Whose Cup of Coffee is it Anyway?

Dear Keurig:

Thank you for revolutionizing the home-brewing process. For turning my morning cup of coffee into a work of art. It’s obvious that you share my affinity for the brown caffeinated bean, and your product is a little piece of heaven right here in my kitchen.

There have been many before you – the Black and Decker under-cabinet model, which we couldn’t really afford at the time but spent the money on anyway because we had such a small apartment that there was nowhere else to keep a coffee-maker. Then came several nondescript, utilitarian brewers that huffed and chugged but made a serviceable pot of coffee. More recently we had a behemoth that eschewed a pot altogether – an “on demand” model that would hold the freshly-brewed nectar in a reservoir and spit out a cupful, well, on demand (though not nearly as elegantly as yours). There were even a few go-rounds with an old-school percolator when we first started camping, an experience that taught me how to sift while I drink.

It was the in-laws who bought the first Keurig. Sure, I’d seen your products on the shopping channels, the huckster hosts caressing them ever so sensually while the gurgling marvels churned out the perfect cup of joe. They were everything a red-blooded American consumer could want…sleek, modern and sophisticated, perfect for my “on-the-go” lifestyle. And those rumblings about the environmental issues caused by billions of spent, discarded pods? Fuck it…we’ll just get a bigger landfill.

We wound up purchasing one of your “minis” to supplement our old standby 12-cupper, since (for once) we finally had some extra counter space. But the siren’s song of your new 2.0 was just too tempting – a carafe and single-cup capabilities? I’m not ashamed to tell you that I pissed myself right there in Kohl’s. So we bought one a few weeks ago as an early Christmas present to each other. And all was right with the world, even when I tried to make use of an older K-cup. “Oops,” the message on its touchscreen gently chided. “If you want a fresh cup of coffee, you’ll need to toe the line and use only the pods I tell you to. Capeesh?” How cute!

It’s so thoughtful of you to simplify things for me. It was foolish, I know, to think that I might want to drink anything other than what you have so carefully chosen for my new brew-station. That’s the problem these days – too many choices. Quite frankly, it’s turned the decision-making process into a complicated and burdensome chore – why, just picking out a pair of underpants has become an ordeal. Boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, bikini, thong, Hanes, Fruit-of-the-Loom, Jockey, He-Man…to say nothing of the myriad of color options. Is it any wonder that I simply decided to go commando? But I digress.

And even though the interwebs are already rife with hacks and workarounds that would allow me to sneak a rogue k-cup past your proprietary (the haters would say “petty” or even “money-grubbing”) technology, I refuse to go there. You are obviously looking out for my best interests. And it’s perfectly fine that such altruism should benefit your bottom line. They say that freedom isn’t free – well, why should a lack of freedom be any different?

Sadly, though, HAL (as we lovingly nick-named it) stopped working after less than a week of light duty. I’m sorry, but when you drink as much coffee as I do, an unreliable brewer is something that can’t be tolerated. So it was with a heavy heart that I recently returned your 2.0 and went back to a drab, soul-less Hamilton Beach. Perhaps most disturbing, it has no regard whatsoever for your exclusionary system and will accept any and all comers. So what is to become of me now that I must fend for myself? Who will protect me from those exotic house-blends freshly ground at my local coffee shop? Or the pods of inexpensive, un-vetted swill sold by the truck-load down at Costco. Where will it end? How many choices can one person make?

Looks like I’m about to find out. And if I somehow muster the strength to determine my own coffee destiny, then perhaps a pair of tighty whities may also be in my future.

Album art courtesy of Warner Bros. Records


7 thoughts on “Whose Cup of Coffee is it Anyway?

  1. Love, love, love this post. In Western Australia we have all become coffee snobs and a business deal can rise and fall on the quality of the coffee served. A brilliant coffee shop opened at the end of my daughter’s street and the parking inspectors are having a field day collecting revenue from car owners parking illegally in their rush in to get their elixir. There would be 10 coffee shops within a kilometer of where she lives but THIS one is the place to go and their business is booming.

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