You Know What’s Dumb? A Disposable ‘French Press’ Coffee Maker

As if coffee pods weren’t bad enough, there’s a new player in town when it comes to the “dumb coffee maker” options: the disposable pour over bag.

This is exactly what it sounds like. A disposable bag that contains pre-measured coffee. As the coffee drinker, all you have to do is boil water and pour into the package. Which of course is pretty much what you do to make coffee in a normal setting.

The Coffeebrewer by Grower’s Cup is marketed as a single-brew French press, perfect for the coffee drinker on the go. It’s no wonder that the company is excited about it: it’s craft coffee that can be made easily. They’ve got a whole video to show you how amazing it is.

Let’s take a look at the marketing claims: Gourmet coffee made easy! Single-brew! Freshly brewed anywhere, anytime! These things all sound well and good, but in reality this isn’t much better than making ramen noodles in a package. Because if you want something freshly brewed, anytime, you have other options than a disposable bag.

We live busy lives, and I can see why a coffee brewing option like this is appealing. It’s innovative. It doesn’t require a coffee maker. It looks a whole lot more authentic and artisan than a coffee pod ever will. The coffee is pre-ground and pre-measured. When you’re done there’s no cleaning to be done. You can just toss that bag right into the garbage can.

I hate to state the obvious, but besides all these amazing things that this coffee brew system can do it comes down to one thing: it’s a disposable bag.

Our coffee habit already has a pretty big impact. 54 percent of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day, and that coffee travels quite a long way to get to us. We don’t need to make that impact worse by making it in single-serving, disposable containers (which of course, we’re already doing with coffee pods).

There are plenty of ways to make coffee that don’t involve waste. Coffee grounds, and even filters, can be composted, which makes things like French press and any pour over system pretty ideal. Even better? You can drag a lightweight Melita cone into the backcountry with you. If that’s too simple for you, there are stainless steel French presses that would make even the most caffeinated of adventurers jealous.

What you don’t need is a disposable bag. It’s wasteful, and you can do better.

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