Cost and convenience

There are refillable coffee pods For Keurig coffee makers.

Isn’t the point of a Keurig that you just pop in a Koffee Kartridge and then you get a fresh cup of coffee with no messy grounds to clean up? Of course, those cartridges are expensive, as is the machine that uses them – like the Gillette system, the profit is in the refills, but not like Gillette the Koffee people change, and customers pay, a bundle for the machine too.

Anyway, now there are refillable K-cups. Next will be disposable cartridges for those refillable K-cups.

Here’s my marketing idea, free for whoever wants to use it:

Disposable pre-filled measuring spoons. Need a half-teaspoon of ground cardamom, or two tablespoons of organic cocoanut oil? Here they are, with no messy cleanup. Later we can market refill containers. And maybe a decorative rack in which to keep those refill containers.


9 Replies to “Cost and convenience”

  1. I don’t know what the original idea was, but my mom likes her (knock-off) because she can have just one cup, pretty quickly, and even use fru-fru coffee. (Dad only likes variations on Vanilla or Hazelnut.)

    And they already have packages of spices, pre-measured. They’re stocked at those resorts where you buy a share and then can spend two weeks a year vacationing there. No spoons that I saw, though….

    Ooh, and there are little plastic mashed garlic cups that have the equivalent of one bulb.

  2. Funny you should mention this: just now, got a coup of corporate joe and – bless them! – they had real half n half, but in those little plastic thingies. I like about 3 per cup (no, I don’t really want to taste the coffee much, than you) and so produce a little graveyard of waste with every cup. The plastic has got to cost more per unit than the cream.

    Would it be such a horrible idea to save money by putting a couple quarts of half n half in the fridge, and trusting people not to OD on it, and get rid of the boxes of those little plastic things? I think not.

    And coffee at home: yes, it takes a couple minutes to brew the 1/2 pot that yields a couple big cups – but it is so worth it, and I just compost the grounds and filters. Is this really a hardship we need to address?

  3. The stuff in the little containers doesn’t have to be watched to make sure it’s not gone bad. People don’t drink the little cups straight, or make a “mocha” with them– three or four is about the most someone will use.

    The little packets also don’t get dumped in the fridge or on the floor, or left out on the counter all day to be found the next morning…and then probably put back in, so you get folks sick.

    Our local bank use to have big a huge coffee station, with those insulated pouring things for creamer, and a big sugar thing. It attracted ants and other bugs. They got rid of it and put in a really fancy kurig, and bought the little packets with a wide range of flavored cups, and fancy flavored creamers.
    It costs them less, even if you don’t count bug removal.

    Also, some people actually want just one cup of coffee. It’s not a hardship, it’s a matter of “the cost is worth it to them to have exactly one cup of coffee, fresh, with no pot to clean up, in the flavor they actually want to drink.”

    They also have espresso drink pods, which cost less than getting it made at a shop.

    Or is drive-through coffee something else to be mocked as attempting to address a “hardship” you don’t mind?

  4. Once I ate lunch in the cafeteria of a convent, and they had a coffee machine–a dispenser, really–the kind you often see at buffets. They also had little dishes with the individual creamer cups in them. I reached for a plain one just as I realized some were french vanilla, so then I self-consciously got one of the flavored ones instead. One of the sisters saw me hesitate, and after I chose, she leaned over, whispering, “I think you’ve chosen the better part.”

    Did all the sisters chose the flavored creamer? Or was it just there as a gluttony test, that I failed? Perhaps the good creamer is only for company. I’ve never been able to decide. The sister was amused and friendly, but I couldn’t figure out if I was in on the joke or not.

    My coffee strategy includes a one-cup, pour-over, manual coffeemaker, a Starbucks gift card, and the fear that someday I’ll have to serve more than one person coffee at a time.

    On a note more related to your post, they do (or at least did) sell Children’s Benadryl in disposable per-measured spoon dispensers.

    1. From the phrasing, I’d guess that Vanilla is next to Godliness…. (Seems to be an allusion to Mary and Martha, were Mary sat at His feet while Martha did the housework.)

    2. I’ve long dreamt of starting a company named Placebo Industries. The motto: “High Tech Solutions for Non-Existent Problems”. But reality keeps outstripping my musings.

      The point, if I even have one: I like gadgets and gizmos as much as the next guy – and I think we’ve collectively over-thought the whole ‘I want a cup of coffee’ thing. At my place of employment, the 20 odd people seem perfectly capable of managing a quart of half and half, and real sugar in a bowl, without undue invasions from the natural world.

      I mean, really, getting a cup of coffee without involving ants, salmonella and a team of cleaning people is a problem worth deploying serious American ingenuity and better living through chemicals? Really?

      But we can still be friends, me with my grounds spilt on the counter and cream on my shirt, and you with your pile of little plastic refuse. Reasonable people can disagree about how best to get a cup of coffee. OK? Shake on it?

    3. Benjamin: Probably not a subtle test; I imagine the sister meant that she liked the vanilla too:-) The single-dose Benedryl for kids is a good idea.

      Currently I make my coffee in a french press, and almost always drink it black. Once in a while I’ll put in some half-and-half. This is on hand in a quart carton, for oatmeal and cereal.

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