New Single-Serve Pods Address Environmental Concerns — And Produce Superb Coffee

The United States is a country of coffee-drinkers, with 54 percent of Americans over the age of 18 consuming an average of 27 ounces of the beverage each day. Coffee is the world's second most valuable traded commodity (No. 1 is petroleum), and America alone spends $40 billion annually on its favorite caffeinated beverage. This strong demand for coffee has taken a dramatic toll on the environments of popular coffee-growing regions, and if we're not careful, the cultivation of coffee could lead to the destruction of some of the world's most extraordinary and treasured ecosystems.

But it's not just the production of coffee that's adversely affecting the environment, it's also the way we brew it. An article in The New York Times emphasized how Keurig's new "recyclable" K-cup pods are not actually reusable or compostable;  environmentalists have even went as far as to call them "fundamentally irresponsible." In fact, more than 11 billion K-cup pods will end up in landfills by the end of this year. Fortunately, some companies have taken it upon themselves to not only offer high-quality coffee, but to also deliver it in an environmentally conscious and ecologically sustainable way.

Tayst Coffee Roaster is one such company. Tayst uses the PurPod100, the world's first certified 100-percent compostable Keurig-compatible cup pods. The lid of the PurPod100 is made from biodegradable materials and water-based compostable ink, while the ring is made from actual coffee bean skins. The mesh pouch that holds the ground coffee is constructed of bio resins, which allows coffee flavor to be extracted more effectively. The most innovative feature of the Purpod100, however, is that as the pod decomposes, it actually releases nutrients back into the soil.

The company gets its coffee only from Rainforest Alliance Certified producers — so it's positively affecting the ecosystems of both the coffee producers and consumers. On top of its environmental benefits the pods brew a rich and flavorful cup of coffee. Tayst offers two dark, and two medium roasts, a decaf, and a naturally flavored vanilla coffee. Each different roast offers a unique flavor profile ranging from smoky cocoa, to fruity mocha. The company offers a line of espresso pods as well.   

Tayst's website also gives customers the option to subscribe for monthly coffee delivery to either their homes or offices. Even though its sustainable packaging is more expensive, the price per pod remains competitive with that of many existing K-cup manufacturers.