Nespresso compatible capsules
Date Posted:5 April 2014
The market has been flooded with clone nespresso capsules. Not all these capsules are created equal. We look at the engineering behind what is a very complex product.
Improving the Nespresso coffee capsule experience
We are now currently into our 4th generation of Nespresso compatible capsule and have been involved in the single-serve portion control market for more than 12 years.
Naturally along this journey we have developed useful insights for what it really takes to make a quality single-serve portion control product like a capsule or pod.
We continue to support the ESE POD market with our premium coffees and see our developments in the capsule segment as strategically important.
Right from the outset, we wanted to control all aspects of quality in the production and management of capsules.
Many years of coffee experience dealing with the pointy-end of specialty quality cafes, equipment, etc. has taught valuable lessons on where the risks to quality exist.
In particular, we defined our key and fundamental control points of green bean specialty coffee sourcing, computer-controlled profile roasting of coffee beans, best-in-class infrastructure (our roasting facilities are comparable with the best in Australia), converting the capsules and storage of the finished product - everything in the supply chain had to be exact and centred around a constantly improving quality philosophy.
Make no mistake - our Nespresso compatible coffee capsules are a precision engineered product - the tolerances in every step of the process are extensively managed.
Why are our coffee capsules different ?
Imported capsules are at least 3+ months old (more likely up to 6 months) by the time they land in Australia having travelled in a boiler-house container for close to a month, degrading the quality of the finished product.
Have you every opened a container that has been sitting in tropical sun for days or weeks ?
Yes, it can get up to 65 degrees inside a container and heat is the enemy of fresh coffee.
Our Nespresso-compatible coffee capsule are individually packed into a Bio-compostable base that has been engineered in Italy, then nitrogen flushed and a heal sealed foil lid to lock in the freshness.
The capsules itself consists of a special material that is manufactured in Europe and has a far higher melt point compared to all other bio-compostable capsules sold in the market.
This is a very important point as customers can accidentally leave a capsule sitting in their machine for too long and many of the compostable capsules with lower melt points will get stuck and damage your equipment.
Our mycuppa.com.au Nespresso-compatible coffee capsules contain around 5.5g of premium grade 100% arabica ground coffee.
The reason we say "around" is due to the fact we use different types of arabica coffees that may actually dose slightly higher, e.g. 5.3 - 5.6g depending upon the flow rate of the coffee extraction.
The specific grind of a particular mycuppa.com.au coffee used in our capsule has been strictly engineered and fully tested during the packaging process to provide the precise level of extraction quality - fine enough so the coffee oils are released without being too fine to clog machines and result in capsule brew failures.
Our testing of the bio-compostable lid materials has shown there is still a small degree of effusion occuring with the compostable lid materials. This means the active, volatile compounds in fresh roasted coffee will slowly escape if not protected by a barrier.
For this reason, we have chosen a foil lid on our bio-compostable capsules to preserve the freshness and ensure you enjoy the capsule in peak or optimal quality.
The foil lid is easily removed and can be placed into the recycling waste.
But capsules are not strong enough...
Let's have a discussion about coffee strength which is really about dosage and extraction efficiency.
Coffee drinkers are a varied group - some like it strong, some like it rich, others like it smooth and creamy. No single coffee will please everyone and in fact it is hard to create a coffee that pleases most.
The standard for Nespresso-compatible coffee capsules is to hold around 5g of ground coffee per coffee capsule.
For the average Australian coffee drinker, this is generally insufficient and you cannot try to up the dosage, to say 7g, due to the design of the brewing system for Nespresso-compatible capsule machines.
There are fixed dimensions and you risk incorrect brew results or capsule brew failures - so it's unfortunately necessary to stay within the strict parameters for the design of the coffee capsule equipment.
If you visit a typical cafe in Australia and order a medium coffee such as the popular milk-based espresso beverages like a flat-white, cappuccino or latte - then chances are you are likely to have a coffee prepared with around 14 to 20 grams of coffee, depending upon the cafe, the barista and the coffee they are using.
Some cafes operating in volume turnover environments perform what is commonly referred to as "split shots" (double filter basket with two spouts pouring into 2 cups at the same time).
Split shots tend to be weaker and lack body, flavour and complexity when large amounts of milk are added to make up the flat-white, cappuccino or latte.
Whereas your typically specialty coffee cafe may do what is referred to as a double-ristretto espresso shot that provides for the entire 16 - 20g to pour into a single cup, cutting the shot at around 30ml.
This creates an full-flavoured, rich and sweet coffee that is likely to retain it's character and complexity when milk is added.
The ratio of milk to espresso is a very important factor.
Running a capsule shot longer, or pressing the button more than once for the same capsule is not going to make the coffee much stronger in flavor.
Many people try this technique in the hope of gaining more from the capsule, but it is not recommended because it can introduce bitter taints, reduce body and increase the volume of water to coffee oils - thinning.
You can only extract a certain amount of oil (flavor) from a dosage of coffee. As the oil is reducing, you will notice the pour is blonding and the coffee is thinning and becoming watery.
Running the shot too long will cause taints such as bitterness as the oils will have been extracted and the remaining grounds are increasingly hot and burning.
Selecting higher grades of coffees to be used in capsule is not the simple answer to improving or increasing the level of coffee flavor.
Higher grade coffees tend to be more delicate, cleaner and sweeter which may translate to a weaker capsule experience compared to the rough, dirty, robusta laden coffees in most of the imported coffee capsules.
If we look at what occurs in our specialty cafes, the baristas tend to dose more coffee to generate the required flavor - but of course you cannot do this in a fixed dosage system such as Nespresso-compatible capsules.
We have spent a lot of time designing coffees to be used in our mycuppa.com.au Nespresso-compatible coffee capsules. The selection process involves a lot of testing.
Our coffee capsules are not stronger because they contain higher quality coffee beans. Our capsules are cleaner and sweeter tasting that when combined with the freshness factor we managed closely, can result in a more rewarding coffee capsule experience.
Will the mycuppa.com.au capsules work in all types of capsule machines ?
Our capsules are compatible with machines using authentic, authorised type U, Lattissima, Inissia, Maistria, Essenza, Citiz and Pixie compatible capsule machine systems. There are many licensed brands of these systems now such as Breville, De-Longhi, etc.
Our capsules are NOT compatible with Nespresso commercial machines (fully automatic) typically found in hospitality or beverage outlets, Miele capsule machines, Krups Models F893, F896, F897, Lavazza Blue, MAP, Illy or Aldi Expressi,
Nespresso compatible capsules can be ordered here....... Nespresso compatible capsules
* Nespresso is a trademark owned by Societe Des Products Nestle SA and is used in our documents, articles and listings in a descriptive capacity only. We are not affiliated with, support or endorsed by Nespresso (Societe Des Products Nestle SA). Our intent is to define a purpose that our capsules are compatible with and operate successfully in capsule machines that use licensed Nespresso technology.