How Ideel is Changing the Coffee Capsule Industry

59 billion plastic and aluminium coffee capsules are produced yearly, where do most of these end up? Unfortunately, in our landfills. This obviously translates into a big global waste management issue. Ideel has made it their mission to provide its consumers with a cup of specialty coffee at the touch of a button, without being a burden to the environment. All of this while securing fairness and transparency throughout the supply chain.

Sounds too good to be true? Let’s look at the details of their product!

The coffee capsule used by Ideel is Denmark’s first “OK Home Compost” certified capsule by TUV Austria. This certificate guarantees that the capsule will degrade under natural conditions. This differs from 98% of other biodegradable capsules globally, which have at most achieved the “OK Industry Compost” certificate. These capsules need special facilities with temperatures above 50°C for degradation. The “OK Home Compost” certificate guarantees that Ideel’s product will degrade at 25°C, even in a garden compost.

Now you may wonder how the capsules are actually made? The great thing is that they are made through an efficient use of natural resources, by upcycling sunflower seed shells, which in most cases are left as a by-product in the production of sunflower oil. Furthermore, the capsules are compatible with all Nespresso Original Line machines. The founders actually mention that the myth that capsules other than Nespressos own will break the machine, has been a sales trick from the giant themselves. In order to be completely sure Ideel conducted several hundreds of tests together with their German manufacturer, who saw extremely low risk of any machines breaking.

Now this might sound like a lot, but the truth is that Ideel hasn’t forgotten the main ingredient…

The coffee used in the capsules is sourced from southern Highlands in Ethiopia, through small scale farmers. The high altitudes and rich soil provide a perfect environment for growing coffee naturally, which is also the reason the popular Arabica bean originates from the area.

Each bean Ideel uses is handpicked and carefully selected depending on size, shape and colour. Thanks to the delicate process, all of the coffee used is labeled “Specialty Coffee”. For coffee to be labeled as Specialty it needs to score above 80/100 on the Q-scale.

Afterwards, the coffee is either washed or sun-dried in Ethiopia, and shipped to Copenhagen, where it’s freshly roasted. Due to the fact that the coffee is sourced through small scale farmers, many good initiatives like, for example, Fair Trade will simply not provide enough value for the farmers. Thus, thanks to Impact Roasters, Ideel actually sources their coffee for a 25% higher price than the average Fair Trade quota. Furthermore, through Impact Roasters, Ideel is supporting 6 on-going community projects, focusing on job creation, health and education. All projects are run by the locals and new projects are constantly being developed in order to make a bigger impact.

The people behind Ideel are a young team with big dreams. The company was born with the purpose of shedding new light on the coffee capsule industry. Ideel strongly believes convenience usually wins, which has been the reason for many disastrous acts by human kind. Their goal is not changing consumer habits, but rather replacing harmful and unethical products with products that will nourish communities and our planet.

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

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