They Make That?! – Coffee edition

The eco-friendly KeepCup and Dr. Drip coffeeWelcome to They Make That?! If the title wasn’t enough of a giveaway, this is a new weekly feature to Landmark where one of our writers will tackle a couple of bizarre, unique, new, or just plain awesome products that our Lifestyle team has been able to get their hands on and review it so that you, our loyal readers, can look at it and loudly proclaim, “They make that?!”

In this installment, we review an innovative system for brewing coffee and a great new travel cup to drink that coffee in.

Gordon Grade Coffee Company’s Dr. Drip Coffee – $8.99

Anyone who tends to keep a tight schedule (or frequently oversleeps) knows the hassle that brewing a pot of coffee every morning can bring. However, instant coffee just doesn’t quite cut it on the taste buds. Instead of instant coffee, I prefer coffee instantly. The Gordon Grade Coffee Company’s Dr. Drip instant brewing system does just that. The instructions are quite simple: Tear open one of the packages, rip the perforated top off of the coffee package, then pour boiling water through it. The package turns into a make-shift coffee brewer that pours directly into your cup.

The coffee itself is made from 100% arabica beans and has a superb taste. However, the shortcoming of the product is the size. I couldn’t find any specific instructions on the package indicating how much water to use, so I set up Dr. Drip over a 16-ounce cup. The result? Brown water. I had far better success when I set it up over an 8-ounce mug. However, by the time I was finished, I still wanted more coffee. At $8.99 for a 5-pack of Dr. Drip, that works out to be $1.80 per cup of coffee–less than Starbucks, but substantially more than a home brew. (It’s worth noting that Starbucks’ VIA Coffee works out to around $0.83/package).

Pricing aside, Dr. Drip offers a high-quality, fresh tasting cup of coffee in a manner that’s rather fun, itself.

Check out Dr. Drip’s array of products at their online store.

The KeepCup – $9.00-$14.80

Did you know that 500 billion disposable coffee cups are manufactured each year? To put that into perspective, that’s enough to circumnavigate the globe 100 times. To put that into mathematical terms? Well, it’s a lot. The solution has been around for quite a while: Travel mugs. However, they present issues of their own. Many don’t keep your coffee warm, aren’t made in sizes that match that of your local coffee shop, and most simply aren’t environmentally friendly. (Not to mention the fact that most of them don’t fit into car cup holders.) The KeepCup is the solution to both wasteful disposable cups and shoddy reusable ones.

Beyond the pure environmental benefit to the KeepCup (mainly that it’s completely recyclable), the KeepCup is effective. It kept my coffee hot for 30 minutes (it may have worked for longer, I had just finished it by then) and they’re available in all standard coffee-shop sizes, including Second Cup and Starbucks. As well, it even has a removable rubber band around it that serves both as a heat-resistant grip and canvass to select your base beverage and any modifiers with a marker to simply hand over to your barista.

Perhaps the coolest part of the KeepCup, if you order them online, you can customize it in all sorts of ways–though be careful, because some of the color schemes I’ve seen make it look more like a sippy cup than anything else. The KeepCup is by far the best reusable coffee cup I’ve ever used in both design and practice.

Design and order your KeepCup at the online store.

Sara Baxter is Landmark Report's Lifestyle Editor, a role that allows her to take her love for food, wine, home and garden as well as her passion for writing and fuze them together to share the finer things of life with Landmark's readers. She is a Toronto-based photographer with an addiction to her BlackBerry and lattes.

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