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
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
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 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.
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.
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.