Keurig Alta Coffee Pod Machine Uses Biodegradable K-Round Pods to Minimize Waste

Coffee pod machines offer one of the most convenient ways to prepare a tasty cup of coffee. However, they’re also one of the least environmentally-friendly with the amount of waste generated by its use of disposable plastic pods. Sure, you can use those third-party refillable pods, but that means you’re going to have to make your own mixes, which just isn’t as convenient. The Keurig Alta, an upcoming coffee pod machine, wants to minimize the appliance’s environmental footprint.

Instead of using traditional plastic pods, Keurig’s upcoming appliance is designed to take the outfit’s K-Rounds, a new type of coffee pod with no plastic or aluminum parts. Instead, it’s all made from biodegradable materials similar to those used by the Bruvi brewer, allowing you to enjoy single-serve pod machine coffee without the long-lasting waste.

The Keurig Alta is, pretty much, a reimagining of the outfit’s brewing system. The brewer itself looks, pretty much, like any of the outfit’s many coffee pod machines. There’s the main brewer with a tray at the bottom for holding your drinking vessel, a compartment on top for inserting a pod, and a large water tank attached to the side. According to Keurig, it will be their first coffee pod machine that’s capable of producing the high-pressure environment needed to brew actual espressos, so this brings more to the table than just a more sustainable overall function. It’s also backward-compatible with the outfit’s original K-Cups via a separate pod compartment, so you can still use it with the old pods if that’s needed.

The more important component of the brewing system, of course, is the new K-Round pods, which look like a compacted bundle of processed wood clad in the shape of an oversized cork. Designed to hold the beverage mix inside much like traditional K-Cups, the pods are made from a blend of cellulose, sorbitol, sodium chloride, and alginate, making them completely biodegradable, so you can chuck them away in a compost machine much like the rest of your kitchen food waste.

The Keurig K-Rounds aren’t just designed for sustainability. According to the outfit, it also allows them to offer a wider selection of coffee beverages, as they can accommodate mixes that just wasn’t possible with the old K-Cups (e.g. the espresso that the new Keurig Alta can make). As with the original pods, each K-Round pod is marked with a code that lets the machine know the proper extraction process and pressure required to brew it with optimal flavor.

After brewing, the K-Rounds, basically, turn into a disc-like item that you can proceed to dump in the trash or put in your compost pile. Keurig says the pods should be usable for up to six months when kept in their packaging, although that shortens to just 30 days if you open a package. As of now, both the pods and the machine are set to start beta testing in the fall, with the outfit hoping to gather feedback from retailer and coffee brand partners.

No pricing has been announced yet, but both the Keurig Alta and the Kuerig K-Rounds are set to launch sometime in 2025.

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