Only passionate coffee lovers will agree to this. They are very particular about their cup, favor and experience of the coffee purchased. There’s more than the balance in sweet and bitter tastes and aroma. From the brewing techniques, water/ milk temperature, froth to coffee beans roast varieties, grow. Everything matters. This reminds us of the U.S based roastery, distributer and local/regional/national premium coffee distributor producer Split Rock Coffee that offers some finest coffee blends brought from Columbia. Coffee preparation is not everybody’s cup of tea. Out of frustration of not getting the desired coffee taste, many tend to keep coffee machines at homes and offices. Not to mention, they are convenient, easy to use, and quick. So you don’t have to walk down to a coffee shop to get your favourite coffee every morning.
Everything You Must to Know About Ecopods and Why
This brings us to the fact that with the rise in demand for pod coffee machines, there has been a rise in the use of pods and K cups or capsules. According to National Coffee Association, there has been a 10% rise in usage of coffee capsules in the past decade. Currently, single-cup brewing systems generate an income of more than 50,000 U.S Dollars. Competitive markets like this allow room for improvements in the product. Coffee lovers want to enjoy their drinks without compromising on the sustainability factor. Lately, there has been some buzz about ecopods coffee. Single-use K-cups or capsules in coffee machines produce much plastic waste annually, given 200 million capsules are used every day. Every pod gets straightaway dumped in the garbage. The environmental hazards are prompting people to shift towards more environment-friendly choices. After all, coffee lovers do not want to sip in guilt. Ecopods seem to be ticking that spot.
There has been a lot of confusion about what it exactly means. This article explains all about eco pods, should you use them, how much do ecopods cost, and everything else. Let’s get started.
What are Ecopods?
As you may think, eco pods don’t simply mean biodegradable coffee pods. If we break down the term, ‘eco’ and ‘pod’ have different connotations. Pods and k-cups are interchangeably used though they are different. Pods are flat disk-like coffee pads, while k cups are sealed cartridges usually made of plastic. Eco pods available in the market mostly refer to the sealed cartridge version. So when we are talking about ecopods, it’s the capsules and not the pads. Plus, the plastic use is abandoned for ecopods. Some companies twist the term to their advantage, calling their product eco-friendly.
For a product to be eco friendly, it should be at least one of the following:
So can you put an aluminium coffee pod in the ecopod category since they are recyclable? Nope. The recycling cost takes away the ‘sustainable’ tag. Also, refillable capsules reduce the amount of daily waste to a large extent along with the expenses. So they may be good alternatives despite being nonbiodegradable. But with limited sustainability. They are going to the dumps at some point. Ultimately, they too leave a carbon footprint. So both don’t fall under the green category, yet they have their perks. When it’s about ecopods coffee, we expect every component to be either biodegradable or can be made into compost easily. No part of it should leave any toxin in the soil when dumped. This brings us to our next part.
Eco pods vs Other Coffee Capsules
Talking about the design, usually, a capsule has three components.
Ecopods have all their components plant-based. The lid is made of paper, and the ring is either wood or corn beet and a mesh filter. Some brands are using cornstarch-based bioplastics to learn the eco-credentials. But these materials require a complex industrial process and suitable conditions for composting. Plastic capsules are even harder to break down. The lid is usually foiled, and the ring is made of metal. Some parts may be recyclable. But for that, the parts need to be dissembled. Nobody takes that trouble. So the recycled material doesn’t get recycled.
Should You Choose Regular Coffee Pods or Switch to Ecopods?
You can decide that based on a few parameters mentioned below.
Coffee Prices Are Still About Quality
The price may majorly depend on the coffee quality of the capsules. For both ecopods and regular coffee capsules, it may range from 10-40 U.S dollars for a pack of 1 containing 12 sets. So there isn’t much difference in the price point. Reusable k cups may come at a higher cost, but they reduce the overall expense in the longer run.
Availability Is Always The Best Ability For Eco-hopefuls
Since ecopods coffee have only recently emerged, they are yet to flood the market. Though, you might find a few of them online. On the other hand, regular pods have been around for the longest period, so they are easily available in retail shops and online.
Coffee Is Biodegradability/Compostable:
Ecopods are meant to be biodegradable. However, the compostable or not factor varies for each brand. Some easily break down in short duration so they can be home-composted. Other ecopods need to go through the industry-composting process. Regular coffee pods are non-biodegradable.
Dramatically Reduces Coffee “Carbon Footprint” Waste
Ecopods completely break down into organic matter. The coffee residue in capsules also enriches the soil. No part gets wasted. So ecopods not only satisfy your caffeine craving but also help your home garden blossom. The wastage from regular coffee pods depends on the manufacturing. But most of them end up in landfills. Reportedly, ten billion K-cups get dumped in landfills every year only in North America. Hence they contribute to pollution to a large extent.
Finding That Same Premium Coffee Feel, Taste, Touch
Ecopods supposedly produce the same aroma and flavours as regular pods. Though customer reviews several from eco pod brands suggest that the brewing process is much efficient in ecopods. The flavours and the aroma come out strong.
From the above facts, one can understand that ecopods are the best option for any pod coffee lover if they are trying to make a sustainable choice.
Before Switching to Coffee Blends Sealed In Ecopods
As we explained earlier, not all so-called eco-friendly cups are ecopods. But when the ultimate goal is to cause less environmental impact, you can choose whichever floats your boat. But before making a switch to ecopods, there are things you can check before purchasing.
- We’re proud to say we’ve received a few endorsements that made our month!
- Check for the Plastic-free trademark logo. This may be applied to both reusable cups as well as ecopods. Either way, you know you are making a better choice.
- All ecopods brands are certified by Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). So if a brand mentions this on their package, you don’t have to worry whether you can dump it in your composter after use.
Coffee Compatibility Is Essential
- A major thing to look out for would be the compatibility factor. People often ask, can ecopods be used in a k cup coffee brewer? The answer is yes and no. Some single-serve coffee machines require cups that open on both ends along with a separate filter paper. In this option, you brew your coffee. Others require only a sealed capsule, and the rest of the brewing work is done by the machine itself. Eco pods may work only for the latter.
Challenges Involved Are Known To Fade With A dose Of Our Warm & Cold Brews
Before It Reaches Customs Our Coffee Specialists Inspect Compost Type
To make a product compostable, it has to pass certain standards, like home certified or industry-certified compostable. Both have their challenges. The home-certified compostable pods are manufactured with technology that increases the price bar. This would discourage people from buying it. Using the industry-certified compostable pods would mean if don’t have to compost them ourselves. But when they go to the landfill, it’s a cumbersome task to separate them from other degradable greens.
Since the development of eco pods is still in a nascent stage, the total energy consumption while manufacturing nullifies the sustainable factor. More research is required to bring the best technology in building these products in an eco-friendly manner. A few eco pod brands have started using renewable energy for the same.
Creating awareness among people about the environmental impact these little plastic coffee pods have is the need of the hour. We can tell people to switch to biodegradable/ compostable coffee pods, but we also need to know how to do it. Home composters also require aerating and watering the compost from time to time.
The capsule body needs to be made with a material that is not only biodegradable but can also tolerate hot brewing water. Usually, it requires 205 degrees Fahrenheit for a perfect brew. Such pods, especially the home compostable, may not be able to handle the pressure and start breaking down in the machine itself. Thus, spoiling the coffee taste. Also, the manufacturers need to make sure that no toxic elements should be released from the capsule material whatsoever.
These challenges require efficient monitoring and mitigation. If handled correctly and improved infrastructure and sufficient funding, eco pods could be the new future of pod coffee.