Is $51/Lb. Worth The Convenience Of K-Cup Coffee?

We’re always reminding people how much more cost-effective it is to brew your own coffee at home instead of buying it at a coffee shop. But according to a new report, coffee drinkers who are hopping on the K-cup bandwagon are paying a premium for the convenience of only having to brew up a single serving.

The NY Times looked at the prices for single-serve coffee and espresso and found that the per-pound cost can vary anywhere from around $31/lb. to more than $51/lb. That’s significantly more expensive than most high-end coffees, which the Times says come in at less than $20/lb. if you buy the beans whole.

But CNBC points out that the patent on K-cups is soon coming to an end, meaning that the door could be open to a host of competitors willing to start a price war and bring the per-pound price of single-serving coffee closer to the cost of bulk coffee.

With Coffee, the Price of Individualism Can Be High [NY Times]
The Price of K-Cup Convenience [CNBC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

    The K-Cup is just like then camera makers came out with APS film. The market was saturated with existing makers which were working just fine, so they needed another revenue stream, so they made a “better” system, which required a new maker, and no “real” way to retrofit an existing camera/Mr. Coffee.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I completely forgot about APS film. Looking back, it actually was handy because it avoided the potential for loading film incorrectly. My company at the time went through thousands of rolls of film per year and when we used 35mm, about 10% of rolls came back because film was loaded incorrectly by various employees. For some reason, nobody would ever admit to not knowing how to load a roll of film and by the time we found out, it was too late.

    • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

      Actually, I believe that k-cups we marketed commercially to avoid all the fighting over last cup, you didn’t make more, whose turn is it to clean, I like X roast and hate your frilly french vanilla, ect, etc fights.

      When they first came out we saw them in a lot of offices for this very reason. It wasn’t until later that they were available to consumers. We have stopped seeing them in offices lately and are seeing more Flavia systems. These are not marketed to consumers so people are not palming an extra K-cup to take home instead of paper clips.

      • Costner says:

        Loved our flavia machine. I had hot cocoa almost every day until they stopped buying the mixes and we were on our own. Then I went and looked at how expensive that stuff was…. and thus I now buy Swiss Miss packets from Sam’s Club at about 1/3rd the cost.

    • milty45654 says:

      WTF is film?

      • Anna Kossua says:

        It’s the reason they call you Yuck Mouth! ‘Cause you don’t brush. How’d you like a little kiss, MMMWAH! LOL.

    • MikeHerbst says:

      One other advantage to APS film that didn’t get talked about enough: The ability to “rewind” a roll and swap out the rolls mid-use. So you could go on vacation and shoot a half-roll of High-ISO film on day one, then switch to a Low-ISO roll for a different activity, etc. The compact rolls also made it possible to make the cameras smaller.

      Of course it was all a stopgap to Digital, so it wasn’t going to last forever.

      That said, we got a lot of awesome shots on our original APS Elph that we never would have had with 35mm simply because we wouldn’t have been carrying the larger camera. “The best camera for the shot is the camera you have on you”, and all that.

      But yes, K-cup coffee is clearly another attempt to invent a new “Razor and Blades” sales ecosystem.

      • borgia says:

        With the old SLRs, you could change midfilm with 35mm. I used to write the shots taken on the film, change it, then install the old film, and take X number of blank shots to reach the point I had stopped at. Some fancier digital SLRs helped you change that way as well.

      • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

        Speaking of which, thanks to lifehacker and consumerist articles on feather blade safety razors, I’m getting a much closer shave for pennies on the dollar compared to my old mach 3. Sometimes the superiority comes back around to the original. I avoided buying a digital camera for the last decade as well, until it came around to where I could affordable purchase a quality DSLR and use all my old lenses. I was very unimpressed with digital for a long time until I realized that the quality was finally back to what SLRs could produce.

        I had to put up with a Kuerig at work and they had a limited budget for coffee and would quickly run out of K-cups, so I bought a reusable k-cup and brought in my own coffee. Mine tasted much better (and was locally roasted)! They replaced the Kuerig at work to find a cheaper solution, but I just bought a Kuerig at home (after months of pressure from the gf), and I actually appreciate the convenience and ease of cleanup, as well as the joy of still having locally roasted beans. Of course the gf is obsessed with buying the flavored coffees…

      • Firethorn says:

        They LOVE these things at work – we have at least 3 in the building. It’s nice in that if the machine is on it’ll start brewing immediately, and you can actually set the temperature to proper coffee brewing temps. Most ‘cheap’ coffee makers that make a whole pot don’t get hot enough.

        I saw a big rush in using them at first, dropping off when people realize how much those little cups cost.

        It’s more competing with the people who’d otherwise be getting their fix from Starbucks.

    • elangomatt says:

      Another disadvantage to the APS film that could be carried over to k-cups is inferior quality. APS film was only 24mm if I remember correctly so your pictures were more likely to be grainy. So many people never understood why their panoramic shots came out so grainy. To print the panoramic shots on APS, you basically had to crop off top and bottom of the picture on the 24mm film and then you stretched that out to 4×10 (or maybe 4×12). Basically it was not a lot of film, being stretched out too far.

      • TheCorporateGeek Says Common Sense Is The Key says:

        But you don’t mention how quality carries over to k-cups. What quality is inferior other than cost?

        • elangomatt says:

          I know there are plenty of people that say that Keurig coffee just tastes like colored water. Also there are the environmental factors since the k-cup isn’t recyclable (and before you say it, I’m sure that only a very very miniscule percentage of people compost the grounds out of k-cups). But yeah, the main inferiority is cost.

          • Brunette Bookworm says:

            It depends on which one you buy. I have a Keurig maker at my boyfriend’s house. He doesn’t like coffee and I don’t make it there often enough to buy beans and grind them. I usually buy the dark Newman’s Choice coffee. At home I have a regular coffee maker and grind my beans every morning.

          • Silverhawk says:

            I’m a bit of a coffee snob and I’d say those people are wrong. There is plenty of crap coffee packed into some of those k-cup lines, for sure, but there’s also some pretty good coffee available as well.

  2. Cat says:


    • DariusC says:

      Exactly. This and the new “patent trolls” that are looking to scrounge up cash are the reason why we shouldn’t have patents. They simply do NOTHING for the consumer except control who can produce the item and at what price it is available. As a government contracts specialist I have seen the Air Force pay thousands of dollars for a plane screw because one company holds the patent to it. Patents and Copyrights are tools to restrict competition, there is no argument that can be made to prove their worth, especially when they are ONLY beneficial to the company that files them. If I can make those cups for 10 cents a piece and sell them, there should be absolutely nothing stopping me from doing so. They should learn to compete rather than control market conditions!

      • HSVhockey says:

        Killing the patent system would be a bad idea. Overhauling it so you can’t patent simple things like screws (I’ve seen the EXACT problem you talked about and I agree it is BS), limiting patent litigation, and making sure those who preside over the good faith patent litigation are knowledgeable are three steps to fixing the system.

        • DariusC says:

          I think the only thing you should be able to patent is your creation. Nobody can take your exact design and replicate it for profit, they have to actually make their own design (even if it performs the same function). That way vendors have to compete with more than just thinking of a new idea and protecting ot so they don’t have to innovate. They would have to compete with other vendors to keep the price down as well as innovate as necessary. Free market and all that jazz.

      • maxamus2 says:

        How about if you spend years and tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars to invent something and then not be able to patent it so someone can make a knock off in a week.

        • DariusC says:

          Sell your product and make your money back. If someone else can sell it at a lower price, I don’t see why you are necessary when they can do it cheaper. If you want to compete, you lower the price, add features, etc to differentiate yourself from the competition.

          • drjayphd says:

            So, in other words, smaller inventors basically exist to serve as unpaid R&D labs for the bigger companies that already have the means of production in place and can squash any competition. Please don’t ever run for elected office.

            • jeb says:


              Plus, patents are only for either 14 or 20 years, according to a quick Google search. I think that’s fair, considering that they had to develop that product themselves.

    • Quake 'n' Shake says:

      Amen. My friend’s wife wanted one, so they asked me what I thought about them, being a coffee drinker. I replied:
      “Well, the guy who invented it probably came up with the idea as he thought to himself, ‘You know, there’s a sucker born every minute, and some of them probably drink coffee!'”

  3. SerenityDan says:

    I love the K-cup machines because I never drink more than one coffee a day. Of course I have a re-usable k-cup filter so I can use any ol coffee in it.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Same here. I also reuse the K-cups for groud coffee. Last month I was passing through Toledo and I picked up from chili sauce and ground coffee at Tony Packo’s. I am surprised at how tasty their coffee is and it is good.

      I disagree about the comment about how we are “paying a premium” because there are multiple choices for coffee buyers and we are only making one cup at a time. A buddy of mine buys his coffee from a specialty shop and it’s quite inexpensive per K-cup. And he can get pretty much any flavor that he wants. He introduced me to some African coffee and it was very good. He also had some other type that I had never heard of and as you stated, it’s only one cup with no waste. He buys whole beans and grinds up enough for a couple of cups and stores the rest in the freezer.

    • GoJints says:

      I make a full pot of coffee at the beginning of the week and put it in a thermal carafe. Each morning, I pour one cup for my breakfast, and stick it in the microwave to heat it up. Tastes just fine and doesn’t cost a fortune! (I get my coffee from Costco)

    • missminimonster says:

      Me too, although I do have some non-coffee K-Cups like the Chai Latte and the Hot Apple Cider (avoid the hot chocolate, though).

  4. theblackdog says:

    Dear dumbasses at NYT:

    They make reusable K-cups, which is something you relegated to one sentence. If it’s that big of a cost issue, buy your own beans, grind and throw them in one of the reusables. Issue solved.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      How practical are the reusable cups? Are they easy to empty, clean and refill?

      I’ve had my eye on Keurig for along time but it just seems incredibly wasteful to throw away all that plastic.

      • sponica says:

        it’s no different than when you have a reusable filter in your regular coffee maker…although I wouldn’t recommend if you’re someone who uses a full pot of coffee.

        i tend to use the My K-Cup exclusively….with some regular K-Cups for when I don’t feel like making coffee or when I want to try a new coffee but don’t want to commit to buying a whole bag.

        although I don’t think K-Cup users should be compared to coffee drinkers who prefer to brew their own. they should really be compared to the people who buy Dunkin Donuts or Sbucks or whatever coffee every day on the way to work. my stepdad bought the Keurig to replace his DD habit and in the long run the 35 cents for a K-Cup has got to be cheaper than the 2 bucks for a medium coffee

      • Sneeje says:

        Yes they are. My wife and I do buy some of the K-cups, but we try not to use them and save them for when we’re rushing out the door or when we have company. Otherwise, which is pretty much twice per day we use the reusable filter.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        It depends on you. In my case, they were terribly difficult to clean unless you did it IMMEDIATELY. Let it sit for more than 5 minutes and you had to take another 10 trying to get all the old grounds out. If anything, you waste more water that way trying to get the damn thing clean.

      • bonzombiekitty says:

        The reusable cups are very easy to clean and fill. For my k-cup thing at home, I just use the reusable cup. It’s contained in a cylindrical container that slides in and out of the machine (nothing to lock/unlock), then you unscrew the cap, remove the mesh basket containing the grounds, rinse it out, put the new grounds in the basket, pop the basket back into the container, screw the cap back on, and pop it into the machine.

        Sounds like a lot of steps, but it’s really simple and easy. The only annoying part is if you want to switch between the normal non-reusable k-cup and the reusable k-cup. The non reusable ones require a different housing that take a bit of effort to pop in and out.

        • theblackdog says:

          There’s that version, which is the Keurig branded one. There’s another one that’s called the EkoBrew which is a reusable K-cup with a flip-top lid, and it doesn’t require removing the K-cup housing to use, so you can easily switch between that and a disposable K-cup.

      • Greg Ohio says:

        People seems to have mixed results with the first two reusable K-cups (Keurig’s and Solo’s). The latest and greatest is Ekobrew, and I highly, highly recommend it. They sell them on Amazon.

        There are a few tricks to the Ekobrew.
        1. Don’t use very fine grinds. Will not work.
        2. Adjust your fill level to your taste and the grind. Coarse grinds should be filled to the top, finer grinds to just above the mesh.
        3. Insert it the right way (grips left and right).

        We now have 4 Ekobrew’s and have mostly quit buying disposable K-cups. I like it for the choices of coffee at least as much as for the cost and environmental factors.

        • tooluser says:

          How much royalty do you pay them? Won’t they come after you with lawsuits for violating the terms of usage of the machine?

          Oh wait, Keurig is analog, not digital.

          But just you wait. They could easily put a code on the pods so it won’t work with any workarounds. RFID perhaps.

      • Sinabu says:

        I have one and love it. The reusable cup is easy. Just fill it set and go. A quick rinse in the sink and your ready for another cup. Couldnt be easier.

    • VectorVictor says:

      Yes, they’re easy to use and clean. Works very well.

      We still by ‘normal’ coffee for use in our ‘normal’ coffee pot for when we have company, but otherwise it’s just the wife and I, and we only drink a cup or two each–hardly worth brewing a whole pot for.

    • Tim says:

      Are the reusable cups really that much better than just using a normal coffee maker though?

      • sponica says:

        like many consumer issues, it depends….if you’re going to drink a whole pot of coffee, then no. the keurig and it’s reusable feature don’t make sense.

        if however, you like decaf but the roommate likes extra bold, and you each only drink one or two cups, then yes it is worth it.

        • theblackdog says:


          I use the Keurig to fill my travel mug before I go to work. My boyfriend doesn’t drink coffee. The Keurig means I don’t have to mess with filling and cleaning the coffee maker every morning for 2 cups of coffee.

          • gqcarrick says:

            Exactly why I got it also. I’m the only coffee drinker. When we have a big family gathering I bust out my regular coffee pot.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

          4 cup coffee makers cost ~$10-$15. Just multiply that by 2 and see if there really is a cost savings.

          • sponica says:

            it’s a time savings….i never had paper filters when I had a coffee maker, it came with a reusable filter. so if someone liked one kind of coffee and another person liked a different kind, person A would either have to wash the filter for person B or person B would have to wash it in order to use it, and when you’re both leaving at the same time, it’s highly inconvenient. so you’d need two filters and 2 coffee pots. or someone would cave and buy coffee on the way to work

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      They don’t fit every Kuerig though, apparently. That’s what I’ve heard anyway.

      • theblackdog says:

        I know the Ekobrew has some issues with the Keurig B30, but that’s because it’s such a tight fit already that if that production run of the Keurig is slightly smaller or the production run of the Ekobrew is slightly bigger, you can’t get the machine to close.

        That being said, I took a chance on my B30 and the Ekobrew fits, though sometimes I have to push it closed twice. It’s a case of YMMV

        • Dallas_shopper says:

          I stopped drinking coffee and started drinking tea instead a few months ago. ;-)

          Coffee = bad breath.

    • blueman says:

      Doesn’t that really defeat the purpose (convenience) of the machine? Buying beans, grinding them and filling your little cups is at least as much work as using a regular coffee maker. So what’s the point?

  5. yellowdog says:

    Oh I would love cheaper k-cups for our Keurig. But in the meantime, it works for us. I only drink decaf but my wife prefers regular. We each have one cup per day each. We use coupons and shop k-cup sales as much as possible. We also have one of those eko-brew refillable cups that you can fill with regular grounds for a very inexpensive brew. It’s a great little machine.

    • theblackdog says:

      Are you signed up for Keurig’s coffee club as well (not the Green Mountain one, that forces automatic shipments to get discounts)?

    • Audiyoda28 says:

      Same at our house – and I’ll often buy the 80ct box of Caribou blend at Costco for $33 – that’s half the cost of retail. But we not only have the reusable cup that came with ours we have two Ekobrew cups as well. The Ekobrew cups have a better design and allow for a better cup of coffee.

      I like the Caribou blend and I’m willing to pay the $0.40 per cup for my coffee (based on the prices from Costco). And hell, it’s better than paying four or five times that at Starbucks.

  6. Jevia says:

    I’m more than happy with my 2-cup coffee brewer at home. Just enough for me.

    We have a K-cup machine at my office, but at least I don’t have to buy the K-cups (unless I want to get something different, in which case, I’m keeping my box of K-cups in my desk).

    • fsnuffer says:

      Sounds like you could make some money on the side selling black market office K-Cups

      • theblackdog says:

        This is a good idea when they stop selling the seasonal flavors…

      • drjayphd says:

        Our newsroom went the more devious route, getting a coin-operated Keurig machine. The K-Cups are free, but… yeah. I’m tempted to bring in my own Keurig machine and open up Undercutters Caf√© in my cubicle.

  7. zerogspacecow says:

    My company gives us free k-cups. So yes, it’s worth it.

    • DariusC says:

      As long as you’re not footing the bill, right? I’m assuming if you had to pay for them they wouldn’t be worth it. 60 cents a cup is ungodly considering it costs them 5-10 cents to make.

      • StarKillerX says:

        True, but ironically k-cups are not more expensive then swiill they sell as coffee out of vending machines.

      • zerogspacecow says:


        I also have a Keurig at home (it was a gift). It’s somewhat cost effective for me, because I only use it once or twice a week (Saturday and/or Sunday). So buying a bag of beans, just to let them sit in my pantry and go bad wouldn’t be very cost effective.

        That said, I’m considering switching, just because it doesn’t make very good coffee. The machines are work are decent, by the cheapo home model is always watery and burnt tasting.

  8. Murph1908 says:

    I like coffee. My wife doesn’t.

    I don’t have a K-cup machine, but am considering getting one. I usually have one or two cups on the weekend. It’s just not worth the time to make it during the week before work.

    I never finish even small bags of coffee, so I end up throwing away more coffee than I make. In my case, the K-cups might be more economical, due to the reduced waste.

    • Jevia says:

      Buy 1lb bags of whole beans and a small 2-4 cup coffee maker. Grind enough beans for your pot (or two) and put the coffee beans in the fridge.

      • Murph1908 says:

        I do grind my own. I’ll usually grind Saturday’s and Sunday’s coffe on Saturday morning, and refrigerate the rest as you describe.

        Buying smaller bags would help.

      • Yacko says:

        Just what I would suggest. You can buy a fill-yourself bag of a freshly roasted whole-bean coffee with a pedigree at Whole Foods, buy just under a pound. Buy a blade grinder about $30. I use a DeLonghi. Purists hate them, favoring a burr grinder but on the whole they are good enough. 5 grams of bean per 12oz cup. Drinking 2 cups a day means the bag will last 1 month. The quality won’t be quite as good at the end as when bought fresh, but it will be decent. I lean towards something Sumatran or if that is too strong tasting, then a Sumatran-Columbian blend.

      • jeb says:

        Last time I picked up coffee, they said not to put the beans (well, the grounds) in the fridge. The moisture actually accelerates their expiration.

    • HannahK says:

      Your situation is why I gt a K-Cup 3 years ago. It’s working out great for me. I recognize that it’s more money than buying by the pound, but I would never brew a pot of coffee just for myself, so when I compare the cost of a k-cup to buying a cup from a coffee place, it’s still not bad.

  9. Cat says:

    No, it’s not worth it. Especially when you consider the cost of admission – the price of a machine – is around $100.

    But, if you’ve already jumped on the bandwagon before checking the ticket price, there’s the Keurig My K-Cup Reusable Coffee Filter, about $18 on Amazon

    • sponica says:

      I think the cost comparison shouldn’t be replacing your regular coffee pot, but instead replacing the Dunkin Donuts coffee every morning on the way to work. the keurig has upfront costs, but at 24 cups for 12 dollars (or whatever our local guy sells them for) they are cheaper than spending 2 bucks a day at dunkin donuts

      • BurtReynolds says:

        That is how I justify it.

        Plus only a sucker buys k-cups at regular price. Last batch I bought were $0.29 a piece. Green Mountain Espresso Blend and French Roast.

    • elangomatt says:

      I wouldn’t recommend getting the my k-cup to anyone. The Ekobrew and Solofill are both better alternatives and cheaper on Amazon. And you also don’t have to partially disassemble your Keurig each time either.

      • sponica says:

        i didn’t realize swapping out parts was so complicated to most people…

        • elangomatt says:

          It isn’t complicated, it is just that everything is made out of cheap plastic and the more often something is swapped out, the more likely something is going to break. In reality, I recommend Ekobrew over My K-cup mostly because I get better coffee from the Ekobrew. The swapping of parts is just a very minor reason I don’t like the My K-cup

          • sponica says:

            how is the ecobrew with cross contamination? my mom uses the keurig to make hot water for her tea. so I have to take the my k-cup out after I brew coffee and she has a separate one she uses for hot water….the upside is that I have two golden baskets so one’s always clean

  10. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Yup. I’ve pointed that out to people over the years, and they generally give you a doe-in-the-headlights kind of look. The cost per cup is retarded.

    However, this is the first I’ve heard of this refillable cup others have mentioned…if that works acceptably, then you just keep on truckin’.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Any more retarded then Starbucks cost per cup?

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        No, that is thoroughly retarded.

        I can pretty much skate through the rest of the day so long as I dutifully make a pot of coffee for my wife in the morning, which involves grinding beans bought from Sam’s Club.

        It’s pretty GD cheap. And pretty GD good too. Paying $2 for a medium cup of coffee at at coffee shop is abysmally poor stewardship of one’s money.

    • pikebike says:

      If you sign up on Amazon for a monthly auto-shipment it reduces the cost to $0.50 per K-cup. 2 K-cups on the medium fill is exactly 16oz, which is the size of a grande regular coffee at Starbucks. Starbucks grande is $2.35 including tax in Northern Virginia. $1

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        …I don’t know what the actual math is, but I’m going to SWAG that a cup of coffee made at home in a regular coffee maker is, like 5-10 cents. So 50 cents still doesn’t seem that great.

        And point noted on the Starbucks bit. But if you’re buying coffee at a coffee shop, you clearly aren’t concerned about responsible spending.

  11. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    One one hand, I buy my k-cups in bulk from Amazon, so they’re cheaper than in the store. However, I did try the fill-your-own reusable k-cups. I even had two so if one was dirty I could use the other.

    Having experienced both, I will gladly pay $51/lb for the pre-made kcups.

    • theblackdog says:

      Which K-cups are you buying? I’ve found that Amazon has been more expensive than buying them from Keurig directly, especially when you join their free coffee club.

  12. wiggie2gone says:

    That’s how much I pay per pound of tea.

    • kerry says:

      I pay about 4x that for a pound of tea (I usually buy in far smaller quantities), but you only need a little tea to brew a whole pot. I go through about a pound of coffee a week (and drink about equal amounts of tea and coffee).

  13. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    You can get a generic cup that you can fill whatever coffee you want.

  14. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    I’d rather spend my money on some Blue Mountain, & don’t try & pass of some sort of blend, for being the real, 100% thing. Grrrrrrr….

  15. BeerMeBeerMan says:

    Ekobrew, problem solved.

  16. energynotsaved says:

    I drink one or two cups of coffee a day. Yes, it is worth it. I buy it on line and love every minute of it. I also have the re-usables, but only use them when someone gives me beans….

  17. Lightweight says:

    I only make 1 cup of coffee at a time. Here’s what I bought:

    Coffee grinder: $30
    Cone-style drip filter: $3
    Whole bean coffee: ~$5/lb.
    Paper filter: ~$4/100
    Boiling water: free

    • GirlCat says:

      I was wondering when someone was going to mention this. I’m pretty damn lazy, but the plastic drip cone-plus-filter method is fast and easy when you just want one cup, and cleanup is easy. And a small French press goes even further by eliminating paper waste. K-cups seem to have solved a problem that didn’t really exist.

    • Hello Jodi says:

      I use the same – I have one at home and one at the office that I’ve turned 2 other officemates onto. I occasionally use an old-fashioned percolator on the weekends when I want a whole pot to myself or have guests, but it’s great for me. I ended up buying an electric kettle which I use for tea and other things as well. I’m surprised more people don’t use them!

    • BurtReynolds says:

      I still use this setup as well despite having a Keurig. The Keurig was a gift, and I like the quality of coffee that comes from it. I also like the quality of a my Melitta single cup cone filter with fresh ground coffee though.

      I could live without, but I have one, and my wife bought it for me, so it wasn’t going back.

  18. Kitty Conner says:

    Yes, if only for the variety.

    At present time I have: 4 kinds of coffee, 2 kinds of decaf, 4 types of tea, 2 types of hot cocoa, chai, apple cider and Arnold Palmer cups.

    Yes, it’s a lot and yes it will take me a bit to use it all up. But between my personal use and entertaining, it is worth it for me to store those 12-15 boxes in my pantry and have a figurative coffee shop on my counter, no matter what I feel like drinking.

  19. pcj says:

    We use, and love our kcup machine.

    1) We don’t buy them in the small 10 pod packs in the store. Thats dumb. Buy them in bulk from BJs or similar, or we have them shipped on a monthly / bi-monthly schedule in bulk too. Makes it much cheaper.

    2) Between my wife and I, we drink a cup each, maybe two cups. The key being “maybe” – brew up a pot of coffee to cover our potential 4 cup consumption, and more than half the time we’ll be pouring coffee down the drain.

    3) Oh look, I can have a hot cocoa at night too. During the day I can use it to brew green tea’s. Wow, it does more than just coffee?

    I’m sure that a good k cup machine, with a supply of nice k cup pods (and other flavored pods) is a more expensive investment than a huge tin of nescafe instant coffee granuals – just like an new Acura sedan is more expensive than a similar sized Kia sedan. For some people, it’s worth the investment based on the kind of usage they need from it – for others, its an area they can “cheap out” on and just get the basic stuff.

    • bkdlays says:

      Those Hot Cocoa K Cups will clog up your machine quick!

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        How? The water directly exits the kcup as it falls into and enters your cup – there is nothing to “clog”

        • elangomatt says:

          I think it is the needle that pierces the bottom of the k-cup that gets clogged from cocoa k-cups (and probably any other k-cup that just contains powder rather than grounds or leaves). It is pretty easily fixed with an old CD tray opening tool (ie unbent paper clip). I don’t do cocoa k-cups because it is just as easy and cheaper to put a packet of cocoa mix in your mug and use the Keurig for the hot water.

          • sponica says:

            plus you get more chocolatey goodness that way!

            although when I make cocoa, I use my Cocoa Motion hot cocoa maker and use milk instead of water

            • elangomatt says:

              Gee thanks, like I really need another gadget in my kitchen with too little cabinet space.

              • sponica says:

                i don’t even think they produce the cocoa motion anymore….because everyone’s reaction is, you need a separate machine to make cocoa?

                • elangomatt says:

                  That would explain the ~$45 price I saw on amazon from a 3rd party in the 20 seconds I thought about looking for one. Then I thought meh, why bother?

                • elangomatt says:

                  That would explain the ~$45 price I saw on amazon from a 3rd party in the 20 seconds I thought about looking for one. Then I thought meh, why bother?

    • tooluser says:

      “…have them shipped on a monthly / bi-monthly schedule in bulk…”

      Reminds me of the donut feeding machine in the “Homer SImpson in Hell” episode of The Simpsons.

  20. bkdlays says:

    I didn’t have a coffee maker before my Keurig and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    I had no desire to get coffee, filters, a coffee maker, and learn the art of coffee. I live alone and only drink 1 cup at a time, per day.

    Are the K Cups about .60 cents per? Yes. But my local Coffee place always got me for at least $2 per day. So I don’t care if its $10,000 a lb, I am still saving $1.50 per day plus time, plus gas, plus its done right every time.

    Plus who just gets a coffee at the place, so now I don’t buy all sorts of bagels, muffins etc. that I didn’t need.

    • sponica says:

      exactly….this is where the price comparisons should be made. people who drink pots of coffee aren’t going to buy a Keurig.

      it’s consumers who end up saving money by not going to their regular coffee place where the comparison should be made.

  21. dlayphoto says:

    Third party capsules for Nespresso machines have finally arrived in the US. Ethical Coffee Company capsules are at least 30% cheaper (even less expensive if you factor in shipping), and are 100% biodegradable & compostable:

  22. slightlyjaded says:

    It really depends what kind of coffee drinker you are. I have been getting huge into coffee in the last year, and K-cups just don’t cut it. (Very few automatic coffee makers cut it, as they just don’t get the water hot enough to brew coffee that tastes like coffee should taste.)

    There are plenty of super-cheap, super-easy ways to make amazing coffee, most of which take less than five minutes. (Gizmodo actually just did a story about this:

    Personally, I’d recommend:
    The Aeropress: $26, and takes literally 2 minutes (including cleaning) to make a cup of coffee that blows any K-cup out of the water.

    The Clever Coffee Dripper: $16, and makes amazing-tasting coffee in 5 minutes, including cleaning:

    Of course, you can also get a French press for less than $20, which takes four minutes to brew (though is slightly more annoying to clean):

    All of these methods assume you are using an electric kettle to heat your water, and grinding your beans right before you brew. Even adding the cost of the kettle, grinder, and decent beans, however, you still are well below the cost of the K-cup method.

    Another great cost comparison from Dear Coffee, I Love You:

    • Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

      Thank you so very much for putting all this info together. I think I’m going to get an Aerobie & try it out.


  23. dulcinea47 says:

    Holy sh*t! I know people always say that the K-cups are expensive, but seeing as how most people think anything costlier than Folger’s is expensive, I didn’t realize that they are SO expensive! Good lord, what a waste.

  24. milty45654 says:

    what’s this talk about a whole pot of coffee…you don’ t have to make a WHOLE POT. You pour in 2 cups of water and 2 scoops of coffee and you brew up 2 cups in the pot…there’s no waste…i make 4 cups for my wife and i, and we drink it…we don’t HAVE to make the WHOLE POT

  25. DonnieZ says:

    It’s absolutely worth it.

    I pay around $0.4985 per cup of coffee, and that’s buying K-Cups in bulk at Sams Club ($39.88 / 80 Caribou Coffee K-Cups). I don’t have coffee every day, but when I want a cup I want a cup. My wife doesn’t drink coffee, and the mess, process, and wait associated with a conventional coffee maker is just not worth it to me, so I’d never drink coffee OR I’d be heading out to Dunkin Donuts at $2 a cup.

    If you’re a coffee drinking powerhouse and you drink more than a couple of cups a day then the Keurig isn’t worth it. This is one of those rare cases where occasional/light coffee drinkers can indulge while paying a small price for convienence. Not to mention it brews a fine cup of coffee.

    I like it so much that I own two machines – one at home and one at work.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      “I pay around $0.4985 per cup of coffee, “

      You only pay around 49.85 cents per cup of coffee? Can’t you be any more precise?

      • drjayphd says:

        Gregg Easterbrook’s already writing a 6,000 word jeremiad, asking how DonnieZ could POSSIBLY calculate the cost of his cups to that level of precision. I’d give Easterbrook a calculator and explain it that way, but… eh, that’s too much work.

        (Anyone unfamiliar with this would do well to look up Tuesday Morning Quarterback, where you’ll find at least 14 similar examples of dipshittery in an average week.)

  26. who? says:

    At our office, half the people either have a Keurig machine or share with someone who does. The other half have French presses, and use the hot water that comes out of the otherwise unused, unloved company coffee machine. The company coffee maker doesn’t make bad coffee if you use good beans. Unfortunately, the grounds the company provides works better as potting soil than as coffee.

    I use a small French press.

    • borgia says:

      If you get bored one day, try an aeropress. I think the flavor is equivalent to french press coffee but it is a lot quicker to clean. The only disadvantage is you can’t use the aeropress to froth milk when you are done like you can with a french press.

      • who? says:

        I’ve thought about getting an aeropress. I have an espresso machine and good stepless grinder at home, and I could use the same grind setting to grind the beans for an aeropress. The way it is now, I have the shop grind the beans for the french press, because it’s too much trouble to reset a stepless grinder.

  27. dwtomek says:

    How is it we have reasonable timeframes for patents, yet Disney can pay to have copyrights extended indefinitely?

  28. DonnieZ says:

    One more thing on the patent issue…

    If you look at just about every box of K-Cups, you see some reference to Keurig or Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Walmart sells boxes of K-Cups that do not have any reference to either of these two companies on the box and they sell for around $7/box vs. $11 or so. I wonder how they are skirting the system?

    • elangomatt says:

      I think you might be referring to Grove Square brand “k-cups”. The reason they can sell them so cheap, is that the plastic cups just contain coffee crystals and no filter or anything. And I’ve heard they aren’t even very good coffee crystals.

    • theblackdog says:

      Hint: Green Mountain Coffee owns Keurig.

  29. lifeat24fps says:

    Yes. Bed, Bath & Beyond sells them, and there’s always a coupon available for that store. I like the variety of coffee I can store in small space without worrying about it getting stale. I have the reusuable K-cup.

  30. Baelzar says:

    Want one cup? Get an AeroPress! Smoothest coffee I’ve ever had.

  31. gqcarrick says:

    I mostly got the Keurig for variety. I have a reuseable kcup for regular coffee and the only kcups I buy are the flavored ones. Yes I could do that for flavored coffee (or buy the flavored creamer if I used creamer) but my cupboards would be full with only coffee. This way I can sample different kcups and I end up swapping with friends to try different varieties.

  32. Nic715 says:

    This is why I love the $10 off anything coupons at Kohls…for some reason they send me 3 or 4 at a time every time..and they always happen to have kcups on sale when they send out these coupons. I end up getting a boxes of 18 kcups for $3 each… And for the times I don’t have coupons, I use the my kcup filter and any regular coffee that happened to be on sale at the time. I’m the only one in my house that drinks coffee so making a pot would be a waste…I can definitely see how kcups can be more expensive for other people who drink more than one cup of coffee a day though.

  33. Firevine says:

    I looked in to one of these things, saw the price for the cups, and said to hell with that. Went and bought a little $3.00 Melitta maker that sits on top of my mug and brews one at a time for the cost of bulk coffee.

  34. greyfade says:

    Forget that, just get a vacuum coffee maker:

    Better coffee, in single-serving batches. No fuss, no extra waste.

  35. SmokeyBacon says:

    Well, I think they are an ok idea – I hate coffee (the smell gives me an instant headache) so we don’t have a coffeemaker at home, though I did consider getting one of these for when we have company over, but even the single cup is too strong a smell to me. We do have one of the brewers at work (one of the guys brought one in – it is far enough away that the smell isn’t as bad as when they use the full sized coffee maker – yay, smaller headaches) and we can use it if we want to – but we have to supply our own cups. To me they seem to pricy for non-coffee items, but maybe if the cost comes down it won’t be too bad.

  36. techstar25 says:

    People buy K-Cups? My girlfriend bought a Keurig, but I refuse to buy the K-Cups. I ran out and bought the My Kcup reusable filter and a big bag of Eight O’Clock coffee. The Keurig is the very best at making single cups of coffee. Try making one cup with your Mr Coffee. How well does one tablespoon of coffee grounds work? Not too well? The Keurig is designed to make great coffee with one tablespoon. It’s saving me money because I’m literally using one tablespoon of coffee per day.

  37. dale says:

    I’m by no means an environmentalist, but my biggest issue with K-cups is that they’re not recyclable. I agree that they’re better for the office, where a large group of people use the same equipment for a range of their personal preferences of teas and coffees.

    For home use, I just can’t bring myself to put that much plastic in the garbage. That, and I enjoy actually “making” my tea and coffee.

  38. elangomatt says:

    I am surprised that nobody has mentioned the rumors about Green Mountain Coffee preparing to introduce a new coffee system that might employ some kind of RFID tag imbedded in the coffee pod. That way, they can have a brand new patent and get consumers convinced they need the new system. The rumors call it “Vue” with “v-cups” being the single serve coffee pod.

  39. speaky2k says:

    As long as people keep using these things I will have a job. I work for a company that integrates our machines with other machines which make these. When my girlfriend got a maker a few months ago I got her some left over samples we had from one of the 50+ projects that went through our company last year for them… Those “some” samples were about a 1ft cube box, so she doesn’t have to buy any for a long time at a cup a day.
    I am not a coffee drinker, but these things can make coffee shop quality and variety one cup at a time at home for less than the cost at the coffee shop on a per cup basis. Their cider & hot coco were delicious as was one of the “iced” teas that I tried. Overall it’s not that bad considering some things people waste their money on.

  40. leprofie says:

    The plastic in K-cups is not recyclable. That’s enough reason for me not to use such a wasteful, expensive process.

  41. Jedana says:

    It works for us.
    Mr Jedana only drinks an occasional cup of coffee, and he likes it rich and dark.

    I drink 2-3 cups a day, and prefer a medium brew. However, I usually use the My K-cup thing, and fill it with one of the ground brands I prefer. Still cheaper than me making a whole pot and wasting most of it.

  42. framitz says:

    I’ll deal with the price per pound. It’s still less expensive and better quality than going out for coffee.

    I also have the reusable adapters for when I run out of K-cups, and it is every bit as good. In fact we’ve cut down on the K-cups and use Costco Colombian premium in the reusable adapters.

  43. trencherman says:

    Everyone at work seems to have one now–I don’t get it. But then again, I drink about 6-8 cups of coffee a day.

  44. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I can’t justify the expense of this. I only drink one cup a day, and it’s instant. If I want more later, it’s decaf instant. Still tastes like coffee. I’m not that picky about it.

  45. Jimmy37 says:

    K-cups prove the disconnect between what people say and do.

    People claim they want to save money, but then swear up and down how they just gotta have something, how it’s a small price to pay for whatever enjoyment they are getting for whatever they are defending spending an arm and leg for.

    If you point out to people what this convenience is costing them, they’ll nod their head, at best, or get angry at you, at worst.

  46. momtimestwo says:

    My Green Mountain “Wild Mountain Blueberry” kcups are worth every penny.

  47. baristabrawl says:

    Can’t we just say that everyone’s coffee experience is subjective? Am I doing the math wrong? If they come 18 to a pack and the pack costs $16, that’s less than $1/cup, right? So even convenience store coffee is comparable. To go further, we’ve had our Keurig for 3 years. It was $129 at Costco with like 150 k-cups. Not figuring that part in, that’s about $0.12 a day. So that’s right at $1 a day since the day I bought it and that price goes down every day that it doesn’t blow up in my face. I was paying $4/day for Starbucks. Don’t even get me started on that one. Did someone at consumerist have a bad experience with Keurig? Mine has been nothing but good.

  48. Tacojelly says:

    I’m fine with paying more for the convenience. And it’s nice to say goodbye to stale coffee forever.

  49. MinervaAutolycus says:

    I have my K-cup brewer in my office and love it. Hubby got the brewer for me 2 years ago. I have 3-4 cups a day. To keep ground coffee, filters, and a coffeemaker going would be messy, plus the coffee would go stale by the time I finish it. I buy cups in bulk, so they’re cheap, and since they’re sealed, they’re always fresh. I like Starbucks and Barista Prima Italian Roast cups, which brew extra bold. I’ve tried the refillable cups, but for an office situation, they’re too messy. It’s worth it to me to have coffee just the way I like it. If your K-cup brew is watery, you’re doing it wrong, or using a cup you don’t like.

  50. adamf63 says:

    A more reasonable comparison might be to compare to the cost of buying coffee from a coffee shop. People seem fine paying $3 for a 16oz coffee. I wouldn’t be surprised if the cost from a coffee shop well exceeds $500/lb.

  51. elkhart007 says:

    Awful lot of people here are self righteous about wasting money on wussy coffee. $51 is stupid, don’t try to justify it with, “well I was spending blah blah at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.” Grow up, make your coffee at home and be an adult and spend even less. Putting water, filter, and grounds in a coffeemaker isn’t rocket science or dirty. If you can’t determine how much water to put in the reservoir how do you manage to feed yourself everyday?

  52. consumerd says:

    Will the reuseable kcup work for hot chocolate? (not a coffee drinker, but there are a few kcup machines around here.

  53. consumerd says:

    will this reuseable cup work for hot chocolate? (not really a coffee drinker, but there are quite a few kurig machines here in this office)

  54. Carlee says:

    We have a Keurig at work – they got it so that the higher ups could have fresh coffee on demand. Except that most of the time, they couldn’t figure out how to get it to work. And people kept throwing out the reusable filter.

    So now we have one of those industrial coffee makers and each morning, someone dutifully makes coffee. The coffee’s gone in about 30 minutes, but nobody makes any more (it’s really just “morning coffee” that the workplace is providing – not all day coffee). The Keurig is still there and people use it occasionally. I’ve used it a couple of times – once using a K-cup (because they had some there) and once using the reusable filter. I’m not a coffee snob so it all tastes the same to me. I actually just bought a single-serving coffee maker (that comes with a reusable filter) for my cubicle, but honestly, I can just use the Keurig. Why bother?

    I just recently saw a new brand of single-cup coffee makers – I don’t remember the brand or specs, but I just remember it took two packets to make a cup of cappuccino. Two packets? Twice the $…

    • elangomatt says:

      I think you are probably referring to Tassimo. There is supposed to be a barcode on each pod that the machine reads to optimize your coffee. Last I looked Tassimo pods were even more expensive than k-cups.

  55. Levk says:

    True about that, BUT you can get a KCup filter that you can add your own coffee to so really just the machine is costly, I waiting for it to go down to get it for my mom. The single filter would make it just as effective as any coffee pot

  56. Promethean Sky says:

    C’mon, is this really news? K-Cups are expensive. Also, water is wet, the sky is blue, and Charlie Sheen is a madman.

  57. maruawe says:

    18 cups a day x 30 days = 540 cups divide that by 8.50 =0.0157407 cents per cup
    Actually a 33.5 oz package of coffee lasts about 31 to 35 days

    Eat your heart out Starbucks

  58. Rick Sphinx says:

    I only drink a large cup in the morning. I use the old fashioned coffee maker. Much cheaper. I drink company coffee on workdays (free). I had Senseo maker with pods, expensive, and lousy coffee. So at home, it’s cheaper to make a 4-cup pot of coffee, even though I only drink about 1/2 of it.

  59. ReverendTed says:

    Price per pound seems like a strange way to look at it, especially when some of the brewers will use the same K-Cup to brew a small serving or a large serving.
    It makes more sense to me to say it’s about 50 cents a cup. Definitely more expensive than brewing it yourself from ground beans, but definitely less expensive than buying it from a barista.
    We’ve got one at the office in our waiting room. It’s nice that folks can get mocha, tea, coffee, decaf, chai or cocoa, whatever. (Though we did find that the milk-based beverages are best prepared by opening the K-Cup into a mug and brewing hot water over the mix, lest you shorten the life of your brewer.)

  60. catgirl4276 says:

    I have a five-cup Black & Decker cubicle-size drip coffeemaker I got for $25 from a Best Buy back when I was in high school. I also have a Lutheran-sized travel mug that holds the whole ‘five-cup’ pot and still fits in my car’s cup-holder, and a metal thermos of the same capacity in case I expect to be on the road awhile. I could also use the Klingon raktajino cups and then it makes just enough for two, and I’ve recently gotten some fly little demitasse mugs shaped like Daleks, in case I want to serve four people from my little Black & Decker, plus I do have a standard twelve-cup machine that ran about $30 and is nice for when four people want coffee and two want cocoa or vice-versa.

    Together, they take up less room than any of the fancier machines, plus I can keep the one in my bedroom. When I want to get up before the husband, I just set my coffeemaker’s automatic feature and wake to the pleasant smell rather than a noise which might wake him, drink half the ‘five-cup’ pot and make a nice breakfast. (Whose ‘cups’ are coffeemaker makers using, anyway? Elves? Hobbits? I bet it’s the Ferengi, charging by the cup.)

    What I have never gotten, though, is the point of the Keurig when bitty coffee-makers are available. Do I just drink larger servings than everybody else?

  61. CorvetteJoe says:

    I don’t care what people say about the K-cups. My wife and I absolutely love our Keurig. We always buy ours with stackable coupons so it’s even cheaper (still nowhere near bulk coffee costs). But then again, at any time we can pick any flavor we want, and not have to store 20 bags of coffee in the cabinet.

    We also trade them with friends and family often, so it makes the variety even greater when picking out exactly what your mood and taste calls for. We have the My K-cup and use that when we’re out of k-cups, but that’s about the only time we use it.

    I never found it worth my time and effort to make just one cup with our regular coffee maker, then you have to spend time washing it all. It takes the enjoyment out of that one cup of coffee.

    Remember, this is a luxury item that comes with it’s own luxury tax. It’s not for the thrifty.