How A Ball Of Coffee Could Change Your Morning Routine Forever

If you belong to the approximate 40% of U.S. consumers that owns a single-cup coffee brewing system — commonly known as K-Cup brewers — then you probably already know that the sheer convenience of these machines comes with an environmental cost (via Statista). K-Cup coffee systems have surged in popularity since they were introduced to the home market in 2004 — and along with the machines, those single-use, disposable K-Cups have also proliferated, according to USA Today. The outlet states that by 2014, enough of the cups were sold that if placed end-to-end, they would encircle the globe 10 times.

Recently, Keurig, one of the most well known K-Cup manufacturers, has made strides towards more sustainability, and by the end of 2020, all the brand's K-Cups were recyclable. But given the increasing evidence that recycling makes a minimal environmental impact, more sustainable solutions to our coffee cravings are definitely in order (via The Atlantic). And that's where a new single-cup coffee machine called the CoffeeB hopes to come in.

A single-use ball of coffee that's fully compostable

If you love the convenience of your K-Cup coffee maker, but feel a little guilty every time you toss the disposable cup into the trash or recycling, you might want to keep your eyes peeled for a new, lower-impact single-cup java brewing system. The new device is set to debut in Switzerland and France this year, and in Germany by next year. According to ABC News, that system is called the CoffeeB, produced by the Swiss retailer Migros, and it aims to reduce the thousands of tons of waste produced worldwide each year by K-Cup coffee systems.

CoffeeB's spherical capsules of coffee grounds, known as "coffee balls," come encased in a thin, tasteless, seaweed base, which can be composted after the coffee is brewed and the grounds are spent. According to CoffeeB's website, the coffee balls will be available in a variety of blends, ranging from espresso to decaf, and will include two organic coffee options. "In other words, premium coffee, pressed into a coffee ball," the site boasts.