John Sylvan, the Keurig engineer who invented the K-Cup pod coffee system in the 1990s, regrets his mistake. It was intended for the corporate service market and the idea that people have these things in their homes leaves him "absolutely mystified."
He says he doesn't begrudge the company for its success, or for wanting to make money, but he does question consumers' slavish devotion to the things. The company's latest product, the Keurig 2.0, which allows users to use pods to make larger cups and pots of coffee, is a great example of that.
"I stopped when I was walking in the grocery store aisle and I said, 'What is that?'" Sylvan recalls. "I picked it up and looked at it and said, 'You have to be kidding me.' Now they want you to make a pot of coffee with a Keurig machine."
I switched to a Nespresso Essenza Mini [Amazon] a while back and it tastes much better. You can send in your pods to be recycled by Nespresso. It's "espresso", mind you, not "coffee". If you want coffee, just get an Aeropress, for Christ's sake.
Even though no BPA was leaching from the polycarbonate, we switched to copolyester in August 2009 so that we could assure people that the AeroPress was BPA free. Initially the copolyester was crystal clear. In September 2010 we added a smoky grey tint because our market research indicated that consumers liked the appearance.
It's a lot of fun to make coffee with the Aeropress -- you pour a little water in the piston and put it in the microwave for about 40 seconds. Then you put a microfilter in the cylinder (you get a "years supply" with the Aeropress) and a scoop of ground coffee. The you put the cylinder on top of a cup (the company recommends using a clear mug to make the process even more fun), pour the heated (not boiling -- it'll make the coffee bitter and sour, they say) water, stir for 10 seconds, and press the piston down. A few seconds later, you have a wonderful cup of silky smooth coffee.
Here's a video I shot in 2006 that shows how to use an Aeropress:
After several attempts to get something drinkable out of the Ekobrew Classic Reusable Filter, I figured it out: just grind it finer than the normal stuff in a k-cup and tamp it down a bit. The results were everything I dreamed of and was promised: a k-cup that must be laboriously cleaned after every use, a return to the messy and time-consuming rituals of coffee production that Keurig machines otherwise obviate, and a brew that somehow makes a $20-a-bag Kona blend taste like Maxwell House.
I'd say it's the worst of every world, but the the resulting coffee is still better than a lot of k-cup brews. I suppose the appeal is that I'm not putting k-cups into the trash every day. But that seems a trifling greenwashy thing to begin with that surely has no impact on the general environmental failings associated with coffee consumption. I admit this is a half-brewed thought but in any case I'm going to suggest you just get an Aeropress [Amazon].
I've had an Aeropress coffee and espresso maker for many years, and it works as well now as the day I bought it. It makes delicious coffee and it's a lot of fun to use. Right now Amazon is selling it for $(removed), the lowest price I've seen.
Filmmaker and photographer David Friedman profiled the inventor of the Aeropress, Alan Adler. He is also the inventor of the Aeorobie Flying Ring. Here's a video of Friedman using the Aeropress: Read the rest
The cheapest and easiest way I know of to make cold brew coffee is with an almond-milk bag and a water jug, but if you favor the drip method over the steeping method, you can spare yourself the expense of a fancy Kyoto dripper and just use a disposable 500ml water bottle with a pinprick in its lid, suspended over an Aeropress. Read the rest
I'm staying in a hotel with nothing but paper cups in the room, and I'm not travelling with my usual suitcase in which I stash my emergency polypropelene folding cup, so I'm reduced to making my hotel coffee using the awkward hold-the-sleeve method, in which you grip the sleeve as hard as you can with your left hand while pushing down on the piston with your right, supporting the press so you don't crush the paper cup beneath. Read the rest
Here's this year's complete Boing Boing Gift Guide: more than a hundred great ideas for prezzies: technology, toys, books and more. Scroll down and buy things, mutants! Many of the items use Amazon Affiliate links that help us make ends meet at Boing Boing, the world's greatest neurozine.
Illuminated magnifierI bought this illuminated handheld magnifier on Amazon for $3 (free shipping) last year and I use it a lot. It's a great splinter and lice checker. I've gotten my $3 of value from it just looking at tiny bugs and skin abnormalities. It has two built in LEDs and uses two AA batteries.
Squatty PottySquatty Potty is a $28 footstool that slides away under your toilet; you use it to bring your knees up to a squatting position while you poop, which makes pooping much, much easier. The product was launched with the best viral ad campaign of all time, which threaded the seemingly impossible needle of making an ad about a poop-assistance product; I bought one and (without getting into detail) I can personally testify to its efficacy.
Nintendo NES Classic EditionWhat’s Christmas without price gouging on the hottest geek gift of the year! Don’t fret. Soon, the rationing will cease and a $60 NES Classic Edition will be just a click away. And then, Mario my old friend, we will ALL be playing with power.
A staggering array of gadgetry gets posted to Boing Boing every year, which makes picking just some of the stuff seem like a big job. But it's easy when you just ask yourself: what made our lives better? What looks fun? Here's a few dozen tech toys that generated laughs, light and lovely smoothies.
Hearkening back to my days as a Boy Scout, camping gear is some of my favorite stuff. This Minipresso portable espresso maker has me pretty jazzed!
Using boiling water and a small hand pump, Wacaco's Minipresso makes a near-perfect shot of espresso with a nice layer of crema. For consistency and ease of use it beats some home counter-top espresso machines I've had.
Minipresso is small, about the size of the average cycling water bottle. Great for camping, this incredible device is not only easy to pack, but easy to use and clean. Fill the basket with 1 scoop of grounds and attach it. Fill the water reservoir with boiling-hot water and attach. Squeeze the pump and espresso will squirt out the bottom into your glass.
The hand pump gives my CTS/RSI-ridden hands a nice stretch after a long motorcycle ride.
Clean up is simple. Rinse it out and off. Over time, you'll need to scrub a bit, or use some vinegar to remove coffee crud deposits. It feels well made, and like it'll last. I think of this as a high-pressure, gasket-sealing version of the Aeropress, for espresso instead of coffee.
I use my beloved Aeropress coffee maker every day when I'm at home. Cory actually travels with his! Filmmaker and photographer David Friedman profiled the inventor of the Aeropress, Alan Adler. He is also the inventor of the Aeorobie Flying Ring.
Some inventions are just a better way to do something that’s already being done – an improvement on a product. Other inventions are pretty new and I would say that the Aeropress Coffee Maker is quite new. …When you look at the coffee brewing process, it’s interesting that it’s really just a succession of of shorter and shorter processes. A hundred years ago, people used to throw some grounds of coffee into a pot and boil it for as long as an hour. Whereas in 1950, there was quite a leap forward in coffee making called the “automatic drip machine” and it took about 5 minutes. The Aeropress cuts that time of 5 minutes down to about one minute.