Compostable Coffee Capsule & Nespresso Machine FAQs
Here you’ll find some useful Compostable Coffee Capsule FAQs and answers, plus coffee capsule troubleshooting advice about our products to ensure you have the very best coffee experience.
Our article about how to clean and get the best from your Nespresso(r) machine as well as creating the perfect mug of Blue Goose capsules coffee every time is a great place to start!
Placing your used coffee pods into your council-run food waste collection bin will mean . Depending on your local council’s food waste processing facilities they will be processed into compost or liquid fertilizer within around 12-16 weeks.
If you don’t have council food waste collections, First Mile’s RecycleBox scheme (see below) is perfect to ensure your capsules are processed correctly. By avoiding landfill, you’ll also reduce the resulting methane emissions produced by coffee grounds in landfill. Should capsules accidentally sneak into your black bin (er herm) then they will likely be sent to landfill or to an incinerator, where they will be burnt to create ‘energy from waste’. This is not ideal as burning the worlds resources is not exactly sustainable, but this is the reality of much of our houshold waste. Many companies cshout about ‘zero to landfill’, well this is what they mean. Instead of burying it they burn it. We’ll le you decide on what you think but nevertheless, if our eco compostable coffe pods make it into an incinerator then they won’t produce the volatile or toxic gases or residue that plastic and aluminium coffee capsules produce. Tests by the well known Vegware company have also shown that bio (natural) materials also burn at a higher temperature, therefore creating more energy.
Ultimately, the incredibly diverse (bonkers!) recycling requirements and facilities provided by different UK councils means there is little consistency in how your food and garden waste is processed but this is thankfully something the Government is looking into as part of their Consultation on Consistency in Household and Business Recycling Collections in England.
WHAT IF MY COUNCIL DOESN’T COLLECT FOOD WASTE?
If you don’t have council food waste collections, First Mile’s Coffee Pods RecycleBox service is perfect to ensure your capsules are processed correctly. It is the best and cheapest such service, where you fill whatever sized box you have to hand then book a collection or leave the box at any Hermes drop off point. Whichever way you do it, the service costs just £10 and believe us you can store-up a whole bunch of capsules as the only stipulations are that it has to be “light enough for one person to lift and measures no more than 41 x 30 x 30 CM”! Please just ensure you pop a note in the box (and in the “Extra notes” section when booking your collection) confirming they are Blue Goose industrially compostable coffee capsules so the First Mile team know how to deal with them.
Tests mean we know our capsules can be home-composted, but ONLY under ‘healthy’ compost conditions, where the heat and elements are sufficient enough. In the UK, these elements – in particular heat of course – are not always optimal so we would recommend home composting only if your are a pro home-composter. These different conditions from pile compost pile to pile means a the timeframe for them to breakdown is not consistent.
We could make shallow promises (like a few competitors do!) but we want to be transparent, so until we receive Vincotte / TUV Austria ‘home compost’ certification we will not be claiming ours are home compostable so you now exactly where we stand.
Printed using vegetable ink and secured with plastic-free glue, please recycle our sustainably sourced FSC certified boxes to continue their lifecycle and help the very real ﬁght against global deforestation.
This can be tricky to get one’s head around, but in short Biodegradable refers to any material that will disintegrate in water, soil or air over time with the help of organisms like bacteria and enzymes.
Compostable also refers to a material that breaks down and returns to nature, but it has to turn into something that improves the nutrient levels of the soil – or rather it has to turn into a non-toxic organic material. It also has to do so relatively quickly, at the same rate as the materials with which it is being composted, like food waste, to be classed as compostable.
Getting technical, our capsules are compliant with EN13432 standard, which means they will be “bio-assimilated” by micro-organisms naturally occurring in an industrial compost without any biological additive. Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen in our capsules will essentially be biologically transformed into H2O, CO2 and biomass i.e. new micro-organisms.
The Swiss Water® Process uses the elements of water, temperature and time to create decaff coffee. In their own words: “Swiss Water® is the innovative craft of using pure water to gently remove caffeine. Our 100% chemical free process decaffeinates coffee in small batches. This means we can remove caffeine from very select amounts of Speciality Coffee. Coffee that is grown and harvested with the utmost care. Coffee that we’re excited to taste. Coffee that once decaffeinated, will still taste every bit as delicious as it did before we got our hands on it!”.
What this means is that you are helping minimise the use of industrial chemicals in the coffee decaffeination process, and thanks to our environmentally friendly Decaff capsules you are minimising the waste that goes into landfill or the energy and emissions used to get your used capsules back to Nespresso® for recycling. Not a bad argument to make the switch…
ARE YOUR CAPSULES BEST FOR AN ESPRESSO OR LUNGO?
To fully appreciate all the complex, and intense flavours our capsule coffees deliver, we’d recommend you first drink them without adding any milk, so as black Espresso or Lungo coffees.
Shock horror for those who love a milky coffee, but once you try it you’ll soon see why so many people are getting more into their coffee these days as they discover what coffee really should taste like!
You see, to achieve a consistent taste many (most!) capsule companies simply dark roast their beans as it’s the only way they can ensure their coffee tastes the same each time. But that means the coffee generally doesn’t taste, well…good.
Enjoy an eco-espresso! If you love a good espresso, then try our Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee capsules. Fragrant and clean, you’ll love the subtle notes of fruity spice with hints of chocolate. This espresso is more about enjoying a complex mix of flavours than a bitter, dark hit of coffee.
For lungo lovers and milk fans: If you like a long coffee or a good bit of steamed and frothy milk in your coffee, then our Lungo eco pods or our Swiss Water decaf pods or our Peruvian eco coffee capsules are for you (although our Ethiopian capsules also taste great with a splash!). Don’t put too much milk in there though, or you’ll mask the more subtle flavours and it’ll be more akin to high street coffee, aka warmed milk hehehe…
Our Peruvian will give a smooth lungo style drink with hints of cocoa. Weird to think you’ll taste all of these flavours in a coffee isn’t it…but that’s what a lighter roast and quality coffee bean will bring to the table, versus overly-roasted beans. Our Swiss Water Decaff coffee capsules will give you a slightly indulgent lungo without the caffeine kick. Whichever you choose, have a lovely guilt-free mug of the good stuff!
SHOULD I DESCALE MY NESPRESSO MACHINE?
Depending on the Nespresso® machine model you own and the water hardness where you live, we’d recommend descaling every 6-12 months. Find the specific Nespresso® machine troubleshooting advice for your model, where you can also see a whole section on descaling your Nespresso® machine. As for a descaler to use, we’d recommend the organic certified Cafetto@Home eco pod/capsule coffee machine cleaner available on Amazon.
Nespresso® give some brief advice on their website that should help you to solve machine issues yourself at home, but should the problem persist you should visit the Nespresso Club Assistance webpage, then just select your Nespresso® machine model and you can then access Nespresso® instructions guides and videos as well as troubleshooting guides. You should also download the Nespresso maintenance guide for your machine to get specific advice.
In the meantime here is a summary of common issues and solutions from Nespresso’s own website::
The machine doesn’t switch on: check the power cord and fuses.
The coffee isn’t warm enough: preheat your cups and descale machine.
No coffee extraction: clean and descale if necessary.
Leakage in capsule area: clean the capsule holder and ensure the capsule is inserted correctly.
No hot water or steam: clean and descale if necessary.
The milk doesn’t froth: clean the frothing device. We also recommend using semi-skimmed milk.
No water flow: fill the tank and make sure it is correctly inserted.
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