Single-Use Coffee Culture

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of single-serving brewing pods, geared towards both espresso (i.e. Nespresso) and traditional drip coffee (i.e. Keurig). While the convenience of these options is undeniable, they have some serious downsides. 

As of today, more than one out of every three American households (41% of people) own some form of pod-based coffee maker, bringing companies like Keurig a profit of over three billion dollars per year - around 26% of coffee drinkers in America use Keurig’s K-Cups. Due to this rapid spike in popularity, these options are likely to stick around.

Because these offerings are single-use, most people go through multiple capsules a day. The convenience, as opposed to traditional drip-coffee makers, make they appealing for modern folks, people who are on the go and do not have the time to brew up an entire pot. And after each cup of K-Cup brewed coffee, all that is left is an empty plastic husk of unusable trash. 

All in all, this trend is contributing to the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills and trash-incineration plants. Campaign director of Greenpeace USA, John Hocevar, states that “coffee pods are one of the best examples of unnecessary single-use plastics that are polluting our planet - many end up getting incinerated, dumping poison into our air, water and our soil.” 

Needless to say, K-Cups represent an unsustainable option for getting your caffeine fix. Not only this, but they lack the personalization inherent in coffee preferences: some people like a strong brew, others like it weak - not to mention the fact that a limited amount of flavors, types of beans, and offerings are available on the market. It would seem that the convenience of the K-Cups is killing the beauty of coffee culture, slowly but surely.

By taking a few extra minutes to be selective, to pay attention to the brew itself, a much finer product is produced. Using a brewing system like that offered by KOPI, you can make a better tasting cup; not only because of the quality inherent in the process, but by knowing that you are doing good by the environment. 


Pavin Browne