Woken Compostable Espresso Pods Remove the Single-Serve-Coffee-Making Guilt

Everyone likes the convenience and choice offered by using a single-serve coffee maker, right? But one of the biggest problems is that single-serve coffee makers produce unrecyclable waste. Some coffee pod makers offer to recycle used pods, but you have to return those used pods to them. Woken Coffee makes user compostable pods that reduce waste with minimal effort.

Woken Coffee sells three flavors of pods: Arabica, Lungo, and Vanilla. Arabica is described as “sweet and spicy all in one cup, with a citrusy finish.” Lungo is for those who believe that “espresso is meant to be strong and long.” It “delivers a thick crema, a bitter woody aroma and a more acidic finish than [their] other blends.” Vanilla is “medium-bodied with vanilla and woody notes,” and it “delivers on flavor with a thick crema and no acidity.” What sets Woken apart from other pods is their pods are made of a proprietary bioplastic called Terrablend, which is “made from organic biomass sources such as vegetable oils, cellulose, and even starches.” Woken pods are produced “using energy from wind, hydropower, sun, and biogas.” Woken pods biodegrade into non-toxic compounds, and they are 100% compostable — they will break down within 8 to 18 weeks (or less) whether you are composting at home or turning them into a municipal compost facility.

Woken’s pods are 100% compostable, compatible with home espresso machines and the environment. They are filled with wonderful blends varying in intensity, from South America to India and easy to make, drink, and dispose of.

Our Arabic and Robusta beans are roasted and ground lovingly in Italy and sold digitally throughout the continental U.S. and Canada. Match your mood to our espresso, drink up, then break it all down.

I have a Nespresso machine that I bought partly because the company offers to recycle the used pods. Granted, you have to send the used pods back to Nespresso for recycling by using one of their (free) pre-paid plastic bags, but my husband Kev has been skeptical about this whole process from the start. He hates holding onto the used pods (they can get moldy and gross), and they require storage. It can take us months to completely fill a recycle bag. Kev doesn’t want to cut the pods open himself to add the used coffee grounds in our compost because our recycling center won’t accept the opened pods. When I described Woken to him, he was immediately on-board.

I was sent a package that contained the Woken Mix, which has a box of 10 pods for each of Woken’s three flavors.

The Woken coffee pods are shaped like Nespresso’s pods, but they aren’t quite as eye-catching as Nespresso’s shiny aluminum ones. Who cares, right? The tops of the bioplastic pods are covered with what appears to be a stiff paper filter.

So you can tell them apart, there is a color-banded code on the underside of each pod’s lip.

I popped each pod into my Nespresso Pixie; the machine couldn’t tell the difference between Woken pods or one of the Nespresso-branded pods, and each delivered a delicious result with a frothy crema.


I don’t have espresso cups; shoot me.

Arabica is probably my favorite for a simple cup of coffee. Woken says it pairs well with fruit and chocolate, but I think it goes with just about any breakfast — which is generally when I am drinking straight coffee.


Lungo is super bold; if you like a strong coffee first thing in the morning or as a pick me up, then you’ll love this pod. Woken says it pairs well with fruit, chocolate, cheese, and pastry. I agree.


Vanilla has become my favorite afternoon treat — and I like it best as a cappuccino with a big frothy head. The vanilla flavor is not overwhelming (and this is coming from someone who is not usually a fan of flavored coffees), and it has an excellent aroma and taste. With hot, foamy milk (or your favorite milk alternative), it is perfect as a snack. Woken says it pairs well with chocolate and fruit, but it is a very satisfying all by itself!

It smells and tastes as good as it looks!

And don’t think that because you are paying for being able to compost your pods their pricing isn’t competitive; if you buy 20 pods for $13.50, you are paying $0.675 per pod, and the price goes down if you have a subscription; Nespresso pods are $0.70 and up per pod.

Ready for the compost bin!

Woken coffee pods make delicious espresso, coffee, and cappuccino. Knowing that you can just toss your used pod into your kitchen compost bin before taking them outside makes using them guilt-free!

Woken Coffee can be purchased as a one time order or as a subscription-based service; prices range from $13.50 for 20 capsules of a single flavor to $25 (40 pods) and up for monthly delivery. Read the Woken FAQ here.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Delicious coffee; 100% compostable pods; No single-use coffee pod guilt

What Needs Improvement: Nothing

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.