Kicking Horse® Coffee’s K-Cup Conundrum

Slow Down and Smell the Coffee: The Cost of Convenience

Kicking Horse ® Coffee’s K-Cup Conundrum
Posted on October 23rd 2013 by Maddie

I don’t wake up to an alarm. What rouses me from sleep is the excitement for a fresh brew. Excitement or need, merely semantics… Rolling out of bed, I shuffle into the kitchen my eyes barely open. I’m on autopilot.  First stop grinder. I pour in some Z-Wrangler beans and hear the burrs come to life. A minute later I’m in the bathroom brushing my teeth while my stove-top espresso takes off to a boil. Only to be rewarded with a steaming cup of Kicking Horse® Coffee ready to enjoy.

I’m a routine person. Preparing a flawless cup is a satisfying experience. My method has been perfected and it’s down to a science. We all know how difficult it is to make coffee before we’ve had any. However, there is something relaxing about the process of preparing coffee; unlocking the intoxicating aroma, anticipating your first sip, and embracing the day ahead. 

Our society has been dissipating into a culture of convenience. What is fast and quick reigns supreme. Consequently, the success of the K-Cup; a potential environmental nightmare that produces (what we believe to be) substandard coffee. Facts overshadowed by convenience and simplicity; saved from a mess in the kitchen and leftover coffee in the pot. 

Kicking Horse® Coffee’s K-Cup Conundrum, really comes down to two major issues, quality and waste. 


For Kicking Horse® Coffee, quality and integrity of the cup is our number one driver. Nothing currently offered in a pre-packaged K-Cup format (that we have tested) compares to the body, acidity and overall flavour of fresh, ground coffee.

K-cups don’t contain one-way valves which we have on all our packaging. These valves let C02 gas out of the bag, while preventing any oxygen getting in. Oxygen and light are the two main freshness killers for coffee.


Each discarded plastic and foil K-Cup weighs about 3 grams. The equivalent amount of K-Cup servings available in a 1lb bag of Kicking Horse® Coffee is about 45, resulting in about 135 grams of waste; currently no recyclable single serve packaging is available.

Compare 135 grams of discarded K-Cups to the 20 gram weight of an empty Kicking Horse® Coffee 1lb bag (or better yet, fully recyclable can) and the math is pretty simple. Almost seven times less waste ends up in the landfill!

So, what is the real “Cost of Convenience”?

Environmental costs notwithstanding, it still doesn’t add up.  

With prices varying between $0.67 and $1.00/K-Cup serving, you will pay as much as $30 -$45/Lb for coffee. Kicking Horse® Coffee by comparison with a suggested retail price of $16.99/lb works out to about $0.38/serving. Now that is real value!

The Verdict

Kicking Horse® Coffee continues to investigate the latest advances in technology and packaging in the hope that concerns about quality and sustainability are adequately addressed. Until that time however, we feel that freshly grinding your favourite Kicking Horse® Coffee in conjunction with using an EkoBrew re-useable cup/cartridge is the best of both worlds; consistent, fresh and great tasting coffee, offering value and less waste. The “True Cost of Convenience”; you decide!

Check out EkoBrew’s awesome stainless steel reusable filters to avoid the plastic taste. 

With most things in life, you get what you give. The more you put in, the more dedication and hard work, the more you are rewarded. Coffee is no different. A little more time and effort gets you a much better cup. You can’t rush perfection.