This week, officials in the city of Hamburg, Germany made the decision to outright bad coffee pods from all municipal buildings, and it’s been sparking a bigger conversation about why we willingly give our hard-earned dollars to Big Coffee.  The answer is clear: we all need to stop buying coffee pods.

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This latest municipal swipe comes a year after Keurig had to announce that nobody was buying its DRM-enabled coffee machine, mostly because they would only work with the ‘Keurig 2.0’ coffee pods and not the regular Keurig pods.  The Coffee giant said it would start letting people use their own coffee pods – but its not the first time they’ve said that

As sometime of a Coffee afficiando / addict, I’ve used and owned both Nespresso and Keurig Machines at home.  The first time you make a cup, it’s like magic.  The latest Nespresso machine, the Virtuoline (review here) however, makes the Keurig 2.0 look like a beater.  The Virtuoline is expensive at $350, but it also features a barcode scanner to make great coffee suck you into the Nespresso ‘ecosystem’.  The Keurig 2.0 has a similar feature which Keurig passes off as making ‘better coffee’.

Real Talk:  we all know these barcode scanner are so Keurig and Nespresso can sell crappy coffee to you at almost $50 a pound.  Seriously, do the math on these pods.

Like an idiot, I’ve been buying Keurig and Nespresso pods separately, even though one of the machines was free.  They look so nice!  They’re so convenient!  I don’t have to spend money at Starbucks!

When news of Keurig’s DRM hit, I decide to do a quick bit of math in my head.  Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot more money on the pods than the cost of the actual machine.  Each pod is about .77¢ give or take, which can be more expensive that a small cup of coffee at a bad coffee stand.  That’s $3.85 a week for one cup a day.  If you drink like me, it’s double that: $7.70 a week.  Thats $385 a year on crappy coffee.  The pods are also an environmental blight – they clog up the landfill, because when they are full of wet coffee grounds, they can’t be recycled.  They’re also not reusable, full or empty.

And of course, the coffee isn’t that good.

It’s easy to blame Keurig or Nespresso – they got me hooked on the convenience.  But the machines are so nice, one was free, it’s crazy NOT to use them.  Its all my fault.

If you buy a new machine, you can try and convince yourself that because of the convenience and the shiny-ness, these pod-hungry machines might pay for themselves by saving you time.  You could even convince yourself that the coffee is pretty good, or that the piles of garbage you make along the way aren’t horrific.  You might even think that using refillable coffee pods make things better somehow.

Sorry, Nespresso doesn’t let you use a refillable option.

I feel terrible for being such an abject consumer.  Let’s just all agree to make good tasting coffee.  Use a French Press, or a pour-over coffee dripper.  Let’s help the environment out.  Let’s tell corporations that DRM isn’t good for consumers.  Let tell them that the price is insane.  Let’s use our brains. Let’s stop buying coffee pods.

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