Single Cup vs. Classic Coffeemaker Throwdown

With single cup (Keurig type) coffeemaker sales growing rapidly, we are often asked about the energy efficiency of these machines vs. standard drip coffeemakers. Many people have a 10-12 cup drip coffeemaker at home and we wanted to see if they could save energy / money moving to a single serve unit. We did some exploratory work with the Bosch Tassimo TAS6515, and while not representative of the whole category, it’s an interesting starting point for the discussion.

Our initial results showed that brewing around 8 cups of coffee per day with the Tassimo used about the same amount of energy as brewing a full 10-12 cup pot with the average coffeemaker we tested. The most efficient drip coffeemakers brewed a pot using the energy of 4 cups, while the least efficient always-on hot water varieties were much more energy hungry.

If you drink a full 12 cup pot of coffee every day and have an average drip coffeemaker – you’d use less energy by sticking with it. If you drink less than around 8 cups a day, you would probably save energy by switching to the Tassimo.

Of course energy use is not the whole story here. The single serve coffeemakers also produce waste in the form of used cups / cartridges…some of which can be recycled or re-used. On the other hand – they make coffee much faster, don’t leave coffee sitting around and provide other drink options like tea, hot chocolate.

We look forward to testing the entire category soon and presenting the whole story. Do you have a single serve coffeemaker…how do you like it?