Am I Missing The Point?
So here at the new place of employ, we have a very nice building to work in. It’s an old warehouse in a now gentrified former industrial district that has been updated with all the conveniences of a modern office.
It’s a pretty nice place to work and probably the nicest of all the buildings my employer leases or rents for us minions.
For the 150 or so people located in this building we have a pretty nice break room that includes fancy steel microwaves, up to the minute toaster oven and even a dishwasher.
And then there is the “coffee system.”
Yes, I said system.
In lieu of a good old glass pot of coffee burning on a hotplate all day, we have two Keurig devices. These devices utilize what are called “K cups” for the brewing of single cups of coffee.
My company only provides the machines and the water. Employees have to bring their own K cups.
My coworkers seem very whipped up and excited about K cup coffee and tea. In order to play along, I went to Safeway and invested in two boxes of (highly overpriced) K cups, one box of coffee, one box of chai tea.
This Keurig machine seems all very futuristic. You put in the plastic K cup, clamp the machine down and press “brew”. The machine whirs quietly and makes important beeping noises then it creates your warm mug of beverage.
Only…couldn’t I just dump the contents of the K cup into a mug, add hot water, stir and have the same results?
That’s when I realized these Keurig people are a bunch of really smart and somewhat evil entrepreneurs. They have employed the Hewlett Packard home printer model to coffee.
The Hewlett Packard model is thus…charge $100 for a small personal printer. Then charge $70 for the ink cartridges to use with the printer. They make a couple bucks off the machine, they make a LOT of bucks off of what they call “consumables” (i.e. something that gets used up and needs to be replaced).
Keurig has done this brilliantly. They have made the end user experience feel special with blue lights and soft whirs and beeps. They make you want to run to that machine and slap in a K cup that runs about a dollar to a dollar fifty each. Starbucks and Bed Bath and Beyond are in on the scam, selling their own versions of K cups.
Meanwhile I’m thinking this is just instant coffee all tarted up in a new way. What really boggles me is the people who “loooove” (<- direct quote) the green tea K cups. Because, ahem, dunking a tea bag in a cup of hot water is just too much work?
The name Keurig led me to believe this was a european company (the name is the Dutch word for excellence) and I was going to make some comment about the Euros having one over on us Americans. Then I looked up the company and discovered they are from Massachusetts.
That there is some Yankee ingenuity.
You brilliant b*stards. I know I'm being hornswaggled and yet I play along anyway.
Well done Keurig-onians. Well done.
Image from theburr. Click the link to see how to recycle K cups.
Far more evil than you call out.
In fact the coffee machine is designed and distributed by a coffee company – Green Mountain.
Sorta like an ink company invented Hewlett Packard to make printers to enable selling $70 ink cartridges.
Emmett – I had no idea! That IS evil. Wow.
So did you try without the machine?
I’ve noticed that all those coffe/tea machines for the home are updated just in time for Christmas every year. I don’t have one, but I imagine as the design changes you can’t get the stuff to go with the old ones anymore.
Anji – I haven’t yet tried it. I think the tea K cups would work fine. I understand now that the coffee K cups have a little filter in there. I’ll have to give the tea a try, though.
And you are so right, the machines always change and of course people must have the new one!! It has one extra button! Must have it!!
How about the biggest scam of all, bottled water.
New Mexican – True that!