Frequently Asked Questions


Where are your coffees sourced from?

We select the best Arabica crops from Colombia, Peru, Central America, Ethiopia, Kenya and other quality berry growing locations. Our goal is simple: to guarantee the highest quality of sources for our coffee at all times.

How do I know which variant I should buy?

Everyone has specific preferences and tastes when it comes to coffee. We suggest that you use our coffee menu on this website to help you select the coffee capsule that will best suit your needs.

If you would like to try a few variants, we recommend selecting an assortment. That way you can sample your way through the range, tasting each and then settling on the ones you prefer.

What do I do if I prefer more water than milk in my coffee?

We all prefer more water and less milk in our coffee and prefer it to be strong so what we do is use a Ristretto or Espresso Forte capsule and we put a shot of water in the cup from the small button first and then add the capsule and milk. This is basically what a barista does and we try to replicate that. We love the coffee we get by doing that but coffee tastes are very personal and you may find that if you like quite a large cup that adding another capsule will provide a better result as well..

What water should I use to make my coffee?

It is best to use a neutral water like tap water (filtered water can bring out an unpleasant taste). To preserve the traditional flavour of the espresso, and depending on how hard or soft the water is in your area, try to look after your machine, by cleaning it and removing limescale and changing the water in the tank regularly.

What is Espresso coffee?

Espresso (/ɛˈsprɛsoʊ/; Italian pronunciation: [eˈsprɛsso]) is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso is generally thicker than coffee brewed by other methods, has a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids, and has crema on top (a foam with a creamy consistency). As a result of the pressurized brewing process, the flavours and chemicals in a typical cup of espresso are very concentrated. Espresso is the base for other drinks, such as a caffè latte, cappuccino, caffè macchiato, caffè mocha, or caffè Americano. Espresso has more caffeine per unit volume than most coffee beverages, but because the usual serving size is much smaller, the total caffeine content is less. Although the actual caffeine content of any coffee drink varies by size, bean origin, roast method and other factors. (source: Wikipedia)

An espresso is made by slowly pouring high-pressure hot water through finely ground coffee. Enjoying an espresso is an intense experience, best savoured in small doses. The Ethical Coffee Company capsule allows all the rich coffee flavours to be drawn out at high pressure. Just like in the best Italian bars, our coffee takes approximately 25 to 30 seconds to pour out into the cup which is the optimal extraction time.

Faster extraction may indicate either a coarse-ground coffee or insufficient pressure. Just watch a real Italian Barista. In Naples, for instance, a “Ristretto” is defined as “17 drops”. A genuine espresso will finish pouring drop by drop.

The extraction technology of the Ethical Coffee Company’s biodegradable capsule brings out the very essence of high-quality coffee. Our outstanding Italian-roast blends offer you a new way to enjoy a genuine espresso experience.

Is the foam different?

The foam (crema) of an Ethical Coffee is completely natural. It is a result of the chemistry from a number of contributing factors, including the type of coffee, the roasting process, the machine and the grinding method. Other cremas can vary widely. Our crema is natural, without any additives, and residue should not still be in the bottom of the cup after you’ve finished your coffee.


How can you claim that your capsules are biodegradable?

All The Ethical Coffee Company coffees have been thoroughly tested and certified to the stringent standards of EN13432. This is the reference for the official standard that tests and proves the biodegradable nature of packaging or products.

Our whole capsule, and its packaging components, comply with the EN13432 standard. This European standard is currently the strictest available in terms of biodegradability and compostability for industrial compost.

What does biodegradable mean?

Our biodegradable capsules are made form bio-based material and break down in less than 6 months in industrial compost. Packaging waste forms the largest proportion of total waste collected in the world. The aim should be to both reduce production of household waste at the source and to ensure it is biodegradable or compostable. In comparison, recyclable means that the capsules have to be collected, and must be re-treated before they can be reused. Recycling is often an interim solution. It requires collection, sorting and transport infrastructures, which are all energy-hungry processes. In many cases, the environmental impact is negative or no better than simply “throwing away” the original packaging. Complicated sorting and recycling systems are not required with a biodegradable capsule. Our capsule simply returns to nature in the form of compost.

Do your capsules contain plastic?

No, the capsules from the Ethical Series are made of bio-based materials, no oil-based materials like standard plastics are used, so there are zero petrochemical molecules in any of our capsules or packaging. The whole of our capsule is made from bio-based materials. We do not use any over wrap or sleeve, as our capsules are hermetically sealed for freshness for 12 months.

Do your capsules contain aluminum?

No, the Ethical Coffee Series capsules and lids are made of bio-basesd materials, containing no metallic properties or substrates. The bio-based capsule material is patented by the supplier and is made from sugar cane and sugar beet so that our capsule is completely biodegradable and complies with the EN 13432 European biodegradability standard, which does not tolerate any traces of heavy metals in the compost. This standard is subject to an ecotoxicity test designed to detect the presence of these metals. You should note that the membrane is sprayed with a very fine coating this is an aluminium looking substance. This substance is not aluminium and is totally biodegradable as is everything else in our capsule.

Will your coffee capsules damage my Nespresso® machine?

No, Ethical Coffee capsules will not damage your Nespresso® machine.

Are your capsules compatible with all Nespresso® machines?

Ethical Coffee capsules are compatible with all current Nespresso® Original machines including brands such as DeLonghi, Breville, Krups, Koenig, Turmix, with the exception of built-in models (Miele).

Unfortunately, due to the different design of the new Nespresso® Vertuo machine, our capsules are not compatible with this new coffee capsule system.

Why does your capsule make a "pop" sound when I use it?

The design and technology of the Ethical Coffee capsule is an exclusive and patented design. Apart from the fact that it is biodegradable, the capsule reproduces a genuine Italian espresso: extracting the very best from the ground coffee, according to the art of the profession.

When you place an Ethical Coffee capsule in a machine and press the brew button, a series of invisible actions take place:

1. During the first three seconds the pressure rises and the grounds becomes infused with water and the membrane is exploded, (this is the famous "pop" associated with the Ethical Coffee capsule)

2. The nectar then slowly pours out. A true espresso takes 20 to 25 seconds to pour, according to the reference book "Il Caffè espresso. La scienza della qualità" written by Andrea Illy and Rinantonio Viani. The Ethical Coffee capsule fits this recommendation.

What do I do if the capsule gets stuck in my machine?

As the capsule is plant-based and biodegradable, on rare occasions it can become temporarily stuck in a machine if it gets too hot.

It is very easy to rectify this. Firstly, check that the capsule container is not full. If it is full, please empty it. Likewise ensure that your drip tray is also not full.

If the capsule remains stuck, lift up your lever and run hot water through your machine by pressing the “espresso” button until your capsule is released. Repeat if necessary. The capsule will come loose thanks to the water pressure. If the capsule remains stuck, we suggest using a small teaspoon to gently lever the capsule and allow it to fall into the capsule container.

If the capsule remains stuck, lift up your lever and run hot water through your machine by pressing the “espresso” button until your capsule is released. Repeat if necessary. The capsule will come loose thanks to the water pressure.

My lever is more difficult to close using your capsules, why is this so?

It’s normal that our capsule is harder to perforate as it is made of bio-based material, which is harder to penetrate when cold than materials like plastic or aluminium. You need to apply a small amount of pressure when closing the lever.

These capsules have been designed to adapt perfectly to your machine. This movement does not damage your machine and there is no risk to your machine.

• It is normal for the group to be firm.
• If the coffee is not pouring, then the capsule is not seated properly in the group. It is important to ensure the capsule is seated.
• To assist, pull the group handle back completely and then place the capsule into the capsule slot on the machine.
• If not sure then move the handle slightly forward and then back again. This will ensure the capsule is seated.
• As the capsules are used more then the machine will adjust with use.
• The top seal works like filter paper and does not require full piercing like aluminium.

What is the lid made of?

The lid is bio-based and certified compostable, just like the capsule. It hermetically seals the coffee for up to 12 months from production date. This also means that we don't need any additional flow wrap and helps to further reduce our environmental footprint :)

How long do your capsules last?

Our Bio capsules are bio-based and compostable and are cleverly hermetically sealed for freshness, so do not require any additional flow wrap. The best before date is 12 months from production date and is printed on the box. The capsule is made of plant-based materials and so is sensitive to storage conditions for example do not store near a source of heat, as this can affect the way the capsule interacts with your machine, but store in a cool, dry place.

What is the difference between your capsules and Nespresso®?

First and foremost it is the fact that the Ethical Coffee capsules are 100% biodegradable, and cleverly hermetically sealed for freshness, keeping in all the flavour of the organic coffees.

The Ethical Coffee range is selected, roasted and prepared locally here in Australia, specifically for our range of coffees and the Australian taste. What makes our products unique is the high quality of coffee and the fact that our coffee capsules are fully biodegradable and compostable being made from 100% bio-sourced plant based materials.

The Ethical Coffee capsules have been certified under EN13432 to fully biodegrade within 180 days.

Can I use your capsules in my Aldi or Caffitaly machine?

No, the Ethical Coffee Capsules are only compatible with Nespresso® machines.

What is the difference between your capsules and the one I buy in the Supermarket?

The Ethical Coffee capsule, which is entirely closed, allows extraction under high pressure, reproducing the Italian Barista style of extraction and delivers a true Italian espresso. All current brands sold in supermarkets are made of plastic and take over 500 years to breakdown.

There are a number of companies pretending to offer a biodegradable solution but are actually just plastic injected with a chemical make help them fragment into pieces similar to microbeads. There are also other so called biodegradable pods come wrapped in aluminium or plastic which is a huge contradiction.

Our capsules are made of vegetable matter and all of the packaging is eco-friendly; the capsule and the inner flow wrap are 100% certified biodegradable and the box is cardboard. Our partners in Switzerland have invested heavily over 10 years perfecting the capsule and the closure to ensure everything we do is consistent with our brand, there are no contradictions.

Can I put your capsules in my green waste?

Yes, Ethical Coffee Company capsules are fully biodegradable being made from bio-based materials, but please also check with your local council. They can also be safely disposed in general waste, as they are make from plant material and are fully compostable.

What should I do if I think the capsule has damaged my machine?

Please contact your friendly customer service team at the Nespresso Club or follow the instructions provided with your machine for servicing enquiries.

Will using your capsules void my machine's warranty?

No, the warranty is only invalid if the machine has not been used correctly. The use of a consumable item cannot be regarded as incorrect use, so the warranty cannot be invalidated on these grounds.

What happens if I can't insert the capsule in my machine?

Please check that the capsule container and drip tray are not full. Also check that a capsule has not become lodged in the machine. If so, please follow the instructions to remove the capsule as detailed above.

What happens if the capsule does not work in my machine?

Direction for use

1 Insert capsule and start extraction.
2 Once extracted remove used capsule.
We recommend you keep your capsule container and drip tray empty and pre-flush your machine prior to use.

Below may be of assistance if you should encounter any issues:

• It is normal for the group to be firm.
• If the coffee is not pouring, then the capsule is not seated properly in the group. It is important to ensure the capsule is seated.
• To assist, pull the group handle back completely and then place the capsule into the capsule slot on the machine.
• If not sure then move the handle slightly forward and then back again. This will ensure the capsule is seated.
• As the capsules are used more then the machine will adjust with use.
• The top lid is compostable and works like filter paper. It does not require full piercing like aluminium.

If you continue to experience issues, please contact us.


What are the shipping charges?

We offer standard shipping in Australia.

• $10.00 for orders up to $25.00AUD
• $7.70 for orders up to $100.00AUD
• Free shipping for orders over $100.00AUD

For international shipping cost please contact us.

Where can I buy your products?

Ethical Coffee products are available online at www.ecocaffe.com.au and through selected partners. Please check our Partners page for more details.

What options do you offer for payment?

We are pleased to accept Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Zip Pay.

How do I stop a subscription service?

After the minimum 3 month period, subscriptions can be cancelled by contacting our friendly customer service team on 1800 147 145.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes, we are able to ship parcels internationally. Freight rates will vary depending on quantity ordered and destination. Please contact us and include details of the quantity and destination for your shipment and you will be provided with a shipping estimate.

Some of the destinations we ship to: New Zealand (NZ), Asia, Europe, USA, Canada.

What happens if I change my mind after I have placed my order?

The efficiency of our picking, packaging and shipping process means that often orders will be very quickly moved into the processing stage once you have completed your order online. Once orders have reached our warehouse, it may not be able to be altered or cancelled.

If you change your mind the first thing to do is check the order email confirmation with tracking information. If the order has been dispatched, we will not be able to amend it. If the tracking information does not show the order has been dispatched or you are yet to receive a tracking confirmation email, then phone our customer service team on 1800 959 755 and they will establish if the order has been picked and packed (which will also mean the order cannot be changed) or whether it order can be modified.

How do your subscription services operate?

There is nothing worse than waking up, opening the cupboard and realising that you are out of your favourite espresso capsules. Your day may be ruined!

By selecting one of our subscription services, your order will be automatically dispatched to you each month on the same date. You will also receive additional benefits such as free freight, discounted prices and the occasional promotional offer.

To learn more, please go to our subscription pages.


How quickly will my order be dispatched?

Our orders are typically dispatched within 24 hours (business days) of being placed, however they will often be processed much more quickly than this.

When will my order be delivered?

Your order will depend on your location in Australia.Delivery will occur in the Sydney region with 24 – 48 hours. Other major capital cities and eastern seaboard regional areas with 2- 4 business days. Delivery to South Australia and Western Australia are generally made within one week.

Please refer to your email order confirmation to track your parcel.

What happens if I am not home when a delivery is made?

Depending on whether you have provided authority to leave your delivery, the delivery driver may leave a card in your mail box with instructions on how to arrange re-delivery or collect your parcel.

What service do you use for your deliveries?

Our shipments are dispatched via Australia Post e-parcel or a premium courier service depending on your location.

Why do I have to pay for my delivery?

As you would be aware, delivery to your doorstep involves many people and services to ensure that you receive your parcel in a timely manner. We charge a small fee for this service based on the direct cost to our business.

To avoid paying for freight, we suggest that you place orders with a value greater than $100AUD. This will mean that we can deliver your products without any freight charge. If you would like to check how much you should order at a time please refer to our order calculator.

What happens if my delivery is damaged?

In the unlikely event that your capsules arrive in a damaged condition, please contact our Customer Service team on 1800 147 145.

Do you offer refunds?

There’s nothing like a satisfied customer. We know that and we want that and we’re confident, that you’ll be happy with the quality of our products. That’s why we offer you our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. For a refund or exchange simply contact our friendly customer  service team. For more information see our Returns Policy or call 1800 147 145.

Subscribe to our Newsletter for



Ecocaffe acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. EcoCaffe supports the First Nations people's Uluru Statement from the Heart.

All contents © 2024 The Eco Caffe Company | ABN 36 162 189 915. *The Nespresso® trademark is a third-party mark and is not the property of The Eco Caffe Company. All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced in any way, or by any means, without the prior written permission of The Eco Caffe Company.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram