At PurelyCoffeeBeans, I’ve answered lots of questions over the years. You’ll find the questions and their answers scattered throughout the site!
I’m always open to more questions, if you’re frustrated or curious, why don’t you drop me a line! This week we welcome …
Which single cup coffee maker should I buy?
The Keurig or Nespresso? Why?
Dear Seriously Asking
They’re both terrible coffee makers, making low quality coffee that is often out of date, over-roasted, and small in volume. I realize that convenience is a factor for many people, but I’d prefer to have a drinkable cup of coffee than the muck these machines turn out. And as a side benefit of NOT buying either machine, your coffee will be a) cheaper b) better tasting c) and environmentally friendly, because you turn great coffee beans into wonderful coffee with simple tools.
More Processing Means More Expense
For a larger cup, you invariably have to use two caps to get 15g of coffee which is not close to the golden ratio for coffee for a standard mug of 350 ml. Buying the cheapest Starbucks coffee by the 350g bag and getting 20g of coffee for your morning cuppa costs 39c (from Walmart) vs. single Keurig cap for 63c. For Keurig you may need two or even three caps to get a similarly strong cup of coffee, so that is running between $1.26 and $1.89 per cup!
The Nespresso is similarly priced for similar brands from $0.60c to over $1 per cap (CAP, not cup). For a $1.5 ~ $2 cup of their non-fresh coffee, you might as well just go to the nearest convenience store or coffee shop. But by buying coffee recently roasted from a specialist, you will find it marginally more expensive than Starbucks or Peets at the supermarket, but I promise you the taste will be much much better for a price that is cheaper than the single cup makers.
Single Cups Make Single Small Cups and Big Garbage
Many people claim that there is no waste coffee when you use a single cup machine like these. Well, that’s not exactly true: you end up with a small dose of coffee, that you have to throw away because of the inconvenience of recycling them. You also throw a ton of aluminum and plastic into the trash. Lastly, with reusable filters, the only waste that comes out of simple drip coffee maker/french press/etc is the waste coffee grounds and any extra coffee that isn’t drunk (though you could pop that in the fridge and make ice coffee).
In conclusion, I will never really understand why these machines are so popular unless people are comparing the results to brands like Nescafe, Folgers or Maxwell House coffee. Then of course, if you are drinking Nescafe or Folgers or Maxwell House, then you really have problems to worry about…
So save your money, buy a simpler coffee maker, and invest in decent coffee beans, you will NEVER regret it.
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