Thursday, 11. December 2014 4:40 | Author:admin
I wrote about this briefly on Facebook a while back, but I wanted to develop it further.
A few weeks ago, I was shopping at the grocery store, and I noticed a change as I went down the coffee aisle. I was searching for the instant coffee that I drink in the morning, a section I have seen shrinking for quite some time (when was the last time when you met an oddball who drank instant coffee?). However, as I looked back over the aisle, I noticed a new balance of power, a visual tipping point on aisle three.
For the first time, I saw that the aisle space dedicated to traditional cans of coffee had been surpassed by boxes of K-cups. Between different brands and innumerable different favors, the Keurig (and copycat brands) instant single cup delivery system seems to have triumphed over the traditional pot (or the college student cup O'instant).
Never one to see a cigar as just a cigar, I immediately moved to greater implications of this ground shift. The clear predominance of this new technology makes statements about the users. It represents the movement away from the communal pot toward the individual cup. No need to share a single flavor, every drinker looks out for himself. I know there is a commercial for a multi-cup Keurig machine, but this somewhat defeats the purpose. It is an offshoot of the Starbucks mentality, let's all go in and have our own thing. Even the communal experience is highly individualistic. Keurig means I'm looking out for number 1.
More disturbing to me is the ecological choice made by The K-cup klatch. Every cup has its own disposable delivery system, plastic to go into landfills. I felt the same about daily contact lenses…not for the lenses themselves, but for the huge amount of plastic and metal trashed daily in delivery. Although some K-cup boxes boast of their environmentally friendly recyclable cups, it is a false comfort ignoring the energy that goes into the recycling process. I know that there are reusable cups, but I would love to see statistics about their use. Even apart from the plastic and paper, the K-cup uses far more coffee per cup than traditional drip in order to reach the correct saturation during the high-speed dispensing process. With every K-cup, we dispose of useable coffee. The culture of Keurig is the culture of waste.
So I grabbed my cheap instant coffee and went to checkout, leaving behind a store display and a lesson about modern humanity.
Hmmm, a cup of coffee sounds good now.
As always, I welcome your comments.