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What You Need to Know about Single-Serve Coffee Capsule Machines before Purchasing One

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If you have received a box of single-serve coffee capsules as a Christmas gift and wonder whether if it is time to invest in a single-serve coffee capsule machine, fret not! We have got you covered! Here are some facts which you should know before investing in the single-serve coffee capsule machine!

Do you know?
A coffee capsule is made of a cylindrical plastic container, which contains ground coffee and is covered with an aluminium foil seal. The coffee capsule is usually comes in a single-serve vacuum packed capsule, which needs to work with a machine compatible with the capsule.  A coffee pod, sometimes known as a coffee pad, is different from a coffee capsule and contains ground coffee in a circular filter teabag.

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#1. Single-serve coffee machines are extremely convenient to use

Coffee capsule machines have grown in popularity in recent years due to their extreme ease of usage and variety; hot coffee is instantly served with a simple press of a button. Furthermore, the vacuum-packed coffee capsules help to ensure the consistency and taste of the coffee as the vacuum packed nitrogen prevents oxidation. The leading single-serve coffee makers in Singapore include Nespresso and Nescafe Dolce Gusto.

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#2. Single-serve coffee capsules come in a huge array of flavours

Single-serve coffee capsules allow you to take a huge variety of coffee flavours without having to go through the hassle of knowing how to brew individual cups. For instance, Nespresso and Nescafe Dolce Gusto have nearly 30 flavours of coffee for you to choose from.

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#3. Single-serve coffee machines are not environmentally friendly

As the coffee capsules are made of a mixture of plastic and aluminium foil, they cannot be recycled easily. Furthermore, on average, 6g of plastic and aluminium packaging is needed for a 3g of coffee in a capsule. Unfortunately, the demand for convenience coffee fixes has overshadowed the environmental impact of single-serve coffee capsules for many years, since plastic can take over 500 years to biodegrade! As an average person consumes 2 cups of coffee a day, this person can generate at least 307 kg of plastic in his or her lifetime! Hence, it is definitely a brewing problem which needs to be addressed!

#4. Single-serve coffee capsules might be harmful to our health

Although BPA-free plastics have been used for coffee capsules, some studies have shown that even BPA-free of material can still pose harmful effects when heated, especially since single-serve coffee capsules are subjected to extremely high heat during the coffee preparation process. When plastic chemicals are released, they act like estrogen and disrupt your hormones and may contribute to hormone imbalance, weight gain and fertility problems. Furthermore, most parts within the single-serve coffee machines are also made of plastics and may come into contact with the hot water. In addition, the coffee pod capsules are sealed in aluminium, which has been linked to “Alzheimers, depression, autism, and even autoimmune disease“, when they are exposed in high quantity. Also, a national French study carried out a research report in 2013, to compare the rate of different chemical compounds found in coffee capsules from different brands, in comparison to filter coffee. The study concluded that elements such as  “cobalt, chromium, tin, nickel, copper, zinc and acrylamide” were generally higher quantities in coffee capsules.

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#5. Single-serve coffee is more expensive than instant coffee blend

A single-serve coffee capsule generally cost more than the instant coffee blend due to its individual capsule packaging and the capsule-specific single-serve coffee machine. For instance, alternative cheaper coffee capsules wouldn’t work with the Keurig single coffee machines, since they only work with officially branded Keurig pods. In fact, the average cost of a single-serve coffee capsule is around $0.90c while the machine costs around $150, depending on the model and brand.

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#6. You can actually enjoy the single-serve coffee capsules without even purchasing their single-serve coffee machines!

If you have received a box of single-serve coffee capsules as a Christmas gift and either due to cost or environmental concerns, do not wish to invest in a single-serve coffee machine, what should you do? Here is an extremely simple hack which you can do to enjoy your coffee without using the single-serve coffee capsule machine; simply cut it open, pour the coffee powder from the plastic capsule and stir in the desired amount of hot water. Here is a simple illustration.

Note: If the coffee capsules come with filters, simply pop them into a standing flask and pour the hot water through them.

What all these mean to you?

As consumers, we should know that our consumption habit has a huge impact on our health and environment. Hence, a small change in our habits can make a huge difference. Hence, you can make an informed choice by either avoiding the use of single-serve coffee machines or choose to use them with stainless steel refillable coffee capsules.


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