We love coffee.
No, for real though, coffee is every college student's best friend. It's the helping hand you need for those 8 am classes, the midday kicker that keeps you going, and the support that helps you finish those essays at 2 am. But what do you do when your dining hall's coffee is subpar and you don't want to keep emptying your pockets at Starbucks?
Answer: you find a solution in your very own dorm room.There are plenty of ways to brew a great cup of coffee in the comfort of your own room, but some ways are just better than others. This article will explore four different options: the always popular Keurig, the French press, the AeroPress, and Starbucks VIA instant coffee.
A Keurig is probably the coffee method most commonly found in college students' dorm rooms. They are easy to use, mildly compact, and make single servings. There are, however, downsides to this magical machine K-Cups (the little plastic coffee pods) have been proven to be extremely bad for the environment, especially given how many consumers now use Keurigs to brew their daily coffee.Even new improvements that have made the cups recyclable are not enough; they are not easily recyclable, they are still plastic, and they're still generating massive amounts of waste. So while a Keurig may make an easy cup o' joe in the morning, its overall environmental impact (and hefty price of $70-$100) takes away from the appeal.
2. French Press
Ah, the classic French press. This simple method has been in existence for far longer than America's favorite Keurig. Your average French press is fairly cheap (usually around $20-$40), easy to use, requires no filter (so leaves little to no waste), can make 1-8 cups based on preference, doesn't spill easily (no mess no stress) and makes some pretty delicious coffee.
Downsides? Coffee from French presses, although tasty, often allow grounds to seep into the actual brew. Coffee grounds, unlike coffee, don't taste all that great. Also, it requires a steep time of around 4-5 minutes, which can be kind of a pain when you're in a rush to get to class on time.
I know, I know, an "AeroPress" totally sounds like some weird new age invention. But stay with me; it's actually pretty awesome. It's super small and compact so it travels easily, it doesn't require a long time to steep, it makes (in my opinion) the best and strongest cup of coffee of all these devices, it's $30, it's easy to use and brews the coffee right into your mug, and (if you're a real coffee snob) this contraption can make both coffee and espresso. The only real downsides are that unlike the French press, this device can only make one cup of coffee at a time. It also requires very small filters specific to the AeroPress.
When it comes to easy, these little instant coffee packets are about as easy to use as it gets. They provide a single serving, you literally just pour them into hot (or cold water), they come in a variety of roasts, a pack of 12 costs $9.95, and yeah basically they're just ridiculously easy. Also, unlike other instant coffees they actually taste somewhat like real coffee. But if you're looking for real coffee, these packets do still lack the deep flavor and intensity of a cup brewed by an AeroPress or a French press.
So which one's for you?
There's no definitive way to rank these different methods; there are pros and cons of all of them. In the end, coffee lovers should choose which one makes the most sense for them personally. Now go forth and drink coffee!