used coffee pod waste
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
April 4, 2024 ·  2 min read

Retailer Rolls Out ‘Coffee Balls’ To Replace Capsules

In an attempt to stop waste, a Swiss coffee retailer- Migros- stated that they would be launching coffee pods, on Tuesday. This coffeemaking system should ideally replace those capsules which led to thousands of tons of waste every year. According to the official statement from the cooperative, the coffee balls are entirely compostable. This would make them quite unlike aluminum and plastic containers. If one were to remember correctly, Nestle popularized it, under the Nespresso brand 36 years ago. 

The cooperative also stated that these coffee balls will have an encasing of a flavorless, thin, seaweed-based cover. Every cafe using this coffee can throw these covers away after they have used the coffee. This innovation- called the CoffeeB system- would also come with a special coffeemaker. The company plans on rolling it out first in Switzerland, after which it would be distributed to neighboring European nations- France and Germany. The new coffeemaker has been called The Globe. This machine makes one coffee ball at a time. The seaweed-based cover allows the coffee pod to maintain its structural integrity and inherent freshness. 

Read: Drinking coffee may cut risk of chronic liver disease, study suggests

espresso and a coffee ball
Image Credit: Migros

Migros To Introduce Coffee B- A Biodegradable Coffee Pod Designed To Break Down

The head of the Research and Development process for CoffeeB, Caroline Siefarth, recently mentioned, “The Coffee Balls are only compatible with the Coffee B Globe machine since we had to develop a completely new brewing technology. It is a completely different system to existing coffee capsules.” The thin layer will remain insoluble when one brews the pods. Rather, it would be around the grounds during the extraction. Migros stated that the material when combined with the coffee grounds, would be decomposing quite smoothly. A home composting setup can do the whole process of decomposition as well – where it will take 4 weeks.

The company’s design also uses recycled materials to create the machine which creates the coffee pods – The Globe. It follows a modular design which would make replacement and repair quite easy to do. Although it depends on the product in use, the stape ball would contain 5.3 to 5.9 grams of pure ground coffee that Cafe Royal has already roasted. The company will launch The Globe along with eight different blends of coffee- which are either USDA Organic, Rainforest Alliance, or Fairtrade certified. 

CoffeeB System. Image Credit: Migros

Frank Wilde, the head of Coffee B, recently informed Daily Coffee News, “We believe that our no-capsule system is the future of portioned coffee and that regular aluminum and plastic capsule systems will be phased out over time. The reason is simple- Coffee B solves the capsule waste problem and tastes just as good as traditional capsule coffee. The transition will however take time, and similar to the trend towards electric cars, a radical change won’t happen overnight.

Keep Reading: This Brilliant Low-Income Housing is Made From Coffee


  1. Swiss retailer rolls out ‘coffee balls’ to replace capsules.” The Hill. The Associated Press. September 2022.
  2. From New Swiss Brand CoffeeB, the Coffee Ball Has Dropped.” Daily Coffee News. Howard Bryman. September 6, 2022