Keurig Green Mountain brewed up trouble recently with its new Keurig 2.0 brewer. Much like the original, the Keurig 2.0 uses single-serving pods to brew up individual cups of coffee. However, the newer machine’s scanner reads K-Cups’ logos and delivers an aw-shucks message when users try to use a “rebel” or off-brand pod: “Oops! This pack wasn’t designed for this brewer. Please try one of the hundreds of packs with the Keurig logo.”
Seeing this as a blatant attempt to force consumers to buy Keurig’s cups over less expensive alternatives — and not, as the company claims, merely a way of ensuring the most delectable cup of Keurig-brewed coffee — some 2.0 owners have, well, rebelled. On Amazon, newer models have an average of two or two-and-a-half stars. One company claimed the K-Cup maker is attempting “to create a monopoly by restraining trade” and filed a lawsuit. Other off-brand enthusiasts have simply found a way to game the system.
It’s actually pretty easy to fool the machine into using alternative cups. One YouTube video shows an enterprising K-hole, as we affectionately refer to the Keurig enthusiasts in our lives*, using naught but scissors and tape to affix a sanctioned lid to an off-brand cup. All while “The Imperial March” from Star Wars plays. Of course, we’re not advising such nefarious practices, merely pointing out that they are out there.
*On second thought, that sounds mean. Pod person? We’ll work on the affectionate nickname later.