IT’S OCCURRED TO ME lately that
maybe the single-serve coffee dispenser
is what is wrong with us
OK, maybe that’s overstating
matters a bit. Still, I’m starting to wonder:
do those little single-serve coffee
capsules signify something going awry
in the American spirit, a push toward
individual wants and desires over the
good of the larger community?
Think about it: the premise behind
the single-serve coffeemakers—which
use hot water and small plastic containers
of ground beans to dispense hot
coffee in one-cup increments—is
beguiling at first blush.
Advertisements for these single-cup
coffeemakers admonish us with, “Don’t
make a whole pot! Just make one cup
at a time, fresh and steaming whenever
you need it.”
This is attractive in its simplicity,
nearly foolproof in its appeal. Indeed,
this sort of consumption could even be
interpreted as pious in a vague sort of
way: I am not going to use energy and a filter and a pile of grounds to make a
large amount of beverage at one time, the
user may think.
Perhaps this is why these machines
can command as much as $100 in
stores. We seem to love paying a lot for
the chance to be seen as socially conscious.