April 14, 2024


Keurig is one of the most well known brands of home coffee machines, most notably because of the brand’s single-serve K-Cup pod system. But equally well known is the fact that those plastic pods aren’t exactly the most eco-friendly option, and they add up to a lot of waste. Now Keurig is addressing these concerns by launching 100% plastic-free compostable pods.

The new pods are called K-Rounds, and they’re made using roasted coffee beans which are then ground, pressed into a cake, and “wrapped in a proprietary, protective plant-based coating.”

The new coffee rounds are compatible with Keurig’s newest coffee system, the Keurig Alta brewer. The K-Rounds will come in different sizes to make specific coffee beverages, both hot and cold, just as the current pods do, but they will feature a special code on them that the Alta brewer can read to determine the pressure and extraction method needed for that beverage.

The defining feature of the K-rounds is that they can be disposed of like regular coffee grounds. Keurig hopes to soon label the rounds as “certified compostable,” but the company is still working through the certification process.

K-Rounds aren’t available to the general public just yet. Keurig plans to start testing both the new brewer and rounds with consumers as early as this fall. The company noted in its announcement that it will “leverage learnings from these trials, as well as strategic engagement with and insights from its retailer and coffee brand partners, to refine and optimize the system before making it available for broader sale to consumers.”

The new Alta brewer will be compatible with current plastic K-Cups as well, but unfortunately for current owners of Keurig machines, CNET reports the new plastic- and aluminum-free rounds are not compatible with past models.

The K-Rounds were available for preview at a launch event in New York; CNET reports that although pricing has yet to be shared for the K-Rounds, Keurig says the pods will be sold at a premium. CNET adds that the rounds are shelf-stable for up to six months, but once opened, they are only counter-stable for 30 days before their quality begins to deteriorate.

The new pods likely won’t fully launch until 2025.

“Thirty years ago, Keurig changed the way consumers brewed coffee, with the introduction of the K-Cup pod single serve coffee system,” said Keurig CEO Bob Gamgort in the announcement. “Today, we are applying all our expertise to create a revolutionary new system that will redefine how consumers will brew coffee for decades to come.”

A version of this article originally appeared on The Takeout.



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