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K Cups, The Most Popular Coffee Option

Starbucks has long dominated the coffee industry but more and more people are realizing the faults with Starbucks.  Starbucks takes time out of your day but that isn’t the worst part about it, drinks at Starbucks can run your bank account dry in no time.  Drinks at Starbucks typically run anywhere from $3 to $10 with the most expensive drinks being over $80.  The solution to the expensive time stealing coffee trips?  K Cups.

Keurig designed a coffee machine that allows you to brew your favorite coffees without having to worry about grinding coffee or other preparations.  K Cups are individual cups that have a variety of K Cup flavors and are extremely simple to make.  You take the K Cup container, place it in the K Cup coffee maker, and it brews you your favorite coffee, hot chocolate, or other brewed beverage.

One of the best parts about K Cups is that they can be found in single serve coffee makers so you don’t need to brew a whole pot of coffee for your personal use.  Some of the best K Cup one cup coffee makers can even be set with a timer so that your coffee is brewed and ready for you in the morning.

Keurig may have been the original designer of K Cup coffee makers but there are now many K Cup systems out there.  Each one has its own unique features.  They range anywhere from extremely easy push button K Cup machines to ones that have multiple different sizes and can prepare both coffee for your cup and coffee for your mug.

Using a K Cup system is very simple.  You take your K Cup container and open the lid to the coffee machine, placing the K-Cup inside.  Before starting the brewing process it is important to ensure that the water chamber is full.  Close the lid to your coffee maker and place your mug or cup below the appropriate spout.  The last step is to press the brew button.  On some of the more complicated systems you may have to press a few more buttons but even with those extra buttons it is extremely easy to get single serve coffee.

There is an important difference to note between K Cup systems.  There are two different styles of K Cup, old K Cups and K Cup 2.0.  The new K Cup 2.0 systems are not backwards compatible so when you buy one of the new systems you need to make sure that you buy the K Cup 2.0 cups.  There are still a variety of old K Cup machines available, Keurig even markets one on their website.  The main advantage to the 2.0 system is that it allows you to brew in a lot more sizes.  Anywhere from 4 ounces to 30 ounces.  You will be able to find the option that is just right for you.

Keurig struck, gold by finding an easy solution to the busy person’s need for daily coffee.  Now they can choose the coffee they want and only prepare as much as they need.

K Cups: The Rise and Fall of Keurig Green Mountain

Keurig Green Mountain is a Vermont Based company that came up with the idea for single serve coffee makers that use a little cup known as the K Cup.  These machines quickly caught on with people around the world because they allowed for quick brewing and producing only the desired amount of a drink.  Something that everyone wanted, a way to escape the expensive Starbucks.

This original system offered three to four different sizes and many different companies started coming out with machines that could brew the K Cups.  Keurig started a trend that sent them up into coffee making history.  Keurig released a new version of K Cup that eliminated the official use of the old singe cup coffee makers.  The old cups no longer work in the new systems.   This left many of the Keurig customers feeling betrayed by a company that they love.

Keurig heard and started to make changes to their business model but it was too late.  The fact that other companies started making K Cup brewers has hurt the business significantly.  If you haven’t heard, the sales for Keurig have been going down recently (Forbes:

For those that are worried about their K Cup coffee machines or are interested in getting one don’t worry.  The sales issues the Keurig has been seeing have only been effecting their sales of brewers.  Their sales of portion packs, or K Cups, has been rising every quarter.  This means the Keurig isn’t likely to go out of business, in fact they are starting to venture into new realms with their K Cup brewing machines.

The same Forbes article talks about the announcement Keurig Green Mountain made recently about a partnership with Campbell’s Soup Company.  Now those who have an original style K Cup machine can buy soup cups to brew at home.  Currently there are only two different soups available for your machine: Southwest Style Chicken Broth and Noodle Soup Mix and Homestyle Chicken Broth and Noodle Soup Mix.  Both of the soups work similar to ramen where you put a noodle mix into your cup or bowl and you put the broth into the brewer.  The hot broth heats up the noodles.  It is likely to expand to more flavors down the road if the first two flavors see a good reception.

There are predictions being made that this new deal with Campbell’s in combination with giving the Keurig 2.0 time to catch on will save Keurig’s sales this year.  Forbes remains silent on a verdict but the numbers for brewer sales do not look good and it isn’t likely that they will win in the K Cup Brewer world.  However, the fact that the growth of K Cup sales is continuous could indicate that the company will shift over to focus on the sales of K Cups which would result in even more flavors and possibilities for customers.  For example, Keurig Green Mountain’s recent foray into the soda world with the KOLD beverage system.  Unlike their major competitor in that market, Soda Stream, Keurig was able to secure major soda brands.  This could spell a victory and a future for Keurig, and your K Cups.

Serving Bowls and Dishes

A basic earthenware pasta bowl can be bought for as little as £1.50. Sets of four bowls can easily be obtained for less than £20. This prince range covers stoneware to bone china, plain and decorated. Online options include designs compatible with various kitchen styles, from plain to colourful, contemporary, and rustic.

Larger serving bowls come in terracotta, porcelain homeware and wood among other materials. A set of four plastic bowls is as cheap as £10.99 for four. At the top of the range, a hand-blown Sophie Conran Large Glass Bowls costs about £45. As well as Italian-style bowls, other designs come from Japan and Persia (Iran), and an elegant Oriental bowl can cost as little as £20.

Dinner services come over a large price range, understandably. Small enamel dinner plates can cost less than £3 individually, and are a cheap alternative to paper plates for indoor occasions. Dinner sets can be bought for between two to eight people. A typical service per person will consist of a dinner plate, side plate, bowl and mug.

Melamine dinner sets are ideal for caravanning and camping. These classic sets are stylish and excellent value. A classic 12 piece ‘Kampa’ set with plate, bowl and mug for four people costs as little as £16.95. These come with white inner sides and traditional blue or charcoal exteriors. They are also available in blue and grey.

Earthenware dinner sets can be quite substantial and chunky; other porcelain sets elegant and finely finished. A high quality porcelain service for 6 people can cost as little as £30-plus. Porcelain has the advantage of the classic dinner party feel; a 30 piece Platinum Leaf Dinner Set with dinner and side plates, bowl, classic tea cup and saucer can be as little as £39.99. Porcelain can be plain white or glazed with decoration at the edges.

The funky and contemporary Hoxton Black Combo Starter Dinner Set is an example of a more expensive option which is actually great value for money. For less than £40, you get a 54 piece dinner set. Made of black stoneware, the dinner and side plates, bowls and mugs also come with ‘hiball’ glasses and a 24 piece cutlery set.

Bamboo salad bowls are very popular and come in a wide price range. A classic bamboo bowl dipped in black paint finish costs as little as £20. These bowls are perfect for dinner parties and also excellent decoration. Bamboo bowls come in different types of finish. Oriental style lacquer finished bowls are a classic shape and great value, some costing less than £20.

Bamboo is increasingly popular because the plant is very fast growing and environmentally sustainable. Naturalistic bowls with bamboo salad servers have no decoration and can be bought for £30. Bamboo bowls can also be finished with other materials, including metal. A bamboo salad bowl with a highly polished stainless steel base covering half its height is expensive at around £100, but is functional and, when not in use, an ornament.

Bowls and Dishes

Dinner parties can be made or broken by crockery. Not just at Greek weddings, either… A good dinner set can make the difference between a meal and a memory. Even if the conversation stinks, people might still come back for your lacquer finished bamboo salad bowls.

With this in mind, here are a few ideas for good value dinner services. These should accommodate any cuisine or theme.

There is a plethora of advice as to what sort of ware one should have on display and use. The Washington Post recommends Ikea ( Its review of the outlet’s 2016 catalogue shows how highly it sees its readership’s opinion of the Swedish giant.

The Post’s reporter highlights Ikea’s theme “The Little Things That Matter;” the kitchen and its role in bringing people together. As well as Swedish meatballs, in the top six of their recommendations is the Sittning Serving Bowl. Advertised containing rocket salad with a glass of white wine, a pair of these “sturdy feldspar porcelain bowls” will be available from September at $19.99.

If contemporary minimalism isn’t your thing, you could always go rustic. As well as advertising slate boards as serving suggestions, recommends a Tactile Porcelain Dinner Set; yours for £74 from Linda Bloomfield. The set comprises two each of bowls, side plates and dinner plates. The porcelain finish has a subtle glaze which is “popular with food stylists;” and each item can be used to serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper.

Ethnic themed dinner sets can be bought online and shipped quite cheaply. Porcelain sets from France, Brazil, Japan, Turkey and many other parts of the world can be found quite cheaply on the web. As well as black lacquer Miso Soup Bowls for £3, has finely made chopsticks, mats and a myriad of other accoutrements used in enjoying Japanese cuisine.

According to ProCook (, authentic Italian pasta should only ever be served in the correct bowls. These should be deep, ceramic and have steep, sloping sides to prevent oils and sauces from spilling over the edges. Based in the UK, the site offers a classic Italian style pasta bowl in Harrogate bone china from £7.

Part of Procook’s reasoning in buying steeply sloped, authentic Italianate serving bowls is that presentation plays a huge part in enjoyment of any meal; rustic earthenware designs marry both practical and aesthetic features to great effect.

This does not just apply to earthenware products, however. The same logic applies to glass serving dishes. According to, “food looks better in glass serving bowls.” With this premise in mind, the site offers glass serving bowls and dinnerware at very reasonable prices. Glass is especially impressive for presentation, and styles can make a huge difference to a meal’s impact. Impressively, a square glass dinnerware set for one person can cost as little as £5.

With all this in mind, there are a huge number of options available when considering throwing a dinner party, a cosy or romantic meal for two, or even tea for one.