Keurig, the K-Cup, and Tea

Twinings English Breakfast K-Cups. Have you tried them yet? (Photo source: The English Tea Store)
Twinings English Breakfast K-Cups. Have you tried them yet? (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

One of the things I’ve learned over the course of many years of drinking, studying, and writing about tea is that everyone likes what they like and there really is no one correct way to do things. Of course, there are certain useful guidelines to follow if you want the best cup of tea – such as don’t oversteep or overheat your tea – but, when it comes to the mechanics of making tea, there are many ways to get the job done. A gongfu fancier might cringe at my practice of heating water in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave and steeping in a gravity-type infuser but it works well for me.

Having put in my plug for all of this goodness, light, and tolerance, I’m now going to respectfully say that I don’t think K-Cup tea will be on my menu anytime soon. That’s okay and neither will Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong, or milk, lemon, and sugar, now that you mention it. That’s just a matter of personal preference. Of course, I haven’t actually tried a K-Cup of tea yet and so maybe I’m going off half-cocked but I can see a few reasons why I’ll stick with my current process.

If you’re like me and you haven’t really kept tabs on the K-Cup it might help to know that it’s a technology developed by Massachusetts-based company Keurig in 1998. At their Web site the company claims that “we’re the leading single cup brewing system in North America.”

Something else you’ll see at the site is that a fair amount of the content seems to be rather coffee-centric, although you can check out some of the other products here and here, including tea, hot chocolate, and more. Which would be my primary reason for not becoming a K-Cup drinker. Like many other American tea drinkers, I’ve pretty much grown accustomed to the fact that tea is something of a poor cousin to coffee, and I’d be fine with that if there was a wide selection of the teas I wanted to drink in K-Cup form. Given that I like to try as many premium single-estate teas – especially black and green – as I can get my hands on, I don’t see that happening.

The other major issue for me would be the gadget factor. I’ve tried a number of high-falutin’ tea gadgets so far, some so “automatic” that they do almost everything but pour the tea in your mouth, and I liked some of them quite a bit. But for me, the so-called convenience of using such gadgets doesn’t really do much for me, and I typically revert back to the tried and true method that I mentioned above.

Which works quite nicely for me but it might not for you. Maybe you’ll find K-Cup tea to be the greatest thing since sliced bread or the wheel. Which is great, and to you I’ll simply say “bottoms up.”

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