The Great Keurig Coffee Rip Off - Creating a trend to separate fools from their money
The Great Keurig Rip Off - Stupid expensive at 59 cents a cup - Creating a trend to separate fools from their money
"But it's cheaper than paying for a cup of coffee at Star Bucks or 7-11." I admit I'm one of the fools who parted with $100 for a mid-level machine. I just couldn't make myself pay $150 for the super-duper, video screen, coffee pot pictured above. Because, in the end analysis, basically it's still just a cheap plastic coffee pot. And, I'm also just as guilty of paying up to 59 cents per cartridge for some of my caffeine habit. However, I'm cutting my loses and retiring the machine to only occasional use. An early loss is the best loss....always.
I broke down and bought a Keurig coffee maker a few months ago after my old drip coffee maker just stopped working one morning. The Keurig is really designed and marketed to people with extra disposable income, as well as extra time to make one cup of coffee at a time. It's obviously a trend, "look at me, I can also pay five times what a cup of coffee is worth too!" in my best Thurston Howell impersonation.
I'm very dissatisfied because the Keurig consistently makes a weak cup of coffee at about 5 times the cost of a cheap pot of coffee. The design isn't perfected and the water obviously flushes through too fast, especially in the refillable filter. I can not replicate a bold cup of coffee using a refillable cartridge. I can get a 6 to 8 oz very small cup that's somewhat bold, but forget about a regular 12 to 16 oz. coffee mug with bold flavor. This indicates the prepackaged expensive cartridges have to be chemically enhanced and/or a better flow through design to get a bolder taste.
I knew the coffee cartridges were a rip-off at about 59 cents each, compared to about 5 to 10 cents a cup for regular drip-brewed coffee. I buy them for the convenience and use the refillable most of the time. This morning was the final straw when I opened a new box of what I thought was Paul Newman Extra Bold and find out it's actually Newman's Cafe Almond Biscotti. Yuck!!! That's something I never did at Star Bucks or 7-11, buy 18 cups of coffee I don't like. The Newmans box has Almond Biscotti fine print the size of a quarter on a box full of busy print. That's it. I'm done. It was a bad idea to begin with.
I tried to avoid the expensive cartridge rip-off most of the time and use regular coffee and reusable cartridges. However, it's messy and difficult to clean grounds out of the fine mesh screen refillable cartridges. You can't get a bold cup of coffee because the design and size of the refillable cartridge is wrong, I believe intentionally. Plus I consistently have a few loose grounds on the kitchen floor and around the coffee maker and garbage can where I have to beat the refillable cartridge inside the garbage can to get most of the grounds out. The rest of the coffee grounds have to be washed down the sink. Time consuming and why I reach for a 59 cent cartridge too often.
I'm done. The Keurig may have an application for people who only want one small cup of coffee, and in settings like a commercial, or medical waiting room where a fresh cup at a time makes sense. And for people who like different flavors and types of coffee regularly, and invest in big coffee cartridge carrousels for the counter-top. But at home or the office, it's a stupid waste of money compared to the cost of a pot of drip-brewed coffee.
Update: Here's an interesting picture, a mid-grade $99 Keurig next to its replacement, a $19.92 Black and Decker Drip Coffee Maker.
When shopping for cartridges the other day almost all brands are $10 to $11 for a box of 18 cartridges. Why 18 cartridges I wondered. It's easy, they know you can't easily divide the box cost by 18. Not only that, but the coffee maker hardware is also 5 to 7 times the cost of a low cost decent looking coffee maker.
At about 20 cents a "K-Cup" cartridge, for bold flavor, I would probably be a happy customer. I thought sooner or later someone would come up with some competition. Not so. What really pissed me off is Walmart and Maxwell House now have their own Keurig cartridge brands and they are exactly the same high price as the other overpriced whores selling cartridges. No discount for off brands, my opinion, this indicates price fixing to ride out this stupid expensive trend to separate fools from their money.
My analysis....the technology isn't perfected. It's a marketing ploy to create an expensive trend that makes no sense except to say "look I have a Keurig too". No one wants to be the first to say, wait a minute this is stupid expensive for the hardware and the cartridges, and it doesn't even make coffee as good as a cheap drip-brewed pot.
One big difference in the Keurig style, expensive 59 cent "K-Cup" disposable cartridge, is the water has to flush through a fine syringe-type pinhole in the bottom of the cartridge. See the used "K-Cup" cartridge with almost a pinhole to drain the coffee. This allows the water more time to drain over the grounds.
With the do-it-yourself refillable cartridges, that come with the Keurig machine (the middle gray design) notice the difference in the size of the drain hole. The water rushes over the grounds too fast, in a screen basket inside the gray cartridge, by design, I believe. Meaning you always get a weaker cup of coffee. By the way, the hole in the bottom of the Keurig gray refillable cartridge is actually larger than the hole in an old fashioned Mr. Coffee filter basket. We're not stupid guys.
The Ekobrew brand, on the right is an even worse design (brown with screen walls and bottom) the water spills through a wire basket in all directions rushing the water over the grounds too fast. I wonder if Ekobrew is owned by Keurig? The reusable cartridge washes the water through too fast, intentionally I believe, so you can't reproduce the expensive disposable cartridge flavor.
Someone needs to design a refillable basket with a smaller hole. There's a better design idea for anyone who wants it and can run with it. However, you still have nasty, loose grounds all over the place, plus all the rinsing to get rid of excess grounds stuck to screen baskets for every cup of coffee.
Take another look at that white, used K-Cup on the left in the picture above. Blow that K-Cup up in size about 10 times, and you have just about the same size of a cheap Mr. Coffee coffee filter basket, with a proportionate sized hole for the coffee to drain.
Don't get stuck on stupid, they obviously believe we are.
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