For many coffee lovers, capsules are an easy way to enjoy a quick cup of coffee. The idea of plopping in the plastic pod and pressing a button is appealing - but at what cost? Even though they’re marketed as convenient and affordable, the reality is that coffee capsules are sold at high premiums and are not the most optimal way to get a good cup of coffee. Additionally, pods that are made out of plastic or aluminum are harmful to the environment.
Fortunately, there is an alternative that can help you get a quick fix of great coffee while saving money (and the planet). Think automatic coffee machine and coffee bean subscriptions!
Read on to find out where coffee capsules fall behind, and why automatic coffee machines are a much more convenient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly alternative.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF COFFEE CAPSULES VS AUTOMATIC COFFEE MACHINES
The coffee capsule market started taking off in the early 2000s. Their main selling point was the convenience and elegance they allow coffee drinkers at home - however, this has come at a huge cost to the environment. According to a study by the European Coffee Federation, around 56 billion single-use coffee capsules were produced worldwide in 2019 alone. These capsules are mostly made of plastic, which is not biodegradable and can take up to 500 years to decompose.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF COFFEE CAPSULES
Coffee capsules are better than other forms of coffee brewing methods because they don’t overuse coffee or water. With many coffee brewing methods, drinkers use 20% more coffee and 50% more water than needed. While capsules help overcome this, their main impact remains: single-use capsules end up in landfills and are a contributor to environmental pollution.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF AUTOMATIC COFFEE MACHINES
Automatic coffee machines give you the best of both worlds. They’re more convenient than pod machines, and more environmentally friendly. With an automatic coffee machine, you don’t even need to think of inserting pods, you simply press start and refill the bean tank every 6-8 cups of coffee. Additionally, automatic coffee machines use exactly the amount of water and coffee required to brew each cup of coffee meaning they leave no waste at all. In fact, you can even recycle the coffee grounds that an automatic coffee machine creates (you can make coffee scrubs, fertilizer, and much more!)
THE COST OF COFFEE CAPSULES VS WHOLE BEANS
The convenience of coffee pods comes at a cost.
HOW MUCH WILL COFFEE PODS COST YEARLY?
Some brands of coffee pods can be quite expensive, costing up to $1.30 or more per pod, while other brands may be more affordable, with pods costing around $1 each. While purchasing a single pod may not seem like a big expense, it can add up over time. For example, if you drink one coffee pod per day, at a cost of $1 per pod, that adds up to $30 per month or $365 per year. This cost can be even higher for people who consume multiple pods per day or have multiple coffee drinkers at home.
HOW MUCH WILL WHOLE BEANS COST YEARLY?
The cost per cup of coffee made with whole beans is less expensive than using coffee pods.
When using whole beans with an automatic coffee machine, the cost will vary depending on the type of beans used.
For example, a pound of whole-bean coffee can produce around 40 cups of coffee, depending on how strong you like your coffee. If a pound of whole-bean coffee costs $20, that breaks down to a cost of approximately 50 cents per cup. This is comparable to the cost of some more affordable coffee pods, but with the added benefit of being able to customize the strength and flavor of your coffee.
WHY AUTOMATIC COFFEE MACHINES ARE BETTER THAN CAPSULE MACHINES
While coffee pods may be marketed as convenient and affordable, they come at a high cost to both our wallets and the environment. The single-use plastic and aluminum capsules are not biodegradable and contribute to environmental pollution.
On the other hand, automatic coffee machines offer a more sustainable and cost-effective alternative. Not only do they use exactly the amount of water and coffee required to brew each cup, but they also allow for customization and reuse of the coffee grounds.
The cherry on top? Automatic coffee machines produce coffee that’s much more fresh and tasty. While coffee capsules are packed with pre-ground coffee, automatic coffee machines brew using whole beans. The whole beans are ground per cup of coffee, meaning your cup of coffee is as fresh as it can be.
By switching to an automatic coffee machine, you can enjoy your daily coffee without the guilt of harming the environment or your bank account.