Keurig's K-Cup coffee DRM cracked


So, presumably there an RFID tag on every pod? What about the reusable pods?


Good work hardware/software hackers and now a pass to law hackers. Is this just a single cup drip machine?

What I want at home is a semi-automated Aeropress; a combined ceramic bean grinder, perfectly measured adjustable water temp, and does the press part for me with adjustable press speed and depth. Maybe just a lever to inject and mix the water into the grounds and some mechanical advantage help with the press.
An Aeropress, Able fine metal filter, and a Hario ceramic grinder are my indispensable coffee kit for travel and home but the system could be more ergonomic when I have all of the space I need, especially with the Able fine filter.

Pretty sure they make money on the coffee makers too.

I use one at work where k-cups are better than the crap folgers sitting around for 4 hours at a time but I actually need to work not spend time grinding, heating water to aeropress the perfect cup.


I’ll stick to my current method for making coffee, I guess. I grind five tablespoons of beans early in the evening, put the grounds in a pint jar, fill the jar up with water, put on a lid, give it a good shake, and leave it until breakfast. I have a drip coffeemaker that uses #4 filters, which conveniently holds a pint and won’t pour unless there’s a carafe underneath. So I give it another shake, pour it in a filter, and wait a while. No weird, wasteful coffee maker involved, and I dump the filter into the compost pile, so wins all around.

It was thanks to Cory’s enthusiasm for cold coffee, and my dual desire for a decent cup of coffee and frugality, that led me to that method. Thanks, Cory!


If they fancy a lawsuit, they’d better have a very, very, clever reason why Lexmark Int’l v. Static Control Components. isn’t trivially applicable.


Why are people so intrigued with hacking the worst device for making coffee?


Agreed. That effort should have been put toward hacking a Keurig to emit coffee worth drinking.


Good on them. I use my old Kurig everyday, but I use either the fill your own reusable cups or - if I’m in a rush - whatever discount K-cup knockoff I have in the pantry. If I had to buy the special Bless-By-DRM cups, I wouldn’t have bought it.

I like my coffee like I like my women - Bitter and Murky. And my Kurig does that fine one cup at a time.


You’re welcome!

You should try a nut-milk bag, though – so much easier to clean up!


It’s a pleasure, verging on a moral duty, to put control freaks who step out of line back in line. Ideally as brutally as legally possible. DRM is a direct, provocative, assertion of control. Such assertions should be challenged.


…and coffee pods are not copyrighted works…



Keurig should go into partnership with Disney and make their coffee pods in the shape of Mickey Mouse.


Drug cartels, man.


I was curious what the “DRM” consisted of. A couple of links down I found this gem:

[quote]The employee wouldn’t elaborate on how it worked, except to say that
the ink is proprietary and inspired by counterfeiting technology used by
the US Mint. Ian Tinkler, Keurig’s vice president of brewer
engineering, went into a bit more detail, explaining that an infrared
light shines on the ink marking and registers the wavelength of the
light reflected back.[/quote]

Their DRM is a specific color of paint. That’s it. That’s an insult to DRM. I can’t believe their competitors managed to crack that system, it would have taken like a camera or something.

I guess I can’t be mad that they fucked this up so badly because it was an evil idea to begin with, but the technologist in me had come up with a couple of cheap and virtually uncrackable DRM schemes they could have gone with when I heard the announcement and it pains me to see someone do something so incompetently. I was expecting people to have to buy modchips for their coffee makers and solder them in to bypass the DRM, not simply buy a pot of IR paint.


BTW, “A small thermal exhaust port right below the main port”, did anyone at a certain age find a barely hidden anatomical joke about firing a projectile into a smaller port right below a larger port that releases warm exhaust sometimes?
The 70’s were great.

Ahh, now I see. I had a K-cup brewer that died after several years, and was replaced last year with one of the newer Vue brewers (which, while it doesn’t make the best cup of coffee, still makes a far better cup than the K-cups do). However, it seems like the Vue cups have had a hard time gaining traction with the public, as most grocery stores don’t sell them (though they do stock K-cups), and I end up having to go to stores that sell the Keurig brewers themselves or ordering them online.

I got an email about the new “Keurig 2.0” machine just the other day, which seems to be the first machine to include the new DRM. This machine accepts both the K-cups and Vue cups, which I figured was a move by Keurig to save their Vue cup business from failing. Interesting that this is the point where they also choose to make their first movie in a DRM war.

Also, considering that this new brewer is supposed to accept all of the K-cups and Vue cups made to date, I wonder how they’re making this work? Did they start adding the DRM paint (or whatever) to their coffee pods a long time ago, in anticipation of this move? Or are there people who are going to buy this machine and discover that a bunch of their existing coffee pods don’t work?

if keurig’s new brewers haven’t been released yet, how did the engineers get access to enough data to crack the scheme?

Nevermind, found the answer to my question in one of the other articles on the site:

This is going to cause some serious consumer dissatisfaction for a while. Early adopters are likely going to have to learn the hard way about the DRM, as they discover that the coffee pods that they just bought won’t work with their new brewers.

…assuming the VP of engineering knows all the details, and released all the details.

Also, aren’t there materials that shift incoming light so it reflects back at a different wavelength? I seem to recall something about butterfly wings. That would be kind of hard to spoof.