Posted by H.Jennings on 10/17/2018 to
With K-cups producing (per user) an average of a 6 cubit foot room every year worth of waste, it is worth noting you might not be "wasting" coffee, but you are adding to our trash problem. I digress. I know most Kcup drinkers don't know that pod is a major drain on our environment. This blog post is going to help address ways you can work to minimize or get away from the K-cup systems all together.
Kcups cannot be currently recycled. The plastic being used is #7 (a mix). I have seen some craft projects that reuse the kcups on Pinterest, but that seems like a lot more work than dumping one filter basket. On the topic of filter baskets, there have been complaints about some of the reusable filters breaking, and being a pain to clean. The best one people have found to be washable and sturdy is the one found here: https://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Keurig-Stainless-Universal-Refillable/dp/B07Q44C4TB/?tag=nolcc-20. We highly recommend it.
Smaller kitchens, or those in dorm environments don't have to drink coffee from a pod. There are systems like this one https://www.amazon.com/BLACK-DECKER-Single-Coffeemaker-CM618/dp/B008YS1WXE/?tag=nolcc-20 that take up almost no space at all and you can use whatever coffee you want. I suggest tossing the grounds in a small bucket for composting later on.
If you are wanting to "see how you feel" about a new coffee system outside the k-cup or "basket" filter systems, I recommend the Aeropress. This is what we use here at Nectar of Life when we aren't drinking espresso. https://www.amazon.com/AeroPress-Coffee-Espresso-Maker-Filters/dp/B001HBCVX0/?tag=nolcc-20
Finally, Kcup brewers are notorious for their cleaning issues. With standard brewers, all you need to do is a half cup of vinegar and fill the rest with water and "flush" brew twice to keep the brewer clean, and free of lime-scale buildup. I do the "flush" cleaning every six months. I have never had any issues with mold, or lime buildup with this process.
I am a big fan of big picture time savings. You may save a few minutes in the morning by brewing "only" one cup, but the overall cost in time cleaning (about 20 minutes each month), cost per pound (over $20.00 even for "cheap" coffee), and lack of options for recycling should be enough deterrent to rethink the Kcup. There are much better, healthier options (like a high quality glass french press) for coffee brewing.
If you have the income, or want to surprise yourself this Christmas, we also recommend a manual espresso machine like the one in the link. The La Pavoni is a gorgeous addition to any kitchen and is very easy to use and keep clean. At $849.00 it is an investment in your daily routine. Think of it this way, the cost is LESS than 250 drinks in a year from a coffee shop. That's less than one coffee drink per day! So if you are one to frequent the coffee shop in town, maybe it is time to bring your business to your home. Purchasing one of these is a great investment.