Lost Sheep Coffee – Eco Friendly Coffee Pods for Nespresso Machines
Last week, I went on a bit of a rampage about coffee pods. A coffee feature in my latest issue of the Ethical Consumer magazine prompted me to get angry about the lack of ethics when it comes to Nespresso brand pods (and Nespresso machines in general) and go on a hunt for a greener alternative to use in my machine – you can see what I had to say about it all here.
Following my discovery of Lost Sheep Coffee pods that are Nespresso compatible, the lovely people from Lost Sheep sent me some samples to try, which was incredibly kind of them. I have now had a chance to try all four types of pod that I was sent, and am here to report back!
Where does Lost Sheep coffee come from?
If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, or follow me over in Instagram, you probably know that ethical chocolate is something I am super passionate about. One of the main problems that we find in the chocolate industry (especially where ‘big choco’ are concerned) is that it’s very hard to trace from bean to bar, meaning that there is scope for awful things like child slavery and exceptionally poor working conditions to go undetected. While looking into coffee is a fairly new venture for me, it seems that there are some similar issues to the chocolate industry.
Unlike many of the big coffee distributers, Lost Sheep Coffee source their coffee beans carefully, so you can see exactly where your coffee has come from. All you need to do is click on the pack of coffee pods that tickles your fancy on the website, and you’ll see which region your coffee has been grown in, the farm it’s come from, and the altitude it’s grown at.
I asked Hannah from Lost Sheep a bit more about where the coffee comes from, and she gave me some brilliant info:
“The farms are family owned, usually have been for a very long time, and they’re normally pretty small too! More often than not we’re able to source the coffee directly from the farms and work with the coffee producers.
An example of that is our coffee that we get from Brazil. It is owned by the Barbosa Family, and has been since 1900. Here’s a link to their Instagram! They’re a really lovely bunch and we have quite a bit of contact with them as we’ve used their coffee for a really long time! The farm is owned by Mr Barbosa, and has been passed down for 3/4 generations – I think the original owners were Mr Barbosa’s great grandparents! He now runs the farm with his 2 sons!
The coffee we source always comes with a lot of detail, they break down where the coffee is grown, the sub region, the metres above sea level, the way the coffee is dried, lots of great coffee nerd information haha!!”
Why is Lost Sheep coffee so good?
Having tried the coffee pods from Lost Sheep Coffee (and had a number of takeaway coffees from the Canterbury shops over the years), I can confirm that it’s great coffee. If you ask me to elaborate on why exactly that is, I can’t. Sadly, I’m not a coffee connoisseur, but luckily Hannah from Lost Sheep was happy to answer all of the questions I had. Here is what she told me about the quality of the coffee at Lost Sheep:
“We only use speciality coffee in both our pods and for our beans too, so this is coffee in the top 5% of coffee grown (in terms of grade.) The beans are scored out of 100 and speciality coffee is anything above 80.
The coffee grading system, basically is a process that all coffee beans have to go through to decide on quality.
There are 5 grades, speciality coffee being grade 1. The grades are decided based on the amount of defective coffee beans and the overall cup quality.
Each coffee bean is put through a rigorous and thorough inspection process and individually hand checked for superior quality.
We would then receive the green coffee after it has been scored and graded, then our head roaster does a trial roast he then tastes the coffee grades it himself and checks for things like acidity, body, overall flavour and he is then able to pick out tasting notes!
The good thing about this process is that the higher quality beans are usually those belonging to smaller farmers as they take so much care when growing the coffee.
The lower the grade the more defects it’s allowed, grade 5 for example are allowed more than 86 defects per 300g! Which compared to the maximum of 3 defects per 300g speciality coffee is allowed shows how different the quality is!”
How are Lost Sheep coffee pods green?
My mission when I started looking into coffee pods, was to find something ethical and green, and Lost Sheep fit the bill on both counts. We’ve already established that the traceability is great, but what’s the deal when it comes to how green the physical pods are?
All of the Nespresso compatible pods from Lost Sheep are totally compostable, which is fantastic news. They’re made from a byproduct of the paper industry, so not only are the pods easy to compost by popping them into your local authority food caddy, they’re also saving a waste product from being incinerated!
The factory that produces the pods is carbon neutral and runs off hydro / solar and wind power, which is the cherry on the (green) cake!
What I thought of Lost Sheep Coffee pods!
Now we’ve been through the basics, what did I actually think of the pods? In short, I love them all! Previously I’ve had issues with my machine not liking some non-Nespresso brand pods, but these work perfectly.
I think my favourites out of the four options I tried are the ‘Half Caff’ Fifty Fifty ones. I’ve never come across a pod with half caffeine before, but I’ve found them to be just what I need for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up and will be getting some more ASAP.
I used the ‘Morning Campers’ pods for my morning coffees, as the name suggested, and it worked brilliantly for my criminally milky morning brew! I really don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to coffee, but there was definitely a hint of something sweet about the flavour, which I really enjoyed.
‘The Daily Capsule’ has hints of milk chocolate and caramel, and again, it made a cracking milky coffee. I tend to get through a lot of coffee while I’m working at my desk, so try and cut down on excessive amounts of dairy by swapping in oat milk every few cups. I loved this pod with oat milk, and think it might just become my new staple morning coffee.
Finally, the decaf pod. Much nicer than other decaf coffees I’ve ever had, it’s become a bit of a ritual to have one of these in the evening in front of the TV. I usually find that other decaf pods don’t taste as much like coffee as I think they should, but ‘the decaf capsule’ from Lost Sheep is perfect!
In summary, I am impressed with Lost Sheep Coffee pods! Impressed with both the ethics, and the taste, and would thoroughly recommend them to anyone looking to step away from the less ethical options. Please do let me know what you think if you give Lost Sheep a go – I’ve already got my mum to try some and we’ve had fun comparing notes!