Keurig 2.0: A Rant
If you go to a coffee shop long enough, chances are that the people behind the counter start recognizing you and ultimately get to know your favourite drink(s) by heart. To be fair, it’s not that hard remembering a face and associating a drink with it, especially when you have a bachelors of arts to your name, but that’s beside the point. It’s a great fuzzy feeling knowing you’ll walk into a place and the person serving you knows your deepest darkest secret, namely that instead of drinking real coffee like everyone else does in the morning, you prefer to have a frappucino with sprinkles on it.
Owning a Keurig is very much like having your own personal barista – minus the attitude, plus the fact that you can smack it whenever it ruins your drink. It’s great, convenient, and you can ask for coffee basically half-naked.
As with all great technological innovations, someone had to come along and eventually ruin it; in the case of the Keurig, it unfortunately went full Apple. Before I elaborate on that, I’ll give you a brief history on the Keurig, just in case you’ve lived in a cave for the last 5 years:
“Owning a Keurig is very much like having your own personal barista…”
In terms of single-serve coffee makers, the Keurig is equivalent to the cassette, the VHS, Blu ray, and the LCD. It managed to dominate the market with its ease of use and vast variety of flavours, and it’s become the standard coffee machine for people that don’t want to make whole pots of coffee like savages. The Keurig literally has nearly ten times as many flavours as the next closest competitor, and even if that’s not enough you can brew your own damn coffee with their personal coffee pods.
Don’t be fooled by the people that say their Tassimos and Nespresso’s are better brewers – they’re just upset that they invested in a machine that didn’t make the cut. While they may have more bars of pressure or can froth milk based on a barcode, neither of them will let you brew your own shitty non-K-Cup coffee as good as the Keurig does. Not to say they’re worse machines – they’re just not as good. But I digress.
To get back to my point, the original Keurig brewers were amazing, so much so that I got rid of my conventional coffee machine completely bought into Keurig ecosystem. That means I brewed coffee, tea, instant noodles, literally anything that requires hot water or a K-Cup with my brewer – which was great.
All that changed when I upgraded to the Keurig 2.0. In a nutshell, the Keurig went from being a simple “insert K-Cup, press a button” machine to the most complicated touch-screen interface I’ve ever had the pleasure of operating (and this is coming from a person that loves technology). There’s so many options to choose from, that at this point I’d much rather pay the premium and have someone press the buttons for me instead of doing it myself. That’s right, it’s that bad.
And to add insult to injury, the Keurig 2.0 now wants to regulate what I can and can’t drink by literally denying me the right to brew my store-bought K-Cups because it thinks they’re counterfeit (see the picture below). For all I know, the NSA is collecting a nice list of obscenities I’ve yelled at the Keurig 2.0 every morning for the last week. It’s annoying, inconveniencing, and obviously I don’t have the patience to deal with this kind of crap in the morning, when all I want is a hot, steaming cup of joe.
Now why did I drag Apple’s name into this, you ask. Well, Apple’s ecosystem is very much like the one Keurig is striving for, and being the best at something just doesn’t quite cut it for them – they want to dominate.
To do that they not only complicated the process of making coffee under the guise of innovation, they also made a coffee machine that won’t work with its own products, namely K-Cups created for its own brewers. Unfortunately for me, I’m sitting on a stock of nearly 200 k-cups, a third of which I’m convinced won’t work with this new DRM system designed by the geniuses at Keurig. Furthermore, the prospects of making my own coffee (which I never actually made) or using any other non-licensed K-Cup variations (which are generally cheaper) have also disappeared.
So am I happy about this? Hell no. While my Keurig can now have a customizable background picture, a night light, and even a feature to brew a whole pot of coffee (which is dumb in my opinion because I only ever want “one” cup, hence the term “single-serve”), it’s not very good at what it was designed to do: make a good cup of coffee at the press of a button. And to go full circle with my analogy, I basically lost the barista that knew my name & my favourite morning drink, to some teenager prick that probably didn’t even wash his hands after coming out of the washroom and serving me my coffee. Sonofabitch.