The future of coffee capsules is spherical. And wrapped in seaweed. Migros, the Swiss retail giant, announced yesterday, September 6th, that they will be releasing a new line of round coffee capsules in an effort to reduce the significant amount of waste produced by single-serve coffee.
We have reported in the past on various startups utilizing seaweed to make ecologically friendly single-serve coffee, but to date none have quite had the scale of Migros, Switzerland’s largest retailer, supermarket, and employer. As reported by ABC News, the Swiss company is creating the new coffee option under its Cafe Royal brand. Instead of using traditional coffee capsules, the CoffeeB machines will utilize coffee balls, spheres of coffee grounds encased in a “thin, flavorless, seaweed-based cover.”
Unlike many of the current capsule options on the market today, which contain plastic and aluminum, the Migros coffee balls are fully compostable; the seaweed cover can be thrown directly in the compost bins along with the spent grounds, or directly in the garden, per Migros, to fully break down in “a couple of weeks.”
The company touts the new CoffeeB as the world’s “first [capsule] system that does not produce any waste.”
Per ABC, the CoffeeB system will first roll out in Switzerland and France sometime later this year before expanding into Germany in 2023. The CoffeeB system is currently available for purchase via the Migros website for Fr. 149 ($151 USD), with 9 coffee ball sets retailing for Fr. 4.60.
It’s an exciting development in coffee capsule systems. Sustainability and convenience have long been at odds in the pod world. But with the new coffee balls by Migros, users may no longer have to choose a side.