Capsule models of coffee machines are becoming more and more popular. There is no shortage of capsules and the advantages that this category has, make it one of the fastest growing and most in demand. Moreover, it is the coffee machine capsules that are the key factor in choosing brewing devices.
This is because all of the major brands personalize capsules, making them compatible only with a particular brand of coffee machine. Understanding the differences, how they work, brands’ pricing policies, and other features will allow you to choose the best capsules for making quality coffee.
What are capsules for coffee machines?
The capsule is the main element of the system for all capsule models. Generally speaking, the technology of each coffee machine functions to unlock the potential of a container of ground coffee that the manufacturer has prepared to create a great beverage. Despite the visual similarity, the containers differ significantly from each other.
- Read also: How capsule coffee machines work
All types of coffee machine capsules are divided into categories according to the following criteria:
- manufacturer and compatibility with specific coffee machines;
- type of material (mostly aluminum foil or combined eco-plastic);
- type of beverage;
- frequency of brewing (all the top brands produce disposable containers for their coffee machines).
Also a conventional criterion is the average cost of coffee in capsules. With equal conditions and quality, it is often the price that becomes the decisive factor.
The most popular capsule manufacturers
The choice of manufacturer is the primary criterion for evaluating coffee for capsule coffee machines. All major brands produce containers with compatibility only with their own models. Among the most popular and mass manufacturers stand out:
- Dolce Gusto.
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These brands represent the majority of the capsule coffee market, so 90% of the time the choice of manufacturer will be split between them.
A brand belonging to the Nestle group. The capsules are only suitable for Nespresso devices (produced by DeLonghi), Krups, Miele, Inissia. It is considered the first brand to produce capsule coffee.
- number of types – 25;
- a wide range of drinks: espresso, lungo, hot chocolate, decaffeinated coffee
- filling of the package – 8 grams;
- dimensions -37×30 mm;
- price range – from 35 to 43 rubles per unit.
, herbal teas;
Also Nespresso is the brand to which most of the capsules from “third-party” manufacturers fit. Nevertheless, such savings almost always lead to a deterioration in the quality of drinks.
A well-known brand, which produces coffee brand Nescafe (also owned by Nestle). Suitable for Krups and DeLonghi coffee machines. It differs in price and availability of dairy beverages in the range. It requires a second container which contains milk powder.
- number of types – 24 (16 for coffee and 8 for milk);
- wide range of coffee drinks: espresso, ristretto, latte, cappuccino (including cold cappuccino), grande, lungo, latte macchiato
- filling of the package – 6 grams;
- sizes – 37×54 mm;
- price range – from 26 to 52 rubles.
, mocha, hot chocolate, decaffeinated coffee;
This brand also has many counterparts among third-party manufacturers, although given the inexpensive price, their use provides almost no savings.
Tassimo capsules or “T-discs” are available with coffee beans from two manufacturers, Jacobs and Carte Noire. They are intended for devices of the Bosch brand. Their feature is a non-standard shape (the container is flatter), as well as a system of reading the bar code from the plastic container during brewing.
Due to the fact that Tassimo’s t-dishes have a non-standard size and flat shape, it does not require much pressure to brew coffee. This allows you to create great drinks even in budget models of coffee machines (with a pressure of 3-5 bars).
- number of types – 36;
- wide assortment of drinks: tea, espresso, lungo, ristretto, latte, cappuccino
- filling of the packaging – 9 grams (standard).
, hot chocolate, decaffeinated coffee;
Because of the barcode reading system, third-party capsules are not suitable. Therefore, for this brand will have to buy capsules for the coffee machine only from a series of Tassimo.
Produced by a well-known coffee brand containers are suitable only for Lavazza coffee machines. They have an excellent taste, although the range is slightly worse than the competition. Also of the disadvantages is the plastic container.
- number of types – 18;
- the assortment of drinks loses out to competitors: espresso
- filling of the package – 7,5 grams;
- size – 27×47 mm;
- average price – from 28 to 33 rubles.
, lungo, ristretto, tea;
Despite the fact that Lavazza capsules are almost the cheapest on the market, they are practically not produced by third-party manufacturers. This is due to the lower popularity of the company’s coffee machines.
Also quite popular are the brands Squesito (only their own capsules are suitable) and Cremesso, although they lose out to the main competitors both in pricing and range.
Compatibility of capsules with coffee machines of different brands
The compatibility list will help you determine which types of capsules are suitable for certain brands of coffee machines (taking into account the manufacturers of universal and refillable containers):
- Nespresso – Nespresso, Delonghi, Lattissima, Krups, Miele, Kitchenaid, Inissi.
- Dolce Gusto – Krups, Dolce Gusto, Piccolo, MiniMe, Oblo.
- Nespresso – Bosch.
- Lavazza – Lavazza.
One of the main disadvantages of capsule coffee machines is a limited range of drinks. Reusable capsules partially remedy it, although officially such containers are not supported by coffee machine manufacturers.
It should be understood that such a savings option is not always appropriate. The manufacturer takes everything into account, from the pressure of the steam that passes through the container to the operation of the piercing mechanism. Third-party manufacturers most often produce a reusable imitation, which can be refilled with any grains.
Although such capsules can be reused in the coffee machine, this makes the brewing procedure more complicated and kills the main advantages of capsule devices – simplicity and speed.
Popular manufacturers of reusable capsules:
- Nespresso – Coffeduck, Capsulin, Emohome, Xawax;
- Tassimo – some Chinese companies produce reusable containers made of ordinary plastic, but because of the high pressure (for which they are not designed) the coffee is almost impossible to brew;
- Dolce Gusto – Sealpod (stainless steel or silicone).
In general, buying empty plastic capsules is not recommended. Except for Emohome and Coffeduck, they lose out to branded containers. Stainless steel capsules, unlike plastic ones (25-30 brews), are designed to be reusable. Nevertheless, their high price nullifies any attempts to save money. As for quality, the original products will always go first in all evaluation criteria.
The only reason for which it is worth considering reusable containers is the desire to use your own beans to choose from and mix blends, but in that case it is better to buy a coffee carob, filling and cleaning in which are much easier and more convenient.
Which coffee is better, beans or capsules
The question of coffee taste is strictly individual. For some people, a coffee machine beverage will be ideal, while others will give preference to a brew. Among the main advantages, for the sake of which it is worth leaning towards the choice of capsule coffee, it is worth including:
- Quick brewing time.
- Convenience and minimal intervention in the process.
- Impossibility of spoiling coffee by improper brewing.
- An impressive range of drinks (including dairy).
- Inexpensive cost of capsule coffee machines.
- This is interesting: What’s better, a capsule or a grain coffee machine
The disadvantages (when it is better to choose a grain coffee rather than a capsule coffee) include:
- the choice of drinks is limited to the range of the manufacturer;
- the inability to grind coffee right before brewing (despite the preservation of quality in the capsule, the taste may differ from freshly ground bean);
- high cost of operation;
- the inability to prepare drinks with natural milk (several manufacturers produce models with a cappuccinator
- the inability to prepare coffee in different ways (unlike universal coffee beans or ground coffee
, but because of the shortage of capsules they are not recommended to consider)
capsules are only suitable for specialized coffee machines).
Each brewing method has its own adherents, so the question of choosing the best option will depend on individual preferences.
Where to buy and how to store capsules
Most manufacturers have taken care that the storage of capsules was convenient. Capacities are sold in special packages that do not take up much space. Also, some manufacturers produce special racks-holders. This option makes it easier to sort and use the brew containers.
Gradually, capsules of the top brands are no longer scarce and today you can buy them without any problems (previously, this was the main disadvantage of capsule coffee machines). For example, Nespresso products can be ordered directly from the manufacturer’s website nespresso.com/en/, the same applies to Dolce Gusto – dolce-gusto.ru. A wide selection of capsules is also available at coffeemanich.ru, mvideo.ru and others.