Nespresso coffee pods are becoming more and more popular these days. One reason is that they are convenient, allowing caffeine lovers to prepare their coffee in a matter of minutes.
The only problem with coffee pods is the waste they leave behind, mainly because they are single-use pods. If you use these coffee pods on a daily basis, you may have noticed the pile of empty pods that have accumulated over time.
I myself use coffee pods from time to time. However, the amount of waste that they make is quite alarming.
For this reason, I have thought of reusing coffee pods as a solution to this growing problem. If you want to reduce the waste you make, read on as I will share five ways to use your coffee pods more than once.
The Concept Of Nespresso Pods
Nespresso or coffee pods, in general, are single-use coffee grounds packed inside an aluminium capsule.
Every single pod contains enough coffee grounds for one brew. This factor allows you to get ideally the same coffee taste every time you make coffee using these pods.
Every time you want to brew coffee, all you need to do is place your coffee pod inside the Nespresso coffee maker, push the start button on, and wait for the magic to happen.
Nespresso also offers a lot of coffee flavours, so you will never run out of choices or get tired of the same coffee taste.
Once you have inserted your coffee pod inside the Nespresso coffee maker, the machine will pierce the pod. The hot water will then pass through the holes with high pressure.
The pressure from the water will help extract the flavours from the coffee pod. As a result, you will end up with perfect java with a balanced sweetness, bitterness, and fantastic aroma.
The Good And Bad Sides Of Using Nespresso Pods
The idea of using preparing coffee with a single push of a button seems very appealing, especially to those who are always in a rush. Such is one of the many reasons why Nespresso pods are so hyped up.
However, these single-serve coffee pods are not always good. While they are beneficial to people, using Nespresso and other coffee pods also has bad sides that need to be discussed.
Nespresso pods are simple to use
Nothing can beat Nespresso pods when it comes to simplicity. All you need to do is place the coffee pod into your Nespresso coffee maker, press a button, and wait for a few minutes to enjoy your coffee.
Each coffee pod also consists of precise ingredients. For this reason, you can have the same delicious coffee anytime you want.
Nespresso pods are sealed airtight. So, these pods can preserve the flavour, aroma, and quality of your coffee grounds no matter how long they sit on your kitchen counter.
This consistent quality is a great advantage that only coffee pods can offer.
Additionally, Nespresso pods are single-use so every brew will taste the same. Reusing coffee pods for another brew is not ideal as the flavours of the coffee grounds are already extracted.
For this reason, the only way to get the perfect cup of coffee from a coffee pod is by only using it once.
Saves your time
One powerful benefit offered by coffee pods is that they save a lot of time. You no longer have to measure every ingredient, such as the coffee, sweetener, creamer, and the water you will use for making your coffee.
Instead, you only need to wait for about two to three minutes, and your coffee is ready. Such allows you to save time, especially when you are rushing to have your java.
Does not require expertise
Coffee pods offer a variety of flavours. For instance, there are latte, espresso, and cappuccino flavour, which you can only have if you buy coffee from your local coffee shop or if you are an expert homebrewer.
With coffee pods, you can enjoy different types of coffee even if you are not an expert coffee brewer.
Of course, you can try making your own latte recipe from scratch. But it is challenging to find the precise amount of ingredients to get the right taste.
Fortunately, coffee pods can provide you with the different coffee flavours that you can think of, minus the dilemma of measuring the ingredients you need to use.
Nespresso pods create so much waste
Since coffee pods are single-use, you leave waste behind every time you brew your coffee. You will notice how much waste you have made from coffee pods alone in the long run.
Additionally, reusing coffee pods is not something that the coffee industry encourages. So, you are left with no choice but to put each coffee pod you use in the trash right after brewing it.
Some coffee pods are either difficult to recycle or non-recyclable at all
Coffee pods are made out of aluminium and plastic. They are difficult to recycle as you need to separate the aluminium from the plastic component of the pods.
Nespresso, along with some other coffee pod brands, took the task of recycling their own pods. They are encouraging their customers to send the pods to their recycling center so they can reuse these pods.
However, this step is not an assurance that every coffee pod user will send their used coffee pods to the recycling stations.
Nespresso pods are expensive
Using coffee pods all the time can be expensive. One coffee pod can even cost as much as the coffee you get from your local barista.
So, if you are used to brewing your coffee the traditional way, you may not find coffee pods as an expensive way of having coffee.
5 Ways Of Reusing Coffee Pods
The research done by Packaging Online revealed that approximately 29,000 empty coffee pods go to landfills every month. That translates to about 350,000 coffee pod wastes every year.
And since coffee pods are expensive, you may be thinking of using them more than once or if there are ways to recycle them. If yes, then here are some ways that you can reuse and recycle your coffee pods:
1. Brew that coffee more than once
As mentioned, manufacturers made Nespresso pods for single coffee brewing. But you can use the coffee grounds inside each pod more than once.
Simply brew a coffee pod and wait for the machine to cool down before opening it. Once your coffee maker is cool to touch, open its coffee pod holder and pick up the pod that you just brewed.
Next, place the used coffee pod right where you usually put a new pod for brewing.
Finally, turn the machine on and let it extract the remaining flavour from the coffee grounds inside the pod.
But it is important to note that the second brew will look under-extracted. So, to ensure that your two brews have the same taste, you can mix the first and second extraction before dividing it into two cups.
With this trick, you can have more coffee using a single pod, allowing you to cut the number of coffee pods that you use in half.
This method may not be appealing if you are a fan of strong coffee. But don’t worry! There are some other ways of reusing coffee pods.
2. Recycle your used Nespresso pods
If you are creative, or you simply want to help the environment by reducing the amount of waste that you make, one great way is to recycle your coffee pods.
Instead of reusing coffee pods for brewing more coffee, you can think of ways to repurpose your coffee pods.
You can remove the paper filter and coffee grounds from the pods and compost them. In terms of the aluminum cup, you can turn them into stacking toys if you have kids at home.
Since coffee pods have different colours, you can also use them to teach children the concept of colors and how to count.
3. Refill your Nespresso pods with new coffee grounds
If you prefer your coffee strong, then reusing coffee pods by brewing them twice may not be ideal for you. In this case, you can still reuse your coffee pods to cut the amount of waste that you make every time you make coffee.
All you need to do is to open the pod’s lid and replace the brewed coffee grounds with fresh ones. For this method, you will need:
- Used Nespresso pods
- Aluminium foil
- Freshly ground coffee
Below is a step by step guide for reusing coffee pods by refilling them:
- Remove the aluminum lid and the ring at the bottom of the pod.
- Remove the used coffee grounds from the pod. Wash it thoroughly with water to ensure no used coffee grounds will stick on the sides of the pod. Make sure that the coffee pod is dry before proceeding to the next step.
- Cut a 4.5cm square aluminium foil. The foil will basically serve as the new lid for your pod after refilling it with coffee grounds. The size of the aluminium foil is essential for reusing coffee pods. If the foil is too small, it will not cover the pod, and if it is too big, it can get stuck inside your coffee maker.
- Get your freshly ground coffee and use it to fill the empty Nespresso pod. Make sure to press the coffee grounds to fill the pod well. Then, take your knife and use it to scrape off the excess coffee from the pod’s base, as the coffee grounds need to align perfectly at the pod’s base.
- Lastly, get the aluminium foil that you cut a while ago and fold it over the coffee pod’s lid so that nothing will come out once you brew your coffee.
- Opt for reusable Nespresso pods
Reusing coffee pods may not be ideal for some, especially for those who do not have much time to follow the processes mentioned above. Fortunately, Nespresso and other coffee pod brands now offer reusable coffee pods.
Manufacturers created reusable coffee pods that you can use more than once. But of course, you will need to fill the pod with fresh coffee grounds every time you need to brew your coffee.
Still, refilling a reusable pod is a lot less time-consuming than recycling the single-use ones.
4. Send your used coffee pods to Nespresso’s recycling centers
When you buy Nespresso pods, the company will send you a free recycle bag. You can place your used coffee pods in the bag and drop them off at any of the 122.287 collection points around the globe.
Nespresso will then collect these pods and recycle them into pens, chairs, and even watch cases. Not only were you able to help the environment by reducing waste but you were also able to contribute to making something new.
5. Brew your coffee differently
If none of the methods above works for you, then remember that coffee pods are not the only way that you can enjoy your coffee. You can brew coffee differently, such as in a conventional coffee maker or any other coffee making tools.
The only downside of not using coffee pods anymore is that you will lose the convenience that they provide. But this will also allow you to experiment in your coffee more.
Meaning you can find that sweet spot between the bitterness and sweetness of your brew.
Nespresso pods are a waste problem that affects the environment so much. So, it is crucial that we coffee drinkers help by doing our part in reducing the waste products that we make.
By reusing coffee pods or recycling them, you will reduce the trash you make, thus allowing you to help the environment. Also, coffee pods are not the only way to enjoy coffee at home, so it would also help to brew your coffee differently every once in a while.
Do you have other ways to reuse and recycle coffee pods? Let us know by dropping a comment in the comment box down below!
If you will try the methods mentioned above, you can also tell us which one you found the easiest to do!