Ask the experts and many of them will tell you the same thing: the single-serve coffee category is hotter than freshly brewed java. Fueled by convenience, the time-saving system that lets users prepare drinks by the cup is gaining popularity worldwide. Yet, since their inception, single-serve cups and capsules have had to dodge the criticism that they’re inherently bad for the environment. Since single-serve capsules are discarded after each use, the brewing method is not as green as preparing drinks with ground coffee or espresso. And, we’re talking about a lot of cups and capsules. According to the National Coffee Association, single-serve coffee is the fastest-growing sector of the home market, as well as the second most popular brewing method after conventional drip coffee makers. So, what’s an environmentally conscious coffee lover to do? Must eco-concerns be set aside in favor of fast, convenient, and reliable drinks by the cup? Fortunately, leading single-serve manufacturers are addressing the issue head on. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), the maker of K-Cups for Keurig, conducted a life cycle analysis to assess the environmental impact of its single-serve packs. Highlights of the study are as follows: "The most significant environmental impacts are associated with materials production/packaging, the use phase, and the coffee cultivation phase for the impact categories examined." "End-of-Life (EoL) is a small part of the K-Cup® pack life cycle, representing only 5% of GHG emissions. EoL represents only 1% of the energy demand, and 1% of the acidification potential." "The K-Cup® brewing system uses less energy in an office environment than a traditional batch brewing system. This translates into reduced environmental impact in all impact categories over the entire life cycle." According to the study, even though the end-of-life cycle -- when a K-Cup is used and discarded -- is the most visible, it actually only accounts for only 5% of the potential global warming output. Nevertheless, GMCR has put together a program to allow workplace customers in the contiguous U.S. to collect and return spent K-Cups for composting and energy from waste processing. The Grounds to Grow On program is estimated to have recovered 4.1 million K-Cup packs and composted over 85,000 pounds of ground coffee in the same year. The plastic from spent K-Cups saved approximately 139 kilowatt hours. Want to take matters into your own hands, give the Keurig My K-Cup filter basket a try. It is a reusable filter that lets you brew with any ground pre-ground coffee you choose. No hassle, no mess, and no waste. At Nespresso, the talk centers around recycling as well as developing more sustainable aluminum for their single-serve capsules. In the U.S., the company has capsule collection systems in place in cities with Nespresso boutiques including: New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Nespresso has also launched the AluCycle, partnering with mining, refining, retrieval, recycling organizations to improve the sustainability of aluminum. The company has also teamed up with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to promote environmentally sound aluminum practices. Taking its commitment one step further, Nespresso has equipped some of its single-serve machines with an ECO button, which will automatically turn the machine off after 30 minutes of inactivity to conserve energy. The feature is available on the latest generation of the CitiZ machines. As an added bonus, purchase any Nespresso single-serve machine over $199 from now until June 17, 2013 and you can register for a $50 Nespresso Club credit good for free capsules. Illy iperEspresso fans can take heart in knowing that their capsules are made from recycled plastic. The company is working on a method to allow consumers to open, clean, and recycle their capsules. While single-serve systems may not be as eco-friendly as other more traditional brewing methods, the leading manufacturers are taking notes and continually making improvements to their products. Don’t write them off just yet.
OverviewBack to Top
Create the perfect espresso and cappuccino drinks with Illy iperEspresso capsules. Individually wrapped, each capsule contains approximately 7 grams of 100% Arabica coffee, perfectly roasted, ground and tamped. Simply insert the capsule, press the button, and voila! Illy’s dark roast offers a hearty, robust flavor. Also available in medium roast and decaffeinated. A can contains 21 individually wrapped capsules.
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SpecsBack to Top
|Aroma Notes:||Rich but fleeting|
|Taste Notes:||Robust smoky sweet, fruity notes|
|Finish Notes:||Rich, sweet, flavor-saturated|
|Palate Notes:||Velvety, long-lasting crema|
|Roast Profile:||Dark, Full City, Scuro, French|
|Best For Brewing|
|Coffee + Milk Drinks:||Yes|
|Species:||100 % Arabica|
|Container:||illy iperEspresso Capsule|
|Container Size:||Tin of 21 Capsules|
|Country Imported From:||Italy|
|Social & Environmental|
The Gaggia for Illy Plus Single Serve Espresso machine is the culmination of a joint venture between two of Italy's most respected coffee authorities. At first, Gaggia and Illy may seem like strange bedfellows but, upon reflection, the partnership makes perfect sense. Gaggia brings to the table its vast engineering expertise and rich history. After all, it was Achille Gaggia who invented the first espresso machine. With over 50 years of espresso innovation, Gaggia has earned its place as the #1 manufacturer of home espresso machines in Italy. Gaggia's partner, Illy, has an unmatched reputation for delivering premium coffee and espresso; in fact, 2 million cups of Illy coffee are served daily in Italy, a true testament to the brand's popularity. One of Illy's most significant contributions to the espresso industry has been its invention of the revolutionary iperEspresso system. Unlike most single-serve systems, iperEspresso capsules use a patented two-step extraction process to ensure maximum flavor, aroma and crema extraction. Since the brewing process is self-contained within the individual capsules, you won't run the risk of contaminating your machine with residual coffee. iperEspresso capsules are available in medium, dark and decaf roasts. So, what do you get when you combine the efforts of Italy's leading espresso authorities? The Gaggia for Illy Plus, of course! This groundbreaking machine is designed especially for the iperEspresso system and it brews espresso so good you won't believe your drink came from a capsule. It's one thing to streamline and simplify the brewing process, but it's rare for single-serve espresso to taste as good as its hand-brewed brethrens. Standard Operating Procedure Once you insert an iperEspresso capsule into the machine and press the brew button, the Gaggia for Illy will pre-infuse the coffee to bring forth its full flavor and aroma. The espresso will, then, be extracted and dispensed from the capsule's patented e-valve. Coffee is never exposed to the Gaggia for Illy Plus, so there's no post-brew cleanup to speak of and your drink is guaranteed to be completely pure. After your beverage has been extracted, the Gaggia for Illy Plus automatically discards the capsule into a dedicated container, so you're free to simply walk away and enjoy your espresso. Steam it up Like all Gaggia machines, the Gaggia for Illy Plus has pretty impressive steaming and frothing capabilities. In fact, Gaggia didn't scrimp on this single serve unit; it comes outfitted with the famous no-burn Pannarello steam wand. You'll be able to create rich steam and froth for lattes and cappuccino; it's the best of both worlds—the convenience of a single-serve machine with the steaming capabilities of a semi automatic. The Details Now that you have an idea of what the Gaggia for Illy Plus can do, here's how it does it...This machine is powered by a 15-bar pump and robust stainless steel boiler. The brew button is programmable to allow the Gaggia for Illy Plus to adapt to your preferences. You can set the brewing duration and subsequently drink volume by pressing and holding the brew button; this is one of the unique features that distinguishes the Gaggia for Illy Plus from its peers. Also exclusive to the Gaggia for Illy Plus is the adjustable cup holder and drip tray; it can be raised or lowered to make room for cups and mugs of all sizes. Water purification comes courtesy of a Mavea filter, which removes minerals from the contents of the one-liter reservoir to prevent scale buildup. If you've ever wanted to try a single-serve espresso machine, take the jump with the Gaggia for Illy Plus. The compact footprint of this machine makes it perfect for home use or stash it in your desk at the office and be prepared when a caffeine emergency strikes! Want to see the Gaggia for Illy Plus in action? Take a moment to watch our YouTube video.