Coffee pods have revolutionised the coffee industry and how people consume coffee at home.
The popularity of Nespresso is no surprise when you consider how much easier the brand has made drinking coffee. Making an espresso used to be a messy and time-consuming job. However, with the invention of the Nespresso pods, this job requires no clean up and can be completed within a few minutes.
Nespresso were the first brand to lead this innovation and for a while legally had the market cornered as they had a patent on the design. However, in 2011 the patent expired, allowing other brands to start selling Nespresso pod alternatives in the original design.
This has opened up a wide range of new Nespresso compatible pods to be launched to the market.
So, what’s the catch?
The Problem With Coffee Pods and Capsules
The ideal material to produce Nespresso pods is aluminium. This metal is strong but also light and flexible. It is able to protect the coffee inside and retain its strong flavour.
Making the Nespresso pods out of aluminium therefore reduced the weight of the products and cut the costs of transportation.
Even though Nespresso pods and most Nespresso pod alternatives are technically recyclable, you'll need to open, empty and clean them before you can throw them into your household recycling bin.
This is long, time consuming and goes against the convenience of the Nespresso pod design.
Over 56,000,000,000 (56 Billion!) pods are consumed around the world every year, with 350,000,000 of those capsules being thrown away in the UK alone and as each aluminium pod takes roughly 500 years to decompose, it is clear to see that these pods are having a large impact on the environment.
Can You Recycle Nespresso pods?
Over the years various coffee pod brands have set up recycling schemes. It's a definitely a step in the right direction for sustainability.
However, these schemes aren't super-convenient and again go against the premise of using Nespresso pods in the first place.
Some have drop off locations where you leave your used Nespresso pods, meaning you do not have to deal with the cleaning and recycling of the pod. Unfortunately these spots can be far and few between and many people won't have easy access to the drop off spots.
For those who do live far, or can't be bothered to go to the pod recycling point then they can purchase a Dualit EcoPress, a gadget that enables you to empty your used capsules of coffee grounds so you can rinse and recycle the aluminium in your regular recycling bin.
As we know the easiest and most convenient way is to just throw the whole pod in the bin.
This is why compostable pods are so amazing, you can throw the whole pod in your regular bin or food waste bin (to be industrially composted) and your pod will decompose in 6 months.
Industrial advancements have enabled coffee pod-making companies, such as Nespresso, to use alternative materials that are vegan and compostable. These materials are better for the environment and don’t compromise the quality of our favourite coffee products.
Nowadays, there are so many different Nespresso alternatives that are compostable, biodegradable, and recyclable.
It seems that there are endless options available when you’re looking for an eco-friendly coffee pod. Just one search online and you will get hundreds of products appearing in your searches.
If you already own a Nespresso coffee machine, you probably don’t want to get rid of it. Coffee machines can be expensive! Luckily, there are lots of environmentally friendly Nespresso compatible pods that you can buy to use in your existing coffee machine.
The question on everybody’s mind is ‘which of these Nespresso pods and Nespresso alternatives is the best?’
Which Coffee Pod Brands Are Compostable?
Not all brands have compostable/biodegradable or recyclable coffee pods, so it is important to do some research before your throw your Nespresso pod in the bin or compost!
Below is a list of the top coffee pod brands and how they compare:
|Brand||Recyclable pods||Compostable pods|
As you can see not many brands have compostable options.
The top three Nespresso alternatives that are compostable and/or vegan are:
- Rejuvenation Water Nespresso Compatible Keto Coffee Pods
- Rejuvenation Water Turmeric & Beetroot Health Pods
- Rejuvenation Water Nespresso Compatible Matcha Energy Health Pods
1. Rejuvenation Water Nespresso Compatible Keto Coffee Pods
For those of you who are following the ketogenic diet, the Rejuvenation Water Nespresso compatible keto coffee pods are the perfect option and a great alternative to Nespresso pods. Keto coffee has a wide range of benefits, including weight loss, increased focus, and enhanced mental clarity.
Drinking the keto coffee Nespresso compatible pods in the mornings can help you to prolong your fast for several more hours, and therefore, remain in a ketogenic state for longer. This encourages your body to use fats as an energy source as opposed to glucose, and can boost your weight loss.
Once you have created your coffee using the pods, you can add a range of additional ingredients to enhance the flavour. The Rejuvenation Water keto coffee tastes great with a sprinkle of stevia, cocoa powder, or cinnamon.
Better yet, these compostable Nespresso pods are vegan. Whether you are plant-based, vegan, or dairy-free, these pods are suitable for you!
These pods are available in a range of options: £7.99 for 10 pods, £19.99 for 30 pods, £39.99 for 100 pods.
2. Rejuvenation Water Nespresso Compatible Turmeric & Beetroot Pods
If you have a Nespresso coffee machine but you’re looking for more eco-friendly alternatives to your usual Nespresso pods, the Rejuvenation Water Nespresso compatible compostable turmeric & beetroot pods (health pods) are a great option.
Not only do these pods create a delicious hot or cold drink that is a great Nespresso alternative, but they also provide you with a range of essential nutrients. Beetroot and turmeric are packed full of vitamins C and D.
They also contain prebiotic fibre, which feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut. When you’re gut bacteria or healthy and thriving, so are you!
The rejuvenation water health pods are low in calories and low in sugar. If you are on a weight loss journey, they make a great alternative to calorie dense, high-sugar lattes and mochas!
These pods are also available in a few different packet sizes: £7.99 for 10 pods, £19.99 for 30 pods, £39.99 for 100 pods.
3. Rejuvenation Water Nespresso Compatible Matcha Energy Health Pods
The Rejuvenation Water Nespresso compatible compostable matcha energy health pods are fully compostable and are one of a kind, no other company has matcha tea in the form of a Nespresso compatible pod. This makes them one of the best Nespresso alternatives.
The premium organic Japanese matcha used in these pods is enriched with plant prebiotic fibre and a range of B vitamins. You get a delicious and flavoursome hot drink whilst boosting your nutrient intake.
These matcha energy Nespresso alternatives are available in packs of 10 pods and are priced at £7.99.
How to Enjoy Nespresso Pods
Once you’ve purchased your compostable, vegan coffee pods, how can you make your hot and cold drinks extra enjoyable?
Here are some great ways to enjoy your healthy Nespresso pods.
Make it Milky and Frothy
If you love a milky latte, you can use the Nespresso alternatives to create a delicious, milky latte. They’re perfect to make on a relaxing weekend morning when you’re in no rush to leave the house.
Use a milk frother or whisk to get lots of froth on top of your hot latte and sprinkle a touch of cinnamon on top for some extra flavour.
The best milk to use if you are following the keto diet is unsweetened coconut milk, or almond milk.
Enjoy An Iced Coffee
On a hot summer’s day, there’s nothing better than a cool iced coffee. The Rejuvenation water Nespresso alternatives are perfect for creating delicious iced coffees. Simply brew the coffee in your machine as usual and add lots of ice and a splash of milk.
If you want to make flavoured iced coffee, add a touch of vanilla extract.
Make it Keto
Keto coffee is an energy-boosting option that is perfect for those of you who are fasting. Enjoy a hot cup of coffee without raising your blood sugar levels or spiking your insulin.
It's easy to make a keto coffee using our Nespresso compatible key coffee pods. Simply brew the coffee as usual in your coffee machine using our pods and enjoy as they already MCT oil blended into them! If you are looking to boost the fat even more, add butter or if you want to make your keto coffee vegan, you can use a plant-based fat source, such as coconut cream.
Are Reusable Coffee Pods Worth Buying?
If you're not looking to produce any waste at all then yes, metal reusable coffee pods are worth the purchase.
Another added benefit is that you can choose whatever ground coffee you would like to fill your reusable Nespresso pods up with.
The downside of reusable pods is that you miss out on revolutionary coffee alternatives like our Nespresso compatible health pods.
Plus there is the added time of adding the coffee to the pod, sealing it and then washing it out after each use.
Are Other Methods of Coffee Brewing More Sustainable?
Of course Nespresso pods are not the only way to brew your morning coffee. If you were really worried about your impact on the planet would another method be more suitable and be more environmentally friendly?
Research by KTH in Stockholm found that filter coffee actually had the largest impact on the environment as it uses more beans per single cup than any brewing method.
Compared to a Nespresso capsules 5.7 grams, filtered coffee averages 7 grams of coffee beans, which when you account all the billions of cups of coffee drank every year, it soon adds up.
The water, energy, fertiliser use and greenhouse gas emissions produced to grow the coffee beans is where the largest effect on the environment comes from.
This is why second to instant coffee, Nespresso compatible coffee pods are the most environmentally method as they use so little coffee. Pair that with a compostable pod and your morning coffee isn't costing the earth!
By Alex Warmisham ANutr - Nutritionist at Rejuvenation Water