Single Serve Coffee Revolution Drawing Criticism

MIAMI (CBS4) – At this coffee shop it is all about the single serve.

“A crafted cup of coffee as opposed to sitting in an urn for six hours.”

Barista Rachel Nelson says it’s a growing trend in coffee shops.

“A larger movement… a slow food movement,” said Nelson.

The coffee cups are measured and made individually drop by drop.

And the trend is happening at homes across the country and here in south Florida.

“First of all it wakes me up in the morning that is for sure,” said Raul Duarte, a coffee connoisseur, who makes several fresh shots of espresso a day.

A spinning instructor at gyms across South Florida, Duarte has classes of people who rely on his high energy

And the popularity and interest in gourmet coffee has more people making it at home.

“It tastes amazing and it is a lot cheaper than going to Starbucks,” Duarte informed CBS4’s Jorge Estevez.

Environmentalists say there is one problem with these single serve cups.

While they are convenient, the little pods go into a box and later you throw the box away.

So where do all those pods go after you’re done with them? That’s what has  environmentalists concerned.

“Our concern is that they are not recyclable  and that means they end up in landfills and incinerators and impact our health.” said Cindy Loopee with Clean Water Action. “The emissions end up in the air we breath and in the water we breath. It is hard  to recycle because of the multiple materials.”

Those materials include the plastic cup, the aluminum foil to keep the coffee fresh and then a separate filter.

Loopee pointed out, “It is also typically too small to be recycled. The trend is that larger materials are accepted in recycling programs.”

The Keurig Coffee company, which makes the popular single serving K-Cups, knows they have an issue. The company issued this statement.

“Finding a more environmentally friendly approach to this packaging challenge is a big priority for us. We are working on a few different  fronts to improve the environmental characteristics of the K-cup system.” – Keurig Coffee Co.

A system that works for some in South Florida is because of the convenience of it all…  for now trumping any environmental concerns.

“It doesn’t think. The caffeine is what I am looking for right? So it works,” said Duarte.

  • V. DePalma

    I am really shocked that Jorge did not do his homework about this news item. True some of the machines have plastic capsules, however, are you aware that Nespresso which was the nice LIme green machine used in the clip has capsules that are completely recyclable made of aluminum with a food protective coating which is safe for the environment. I suggest you take a walk into the Nespresso Boutique in South Beach and gain an education and find out what sets Nespresso apart from the other machines that use Kcups.

    • alphabeta

      I’m sure Mr. Estevez and the readers appreciate your suggestion. Now my suggestion; the people you’re trying to reach will be more receptive to your comments if these comments are coupled with a little humility. Just a suggestion.

  • Jimbo99

    LOL, I make a pot of coffee and what I don’t drink I refrigerate and make iced coffee with whenever I want it. I want it hot again, microwaved and it’s pretty good too. I grind the beans into the finest Turkish grind, almost powder and the beans go further and coffee is more flavorful. I use creamer and sugar so even the least expensive beans taste better than what I get anywhere else anyway.

  • Edsellikethecar

    Buy fresh roasted beans,grind them and brew your coffee using one of the many traditional methods. This is for the “I need caffeine”, instant gratification crowd. What happened to the romance?

  • Vicki

    The environment is more important than Duarte and the rest of the Keurig coffee clientele’s caffeine fixes. I am also a spinning instructor and I brew my coffee at home with a reusable and compost the coffee grinds. Espresso and other single serving caffeine fixes do not impose such a hardship on the environment.

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