Single-serve coffee options, such as the Keurig K-cups and coffee pods, have been around since the 1990s, but it’s only been in the last decade that the little marvel has really taken over how people brew coffee. The Seattle Times noted that single-serve brewed coffee now accounts for over a quarter of every dollar Americans use to spend on coffee to drink at home.
Why has it become so popular? It’s extremely convenient and easy to use.
“The convenience is amazing,” said John Berger, a 77-year-old Bellevue resident who was recently buying two boxes of Tully’s decaf K-cups at his local Fred Meyer. “You can get a fresh cup each time,” he said, adding that he owns two Keurig machines — one at home, and one at his vacation place in Montana.
The boom has even surprised experts. “If you’d had asked coffee specialists that this was going to happen, they would have told you, ‘That’s ridiculous,’ ” said Mark Pendergrast, coffee expert and author of Uncommon Grounds.
Pendergrast prefers to grind his own beans. He said single-serve coffee is “not as good as your old French press or pour over, but it’s good.”
Of course, if you compare K-cups or coffee pods economically to buying beans, single-serve is a bit more expensive. On the flip side, it’s still far cheaper than running to your local coffee shop, even for a simple cup of coffee.
Cost concerns aside, the biggest downside to K cups is its inability for recycling. Some manufacturers are looking into creating recyclable cups, but they have a ways to go. For those looking for a greener option to K cups, then coffee pods are a great way to go.
Curious what the rave is all about with single-serve coffee? Check out our single-serve options, Keurig K cups and White Bear Coffee Pods. If you’re looking for something fancier, a new brewer provides single-serve options for coffee house-style drinks, the Nescafé Alegria A510.
Brewing coffee by the cup is no longer a novelty. It is the fastest growing segment of the coffee business. As the consumer, you need to find the option that best fits your preference for your daily brew.