Are you wondering if you can use the coffee pods from your Nespresso machine twice or maybe even more? Or if there is some other way to recycle your coffee pods? If that’s you, then this article will be great for you! Below you will learn all the possible ways to reuse and recycle your coffee pods. Awesome, right?
I will go over 5 ways that you can reuse and recycle Nespresso pods at home, so you can make an informed decision on how you want to brew coffee with your Nespresso machine while being as environmentally friendly as you can.
But that’s not all; below, you will learn exactly how to reuse, refill, and recycle your coffee pods.
What are Nespresso pods and how do they work?
The coffee pods are made of aluminium and can be easily recycled, which is why so many people love the concept of these pods.
The aluminium pods are filled with ground coffee. Whenever you feel like drinking a pod of coffee, all you need to do is turn on your coffee machine and add a coffee pod into the cut-out coffee pod tray.
All there is left to do now is press down on the handle and press either the espresso or lungo button (depending on which pod you’ve added to the machine).
Nespresso makes a ton of different “coffee flavors”, which come in different colored pods, which look pretty great when you want to display them in a bowl.
My favorite coffee flavors are the Vivalto Lungo and Fortissio Lungo, which have a great colored coffee pod:
Differences between espresso and lungo Nespresso pods
The coffee pods differ quite a lot when you have a choice between espresso and lungo coffee. When you have an espresso pod, the ground coffee will be a lot finer than the lungo pod. The flavor profile differs greatly because of this.
Espresso coffee is always made with ground coffee that feels and looks really fine, almost like a fine powder of some sort. Using a good grind size when making espresso is really important as this will determine the outcome of your coffee (especially its flavor).
The great thing about using coffee pods at home is: you don’t have to worry about getting the correct grind size for your coffee pod, as they come pre-filled with ground coffee.
Lungo pods will give you a single serving of coffee with roughly 110ml (3.72 Oz) of coffee.
The espresso cups will give you just a bit over 40ml (1.35 Oz) of liquid gold for you to enjoy.
If you are interested in reusing your coffee pods, I suggest you read along as I will tell you all about it and much more.
Do Nespresso pods have a big impact on the environment?
The coffee pods are made of aluminium, which is 100% recyclable.
Nespresso is known for its recycling process that the coffee pods undergo, but we are also partly responsible for recycling the coffee pods that we use. The Guardian wrote a great article about this:
Unlike plastic, used by many of Nespresso’s rivals, aluminium is 100% recyclable, but there is a big difference between offering recycling facilities and getting consumers to use them. Nespresso says its global recycling rate is 30%.The Guardian
According to this article, the mining waste generated from aluminum production is incredibly high, which makes you question if your best option is buying coffee pods in the first place.
This is why I will show you how you can reuse and recycle your coffee pods so you have every piece of information to reduce your environmental footprint.
5 Ways that you can reuse and recycle your Nespresso pods
Are you convinced now to do something about your one-use coffee pods?
If so, then I got five awesome tips for you below that you can use to do something about this coffee pod waste!
1. Reusing your Nespresso pods by using them multiple times
The first option to reuse your coffee pods is by using them more than once. You might be thinking now, won’t that taste bad?
Let’s find out!
How many times can you use your Nespresso pods?
Nespresso pods are made to be only used once, and they are filled with coffee grounds that the coffee machine makes your coffee from.
Technically, you can use coffee grounds more than once, and that means that you can use your coffee pod more than once, but the real question is; should you reuse it?
Look, there is a maximum amount of flavor you can get from coffee grounds when you’re brewing the coffee yourself. Nespresso uses a specific size so that everything will be used at its full flavors.
That’s why they call it single-serve pods because, after the first serve, the taste will be different.
But don’t worry, I put it to test below for you so you can see the difference between a normal pod of coffee and a not so normal one. I will also tell you the difference in taste!
One thing I want to say already, reusing the coffee pods by using it twice isn’t the only way to reuse these pods. Plus, you even have ways to recycle them. I’ll cover all these things below.
How to use the Nespresso pod multiple times?
If you want to get multiple cups of coffee from your pods, then you might be wondering how to do that.
Well, the simplest method is to reuse it is by directly opening up your machine and picking up the coffee pod that you just used. Just place the pod where you would place it as if it was a new pod.
Be careful though, the pod might be hot!
You will also be able to just press the button on the machine again, without removing the pod from the machine at all. This will save some time and is best used when you were already planning on using the pod twice straight away.
But don’t worry if you don’t feel like using your pod twice like this. There are other options like refilling, recycling, and using a reusable pod. Let’s begin!
What does it look like if you use the same Nespresso pod twice?
You’re curious how the coffee will look like when you use the pod twice, right?
Well, don’t worry! I have tested it for you so you can clearly see the difference between both cups of coffee:
As you can see, the left one (which is the coffee made while using the coffee pod for the first time) looks a lot darker in color.
In the right photo, you can see the coffee pod that has been through the machine a second time.
Do you see how clear the difference is?
How does it taste like if you use the same pod?
Sometimes, coffee colors can look very different from each other. This is why the taste of coffee is even more important.
I found out that drinking coffee that has been through the machine a second time gives off a really weird taste.
The coffee pods are made in a way that the extraction time will be the same for every pod, using up every coffee flavor from the ground coffee. The second time around, the coffee that comes out of the machine looks under-extracted.
This is exactly what it tastes like. The taste of the second cup of coffee is far from anything you can call coffee. It doesn’t have any coffee taste at all and smells kind of weird as well.
The great thing about knowing that the second run-through of water is not recommended is that Nespresso has done a great job of extracting every single flavor out of the coffee pod the first time around.
2. Refilling your Nespresso pods with fresh coffee grounds
Another great idea is to refill the coffee pods that you have already used.
So, instead of reusing it by just putting the same coffee grounds into the machine, you will reuse it by opening up the pod and replacing the used coffee grounds with new ones.
Sounds interesting, right?
Great tip, however beware of using your own aluminum foil when reusing your capsules. Nespresso capsules are made from aluminum with a food grade shellac coating. When hot water forces through it, the water and coffee comes into contact only with the shellac, not the aluminum. It is safer to use refillable compatible pods or new pods.(Source)
The article mentions that you will need to create a new “cap” to cover the coffee pod, so the ground coffee will not fall out. The “cap” is made from aluminium foil. Down below you will find some more information about the use of aluminium foil in food:
Aluminum foil isn’t considered dangerous, but it can increase the aluminum content of your diet by a small amount.(Source)
If you want to refill your coffee pods, but don’t want to reuse them like this, then another great tip is purchasing a reusable pod that you can reuse multiple times. I will show you below what I mean!
3. Using a reusable Nespresso pod
I personally think that this is the best tip in this article. You can use a specially made coffee pod that is created to be used multiple times.
This is great if you don’t want to reuse the same coffee pod and don’t feel good about using a new one each time you want a pod of coffee.
The only downside is that you need to fill it up yourself, but the great thing now is that you don’t throw away single pods every time.
If you’re interested in using a reusable coffee pod at home, then you can check it out here:
4. Recycling your Nespresso pods
What if you don’t want to reuse the same pod and you don’t want to refill your pods or purchase a special reusable coffee capsule but still want to save the environment?
Then you can also recycle your coffee pods.
You can do this by ordering one of these free recycle bags when you purchase your coffee pods:
Once your recycle bag is full; you can drop it off at one of the 122.287 collection points around the world.
After that, Nespresso will recycle your pods! Awesome, right?
Nespresso mentions on their website that the recycled coffee pods turn into much more than just the bike that you can see in the video, like chairs, pens, watch cases, and even window frames!
5. Don’t drink Nespresso any more
The last tip that I will give you is to not use coffee pods at all anymore. You might be thinking now, but how can you drink your coffee then?
Well, that’s where home brewing enters the room!
Home brewing coffee is one of the most fun things to do, and it will give you an amazing tasting cup of coffee. Let me start by explaining a bit about the different coffee brewers you can use.
After the conclusion, I will add a few articles that might interest you, if you want to use something other than a Nespresso machine to brew your coffee with.
Brewing coffee requires a few things to get you started, a coffee brewer, coffee beans, a coffee grinder (if you want to grind your own coffee beans, which I do recommend), and a scale to make sure you are using the best ratio of coffee/ water to make Your Dream Coffee at home!
As I have said before, there are a lot of coffee brewers out there, and I would like to explain to you which coffee brewers I would recommend using when you are just starting out:
- French press coffee maker
- Pour over coffee maker, like a Chemex or Hario V60
The above-mentioned coffee brewers were my first coffee brewers too, which is why I can highly recommend them. The French press will give you a stronger tasting cup of coffee that will blow your mind when you want to try an alternative to coffee made with pods.
The Chemex or Hario V60 or so-called “pour over techniques” are for making a great cup of coffee, which is smooth in flavor but and has a lighter, more subtle taste to it.
Both coffee makers can produce an amazing cup of coffee. And I suggest giving them a try to get a feeling for which coffee you enjoy best.
What are the best Nespresso pods?
If after reading this article, you’re still interested in buying a few Nespresso pods, then don’t forget to check out the articles below to find the right match for you:
- Best Nespresso Pods for Cappuccino
- Best Nespresso Pods for Espresso
- Best Nespresso Pods for Iced Coffee
- Best Nespresso Pods for Iced Latte
- Best Nespresso Pods for Latte
Did you know Nespresso pods were such a big problem for the environment? If not, then I hope these tips will help you do your part in saving the environment.
Are you going to try to recycle and reuse coffee pods? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!
And don’t forget, coffee pods aren’t the only way to get coffee at your home. There are multiple ways to brew an awesome cup of coffee at home. I’ve listed a few articles below if you’re interested in learning more about coffee.
Also, let me know if you’re going to try to use fewer Nespresso pods!