“Well shit.”

That’s what came from my mouth when I finished reading this post from Marco Arment. He’s right in so many ways.

He links to this post from Mother Jones about the problems with K-Cups from Green Mountain Coffee I quoted an excerpt below:

Journalist Murray Carpenter estimates in his new book, Caffeinated, that a row of all the K-Cups produced in 2011 would circle the globe more than six times. To update that analogy: In 2013, Green Mountain produced 8.3 billion K-Cups, enough to wrap around the equator 10.5 times. If Green Mountain aims to have “a Keurig System on every counter,” as the company states in its latest annual report, that’s a hell of a lot of little cups.

Green Mountain only makes 5 percent of its current cups out of recyclable plastic. The rest of them are made up of a #7 composite plastic, which is nonrecyclable in most places. And for the small few that are recyclable, the aluminum lid must be separated from the cup, which also must be emptied of its wet grounds, for the materials to make it through the recycling process. Even then, chances are the pod won’t be recycled because it’s too small, says Darby Hoover, senior resource specialist at the National Resources Defense Council.

This is a typical MJ article though. They highlight something we were already aware of such as, “printers are manufactured with non recyclable parts, use overpriced ink per ounce and print paper which most of it ends up in land-fills” Duh.

I actually don’t criticize K-cup users. In fact, Elizabeth owned a Keurig when I met her and used it even when we lived together. I’d make my coffee with a Hario kettle, Burr Grinder and Chemex while she would walk past me, stick in a plastic pod and push a button. Actually, my only complaint about her Keurig was that she’d leave it on at night and the blue LEDs would light up our dining room.

While I don’t like how Keurig coffee tastes and am well aware of its shortcomings and would never use one myself, my God, Marco is right!

Not to separate myself from the subjects in his piece but I don’t waste when I brew. I use Glass & Metal to brew my coffee and my filters + coffee grounds go in a compost bin. I use a 20 ounce coffee cup that I wash and re-use each day. My water heating method is via a gas oven. My digital scale is powered by a battery that I’ve replaced once. When I’m in California for work, I recycle my cup from Philz Coffee at the office. I don’t know what they do with their grounds though.

So I really can’t relate to his claim of waste but his overall point on snobby coffee people is so true. I like this part:

We certainly pay for it. Not only is our fancy coffee much more expensive than regular automatic drip at retail, but we also pay massively in our time, and we ask the public to do the same. That’s why specialty coffee shops often have a huge line: it takes much longer to make an individual pour-over cup than almost any other well-known method of making hot coffee except a siphon brew.

and this

Our obsession with gear and “rituals” is only distracting them — and us — from the real problem: old, mediocre, or badly roasted beans.

We’ll only fix the real problem and get more people back to our side if we drop the pretention, ritualization, and gear obsession and recognize why so many people opt out of our fancy coffee methods and into Keurig’s.

How can I expect anyone to give a shit enough to actually buy $100 in equipment and spend 5-7 minutes every morning making a cup of coffee?

A realtor that’s selling the house I’m renting was over yesterday. I was making coffee while she did an inspection and in a proper British accent she said, “that coffee smells amazing and almost has me wanting to dump out my tea” I made her a 12oz serving of my Blue Bottle single origin Ethiopia via Chemex pour-over. She was intrigued by the process, noted how low the acidity was and how easy it was to drink and she even noted the woody blackberry notes and we both sort of appreciated our coffee for a few moments, something that I do almost every day.

…and that’s what brings me happiness in life.

I adore ingesting something that opens my eyes and makes me realize how great life is. Whether it be a pastry, cheese, chocolate or an old-growth French wine. I love that excitement and I can honestly say she had need had coffee like this before.

Here’s how I see the coffee war from a big picture. It’s just like Mac versus PC in the early 2000s. 1-3% of America uses Macintosh and the rest use Windows. Macs are more expensive (still are) and they’re more fun to use. There was a time when you couldn’t get an IT person to help you with your Mac, there was little software or games and you couldn’t just hit Circuit City and get replacement parts but the Mac brought you happiness. It was superior. I see something as simple as a French Press or Chemex as superior to Drip / Keurig. You spend more time and money but the joy you get out of it far exceeds the taste of a push button.

One thing psychologically wrong with most of us though is that we believe that there’s no way push-button can be better. If there was a magic machine that recreated my Chemex process electronically, I probably wouldn’t buy it. Just like I seek out rare beer or special cheeses. IF it’s on a grocery store shelf, there’s no way it’s any good. I need to fix my attitude toward that. You should as well.

But right now, push-button coffee isn’t as good as pour-over. So the solution I see is one Marco mentions but doesn’t expand on. I think our solution is to stop being assholes.

I’m an asshole about quite a few things and it probably annoys people. I get along by myself though so it’s usually not too bad. If I see a compression artifact on an HD video, I won’t watch that movie or if my car’s turbo doesn’t pick up when I expect it to, I curse it or if traction control doesn’t hang on to my reckless driving, that’s annoying as well. It’s snobby pretentious and extends to pretty much every hobby or past time in my life. So it’s no surprise that I choose this method to make coffee.

I’m going to keep drinking my great coffee and everyone else can keep drinking Keurig cups. I don’t give people smack for how they drink their coffee but if someone is interested, I will show them how I do it. Just like how I was as a Macintosh user. I won’t tell people they should own a Mac or convince them to switch away from Windows. You use what you and I’ll use what I do. IT’s not worth my time to get you to switch.

but I know that the way I’m doing it is better and that’s good enough for me.

So Marco is right on a lot of points and I should work to change how I approach things and live life just a bit more simpler.