February 19, 2014

Why Do You Drink Single Serve Coffee?

Coffee Beans Photographed in Macro

The rise of single serve coffee and one cup wonders over the past 10 years hasn’t been that surprising, and the ease of use and variety of coffee it’s brought to us has been stunning. Somedays we often wonder how we’d ever go back to drinking a cup from a pot of coffee, and if we’re even interested in anything but the perfect single cup of coffee.

What do you drink single serve coffee? Why do any of us drink single serve coffee? We have compiled a list of our thoughts on the matter and would love to get yours. 

We can think of the following pretty easy to understand list:

  • Choice - we can drink one cup of decaf, one cup of flavored, and then one cup of french roast if want
  • Waste - sure you throw away K-Cups or other single cups but we don’t throw away a half a pot of coffee and a few bucks of coffee grounds for coffee we didn’t drink
  • Variety - it’s just easier to get a bunch of single serve coffee cups and have whatever you want when you want and have them on hand
  • Freshness - sure the coffee snobs will argue fresh roasted coffee is the way to go from your local roaster. We don’t disagree but for many of us it’s not an option. Getting sealed single cups makes for fresher coffee and more choice
  • Ease of Use and Less Mess - throwing away an entire pot of coffee, and having to deal with it every time makes for a mess. When you brew using a single cup it’s easy to make one cup and there’s no clean up of coffee.
  • Cost - sure it might cost you .30 to .50 cents a cup for single serve coffee, but it’s not going to cost you all the coffee you throw away. The brewers are also a little more but in no time you make the higher price back by not wasting coffee.

Sound off in the comments if you have more ideas than we could come up with this morning. 

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Posted by Jay Brewer at February 19, 2014 7:48 AM

Recent Comments

I used a professional grade espresso machine at home for decades. One day I realized I could no longer support the effort required to allow the machine to deliver perfect espresso. Nespresso is weirdly cool. Pop, click, purr, sip. Simple. elegant. And some of the caps are good enough to satisfy the snob in me.


Posted by: david bogie at May 3, 2014 11:46 PM

I started drinking coffee on a regular basis to help me get jump-started in the mornings. 1 cup in the morning and that was it using a KRUPS il Primo. I'm no connoisseur but it was decent. I later upgraded to a Senseo, then BUNN MyCafe, to my current KRUPS Espressaria.

Each upgrade has had it's good and bad points but all had an ease of use and made having that first cup of coffee in the morning less of a chore. Clean up for single serve machines is easy! And since I don't have to make coffee for more than just myself I'm not wasting coffee or other materials just to get 1 or 2 cups of coffee. The KRUPS Espressaria is really the best of the units I've own as it's a fresh grind every cup. There a little more clean up after several cycles but it's worth it and doesn't take too much time.

Also cost, with the exception of buying the machines, seems to be just right consider the amount of coffee I drink each day (1-3 cups).


Posted by: RB at February 25, 2014 3:38 PM

+1 for AO's comment.

I liked my pod brewer and it was faster than other methods. Preferred paper pods because of waste issues. However, it seems that k-cups are winning and with the Keurig 2.0 and their cup lock in, I am turned off even more. What ever happened to better products winning.

For me, I hand grind my single serve every morning and then use my aero press. I buy fresh beans from the local roasters or anybody I choose. Clean up is fast, the grounds easily go into my compost pile. This works for me.


Posted by: Victor at February 25, 2014 2:13 PM

I use a My K-Cup filter and buy what's on sale as well as a flavored coffee. I then mix the two together and store everything in an airtight container. I get the exact flavor that I want and my cost per cup is extremely low. I'm mainly interested in the speed of brewing a cup of coffee and I get this with my B-30.


Posted by: Greg at February 24, 2014 8:49 AM

I drink single serve every day for a custom cup of rich black coffee. However, I don't use a single serve machine. I've owned them all (Keurig, Tassimo, Senseo, Hamilton Beach, Grindmaster, Dolce Gusto, etc) and nothing makes a cup of coffee that's drinkable. The only machine that has earned a permanent spot on my counter is the BUNN MCU. Not because of how it brews soft pods. Not because of how it brews KCups. It's because it's the only machine that will hold 20 grams of ground coffee. I will use it if time doesn't permit making coffee manually.

Anyone can brew a cup of coffee manually that will blow away any machine for just a fraction of the price. The Aeropress is my personal favorite but even a simple pour over is reason enough to shelve all my other machines. A french press is ok but try a Zevro Incred a Brew to eliminate the grounds in your cup.

If you actually like the flavor of coffee (not coffee covered up with syrupy flavors or loaded with cream and sugar) you owe it to yourself to pick up a Hario manual grinder, a manual brewer, and a really good bag of single origin whole beans. Trust me, once you do single serve right you won't go back to a machine. Quick and no clean up is no reason to submit your body to substandard coffee. If I don't have time to do it right and grind fresh I just won't have coffee. Simple as that. The coffee I make at home or at work is so good that I can't even drink Starbucks. As a matter of fact, I only know of a handful of coffee shops that make coffee right.

In short, you owe it to yourself to drink single serve the right way. To taste coffee the way it's meant to be tasted. No machine (other than the BUNN) is capable of giving you the right coffee to water ratio. Brewing manually gives you complete control over everything. Water temp, volume, steep time, saturation, grind, amount of coffee, everything. Once you have your first real cup of coffee you will wonder why you spent so much time and money playing around with toys. I sure did.

So go brew some coffee now, you can thank me later.


Posted by: AO at February 20, 2014 8:56 AM

I drink my Senseo brewed single serve because of the crema...


Posted by: Judas at February 19, 2014 12:28 PM

#1 reason for me = no clean-up. So much more easier to just brew & toss vs. having to clean-out coffee grounds every... single... time.

Sure, using a Solofill or EkoBrew sort of defeats this purpose, but as many will attest, it's the ONLY way to be able to enjoy a single cup whatever coffee you want from a Keurig machine.

#2 is choice... I defy you to find a single serve platform which has more variety of flavors than Keurig.

With all the varieties of methods available to brew whatever coffee you want on a Keurig (Solofill, EkoBrew, K2VCup, My K-Cup, etc.) I can't help but wonder why Kraft/Bosch haven't created something similar for the Tassimo after all these years. They could even create an interchangeable barcode system for it so that you slide in a plastic tab with codes for light, medium & dark roasts. Something for KickStarter perhaps?


Posted by: SH at February 19, 2014 11:46 AM

I drink it because it brews smoother than drip. I use my own beans in an ekobrew (sometimes I use Community Coffee french roast) and I can drink it black. It's just sooooo smoooooooth. But still has a strong flavor. Just erases the bitterness. And, yes, it's economical to brew only what you drink. My SO uses a brew pot and drinks it after it sits on the hot plate forever - yuck!!!


Posted by: Lin B at February 19, 2014 11:22 AM

Choice and ease of use. Cost ?????? 30 cents a cup? You must be kidding. I'm elated when I only pay 50 cents a cup. And thats hard to find.


Posted by: Steve at February 19, 2014 8:30 AM
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