by Ian Froeb
The single-serve coffee maker: Incredible convenience, or threat to life, limb and pocketbook? If the news this week is any indication, the latter seems more likely than the former.
First, the New York Times looked at how much you're actually paying when you buy those pods that these single-serve coffee makers use.
...the Nespresso Arpeggio costs $5.70 for 10 espresso capsules, while the Folgers Black Silk blend for a K-Cup brewed-coffee machine is $10.69 for 12 pods. But that Nespresso capsule contains 5 grams of coffee, so it costs about $51 a pound. And the Folgers, with 8 grams per capsule, works out to more than $50 a pound.
As the Times article points out, all but the most exclusive varities of coffee will run you less than $20 a pound -- and in Gut Check's admittedly limited experience, the stuff that comes out of those pods is far closer to those giant cans of cheap coffee than $20-a-pound gourmet beans.
Is the convenience still worth the extra dollars per pound to you? What if we told you there was a risk of being scalded.
More than a million coffee makers are being recalled after dozens of reports of the brewers spraying hot liquid, coffee grounds or tea leaves onto people.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says there have been 140 reports of problems with the Tassimo single-cup brewers dousing people, including 37 cases involving second-degree burns.
Gut Check has come to prefer the classic (and newly hip) Chemex method of brewing coffee, where the only risk of scalding -- as we have learned the painful way -- comes from your own clumsiness with boiling water.