On paper, the concept of the modern coffee pod machine isn't a bad one: quick, convenient, and supposedly delicious coffee delivered at the simple press of a button. And if any of this were true, coffee pods might have earned their immense popularity. Unfortunately though, pod coffee is a hoax, an illusion of simplicity and taste foisted upon an unknowing populace by the puppeteers of Corporate Coffee America.
Is it really all that bad? Yes, yes it is. Here are few reasons why pod coffee is a chromatically cased devil eating away at our coffee culture:
1. Mmmm, Tastes Like Metal
Is it really that shocking that coffee, pre-ground in bulk in some giant warehouse in the Midwest, freeze-dried, sealed in plastic for God knows how long, and then shot through with boiling water isn't going to be all that delicious? It's common knowledge: The fresher the coffee, the better it's going to taste, and these little bits of future imperfect might end up riding the shelves for months at a time. Throw in that it's near impossible to find any information on where this coffee is grown or how it's processed, and it's no wonder that the steaming juice these machines emit tastes like water boiled in a rusty pipe.
2. What Are You Really Paying For?
It isn't that pod machines are going to break your bank (the cheapest Nespresso machine goes for $129, with the pods ranging around $1 a pop); it's more about what you're paying for. As stated above, this is cheaply sourced coffee, mass-ground and freeze-dried, and even a dollar seems a little high. What you're paying for is the manufacturing cost of encasing cheap, bad-tasting coffee in colorful little plastic containers. Worth it? Probably not. While we're on the subject of packaging. though ...
3. Let's Destroy Earth!
It's nice that Big Coffee took a product so inherently of the Earth, so simply compostable as ground coffee, and encased it in hard shells of impressively wasteful plastic. Not only that, but by schlepping it as a single-serve product (one pod = one drink), everyone gets a chance to be wasteful! Yes, yes, Nespresso actively promotes the recycling of these pods, and Keurig markets a reusable capsule, but neither of these "solutions" imply the same sort of ease and convenience in coffee-making that these machines actively promote. If we're lazy enough that we have to make single-serving cups of coffee out of pods, are we really going to haul those same pods to a different location to recycle them? In 40 years, we can all thank Nespresso for the purple, gold, and blue capsule shell islands that now populate the Pacific Ocean.
4. Are We Really This Lazy?
Well, if we can sacrifice flavor, money, and our environment because it's just so much easier to drink coffee brewed from a punctured piece of plastic, then yes, we are that lazy. Somebody hit the big red doomsday button; it's all one glazed-eyed downhill slide from here.