Do you just love the concept of Keurig coffee? It is almost a play on the cartoon “The Jetsons” where you push a button and out pops a cup of coffee. Seriously, think about it for a minute. It’s fresh, hot and most of all…expensive. I know that isn’t what you wanted to hear, but we did some research on this and no matter how you spin it, it is just more expensive than the Standard Drip Coffee. This article is all about the Keurig vs. Drip Coffee debate.
I can hear the argument “but the Keurig tastes so much better!” Seriously, ask yourself…you have to be honest here…..does it REALLY taste better? Keurigs are coming under a lot of scrutiny by coffee aficionados for not allowing the beans to remain in contact with hot water long enough to extract all those delicious coffee flavors. So, you could be paying a premium for a lesser quality cup of joe.
Articles Discussing Poor Keurig Taste
Here are two articles (One and Two) that talk specifically about the lack of flavor and lower quality of coffee from Keurig pods. The beans are not freshly ground and the quality of the beans are suspect in some cases. If you want a truly delicious cup of coffee, locate the best beans and grind them right before you brew for the best the perfect cup/pot.
Cost of the Keurig Machine vs Standard Drip Coffee Pot
The costs involved in our coffee making has to start with the machine itself. A quick Amazon search lead us to:
The cost of a Keurig machine runs $86.99 and up.
Mr Coffee or Standard Drip Coffee Pot runs $23.99 and up. Certainly, the cost of an old fashioned drip pot is significantly less expensive.
Keurig vs Standard Drip Coffee Costs
Next is analyzing the cost of the coffee itself. We’ll start with the cost per cup of the Keurig. Here are a few of the prices for K-Cups I found at our local grocery stores:
- Tim Horton’s 80 Pack $39.99 – 49 cents per pod
- Wegmans 72 Pack $24.49 – 34 cents per pod
- Green Mountain 32 Pack $18.49 – 57 cents per pod
- Newman’s Own 32 Pack $18.49 – 57 cents per pod
- Starbucks 32 pack $21.99 – 68 cents per pod
- Folgers 12 Pack $6.99 – 58 cents per pod
- Dunkin Donuts 10 Pack $7.49 – 68 cents per pod
- Donut Shop 12 Pack $7.49 – 62 cents per pod
- Illy 10 Pack $9.99 – 99 cents per pod
Using the Mr. Coffee Maker
- Wegmans Breakfast Blend $3.99 – 6 cents per cup or (72 cents per 12 cup pot)
- Wegmans Organic $7.99 – 12 cents per cup ($1.44 per pot)
- Peet’s Coffee $7.99 – 12 cents per cup ($1.44 per pot)
- Newman’s Organic $7.99 – 12 cents per cup ($1.44 per pot)
- Eight O’Clock $5.99 – 9 cents per cup ($1.08 per pot)
- Starbucks $7.19 – 11 cents per cup 9$1.32 per pot)
The above was taken from my local Wegmans outside of Washington DC. There will be slight differences based on other areas of the country but the principle will remain the same. I challenge you to do the same price comparison when you shop for your favorite Keurig pods. You can use the Grocery Comparison Printable to help with this!
Keurig will always be the winner if you are a household who needs just one cup per day on the way out the door. There is no waste. You don’t have to make a whole pot of coffee in order to get the one cup. But hey! How many of you really drink just one cup per day?
Using the Keurig Reusable Cups
A hybrid approach is to use the reusable K-Cups. Instead of the disposable plastic K-Cup, add your own ground coffee to this special K cup, and brew a single serving in the Keurig machine. If you want the ease and instant hot coffee of the Keurig maker, the reusable cups are an awesome option! It is a one time fixed cost for the reusable cup, but will use your own ground coffee. Scoop your coffee grounds into the reusable cup and pop it in the Keurig and you are off and running. Just like a normal pod. Yes, this will take a few extra moments, but you are given the benefits of the Keurig without the shocking price tag for each cup of Joe!
Using the Reusable Cups is definitely a workaround for using the Keurig! You still won’t achieve the maximum flavor, since the coffee doesn’t have the time to brew properly, but maybe you can give that up for the convenience of the instant coffee.
K-Cup Environmental Issues
Unfortunately for Keurig, they are are being scrutinized for adding to the huge environmental problem on our planet. Although each pod is recyclable, you have to take the time to break it into three parts. I fear that the recycling is not always happening. The Atlantic researched that amount of waste from these pods can circle the earth 3+ times – and that was in 2015.
On the other hand, standard drip coffee grounds are biodegradable and make excellent compost for your garden!
There is a growing push for more environmentally Friendly K-Cups or alternatives for those that want to use the Keurig:
The clear winner for a cost savings is the start drip coffee maker and ground coffee. Not only is the cost of the machine significantly less, the research shows that brewed coffee tastes better. If you drink more than one cup per day, this is the clear winner.
If you drink one cup of coffee per day, or you are in a rush, then the quick convenience of the K-Cup is the way to go. But, there are environmental concerns as well that might influence your decision.