12 Coffee Brands That Use Compostable Pods

Coffee pods, those awesome little capsules that changed home-brewed coffee forever. Now, instead of brewing a whole pot, you just need to drop your favorite pod into a Keurig or Nespresso machine, and you have a single cup in no time. When John Sylvan created the Keurig machine for offices, he saw it as an alternative to the higher-priced cups available at local coffee shops. But he never expected the machines to be popular in homes. 

According to Statista, as of 2020, 27% of American coffee drinkers use Keurigs to brew their cup of joe at home, and why not? It's so easy. No more grinding up beans and measuring the precise amount for an excellent cup of coffee. Now, all you need is one little pod, and you have the perfect cup every time. Unfortunately, those pods end up in landfills all over the country at a rate of almost 30,000 a month. 

But worse than the number of pods taking up landfill space is that, according to some estimates, it takes at least 500 years for those pods to break down. 500 years! So, since we all want to see earth survive a little longer, several coffee companies have started making compostable pods. Pods that will break down in months, not years, and lead to reduced impact on the planet rather than harming it. These companies are creating compostable pods to help save the place we call home.


Based out of London, Grind has been around since 2011. The shop was born when David Abrahamovitch's father left him a small building in Shoreditch. He joined forces with Australian DJ Kaz James, and the two decided to open up a unique coffeehouse with an expressive spirit. Within a few years, Grind had several shops all over London. Then 2020 came, Covid hit, and everything changed.

Like the rest of the world, Grind's multiple locations were forced to close as people were required to stay inside their homes to "flatten the curve." Unlike many cafes and restaurants in England though, Abrahamovitch and James pivoted and found an alternative. The pair realized they could sell Grind coffee online to those who were now stuck inside. They started with whole beans and grounds, then branched out to pods.

According to reporting from Yahoo Finance, the pair was considering pods before Covid happened, but the pandemic forced their hand. Yet, Abrahamovitch and James didn't just want to make another pod — they wanted to make something sustainable. Something that would alleviate the guilt they and their consumers felt every time they brewed a cup of coffee with a pod. According to public company info, the pods are made from a material called PHA, which means they're fully biodegradable. The pods can go right in your compost, and in less than a year, they return to the earth from whence they came. Better still, they're currently available online for anyone to purchase.

Volcano Coffee Works

Another coffee pod out of London, England, Volcano Coffee Works has been around since 2004. Kurt Stewart, the founder of Volcano Coffee Works, started his little company by selling coffee from a cart in West Dulwich. Since then, the company has grown to include a roastery, a cafe, and a dedicated group of people striving to create a better cup of coffee. But a better cup doesn't mean just in flavor; it also means better for the drinker and the planet. 

Unlike some other pods, Volcano comes in several flavors and even a decaf version. Each box holds 10 pods, comes in a bright neon color, and has a distinct name. According to the company itself, the creators behind Volcano didn't want "complicated jargon or snobbery." Instead, you get names like "Pow! You're Awake." Or "HOW is this Decaf?" to alert the buyer to which kind of coffee might be the best choice. Each pod pack has different flavor profiles and is made purely from biobased material consisting of cellulose and vegetal oils, which means they're biodegradable and so completely compostable. But they're also delicious. 

Reviews of Volcano Coffee Works have been positive, especially for single-serve coffee pods. Brewing results in the dense crema that's typically a telltale sign of a quality coffee shop — only this one is in your home. The flavors are thick, balanced between earthen fruit and slight bitterness, with delightful aromas.

Sons of Amazon

If you like your coffee super strong, then Sons of Amazon could be the pod for you. Billing itself as "The UK's Strongest Coffee," Sons of Amazon isn't kidding when it says strong. According to company information, one cup of Sons of Amazon has 440 mg of caffeine in it. On the other hand, an 8-ounce can of Red Bull, which has so much caffeine it "gives you wings," only has about 75 mg. That's a strong cup; in fact, it's significantly more than a cup of your normal coffee — so buyers beware.

Not to be confused with that famous FX show, "Sons of Anarchy," Sons of Amazon was created by old friends Eric Witham and Marco Giambastani. They didn't just want to create a strong cup of coffee; they wanted to create it ethically. So, the pair found farmers in the South American rainforest through the Rainforest Alliance and got to work. Once it was bagging up beans and grounds, the company moved to pods. 

Witham and Giambastani continued their belief in the fair and ethical treatment of the earth by creating pods out of 100% cornstarch. That means these pods can go from your coffee maker straight into your counter compost bin. But if you don't have a compost bin, toss them right into your garden. Since the pods are made out of pure cornstarch and filled with nitrogen-rich coffee grounds, those pods will nourish your soil, maybe producing even lovelier flowers and plants. 

Pod & Parcel

If you thought England had cornered the market on compostable coffee pods, there's a little company out of Melbourne, Australia making them as well. Pod & Parcel was created by a trio of business consultants who spent many a night working into the wee hours and consuming cup after cup of coffee. All those cups were created by the office Nespresso machine. But founders Ben Goodman, Jai Felinski, and Elliot Haramboulas didn't like the way it tasted and were concerned about what those plastic pods were doing to the environment. So, Pod & Parcel was born.

The drawback here is that the pods can't be composted at home because Pod & Parcel states that, although made with renewable sources, the shell of its pods are crafted from a bio-based polymer which requires about 90 days at an industrial facility. That said, they can be thrown in any green compost bin headed for commercial composting venues. Unlike some of the other pods on this list, only the bottom of the pod is compostable. The lids are made of aluminum and must be separated and thrown in the recycling. Another thing to note with Pod & Parcel is that while most pods work in both the Keurig and the Nespresso machines, Pod & Parcel pods are only compatible with the latter.


If kings and queens or lords and ladies are your cup of tea, then Glorybrew is the pod for you. Even its logo is a crown. Each of its flavors is named after a member of royalty from The Noble to Lady Vanilla. That's right; Glorybrew has flavored coffee pods as well. And those are just the Keurig-compatible pods. For those that own a Nespresso Machine, there are twice as many options, from King Ristretto to Duchess Decaf and Count Chocolate. But no matter which machine you own, all the pods are compostable.

While you can't throw the pods into your garden and watch them disintegrate in a few weeks, they can still be composted industrially and are certified under BPI standards, a leading organization for composting criteria. The sustainability comes from the fact that each pod is made from bio-based paper and mesh filters (depending on which pod you buy), which means that if they're disposed of in an industrial composting facility, they'll rejoin the earth in about 12 weeks. As for the java, Glory Brew's quality comes from coffee farms in Indonesia and South and Central America.

San Francisco Bay Coffee

Based out of California, San Francisco Bay Coffee is a company created by the Rogers family in 1979. After working for big companies his whole life, reports Coffee's site, Jon Rogers wanted to do something for himself. So, he started with tea and branched out to coffee. Just like the company, Rogers and his family started small, only roasting 100,000 pounds of coffee a year. But as word of mouth spread, so did demand, and now the company is roasting and distributing almost 40 million pounds of coffee a year in the form of whole beans, grounds, and pods.

San Francisco Bay Coffee reports that one of the core principles the Rogers family live by is doing their part to make the world a better place. Following that principle, the Rogers family created the OneCUP pod, made of plant-based compostable materials like canola seeds, cornstarch, sugar cane, and beets. While the pod can't be composted at home, it can be composted at an industrial composting site which means you can toss it in those green bins and have the professionals take care of it. If you prefer to do your own composting, though, SF Bay Coffee says it's working on creating a pod that will do just that.

Oakland Coffee

They first gained popularity as an alternative rock band. Then the group wrote a tony-award-winning musical. Now they can add a coffee company to their resume. They're Green Day, and in 2015 they released another jam: Oakland Coffee, a company that brands itself as a "tribute to Oakland's creativity, innovation, sustainability, inclusiveness, and compassion." See, the boys of Green Day are from Oakland, California, and wanted to create a product worthy of their hometown. 

Since Mike Dirnt and Billie Joe Armstrong, the bassist and lead singer of Green Day, know a thing or two about late nights and coffee, creating a coffee company just made sense. But the two are also surfers who noticed how much trash was ending up in our oceans. That was when the musicians realized Dirnt and Armstrong could combine their two passions: coffee and the environment; now Oakland Coffee sells single-serve pods certified compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute. 

But the musicians didn't just want to make pods that were good for the environment, they wanted to make great coffee as well, and Oakland succeeded. According to consumer reviews, the coffee has a rich, strong flavor while being balanced and delicious. Overall, it's a well-rounded brew from a style of coffee making that isn't widely regarded as being the best-tasting method. Coffee that's both delicious and returns to the earth in three weeks? Sounds like Green Day has another hit.

Instant Compostable Coffee Pods

The folks behind the Instant Pot have branched out and made several different appliances for the home. There's the infamous pot that has spawned several cookbooks and many a meal in under an hour. There are toaster ovens, pressure cookers, mixers, and single-serve coffee makers. But since you need something to put into your single-serve coffee maker, Instant decided to branch out and create its first drinkable product: the coffee pod. While it would be harmonious to buy both the coffee maker and the pod, you don't have to go that route. In fact, if you have either a Nespresso or a Keurig, you can buy the pods independently.

Available in five K-Cup flavors and three Nespresso options, all of Instant's pods and capsules are made from plant-based or compostable materials. That means that you can grab a box and, after each cup, toss that pod into your green bin. While it can't go right into your garden, those pods will only take a few weeks to completely disintegrate at an industrial facility. 

While the pods are totally compostable, will they taste good? After all, Instant is known for appliances that make delicious meals, not the meal itself. Have no fear. Not only do Instant's pods brew coffee in seconds, but said pod develops a fresh and flavorful cup on each pour. This may be your new favorite thing to cook with the Instant Pot company.


If you've been using single-serve coffee pods, you know that when you stick them in the Keurig, they get punctured with just two tiny holes. One on top to let the water in and one on the bottom to let the coffee out. That means that while you may be getting a fine cup of coffee, you're probably not getting the best cup. That's where Tayst is different. Not only are its pods totally biodegradable, the bottom of the pod, the part that holds those important coffee grounds, is made of a bio-based mesh that, according to founders Greg Byrnes and Craig Handleman, yields a better extraction for your grounds, which balances the flavor and develops more distinct fragrance. In other words, a really good cup of coffee.

Not only is the bottom made out of biodegradable materials, but Tayst states that the ring and lid are also totally compostable, which means that with the help of an industrial composting facility, these pods will completely break down in a matter of weeks, providing nutrients back to the earth. Of course, you can compost the pods at home; it will just take longer for them to break down completely. Available in K-cups, Nespresso capsules, grounds, or whole beans, Tayst comes in seven different flavors, including decaf, vanilla, and hazelnut. And if you choose the subscription, you get a cost break and never have to worry about being out of coffee. That sounds like a win to us.


While most of the other pods on this list work with multiple types of coffee makers, Woken, like Grind, is only compatible with Nespresso machines. So, if you own a Keurig (or another single-serve coffee maker), these are not the pods for you. But if you own a Nespresso machine, Woken could be the compostable coffee pod you've been looking for. Available in eight different flavors, including a decaf version, you can buy your favorite taste or order a combo pack and have a different coffee every day. 

Woken made this list because it doesn't only make compostable pods; it does several other things to help the planet. Woken says it uses existing postal routes to deliver its coffee. Sure, getting your pods may take a little longer, but more importantly, it will reduce the carbon footprint during transportation. Woken also partners with Verdn to reduce pollution in our oceans. As a matter of fact, to date, the company partnership has already removed over 4,000 kg of plastic thanks to all of Woken's customers. Not a bad way to make your mark on sustainability.

But Woken isn't just "woke" regarding the environment. It also happens to make a wonderful cuppa joe. While the strength of its coffee has been spoken of as slightly less than Nespresso, a pod of Woken is still bold and bright in flavor and body.


The oldest coffee company on this list is Boyd's Coffee which has been roasting coffee since 1912. While the family-owned company didn't start making single-serve coffee until 2017, it has always been passionate about making the best coffee for its consumers. 100% Arabica coffee beans come from farms that aren't only organic but also part of the sustainability initiative Rainforest Alliance. Once the beans are harvested, Boyd's says the beans are taken by its roast masters and blended into six distinct flavors. There's even a hot chocolate pod for those chilly mornings when you want to share a cup with your favorite youngster.

Boyd's pods come in with an amazing composition of 90% renewable resources, and Vending Marketwatch reports that the ring of the Boyd's pod — normally made with plastic or aluminum — is made of coffee chaff, which is a layer that the bean sheds during the coffee roasting process. That means these pods, like all the pods on the list, will break down and go back to the earth in weeks rather than years. Available in 12- or 80-count packages (yes, we said 80), you can grab a box at Boyd's website and brew a sumptuous coffee that's good for the environment in no time.

Guide Roasting Company

Having young kids is a full-time job. While it's fulfilling in so many ways, it can also be exhausting! As a matter of fact, if you're going to have children, you need coffee! Gary and Julie Kratzer, the couple behind Guide Roasting Company, made that realization shortly after their girls were born when, according to the company's website, one was having trouble sleeping. Lots of late nights, along with a gifted espresso machine, turned into a love for coffee and a small coffee shop in Chesterfield, Virginia. Eventually, the couple realized they had a successful business on their hands and wanted to expand into single-serve coffee. But since they knew those plastic pods were bad for the environment, the Kratzers created GreenPod Coffee Packing.

An extension of Guide Roasting Company, GreenPod's pods are 100% compostable pods that GreenPod says are made for specialty coffee. What makes these pods special is that they hold 40% more coffee than your classic single-serve pods, and are sealed immediately after they're filled, so you end up with one amazing cup of joe. And since everything has a shelf-life, GreenPod goes the extra mile and flushes each pod with nitrogen so they'll taste just as good in a year as they do today.