Sustainable coffee: biodegradable and edible capsules are here
The pleasure of drinking coffee has remained intact over the centuries, but the ways of consuming it have changed completely. In recent decades, the traditional coffee machine has given way to others that simplify its preparation with a simple capsule that contains all the intense aroma and flavour of this treasured beverage.
These small containers have found a place in homes and offices all over world, and with them the plastic and aluminium that they are made of. Then, after being used, the capsules are thrown away as rubbish and dumped in landfills, where about 20,000 million of them end up every year.
The demands of consumers, increasingly committed to the environment and sustainability, have prompted the producers and distributors of coffee capsules to reformulate the materials used to manufacture these small containers.
Premium companies such as Halo Coffee, which claims it offers the best and most expensive coffee in the world (Kopi Luwak Ruby & Diamond), have opted for 100% sustainable, biodegradable capsules, which are able to disappear by themselves in 90 days, while those made of plastic or aluminium stay around for up to 150 years.
These biodegradable capsules keep the aroma, flavour and freshness of the coffee in perfect condition. Therefore, the new material used to make the containers does not affect the quality of the product, which in this case comes from Asia, and.
An industrial designer from Singapore, Eason Chow, has gone even further and developed sugar-coated coffee capsules that dissolve in water, using a special machine designed by himself. He got the idea from the sugar-hard casing of the coloured gumballs sold in vending machines without a wrapper, which can be consumed directly.
While thinking about the amount of plastic and aluminium used to make coffee capsules, Eason Chow spotted a great opportunity to avoid the use of these materials by encasing the coffee with sugar. In this product, the coffee powder is coated with a thin layer of cream or milk and an outer shell of sugar. Thus, each and every one of the components that makes up the capsule is edible and plays a basic role in the preparation of the cup of coffee.
Furthermore, the design of the coffee capsules is totally original. Chow offers the possibility of associating these edible containers with brands such as Apple, with the drawing of the apple and its bite; with fruits, for example in the shape of a lemon, which brings a slight citrus flavour to the coffee; or with famous characters such as Mickey Mouse.