SUBTITLE: Is a Cup of Coffee Worth THIS Much Trouble?

21893551_thbThis may not sound like it’s related to caregiving at all, but indirectly, it is.  My father was a coffee drinker.  He probably went through about 2 pots a day up until his last year. He decreased his coffee intake due to “bathroom issues”.  I, on the other hand, will drink one cup, maybe one and a half cups per day (and I’m told I make weak coffee).  After my father died, it seemed wasteful to brew even half a pot of coffee when I would never finish it………..especially when it was Starbuck’s whole bean coffee that I brewed in the Grind-and-Brew system.

So when my kids asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, I suggested the Keurig coffee system; you know, the one that comes with little pods of coffee ( Keurig’s are called K-Cups)  that brew one cup at a time AND in less than one minute!  There are a choice of coffees – for instance, Tully’s, Gloria Jeans, Newman’s Own, and several others.  There are also K-Cups of various teas and hot chocolate mixes.  I was SO excited !  THIS would be a great way not to waste money!  Or so I thought.

I was even more excited when I found a Keurig “commercial model” at the Food show.  The commercial had more stainless steel, I was told, and would “last longer”.  It was also less expensive that day (show special) and came with a display rack.  YES! I called my daughter and asked if I could go ahead and order it.

But then it arrived and I tried my first cup.  YIKES…way too strong.  But fear not, it has a choice of brewing sizes so I then tried the 10 oz size thinking “more water/less strength”.  NO, not the case………it was still very strong.  My next attempt at coffee making was to brew a cup of coffee, dump half of it out, brew a cup of plain water, dump half of THAT out and mix the two together.  Ok, so now I’m using 2 cups and it takes 2 minutes to make coffee and I’m still not liking the taste of ANY of the coffees that came with it.  That’s okay; I’ll just go buy the Starbuck’s K-Cups.  Guess what?  They don’t MAKE Starbuck’s K-Cups.  UGH!

They do, however; make a little adapter K-Cup where you can add your own coffee and still make one cup at a time.  So things are looking up again. Another trip to the store for the adapter (at $14.95) and a pound of pre-ground Starbuck’s (pre-ground is not my fav; I prefer to grind my own beans, but the bean grinder would be another expense).  (And yes, I really do like Starbuck’s.)

The next morning, I wake up excited for a cup of  “not too strong” Starbuck’s, place the coffee into the adapter, place it into the machine and …………the lid won’t close !  OK, what did I do wrong?  I re-read the directions and can’t find the answer.  I rearrange everything and try it again………still, no go.  Grrrrrr

There’s a phone support number on the K-Cup adapter so I called and spoke to a nice lady who attempted to be helpful.  We went through the K-Cup adapter procedure and affirmed that it should work.  As an after-thought, she asked “what model coffee brewer do you own”.  When I told her, she said “Oooh, that’s why.  They don’t make K-Cup adapters for the commercial model”.  WHAT????

OK, as I’m getting ready to pack the whole thing up and sell it on eBay, she asks “what specifically did you not like about the K-Cup coffees that you’ve tried”?  When I told her that it was the strength of the coffee I didn’t like and which ones I tried,  she suggested some different K-Cup coffees that I could try for a “milder” cup of coffee.

With renewed hope, BACK to the store I went……….but of course, they don’t carry the milder choices at the store; they’re available on-line though at Keurig.com.  Yesterday I ordered the “milder” choices on-line.  The on-line prices are more expensive and of course, they weren’t having a sale, but thankfully shipping was free with a “code”.

While I wait for the (hopefully) “more to my taste” K-Cups of coffee, I have almost perfected my morning cup of coffee by following these steps: Brew a cup of coffee; dump one-third of it out; microwave 1/2 cup milk with an added  dash of vanilla caramel creamer to it; Combine the two.  It now takes 4 minutes to make the one-minute cup of coffee (PLUS an additional amount of time to pry open the K-Cup and place the grounds in the compost container).

Let me summarize for you the cost of “not wanting to waste money by brewing a whole pot of coffee with my former Grind and Brew system”: Keurig coffee system- $169.00; K-Cup adapter (that cannot be used) – $14.95; “milder” K-Cups purchased on-line-$68.00 for 72 cups of coffee !  Additional plastic empty K-Cups added to land-fill………..NOT priceless.

Now that I’ve written this out on “paper”, I think I’ll go back to my Grind and Brew.


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