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Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR)’s Worst K-Cup Yet: Unilever N.V. (ADR) (UN), Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)

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Investors reacted positively to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR)‘ K-Cup deal with Unilever N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:UL)’s venerated Lipton tea brand. The only problem is that it’s ridiculous. Since when is making a cup of hot tea the old-fashioned way that hard?

Single-serve coffee makes perfect sense. It’s easier to churn out one cup of coffee instead of grinding beans, measuring amounts, and making a whole pot that may go to waste. It’s perfect for people who need just one cup to go in the morning, or those whose family’s coffee tastes differ; it’s a great way to deal with various opinions on, say, hazelnut. For the latter reason, it makes total sense in the office, too.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR)However, the problem with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR)’s Lipton deal is that unless you’re talking about the more languid tradition of brewing a pot using loose tea, hot tea has pretty much been a single-serve beverage for ages.

Tea bags have been around for more than a century, with patents showing up around in the early 1900s. Lipton formed thereafter, and sources say Lipton’s then-innovative “Flo-Thru” tea bag hit the market in the 1950s.

The real-world truth is that brewing tea in tea bags is already convenient. It simply consists of boiling water and putting a tea bag in a cup of hot water. (Some even reuse the tea bag again, another money-saving attribute you won’t get with a K-Cup or other single-serve pod.)

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