We’ve been developing and producing coffee pods since 2015. But our head of coffee, Will, has long wanted to create the definitive espresso coffee pods.
The key to these perfect coffee pods was getting espresso-hit strength, freshness and optimum flavour from a small aluminium capsule. It turns out that this isn’t particularly easy. And Will has long been in pursuit of it.
Fortune eventually came at a coffee conference last year, when he spoke with an expert in grind particles and began a year-long redevelopment path.
The solution was in a state-of-the-art, high-end UK manufacturer, a goldilocks-perfect grind size (which, it turns out, is a lot easier said than done) and a steady oxygen flow. This now allows us to extract at the market-leading rate while maintaining that great fresh coffee taste that we refuse to budge on.
Now, after 12 months of tinkering with the recipe, we’ve finally got the ideal espresso strength with fantastic flavours that show a true sense of origin.
We tested our new coffee pods with a blind-tasting panel, and the aroma, flavour and mouthfeel ratings outperformed the market leaders. The panel also said they’re more likely to buy our pods.
We caught up with our head of coffee, Will, to ask him the key questions on our new coffee pods.
So, Will, what’s inside the new coffee pods?
Inside each is freshly ground coffee, which is sourced from sustainable farmers that we’re on first name terms with. It’s tamped with just the right amount of pressure and sealed with recyclable aluminium foil to keep things fresh.
What makes the coffee inside different?
Our new technology allows us to grind to just the right size. I’ll spare you too much science, but this means shape consistency across all the grounds in the pods. Too fine a ground stops liquid flowing, too coarse means less coffee is extracted. Just the right size means the perfect pod coffee. It’s taken a year to get this spot-on, and I couldn’t be happier.
Can we recycle these pods?
Yes, absolutely, and we’d really like everyone to. In fact, we chose these fully recyclable coffee pods over compostable pods because we think they’ll be easier to recycle.
Why aren’t they compostable?
Compostable coffee pods can seem like the more eco-friendly option. But they rely on council-run composting facilities and the coffee drinker having an industrial compost bin. If you put them in a landfill site, they won’t compost.
Aluminium, on the other hand, is the most cost-effective material to recycle. It can be melted down and used again – and again. In fact, around 75% of aluminium ever made is still in circulation.
Also, I’m yet to find a manufacturing process for compostable pods that maintains the freshness we expect. We could make compostable pods for cheaper. But we won’t compromise on quality.
So how do we recycle these pods?
You can pop the outer cardboard packaging in your recycling bin. Once you’ve used up your eco-friendly coffee pods, either drop them off at your local Tesco recycling point or use an Eco Press to empty them and put them in your recycling bin.
What’s the shelf life of these pods?
Thanks to the low and consistent oxygen levels in this new production method, these coffee pods will stay fresh for two years.
Both the Fruit & Nut and Bourbon Cream espresso coffee pods are available in your Pact plan. You can also buy them from our online shop.