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Generation Pod Needs To Wake Up And Smell The Instant Coffee

Better latte than never.

I'll admit it (don't tell anyone) -- sometimes I have instant coffee.

Shh! Not so loud, I can hear your response already.

It was with some surprise and a little awe that when pouring a cup on the weekend, my wife and I had the question from our niece: "What's that?" To which we responded, "What, the cup?"

No, she was referring to that jar of brown, granulated stuff we were putting in the cup.

It dawned on us she had genuinely never seen instant coffee before. How could this be? Why, her parents love coffee.

"How does coffee come, then?" I asked, expecting a response about "beans" or "the coffee shop".

"In pods," she said, emphatic, plain and with conviction. Why did we not know this? Outrageous.

Then it dawned on me -- what else do I clearly not understand about this world I've been living in quite comfortably until now? Plenty it seems:

  • Music: downloads/Pandora. CDs are apparently now used to keep birds out of the veggie patch;
  • Photos: Snapchat, Instagram, iPhone, iPad -- dare I get the photo album out?
  • Postcards: nope, take a 'selfie' on holidays #YOLO
  • Rain: the radar shows there is rain coming this afternoon. Shall we walk and hedge our bets with an umbrella?

I know there is no real evidence or factual basis for the generalisation of personality by generation. Trends, fads, crazes, perhaps, or maybe it's just nice to group things in memorable chunks.

But have the coffee pods pushed us around a corner, onto a new trajectory of sorts?

When I think about what coffee pods are, they represent a microcosm of life and the direction we are taking.

They are:

  • Expensive -- $1 a pop?
  • Convenient
  • Environmentally dubious
  • Tailor-made for specific machines and brands (Can I have an IP lawyer please?)
  • Out and proud on the bench of any respectable home owner
  • A status symbol -- so sleek, glossy and streamlined, they may have been tested in a wind tunnel.

I've never really thought about owning a pod machine before... And now I want one. I have to have one. I'm off to the shops to get one.

But should I walk or drive? Damn that weather app! My niece says, "Why don't you just get one online?"

As I sat down to ponder my options, the beverage I was thinking of had somehow well and truly moved on from coffee.


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