Are you tired of seeing K-cups in your trash? Have you been wishing you could enjoy a great cup of coffee from your single cup maker without all the waste? If you have, then we have the answer. In this review of the six best eco-friendly coffee pods this year, we’ll show you the pods you should consider if you want to lower your impact on the environment. Each of the pods are made with compostable materials to help with waste left behind from enjoying coffee. Check out our favorites below and find the right brand for you.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
The 6 Best Eco-Friendly Coffee Pods
1. San Francisco Bay OneCup Compostable Coffee Pods – Best Overall
|Package Count:||80 count package|
Our choice for the best overall eco-friendly coffee pod is the San Francisco Bay Coffee Company’s assorted variety pack of compostable coffee pods. This variety pack includes all your favorite flavors and features SF Bay’s unique line of regional coffee and custom blends. The company uses sustainable coffee practices to ensure its coffee farmers are well taken care of. When it comes to their compostable pods, they are made of plant-based lidding and compostable paper material to support the environment.
While we love the sustainable coffee commitment by this company, which even continues into the packaging used to send their products, it is also the packaging that we’re most concerned with. During delivery, the coffee pods may become damaged. When this happens, you lose some of the great-tasting coffee and have a slight mess inside the box.
2. Tayst 100% Compostable Coffee Pods – Best Value
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Our pick for the best eco-friendly coffee pod for the money is Tayst’s 100% Compostable Coffee Pods. This variety pack has all the flavor and aroma you might want in a coffee pod. They’re also compatible with your trusted Keurig. Each pod is designed to eliminate the need for plastic and be better for the planet. The lid is made from a compostable combination of paper and other products. Even the ink is compostable material. The ring of this pod is made from bioresins and coffee bean skins. The cup itself is composed of a bio-mesh that allows air to move freely, making for an excellent cup of coffee.
The coffee and materials used by Tayst are backed by the Rainforest Alliance. This means no agrochemicals are used. By also supporting sustainably sourced coffee, Tayst coffee pods help the environment and support coffee farmers and their farms.
The only downside we found with this coffee was the strength. If you’re in the market for a strong cup of coffee, you’d have better luck with another brand. This coffee is a delicious medium-roast.
3. Cameron’s Coffee Single Serve Pods – Premium Choice
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With our premium choice, Cameron’s Coffee Single Serve Pods, you’ll be getting a great-tasting, light-roast arabica coffee while doing your part for the planet. Each pod is made from plant-based materials such as corn and beets. They also use a compostable coffee filter as the cup to ensure each cup of coffee comes out of your single-serve machine tasting clean and refreshing. Even the box the pods come in is recyclable. This makes these cups highly eco-friendly.
While we love the taste of Cameron’s Coffee Single Serve Pods, they aren’t for slow coffee drinkers. Due to the lack of plastic and the use of paper instead for encasing the coffee grounds, these pods do have the potential to go stale quickly. If you don’t plan on using them quickly, it may be best to purchase a smaller package. And although the pods are compatible with Keurig brewers, they are not compatible with Nespresso.
4. Organic Coffee Co. French Roast Compostable Pods
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Organic Coffee Co. uses a blend of organic beans from South and Central America. You’ll notice tasting notes of clove, milk chocolate, and almond when you enjoy a tasty cup of this full-bodied coffee. The materials used to make each pod is certified to be fully compostable. The beans used to make the coffee inside these eco-friendly pods are certified USDA Organic and Kosher.
Our only issue with Organic Coffee Co.’s compostable coffee pods is that the biodegradable materials used to make the cup do not filter very well. It allows oils and gritty materials to slip through into your cup. This could be an issue for coffee lovers that are particular about what is in their cups.
5. Beaniac Organic Kickstarter 100% Colombian Pods
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If you’re looking for an affordable, sustainably sourced single-serve coffee pod, Beaniac may be your answer. Featuring 100% Colombian coffee, this company supports the Rainforest Alliance and buys beans from the farms of their supported growers. This smooth, clean-tasting coffee features completely compostable materials and will turn into crucial ingredients for compost after use.
While we enjoy the taste of Beaniac coffee and support their dedication to staying eco-friendly there are issues when it comes to their pods and single-cup makers. At times, the pod is not recognized by the maker. This often results in wasted pods and wasted money.
6. Boyd’s Organic Red Wagon Coffee Pods
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Boyd’s was one of the first manufacturers in the US to offer Rainforest Alliance and USDA Certified Organic coffees. The in-house roasters blend different types of coffee beans to create the unique taste Boyd’s coffee has offered for years. The design of their pods features a soft filter pouch that allows water to better saturate the coffee during the brewing process. These pods are also made from completely compostable materials that disintegrate entirely after use.
While Boyd’s single-serve pods are compostable, the resealable bag they come in is not. You’ll also find that certain brewing machines struggle to recognize the cups and may not brew the coffee when you expect.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Eco-Friendly Coffee Pods
When choosing eco-friendly coffee pods, you may feel that your options are limited. This is due to so many factors playing into making a product truly eco-friendly. Let’s take a look at a few of the criteria we kept in mind when choosing our 6 best eco-friendly coffee pods.
For a product to be eco-friendly, it should be made from materials that avoid harming the environment. Each of the pods we chose in our review strives to use a material that is biodegradable or compostable to make life easier for users and the planet. Plant-based materials and compostable paper are some of the most popular materials used to create coffee pods that are safe for the environment. This helps steer consumers away from plastic K-cups that can be difficult to recycle.
Another thing we kept in mind when determining our favorite environmentally-friendly coffee pods was sustainable coffee growing practices. This is when coffee manufacturers support sustainable growing practices (such as the Rainforest Alliance) and ensure the farmers are well taken care of and their farms are fully supported.
You’ll find that most of the coffee in the pods on our list are Arabica beans. This is due to the sustainable coffee practices we mentioned above. Arabica beans are grown traditionally in warm climates with tree canopies, where they can be protected by the sun and receive proper amounts of rainfall. This method of growing gives coffee a better flavor and is often the one most preferred by coffee lovers.
If you want to make the change from plastic K-cups to eco-friendly coffee pods, this list of our favorites may help you find your favorite as well. Our best overall pick, San Francisco Bay’s Variety Pack offers everything you want in one box: great taste, compostable cups, and eco-friendly practices during processing. If you want a better deal, our best value coffee pods, Tayst’s Coffee Pods, are a great second option. By purchasing eco-friendly coffee pods, you’ll feel better about your carbon footprint and the coffee you’re enjoying.
Featured Image Credit: sockagphoto, Shutterstock
Table of Contents
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
- The 6 Best Eco-Friendly Coffee Pods
- 1. San Francisco Bay OneCup Compostable Coffee Pods – Best Overall
- 2. Tayst 100% Compostable Coffee Pods – Best Value
- 3. Cameron’s Coffee Single Serve Pods – Premium Choice
- 4. Organic Coffee Co. French Roast Compostable Pods
- 5. Beaniac Organic Kickstarter 100% Colombian Pods
- 6. Boyd’s Organic Red Wagon Coffee Pods
- Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Eco-Friendly Coffee Pods