If you’ve recently been looking to make more sustainable and greener choices in life, from the car you drive all the way down to the coffee you drink, our Flavour Of The Month for December might be of particular interest to you…
Especially if you’re an avid user of single-serve coffee pod machines!
This month we wanted to bring our readers’ attention to Halo, a truly phenomenal and forward thinking coffee company.
Their focus on sustainable and compostable coffee capsules allows passionate pod users the option to continue their daily routines without harming the planet, meaning being green needn’t ever get in the way of your favoured style of bean!
Going by the motto ‘the world’s best coffees… in a way that’s best for the world’, Halo has succeeded in creating the world’s first, 100% compostable coffee pod, which degrades in just 28 days on a home compost heap!
Offering a range of single-origin and bespoke blend coffee delights within their conscious-free, paper-based pods, they truly believe that their innovative capsule is the solution to the world’s single-serve waste crisis and an easier to follow system than convoluted recycling programmes.
And so if this is truly the future of pod-based coffee, you can bet your hat that we wanted a little taste of it before everyone else…
Why Halo Have Created Compostable Pods
If you’ve spent most of the last few decades enjoying the fast and efficient lifestyle that comes with Nespresso machines and their famous coffee pods, it’s highly likely you’ve also spent the last few years feeling extremely guilty about it.
After just about the entire world and their mother joined the coffee pod revolution on George Clooney’s endorsement, we were then almost immediately hit with the bombshell that the plastic and aluminium-based coffee pods we knew and loved had actually been killing our planet the entire time.
Our idle disposal methods were ensuring billions of single-serve coffee pods were being piled high on our landfills and pumped into our oceans, where they have been estimated to stay for the next 500 years.
Given that 60 billion pods were produced in 2018 alone… it ain’t good news and it’s a problem that’s clearly getting worse.
Since the devastating news, Nespresso and other big single-serve brands have made valiant attempts to stop the rot by releasing more eco-friendly recyclable pods, with specialist Nespresso recycling bins and collection services being offered to help dilute the issue.
But so far, things haven’t been going well.
Of the 13,500 coffee capsules consumed every minute, only 21% are ever recycled, as the complicated procedures a pod must go through and the criteria they must meet to be successfully repurposed remains a stumbling block.
Unless your recyclable coffee pod is taken apart, washed out and placed in a specialist bin or given to a specialist collection service, where it can then be taken to specialist waste treatment (a heck of a lot of special treatment), then it simply won’t get recycled.
However, most of us haven’t been educated properly in this fact and so the majority of recyclable capsules end up in standard recycling bins where they are rejected on arrival at the plant because standard plants simply don’t have the facilities to effectively recycle them.
That means that nearly 80% of pods are still simply ending up where we don’t want them.
Something needs to change.
And it’s Halo Coffee who are aiming to bring about that change…
About Halo’s Compostable Coffee Pods
Halo are the creators of the world’s first paper-based Nespresso compatible pods, aiming to end the reign of plastic and aluminium based pods that have devastating impacts on our landfills and oceans.
These innovative alternatives from Halo do away with such nasty non-decomposing materials and have replaced them with a functioning capsule made entirely from the natural sources of waste sugar cane and fibre.
This ensures they are fully compostable and even better than that – home compostable – meaning it doesn’t matter whether you dispose of them in a flowerpot or a dedicated garden compost heap, as they will always decompose successfully in just 4 weeks!
Compared to the 500 years the average Nespresso capsule takes, we’d say that’s a pretty big success!
Eco-friendly pods aren’t a new invention of course and many of you will have sampled pods made of so-called friendly, degradable bio-plastics before. However, such capsules often need to be disposed of in a certain way in order to be eco-friendly, which is not the case for Halo’s groundbreaking paper-pods.
Whether placed in a bin or a compost, these pods are designed to naturally degrade wherever they’re disposed of, in a short space of time, meaning specialist waste treatments and recycling plants for once don’t apply!
For once, you don’t have to pay a single thought or feel even one iota of guilt after chucking away your pod, because however you do it – it’s always eco-friendly with Halo.
But more than just a choice for the environmentally conscious, they’re also a pick for people who simply adore great coffee!
Not only are they better for the world, but we would also argue these capsules are generally just a better coffee experience than your standard Nespresso pod, with Halo filling their paper-cups with only the finest speciality grade coffee.
Their selections account for just 3% of the world’s entire coffee yield and must have scored over 80 points on a 100 point scale from the Speciality Coffee Association of America. This ensures you only ever receive artisan-level, barista-standard beverages for your money!
Let’s find out a little bit more about how you can get your hands on some…
What Halo Coffee Offers
Halo’s compostable coffee pods come in handy boxes of 10 and so the easiest way to nab some is to order them as a one off-bundle of 10, 20, 40, 60 or 80 pods.
Or, if you want to save a little bit of money, you can also order pods as a subscription in batches of 40,60 or 80 capsules, at a frequency of your choice (1-4 weeks). You’ll also get free shipping too!
If you’re not entirely sure what coffee to choose for your subscription, or want to give the special coffee lover in your life an eco-friendly gift they’ll be thankful for, you can also simply plump for one of their special mixed packages of 40 capsules by selecting either the Curated or Caffeinated Collection subscription packages. These will provide you with 4 different boxes of Halo Coffee on rotation, selected by the Halo’s Head of Coffee.
In terms of single-purchase options, they’re cheapest picks give you 10 compostable pods for just £7, while their more deluxe ranges are only 10 for £10.
Fully aware that they are currently only compatible with original Nespresso systems, Halo have also helped develop their very own capsule machine: the OPAL One.
Designed to only brew speciality capsules like Halo’s, it utilises a unique silicon brew chamber, eliminating unwanted dilution. To get on board with the green way of life, it’s a great machine to help you ditch the conventional pod lifestyle and embrace the eco-loving coffee glugger within!
Halo Coffees Available
Given the intricate compostable packaging of their pods, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Halo must only offer one or two selections of coffee, but thankfully, there is actually a treasure trove of single origin and bespoke blends to choose from.
This variety of pods, ranging from mild to strong in flavour, means that there’s a Halo choice to suit the personal picks of every type of coffee drinker, whether you know what you like or enjoy going boldly where no one has gone before!
- Halo Minus Peruvian Andes– Single-origin from Cusco & Peruvian Andes – Mild
- Lungo– Blend of South American & South Asian sources – Medium
- Three Mountain– Blend sourced from world’s three highest peaks – Mild
- Pacamara– Fruity single-origin used in World Barista Championships – Medium
- Halo Minus Ethiopian Sidamo– Naturally processed, single-origin decaf – Mild
- Honduras– Best Selling single-origin coffee – Strong
- Daterra Moonlight– Single-origin from Rainforest Alliance Sustainability A Grade Farm – Medium
- Indian Parchment– Single-origin Robusta beans – Strong
- Ristretto– Blend of South American & Ethiopian coffee – Strong
The individual stories and tasting notes of all these coffees can be found here on Halo’s website.
Be sure to check them all out, as occasionally specific coffees are available in discount bundles you won’t want to miss out on – such as 4 boxes for £26!
What We Tried
Without even a moment’s hesitation, we decided to take full advantage of Halo’s cheapest deal, snagging ourselves a box of 10 compostable pods for just £7 and a more deluxe blend box for £10!
We opted for their best selling, single-origin showstopper, Honduras, and out of the rest of the range, we plumped for the intriguing Three Mountains, a bespoke blend sourced from the Andes, Himalayas and Kilimanjaro-based coffee farms!
First up, we popped a Honduras pod into our Nespresso machine, as we were keen to discover why Halo’s Honduras blend had risen to the top of their rankings so quickly.
And after just a few sips, all became immediately clear as the sweet but subtle flavour notes came through!
A fragrant and full-bodied cup of java, it’s an unmistakable tang of walnuts, malt and milk chocolate all complimented each other perfectly, while the coffee taste itself was richly complex and a noticeably different experience compared to other Central American sourced coffees.
Best of all, we were left with a capsule made entirely from sugar cane and paper pulp, meaning it was 100% compostable and so it went straight on our home compost pile!
Taken from estates which specialise in both cocoa and coffee, Halo sourced their Honduran pods from communities across the Guatemalan and El Salvador borders, where the rich dark soil of rainforests and surrounding mountainous climate have a tremendous impact on the final product.
If you’ve never sampled Honduras sources coffee before, we’d recommend going with these pods, as Halo has truly unlocked an astonishing flavour, that celebrates some of the finest coffee the country has to offer.
After educating ourselves on the distinctive delights of Honduran java and savouring the flavour, it wasn’t long (20 minutes tops) before we’d tore open the packaging on our second box and taken a deep dive into the enigmatic world of the Three Mountains bespoke blend pod.
A wonderful option for those who like their joe a little on the mild side, this coffee left a lasting impression on us, with its enjoyable sweet notes of berries and nuts surrounded by a warm chocolate and molasses heart.
What we really loved about this blend though was the definitive coffee flavour itself, which had an extraordinarily pleasurable mouth-feel, a silky-smooth texture that was completely devoid of the sharp and acidic zing stronger blends can unfortunately sometimes have.
The story behind this blend was one that piqued (or peaked, if you will) our interest too, with the varieties of coffee all being sourced from farms or estates from some of the world’s most iconic mountain regions. This meant in just one little pod we were savouring all the unique notes that come with diversely-climatized Kenyan, Colombian and Nepalese coffee beans – creating an unexplainable experience you’ll just have to try for yourself!
Yet again, once the fun part was over, we were left with nothing but an empty cup and Halo’s empty, innovative, eco-friendly pod and so this time… we threw it in the bin – guilt-free – just because we can.
Take that climate change!
To top things off, Halo also boasts a commitment to completely sustainable packaging, with both boxes we received coming in previously recycled containers!
A wonderful coffee experience we’d definitely do again, our chosen boxes proved that Halo isn’t just eco-warriors trying to change our coffee habits and save the world, they’re also seriously passionate coffee connoisseurs, with their single-origin and unique blend recipes proving that we don’t have to sacrifice amazing coffee experiences on the path to a cleaner, more sustainable world!
Halo is a pod choice you can for once be proud of, that will deliver unique flavour profiles and open doors to new java desires you never even knew you had!
Why Choose Halo Coffee?
- 100% compostable pods which can be disposed of anywhere
- The most sustainable coffee choice on the market
- High-grade speciality coffee from climate-diverse sources
- Recyclable packaging
- Incredibly flexible coffee subscriptions available
If you’re interested in another environmentally-conscious brand, check out our review of Easy Jose Coffee to learn more!
Dan is a former competition barista and has been honing his knowledge of coffee for over two decades.
He has worked in coffee farms in Peru, as well as roasters in Australia. He now trains new baristas and hosts cupping experiences in Austin.