An “Ethical” Product Review: Part 2, the Keurig 2.0 and Van Houtte K Cups

Influenster provided a Keurig and Van Houtte Specialty coffee for review. So, here we go!

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the Influenster Network, how I was selected, and my plan to review the Keurig & Van Houtte coffee Vox Box as transparently as possible. If you read Part 1, you’ll know that I’m calling this series “An ‘Ethical’ Product Review” because of my efforts to balance my intention to be an honest blogger, my environmental priorities, and my desire to include product reviews as part of my blog and social media content.

Here in Part 2, I’ll provide my objective product reviews. In Part 3, I’ll toss in some of my green-living perspectives and discuss ideas for aligning a non-eco-conscious product with my own environmental lifestyle commitments.

What I Love

  • Hot water at the touch of a button
  • It looks sleek and fits well on my counter
  • Easy breezy hot beverage makin’
  • Minimal clean up
  • No/Less coffee waste (no risk of making too large of a serving)

keurig1What I Like

  • The potential for a reusable filter option to save on K-cup waste
  • Minimal usage of water for clean up
  • The coffee pods for the Van Houtte coffee were decent. That is, the pods themselves, without the accompanying flavour packets
  • I guess it’s fun to have a “cappuccino” at home…

What I Dislike

  • It doesn’t fully replace my 12 cup brewer
  • My small kitchen doesn’t *need* another appliance on the counter top
  • Cleaning and breaking down the disposable K-cups for compost/recycling was annoying (but important)
  • The faux foam generated with the cappuccino flavour packet…it was…unnatural in appearance and flavour

What I Hate

  • That K-cups are destroying the environment
  • No, really. They’re terrible
  • The Vanilla Latte flavour Van Houtte coffee did not taste like vanilla, a latte, or even real coffee. The overwhelming sweetness was, in a word, cloying.

keurig2Ultimate Verdict

In all honesty, my plan was to review the Keurig and then pass it on to someone in need of a coffee maker (and my Dad eagerly volunteered). I have to admit though, once I started using the reusable filter, I was less appalled with myself. I would also like to mention that I purchased the reusable filter at a store that exclusively sells coffee pods. While in there I wanted to grab the employees by their shoulders and give them a shake for actively contributing to our disposable society. Although I suppose that I can’t be too judgmental if I’m going to be complicit in the pod coffee culture. I’m still torn, it seems.

In the meantime, I won’t be purchasing any disposable pods for the Keurig and I’ll likely stick to my standard coffee choices (locally roasted, organic, fair trade) to, at least slightly, assuage my lingering guilt. At the same time, I’ll be enjoying the convenience of the Keurig, and appreciating it’s redeeming quality of a more efficient extraction process and slightly better water conservation than a conventional brewer.

Stay tuned for Part 3, in which I provide some lower-impact uses for the Keurig and ways to compost and recycle its components.


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