Aluminium vs compostable coffee pods

Aluminium vs compostable coffee pods

We’ve been taste testing the different kinds of coffee pods out there to bring you speciality coffee for your espresso pod machines. Whether you’re enjoying coffee at home or you run a business with an espresso pod machine, getting the best coffee will impact the impression someone has of your business. This is important if you’re building a brand on the quality of service.

Even if you’re enjoying a coffee at home, you want it to be as good as your favourite cafe. So we’re here to share our findings on why the kind of pods you use make all the difference to the flavour of your coffee.


Firstly, we need to look at how fresh the coffee is kept when looking at aluminium vs compostable coffee pods. You need a pod that will keep your coffee fresh. Unless you’re using a small batch speciality roaster, the coffee in your pods may have been roasted and ground long before you get to drop it into your machine.

The fresher your coffee is, the better it will taste. One of the best upsides of those little pods is that it will keep the coffee fresher for longer, giving you a better brew in your cup. So, which packaging won on the basis of freshness?

Aluminium naturally keeps the coffee fresher. It’s got a tighter seal, is much less porous than the compostable versions, and has a longer shelf life.

While the compostable espresso pod did keep the coffee fresh, it can’t beat the freshness you get from aluminium.


The freshness of the coffee isn’t the only element that affects the flavour profile of the roast. Coffee also takes on a different flavour depending on how its stored. If you store your coffee in the fridge, it is very much like chocolate in that it will start to soak up the flavours of the food around it. So, while you might be saving all those half lemons and onions, your coffee is absorbing some of the aromas for your next batch.

The same is true for the kinds of coffee pods you use. Compostable coffee pods are made from plant-based materials. This means that the pod itself will influence the flavour of the coffee. Think about when you drink coffee from your favourite mug compared to a biodegradable take away cup. It tastes different. From the shape of the cup to the material it’s made from, all these elements impact the final flavour.

In our taste-testing of aluminium vs compostable pods, we’ve found that the taste of your coffee is far better when you use an aluminium pod. That’s because you’re less likely to get other aromas absorbing into the coffee when using aluminium.

Again, aluminium pods are the winner when it comes to flavour.


Environmental impact

We can’t escape the fact that espresso pods create more waste. When looking at the environmental impact of aluminium vs compostable coffee pods that the compostable ones are a clear winner here.

Depending on the kind of compostable pod you use and how you dispose of them, it can take around three months for them to decompose. If you have home composting, this is the best place for them but if not, check with your local council if they can take them.

Aluminium pods can also help reduce waste as these can be recycled through services like Podback who turn the coffee pods into new cans and car parts.


As a speciality roaster, we want to keep costs down for both our wholesale and retail customers. We work closely with the farms to get the best price for our coffee, and as we roast in-house, it means we don’t have large supply chains also taking a cut.

When it comes to the cost of packaging there is a careful balance between what is best for the product to maintain the high-quality and flavours, and what is affordable for our customers.

When testing aluminium vs compostable coffee pods, aluminium pods work out much better than their compostable counterparts.

Aluminium vs compostable coffee pods

We think compostable coffee pods are great but that the technology isn’t quite there yet. We know that in the near future, there will be fully compostable pods that don’t compromise on freshness and flavour. These are our main criteria when looking at what pods are best for our speciality coffee.

To balance the environmental aspects, we are offering recycling through our outlet for any aluminium coffee pods. Plus, we’ll keep directing customers to great services like Podback which can help reduce waste.

We know that in a few years, there will be more options available to continually reduce our environmental impact but for now, we think that aluminium pods are the best option for espresso machines.

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