Leisurely mornings listening to your favourite podcast or daily news while brewing your own cup of coffee is the start of a perfect day. However, not everyone has time to grind coffee beans — especially when you’ve rolled off the wrong side of the bed, and braving yourself to face the morning traffic.

For busy professionals, convenience is key when it comes to your morning coffee. Sure, you can grab a cup of flat white from your favourite cafe, but that adds up quickly. Enter: Single-serve coffee makers from brands such as Nespresso or Illy where you can simply pop in a capsule and have your caffeine fix within minutes.

However, convenience doesn’t necessarily translate to eco-friendliness, as most coffee pods are made from a complex combination of plastic and metal that can rarely be recycled. Soon, you’ll find yourself staring at a mountain of plastic or aluminium pods that you have accumulated over time. But before your throw your coffee machine away, we have good news. A few brands on the market now offer compostable or biodegradable coffee pods that won’t come at the expense of mother nature.

Here’s our selection of brands that offer third wave coffee pods that will be leave a lighter footprint on the environment, for a guilt-free caffeine fix on days you just need more sleep.

1
Tripod Coffee

Australian-based brand Tripod Coffee offers a line-up of certified compostable and biodegradable Nespresso-compatible coffee capsules that are sourced and traded fairly from all over the globe. Try the Green Gatsby, a 100 percent certified organic coffee from Papua New Guinea which provides deep notes of plum, chocolate and honey on the palette, yet balanced with a slight volcanic acidity.

Available from S$6.50/10 capsules at Little Farms, Fishwives, and Tangs basement. 

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2
Colonna Coffee

Created by three-time UK Barista champion Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, Colonna Coffee offers some of the best third wave capsules in the market. The brand has recently incorporated new technology to create compostable capsules made from cornstarch, which should degrade within six months in the food recycling bin. Try the Las Laderas, a two-time Cup of Excellence winning farm in El Salvador, resulting in capsules that are rich and sweet with notes of soft golden raisin and fresh date, with a pleasing almond finish.

Available from S$15/10 capsules at Percolate Singapore or Redmart

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3
Foodies Larder

The Foodies Larder has a range of biodegradable and compostable coffee capsules compatible with Nespresso machines. The pods are made from cornstarch and are 100 percent biodegradable and compostable within six to 12 weeks in your food waste bin. We’d recommend the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe capsules, which use 100 percent pure single origin Arabica coffee which are organic and strictly shade-grown at an altitude of between 1900 and 2000 metres by a smallholder fair trade farming cooperative in Ethiopia’s Yirgacheffe region. The result is a fragrant coffee with a light to medium body and a hint of spice and rich fruit with a lovely chocolatey finish.

Available online (price tbc). 
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4
Volcano Coffee Works Balanced

In 2017, Volcano Coffee Works released its 100 percent biodegradable and fully compostable coffee pods without compromising on quality. The brand’s capsules, lids, and bag packaging are made from a 100 percent bio-based cornstarch material, which can be thrown into your food recycling bin and broken down within six months in an industrial composting system. The coffee is hand-roasted in small batches and ethically sourced from South American growers. Try the Balanced All Day coffee pods, made using beans grown by farmers across four regions in Brazil’s Minasul cooperative. Add a touch of milk to bring out the notes of honeycomb and chocolate.
Available from S$35/32 capsules online.

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5
Dualit

Dualit’s popular coffee are now available in compostable capsules made of cornstarch, sugar cane, and vegetable fibre blend that can be industrially disposed off through authorised food waste schemes. The brand offers premium beans grown in a single geographic location by groups of small farms, dedicated to supporting their communities and environment. The Indian Monsoon, for instance, uses fair trade, dark roast espresso grown on farms in southern India. The result is an intense and creamy cup of coffee.

Available from S$21.30/60 capsules online

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Dewi Nurjuwita
Senior Writer
Dewi Nurjuwita is a travel and design writer who can be found exploring the streets of foreign cities with passport in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.