At work the coffee is Kuerig. A big, industrial strength Kuerig machine, with it’s own water supply sits were a proper coffee pot should be. People gleefully make individual cups of coffee and fill up the basket next to the machine with plastic pods.

No one ever takes a sip of Kuerig and seems satisfied. Of course, that’s true of most work coffees. No one expects excellence from any coffee maker that sits in a kitchenette surrounded by artifacts from every office food day ever celebrated.*

Keurig is convenient and personalized (everyone can and makes a point to choose a preferred flavor). It is not great coffee and it creates lots of waste. Sure, I could get a reusable pod, but at work that’s a freakin’, time-consumin’ hassle. I drink at least 3 cups of coffee a day, more in the winter. Coffee consumption is part of who I am. Another part of who I am is that I try to do my itsy-bitsy part in saving the environment. It’s hard for me to champion the environment if I’m creating that much waste. Mind you, I think we’ve already ruined the entire planet, so if Keurig was stellar coffee not a crappy one I might not mind gleefully filling up landfills. But for not-so-great coffee, it’s easier to stand up for my principles.

Instead I’ve turned to instant coffee. Talk about a stigmatized, unhip product! When co-workers see my Nescafe jar up in my cubby or see me in the kitchen making coffee, they avert their eyes. I’m an anomaly in the Mid-West, but I’m would be a hit in our London office. Around the world, according to several articles from the end of 2016, instant coffee is gaining in popularity. Technology has played a part in improving the overall flavor and creating niche flavors. Europeans are big instant drinkers, but the sector is rapidly growing in Asia.

When I make coffee, I truly feel like my Grandma stirring in my granules. My brand is the world’s number one brand Nescafe which is advertised by George Clooney so how bad can it be? What’s that you say? Clooney doesn’t rep granny granules, he reps Nespresso which sounds close, but is a fancy pod system, the very kind I’m trying to avoid. Yeah. I just figured that out. I was hurt when I discovered my mistake. Now my joke, “If it’s good enough for Clooney, it’s good enough for me,” rings hollow.

Forsaken by Clooney and scorned by my co-workers, yet drinking a decent cup of coffee with a clear conscience. Ah!


* What items can you find in the work kitchenette/break room?:

  • An odd variety of plastic utensils that come with delivery pizza and salad
  • An array of crumbled/bent up napkins that no one is ever going to use
  • A plastic tray that started as a vege tray and now is gathering dust on the top of the fridge because “we might need it”
  • Part of an “It’s a Boy” decorative garland
  • A half box of faded-out birthday candles.

What can’t you find in the work kitchenette/break room?: Cups, paper plates, anything you’d want to eat with.


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