Keurig: The Love Letter and The Breakup Letter

Keurig Machine Used in an Office Setting:

Love Letter:

The Positives of the Keurig Machine:

  • The K-cups allow for a large variety of coffee selection.  This includes decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee selections, including a multitude of flavored coffee options.
  • The Keurig machine can be used for other purposes:
    • Dispenses hot water for other uses such as making tea
    • In addition to coffee, hot cider and soup broth can also be made from K-cups
  • The water is directly hooked up to the pipes in the office so I never have to refill the machine with water.
    • Hot water is always available when using the machine, so I never have to wait for water to be heated up to the appropriate temperature.
  • The overall coffee making process is fast and efficient when using this machine.
    • The machine is easy to use.  I only have to lift the handle up, place in the K-cup, and shut the handle down which triggers the brewing process.
    • There are four different buttons to select the amount of coffee that will be dispensed into my coffee mug (small, medium, large, extra large).
    • The machine automatically disposes of the K-cups when the handle is opened after coffee is made.  The K-cups are sent to a compartment in the back of the machine that can be removed when filled.
  • Making coffee in the office allows for opportunities to interact with other co-workers.


Breakup Letter:

The Negatives of the Keurig Machine:

  • Individual K-cups are too expensive, especially when trying to supply a floor that can have over 100 people.
    • Due to the expensive nature of the K-cups, managers were asked to switch to a more traditional coffee pot system.  
    • A coffee pot holds roughly 10-12 cups of coffee which turns out to be  much cheaper on a per cup cost basis when compared to the Keurig machine.
    • This is not economical for a business that most likely offers coffee to their employees for free.
  • The K-cup packaging requires more space to store than the can of coffee used in the traditional coffee pot system.
  • The individual K-cups are not environmentally friendly.
    • People in the office are willing to still use this machine even though they have knowledge of the environmental impacts.
    • There exists a trend or brand associated with having a Keurig coffee that people gravitate towards.
  • At some point, someone has to pull out the collection compartment and remove the emptied K-cups.  These K-cups are taken to a special area within the building.  Not sure what happens to them after being taken to this area.



One of the major benefits of the Keurig machine is that the K-cups come in a multitude of flavors and coffee options.  After hearing about my other group members’ research, although there are plenty of options, some users still prefer other unique coffee alternatives that are not offered in K-cup form.  This led to the idea of trying to allow users to choose their own coffee that can be placed in a reusable K-cup in the machine.

Another benefit of this Keurig machine used in an office was that the water being supplied to the machine was fed from the pipes in the building.  Therefore, the users did not have to ever supply the water to the machine.  Additionally, the water was always hot, and the users never had to wait for the water to reach the proper brewing temperature.  Translating this to a home setting might be challenging, but cutting down on the necessary time to fill the machine and heat the water would be beneficial.  

Furthermore, the Keurig machine was also very intuitive for even first time users.  The layout of the machine and the necessary steps to brew the coffee came natural to the user who was interviewed.  One feature of the office setting Keurig machine that was interesting was its ability to dispense of the K-cup automatically into a collection container after the coffee was made.  This way, the user did not have to choose whether to dispose of the K-cup in the trash or recycling bin because the decision was made for them.  One potential enhancement to this process would be for the machine to automatically separate the filter, plastic cup, and lid during this disposal phase.  Having a collection area with these three distinct elements of the K-cup separated would help with the recycling process.

The major downfall for a company using the Keurig machine as their primary coffee making process is the cost associated with the K-cups.  Supplying an entire floor of employees can be extremely expensive for a company that most likely offers this coffee for free.  The person interviewed even mentioned that the company they worked for had to resort to cheaper alternatives such as pot coffee due to the excessive costs associated with the K-cups.  In addition to the high K-cup costs, the volume of K-cups that needed to be supplied for an entire floor of employees can be immense.  Finding the available storage for these K-cups that get delivered in bulk supply can be challenging in a crowded office environment.

Finally, another issue with the K-cups is that the convenience associated with the machine is prioritized by most users over being environmentally conscious.  Users are aware that the waste generated from using this product can be harmful to the environment; however, receiving good tasting coffee in an efficient manner often takes precedent.  Additionally, since the K-cup is automatically disposed of after the process is over, the user can quickly forget about the K-cup and only focuses on the fresh brewed coffee in front of them.