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Safety Talk: Are Aluminum Coffee Pods Safe

by Alex Bider 26 Jan 2021
Safety Talk: Are Aluminum Coffee Pods Safe

Safety Talk: Are Aluminum Coffee Pods Safe?

Are aluminum pods safe? This is a question that is typical in a lot of people’s minds. Coffee pods can come in any shape or form. The determinant often depends on the reusable value of the pod.

Coffee has become an essential part of our livelihood. However, the brewing process may seem tedious. The process of grinding the coffee beans and straining can be time-consuming. Ultimately, this may not bode well for an early commuter.

To solve this problem and get more value, we are slowly pivoting to coffee pods. These pods have slowly become popular over the years. Various kinds of materials make up these pods. However, a particular metal often seen in modern coffee pods is aluminum.

We currently live in a more environmentally conscious era. Therefore, when it comes to production, we need to consider the environment. Aluminum is a very common metal that appears in a lot of domestic and industrial items. It also features heavily in the coffee pods industry.

In this article, you will learn whether it is safe to use aluminum coffee pods. We will also explore the fundamental facts about aluminum and its significance to making coffee pods. But first, a quick background lesson.

What Are Coffee Pods?

Before we dive into aluminum pods, you need to be familiar with the basics. Coffee production is an age-old habit that constantly evolves. Coffee pods are single-serve cups that carry pre-ground coffee.

Coffee pods are essential tools to ensure that you get quality coffee in a swift and hassle-free manner. They are simple to use and save time.

Coffee pods function by having you insert the pods into a coffee pod machine. Next, the coffee pod machine flushes the pods with hot water. The hot water then activates the pre-ground coffee and brews it out for your consumption.

One of the prime safety aspects of using coffee pods is its efficiency. You get to prevent less waste and reduce the risk of making a bad coffee pot. As liberating as brewing traditional coffee is, one wrong move can lead to contamination.

Coffee pods are easy to dispose of and some are reusable. Due to advancements in technology, coffee pods have been made from diverse materials. Aluminum is one of such materials that we see in coffee pods today.

Before we move further, you need to determine if coffee pods are good for your health. Thankfully, modern coffee pods exist with the consideration of the human body in mind. Next, we will talk about aluminum pods and how safe they are.

Related Article: Coffee Pods vs Ground Coffee vs Instant Coffee

History of Coffee Pods

No one will have thought much of an engineer’s trip to Rome in 1975. Unknowingly, he will plant the seeds for innovation. His innovation took the comfort of conventional coffee. Next, he put it with the flavour and consistency of roasts only accessible at an Italian espresso bar.

A patent for the engineer's concept would come a year after that journey. Today, coffee pods are sold online and by trendy retail outlets every year.

The capsules clad in aluminum have seen their share of controversy. Companies face controversy about the effect of their coffee capsules on the climate. Coffee pods share a position between individuals who consider the coffee is too pricey. Alternatively, others think it's not good enough.

Yet today's futuristic coffee machines and their iconic pods are more popular than ever. Like them or love them, have been able to transform the necessary morning cup of coffee into an easy pleasure. 

What are Aluminum Coffee Pods?

You now know what coffee pods are. But what makes aluminum pods unique? What determines how safe aluminum pods are?

Aluminum coffee pods are small packets of pre-ground coffee that undergo a sealing inside a metal packet. The popular choice of metal is of course the aluminum metal.

Aluminum is a naturally occurring metal that is abundant on the planet earth. It has an impressively high amount of recycling value. It is also lightweight and easy to mould.

Therefore, why have companies chosen this abundant metal to be their choice for coffee pods? Below is a list of some of the reasons for using aluminum coffee pods.

  • It keeps coffee fresh
  • It reduces exposure to oxygen and moisture
  • It reduces waste due to its high preservation properties
  • It is extraordinary recyclable
  • It retains its original properties despite multiple recycling
  • There is a large abundance of it
  • It is lightweight and malleable
  • It is easy to reform and restructure
  • It requires low energy to recycle
  • Recycling of the material takes place in a short time
  • It helps avoid plastic leaching

We will go into details on each point further down this article. Hopefully, this will help quell the mystery of whether aluminum pods are safe or not.

Are Aluminum Pods Safe?

In this section, we will go in-depth on the properties of the aluminum coffee pods.

Keeps Coffee Fresh

One of the catchiest attractions of the aluminum pods in contrast to other materials is their preservation. Aluminum pods are capable of ensuring the freshness of your coffee pods.

As long as you store your pods in a cool and dry area, they retain their freshness. Therefore, this in turn elongates the shelf life of aluminum coffee pods. As long as there is no breach of any kind in the metal casing, your coffee will last long.

Limited Exposure to Oxygen and Moisture

Following up on the previous point, aluminum pods protect against external elements. The metal seal is resistant to moisture in the air. Therefore, any risk of staleness is cut off from happening.

The lack of oxygen penetration also helps prevent oxidation. If oxidation takes place in your coffee pod, acidity increases. Ultimately, once acidity increases, the final coffee will taste sour or bitter.

Additionally, this high preservation ensures your aluminum pods are safe from tampering. If you purchase aluminum pods that have a breach, kindly return them. Any leak in the metal pod will compromise its integrity.

Reduction in Waste

Due to their high preservation properties, aluminum pods help reduce waste. When you make coffee the traditional way, you end up with waste beans that need disposal. Additionally, you tend to use more water when brewing coffee traditionally.

All these issues are absent with aluminum coffee pods. They are compact and solid. Once the hot water flushes the content out, the pod reduces in size for easy disposal. There is no additional waste product coming out of the machine.

The calibration of the machine also ensures that the right amount of water dispenses. The appropriate water comes out to brew the coffee and not a single drop more. This ensures a low use of water and management of power.

The aluminum pods are safe for disposal once the machine uses up the content. Make sure to dump the now empty pod into a metal recycling bin to ensure efficient recycling.

Retains Original Properties after Multiple Recycles

Another reason that makes it safe to use aluminum pods is their consistency. Aluminum as a material can undergo recycling many times without compromising its integrity. This means that after each breakdown and reformation, its intrinsic properties remain.

Therefore, this makes it a very flexible option for coffee pods. Because no matter how many aluminum pods you dispose of. Eventually, you are bound to often get back the same pod in its original form.

This gives aluminum pods a strong advantage over plastic. The latter’s overall integrity can weaken significantly after each recycling. Plastic can also prove difficult to recycle generally.

Favourable Recycling Properties

Aluminum is a material that undergoes recycling easily. About 75% of all aluminum that has been made is still in existence. Therefore, aluminum recycles without much stress.

The material breaks down smoothly in a recycling unit. You can be confident that the aluminum pods barely do any damage to the environment. The metal melts down quickly for reformation.

Additionally, the aluminum pods are safe because of the relative purity of the metal. Its ease of recycling means that the internal state of the metal has little blemishes.

High Abundance

Aluminum appears readily in a voluminous amount around the globe. Therefore, this allows for the easy mining and processing of the metal. It can be found in virtually any part of the world.

This is one of the major reasons that aluminum pods are becoming a favourite choice among manufacturers. Its high abundance also makes it affordable to harvest and produce.

The availability of this material ensures a low chance of overexploitation. Most coffee pod production companies understand the sustainability of the metal. Therefore, they maintain the safe mining of aluminum.

Lightweight and Malleable

An additional safety aspect of using coffee pods that are aluminum is their ductility. This metal can undergo hammering, folding, smashing of all kinds and take different forms. It is also incredibly light in weight.

Therefore, when you buy coffee pods, you can save space when packaging it. The metal undergoes moulding and stretching in its production stage. Therefore, this enables the final product to be small and compact.

Furthermore, with its lightweight properties, this allows the capsule to shrink after use. The machine flushes out its content and crushes the pod. Thereby, leaving a very small waste product for easy disposal.

Low Energy for Recycling purposes

In certain practices, recycling can be energy-consuming. Thankfully, with aluminum, the amount of energy needed to recycle the material is low. Due to the properties mentioned above, the metal changes form quickly at the slightest exposure to heat. Evidently, this contributes to a lower carbon footprint during recycling.

The process of recycling the metal also takes place in a relatively short amount of time. An aluminum pod that you discard can be back on your shelf in less than thirty days. A well-recycled aluminum pod will also have low radiation emission properties.

No Plastic Leaching

Another great reason why aluminum pods are safe is the lack of plastic leaching. Plastic leaching is the process of a plastic container gradually leaking toxic chemicals. This may be due to its worn-out nature.

Water or any liquid substance may stay in a plastic container for a long time. However, after a while, polymers from the plastic structure of the container may seep into the substance. The same applies to plastic coffee pods. Due to the use of high-speed hot water, your coffee brew may contain some plastic residue.

Thankfully, this isn’t necessarily the case with aluminum coffee pods. With its smooth surfaces, the metal barely interferes with the brewing process of your coffee.

Drawbacks of Using Aluminum Coffee Pods

Nothing is a hundred percent efficient. This also applies to the world of coffee pods. For every advantage, there is a disadvantage somewhere else.

There are questionable scenarios that can make you wonder if aluminum pods are safe indeed. You have seen the pros, now it’s time to look at some of the cons.

Coffee pods have been increasingly popular over the last decade for their simplicity and novelty. Though the inventor, John Sylvan, regrets making them. He claims they are exclusively meant for office use only. However, in many kitchens around the world, coffee pods are now a regular fixture.

An approximate 30+ percent of North American households have a coffee pod machine. This was the reason for a demand of about $5 billion in 2020.

Certainly, we can see the attraction of a 24/7 coffee maker at your fingertips. However, just like most things that sound too amazing to be real, coffee pods have a “dark side.”

Aluminum Pods can be Expensive

It is understood that it can be costly to buy aluminum coffee pods and appliances. For things to add up, it doesn't take long. Furthermore, packets of 50 pods launch at about $50.

The whole brewing machine works, apart from the pods, for around $150. Just to start in the world of aluminum coffee pods, it will quickly break your bank.

It all depends on how much of this happens to you and how you drink your coffee. Additionally, in a normal coffee shop, one aluminum coffee pod will cost as much as you drink.

If it is common for you to pay less for coffee, using coffee pods won't sound very cheap. Particularly when you need a new device for them to buy. It might be different, though, if you still leave your house to get coffee. And for a while, the expense will decrease, you can cover the costs and save time.

Non-Biodegradable Properties

Data reveals that just 15 percent of capsules can undergo full decomposition even with the best intentions. This is not to suggest that we have set aside compostable substitutes. Clearly, compostable pods is an avenue the world would love to get into. It's going to be a matter of time before we locate the right pod, though.

Potential Health Risk

Aluminum itself, especially one of low-grade quality, can leak chemicals into your brew. Make sure to always purchase quality grade aluminum coffee pods. This will help prevent harmful toxins from entering your coffee.

How to Recycle your Aluminum Coffee Pod

Now that you have answers to the question, are aluminum coffee pods safe, the next topic of discussion is recycling. When you buy and use coffee pods, you have a social responsibility to ensure the used pods are recycled properly. Here’s what you need to do:

Brew your coffee

Pods contain 5.5g of coffee that is quite reliably ground to work in a particular brew ratio. That ratio amounts to 1:4.5. This suggests that for a capsule, the optimal shot weight is 25g.

The extraction is great at 25g. This is where you hit the' sweet spot' where the coffee tastes best. If you don't get this, then we recommend that you reconfigure your machine

Peel off the foil

Pierce the foil with your nail and peel around in a circular pattern to extract the whole piece in one movement. This is done after waiting for the used coffee capsule to cool a tad. This ought to come off fairly quickly. Don't think about each bit being removed. It's just 100% aluminum, so either way, it will undergo recycling.

Composting the leftover coffee

Used coffee grounds are ideal for the lawn. They produce more nutrients and enhanced soil composition. You can add them to your compost bin or spray them on your plants to discourage slugs.

Place the empty pod in your recycling bin

The entire capsule is made of a single substance, which is aluminum. Therefore, unlike most other materials, it comes in one form. You cannot see a speck of plastic in sight.

This implies they are entirely recyclable and can go through regular household recycling. However, you will want to pre-brush off any residue coffee grounds.

The High Importance of Aluminum Coffee Pods

Over 40 percent of Canadians use a coffee pod machine according to research. They consider aluminum pods safe and a better option. That's an incredibly big proportion of the population that gets their caffeine fix from the incredible technology of pods.

After brewing a nice cup of coffee, can we digest the environmental effect these pods have? Scale alone is justification enough to guarantee that these capsules do not end up in landfills. Let alone the fact that it might take between 150 and 500 years for capsules made with layers of plastic to decompose.

After late hours and tens of millions of dollars worth of R&D spent with lots of hard work. Finally, in every Canadian store, we have 100% aluminum and 100% recyclable capsules available. This 100% aluminum construction ensures that customers will continue to enjoy great-tasting coffee. All this is possible due to the ultra-convenient, reliable and smart pod technology. Additionally, they won’t be adding to millions of tonnes of landfills in the country.

Aluminum recycling takes 95 percent less electricity and produces 95 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. This is relative to primary raw material processing. Amazingly, 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today. This is since aluminum was first produced in the 1880s.

Nearly 170 million tonnes of greenhouse gases do not enter the atmosphere every year. This is due to the global aluminum processing industry. Hence, aluminum is a perfect option for balancing the demand of a rising economy while protecting the environment.

We've found a solution to the aluminum crisis. Now it's up to you to execute the tiny tasks mentioned above to ensure that 100 percent of your capsule is recycled. We hope you'll find that the small effort is worth it.

Related Article: How To Recycle Coffee Pods

What Makes Aluminum Coffee Pods the King?

The resources to cultivate the seeds and produce coffee capsules are enormous. Additionally, brewing the coffee and disposing of the waste cost a lot. Therefore, the general “addiction” to single-shot coffee capsules may not be healthy for the climate.

However, there is an upside to this that shows that coffee pods are good for your health. Evidently, capsules turn out to be a more sustainable way to drink espresso. This is even better than almost any other coffee-making process. 

In conclusion, recyclable aluminum pods are more eco friendly than all other capsules. This is regardless of whether they come from plastic or compostable materials.

Other experiments have shown that capsules are less detrimental to the atmosphere than alternative coffee brewing alternative methods. There is a lot of evidence to support this. The second biggest hit is the resources it takes to brew coffee. This is apart from the environmental effects of growing beans in the first place.

That is why, in terms of its environmental footprint, barista-made espresso does so badly. Because a lot of energy goes into brewing only a tiny single espresso cup. On the other side, coffee pods are more powerful. Unlike, for example, boiling a kettle, the coffee machines just flash-heats the necessary amount of water.

Further analysis reveals that filter coffee has the worst effect on the climate. Because filter coffee uses more beans to make a single cup. That’s around seven grams, compared to 5.7 grams for capsule coffee, comparing cup for cup.

Add that to the yearly consumption of billions of cups of coffee around the world. Eventually, it easily causes a massive rise in the amount of coffee beans production. In addition, the harvesting, refining and shipment cost a lot too. Additionally, consider all the energy you use when producing the cup to heat the water.


By now, you are familiar with the facts and figures that explain the safety of using aluminum coffee pods. You can now determine whether aluminum pods are safe for you or not. We hope this article proves useful for you when making your decision in purchasing coffee pods.

In this blog, we have explored the importance of aluminum coffee pods on the environment. We are all mostly living in a green-conscious society. Therefore, whichever means you can help minimize waste is necessary. Thankfully, aluminum pods can help towards preserving the environment with their high recyclable properties.

Furthermore, we also have virtual and physical stores for you to buy coffee pods in Canada. Here at Invigo Coffee, we sell high-grade aluminum coffee pods that have a long shelf life. We also offer different types of recyclable pods as well. Look through our online store today!

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