Ah, my trusty Keurig…I feel disloyal writing this post because you’ve served me well and I used to love you so much. But the fact remains that I have all but given you up, and even my 16 year-old son recently asked “Why does real coffee taste so much better than Keurig coffee?” Before you get mad at me, though, blame it on my husband.
My husband is between jobs now, which means that, since I work from home most days, we’re spending a LOT of time together at home, including breakfast. I wondered how this would work out, but I confess it’s been awesome. Working from home is great in many respects, but it can definitely be lonely, and having a “coworker” has been really good. Especially good because I happen to like him and especially, especially good because he usually makes lunch and even offers to make me breakfast on days he’s home.
After the first week or so of our shared home office situation, he remarked that we were going through a lot of K-Cups with us both working from home. True…but I’d long ago accepted that going through a lot of K-Cups was just going to be a fact of life for me, because I love the convenience and ease of Keurig. Especially when I was working at offices that had the big daddy Keurig along with a huge assortment of K-Cups, all for free. What’s not to like about having hot beverages all day long, for free? Now that I work from home and also have two kids who drink coffee, suddenly the free K-Cups of my past have turned into the startling reality that K-Cups cost a lot and need to be replaced constantly when you have four coffee-drinkers in your house. Not to mention that everyone wants something different: my daughter wants flavors like Vanilla Caramel Cream or Chocolate Glazed Donut, my husband and I like Donut House or Donut Shop, and my son likes bold. Then, of course, you need stuff like teas and hot chocolate and apple cider because…well, because you can, right?
After the first week of our co-working at home, my husband relented and went down to the basement to drag out our wedding present coffee maker–the kind that grinds the beans and brews the coffee. After years of inserting K-Cup and hitting “brew,” I admit I have no idea how to use that old dinosaur, but luckily he is not challenged like I am. Now instead of each day requiring an average of 6 or more K-Cups to serve us throughout the day, he brews a pot of coffee each morning from fresh beans and it’s delicious and hot. After a week or so, my son made the quip about how the new, real coffee not only tastes so much better but is also hotter than the Keurig coffee, and told me that he now can’t wait for the weekend because on school mornings he leaves before the brewed coffee is made and has to drink Keurig coffee.
I will say that, as a counter accessory, the Keurig is much cuter, with it’s fancy buttons and assortment of K-Cups artfully displayed in not one but two custom containers on my counter. Having to have the huge regular brewer also on the counter is a pretty big eyesore, but the thought of cleaning out a cabinet so it would have a place to hide is, frankly, just harder than just training my eyes to block out the eyesore. And eyesore or not, I admit that yesterday when my husband left early and didn’t make coffee, I stared at it for about five minutes, trying to figure out how to pry open the part you stick the beans in and couldn’t figure it out, so I resorted to the Keurig. And I have to say my son is right–the coffee IS only sort of lukewarm and doesn’t taste or smell nearly as good.
While I do love the convenience and even the look of the Keurig brewer and it’s tidy little K-Cups, I have to say that the machines seem to have a built-in lifespan of about a year or two, after which time either the coffee isn’t really hot anymore or the thing just stops working or some other issue crops up. And while the new Keurig 2.0 may have filled our new many-drinker household bill pretty well–in fact, I even suggested it to my husband when he wanted to drag out the old brewer–how much sense does it make to already own a Keurig and be shelling out for single K-Cups every week, THEN have to go buy a whole new machine just so you can brew a pot of coffee…and then also need to buy yet more K-Cups to accommodate the new brewer? All this expense when pretty much every Keurig owner probably has an old Mr. Coffee or some kind of 1.0 coffee brewer in their basement or their cabinet, perfectly able to brew a pot of coffee at a moment’s notice…and an actually hot one, at that.
Don’t get me wrong….I still have love for Keurig and the cute home coffee station you can create with it, surrounded by colorful K-Cups and other coffee accessories. But lukewarm coffee a year after I purchased my fancy new brewer? And K-Cup bills mounting higher and higher with three coffee drinkers in the house? It just doesn’t add up. So for now, my counter looks a lot more cluttered with the big coffee brewer at odds with the sleek Keurig and its K-Cup display, but the coffee is hot and, aside from the money I’m spending sending my daughter K-Cups at college, I’m enjoying the break from buying K-Cups by the case-ful.