This installment of The BoiseCoffee Podcast continues a long tradition here on the site: talking about all the reasons you should avoid Keurig coffee makers and the brew they produce. This is the first of a two-part episode, and I focus on the history of Keurig and the math behind why it is an extremely expensive way to brew coffee at home.
If you’d like to go deeper, check out my short diatribe called “It’s Time to Kill the Keurig” here. I updated it in March, and it succinctly lays out why I think Keurig is poisonous to consumers.
If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my podcast on iTunes here. If you like what you hear, I’d greatly appreciate a rating and review there as well! Have a tremendous rest of your week.
If you’ve been following coffee news lately, you know that the new Keurig 2.0 system is receiving less than stelar reviews – and for good reason. Their new DRM system is making a lot of enemies with businesses that once supported the Keurig brand, and it’s prompting some people to go as far as hacking their coffee machines. I’ve never been a fan of K-cups: they brew weak coffee with stale beans, they are over-priced, and they are environmentally irresponsible.
With Black Friday approaching and the holiday season following close behind, I believe that it’s time to step up and voice our concerns with friends, family, and co-workers to keep these things out of homes and businesses. It’s time we step in to kill the Keurig.
To help with this, I’ve written a short essay and am distributing it as a PDF. I’ve embedded it below, and you can also click here to download it. I’ve included the introduction text in this post to give you a little taste.
Please share this with your friends on Facebook and tweet it. Send it to your favorite coffee shop. I didn’t put this together for blog hits or for exposure – I did it because I love the coffee community, and I hate seeing it tainted by overpriced, bad beans.
The process of getting a coffee bean from the plant to your mug is incredible. Expert growers spend their entire lives painstakingly cultivating their farms and creating relationships with distributors. Master roasters spend years practicing and alternating between degrees down to the decimal point to find the perfect temperature for their single origin and blended roasts. Baristas train and compete, taking great care and putting incredible effort into each and every cup that crosses their portafilters and pour-over cones. I have a huge amount of respect for the individuals that take part in this process daily.
The more I learn about the method and skill necessary to create high quality coffee, the deeper my resentment towards Keurig gets.
This short diatribe is primarily meant to be informational – as backwards as that sounds. As I’ve talked to people about Keurig, I’ve found that many folks like their coffee and the variety of options that they make available, but don’t know much about their coffee or what differentiates their machines from traditional brew methods. If that’s you, I beg you to read on. If you’re like me and dislike Keurig already, you’ll probably find yourself nodding along with my conclusions – I ask you to share this with your friends that fit into the first camp.
This essay contains three short chapters, and trust me when I say that each only scratches the surface of their respective topics. We’ll begin with history, then discuss math and money, and finally talk about the environment. I encourage you to do your own research on these topics as well.
In the sage words of Khan in the newest Star Trek film – “Now, shall we begin?”
This post has received a strong positive response with over 600 views and great discussion. Thank you for passing it around! I encourage you to continue to do so, especially as we get closer to Black Friday. #KilltheKCup
The campaign that this post and essay pushed is over, but I hope they both continue to shed light on why I believe Keurig is a less-than-stellar way to make coffee. Keep sharing the love!
Here at BoiseCoffee, we understand that you might not have the cash on hand to invest in a brand new coffee brewer, and even if you did, it wouldn’t do you any good right now. I mean right now – this very second. This list is to help you perfect your current routine by giving you 5 helpful tips and tricks to improve the cup of coffee made with whatever gear you currently have. Unless it’s a Keurig. Then you get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit. #killthekcup
Here are 5 Ways to Make Your Cup of Coffee Better…right meow.
Get your water to the right temperature. Many off-the-shelf drip brewers don’t heat water to at least 190 degrees F, the minimum needed temperature to properly extract coffee.
Use the right grind size. No matter what grinder you already own, you can affect how large or small your grind size is. Burr grinders will grind coffee more evenly, making for a truer taste. Blade grinders produce lots of “fines” (coffee dust) that will turn your cup bitter. Still, if you’re using a blade grinder to coarsely grind your coffee for a drip brewing technique, it’s adding insult to injury. Here’s a good list of what grind size to use.
Preheat your mug. While this might not seem like a big deal, temperature differences greatly affect the taste of coffee. While your coffee is brewing, use some hot water to preheat the inside of your favorite mug. Plus, it does double duty as a rinse.
Keep your beans fresh. If you’re using pre-ground coffee, these same tips apply, but please realize your coffee will naturally go stale much faster. The best place to store coffee beans is in a sealed, airtight container that is kept in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Avoid the refrigerator or freezer, as foreign odors and precipitation can slip into your beans.
Try something new. Do you normally take two packets of sugar and some cream? Black coffee isn’t palatable to a lot of people because of negative preconceived notions or memories from childhood. Try looking past that and opening your horizons to the true taste of whatever coffee you purchased. Cream and sugar do a good job of masking many of the flavors that make quality coffees unique.