Nespresso Capsule Recycling – Going One Step Further
One of the most important talking points of our time is climate change and the methods we use to reduce our waste and carbon footprint. Coffee capsules / coffee pods are no exception and have increasingly come under scrutiny. With Nespresso, you get simplicity and also achieve a very consistent taste in your coffee – but it will be no surprise to many when we say that convenience often comes at a cost.
Nespresso once said they reached a “75% recycling capacity commitment” in a press release during September 2012. However, their commitment was to increase their capacity – this means they have the ability to recycle 75% of Nespresso coffee capsules. In reality, this is unlikely to happen – users have to return their Nespresso capsules at dedicated service centres, and this number requires the vast majority if not all Nespresso users to do this.
This means that a lot of Nespresso capsules get put in the trash, and end up in landfill. These capsules are made out of aluminium, which are far more energy intensive to make than steel, for example. Even though each capsule is small, the millions consumed each year inevitably add up. So what’s the solution – or, in today’s society, what’s the solution that we can adopt easily?
Enter Seal Pod.
Reusable Nespresso Capsules
Seal Pod is a reusable capsule system for Nespresso Originaline. Incidentally, they also make a product compatible with Dolce Gusto capsules – even non-Nespresso drinkers can take advantage of their products with other lines of capsule coffee.
Costing approximately the same as a pack of variety Nespresso capsules, Seal Pod gives you a set of stainless steel capsules to use instead, which can last for thousands of cups of coffee. In their own words, their capsules last even longer than the Nespresso machines themselves (although we don’t know how they tested this, and we certainly couldn’t drink enough to replicate the experiment anyway!). Seal Pod capsules:
Save you money in the long term as it’s cheaper to refill them than continuously buy new Nespresso coffee capsules, as well as
Save the environment because you are no longer throwing away the aluminium coffee capsules you were before.
How Seal Pod Works with Nespresso
First of all, a note on compatibility – Seal Pod works with most Nespresso OriginalLine machines. This includes (note this list also includes some discontinued models):
Essenza (including Essenza Krups & Essenza Mini)
CitiZ (including CitiZ & Milk)
Maestria and Gran Maestria
Lattissima and Lattissima Plus
As we are refilling our own pods rather than using ready made ones, a little bit more work is required! So here’s what we do:
Fill the Seal Pod capsule with the supplied scoop, and then tamp the coffee down with the base of the spoon. Before using a Seal Pod sticker to seal the lid, use the handle on your scoop to wipe away any coffee grinds that might be on the capsule rim. That will ensure a good seal.
You can then use the Seal Pod the same way as you would a normal Nespresso capsule, while minimising your plastic waste!
When grinding your beans, we recommend you use a proper burr grinder (you can get cheaper grind-at-home ones as well, for example the DeLonghi KG79 grinder is a great inexpensive burr grinder if you’re just starting out!) to avoid unevenly heating your beans, which is what blade grinders tend to do. Also, there’s more coffee dust with blade grinders which makes sealing your Seal Pods more challenging.
You now have all the equipment you need to use your own choice of ground coffee in your Nespresso machines, while being kinder to the planet as well. Great!
One last note on compatibility: if you’re not sure whether your machine is compatible or it wasn’t listed above, take note of the following.
Brew a normal cup of coffee using a Nespresso disposable capsule. Take a look at the bottom of the spent capsule – if it has 3 pierced holes from the blade plate, then generally speaking your machine should be compatible with Seal Pod. If you only see one pierced hole, then your machine is not compatible!
Seal Pod is not compatible with VirtuoLine machines, only OriginalLine.
If you would like to be 100% sure, you can contact Seal Pod and ask them directly.
Our Experience Using Seal Pod with Nespresso Coffee Machines
One of the first things we noticed is that Seal Pods are slightly shorter than Nespresso coffee capsules. This is normal, because the design ensures the machine piercing blade (that punches holes in normal Nespresso capsules) never touches the Seal Pod. This also means that your machine will not be damaged by use with a Seal Pod, which is good to know.
Using the Seal Pod takes a little getting used to – tamping the coffee and making sure there are no grinds on the rim of our Seal Pod took a couple of tries, but it was very straightforward and easily mastered with practice. The bonus, of course, is that we could now choose any coffee we wanted when we used our home grinder together with the Seal Pod! Make sure to get an ultra-fine grind on your coffee since the brewing process is quite quick with Nespresso coffee machines.
Seal Pod Nespresso Compatible Capsules - Our Verdict
Even though Nespresso have an excellent range of in-house flavours, being able to choose single-origin coffees from elsewhere and new blends from our favourite coffee shop was great. When added to the fact that we were helping to reduce waste as well, it really made our experience with Seal Pod that much more enjoyable. Even though we like Nespresso’s normal flavours, we would highly recommend Seal Pod!