I saw this over at Home-Barista, talking about a recently article that was posted in the New York Times.com entitled "With Coffee, the Price of Individualism Can Be High." The writer of the article is making the observation like many have done before that the price per pound of these single serve can be very high, if you priced out how much coffee was actually there you are topping out at 50 dollars a pound in a lot of cases.
Now obviously, you are paying a big premium for being able to toss a pod in the machine and press a button and presto chango you got coffee Batman. I don't think anyone ever thought that wasn't the case with any of these machines, and the writer is trying to compare this price with artisan roasters you get here on Roaste and else where that charge typically under twenty dollars a pound. Begging the question, why buy pre-packaged stale coffee over the really good stuff?
I believe that he is generally right in his assumption that people who are coffee drinkers on the habitual level should not own a single serve machine like the k-cup ones. It just doesn't make sense to pay a dollar or so a pod when you are drinking a few a day, just get a grind and brew if you are very reluctant to do any more work than you have to.
However, where I believe he fails to address are the type of people that only drink a cup of coffee a day or less than that. For them I think that the k-cup justifies an existence. Now are most people that own a k-cup machine in this category of people? I do not know, but since the cups are single serve they are going to keep a long time.
There are painstaking ways to get around this if you can only have a cup of coffee at a time and still want the best. Namely get yourself a grinder, kettle and single pour over machine and some mason jars to freeze your coffee into sizes that will be used in a few days time could alleviate this.
In the end I think it's a little judemental not to think that the K-cup has it's place, but I do think that there are probably people out there that could benefit from using another method of preperation since they are drinking more than one a day. And in that regard he is right, why not have a cup of excellence coffee fresh from the roaster instead of stale folgers in a k-cup!