Love your Keurig? These K-Cup Substitutes are Pretty Lovable Too

First off, this Atlantic article is super interesting background on Keurig and K-cups. As the author highlights, Keurig machines have taken over at-home coffee consumption, and have secured a reliable profit stream. As with razors and their heads, printers and ink cartridges, Keurig machines offer convenience that comes with expensive lock-in. K-cups generate sales of coffee at $40 per pound. As the creator of the Keurig, John Sylvan, said, "I don't have one. They're kind of expensive to use." 

Pricey lock-in aside, it is the waste that gets me down most. And I'm not the only one. Of his invention, Sylvan told James Hamblin at the Atlantic, “I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it.”

In 2014, the number of K-Cups sold was so high that they would circle the globe 10.5 times if placed end-to-end. Almost all of them ended up in landfills. They also are not recyclable due to the combination of 4 plastic layers. And, Sylvan thinks this will be difficult if not impossible to fix, based on his experience of materials they tested, and the number of different components required.

Reusable K-Cup Alternatives

So, instead of waiting, here are a couple reusable options to save us from the apocalypse depicted in that video up there.





James Hamblin. A Brewing Problem: What's the healthiest way to keep everyone caffeinated?