From commercial coffee machines to barista perfected brews, there are now dozens of ways to make a great cup of coffee. However, there’s now a new way to make coffee using a coffee pod machine.
Over the last year they’ve steadily been rising in popularity – by as much as 45.1% from the previous year according to the Guardian.
Despite the fact that the coffee isn’t supposed to taste as nice as a freshly made brew and pod coffee machines are currently bad for the environment, Michelin-starred restaurants and individuals have been snapping them up for their kitchens.
So, if the coffee isn’t supposed to be that great and they’re bad for the environment, what’s the appeal? The answer seems to be efficiency, in the same way that ready-made meals are quick to make. You just pop one of the coffee pods into the coffee machine and you have coffee several minutes later – just like putting a ready-made meal in the microwave.
Although pod coffee machines are quite expensive compared to using your own fresh coffee beans, many restaurants find it cheaper as they don’t have to hire baristas. Currently, 30% of top UK restaurants have coffee pod machines in their kitchens, including the restaurant of legendary chef, Heston Blumenthal.
So, is this all just a new fad or the future of how we consume coffee? It seems like the real success behind pod coffee machines is not necessarily the product – which does look very chic – but the marketing, branding and advertising. With George Clooney behind some of the Nespresso ads, and the selling of an irresistibly sophisticated lifestyle, it’s obvious why the pods are doing so well.
But are these coffee machines sustainable? Currently, no, because the individual coffee pods are made from plastic and aluminium. Realistically, the plastic should be recyclable but currently most coffee pods cannot be recycled properly in the UK. With some brands such as Tassimo T-Discs, there aren’t enough designated places in the UK where the pods can be disposed of properly.
However, I’m sure with time there will be a more environmentally friendly ways to dispose of the pods. At least, I hope so. It would certainly make these chocolate box like pods of coffee even more appealing.