Did you know that 1 in 3 homes in America now owns a coffee maker? What does that mean? This suggests that there are more plastic coffee pods occupying space in the landfills than you can imagine. And whenever or wherever there’s so much plastic, there are serious environmental issues.
In that case, it’s a logical decision to want to buy the best biodegradable K Cups. I mean just because you enjoy your daily caffeine kick doesn’t mean the planet has to pay the price for it. I’m sure you agree, which is why you’re even reading this article in the first place.
So how about switching to K cup pods that do not contain even a single ounce of plastic?
- Compostable K-Cups – What Are They Made Of?
- Factors to Look for When Buying Biodegradable Coffee K Cups
- Best Biodegradable K Cups for 2021 Reviews
- 1. SF Bay Coffee Breakfast Blend Medium Roast
- 2. SF Bay Coffee French Roast Dark Roast
- 3. GLORYBREW 100% Compostable
- 4. Cameron’s Coffee Jamaica Blue Mountain Blend
- 5. Kauai Coffee Na Pali Coast Dark Roast
- 6. OneCoffee Organic Breakfast Blend
- 7. McCafe Premium Roast Coffee Pods
- 8. San Francisco Bay New Variety Pack
- 9. Faro Roasting House Variety Pack
- 10. Boyd’s Hi-Rev Coffee Medium Roast Single Cup
- K-Cups and Their Effects On the Environment
- Is Keurig Doing Anything About It?
- Biodegradable vs. Recyclable K Cups
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Verdict
Compostable K-Cups – What Are They Made Of?
There’s no denying that compostable coffee pods have the ability to disintegrate naturally. But you should also know these kinds of K cups demand the existence of commercial composting facilities.
No doubt, biodegradable or compostable pods do not contain plastic. So what are they made of? Plant-based materials such as sugarcane. Then there’s the use of paper pulp as well. And all of these are 100-percent compostable. They tend to disintegrate or break down in the soil in only 8-12 weeks or less.
So the end result of compostable K cups takes the form of soil. Meaning no polluting landfills or the environment.
Factors to Look for When Buying Biodegradable Coffee K Cups
It’s only natural to get confused when it comes to choosing the best K cups, particularly when these K cups are supposed to be biodegradable. So here’s how you can narrow down your search
What’s your caffeine fix? It’s necessary to purchase your coffee, in whatever form, keeping your flavor preferences in mind. Such as what type of roast do you like? Is it dark, medium, medium-dark, or light roast?
And thanks to more and more coffee brands now manufacturing the biodegradable kind of K cups, there are plenty of flavor varieties to choose from these days.
If you’re going for environment-friendly packaging, then it only makes sense to select coffee that’s organically grown. That said, make sure your biodegradable coffee pods are packed with coffee prepared using USDA Organic certified beans.
For a richer, smoother, creamier, and more delicious taste, you need to buy the freshest coffee blends.
Another freshness aspect takes the form of an airtight seal on the K cup. If the coffee pod doesn’t keep out air, then the freshness of your beverage is bound to get compromised.
K Cup Count and Price
More often than not, K cups are sold in a pack. So make sure to check how many pods you get in a single pack. And then compare the price of one pack of, for example, 12-count K cups of one particular brand to another brand’s single pack of 12-count K cups.
Your ultimate goal here is to choose a reputable coffee brand that includes the most number of pods at the most affordable price.
Fully Commercially Compostable
The K cup you’re using is eco-friendly only if it’s made using plant-based materials. Therefore, only if the K cup can break down into organic matter at commercial compost facilities.
And for the K cup to be fully commercially compostable, it should be built with plant-based materials. Such as a paper lid, a compostable ring made of beets, corn and wood, and a real, not plastic coffee filter.
Best Biodegradable K Cups for 2021 Reviews
1. SF Bay Coffee Breakfast Blend Medium Roast
These single-serve coffee pods by San Francisco Bay are commercially compostable certified. They’re built using only compostable materials. Such as the mesh filter, plant-based ring, paper lidding, and more.
But what’s unbelievable is that the K cups here are compatible with nearly every brewing system. And this includes the 2.0 coffee makers of Keurig.
As for the roast and flavor, the former is a medium roast and the latter, no doubt, offers a delicious and smooth finish.
- Coffee pods are 97-percent biodegradable
- Certified Kosher, 100-percent Arabica coffee beans
- Even though strong, it’s not acidic, bitter, or burnt-tasting
- Coffee grounds in each pod are exposed to air
2. SF Bay Coffee French Roast Dark Roast
Here’s the dark roast version of the previous San Francisco Bay coffee. Meaning this one prepares a dark, full-bodied brew with a deliciously smoky finish. And if you really can’t get enough of dark roast coffee, have a peek here to get to know some of the most delicious and robust dark roast K cups.
Once again, it’s Kosher certified and commercially compostable certified.
The use of 100-percent Arabica coffee beans means there are antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enough caffeine to boost alertness and focus, and even low calories.
And you don’t have to worry about freshness at all when it comes to any SF Bay creation. Because all roasted coffee is both ground and also packaged fresh.
- Commercially compostable single-serve pods
- A full-bodied dark French roast with a smoky finish
- Compatible with all Keurig coffee makers
- Pods are not individually sealed
- Sediments at the bottom of the cup
3. GLORYBREW 100% Compostable
Here’s the best variety pack that consists of only compostable coffee pods compatible with Keurig machines. The variety pack includes medium, dark, and extra dark roasts.
The medium-roast blend is bright and pleasant with moderate acidity. The dark version is strong and full-bodied. And the final extra dark roast is intense yet well-balanced with low acidity. All 3 blends are a combination of pure Arabica beans from South and Central America.
But, more importantly, are these Keurig K cups built using no plastic whatsoever? Definitely!
- Eco-friendly, 100-percent compostable Keurig K cups
- Rainforest Alliance certified with no preservatives/additives
- Consists of medium, dark, and extra dark roasts
- Coffee grounds from the pods tend to leak through
4. Cameron’s Coffee Jamaica Blue Mountain Blend
No doubt, Cameron’s every coffee is better for planet Earth. All pods contain not plastic but real coffee filters. On top of that, they’re compostable certified in industrial facilities.
But what about Keurig compatibility? No worries about that either as these single-serve pods work with Keurig 2.0 as well.
Moving on, the Jamaica Blue Mountain Blend is deliciously flavorful and rich. The delicate spiciness combines well with the complex flavors. In all, the quality of Cameron’s coffee is pretty much like a freshly prepared cafe brew.
- Single-serve pods with compostable filter, ring, and paper lid
- Expertly roasted blend, specialty grade coffee
- Complex flavors and rich taste with a delicate spiciness
- More likely to fall out of K-cup holder
- Mesh bottom means exposure to air
5. Kauai Coffee Na Pali Coast Dark Roast
When 100-percent premium-grade Arabica coffee beans are used, you should expect nothing but a deliciously smooth flavor and tantalizing aroma.
That’s the beauty of this Na Pali Dark Roast coffee that offers a rich and bold flavor. Plus, the sweet chocolate overtones and nutty notes are bound to earn bonus points from every kind of coffee lover.
Speaking of coffee lovers, many of them have started to favor environment-friendly single-serve coffee pods. Such as the current ones that, surprisingly, are also compatible with this selection of Keurig coffee makers, and every other Keurig machine. Along with Keurig alternatives; you’ll find the top-selling ones here.
- 100% premium Arabica coffee
- Rich, bold flavor with hints of sweet chocolate and nuttiness
- Keurig 2.0 compatible
- Coffee grounds get through the mesh during brewing
6. OneCoffee Organic Breakfast Blend
First and foremost, this is a vibrantly bright yet balanced roast with a deep, rich, and smooth flavor. The grind size is also perfect for brewing your cup at the 8-ounce setting. So you can prepare the most delicious coffee again and again using your Keurig 2.0 or any other single-serve brewer like Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, etc.
The Arabica coffee beans are USDA Organic certified. Speaking of organic, We also compiled a list of organic coffee K cups that don’t compromise quality and flavor. As for OneCoffee K cups, they’re 100% compostable with a mesh filter and zero plastic waste.
- Kosher certified pods and USDA Organic certified beans
- Bright, balanced roast with a smooth mouthfeel
- Strong Breakfast Blend flavor that is also rich and deep
- Not the most flavorful or full-bodied
7. McCafe Premium Roast Coffee Pods
Premium roast coffee is all about a full-bodied, rich flavor. And when I say premium coffee, I mean coffee made from premium-quality, high-grade pure Arabica beans. The ones, in this case, are roasted just a bit darker than medium for providing an optimally balanced flavor that’s full-bodied with a fragrant aroma.
Moreover, the pods are 100% compostable. So you don’t feel too bad for choosing the convenience of using a Keurig coffee maker.
- High-quality Arabica coffee beans
- Slightly darker medium roast with a full-bodied flavor
- 100% compostable pods
- Mesh pods, thus you have to seal them separately
8. San Francisco Bay New Variety Pack
This is San Franciso Bay’s very generous variety pack. That includes the flavors Breakfast Blend, Espresso, Donut Shop, And Hazelnut. Each flavor is strong and dense in its own unique way. And none of them has any hints of a burnt aftertaste, even the espresso variety.
As for the eco-friendly part, I have already reviewed 2 SF Bay’s flavors at the beginning of the reviews section. And just like those two, this variety pack also consists of K cups that are fully commercially compostable certified.
- Variety pack includes compostable pods
- Consistently strong flavor
- Even the packaging is recyclable
- Mesh bottom exposes coffee grounds to air
- The pack doesn’t include equal amount of flavors
9. Faro Roasting House Variety Pack
So you get French Roast, French Vanilla, Colombian Dark, Breakfast Blend, and Roasters Blend. So you have light, medium, and dark roast coffee flavors packed in fully compostable pods. The blends, each one, are well-balanced, fruity, and aromatic.
Are they compatible with Keurig single-serve brewers? Fortunately, yes. Even Keurig 2.0 as a matter of fact.
Plus, you get to enjoy both the strong, bold dark roast and the sweet, exotic light roast. The creamy texture of every flavor is also a very tantalizing aspect, which is much appreciated by the palette of even a picky coffee drinker.
- Rainforest Alliance certified coffee
- 100% compostable pods
- Includes light, medium, and dark roasts
- Mesh pods – problematic to keep fresh
- A slightly bitter, muddy aftertaste
10. Boyd’s Hi-Rev Coffee Medium Roast Single Cup
The Hi-Rev flavor here, you must know, is a medium-dark roast. One that’s bound to draw in your taste buds and caffeine cravings with its honey-roasted, rich aroma. With every sip, you can taste the bold and full-bodied flavor. Let me also tell you that Hi-Rev is high-caffeine for high-performance.
As for the pods, they’re 100-percent compostable certified. The materials used are biodegradable; for the lid, filter, and even the ring.
- The perfect balance of acidity, flavor, aroma, and body
- Medium-dark roast in completely compostable pods
- Rich, bold, and smooth flavor
- Bitter aftertaste and a little too strong
K-Cups and Their Effects On the Environment
The majority of K cups are plastic-based, right? That means they’re not sustainable. And with almost 40-45 percent of the American population now using single-serve coffee makers, it’s inevitable for millions and millions of coffee pods to stack up in landfills.
In the year 2005, Keurig itself sold around as many as 10.5 billion K cups. And let me tell you that it’s not just Keurig that manufacturers K cups anymore. There are other companies selling plastic-made K cups as well. That means landfills and oceans are getting polluted with more K cups than you and I can even begin to imagine.
If you lay these coffee pods next to one another, they’re likely to cover the whole of Earth around 10 times. Isn’t that an alarming fact? Plastic, after all, is already a very huge concern for our environment, even without K cups.
Around 95-percent of disposal coffee pods that get discarded are destined to sit in landfills for nearly 500 years. Because, as you might already know, plastic isn’t biodegradable.
But then not all of those 95-percent K cups end up in landfills. They are also found in oceans, rivers, and forests. Either way, plastic materials don’t biodegrade; it just disintegrates into smaller particles called microplastics.
Microplastics release harmful chemicals that pollute the very environment we live in. Also, these harmful chemicals are consumed by animals, who are then consumed by humans.
Is Keurig Doing Anything About It?
The creator of Keurig, John Sylan, was certainly not anticipating this kind of a negative impact. As a result of which, he does indeed regret manufacturing the product. He says that he never even imagined that Keurig would become such a common household name.
With billions of plastic coffee pods flooding the landfills in America, it was only unavoidable for environmental activists to take notice. So they started to raise awareness regarding the issue. The outcome of this was a substantial dip of Keurig’s market value. And that, in turn, compelled the brand to fix the crisis.
Keurig has pledged to remedy the disaster by changing the harmful plastic composition of its K cups by the year 2020. The company has finally decided to create a new design that’s more profitable in terms of recycling.
Keurig K cups, as we speak, are being manufactured while keeping curbside recycling in mind. Meaning the transformed coffee pods will have to be brewed, peeled, and emptied. Then you can dispose them off into the recycling bin, much like what eco-friendly consumers already do with yogurt cups.
Biodegradable vs. Recyclable K Cups
Recyclable, as the term suggests, means the material or materials can be reused or recycled in various ways. As for how many ways or times the recyclable coffee pods are used depends on their materials.
On the other hand, biodegradable or compostable K cups disintegrate into smaller components. These are plant-based components that break down into the soil to become a natural part of it eventually.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to Do with Compostable K Cups?
After using them, you discard them away with your other home organic waste. Most likely, these K cups are then sent to commercial facilities that perform the natural composting process.
Just make sure you keep the coffee pods and your food waste separate from one another. This, needless to say, results in a better compost.
Is Keurig Enviroment-Friendly?
Nope, the brand and its manufactured K cups are not eco-friendly. Their plastic-made coffee pods end up in huge numbers in America’s landfills, oceans, rivers, and forests. And these cannot be recycled or composted, so they pose a huge threat to the environment.
Do Compostable K Cups Work with Keurig Coffee Makers?
The brands I’ve reviewed are definitely compatible with all Keurig coffee machines, even the 2.0 ones. In fact, some of them work with other single-serve brewers as well. Such as those manufactured by brands like Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, etc.
Some additional brands included are Green Moutain Coffee, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, The Original Donut Shop, Laughing Man, and more.
Plastic is a huge threat to the environment, no doubt about that. And using traditional plastic-built K cup coffee pods is just adding more fuel to the fire. So it’s time to eliminate these offenders and take the necessary steps for healing our environment. And you can start by using compostable K cups.
The thing about biodegradable coffee pods is that they’re made with plant-based components that, after being discarded, break down and eventually become a part of the natural soil. But for that to happen, the K cups have to be fully commercially compostable. And there have to be enough commercial compostable facilities for getting the job done.