Keurig Coffee Pods vs Pot Coffee

Okay, I admit it, I have purchased my first Keurig coffee machine. So here we'll look at the cost difference between Keurig coffee pods, and regular pot coffee, as well as some alternatives.

Some of you may have read our article Keurig Cost vs Starbucks vs Home Brew Cost here on Delightfulcoffee.com, and while I have occasionally used a Keurig and the associated Keurig coffees pods while at work, I was totally against buying a machine for home use. This was mainly based on cost, both of the machines, as well as the cost of the pods. However that changed recently.

Happy Birthday!

Keurig® K-Compact Single Serve Coffee Maker.

I was walking through Walmart and I noted that they had on sale a smaller version of the Keurig machines. This is the Keurig® K-Compact Single Serve Coffee Maker. It was a smaller reservoir, but so what, I can add water whenever. Aside from that, it does everything that a full sized Keurig does, but currently costs about $50 less. I got mine for $57 less than a full sized machine. Get yours here: Keurig® K-Compact Single Serve Coffee Maker. No, we make nothing from the sale, lol.
What ended up happening is I received a Keurig® K-Compact Single Serve Coffee Maker for my birthday. I had mentioned the low cost, and bingo, I had a Keurig machine.

Still there were challenges

Still I had some challenges pulling the trigger on buying this machine, as I still felt the Keurig coffee pods are too expensive, and my full sized KitchenAid drip pot coffee maker still works great! Not only that, but what about the waste that Keurig Coffee Pods generate? With regular drip pot coffee, one can recycle the grounds in your garden. You can compost it, in other words. With Keurig coffee pods, you throw away the plastic cup each time, and this is a concern, to be sure. Yes, they are small, but they do add up. One must think of the planet, you know.

Also see this article: The amount of K-Cups that have been trashed in landfills could wrap around the planet 10 times.

What about the drip pot coffee waste?

The amount of waste generated by Keurig style coffee pods bothered me quite a bit. "Oh, sure, mister coffee guy who writes inane stuff, but what about the paper coffee filter you trash from each use of your drip coffee pot maker?"

Filter vs Keurig Coffee Pods

Glad you asked! Not to sound haughty or anything, but I use one of these in my KitchenAid drip pot coffee maker: a KitchenAid® KCM11GTF Gold Tone Filter. You can get this online or in store, such as at Bed Bath & Beyond. 
I also keep a small supply of paper filters, just in case, however this reusable filter has hung in there for well over a year, and with regular cleaning with soap and water, will still be in use a year from now. Sadly, as I stated above, you can compost your grounds, however, I do not. Someone needs to invent an effective way to compile your daily grounds in a way that keeps them from molding, smelling, spilling, and otherwise becoming a nuisance in the kitchen. I have thought about keeping a bag in the freezer and daily adding my grounds. Spillage and such prevents me from doing so. I suppose I could walk out to my garden each day and dump them, but that seems a pain, and time consuming. After all, us coffee drinkers are all about the time. Except those of us who walk into Starbucks daily, apparently they have way too much time on their hands!

Delicious, delightful coffee!

Now that I had my Keurig, I ventured out into the wider world to look for varieties of K Cups. I had seen them in the stores, everything from regular old coffee, to hot chocolate, to hot apple cider, to many varieties of other flavors any types of coffees. I was going to try them all! The world was my coffee playground! And you know what? I'm still sampling a whole lot of these, and will be for months, I'm sure. So far I have found some gems, especially in the low cost genre. I have also found some turds, as well.
So far I have limited my shopping to Walmart (great prices) and stater Bros. markets (fair prices).

Delightful:

Great Value Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino keurig coffee podsAlpine Original Spiced Apple Cider keurig coffee podsFolgers Black Silk k cup keurig coffee podsDon Francisco's Kona Blend Keurig coffee pods

Not as Delightful
  • Great Value Vanilla Cappuccino K Cups, bland, watery, not near enough flavor. Such a disappointment after trying the superb Pumpkin spice Keurig coffee pods of the same brand.
  • Starbucks® Cinnamon Dolce Ground Coffee K-Cup Keurig Coffee Pods. About $11.00 for a 16 pack. I love cinnamon, nearly anything cinnamon, but not this.
  • Lipton Sweet Tea Keurig K Cup. Not sweet. At all. Smells like really good tea, but when it says sweet, you expect sweet.
  • Great Value French Roast Ground Coffee Single Serve Cups, Dark Roast, 48 Count. In a word, nasty. I actually bought the 96 count box for about $3 more, and to be honest, I bought it for the folks at work, at my own expense. They have been brewing regular coffee for months now, ever since work stopped buying K-cups for them. I started taking my Thermos full of delightful coffee to work each day, and I ain't sharing, lol. So, I bought it for them. I feel badly, because it is not very good black, but add some flavored creamer to it and it is tolerable. Otherwise it's bitter and has a weird aftertaste.

Back to the Cost of Keurig Coffee Pods

Brew and Save Reusable Coffee K-Cups Keurig coffee pod
Now, if you do the math, you'll note that the cost PER CUP of these coffees is something to consider. I listed and bought these in the most cost effective way I could, and still the price per cup was MUCH higher than a cup from a pot of drip coffee. Granted, each cup is fresher, cup by cup, but still... Even hour old good coffee in a pot is still coffee.
Furthermore, you can "have your cake, and eat it too". See, I also bought this: the Brew and Save Reusable Coffee K-Cup for about $5, so I can still use the Keurig with a reusable Keurig coffee pod. Does this mean I'm giving up on my drip coffee ;pot maker? Not a chance. I still brew my pot of coffee each morning so I can have a cup, then I fill my thermos too for later in the day. Try that with a Keurig! Using my drip brewer is a fraction of the cost, and WAY more convenient than brewing cup after cup to fill the ol' Thermos.

What I Don't Like About My Keurig

Okay, there are two things I don't like about my new Keurig K-Compact Single Serve Coffee Maker:

  • The reservoir is too small.
  • The coffee is not piping hot

The reservoir part I totally get, and it is what I bought, so I can look past that, Besides, who wants stale old water just sitting in the machine for a couple of days? Not me.
I like my coffee steaming, and piping hot. I don't know if there is something wrong with my brand new Keurig, or if it's a design feature, but the coffee it makes simply is not hot enough. and by hot enough, I don't mean it will scald you to the point of skeletal remains should you spill it, but rather, hot enough that the first few sips stings a little. My little Keurig almost gets there, but not quite. The coffee is at the top of scale of really, really warm, or mildly hot. It could be that their thermostat was designed to prevent serious scalding, and that's too bad. I understand the whole "Mc Donald's Burn Case Scenario," but come on. hot coffee is supposed to be hot!

Last words: Thank you for reading, and by all means join DelightfulCoffee,com as a member. If you love coffee, we love you. and if you like to write about coffee, let us know, write a sampling, get published!

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