Coffee capsules are huge right now – especially in lockdown. If you’re anything like me, it took me a fair long while to come round to the idea. I’ve too long associated coffee capsules with Nespresso pods that have not nearly the depth of flavour that you can get in a bag of coffee from a good quality roaster. Turns out, the problem wasn’t the capsule – it was the coffee inside. Thankfully, some of my favourite roasters in the UK have put their fantastic coffee into capsules, so you can enjoy specialty coffee at home – made by some of the world’s finest roasters – straight out of your Nespresso (or equivalent) machine. See below for my top picks.
Colonna Coffee – for the coffee geeks
I couldn’t help but start with Colonna Coffee – one of the finest roasters in the country. If you‘ve been to their cafe in Bath (Colonna and Small’s), you’ll understand that they treat coffee like a science, and the results are always impeccable. Choose from three different grades of capsule. Genre 1: ‘Foundation’. Best for those who don’t want anything too fussy. Genre 2: ‘Discovery’. Go for this if you want something a little different with distinctive flavour profiles. And lastly, for the proper coffee snob, Genre 3: ‘Rare’. Educate yourself on some rare and exclusive taste profiles from around the world. These will be more distinctive and perhaps for more of a refined palette. Get your coffee from these guys if you treat your coffee like a fine wine. Decaf options available. Click here to buy.
Price: 55p per capsule (genre 1 and 2), 85p per capsule (genre 3)
Materials: capsules made from aluminium, fully recyclable
Deals: free UK delivery
Pact Coffee – for those who like variety
Making specialty coffee simple since 2012, these guys led the way in the coffee subscription movement, and now they’re unsurprisingly taking a front seat in bringing specialty coffee to the coffee capsule market. Expect clean, rich flavours that will suit (and delight) most palettes. A big selling point is their mixed box with four different coffee blends. I couldn’t fault this company – I started using their coffee in 2014 and they’ve always balanced fantastic quality whilst keeping up with consumer trends. Click here to buy.
Price: £19.95 for a box of 40
Material: capsules made from aluminium, fully recyclable
Deals: free UK (first class) delivery
Roar Gill– for the eco-warriors
Having recently won the Independent’s Best Indy Buy for eco pods, this company is all about having the tastiest coffee whilst ensuring you leave the smallest possible footprint on the planet. Not content with the Nespresso statistics stating only 30% of pods were recycled, they’ve led the way in developing capsules made out of cornstarch-based bioplastic, which is 100% compostable – along with their packaging. Their capsule production process – like their coffee – is carbon neutral. Buy yours here if you want zero guilt and all the taste. Swiss water decaf pods available. Click here to buy.
Price: £3.75 for a box of 10; £17.50 for a box of 40; £22 for a box of 60; £34 for a box of 80; £49.95 for a box of 120
Material: capsules made from cornstarch-based bioplastic, fully compostable
Deals: free UK delivery on orders over £30
Grind – for the stylish ones
The coffee capsules everyone’s talking about. If you’ve been to one of their coffee shops in London, you’ll know their flair for design is outstanding, so it comes as no surprise that their coffee capsules are the most stylish on the market (they didn’t even have to get George Clooney involved). Expect your pods to arrive in a baby pink refillable tin – pods are compostable and organic, using 0% plastic and are completely vegan. This is one for the eco-warrior who also likes a splash of pink. Get these pods for the tin alone – I don’t like to judge a book by its cover, but by God, they’re stylish. Decaf options available. Click here to buy.
Price: £10 for a refillable tin of 20 pods
Material: capsules made from bioplastic, fully compostable
Deals: free UK delivery on orders over £25
Rave Coffee – for those who want to support small businesses
I first came across this company when visiting Bogota Coffee in Milton Keynes, who serve their coffee. A small company based in the Cotswolds, they look after their customers and really believe in their product. The coffee is superb and know that when you’re buying from here, you’re supporting a small business and a great team of well-meaning people. Decaf options available. Click here to buy,
Price: £3.70 for a box of 10; £17.55 for a box of 50; £33.30 for a box of 100
Material: capsules made from corn starch, fully compostable
Deals: free delivery on orders over £25; 15% if you sign up to their mailing list
Clifton Coffee – for the South West lovers
Starting off as a company servicing espresso machinery in 2001, these guys know what they’re talking about when it comes to good coffee. They’ve been roasting beans since 2013 and are led by ethical, environmental and sustainable approaches. Click here to buy.
Price: £5.50 for a box of 10; £17.00 for a box of 40; £71.50 for a box of 200
Material: capsules made out of aluminium, fully recyclable
Deals: use the code STOCKUPANDBREW for 10% off orders over £40
Bought any of the pods above? Let me know how you get on! And make sure you play one of the Snob’s coffee break playlists whilst taste-testing.
Take care, stay in and drink coffee,
The Snob x