10 Fascinating Things You Never Knew About Keurig Coffee Makers

Apparently one of the inventors doesn't even use the brewer anymore.

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When Keurig landed in homes in 2003, they basically reinvented everyone's morning routine. No longer did you have to brew an entire pot of coffee or skip your caffeine fix altogether (the horror!) if you didn't live with coffee drinkers. But here's what you probably don't know about the machine's history and how it ended up on so many kitchen counters:

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1 The word "Keurig" means "excellence" in Dutch.
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Back in the early 1990s, John Sylvan and Peter Dragone (former college roommates) set out to revolutionize the way coffee was brewed by creating single-serving pods that make individual cups. When naming the appliance, Sylvan pulled out a and chose "Keurig" since their hope was to provide an "excellent" gourmet cup of coffee at all times.

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2 One of the founders got a case of caffeine poisoning while creating the prototype.
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On a spring afternoon in 1995, Sylvan started experiencing a throbbing headache and tunnel vision, so he was swiftly driven to the emergency room. After a series of questions, doctors finally asked him how much coffee he drinks daily. His response? Around — all in the name of testing his invention and revolutionizing the way the world would make their morning cup of joe.

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3 Green Mountain Coffee played a major role in the company.
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In 1993, the founders were still making the pods by hand and looking for guidance and funding. Enter: who saw the company's potential and therefore invested. But that's where the problems started for Sylvan, who told the this is when everything went downhill for him personally, "I didn't get along with them… I didn't agree with any of their strategies." In the end, Sylvan was forced out and demanded the company buy his stake in 1997 (for which he received over $50,000) and Dragone left a few months later. By 2006, Green Mountain Coffee owned all of Keurig Inc.

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4 At first, the appliance was launched for office use only.
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Distribution began in offices in New York City and New England in 1998 — and it wasn't until 2004 that the company had their first prototype for home use. Today, there are brewers for dorm rooms, hotel rooms, and small and larger offices.

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5 The majority of the company's profit comes from K-Cup sales.
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Since these pods are not reusable, people who use this brewer need to buy new K-Cups on the regular — which adds up, fast. In 2010 the company sold more than $330 million worth of brewers and well over .

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6 There are over 500 different beverage varieties.
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From more than 75 different brands, which includes the top 10 coffee brands in the country. But K-Cups aren't just limited to coffee: There also offer tea, hot chocolate, cider, and more.

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7 But the company has undergone serious flack for its environmental waste.
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A New York Times article that criticized the pods for not being recyclable or biodegradable started it all, as it pointed out that the pods were resulting in landfills full of millions of these plastic containers. But now refillable K-Cups helps curb this waste, and the company by 2020.

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8 Today, one of the inventors doesn't even use a Keurig.
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To be fair, he also had quite the fall-out from the company (as we noted above). But Sylvan told that Keurigs are expensive and followed that up by saying: "It's not like drip coffee is tough to make." Fair enough.

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9 There's now a Keurig for cold drinks — hello, soda!
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It's called the Keurig Kold and it creates single servings of soda, seltzer, and even cocktails. We'll cheers to that.

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10 You have to clean it way more often than you probably realize.
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You should do a deep clean four times every year. How? Start by washing the removable pieces (like the reservoir, tray, and K-Cup holder) in warm, soapy water. Then de-scale the inside of the machine with white vinegar (or ) to rid your appliance of bacteria and filth.

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