Droops – Story #3
Today, it’s estimated about 60 billion coffee capsules are produced every year. When I became involved in the
Some companies have begun producing recyclable or compostable capsules. However, Schlittler believes these inventions face the same issues plaguing takeaway coffee cups in many countries. “We see large numbers of people still throwing away their capsules, whether they are recyclable or not, because people aren’t aware how to dispose of them,” Schlittler says. “People try to produce biodegradable or compostable alternatives, but these, like recycling, need infrastructure in place to support them. Today, it’s estimated that only one out of five
Through MyCoffeeWorld, Schlittler supports innovative coffee concepts and companies he believes could revolutionise the coffee industry. A matter close to his heart, Schlittler spent a long time finding someone who could pose a solution to coffee capsule waste. He found it in Singapore with industrial designer Eason Chow and his Droops Coffee Maker concept.
The Droops Coffee Maker would use dissolvable capsules to produce coffee. Creator Chow says he was inspired upon
Chow says confusion around composting and recycling prompted him to find an alternative method of disposing of the coffee’s casing. He took inspiration from his
The Droops Coffee Maker will use dissolvable capsules similar to gumballs to produce coffee.
Our pod’s casing isn’t exactly the same material, but it incorporates this idea of a natural shell that is also part of the product.” Once launched, Droops plans to make its pods
“It is effortless to be eco-friendly with Droops. The casing – a combination of coffee, water, and biological material – dissolves so you don’t even need to worry about throwing it out, let alone in the correct bin.”
When Chow first published the concept in 2014, it was received with great acclaim. Droops won a Red Dot Design Award in 2015 and received attention from international news
“The feasibility study has been made, the proof of concept is here, and now we need to bring this into a production phase. Our next goal is to establish a production site and develop a variety of products,” he says. “We are looking to work with the right people who really want to be on the forefront of this innovation and build a supporting structure to take my idea and our European partner’s technology to production and distribution.” After Chow developed the concept, Schlittler connected with Swiss partners who had independently created the necessary shape pressing and coating technology. “Together, we have developed technology capable of producing these capsules and a machine that can extract the pod in a way that makes a good espresso,” Schlittler says.
“I’ve tested the coffee myself, and at this early stage, it is already just as good as any of the larger supermarket coffees available today. What really struck me was, after the extraction, I could take the casules in my hands, squeeze it, and it would break down so only coffee grounds remained.” Schlittler says
Droops’ combination of convenience, sustainability, and quality will endear it to multiple demographics, whose coffee preferences often differ.
“With the technology at hand, we have an opportunity to not only appeal to general coffee pod users and sustainable minded consumers, but the wider coffee market,” Schlittler says. “People who drink instant coffee will enjoy the convenience, while specialty or café drinkers will appreciate the quality.”
Schlittler says projections suggest that the dissolvable pods could in the long-term work out much cheaper for capsule producers.
“An industrial system to produce these new capsules will cost 50 per cent of what it takes to run traditional capsule machines,” Schlittler says. “That’s a huge trigger for the industry, and we’ve received a lot of interest from people who would like to buy or distribute these pods once they reach the market.”
Once Droops and dissolvable coffee pod production equipment receives a wide release, Schlittler hopes to share it with the rest of the coffee community.
“People are proud when they develop something, put a patent on it, then in 25 years, the industry is blocked because only one guy has the key and is able to sell the product,” he says.
“We want to be able to share this technology and make sure everyone is moving in the right direction.” G C R