K-cup Pros-Cons (Kathy and coffee art)

This past week involved much chit-chat about coffee and art – and so I decided to share this cool COFFEE ART “painting” by Hong Yi:

coffee_art_by_hong_yi

I also started this post to specifically share my view about Keurig k-cups.  During my Buffalo trip last November, another unexpected highlight was visiting my cousin Kathy, and her husband Larry.  I did not visit them on our August trip because I totally forgot they had moved back to Western New York.  (Seems that so many folks move back to that area because it has many perks.)  Anyhow, for decades Kathy and Larry lived in Southern California, and I actually stayed with them in fall of 1986 in Long Beach.   Kathy and Larry were awesome because not only did they treat me like an adult – but they also let me freely use their 1965, honey gold, stick-shift Mustang to go back and forth to my new job.  This was my second time living in Long beach and what fun it was – !!!  Another memory from that fall was when my cousin Rollie, who was jamming to the newly released, “Peace sells, but Who’s buying” (if there’s a new wayyyy…) well he took me to a costume party at UCLA, with “Dear Yvette” playing (not a wholesome depiction of a different Yvette – lol) but at the party, I can still picture this girl walking around wearing a tan, silk “slip” – holding a sign that said “Freud.” 😉

So recently visiting (the now retired) Kathy and Larry was on my list even if I did not get snowed in – but the wintry weather led to more time with them – and with warm conversations about a variety of stuff – like misinterpretations of Bible passages, Larry’s award-winning home brewed stouts and ales, Kathy’s kiln, and the ubiquitous Long Beach area late 1980’s Dodge commercial, “Long Beach freeway… firestone exit…. Southhhhh – gate!”

 

During this cosseted visit, I also enjoyed using their Keurig brewer.  I was hooked.  In fact, twice I  just had a cup of hot water, which was readily available with the large reservoir.  (And I do like hot water at times – with lemon or even honey, because on a cold night you can only drink so many cups of tea – even if herbal you reach a limit).

It was after this visit when I realized there was something to this brewer.  There was a reason why so many models can be found everywhere – and that reason is… “deliciousness.”  My boys also got hooked in late December, when the drama club generously set out their carousel of k-cup options during long rehearsals of A Christmas Carol.  There was something for everyone –coffees, teas, hot cider, creamy varieties, etc.

two_cuisinart_grind_and_brew
When Maxine visits she makes her own decaf…

And here’s the thing – this machine works!       It makes great tasting, high-quality hot beverages.  Now my husb and I still prefer our well-used Cuisinart grind-and-brew machines (we even have TWO of these models because we like it so much), but K-cups are fun to enjoy in moderation.

K-cups pros and cons:

PROS:

~The k-cups yield a high quality hot beverage. I guess it is because inside the k-cup, which keurig-k-cup-diagram-1not just anybody can produce, there is a tight filter along with the perfect “grind” of coffee, tea, or fruit pulp – and then the machine lowers down these small pins that release a bit of pressure to yield a rich cup of yum.

~The k-cups are good for variety – this may be nice for parties or for times when different family tastebuds want different things.  It is also personally fun to just peruse the varieties, experiment, or select something you may only want once in a while.

~The k-cups are good for convenience -just pour in the water, which heats quickly, then select the size and press brew.  No cleaning necessary, only easy descaling as needed.

~The k-cups are good for those on a budget – this applies to those who want to cut back on spending 2 to 5 dollars per day on a single cup to go – because most K-cups are under one dollar per cup.

~The k-cups (or pods) can be replaced with a reusable filter.  For those  who want to save even more $, and for those who want to reduce the waste from using k-cups, there are reusable filters, including a gold basket version, which can be used with the coffee or tea of your choice.

Cons:

~The k-cups can be still be expensive – While the k-cups may be a cost savings to some (i.e. – those who already spend a lot each day on a daily cup to go) – it may be more expensive for those who drink coffee at home.  Depending on the coffee you are using, it is usually a lot more budget wise to make coffee by the pot.

~The k-cups are adding stupid waste to the landfill.   Let’s face it, each little plastic cup that gets tossed has an impact on the environment, and for this eco-unfriendly reason, our family will limit our k-cup use!  I frequently point out how “the little things we do” in life really add up – well this applies to the environment too!  Each time we refill a Naglene water bottle (or any other BPA free option) we not only help our health, but we minimize waste – and some say that the “reduce” is the most effective of the three R’s.  Now don’t even get me started on aluminum foil, but each k-cup means a little bit of foil waste too.  With that said, the amount of foil is small – and I think it would take 200 k-cups to equal the amount of foil than some people use to wrap up one steak for the grill.   So… in moderation, the k-cups seem more than okay.   Also, I think there are times when we can be environmentally aware, but still enjoy a few convenience comforts or fun items – they make life a little better and can be integrated into a lifestyle of mindful living.   And so while I do not want to add unneeded waste to the landfill, I am glad the landfill is there!

~The k-cups are made of plastic and are sealed with aluminum foil, which could pose health risks. I would have to assume that the k-cups are made with high grade plastic that does not leech bad things – but even still, it is just wise to monitor our food contact with plastics (and foil)- especially when it comes to heating an item.   Now I know, I know –  there are so many differing views about this, and sorry, but FDA approved means very little to me – and so for that reason alone I will not have k-cups every day of the year.  Also, the foil sealed tops may have an impact on health because aluminum is viewed as a “problematic metal” and should be avoided as much as possible (but again, the small foil lid seems very minimal here). 

~The k-cups are not for espresso or capps.   This has been a frequent criticism of the k-cups, that they do not yield good espresso, but I guess there are NEWER models out for just this!

In the meantime, with moderation, I think the k-cups offer some delicious-ness!

just-coffee-art_Saur
from Just Coffee Art (by Saur and Sakela-Saur)

**** For MORE coffee art, check out 5 more artists who use coffee in their art….

turkey made with coffee
turkey painted with instant coffee, C., 6th grade

~~~~~~~ Please note, I am NOT endorsed or compensated to review, promote, or put down any product – ALL of this is my opinion~ and this is meant for educational purposes only. ~~~~~~


18 thoughts on “K-cup Pros-Cons (Kathy and coffee art)

  1. We love our Keurig also. I’m not much of a coffee-snob, but I can really tell the difference in taste between our Cuisinart brewer and the Keurig.

    I decided I had to have one after, getting my car serviced, I had a chai tea latte while waiting. It was better than Starbucks.

    I drink a lot of tea and greatly enjoy the hot water feature. I’ve also found a rooibos (red tea) k-cup that is surprisingly delicious.

    Never thought about the health and plastic/foil issues though. Great point.

    Enjoyed this, Y!

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  2. Great post. You are obviously well informed about the K Cups … We use an espresso machine, and we load regular coffee into the one shot bowl, and let it flow … It gets the job done for us simple folk. Hey, I like your style of writing, and … thank you immensely for visiting my blog, SpeakListenPrayDon’tBeStupid. I hope you and yours have a great transition into the new year. Peace, T

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  3. I considered getting one of those K-Cups thingamajigs when my old coffee maker broke. But I decided against it because I buy whole beans and grind my own, so I got a combo burr grinder and brewer. I love the smell of napalm…oops, I mean freshly ground and brewed coffee…in the morning.

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    1. ha – and well, I saw that photo of your grind/brew coffee maker, um, I mean – I saw the – deluxe, upscale, restaurant-edition stainless steel brew machine!!!

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      1. You got that right. Nothing but the best for this coffee drinker. But I still can’t remember what it was that I forgot to write on my whiteboard. Oh wait. Maybe it more coffee beans!

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  4. I’m gonna add a couple more con’s cause I’m a generally elitist numnut when it comes to coffee;

    con -> for those crazy coffee people like myself I’m assuming the coffee in the little cup is already ground, right? Well all the coffee I make at home is freshly ground moments before I brew it (by yours truly) cause that is the best way to savor every sip of the coffee bean…….thus, I never buy already ground coffee…..and when I’m in my especially crazy moments, I buy the whole bean coffee from the Jewish Rabbi’s coffee shop four blocks from my house and every pound of coffee he sells is never more than 10 days old from when he roasted it……Paul (the rabbi) is even more intense than me because after he roasts his various blends, if it doesn’t get used within 10 days of roasting it he tosses it or gives it away (but that rarely happens because he is one of the most popular coffee roasters in the State)

    con –> the joy of using a French press or Italian maker is entirely destroyed by your new electronic fangled contraption……..I love feeling connected to the ‘olden’ days and using my French press…..nothing gets thrown away; no paper, no plastic…..even the grounds get recycled!

    yes….I’m a nut…I admit it…..but at least im aware of my nuttiness..right?

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  5. what – really? you mean the culture monk – also known as the “cafe culture monk” – well you mean he actually has coffee at home? and good coffee? – now how could that be – with all those people to meet and greet?
    coffee at home?- thought the Monk only sipped while on the roam… –

    But alas’ – your cons are well received
    and I guess you won’t let anyone be deceived
    because fresh roast – and a fresh grind –
    DOES yield coffee of the highest kind!

    And yes, there will never be any “electronic fangled contraption”
    that can replace a French Press abstraction…
    or outdo an Italian maker, which uses vapor and pressure
    to give us rich coffee with taste beyond measure.

    But for second rate coffee and times of ease-
    this machine is just what I need
    and for coffee of the second rate kind
    well the k-cup brewer was well-designed!
    😉

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    1. if you met the Rabbi who owns and runs the kosher coffee house down the street from me I would seem like the most laid back coffee bum ever…now HE is intense lol he doesn’t serve lattes, he doesn’t carry any syrups…and only offers crème and sugar to add to the coffee….he has a bunch of different roasts (all which he roasts on site) and he doesn’t sell any pastries, food, snacks, etc……basically ALL he sells is straight up French press coffee or espresso….and its always so packed that you can’t get a seat…..AND the coffee is ridiculously over priced…..ever seen Seinfeld? he’s the Coffee Nazi lol and we all love him….but man is he ever intense. thankfully I drink my coffee black otherwise I think he’d throw me out.

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  6. Hey Mr. Monk – I have totally enjoyed the coffee talk here – and the Rabbi’s coffee sounds AMAZING….. and this comment discussion reminded me of the Village Roaster, a Denver coffee shop we used to go to (and is also owned by friends from our old church there)- and they roast their own beans too. But unlike your Rabbi’s shop – they dabble in everything – and I recall the owner sharing that coffee was not even where the money was – it was the spice sales that really carried their store(s).
    http://villageroaster.com

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  7. Wow am I ever glad I found your post about the K cup coffee and all the replies!
    I have loved my home ground, dripped or pressed coffee for so long that I realized I had become a coffee snob. There’s a better word for that but I’m in a hurry so I’ll leave it at that.
    Anyway, having seen these things and their machines in every store possible (meanwhile always dreaming of having an espresso machine) I was beginning to feel the draw toward getting one and how fun and easy it would be to just wake up in the morning and Voila! there’s my coffee. But after reading your post, I realize that I even if they could make the K cup taste like it was real espresso or French Roast at least-the newness would wear off and I’d be out the hundred bucks and back to my happy morning tradition (which is really half of it ) of grinding and brewing myself.
    Thank you for the info and a most entertaining post.

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    1. Actually, I do recommend the Keurig – and I am sending my mother one this month. We still make our own, but it is pretty fun – and delicious. It is fun to sample different ones and there is something for everyone. Caribou is still a top favorite, also like this Mexico one, and we have found a couple that we don’t like – and my older son, a non-coffee drinker, likes the all-natural apple cider. My other son likes a breakfast in bed one (smooth). We signed up and now order with the Keurig company online, which is cheaper per box than store prices. Also, they have thrown in samples and had little deals (like save 6 on 4 boxes). But I truly have enjoyed this machine and even if the fad wears off, we feel like we have already gotten our value.

      A couple more things.

      My husband has had an unusually busy schedule this last month – and he woke up and had to bolt one morning – and well, the k-kup is almost instant – so he was able to brew and go – and that was cool. We also sold some misc. music gear this week – and a few of the guys that left with their purchases, well I sent them on their way with snack and a hot cup their k-kup choice (nice little touch of hospitality).

      Also, the instant hot water is nice. I used it in Buffalo for tea, but was not sure how it would be for other teas (like I think Green tea needs a rolling boil) and well, it has worked fine for different teas (Christy was right).
      okay, just had to share that – 😉

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  8. I live under a rock, but when I came out one time recently I noticed there was such a thing as keurig cups, and it did make me wonder what that was and what all the fuss was about. Thanks for the break down.

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    1. thanks for the comment – and it looks like your site also has some decent prices – I was just checking out some of the packs you offer – have a good day -:)

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