14 Oct 2014, 8:00pm
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Keurig and Company Kill My Coffee, Tea and Me

Housekeeping Trying to Get My Keurig to Work on a Recent Hotel Stay

Housekeeping Trying to Get My Keurig to Work on a Recent Hotel Stay

I’m practically on the eve of departing for a big trip to France and I’m excited about many things:  the flakey croissants that taste far superior to most sold in the U.S., the fabulous runny unpasteurized cheeses  you can’t find stateside (unless smuggled in), slightly chilled red wines such as a good Fleury, rich French stews such as a daube Provençal or a boeuf aux carottes, a savory couscous, the perfect omelet–well, you get the picture. As much as I love France for its beauty and the French for their joie de vivre, I guess I am most looking forward to their food and drink.

Coffee and tea rank tops on that list, too. I’m more of a tea drinker and the French do tea–in my humble opinion–as well as the English. By mid-morning I love a good coffee, whether it’s a creamy café au lait or an espresso ladened with lots of sugar. Yes, the French do it right at home, in restaurants, cafés and hotels. It has been a while since I was in France but last time I checked, they still hadn’t adapted the American tradition of having a coffee pot in hotel rooms. Mais non, their approach was always far more civilized and if you wanted a coffee or tea–even in small, modest hotels–they’d bring it to you. And it would be delicious, served on a little tray accompanied with cold or hot milk and often un petit pot of hot water.

For breakfast, they always gladly delivered your hot beverages to your room–with or without a basket of pâtisseries, something that is tout à fait normale, or common practice. Having breakfast in bed always has been more the norm in France than not. I’m praying that this tradition has been upheld.

If I enter a hotel room–not to mention more than one or two–and find those stupid personal coffee makers à la Keurig, I think I’ll have a fit. Who ever was so stupid to invent those devices? I had a huge experience with them on a ten-day trip this summer where they were proudly displayed at every coffee station inside and out of the rooms. I can’t tell you the aggravation I had getting them to work properly–they didn’t half the time. And if they worked, often the coffee was cold. I had a few excellent cups of coffee and tea from them but none was worth the aggravation. I even had to call housekeeping a couple of times to help out and they ended up scratching their heads.

Double Trouble

Double Trouble

Evidence of Yet Another Bad Coffee Episode

Evidence of Yet Another Bad Coffee Episode

And are people nuts? In this age of an awakening awareness of the abundance and grave problem of plastic in our society, a new thingamajig comes out with non-recyclable plastic cups? Are we going backward here? Single-cup coffee makers should go the way of single-use plastic bags, utensils, coffee cups and the rest of the crap that’s clogging our oceans and landfills. If you still have questions about why plastic (even recyclable plastic, which is not easy to get rid of) is so dreadful to our world, check out Bag It and Green Travel.

Without getting too technical here, know that the polyethylene-coated foil lids of these little diddlies aid in the transfer of aluminum, a harmful metal connected with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and celiac as well as other afflictions including anxiety, autism, depression and god only knows what else.

Have I convinced you yet? How about if you think of the bacteria that is growing in the wet, moist environments of those machines; one could say the same thing about the standard coffeepots. That’s part of the reason I use a French press, which makes a clean and delicious cup of coffee every time. Another solution would be providing hot water boilers in every hotel room that you could use for tea and coffee (French press style). If the water was dumped after each use, there’d be less of a chance of bacterial growth as well.

This Looks Like Tea But It's Supposed to Be Coffee

Yuck: This Looks Like Tea But It’s Supposed to Be Coffee

So, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I will be staying in a variety of establishments–big and small–while in France and I will be assessing very carefully their coffee and tea setups. Please, please, don’t disappoint.

Some things you never want to see change, especially when it’s for a more modern, inferior alternative. And that’s exactly what I think of those single-use coffee and tea makers.

Note that purchasing the tea and coffee for these machines is exceedingly expensive as well!

For more on why Keurig and company coffeemakers aren’t green, read Why I Kicked My Keurig to the Curb. Also, check out 7 Million Keurigs Recalled Because They Won’t Stop Burning People.

One more thing:  If you are a hospitality professional, I challenge you to get rid of your Keurigs!

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