Reflection and Constraints

General Take-Aways/Themes 

  • Both interviews highlighted that ease and convenience of making coffee is a very important factor
  • Both interviews highlighted the disadvantage of the Keurig only producing 1 cup of coffee at a time, users want more than one cup made at a time
  • Both interviews highlighted the inconvenience of having to fill water tanks, in both Keurig machines as well as drip coffee makers
  • Reusable cups seem to be a good solution
    • But the filters are bad on them- they may produce gritty coffee or force the machine to go in self-cleaning mode
  • Keurig takes time to heat up before brewing the coffee, takes about a minute to brew a cup
  • We received the patent number for the reusable K cup so we can look into these and do further research
  • Multiple people mentioned the variety of coffee and or tea/cider to be useful, especially in the workplace where many people like different things
  • Several people mentioned that main water supply was connected to Keurig in their work which was convenient
  • The expense of K-cups was mentioned several times
  • Negative environmental effects of K cups was mentioned several times and considered by the users, so people are at least aware of this

Things we didn’t learn

  • Don’t have exact data on people brewing cups of coffee vs full pots
  • Didn’t learn about too many Keurig alternatives, only focused on drip coffee maker
  • Besides the reusable pods, we did not learn of any solutions to the Keurig machine already in existence to make them more sustainable

Design Challenges

  • Not being able to make multiple cups of coffee within the Keurig
  • Ability to adjust the strength of the brew from a Keurig
  • Need to make the process sustainable while maintaining the convenience that a Keurig provides


Our team came up with some general constraints to consider when beginning to brainstorm solutions:


  • The solution must fit in a normal space that a coffee maker would operate
  • The solution must promote reusable materials


  • The solution must be intuitive to use
  • The solution must maintain the convenience of a Keurig coffee makers
  • The solution should involve less daily work/preparation for making coffee than normal brewers of that type


  • The solution should be compatible with older Keurig machines or possibly other styles of coffee makers


  • The solution must take into account the way that various cultures drink coffee


  • The solution must be able to reach the market fast, with minimal need for advanced manufacturing
  • The solution must be able to be made at a large scale to save money