We gotta talk about coffee.
I know you love your Keurig. Just pop in a K-Cup, and voila! Just like a barista made it for you.
Because otherwise you’ll be waiting endlessly in your car, waiting your turn at the coffee drive-thru of goodness, drumming your fingers on the steering wheel and humming along to the radio to distract yourself while the car ahead of you collect drinks for the entire office.
Not to mention the serious change you’ll be handing over for that logoed cup, no matter how cool it is to swan into work looking like you’re caffeinated up for business.
Keurigs are awesome. Everyone loves them.
I’ll tell you why in just a minute.
But first, there’s something wonderful about Keurig fans. A big chunk of the strong, independent professional women I know use them.
The first time I met a Keurig, I was at the dentist’s office. The receptionist showed me how to make myself a cup. She raved over it.
She’d always wanted one herself, but her husband told her they already had one coffee maker and didn’t need another one. So finally, last year, they separated. And one of the first things she did for herself was go out and buy herself a Keurig. “It’s my man!” she joked. “Always there for me, never gets tired, never complains.”
Hard to argue with that.
But then I came across an article that’s gained an almost mythical status on the internet, “Why I Kicked My Keurig to the Curb” by microbiologist Erin Chamerlik. 
She argued that Keurigs were breeding grounds for mold and bacteria.
It all had to do with the internal water tank and rubber tubing, which rarely get drained. The warmth, darkness and moisture provide the ideal home for unsavory microbes.
The Keurig company pointed out that they recommended cleaning the interior reservoir every 3 to 6 months with vinegar or a descaling solution. Keurigs were never intended to be maintenance-free …. just, well, maintenance-lite.
But when’s the last time anyone cleaned their Keurig?
CBS News did a test on the Keurigs in three of their major TV stations. They swabbed each machine and sent the samples to a lab. One sample contained 4.6 million colonies of bacteria and mold, while another contained E.coli. In the end, 1 in 2 machines were highly contaminated. 
At home, you know how often you clean your Keurig. But you don’t know how often that Keurig at the hair salon or bank or TV station has been cleaned.
If it makes you feel any better, ALL coffee makers that contain standing water are in the same boat.
In 2011, NSF International conducted a study on “the germiest places in the home.”  Coming in at #5 was the coffee maker. They found yeast and mold in the water reservoir of half of all coffee makers.
Let that sink in for a second…
Your coffee maker has more germs than your toilet seat.
But microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba urges us not to discount another germy haven.
Coffee mugs are usually [the] worst. In our studies, half had fecal bacteria in them. People probably contaminate them when they wipe them out with sponges or cleaning cloths.” 
So what’s the solution? Stop drinking coffee?
Maybe designate a Keurig-cleaning day every month?
Sounds like a plan. And avoid using public Keurig machines that may not have been recently cleaned.
But that’s not the reason I don’t own a Keurig.
I’m not neurotic about germs. I don’t want to get sick, but I don’t want to go overboard and wipe everything with antibacterial wipes every time I use it.
The REAL reason I don’t own a Keurig is because I make the most exquisite, soul-quenching coffee using the simplest, most easy-to-clean coffee making device ever.
My coffee is so good that I don’t want to buy coffee when I go out. There’s not a coffee shop in 60 miles that makes coffee as good as I make from home.
I feel no desire to pop in and buy an overpriced latte when I could just wait until I get home and, in just 10 seconds, have my own barista-quality espresso.
I sound like an informercial here, I know, but let me explain.
I first heard of this neat little device in England, at a coffee-and-cupcake shop that was the talk of the town. The owners were a husband and wife. She was the cupcake queen, and he was the coffee king.
He was so obsessed over coffee that he’d bring whole beans and a hand grinder camping with him, spending all his time grinding those beans until they were fine enough for espresso. Wonder what his wife thought of that. “Can’t talk, honey, I’m busy with these beans.”
This was how he made his coffee. He took this device camping and everywhere else.
After I heard about this thing, I started asking other coffee fanatics about it. I went on a tour of the local coffee roasters, and they knew exactly what I was talking about. “We’ll order one in for you,” they said.
But I couldn’t believe it.
A $30 plastic thingy that makes coffee as good as a $1000 espresso machine?
Surely it was hype.
Then, for Christmas, I got my own Aeropress.
And I finally understood what the fuss was about.
Here’s how it works.
You boil some water.
You put a few scoops of coffee in a tube, fitted with a filter at the bottom.
You pour the boiling water over the coffee grounds and stir for 10 seconds.
Then you use a pump to push the water through the grounds.
No fiddly parts. No standing water. Nothing that could grow bacteria or contaminate your coffee in any way.
Suffice to say, I was hooked. More than hooked. Obsessed. I took my Aeropress everywhere. In my luggage, in my backpack, anywhere I’d have access to a mug and some hot water.
And I’ll admit, it does sound like hype. It sounds way too good to be true. Really? You’re telling me that some plastic doodad can make better coffee than Starbucks?
Come over to my house, and I’ll make you a believer. 😉