We’ve been back on campus for a while now — by this point, you’ve probably tried all the coffee that Emory has to offer. Yet, nothing compares to your trusty first cup of the morning, straight from the Keurig in your dorm room. The Keurig is a college dorm staple, but I’m now a little ashamed to admit that I had one. While it reliably provides your caffeine fix, it’s even more reliable for brewing less than mediocre or, dare I say, bad coffee. 

There are a few reasons why the Keurig is so popular. A machine can run for as low as $50, and K-cups are easy to find and often on sale. Compared to other single-serve coffee pods, like Nespresso capsules, the K-cups are half as expensive as their competitors.

I would be remiss to not mention how easy the Keurig is to use. My morning routine consisted of turning on my Keurig and letting it brew a cup as I packed up my things and got ready for the day. I loved how stress-free it made my morning, and while I now live for the meditative moments that come from grinding coffee and brewing a cup in my French press, I do miss the days of quick, easy coffee.

Most 18-year-olds start to drink coffee when they come to college or have only had name-brand chains, like Starbucks, prior to leaving home. As my dad put it to me the other day, “Knowing what coffee is supposed to taste like is a curse.” If you don’t know better, your Keurig coffee is probably just as good as any other coffee you may purchase. 

And, let’s face it: If you’re putting hot water through coffee grounds that quickly, your drink is going to taste sour and acidic due to that short, fast, low-pressure extraction. The grounds are packaged in plastic, which will absorb some of the flavor from the coffee, brewing a weaker cup.

There is, as a result, a culture around liking Keurig coffee that is deemed “taboo” among college students. People who think Keurig coffee is bad probably think highly of themselves and craft coffee and denounce Kaldi’s for being mediocre at best.

Should you choose to go the Keurig route — still not ideal by any means — I have a few recommendations. First, go with Green Mountain Breakfast Blend when buying your K-cups. It’s not too bitter and has a clean flavor. Or, you can buy a reusable K-cup and fill it with whatever coffee you want. 

While a Keurig is a great first option for anyone getting into the coffee game, you’re going to be better off investing in a French press, or even a regular drip coffee machine, in the long-run.

And if you think there’s nothing wrong with coffee out of the Keurig, I’ll keep you in my thoughts.