Coffee is what gets me up the morning. That special rocket fuel has been a part of many early morning wake ups as well as late night binges. Coffee helps us solve problems, invent stuff, and for many people it's bitter-sweet taste has become synonymous with productivity itself. Coffee is the second most sipped drink in America, closely following water. Despite this, nearly 75% of Americans are making it in what I would call the worst way possible, and they don't even know it.
According to the Nation Coffee Associationista, (Yes, that's really what they're called) 72% of Americans make their coffee with a machine, either a drip coffee maker,
More like Mr. I have no taste
Or a Keurig style device.
The inventor of K-cups actually apologized for inventing Keurig. True story.
Both methods promise one thing: convenience, and they deliver that in spades. Given that's the way the majority of us prepare our coffee, convenience is obviously what we're after, but at what cost?
Or from the inventor himself:
"From a personal standpoint, it saves 20 seconds of your day," he says. "What's that worth?"
We appear to have decided it's worth quite a bit, but I believe we did so without truly considering the consequences. So here they are:
-The environment (Keurig)
-Opportunity for calm
It's no secret that K-Cups are terrible for the environment. They're made of non-biodegradable materials that have packed landfills all over the country, and as of 2015 there were enough discarded K-Cups to wrap around the earth more than 10 times. Keurig has promised to make their K-Cups recyclable by the end of 202o, but given the option between Keurig and any other brewing method, go with anything else. The paper filters involved with most other brewing methods create minimal, biodegradable waste and reusable filters create none.
Treat your buds
Next up, these machine-based brewing methods objectively taste worse, and you don't need a Barista Guild Certification to figure it out. I'm not saying you're going to be able to pick out "notes" of strawberry or nutmeg, but let's just say drinking from the machine is more akin to burning the beans than brewing them. The flavor of coffee depends on the temperature of the water used, the speed at which it passes through the beans, and the ratio of that water to the beans used. None of. this is in your control with an electric coffee maker, and it creates a rather dull, if consistent flavor.
Taking a moment
The world seems to be speeding up. It feels like we have an ever increasing number of responsibilities and things that need our attention from the moment that we wake up, to the moment we settle down at night. The pandemic has delayed this effect somewhat, but with a vaccine on the horizon our time will no doubt begin to feel like it's slipping away again soon. One of the ways we've facilitated this is by making parts of our day that used to be slow, fast.
With the invention of electric coffee makers, coffee went from something that took a bit of work, to something that was available at the push of a button. Another art was automated, and what was lost is an invaluable moment of peace. Instead of figuratively catching our breath by watching the boiling water pour over the grinds, we're checking our phone as the coffee machine buzzes in the background, or getting a "precious" extra minute or two of sleep.
In our frenetic modern world, we have fewer and fewer opportunities to slow down for a moment and appreciate the small things. If coffee is a part of your daily routine let its creation become a reprieve rather than something you brush over without a second thought. You'll thank yourself.
This article brought to you by Chemex! Just kidding. Maybe one day.