Single And Lovin' It! Another Coffee Company Establishes A Lifestyle

Coffee lovers are feeling the need to be single... at least at their coffee machines. And there's one company in particular that's driving the the single-cup lifestyle. This company makes an automatic single-cup coffee maker (the "razor") and a patented package for the coffee it brews (the "razor blades").


The Concept/Business Plan That's Leading The Single-Cup Lifestyle

Inventors and entrepreneurs: If you want to follow a tremendous business model, look no further than the Green Mountain Coffee Company, parent of the Keurig Company!

This time it's Keurig, not Starbucks, that's leading the coffee revolution in private homes, offices, hotels, and other hospitality settings throughout the world. Keurig doesn't set up coffee shops on every other street corner, or on all four corners of a city block; Keurig makes the razor - the single-cup coffee brewer --




and the blades -- the patented packaging for the coffee. Perhaps you've heard of these little packages of coffee... they are called K-Cups®.



This is how the K-Cups work in the Keurig brewing systems....



Sure, another innovator can come up with a new system and just sell the coffee of its parent company, like Keurig does with Green Mountain Coffee, in its patented single-cup packaging. But Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee Company are smarter than that. They license the patented packaging system to competitor coffee companies as well, like Timothy's, Gloria Jean's, Emeril's, Diedrich, and other brands. And then there are the tea companies that package their teas in K-Cups: Twinings, Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings... And hot cocoa K-Cups from Bellaccino and others....


The Products At The Center Of The Single-Cup Lifestyle


The Keurig Brewing System

But enough about the business model; let's get into the system. Keurig makes a few models for its single-cup brewer, but I like the features of the Keurig B60 Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System best for home use.

First, the Keurig is automated. No pouring, waiting, pouring, wating... only to have to put your finished cup o' joe in the microwave to heat. The Keurig B60 heats and brews all at once and keeps your coffee or other beverage ready to drink.


Unlike many full-size automated coffee pots, the Keurig B60 has a removable water reservoir so you don't need to use a separate container to pour water into the reservoir. And, even though the B60 only makes one cup of coffee at a time, the reservoir holds up to 48 ounces the water's right there ready for the next cup when you are!



The K-Cups

The B60 uses the Keurig patented, pre-filled K-Cups for its brew. Don't screw up your face just yet. If you're thinking of that bland stuff they call coffee in the pre-filled coffee pods, that's so yesterday! K-Cups are custom-packaged with a range of gourmet coffees wider than Starbucks' varieties. The spectrum of coffee makers that license the K-Cup technology can match nearly every consumer's need for flavor, strength, and bouquet.

You may want to start with a variety of coffees, like
the Diedrich Coffee Variety Pack of Medium and Dark Roasts, K-Cup for Keurig Brewers, 25-Count Boxes.

The K-Cup enters the Keunig brewing system here:



Insert the K-Cup and you're ready to brew.



The K-Cup Carousel

And Keurig has made a clever K-Cup Spinning Carousel in chrome that holds 27 K-Cups, a divine solution for variety lovers who will win with every spin.



My K-Cup

If you would like to use a coffee, tea, or hot cocoa that's not pre-packaged in the K-cups, no problem. Keurig makes My K-Cup, a wire mesh individual coffee filter with the plastic holder and cap to press the coffee through the filter.




The Kap

Independent entrepreneurs are inspired to create gadgets for the Keurig single-cup coffee brewer.

An independent designer of the "Kap," for example, tries to get more mileage out of each pre-filled K-Cup. His device requires you to retain everything except the foil and the coffee grounds of your used K-Cups. Then, by cleaning the filter of the K-Cup and refurbishing the ground coffee from your own stock, you can reuse the K-Cup simply by placing the Kap on top of the K-Cup and putting it into the brewer for up to 10 times. This, the entrepreneur/inventor postulates would reduce the cost of each brew from up to $.50 to $.10.



Let's re-visit the Keurig Home-Brewing System in six months or a year. I predict it will grow even more and that you will find the single-cup system for serving brewed beverages in cafes and restaurants. In the meantime, if the invention or plan leaves you with no fresh ideas of your own, at least you might try this new system to make yourself a single cup of coffee at home with your favorite grind.



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Dec 26, 2008
by Anonymous

Shameful, really

This single-cup lifestyle =

* stale, pre-ground beans left oxidizing for weeks since roasting
* unnecessary environmental waste added with each and every serving

Dec 27, 2008
by Anonymous

Not in the least

We've had a Keurig at work for months. Anonymous above, speak not of which you know nothing.

The cups are sealed... individually sealed. That means each cup is fresher than that can of coffee sitting on your counter that you opened five minutes ago. And waaah on the environmental waste.

Anyway, I loved the Keurig at work enough to bug the wife into getting me one at home. Really nice not having to wash out coffee baskets, etc., and really easy and quick to make. Mine is even smaller than the ones mentioned above, which is perfect for me. I don't normally drink coffee at home during the week, but love it on weekend mornings, so the water doesn't sit in the tank all week. Yes, I need to pour in a cup of water to get out a cup of coffee, but that's ok.

Dec 27, 2008
by Anonymous

Did you really say that?

"waaah on the environmental waste"? What are you talking about? That's a huge consideration. Unless the cups are made of recycled or biodegradable material, the last thing we really need is more junk in the trash every day.

Kudos to the first poster for bringing to light the consideration of the environmental waste and a wag of the finger to the second for writing it off as unimportant. This is the -planet- we're talking about. That's a very serious issue and every action and product we use should take waste into account.

I'm a fan of single-cup cups, but I much prefer the machines that fresh grind whole beans and pack individual servings for brew. I've had this Keurig coffee, and others like it, and it IS indeed wasteful and not nearly as flavorful or enjoyable as freshly ground coffee. While the packages may beat cans of ground coffee on the counter, who even drinks a solution from canned grounds anyway? I don't prefer them in any case.

Dec 29, 2008
by Anonymous

Used one...not impressed...

Had one at work, 1 in 4-5 cups would end up spitting grounds into the coffee. Not a floater or two, most of the grounds.

If you like flavored coffees that hide the taste of the bean there are many flavors to choose from. There were only two I would recommend. Their French Roast and "Rocket Fuel".

Other than that, it was a wasteful system. Little plastic cups, I don't care if they are supposedly recyclable, normally it has to be PET1 or 2 and it has to be CLEAN. So I have to freakin' pull it all apart to recycle a piece of plastic the size of a coffee creamer? No thanks.

A long time ago I bought an antique coffee roaster on Ebay and I am quite happy roasting and grinding what I need.