A partnership between Oakland Coffee Works and San Francisco Bay Coffee Company is bringing to market coffee’s fourth wave: organic coffee in packaging made with compostable materials – including bags and single serving pods – that will stymie the flow of mountains of coffee-related garbage heading to landfills every day.

Oakland Coffee Works, owned by Green Day’s Mike Dirnt and Billie Joe Armstrong, is introducing the first coffee packaging made with certified compostable materials this week to four Bay Area Costco stores and on Amazon.com.

“First there was diner coffee, then there was second wave coffee, like Starbucks, and then came the third wave with artisanal coffee – but this is the next step: organic, truly high-quality coffee that fairly supports the farmers who grow it and that comes in packing made from fully compostable materials,” says Mike Dirnt, a long-time coffee enthusiast and bassist for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Green Day. “It’s no-compromise coffee and packaging.”

To create packaging made of certified compostable materials has been no small effort. Mike, Billie and the Oakland Coffee team went looking for sustainable solutions as they were developing their brand. They were intentional in the impact they wanted to make: to offer sustainably farmed, damn good organic coffee, and do business differently. To support the farmers and their communities, and offer products with a minimal footprint on the environment.

But no one made a coffee bag made of certified compostable materials that had all the benefits of a conventional petroleum-based bag in terms of keeping coffee fresh.

They found like-minded partners at San Francisco Bay Coffee Company, who were on a similar mission, to find (and fund) compostable packaging that would change the game on waste and force the industry to change, too.

“We’re a family-owned company, and we care a lot about our impact and the legacy we’re leaving for our kids,” says John Rogers, one of three generations of the Rogers Family who run the privately held San Francisco Bay Coffee Company. “We wanted to be a company that solved the waste problem for the coffee industry so we invested (5?) years of work and more than $2 million developing fully compostable pod and bag technology. Our goal is to influence the rest of the industry to adopt it, too. Mike and Billie wanted to do the same thing so we partnered so we could really make an impact.”

Oakland Coffee’s organic Gardenista blend is now available at Costco in a compostable cardboard box with three, 12-ounce bags of coffee per box. Single 12-oz bags of the organic Atomic Garden blend are available on Amazon.com.

The two coffee companies have even bigger plans. They have developed the first single serve pods made with compostable materials and will be releasing them in the coming weeks. Oakland Coffee’s compostable pod will be available in stores and online at Amazon.Com starting in mid-November. San Francisco Bay’s fully compostable pods are expected to land on Costco shelves and in other retail and online stores in early 2017.

  • The goal for both companies is to move the needle on coffee-related waste – which is a huge problem:
  • Some 18,000 single serve coffee pods are thrown away every minute.
  • Lined up, the single serve coffee pods thrown away each year could circle the Earth more than 10 times.
  • Standard, non-compostable pods can take centuries to degrade in landfills.

“We want consumers to have a choice that doesn’t require a compromise. We want to make great coffee that supports farmworkers, and makes sustainable packaging accessible to everyone, without pushing the added costs onto our consumers.” says Dirnt. “By riding the fourth wave with us we can all enjoy great, quality coffee that gives more people a choice towards a sustainable future.”