Success of K cups and Keurig has brought us excellent coffee in a very convenient setting. These best biodegradable K cups attempt to solve a big problem with K cups. As we know, K cups are almost always made out of plastic. Small as they are, considering the millions of K-cups that are used every day, the problem of plastic waste is real.
Many companies have made attempts to present solutions. It is up to us, the consumers, to encourage innovation and demand more sustainable products, like compostable coffee pods. Those working for sustainability deserve our appreciation, and our business.
About Biodegradable K-Cups
Bye Bye Plastic
To put it simply, the mountains of plastic K-cups generate isn’t sustainable. Statistics suggest that nearly 41% of American homes have a single-serve coffee maker. This leads to several hundred millions of coffee pods being used daily. And practically all of them are made from plastic. In 2015 alone, Keurig sold about 10.5 billion K-cups. Keep in mind, Keurig is not the only company selling these cups. Tens of billions of coffee pods make way to landfills and our oceans every year.
There are enough discarded K-cups that if they were laid side-to-side, they could wrap the Earth 10 times. Plastics are a big problem for the environment in general. A greater focus needs to be placed on our use of K-cups. These are essentially unnecessary single-use plastics harming the environment.
Choosing Compostable K Cups
Addicted as society is to the convenience of K-cups, it can be difficult to give them up. This is where compostable/biodegradable K-cups come in. Rather than piling up in landfills, these cups can disintegrate naturally. Thus, they remove the problem of single-use plastics that is plaguing our planet.
Like with most things, there is a catch. Replacement systems, particularly those related to compostable K-cups aren’t quite ready for their heyday. They generally require commercial composting facilities, which aren’t as widespread as requirements would necessitate them to be.
Yet, they are decidedly superior to plastic cups. Also, consumer interest should turn the wheels of capitalism into investing further into these options, so better K-cups are developed.
These are usually non plastic k cups and can be considered better than recyclable K-cups. Recyclable plastics are plastic, and many of them never actually end up being recycled.
To be perfectly honest, a still better option would be to give up single-use plastics like K-cups. Instead, make your coffee the classic way – without pods. If you must stick to single-serves, at the very least consider reusable K-cups to go along biodegradable K-cups.
Top Biodegradable Coffee Pods Reviewed
Tayst | 50 ct. Defiantly Decaf | 100% Compostable Single Serve Coffee Pods | Gourmet Coffee in Earth Friendly packaging | Decaf Roast Coffee
SF Bay Coffee OneCUP Organic Rainforest Blend 80 Ct Medium Roast Compostable Coffee Pods, K Cup Compatible including Keurig 2.0 (Packaging May Vary)
GLORYBREW Variety Pack w Flavors – 60 count 100% Compostable Coffee Pods for Keurig K-Cup Brewers – Rainforest Alliance Certified | Better than Biodegradable Coffee Pods
Oakland Coffee Works Fourth Wave Blend Organic Coffee, Single Serve Coffee K-Cup Pods (10 Count) Keurig Compatible
Ethical Bean Fair Trade Organic Coffee Pods, Classic Medium Roast, 100% Compostable Coffee Pods – 12ct Box (4.7oz)
OneCoffee Organic Breakfast Blend 12 Count Single Serve Coffee 100% Compostable K-Cup for Keurig Brewers – Medium Roast
Kauai Coffee Single-Serve Pods, Na Pali Coast Dark Roast – 100% Arabica Coffee from Hawaii’s Largest Coffee Grower, Compatible with Keurig K-Cup Brewers – 12 Count
GreaterGoods Kcup Coffee Medium Roast (72 Count) For Keurig Coffee Maker K-Cup Replacements, Medium Roast Mountain Blend Eco Safe Coffee Pods (Medium Roast Mountain Blend)
1. Tayst Decaf Coffee Pods
Tayst Coffee says that their Tayst Decaf Coffee Pods are 100% compostable and biodegradable. The pods don’t contain any plastic, and an effort is made to minimize plastic use in packaging for the boxes as well. Taking their eco-friendly approach further, the coffee is Rainforest Alliance certified.
All of this has been done without sacrificing the taste or flavor of the coffee. The decaf is still dark and rich with an exotic aroma. In case you don’t fancy decaf, they have options for conventional coffee as well. Of course, the same no-plastic pods are a part of the deal.
2. San Francisco Bay OneCup, Organic Rainforest Blend
One of the best organic K-cups available, the Organic Rainforest Blend by San Francisco Bay OneCup puts quite an effort in its green credentials. You’ll notice most compostable pods follow a similar structure. There’s paper lidding, plant-resin based ring, and a mesh filter.
The mesh filter and lidding are biodegradable. It’s the ring that will need to go to a commercial compost facility for proper disposal. If you have access to such a facility, it would be irresponsible not to shift to compostable pods.
The OneCup pods are compatible with Keurig 1.0, 2.0, and other popular single-serve brewers like those from Bunn and Cuisinart.
As for the coffee, it is delicious. The ingredients for the blend are sourced from around the world, keeping quality at the top of the list. The coffee used is OCIA and USDA certified organic. You can expect the beverage to be smooth, full-bodied, and with a lovely aroma.
3. Cameron’s Coffee Single Serve Pods, Kona Blend
Cameron’s Kona Blend also featured on our list of the best Kona Coffee K-cups. It contains only about 10% Kona coffee and therefore makes the minimum for using the Kona blend categorization. However, the blend is masterful and goes along great with the unique flavor and taste of Kona. Even with the expensive Kona added, the coffee blend maintains a good value for money.
The pod is commercially compostable. Its paper lidding and mesh filter are biodegradable. However, the ring will need a commercial composting facility.
4. GLORYBREW – Variety Pack – 100% Compostable Coffee Pods
Glorybrew offers interesting flavors packed into 100% compostable coffee pods. The coffee is Rainforest Alliance certified, and together with the packing gives this product good points for environmental friendliness.
The blends are available in medium, dark, and extra-dark roasts. What’s fun is the interesting names these blends have. The five options are available as The Noble, The Knight, The Duke, Sir Hazelnut, and Lady Vanilla. The latter two are flavored and add quite a zest to the coffee. The others are excellent in the way of classic coffee with a bold flavor.
Should you have a preference for a roast, it can be selected directly from their page. I’ve included the variety pack in this list because the blends are all masterfully handled, and make for great cups of coffee. Give it a shot!
5. Boyd’s Hi-Rev Coffee
Boyd’s Hi-Rev medium roast is rich, strong, and packs quite a caffeine kick. Its bold flavor and texture go great with the taste. It’s worth noting that this (and all other pods with mesh filter) need to be kept sealed inside included bags so they don’t lose flavor.
The pods used are BPI certified 100% compostable, with each part being biodegradable and/or compostable. The pods themselves don’t use any plastic, so they maintain an eco-friendly appearance.
6. Oakland Coffee Works Fourth Wave Blend Organic Coffee
Oakland Coffee Works Fourth Wave Blend Organic Coffee is a medium-dark roast with a rich and smooth flavor. The coffee is robust and has a great aroma. To make great coffee, beans chosen are high-quality, hand-picked Arabica from Peru and Honduras.
Putting attention to detail in picking the beans results in high-quality that’s a treat to drink. The coffee is USDA certified organic, and the company tries to focus on farms that put a premium on the environment, and for the farming community in general.
Oakland Coffee pods are 100% compostable, certified by BPI and Vincotte. Like other similar pods, a commercial composting facility is required.
7. Classic Ethical Bean Coffee: 100% Compostable Single Serve K-Cups
I suppose with a name like Ethical Bean Coffee, it is only natural that the company focuses on sustainable practices. The coffee is certified organic, fair trade, and packed in 100% compostable pods.
The blend is a medium roast with a strong flavor and vibrant acidity. The coffee here is 100% Arabica sourced from Central and South America.
8. OneCoffee Organic Breakfast Blend Single Serve Coffee 100% Compostable K Cup
Well balanced and smooth, the OneCoffee Organic Breakfast Blend is made from Arabica beans sourced from South America. The certified organic coffee is a medium roast with a strong caffeine fix. It is certified organic, ensuring no agrochemicals make way to your coffee cup. Additionally, it’s also certified kosher and halal.
9. Kauai Coffee Single-serve Pods, Na Pali Coast Dark Roast
This coffee uses premium 100% Arabica beans sourced from Na Pali Coast in Hawaii. The dark roast is rich, flavorful, and full-bodied. Its taste is highlighted by chocolate undertones and accentuated by a vivid aroma. Kauai Coffee comes with biodegradable paper lidding and mesh filter. However, the ring used is made from plastic, and thus plays spoilsport with what could have been great coffee in wonderful packaging.
10. GreaterGoods Kcup Coffee Medium Roast Mountain Blend Eco Friendly Coffee Pods
GreaterGoods Kcup is a deliciously mild blend. Well-balanced, medium-bodied, and a flavor profile that feels wonderful are the hallmarks of this coffee. It’s fresh and pleasant, which makes it all the more enjoyable.
The pods are eco-friendly and good value for money. I think the pods could have been better quality. They are prone to dropping coffee grounds into the cup, which is a terrible waste. To be fair, the failure rate is low, but it is still present, rather than being a one-off occurrence. Still, it’s pretty good coffee and 100% compostable pods, which earns it a spot on this list.
11. Joe Knows Coffee, Tall Dark and Handsome
There is no reason to doubt that Joe Knows Coffee. The blends are exotic and delicious and something to admire. As its name implies, Tall Dark and Handsome is a bold roast with a wonderful flavor and a remarkable taste.
It also helps that the coffee comes packed in biodegradable K Cups (compostable pods). These pods are commercially compostable and take away some part of K cup environmental troubles.
Like several other compostable pods, they do have one problem. Your pods are very likely to arrive in airtight plastic packaging.
Compostable soft pods are porous, which means air can freely move through. And that isn’t going to help the coffee flavor in the slightest. It is debatable how much plastic waste these prevent, so here’s hoping for continued innovation!
Compostable Cups Are A Responsible Choice
Environmental problems that our world faces need a solid response. Single-use plastics are one of the worst offenders, and we should take concrete steps to reduce our dependence on them. Keurig K-cups are one example of unnecessary single-use plastics. It’s better to ditch the single-use plastics, and move to the best biodegradable k cups available. Consumer interest is a massive incentive. And, for the love of coffee, we should put greater effort into sustainable and better practices in the industry.