• Keurig coffee machine

Keurig coffee machine (Photo : Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

Keurig's coffee machines and K-Cups are the cash cows of a multibillion-dollar empire. However, the inventor of the company's coffee technology, John Sylvan, regrets that his invention is addictive, pricey, and wasteful.

While one-third of American homes have pod-based coffee machines, Sylvan thought they would exclusively be used in offices. He admitted, "I don't have one," according to The Atlantic.

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In the early 1990s John Sylvan invented the K-cup brewing system. Then in 1997 he sold the company for $50,000. The owner of Keurig's parent company, Keurig Green Mountain, now has a net worth of $1.3 billion.

However, selling the company is not what disappoints Keurig the most. In a recent interview Sylvan described the K-Cup system as addictive as cigarettes, according to CNET.

Sylvan also feels that Keurig's coffee system is too expensive. By charging $40 per pound for basic coffee grounds, Keurig Green Mountain earned $4.7 billion in revenue, in 2014.

There is more. The Keurig 2.0 platform burns DRM Digital Restrictions Management) protections into the official brewers. So trying to use unofficial K-Cup coffee pods is like a square peg in a round hole.

 In terms of their environment impact, Keurig sold 9.8 billion pods in 2014. In all fairness this includes the recyclable K-Carafe and Vue style pods, but also the non-biodegradable original K-Cups  

Sylan explained why the old-style cups are not recyclable. The reason is that they are made from a four-layer plastic.

However, coffee drinkers have several options besides Keurig in terms of coffeemakers, with drip coffee making a huge comeback. By using them correctly one can make a truly tasty pot of java.