Our take on k-cups

We often get questions about the one-cup coffee maker phenomenon: whether Equator carries k-cups, whether we ever will carry k-cups, what the grind type is for the reusable filters, what we think of the system in general, etc.

To be honest, we're not that familiar with the Keurig/Tassimo/Starbucks-version of the one-cup system. The little we do know and the more we find out, the more we realize it doesn't match our values as an organic coffee roasting company. That said, we also realize it's becoming an unavoidably common method for Canadians - and for many Equator customers, current and future. So instead of plugging our ears and hoping this will all just go away, we thought we'd give you our take on it.

When k-cups came onto the market, those of us in coffee swore that it was only a matter of time before the market moved on to the next newest, "best" thing in mainstream coffee. However, it seems to be holding on longer than we predicted. And with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' recent name change to "Keurig Green Mountain," clearly the creators of the product are hoping it will hold on even longer!

We're not interested in jumping on this bandwagon by packaging up our own coffee in a plastic pod. Here are some simple reasons:

1) Environmental waste. You can't deny it: those plastic pods have to end up somewhere. They're not recyclable either. With continent-sized swaths of plastic floating around in the Pacific Ocean, we're not too keen on promoting or using yet another contributor to those environmental wastelands.

2) Anti-freshness. Ironically, a lot of people choose k-cups because they think it is fresher. And it might be if you're used to coffee from the grocery store that's been sitting pre-ground for 8 months. But compared to a coffee roasted the same week, two weeks, probably even MONTH that you're brewing it, it's old and stale.

3) Cost. Single cup brewers use pods so it's easy enough to calculate your per cup cost but not so easy to calculate your per pound price. So that makes it difficult to compare the cost with a bag of coffee. This is marketing genius for Keurig. Coffee drinkers often hesitate to fork over the extra couple dollars for a locally roasted, fair trade, organic coffee, but people who own single cup brewers don't seem to question the expense of the pods. A $13 340g bag provides 35-40 cups of coffee. Go to Walmart and you're looking at $7.99 for 12 cups of the cheapest single cup coffee?? Doesn't take an accountant to do that math.

We're still pretty confident that this is a fad - history is a good indicator that things like this come and pass even if it does take a decade or two for people to clue in and "rediscover" the beauty of the simplest and most traditional methods. Until then, we'll just keep touting the wonders of freshly roasted, properly brewed coffee and hope that people catch on...again.

Read more about the k-cup trend and its cost (to you and the environment!) here.