If you're wondering how to descale and clean a Nespresso machine, or how to improve and brew a Nespresso coffee, then read our Nespresso Frequently Asked Questions, Nespresso brew guides and compostable coffee pod FAQs will help you master exceptional coffee at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
NESPRESSO & COFFEE BREWING TIPS
Questions and Answers
TOP TIPS >> A must read to help you create the perfect pod, bean or ground brew
If you’ve been given some Blue Goose bean or ground coffees or you’re just after some super useful brewing tips and tricks then our coffee brewing guides cover how to create the perfect mug of coffee each and every time.
Top Tips to getting the best from our Nespresso compatible coffee pods
The very best thing you can do is to regularly clean your Nesresso machine as well as re-program your Nespresso machine so please visit our Nespresso® compatible pod brewing guide for our top tips to create the perfect mug of Blue Goose eco coffee pods each and every time!
Are your capsules best for a ristretto, 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 Organic 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 Decaf 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!
What is the Swiss Water decaffeinated process?
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 Swiss Water Decaf 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…
NESPRESSO® MACHINE FAQS & TROUBLESHOOTING
Questions and Answers
How to clean a Nespresso Machine?
Crucial to great tasting capsule coffee is a clean Nespresso coffee pod machine so we're proud to be the first in the UK to offer Clean Bean Nespresso machine cleaning capsules. These clean out all the grime and bacteria build up in your Nespresso machine and ensure your coffee really does taste exceptional each and every brew!
Visit our top Nespresso® machine cleaning & brewing tips article for more tips about how to clean a Nespresso machine and how to re-programme a Nespresso machine.
How to program a Nespresso Machine for the correct ristretto, espresso & lungo volume
This is vital to get the very best Blue Goose cuppa!
Your machine comes pre-programmed to deliver a Nespresso-capsule-specific amount of water but our capsules are best enjoyed as a 25ml Ristretto or a 35ml Espresso, so you’ll want to reset your Nespresso® machine as the coffee to water ratio is key to achieving the best possible coffee from our eco capsule range and re-calibrating your Nespresso® is therefore really important. We’d therefore heartily recommend you read our Nespresso® Hints & Tips blog post to set yourself up for wonderful capsule coffee every time!
Should I descale my Nespresso® machine and how do I descale it?
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.
Further Nespresso® machine troubleshooting and solutions
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 can 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 your machine. Also, try running a shot to flush out your machine and the water will heat your cup at the same time.
>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.
Which Nespresso® machines are your eco capsules compatible with?
Compatible with ‘Traditional Drop Through’ Nespresso® machines, our compostable capsules deliver exceptional speciality coffees each and every brew, without the guilt. So models such as the Nespresso® Pixie machine, the Essenza, CitiZ and Inissia, for example. They are not designed for the new Vertuo machines that Nespresso offer, which take more of a UFO shaped capsule.
Here’re some useful composting tips for coffee pods & pouches as well as information about our eco coffee capsules, compostable coffee pouches and some useful biodegradable and compostable FAQs.
What are compostable coffee pods made of?
Our eco coffee pods for ‘Original drop through’ Nespresso machines are made from waste wood bark called lignin, which turns paper yellow if it is not extracted during the paper manufacturing process.
So rather than extract aluminium from the planet with devastating consequences, or continue to use petroleum-based plastic coffee pods that can’t be recycled, our Blue Goose plastic-free coffee pods divert lignin that would otherwise be wasted into a pod that houses our ethically sourced, sustainably grown coffees.
Our certified plastic-free eco coffee pods for Nespresso® machines are relatively thick in order to create a capsule that is strong enough to withstand the pressure and the heat in a Nespresso machine’s brewing chamber. Please read on for advice on how how to dispose of compostable coffee pods…
How should I dispose of compostable & biodegradable coffee pods and your box packaging?
VIA HOME COMPOSTING:
Our eco coffee pods or capsules will home compost but it’sverymuch dependent on one’s composting skills and how healthy your compost pile is.
We could make shallow promises (like a few competitors do!) but we want to be transparent so do not market ours as home compostable so you know exactly where we stand.
The reason why is that the UK’s weather means few of us have the perfect conditions to make ideal compost every time and the speed at which organic matter breaks down depends on many variables.
We know in the right conditions our capsules will home-compost in around 3 months and will certainly work best if composting in hot bins/hot composting. But if your compost pile is not kept in optimal condition, there’s no guarantee on composting timeframes so your compost could take anywhere from 12 weeks to 12 months to fully decompose.
VIA COUNCIL FOOD WASTE COLLECTIONS:
In reality though, while many consumers want home-compostable products, less than 1% of us Brits actually home compost so the most effective way to process compostables at this time is via council doorstep food waste collections where they will be processed into compost or liquid fertilizer depending on your local council’s food waste processing facilities. By avoiding landfill, you’ll also reduce the resulting methane emissions produced by coffee grounds in landfill.
DISPOSING OF OUR NESPRESSO COMPATIBLE COFFEE POD CARTONS & POSTAL BOXES:
Printed using vegetable ink and secured with plastic-free glue, please recycle or compost our sustainably sourced, FSC-certified cartons to continue their lifecycle and help the very real ﬁght against global deforestation.
Our postal box or shipping boxes are also plastic free, FSC-certified and printed using vegetable ink so can be recycled in standard council recycling collections. They are also perfect for absorbing moisture if you use a hot bin composter or a standard compost bin (just cut or rip them up into small pieces).
How should I dispose of compostable coffee pouches?
The guidance in the Q&A above about home and council collection composting applies to our compostable coffee pouches too.
Our compostable coffee pouches have two elements – the main bag or pouch and the valve. Here’s how to compost them:
Our coffee pouches (minus valve) are actually home compostable, so can be placed in home compost piles and hot bins as well as council food waste collections. To really help speed up the composting timeframes and process please cut the pouches up into small pieces with scissors or you can easily rip them up by hand.
The only element of our pouches that require industrial compost conditions is the small valve. This is vital to allow our coffees to release gas after roasting. However, the size of a 5p piece, it’s minimal waste versus the plastic & aluminium lined coffee pouches that are so common yet can’t be recycled or processed post-use. They’re destined for your black bin and then landfill or incinerator, so you can feel pleased with yourself as a 5p-sized valve made from plant materials is a very good compromise.
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 around £15-20 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.
Can I put compostable coffee pods and pouches into my standard and black bin?
Should compostable coffee capsules and compostable coffee pouches 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 world’s resources is notexactlysustainable, but this is the reality of much of our household waste.
You might have seen companies shouting about ‘zero to landfill’, well this is what they mean.
Instead of burying it, they burn it. We’ll let you make your mind up on this (we certainly have our own strong opinions!) but nevertheless, if our eco compostable coffee 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's the difference between compostable and biodegradable?
We hope we’ve given you some good insights in the above Compostable FAQs but ultimately this question can be tricky to get one’s head around. 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.
Master your Nespresso Machine
Nespresso Machine FAQs
Our FAQs will help you master exceptional coffee at home, from our compostable coffee pod FAQs to our guide on how to clean and descale your Nespresso machine.