Coffee Pods: a Sustainable Alternative to Capsules

Scritto da Jean-Claude Luvini il 07/04/20

When I started off in Masaba, the pod boxes only occupied a small corner in our warehouse. But gradually I noticed that clients appreciated them very much. Especially offices, small restaurants and private customers.  

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In spite of the proliferation of capsules, pods are resisting very well and remain today one of the favorite formats in Switzerland.

What makes them so special?  

The idea came from Mr. Ernesto Illy:

"Around 1968 my father decided to solve the problem of preparing espresso. People did not know how to transform his wonderful coffee into an espresso. The grinding was always wrong and the coffee was watery. He decided to give his customers the opportunity to prepare a perfect espresso without having to learn the complicated secrets of the Italian barista. He invented a portion of paper and worked on it for a very long time... until the first pod was produced! Today it is still considered the most ecological way to make a good espresso at home. " (text by Francesco Illy) 

It took another 10 years to complete the first pod machine. It was presented by Ernesto Illy himself in 1978 at the Globus in Zurich!



Since then, more than 40 years have passed and the pod continues to be loved. Why is this?

Talking with our customers, the following 8 advantages are often mentioned:

1. TASTE: the pod is made up of 7 grams of pure coffee (compared to only 5 grams of the capsules). This corresponds to the dose of a real espresso. The taste is full and intense, with  a real cream, with a fine and compact texture.

2. ECOLOGY: the pod is made of paper. It can be put in the compost. Here it decomposes completely and becomes an excellent fertiliser!

3. PRICE: compared to the capsules, there is an average saving of 40% (0.06 CHF per gram vs. 0.10 CHF per gram).

4. FREEDOM: the pod system was created as an open system. Seven roasters coded the E.S.E. system (Easy Serving Espresso), with the desire to guarantee consumers' freedom of choice.


 5. PRACTICALITY: the coffee remains inside the paper, so the machine always remains clean. The pod marked the birth of the single portion systems. A revolution in the way of drinking coffee! 

6. CONSTANT QUALITY: thanks to the constant level of grinding and pressure, the coffee always comes out the same. This eliminates the problem of finding the right grind, a daily challenge for all baristas.

7. TEMPERATURE: pods make sure the coffee comes out hot!

8. HEALTH: since there is no passage of hot water through aluminum or plastic, these substances do not enter the coffee and our body.