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Two recent developments bring a renewed focus to the world of single serve coffee brewing systems. The first is a big announcement by Melitta, the venerable company who invented the famous paper filter and coffee maker. The second is from a company, Simple Cups, who has brought a new reusable coffee pod to the market for use in the popular Keurig coffee machines.

Melitta Teams With UpShot

From a story on Home World Business, it appears we have a new entrant in the single serve coffee market.

The Keurig K-Cup patents have expired and many famous names have entered the segment in hopes of capturing a piece of the financial pie. Coffee roaster Melitta announced it has selected the UpShot Solution to enter the now crowded single serve coffee race. Developed by LBP Manufacturing, Inc., the UpShot Solution is said to utilize an eco-friendly, single serve coffee filter that Melitta will fill with its own coffee. LBP supplies companies such as Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s and Starbucks and has said its pre-filled coffee filter is compatible with Keurig and other single serve coffee brewers. Note: there are no specific references to the identity of these other brewers.

Melitta single serve coffee pod

Melitta/UpShot single serve coffee pod

Under the terms of this agreement, Melitta will install customized equipment at its facility in Cherry Hill, NJ, to offer customers roasting, filling and packaging services using the UpShot filter technology.

According to executives at Melitta, they chose LBP’s UpShot Solution because of their environmentally-friendly product approach and a shared flexible business model and corporate philosophy.

To ensure that the UpShot filters can be reliably reprocessed and recycled on a large scale, LBP is studying the feasibility and challenges associated with current recycling infrastructure and technologies. Comprehensive testing has confirmed that while it’s best to remove as much coffee or tea residue as possible from the filters before recycling (a best practice for all food packaging), an UpShot filter containing coffee grounds can still be processed into polypropylene pellets for reuse. LBP recognizes that large scale sustainability has been elusive in the single serve coffee category therefore, the company will continue to partner with leading industry experts to promote best practices for recycling #5 plastics and to source end-of-life reprocessing opportunities for UpShot filters.

UpShot Pod Info

– Compatible with Keurig and other single-serve brewers.
– Capacity up to 12 grams of ground coffee or tea.
– Unique proprietary mesh design allows consumers to see and smell their coffee or tea from the moment they open the seal.
– Ensures control over the integrity and consistency of the roast.
– Made from 100% polypropylene (resin identification code #5), which makes them recyclable along with other #5 plastics.

Matt Cook, president of LBP stated that “we look forward to supporting Melitta’s expansion into the single serve coffee space because LBP and Melitta share similar company values, such as providing quality products and strong customer service, this is an ideal partnership.” Cook continued, “The UpShot Solution opens up new territory for us to promote greater sustainability in a fast growing market. By introducing new materials to an established platform, we believe we can help significantly reduce the amount of waste that’s generated every day from the single serve coffee category.”

Melitta plans to install the equipment by year-end and will begin offering single serve coffee packs using the UpShot Solution technology through national and regional grocery chains by early 2013.

Simple Cups for Keurig Single Serve Coffee Brewer

At a recent press event, I talked with a relatively new company who has created a reusable cup and filter for Keurig single serve coffee brewers. However, the Simple Cups product is about more than just recycling and environmental responsibility. What single serve coffee users don’t realize is that the cost of their favorite pods is shockingly high. Most customers buying Keurig K-Cups tend to look at the per cup cost, which can be in the range of .50 to .75 cents, rather than the per pound cost. Considering the amount of coffee that is in each pod, the cost of K-cup based coffee comes to over $50 a pound.

Simple Cups therefore represents an economical and easy way to use any coffee you choose in your Keurig brewer, whether at home or work. The plastic cup and lids are readily reusable by simply disposing of the paper filter with spent grounds and inserting a new coffee filled filter.

Simple Cups single serve coffee pod

Simple Cups single serve coffee pod

The Simple Cups are comprised of a recyclable plastic cup and lid with an appropriately sized paper filter insert. Each box of Simple Cups contains 50 cups, lids and filters with an easy close stand.

The company feels their product frees the customer from having to use expensive pre-determined flavors. While the My K-Cup and the Ekobrew also allow you to choose coffee and tea from your local coffee or tea purveyor, Simple Cups feel their system is superior. In agreement with some coffee experts, the Simple Cups makers believe it is better to brew coffee through a paper filter. Unlike their competitors, the Simple Cups paper filters will remove, among other things, a substance called cafestol which is believed by some to negatively affect LDL cholesterol levels.

The company representatives gave me a box of Simple Cups which I intend to use in a basic Keurig machine to see how well they function.

Note: Simple Cups has no affiliation with nor endorsement by Keurig or Green Mountain.

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