Over the last few years, single-cup coffee makers have gone mainstream and become a staple in offices and restaurants across the country. These machines, made popular by brands like Keurig and Nespresso, use specially made capsules with pre-measured levels of coffee grinds in order to brew anywhere from a single cup to a whole carafe of fresh coffee.
However, these capsules aren’t without drawbacks, and many sophisticated coffee drinkers are choosing new, soft coffee pods over traditional plastic capsules. Let’s break down the difference between K-Cups and coffee pods.
How do K-Cups work?
K-Cups are the industry standard, manufactured by Keurig/Green Mountain and used in most automated coffee makers. These plastic capsules contain a specific level of coffee grinds as well as a small paper filter. They are sealed with aluminum foil. When inserted into the machine, needles puncture the top and bottom seals, creating a path for hot water to flow through the grounds and into your cup.
How do coffee pods work?
Just like K-Cups, soft coffee pods require a brew mech that is specially molded to secure the pod during extraction, like our CX Touch or Fresh Cup Touch. Soft coffee pods are designed to make one cup at a time, but are made with far fewer materials. Instead of a hard plastic shell, most pods are entirely made up of paper or silk, which is sealed in a foil packet to lock in freshness. Their flat, disc-like shape also increases the surface area for water to come into contact with the coffee grounds. This means more flavor and aroma is extracted from the grounds, improving the overall quality of each cup.
Are K-Cups Recyclable?
One of the biggest disadvantages of traditional K-Cups is that their all-in-one design makes them difficult to recycle. Unless consumers separate and recycle each material individually, the cups typically end up in landfills. Because the plastic is not biodegradable, the cups will not break down naturally, and will stay in the ecosystem forever. Some companies use a specific bio-plastic, but this needs to be separated before recycling.
Are Coffee Pods Recyclable?
Soft coffee pods, on the other hand, are compostable. This means that the pods not only break down naturally, but also provide the surrounding soil with nutrients in the process. There are no plastic cups to throw away, or components to separate. In fact, there are several creative ways to dispose of your coffee pods and benefit the environment, such as tilling them into your garden or adding them to your compost bin.
At Newco, we’re helping our customers succeed–one cup at a time. For more than 40 years, we’ve pioneered brewing systems for coffee and tea that combine the latest technology and sleek styles. View our complete line of brewing equipment and accessories, or contact one of our representatives to learn how professionally crafted beverages will change your business for the better.