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George Clooney coffee pods banned:

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George Clooney coffee pods banned:

Post by PigPen on Thu Feb 25 2016, 16:36

Can't find the thread we began discussing this......

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George Clooney coffee pods banned: bad for the environment - and the quality of your latte?





[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]George Clooney with a Nespresso espresso  

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  •  Olivia Williamson  

25 February 2016 • 2:42pm    
Authorities in Hamburg have gone cold on coffee capsules, banning them from council buildings on environmental grounds. But despite their questionable green credentials – and the fact that many experts don't believe they make the best brew – the rise of single-serve coffee seems unstoppable. 
Since George Clooney, the patron saint of coffee capsules, first urged us to ditch packets for pods in 2006, the world has gone weak at the knees for the stuff. Consumer research group Kantar Worldpanel reports that UK spending on coffee pods rose by more than 30 per cent in the year to June 2015, when we drank £109 million worth.

 
Pod coffee machines range from £49.99 through to £499.99, while the capsules comes in at around 30-40p per cup – significantly more expensive than making coffee from a packet of quality beans
 

That equates to roughly 260 million actual capsules – and that’s just in the UK. As of 2012, high-end brand Nespresso had reportedly sold more than 27 billion pods worldwide since launching them in 1986. That’s a lot of packaging and it has to go somewhere.
In its drive to reduce environmental waste, Hamburg officials produced a 150-page “Guide to Green Procurement”, which said coffee pods caused “unnecessary resource consumption and waste generation, and often contain polluting aluminium.” A government official said the capsules couldn’t be recycled easily because they were made of both plastic and aluminium.

  [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]   Many of us don't care about the fate of our coffee pods  Credit: Piotr Skubisz/Alamy    

A spokeswoman for Nespresso declined to reveal how many of its used pods are recycled. But she said the company had recycling systems in 31 countries and was committed to the green disposal of its packaging. “Aluminium provides significant environmental advantages,” she added. “It has the unique advantage of being infinitely recyclable and eliminates the need for any additional packaging or overwrap to protect freshness.”
But it appears that many of us don’t really care about the fate of empty coffee pods. Research by Harris Interactive for trade magazine The Grocer last year found that 22 per cent of Brits own a coffee pod machine, while 10 per cent believe the pods are “very bad for the environment".
And we’re not much bothered by the cost of capsule coffee, either. Pod coffee machines range from £49.99 through to £499.99, while the capsules comes in at around 30-40p per cup – significantly more expensive than making coffee from a packet of quality beans. Yet, according to Euromonitor, sales of pod machines in the UK increased seven-fold between 2010 and 2015.  Nespresso machines are even found in the kitchens of around 30 per cent of the world's 2,400 Michelin-starred restaurants.

  [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]   Pod coffee is significantly more expensive than making coffee from a packet of quality beans  Credit: Paul Williams/Alamy    

Until recently, the specialty coffee industry has studiously ignored the capsule craze. Heads bowed over their chemex and aeropress, the closest a coffee aficionado has come to a pod is swimming with dolphins. But all that is changing. 
The Pact Coffee subscription services recently launched a range of coffee pods,  and Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, UK barista champion and co-owner of the Colonna & Small's and Colonna & Hunter cafes, is launching a pod range at this year’s London Coffee Festival.  So are we about to see a battle of the pods, with hipster coffee specialists taking on capsule big boys at their own game?

 
It’s fine, convenient, but too much packaging and with a little bit of effort you can make something more delicious that is also cheaper

James Hoffman
 

Not really, says Chloe Callow, editor of Caffeine Magazine. “There are some in the specialty world that have identified a gap in the market for higher quality pods,“ she says. “For a long time the specialty coffee industry has only really catered to those that buy into their own ideals and tastes. The industry is starting to recognise they have to cater to a larger coffee drinking coffee demographic and look outside the niche specialty world, in order to run a sustainable business."
To that end, Caffeine Magazine experts are about to put pod coffee brands through a taste-test and publish the results in the April issue. In the meantime, what’s the verdict of the man who should know? Is pod coffee really any good - or is it all about convenience?

  [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]   A cup of coffee  Credit: Freddie/Alamy    

“I’ve often described them as microwave meals,” says James Hoffman, CEO of Square Mile Coffee Roasters, World Barista Champion and  author of The World Atlas of Coffee. “It’s fine, convenient, but too much packaging and with a little bit of effort you can make something more delicious that is also cheaper,” he says. Hoffman does concede  some pods produce “pretty good” coffee - although he won’t reveal which ones he believes are best.
It’s all down to the quality of the coffee that goes inside them, he says. "Staleness isn’t really the issue, " he says. "The disadvantage of pods is that they’re made on a much larger scale and use a more commoditised quality of coffee. The desired cup is also made to be more widely appealing by making it less characterful, less likely to offend.”
Does he plan to produce his own range of specialty coffee pods? Tellingly, the answer is a firm no.

PigPen
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Re: George Clooney coffee pods banned:

Post by carolhathaway on Thu Feb 25 2016, 17:11

So I checked to find out about this. It sounded as if the Hamburg government had banned capsules from all shops in the whole city. In fact it's just the local government that decided not to buy them anymore for their offices, schools etc. Which means that they must have bought capsule machines before...

I work for local authorities, and we have to buy our own coffee machines, electric kettles etc, and also our own tea and coffee so it's everybody's choice what to choose. 

But the Hamburg senate plans to ban capsules from shops in Hamburg. Don't know how they want to enforce it since you can buy capsules by different companies in every supermarket... and Hamburg is surrounded by several other federal states. Do they want to look for smuggled capsules in cars, trains and busses? Look for empty capsules in people's garbage?

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Re: George Clooney coffee pods banned:

Post by LizzyNY on Thu Feb 25 2016, 18:34

Most people who use the capsules aren't going to stop, even though they should. Maybe the coffee industry should invest in creating a biodegradeable coffee pod. I imagine anyone who can come up with a solution to the problem will become very rich.

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Re: George Clooney coffee pods banned:

Post by PigPen on Thu Feb 25 2016, 18:54

biodegradable pods are available......and have used them.  However- the brand I used splattered all over the place (counter, me, etc) while brew dripping into my mug.

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Re: George Clooney coffee pods banned:

Post by carolhathaway on Thu Feb 25 2016, 21:20

I use biodegradable pods and really like the coffee. When we were looking for a new machine, we thought about buying a Nespresso machine as well but didn't because the pods aren't biodegradable (although they can be recycled but we preferred to have biodegradable ones).

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Re: George Clooney coffee pods banned:

Post by LizzyNY on Thu Feb 25 2016, 23:53

I guess you can tell I don't have a coffee maker  pod or otherwise. (I like the old fashioned methods.) If biodegradeable pods are available, I don't understand why all the coffee companies don't use them.

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Re: George Clooney coffee pods banned:

Post by carolhathaway on Fri Feb 26 2016, 06:34

Lizzy,
I don't understand it either but quite some companies offer capsules, including all the supermarket brands. Maybe they think they don't taste as good as the capsule coffee or it's just a very different technique... Question I don't know.
My husband and I usually drink tea (in fact, I'm just sitting in the kitchen drinking my morning tea), but since we have kids we sometimes need coffeine as well. Or when somebody's coming around for a chat it's nice to be able to offer him a cup of coffee or a cappuccino. But we don't drink a lot of coffee - maybe three coffees per week for each of us - so an old-fashioned coffee machine isn't necessary for us. And an espresso machine is just too expensive. Plus the fact that my husband sometimes likes decaf coffee led us to the conclusion that a pod machine is perfect for us (we've got an espresso machine at work so I know that this coffee is much better but it's just nit worth it to use at home) and then decided against capsules and for biodegradable pods. And I really like our coffee...


Last edited by carolhathaway on Fri Feb 26 2016, 06:35; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added text)

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