#QuotableMondays: Killing Coffee… or the Planet?

Used_LB_coffee_capsules

The Washington Post has a WonkBlog piece up about K cups and coffee pods killing Americans’ love of coffee. From the post:

Coffee pods, however, are incredibly efficient by comparison. People tend not to make more than they will actually drink—or, at least, first intended to drink.

“People used to make a pot of coffee. Now they make a cup,” Pedro Gavina, the owner of Vernon, California-based roaster Gavina & Sons, told Reuters. “Right there we’re losing the sink as a consumer.”

They are also cutting down on the number of beans used per cup, because they tend to be less caffeinated.

There’s certainly some truth in this article, but I am (and always will be) a full-on auto-drip guy. here’s why:

  • Used coffee grounds are excellent for compost (read more)
  • Doing auto drip or French press means you can adjust the strength/amount yourself
  • Supporting local coffee artisans who aren’t in the K cup business
  • Less waste than with K cups or coffee pods

On that last bullet, The Atlantic has a post up that eviscerates K cups and our disposable lifestyle:

Last year, Keurig Green Mountain pledged to create a fully recyclable version of its blockbuster product, the K-Cup, by 2020. Last month the company’s annual sustainability report reaffirmed that vow. It’s a point that Oxender has reiterated multiple times during damage control in the wake of #KillTheKCup. But promising only five more years with this amount of waste has done little to satisfy detractors. Some say it won’t be possible, ever, to make a K-Cup that is anything short of an environmental shitstorm.

“No matter what they say about recycling, those things will never be recyclable,” Sylvan said. “The plastic is a specialized plastic made of four different layers.” The cups are made from plastic #7, a mix that is recyclable in only a handful of cities in Canada. That plastic keeps the coffee inside protected like a nuclear bunker, and it also holds up during the brewing process. A paper prototype failed to accomplish as much.

There’s also a snazzy video, entitled “Kill the K Cup,” where people get beaned by marauding K creatures. The video is sprinkled with some startling statistics of our K cup usage.

You can certainly buy a refillable insert that goes inside the Keurig machine, but to me it’s just not the same. But, if you have one of those single-serving deals, then the insert is the way to go.

Reusable-Single-Cup-Coffee-Pods

The moral of the story for me is I feel very good about my Morningside Blend from San Francisco Coffee House, right here in Atlanta. All of my grounds go in my compost and feed my backyard—after they’ve fed me.

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