My wife just tossed her Keurig, and she is so much happier. She had forgotten what it was like to wake up to the smell of brewing coffee,and able to get her 2-3 cups instantly instead of waiting for each cup. She does miss some of the flavors, but now is more likely to add a little cocoa to the grounds the night before, or toss in some fresh vanilla with her real cream.
So .. to keep on topic ... from my experience, most things that introduce a labor saving mechanism in the kitchen change the characteristics of the food. I make pizza dough in a stand mixer every week or two. Last week, I couldn't find the dough hook and made it by hand for the first time in months. It was so much better, the kneading that I did made a dough with better texture than the dough hook. Probably because as I knead, I can feel the dough and know when it's done. Now, to be fair, it could be that I just don't do it right with the dough hook. But .. since it produced a pizza dough that was serviceable, I didn't really care. At the time.
The hand grinders I used as a kid did a better job than the using the food processor, we had much more control and it produced far more consistent texture. It is far easier to over beat egg whites using a hand mixer than doing it by hand.
I appreciate the labor saving devices, and have a microwave, food processor, stand mixer, electric knife, and ice cream maker to name a few. I use them often. Love the ice cream maker, my wife won't even eat store bought ice cream anymore. But I kinda miss the hand cranked one, I just can't seem to get the same consistency that machine did.
For something special, I almost always drop back to doing it without them. I find there is a better connection to food for me when hand mixing, hand chopping, and hand shaping that I don't get letting a machine do it and just watching.
Several years ago, I spent time in India. While there, I got over the Western taboo of eating with my hands. I now find myself being watched at restaurants as I tend to still eat some of my meal with my hand, it somehow seems to make the experience more satisfying.
In our current mobile-phone addled society, I suppose the quality of the food isn't as important as it used to be. I admit that my wife and I tend to eat dinner with the TV on because the kitchen table usually has some project on it. We didn't use to when we first got married, I always made it a habit of turning that damn thing off because she is such a great cook.
Now, I'm not a food snob. Even though I appreciate good food, my wife and I also can enjoy fish sticks and Kraft macaroni and cheese for dinner. I've been known to hanker for B&M baked beans and hot dogs and chastise my wife to not add anything to them; she is often tempted to 'tart them up' and make them her own.
Appreciating the difference between Gortons fish sticks and a hand grilled mahi mahi is not the same as turning ones nose up at Gortons. All food has flavor, and I have the opinion that if I feel food A is better than food B, it only pertains to me and no one else.
But I'm afraid that the more we move towards Keurig, the less people will know how food can really taste when done by hand. And they won't have the skills to do it when the zombie apocalypse finally hits.
Brain ceviche anyone???