I’m having a dilemma over which type of coffee is better in the context of life, one using a K-Cup or when with a reusable faKe-Cup.

The answer is relative and depends on your values..and your budget.

Let’s look at the tale of the pod device, or the “Excellence”- cup.

The coffee pod device was developed in 1992 by John Sylvan. Sylvan, drinking up to 40 cups of coffee per day left his menial job to develop a coffee device that was suitable for passionate coffee drinkers.

He wanted the definition of excellence in Dutch, which is Keurig, and from that came the ubiquitous name: K-Cup.

Despite the fact that patent on the K-Cup ended in 2012, Keurig continues topping the  market, but just about every other coffee manufacturer has developed K-Cups. About a third of all homes now has a pod-based coffee machine, even though Sylvan never imagined they would be used outside of offices.  In 2014 K-Cups accounted for most of Keurig Green Mountain’s $4.7 billion in revenue—more than five times what the company made five years prior.

  1. Price: The winner: reusable faKe-Cup. The cost to buy a bag of your favorite coffee (or one that is on sale) and dip your spoon to get two scoops into your reusable K-Cup is so inexpensive compared to a box of K-Cups. You might get 25 cups of 8 ounce coffee from a 12 ounce bags of coffee compared to buying a box of 10 to 12 K-Cup pods at your supermarket, which can cost as little as $4.99 to $9.99.
  2. Speed: The winner: K-Cup. It is so easy to put a ready made K-Cup into a machine, and press a button and viola, your cup is ready. Once your done, you take the pod out of the maker and throw it away. The faKe-Cup you have to take and clean it. Where do you dump the grounds? If you have a garden I would start there, otherwise dump the grounds in the garbage, but I would not recommend putting it down the trash compactor because it might break the compactor.
  3. Taste: The winner: Tie. This is a toss up since I have tried both types. I would recommend using spring or purified water to fill up your machine rather than tap water. Cleaner water makes your coffee taste better.
  4. Cleaning up: The winner K-Cup. It will take several minutes to clean out your faKe-Cup compared to just taking your K-Cup out of your machine.
  5. Mobility: The winner K-Cup. It is easy to carry one or two K-Cup around with you. To work, school, church, wherever has a K-Cup or similar machine your K-Cup is your friend. You may fill up a faKe-Cup at home and bring it in to work, but you have to make sure you have to clean and dump out the grounds. Make sure you wipe your fingers to if you are manually scooping the grounds out.
  6. Sustainability for the environment: Hands down winner faKe-Cup. In an article published by the Atlantic in 2015, A Brewing Problem, Sylvan admits that the pods are not biodegradable and can damage the environment. There is a short movie called “Killed the K-Cup” on YouTube taking a stand against the non-biodegradable cups.

So when you grab your K-Cup at home or at work, you might want to cut open your pod and get rid of your grounds and place the plastic into your recycle bin.

Millions love their coffee. Some more than others. Thus we can thank Mr. Coffee for a machine to make a pot of coffee and John Sylvan for perfecting the “excellence”, the translation in Dutch Keurig, K-Cup for reinventing the way we drink coffee. Save your money from Starbucks and bring a Starbucks pod to work instead.