the coffee that they drink, revelling in its unique taste and finding interest in the history of the beans used.
While some people prefer to grind their own beans and brew coffee through a drip machine or french press, others have busy schedules and rely on single-use coffee pods that can be prepared by pushing a button. That’s where Keurig coffee enters the picture.
To help coffee enthusiasts make sense of Keurig coffee, we have created a comprehensive guide that touches on how it’s prepared and the pros and cons of this popular coffee variety.
What is Keurig Coffee?
American company Keurig first landed on the coffee scene back in 1998 with the goal of targeting offices. In order to meet the coffee needs of large offices filled with many staff, Keurig created single-use coffee pods (K-Cup pods) that could be easily used in their compatible office coffee machine.
Once K-Cups grew in popularity, the beverage company branched into home coffee machines in 2004. Unlike standard drip coffee machines, K-Cups containing hot chocolate and tea leaves can also be used in the Keurig machines, which make them a hit for the entire family. Similar to Nespresso, K-Cup pods are made of plastic, a filter, and an aluminum lid, which remains a point of contention for many coffee consumers. Each K-Cup pod is impermeable to light, oxygen, and moisture.
When it comes to brewing the K-Cup pods, there are several different machines that they are compatible with. Brands like Breville and Cuisinart have developed machines for at-home use. Keurig also has several models for at-home and commercial use. Some of the machines for commercial use are capable of brewing more than one single cup at a time. Every machine allows the user to select their desired size and strength.
Keurig has partnered with and acquired countless beverage companies over the past decade, which fill the K-Cup pods with their products. Some of the brands featuring coffee or hot beverages in K-Cup pods include: Green Mountain Coffee, Cinnabon, Caribou Coffee, Van Houtte, Brûlerie St-Denis, Donut House Collection, Gloria Jean’s Coffee, Holly’s Coffee, High Brew, The Original Donut Shop, Kahlua, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Starbucks, Laura Secord, Newman’s Own Organics, Panera Bread, and many more.
Even though the K-Cup pods are filled with coffee that is already ground, it is not considered instant coffee. Instant coffee does not require a filter but K-Cups have a built-in filter to keep any grinds out of your mug.
Similar to Nespresso capsules when they are brewed, the K-Cup pods get punctured upon closing the lid on the coffee machine and hot water is funneled through.
Keurig Coffee: the Pros
Like every other variety and method of making coffee, Keurig coffee machines and their K-Cups have plenty of benefits, including:
- Convenience. The Keurig coffee machine can brew you a cup of coffee in mere seconds, which is exceedingly handy when you’re running late for work. Many of the newer machines have a preprogramming feature. Based on the time you select, the machine will automatically brew a cup so that it’s ready for you when you roll out of bed.
- It’s cost effective. Depending on your taste, many people find that the K-Cups contain coffee that is comparable to Starbucks. Instead of swinging by your local coffee shop every morning, you’ll save money by drinking your own coffee at home.
- The coffee is fresh. Because the K-Cup pods are so securely sealed, the coffee tastes fresh every time.
- Limited coffee waste. Since the pods are single-use, you won’t be wasting a ton of coffee or beans when making your coffee every day.
- You can use your own coffee. Similar to Nespresso, Keurig has a K-Cup with a filter that can be filled with your own coffee grounds.
- The options are endless. Keurig machine owners aren’t limited to just coffee as K-Cup pods also come in hot chocolate and tea varieties, as well as other specialty beverage options.
- The machines are quiet when in use.
Keurig Coffee: the Cons
While there are tons of benefits of investing in a Keurig coffee machine and the compatible pods, there are also some negative factors that should be considered.
- The cost. Although you’ll be saving money by avoiding your daily trips to Starbucks, purchasing the machine and K-Cups on a regular basis are more expensive than using a regular coffee machine for drip coffee or a french press. Keurig also has several K-Cup varieties filled with signature Starbucks coffee.
- The lower end machines don’t offer the same features. If you want all the fancy coffee-brewing features, you’ll need to buy one of the newer machines, which can cost between $100 to $300 CAD. The less expensive machines don’t allow users to select the strength or heat of the brew, whereas the newer machines can even make iced drinks.
- Unlike Nespresso pods, Keurig doesn’t take back the K-Cups for recycling, which means that most of the plastic pods end up in the landfill. In terms of sustainability, this is not great. The K-Cup pods can be recycled at-home but each pod needs to be disassembled. The leftover grounds and filter need to be removed from the pod before throwing the aluminum lid and plastic portion into the recycling bin.
- According to internet reviews, some Keurig owners are disappointed in the quality of the coffee used in the pods and find that their drip machines produce a creamier, richer cup of coffee.
- There are questions regarding the safety of the plastic pods when heated. The K-Cup pods are BPA-free and created from safe plastics but many people are concerned that the plastic can emit unsafe chemicals that can interfere with hormones when heated.
- The flavours. While there are tons of flavours to choose from, many people note that the variety packs lack in, well, variety.
Good Fika’s Final Thoughts
Coffee machines are a big investment, which is why it’s important to thoroughly research each machine and it’s reviews before committing to the purchase. Keurig machine owners seem to love their machine due to the variety of the K-Cups that they can use but taking the time to separate the pods for recycling can be a bit of a pain. If you’re committed to being environmentally friendly and are unbothered by deconstructing the pods after use, then a Keurig machine is a great option for you.
The team at Good Fika believes that you shouldn’t have to give up good coffee just because you have a busy schedule. The Keurig machine and it’s preprogramming feature will ensure that you get that strong, flavourful cup of coffee before heading out the door each morning. The newer machines also allow users to select different sizes and there is even a size perfectly measured to fit in a to-go tumbler so that you can take it with you.
The price is also a pain point for some. Not when it comes to the initial investment of the machine but the continuous need to purchase the compatible K-Cups. Prospective Keurig owners need to be prepared to shell out some dough for the pods each time they visit the grocery store.
For more information on single-serving machine options, visit our blog post on INSERT NAME WITH HYPERLINK