Friday, May 14, 2021

Keurig: Just add disappointment

by ELENA JOHNSON/Coeur Voice contributor
| November 21, 2020 1:00 AM

If you’ve never met a Keurig machine before, rejoice. You’ve probably had a great relationship with coffee.

Once you get over the convenience and speed – I’ll grant you both, O ye machine of vaguely Icelandic name – well… there just isn’t much left.

As in coffee, there isn’t much coffee.

The machine huffs and puffs like an old cat hoisting itself up from a morning nap. In the dead of winter, this process can take several extra minutes as the water heater gurgles into a boil from a frigid room temperature.

By the time the coffee is ready to brew, far-too-clear liquid squirts out with a wheeze as if pushing out coffee-water was just too much this early in the morning, thank you very much. I’d hate to see what happens if you didn’t press the “strong” button.

Plus the “large” cup button spits out a measly 12 ounces. And from years of serving coffee in this town, I can tell you no one orders a large 12-ounce latte.

A lot of products out there these days seem to be designed with profits, rather than consumers, in mind. While my mediocre accounting skills (a.k. a a phone calculator) cannot precisely pinpoint the presumed improvement in profit margin, at the very least I am confident actual coffee consumers were not being considered during the testing of the first, or any Keurigs.

Were there any taste tests for quality control, or did a company composed entirely of exclusive Red Bull drinkers just extract a cup, sniff it, and move on?

I jest. Red Bull drinkers would also take issue with a 12 ounce “large”.

Technology is no excuse. If we can make microscopic video cameras, scan brains, and have magic computers in our pockets (with color options), we can probably also make decent cups of coffee. Heck, we’ve done it for a few centuries with far less sophisticated equipment. Much of that equipment squeals fewer complaints, too.

At the very least, the company gets a small point for sustainability. While still overproducing throwaway coffee pods – a word that points out how alien the process is to making a simple cuppa’ in the percolator – they do include reusable pods. Stuffed to the brim with a decent roast, you can’t complain over taste, either.

Maybe it’s a conspiracy. A tiny coffee cup social movement and experiment. Or an eccentric philanthropist trying to single-handedly temper our caffeine addictions (Fie, I say!) in the guise of a sleek product line and heavy marketing plan.

Or maybe the creator is one of those people who asks for their drip coffee to be watered down. (Don’t worry Ma, I know it takes all types.) But still, you’d think there’d just be a “weak” option for those who need it?

First thing in the morning, you depend on that pick-me-up. Hearing all that grumble and tumble for just a fumbling brew is, well, a bit rude. It’s a real kick in the pants, get your tie caught in the car door, snag your sweater on the way in kind of early greeting.

Of course, I’m still desperate. So I’ll go ahead and fire up the old hacking gnome as usual come Monday.