Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

What’s the Best Single Cup Coffee Maker?

Fair Trade coffee means that your favorite brew doesn't come at too high a price!
Fair Trade coffee means that your favorite brew doesn’t come at too high a price!

Coffee is something that many of us really rely on. It helps us wake up and get through those first few traumatic hours of the day.

It’s terribly pleasant with a cigarette or a biscuit.

The finished product of the billion dollar coffee industry serves as the fuel for our economy, and our lives.

A New Trend

People often turn their noses up when someone admits to liking instant coffee. Some frown at the likes of Starbucks or any commercial retailer. “No. It must be artisan. It must be organic. And, it must be local.” Many of us, however, still hide in the shadows, nervously stirring mug upon mug of Nescafé Instant. Of course we know the difference between good and bad coffee. Of course we prefer good coffee. But, there’s nothing wrong with a comforting mug of instant early in the a.m. when the local cafe is closed.

Despite the artisan coffee trend dominating our main streets, there has been something of a renaissance with coffee in the home. We have mini barista machines, coffee pod machines, and all sorts of coffee-making equipment. We can serve up espressos, cappuccinos and lattes in our own homes. This allows us to avoid the perils of the $8 Americano (and a tedious discussion about the qualities of the barista’s favorite variety of coffee bean). Convenience here, is key.

Not sure how to get those stains off your coffee pot? See this how-to on deep cleaning your coffee pot.

There’s a problem in the coffee industry, however. It might make you think twice about where your favorite drink comes from.

The Problem with the Coffee Industry

Many of our beloved coffee beans come from developing countries. Coffee pickers, farmers, and migrant workers are the most vulnerable people in the coffee industry. The coffee producers mentioned above are almost never included in the sustainability efforts imposed by companies. That means sustainability generally applies to the people at the higher end of these companies, rather than the sustainability of jobs and quality-of-life for the workers.

In 2012, the US Department of Labor made discoveries surrounding exploitation in Hawaiian coffee farms, where workers were not paid a minimum wage. Coffee pickers were hired illegally and children as young as 5 years old were being exploited to work as hand pickers. Nestlé, which accounts for almost half of the world’s coffee (produced under numerous brands), admitted that similarly exploitative coffee plantations in Brazil may have supplied them.

This is the problem we often neglect to face. With the coffee industry booming more than ever, we all have a hand in it. This makes it a necessity to purchase Fair Trade coffee that offers better conditions for coffee workers.

Check out Green Mountain Coffee Colombian Fair Trade Select, Keurig K-Cups at Amazon

Consider this when you’re buying that perfect single cup coffee maker. Fair Trade coffee is high-quality, and it brings with it the reassurance that it’s coming from a source that is actually sustainable.

Check out Green Mountain Columbian – Decaf – Fair Trade Select Coffee Keurig K-Cup at Amazon

So, what’s the best way to enjoy Fair Trade coffee?

The Best Single Cup Coffee Maker

Keurig is a recognized and trusted brand for coffee lovers everywhere.
Keurig is a recognized and trusted brand for coffee lovers everywhere.
Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Discontinued)

Keurig is a well-known and highly-trusted coffee brand. Their K45/55 Elite Brewing System is a beautiful single cup coffee maker that will fit into any kitchen. Aesthetically, it is minimalistic and elegant and comes in several beautiful colors.

See the Keurig K45/55 Elite Brewing System at Amazon

Performance-wise, the Keurig excels once again. It perfectly brews coffee, tea, and cold beverages in under a minute. It’s perfect for those early morning rushes to work or school!

Got a long commute ahead of you? Check out the best coffee Thermoses for work for a warm brew, wherever you go!

It’s also easy-to-use, with a one touch automatic operating system. Unlike many coffee makers, it’s almost silent. It runs off 1,500 watts and has an energy-saving automatic on/off switch.

Check out Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Fair Trade Certified Pumpkin Spice Flavored Coffee K-Cups at Amazon

It’s small, so it won’t take up lots of space on your kitchen counter, unlike many other kitchen appliances and accessories. Finally, it comes with a one-year warranty and at a cheap price to back that up.

Tasty Coffee, Clear Conscience!

Make sure to buy quality coffee from trusted sources, and enjoy it in the comfort of your own home with the Keurig Brewing System. You’ll save money, and you’ll enjoy knowing that cup of coffee doesn’t come at a steep price.

There’s few things more tasty than a spoon of brown sugar in a rich cup of coffee.

For more reviews on coffee-related products, see this article on the best coffee cup to keep coffee hot. There’s also this post on the best espresso machine that’s sure to give you that hit of caffeine. If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, you might like this article on the best coffee Thermos for hunting!

Are you more of a tea person? The Keurig does that, too! Or, try using a French press for tea and never go back to tea bags again! Heat that water like a college student. Top picks for the best electric tea kettles for dorm rooms can be found right here.

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: William N. and Kona G.

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