Review: Outpresso the Nespresso Capsule Recycler
Outpresso is a compact device that separates the coffee from the aluminum in Nespresso coffee capsules, making it feasible to put the spent aluminum capsules in the recycling bin. I first wrote about Outpresso a few years ago but wasn't until this year that they were available to ship from a US address; making the process easier and faster. Not sure about you, but I have had mixed results ordering things from overseas and getting them here in a timely manner.
More after the jump.....
Outpresso was recently started by veteran web-entrepreneurs who fell in love with Nespresso. It wasn't until after a relative's trip to Europe where they saw Nespresso machines "everywhere", did the owners of Outpresso USA get one as a gift; a Red Nespresso Citiz. Fans of espresso, and keen on being green, the new machine presented a dilemma that a lot of single serve coffee/espresso users have; how to balance the convenience and quality of the single serve coffee brewer with the environmental impacts of the packaging, like the aluminum coffee capsules in the Nespresso system. Avid recyclers already, Andy and Beth, owners of Outpresso USA, the Outpresso recycler was the answer. Amazed by the quality and ease of use, bringing it to the US market was the obvious next step.
Outpresso USA provided Single Serve Espresso with a Red Outpresso for the purposes of this review, and I have to say that I wish I had ordered an Outpresso two years ago when I first saw them. The bottom line is that they are fun and easy to use, making the job of recycling Nespresso capsules quick and painless.
Each Nespresso capsule contains 2 grams of aluminum making it a small amount that adds up over a lifetime of espresso drinks. You can't just throw the spent capsules into the recycling stream because the ~7 grams of coffee contained in the capsule won't separate, and won't create that pure metal stream that is easy to process. So, in order to recycle the capsules, separating the aluminm from the coffee is a big step in making it more recyclable. While Nespresso runs a recycling effort in Europe, urging consumers to bring capsules back to recycling points, they don't yet do that here. Given the general sentiment here about the environment and the lack of market penetration in the US for Nespresso, I am not sure we will see that happen for a long time.
The Outpresso seems to me to be a good way to create a little less environmental impact while still enjoying the convenience and high quality espresso shots from the Nespresso system.
Place the Spent Capsules on the lower part and press down.
Fun and Easy
The Outpresso is fun and easy to use; making short work of recycling a bin full of capsules. When the Outpresso arrived, I immediately opened the box, pulled back the shredded paper packing (yes recyclable too), and headed to the kitchen. I pulled out the bin from my own red Citiz and went to work. In less than a few minutes, I had played with and run through my whole set of spent capsules.
Outpresso has an indentation for you to place the Nespresso capsule foil side down onto the recycler, and with a push of the lever, the spent coffee grounds are pressed out of the foil and into a little bin under the Outpresso.
The bin holds the coffee from a couple of capsules, and I just dumped them into a bowl to compost them. There are a few grounds that hang onto the capsules, so I just rinsed a handful in water and sent them to the recycle bin. The Outpresso rinses quickly, and even can go in the dishwasher if things really get dirty.
The process is different enough and easy enough that our kids ended up doing the next batch a few days later, essentially making it zero effort on my part to recycle the aluminum and take a little off the environmental impact of using these excellent espresso machines. I whole heartedly recommend the Outpresso if you are at all interested in recycling the aluminum from your spent Nespresso capsules.
Grounds are ejected into the small bin on the lower part of the Outpresso.
Outpresso USA ships to the US and Canada from Chicago and has pretty fast service. The Outpresso is available for $29, and their website has a few fun facts about recycling the Nespresso Capsules.
Check them out at Outpresso USA
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Posted by Scott Martin at March 23, 2011 7:00 PM
The main market of Nespresso is France. When I see all these capsules used everyday, I don't see anybody using any kind of tool (they don't put their used capsules anywhere else than in a the garbage).
I am agree that NeCap may not be the best solution but the products from ECC are a good solution as they are made from corn. There is also a reusable Nespresso caps. It could be a solution!
For the ESE Pods or Senseo pads, the foil is a little problem, you are right, but there is no food so you can recycle it very quickly. And I can use them in my handpresso :p
I remember the ads of Bodum against Nespresso... So funny but so real!
You are absolutely right, these will not totally solve the issue of a single serve dose with all of the packaging for a single cup of espresso. I believe that this will reduce the environmental impact of getting great espresso in a quick convenient way.
I have to disagree that pods are better when you include the outside foil laminate packaging in the mix vs. a recycled aluminum capsule. I also disagree that a plastic capsule like NeCap would be better than a recyclable aluminum capsule.
I think ironically, if Nespresso ever got to a point where the US market would support a collection effort like Europe, the total environmental impact would be worse than today. I say that because, the market would have to be so developed to generate the volume of recycled capsules that there would also be an even bigger stream of non-recycled capsules getting thrown away.
So, I still think that the Outpresso is a great solution for the Nespresso user to get a bit friendlier to the environment and still enjoy all the benefits of the Nespresso system.
Thanks for reading.