Reusable Coffee Pods vs Urban Brew Pods

Reusable Coffee Pods vs Urban Brew Pods

To make coffee great

As raging coffee lovers, we expect a lot from a cup of coffee. Not just the ability to magically get you enjoying the company of those around you, but also flavour, warmth, and that crucial wake-up kick.

When purchasing pods and brewing coffee at home, we want barista-quality coffee at a great price – without having to go through the necessary training courses to get one.

But in this day and age, we want something more than just a quick, easy, and delicious cup of coffee. We want something that does all of that, whilst still not impacting the environment

What’s a coffee lover to do?

Here at Urban Brew, we have attempted to solve this dilemma by providing industrial compostable pods as we move towards developing and manufacturing Australias first ever home compostable pod.

Our pods, and the following business, were made with these necessities in mind:

  1. Quality, flavour, and strength
  2. Eco-friendly in production, packaging, and disposal
  3. Value per dollar spent

So, sit back, relax, and let us tell you how we’re changing coffee for the better.

So, what is a pod?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let us explain exactly what a coffee pod is.

The first coffee pods hit the market in 2001.

They are a single-serving coffee container that comes in all different shapes and sizes depending on the type of machines and brands they are compatible with.

Nespresso is generally the most popular brand in Australia, however, some other names you might know are LOR, Caffitaly, KFEE, Vittoria, etc.

To use a pod, water is poured into the coffee machine and then pumped through the pod.

This water releases the flavour as the coffee within the pod is brewed and filtered out of the bottom, into your mug. The grounds are left within your pod to be thrown away or reused (we’ll get to this part later).

The name ‘coffee pod’ can be used for either a plastic or aluminium capsule with a foil top (such as the ones Urban Brew make) or an individually packed disc-shaped pod – like a tea bag.

You might have also heard the term ‘capsule’ being used when describing our pods. This is perfectly fine as well, however, we usually just call them ‘pods’ here at Urban Brew.

 

What are the pros and cons of coffee pods?

So now you know what a pod is, what is the big deal about them? What’s the good and the bad?

Pros

You don’t have to grind beans or measure grounds.

You don’t have to worry about water temperature and other variables.

Brewing time is short – your coffee will be ready in as little as 2-3 minutes.

Coffee pods are consistent – you get the exact amount of coffee and flavour each time.

You also know exactly how many cups of coffee you can make with each purchase.

Each pod extracts exactly the same so they’re easy to troubleshoot.

Cons

Unfortunately, many traditional coffee pods qualify as single-use plastics.

Aluminium pods require specialized recycling centres for disposal.

Traditional pods can take hundreds of years to break down.

What are reusable coffee pods?

So, now we know what coffee pods are, their benefits and their downfalls. But what about their reusable counterparts?

As their name suggests, reusable pods are refillable capsules that address most of the single-use concerns of traditional pods.

Refillable pods are usually made of stainless steel, however, can also be made of other reusable materials. The capsule is a durable, greener alternative to single-use, plastic pods.

This is because they can be emptied, cleaned, and reused.

Whilst more environmentally friendly, reusable pods do sacrifice some of the convenience of using regular pods.

You’ll also spend more time cleaning and filling the pods – the cleaning resulting in higher water waste over time.

 

Do reusable pods make good coffee?

Since we now know what reusable pods are and their environmental impact, we come down to the ultimate question: do they make good coffee?

Whilst reusable pods are arguably a great eco-friendly option, unfortunately, they won’t necessarily make the best cup of coffee.

Instead of the consistency that a single-use pod supplies, getting things ‘just right’ is in your hands.

There are multiple factors that you need to consider in order to achieve the perfect coffee. You need to add the perfect volume of coffee and pack it down just right (also known as ‘tamping’).

Knowing how to do these barista-style skills is not something everyone is keen to master.

Not to mention the process can also be a little messy and grounds are wasted tamping and filling the capsules.

This is why we created Urban Brew, so you can enjoy a great, easy, consistent coffee that is eco-friendly.

 

Are you coffee pods compostable or biodegradable?

As single-use coffee pods take hundred of years to break down, there’s recently been growing demand for more eco-friendly alternatives.

The good news is that Urban Brew pods are both compostable and biodegradable.

They are made from 100% natural biomass resin, which is a mixture of plant-based products and they are industrial compostable certified to European standards (pending Australian certification). Many councils have a commercial composting facility so check with your local council to see if they do. If they do, simply just remove the lid of your pod, and throw them into your green waste bin and they’ll break down, quick-smart! An industrial composting facility exposes them to high temperatures and different bacteria and also aerates the materials for sufficient oxidization. You can then collect the foil lids and recycle them.  Roll a heap of lids together into a golf-sized ball as recycling systems don't pick up anything smaller than a bottle cap.

We know that the method of composting the pods could be tedious for some people, meaning that a lot of them will still end up in landfill. This is why our pods are also biodegradable and will break down at an accelerated rate inlandfill.

Making coffee with a pod machine

Whether you’re using compostable pods, knowing what type of machine they’re compatible with is the first step.

Given how many machines and pod types there are out there, it’s no surprise that some pods will generally work with certain machines and not others.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all scenario.

The most common design is the Nespresso original design; however, Nespresso also makes the Vertuo-style pods which are larger and rounder in shape.

Urban Brew pods are compatible with the Nespresso OriginalLine machines, but not with the newer VertuoLine. We also have pods compatible for Caffitaly and K-Fee machines.

If you want more details about our compatibility, you can check out this link.

 

How to make the best pod coffee

Like anything, the best possible result comes from knowing what you’re doing. Fortunately, making a great pod coffee isn’t hard and there are only a few steps.

There are, however, a couple of simple mistakes new pod users make.

The first mistake is thinking that the ‘intensity’ of a pod refers to the caffeine content. The intensity is actually more closely aligned with the flavour of the pod.

The second mistake is using a single pod for a long-shot-style drink such as a long black. This results in a watered-down coffee. If you want a strong black coffee, it’s usually best to use two pods.

Avoid these simple mistakes and you’re on your way to making any café-quality beverage.

How can you get all the details right when making these drinks? Check out our coffee types guide.

Why choose Urban Brew

Urban Brew aims to deliver a great cup of coffee, offering environmental sustainability as well as top-rate convenience.

Our pods also clock in at half the price of Nespresso capsules because we sell directly to our customers – one of the perks of working with a small business.

If you’ve been disappointed by pods in the past, we want to flip the script.

So, shop now and start maximising your day-to-day with better coffee and great service. 

QUESTIONS? QUERIES? WANNA SAY HEY?

Checkout our FAQs, send me an email at hello@urbanbrew.co or call us on 1800 875 495. We are happy to help!

Be happy,

Toby Strong (aka The Podfather)

Founder & Customer Happiness Specialist

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