March is Caffeine Awareness Month and we have been thinking about our coffee consumption recently. We are not concerned about how much coffee we drink. Instead we are considering the cost and the environmental impact of all those single serving pods. I like having a hot cup of coffee on demand. It saved my sanity during our recent renovation.
If you are part of the significant part of the population that uses K cups, there has been an environmental alternative around for quite some time now. These refillable pods are great, as you can add your own coffee and quickly brew it in your K machine.
We have been Nespresso drinkers for many years now and we really like the coffee. What I don’t like is dumping a bunch of pods in the garbage regularly. Nespresso has put in place a recycling program, where they periodically send out bags so that you can mail back the empty pods at their cost. I tried that for a while, but it is a lot of effort to:
- request bags from the company when they don’t send them;
- keep an open bag in the cupboard to which you add used pods until its full;
- take the bag to the post office for mailing (the bag leaked for me a couple of times and I had coffee on my car seat).
The other aspect of the disposable pods is the cost. We generally put in an order for a few months at a time in order to save on delivery costs. Several hundreds of dollars spent on coffee, no matter how infrequently we do it, just seems wrong somehow.
Nespresso Alternative – My-Cap
So @GerainttheWelsh and I decided to look for alternatives. We were disappointed with several different coffee makers that we tried. Now we are trying something different.
My-Cap is a disc-like lid that you can use with recycled Nespresso VertuoLine capsule. What you do is:
- cut the tin foil off your used capsule and empty the coffee.
- Place your empty capsule in the holder that comes with the My-Cap.
- You fill the capsule with the coffee of your choice and then place the lid on top.
You then use the capsule like you normally would. The set-up works best with fine coffee like espresso. You can also buy foil covers so that you can prepare recycled capsules in advance. The My-Cap package is $34.99 on Amazon Canada.
There is a bit of effort that goes into making a coffee using the My-Cap, in that you must retrieve the cap from the last coffee you made, to use for your next one. You must also, empty the coffee out of the capsules and rinse them to be filled again, as part of this process.
The jury is still out. It feels good that we have not thrown away any capsules and that we have hardly spent any money on coffee in the last month. The down side is that there is some effort that goes into making coffee this way.
My thought right now is that sometimes you want to grab a coffee fast and it is good to have a set-up for that: either purchased capsules that you will throw away or recycled ones that you have prepped in advance.
But sometimes part of the joy of having a cup off coffee is smelling the fresh coffee and methodically measuring it out for yourself. I think I will try embracing this for now as it is nice to slow down, and enjoy the ritual of making and drinking a morning coffee.
If you have a Nespresso machine that takes VertuoLine capsules and would like to give My-Cap a try, it is available through Amazon.