This weekend, it finally happened. Our 4-year-old Keurig officially died.
For the first 3 years, I absolutely loved my Keurig. I raved about it. But the fact that it’s already dead irks me. It was a 4-year-old appliance. Nearly every other appliance in my kitchen is older than that and is still working fine. So we decided not to give Keurig a second chance, and bought a regular ol’ Mr. Coffee coffee maker. Here’s why.
1. It started having issues about a year ago. I cleaned it regularly, descaled it with vinegar and water, used a paperclip to clear the needle, and took pretty good care of it. It kept doing this thing where it would brew a tiny little cup and then I could hear the water trickling back in to the water reserve. If I ran a few cycles of just water through after that, sometimes it worked. Sometimes I just brewed 4 tiny cups in a row with the same K-Cup to make a full cup. It was annoying and I was never sure if it would brew a perfect cup or would spit out a baby cup and ruin my morning.
2. The quality and longevity of the appliance. Until a year ago (when she too got a Keurig), my Step-mom had a Mr. Coffee coffee maker that she’d had for 15+ years. It still worked great. In 4 years of brewing one cup per day, my Keurig crapped out. A quick Google search and you’ll find hundreds (thousands?) of chat rooms and reviews of people who had the same issues I had.
3. The up-front cost. Once we knew we had to replace it, we tried to decide if we actually wanted to replace it with another Keurig or a traditional coffee maker. The Keurig we considered ran $119 at Target. The Mr. Coffee coffee maker was $39 (on sale from $49 at Target) and matched the stainless steel appliances in our new apartment.
4. The long-term cost. Even if you get K-Cups on sale, they run you about 50 cents a piece and brew a pretty small cup of coffee. I’d love to take a big cup in a travel mug with me to work, but that would take me 2 K-Cups to do, putting it at about $1 a day.
One study actually found that K-Cup coffee costs about $50/pound, more than double the price of high-end coffee and four or five times more than regular grocery store brands (Five O’Clock Coffee, Folgers, etc.). Turns out, one cup of coffee from a traditional coffee pot costs about 13 cents. If I drink one cup a day of drip coffee instead of a single-serving cup from the Keurig,( at 50 cents for a K-Cup brewed cup and only 13 cents per drip coffee) I’m saving about $135 a year.
And if we’re considering long-term financial costs, what about environmental costs? One K-Cup per day adds up to a lot of plastic in landfills.
5. Change in commutes. With our upcoming move, we are tacking on a bit of a commute to work for each of us. I know what you’re thinking, what does this have to do with coffee? Well, it’s basically longer for us to enjoy our coffee in the car. The reason I only drink one cup of coffee now is because that’s all I have time for in the morning. With more time in the car, I can see myself drinking essentially 2-3 cups worth on the way to work, as I do when I’m home on weekends.
Here’s what we finally decided on…
And we love it.
Are you a Keurig person or a regular coffee maker person? If you do have a Keurig, did you ever have the issues I described?