The Keurig introduced the world to capsule coffee making. It was deemed an ingenious design that allowed for people to make single coffee servings rather than an entire pot that need to be washed or have half its contents poured down the sink. Before long, there was a pod coffee machine in practically every office space in America, and many home kitchens. But there was a snag.
In 2015, the inventor of the "K-cups," John Sylvan told The Atlantic that he regretted ever coming up with the idea. He sold his company to Green Mountain for $50,000 in 1997 and has seen pollution and pile up from the cups everywhere.
"I told them how to improve it, but they don't want to listen," Sylvan claimed, saying he'd already tested and designed a recyclable version. Keurig responded to Sylvan's viral comments by saying they themselves have been working on recyclable technology for their machines by 2020, and attempted to block Sylvan's new design from working in their machines.
“No matter what they say about recycling, those things will never be recyclable,” Sylvan said. “The plastic is a specialized plastic made of four different layers."
However, the design of the Keurig machine itself has been adapted by many other companies, and since they're far less established, they can decide how to format their cups in a way that doesn't destroy the environment. A product called CAPSULIER has opened a Kickstarter campaign to fund their machine that produces single servings of coffee in a completely reusable cup:
As you can see, they pods are made from stainless steel, which can be washed and reused:
Food & Wine reports that the CAPSULIER allows you to prep up to eight pods at a time. And one of the best features is that you can pretty carefully mix your exact favorite coffee mix into the CAPSULIER's grinder, or any other sort of drink making material that benefits from having hot water shot through it. Like tea.
The machine can be voice activated and is connected to WiFi, so your Alexa can start brewing you a cup while you're putting on your bathrobe in the morning. The Kickstarter hasn't quite ended, and it seems like the CAPSULIER might not be available until 2019, but that's still not as far off as Keurig's environmentally friendly plan. Maybe try pour over for awhile?
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Make your coffee pod habit more sustainable with these reusable K-cups.