True Price of K-Cups and Pods Make Convenience Costly

Thursday, February 9th, 2012No Comments

It appears there’s yet another one drawback to those single cup brewers we’ve come to loathe. Those in the roasting industry and specialty coffee community have bemoaned the advent of Keurig’s, Nespresso’s and even Starbucks’ Via and their rising popularity for a number of reasons: increased waste from excessive (non-recyclable) packaging, stale ground coffee that sits on store shelves for months, poor extraction and the list goes on. One disadvantage that is commonly overlooked – and was highlighted today in the New York Times – is the cost factor.

Oliver Strand writes today about the high cost of convenience and technology for those single cup brewers. “For example, the Nespresso Arpeggio costs $5.70 for 10 espresso capsules…. but that Nespresso capsule contains 5 grams of coffee, so it costs about $51 a pound.” To put it in perspective Cherry Hill Coffee’s Jivaro Dusk costs $16.80 a pound which provides roughly 40 twelve ounce cups of coffee. It would appear customers are not thinking of bulk prices an longer, instead they “are thinking about coffee pricing in cups,” as SCAA‘s Ric Rhinehart told the NYT. This has understandably created a buzz in the coffee community today.

As James Hoffman points out on his blog today, “They make buying the product as friction free, easy and enjoyable as possible. They make brewing it as easy as possible. No skills, no cleaning, just push a button.” He goes on further to state, “clearly demonstrate that people are happy to pay more for coffee.”

True, convenience may be worth that higher price in the end, but why settle for a mediocre product when you can spend less, use fresh roasted coffee with a reusable filter and help out the planet at the same time. Food for thought.

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