Single Cup Coffee Makers (Pod Type)

Are they an Eek of the Week or are they too old hat? I just discovered them yesterday, in a flyer I was leafing though after lunch to avoid going back to work. THERE’S an eek, sez I, a little plastic cup in the landfill for every cup of home brewed coffee. So much for greener than takeout. 

My George H.W. Oh boy is he ever out of it Bush moment. I did know disposable pods were part of the espresso boom, but until I went to Amazon to check how common these things might be…

OMG. Double eek. But there in the list was an oddity that almost defies imagination: ” The Java Wand is a portable, single serve, miniaturized French Press filter attached to a durable, hand blown, glass straw that brews and filters coffee and tea leaves in your cup.” 

If any of you have ever used one of these things, please send us a review. I burn to know, I really do.

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  • Christine Said,

    I have a friend who loves hers. I just can’t get over the waste created by one cup of coffee to even try it!

  • leslie Said,

    Hi Christine

    I sympathize. So distressing when people you like/love do things you deeply wish they wouldn’t do. If it makes you feel any better, I have a dear friend who still uses metaldehyde for slugs.

  • ruralway Said,

    Funny you should ask…there we were getting the car serviced last Saturday and the dealership had one of these machines. I had recently remarked to husband that I might want one since I am the only coffee drinker in the house and I grind my beans and make coffee everyday and was kind of looking for a shortcut. I didn’t realize at the time, that the individual cups were toss-aways. I do now. I made two cups of java, one for me and one for Craig. The machine does all the work and deposits the used cup in the ‘used cup bin’. When said bin is full, you get to toss them all in the trash. The coffee was so-so and really does not compare to my Catskill Mountain Coffee home brew. I’ve set aside the idea of single serve coffee for now since I don’t want to lose my membership in my sustainability group!

  • leslie Said,

    Yo RW

    Too funny. Sounds to me as though you might be a good guinea pig for the Java Wand – given that you are (or were, anyway, from the sound of it) in “purchase new tool” mode.

    Alternatively, you might try the coffee extract route. There are a number of specialized devices that make this more complicated and less messy, but the basic idea is to infuse a lot of ground coffee in not very much cold water for about 18 hours, strain the result through an ultrafine filter and then use it as instant coffee: put a teaspoon or more in a cup, add hot water and go. The bottle of extract is kept in the fridge where it purportedly lasts quite a while without losing flavor.

    Maybe you NEED a special device to get the tastiest product, but it seems like you could do a trial run without buying anything and get a rough idea. I don’t know the quantities to use but am sure the measurements are out there in googleland.

  • ViridianGirl Said,

    Leslie…. Yes! Yes! YES!
    I am a user of such a device… not the pod thing, but the coffee extract thing. My huz knows how much I LOVE coffee… he calls it coffee “elixir”. I have a Toddy coffee maker for almost 15 years… yes, YEARS! You may not need the Toddy thing but it is easier. One pound of coffee in a container… add 4 cups cold water slowly over coffee… let the coffee “bloom”… add 5 more cups of cold water and let the whole thing sit 12 hours or so. Drain. I usually do it overnight and drain in the morning. I usually do a ratio elixir/water of 1/4 but I like it STRONG! I’m lazy… use cold water and heat it in the micro but it’s better if you heat the water as you would for tea and add it to the elixir. I’m the only coffee drinker in my home and the elixir has never gone bad in my fridge. PLUS… you can use whatever blend you want!

    I’m sure I’ve gone over-the-top here but I AM a devotee!
    (The Toddy is very “green”… the container is glass… the filters are re-useable TONS of times… I keep mine way longer than they recommend… never had any mold.)

  • leslie Said,


    RW, meet ViridianGirl

    and I hope she’ll accept my thanks for her great comment. Very helpful to have the recipe for what does sound like quite an elixir. Think I’ll try it next summer for iced coffee. Welcome and thanks again VG

  • steve Said,

    Leslie, I do not have the glass but do have a similar device that is stainless, and it holds one cup or a bit more(mug) of grounds. It has astainless screen ontop. I pour water from the teakettle directly onto said screen slowly, slowly . or a mess can (and has many times) occur. I have used this for years.
    Now : I DO NOT use this thing anylonger. WHY because it takes too darned long, and it is no more effort to make one cup than a pot in the coffee maker. and the flavor that I thought was so superb in a blind taste test conducted here showed absolutely no significant difference in the flavor. what did? the ultimate factor was the quality of the coffee bean. In the end I buy the best I can afford and I use the machine. making certain it is impecably clean each time and I enjoy my “elixir” steve

  • leslie Said,

    Thanks for weighing in, Steve, and for putting in another vote for the quality of the coffee and the cleanliness of the equipment. Add the quality of the water and I’d guess one could make terrific coffee in just about anything that doesn’t leak.

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