Improving the coffee capsule experience
It has been an interesting journey over the last 10 months in our mission to create a range of quality mycuppa.com.au Nespresso* compatible capsules for the Australian market.
We have been working in the single-serve coffee portion control market for more than 3 years and naturally we have developed very useful knowledge for what it really takes to make a quality consumable product like a capsule or pod.
We will continue to support the ESE POD market with our premium coffees and see our developments in the capsule segment as a natural extension of that market.
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 sharp-edge of cafes, equipment, etc. has taught valuable lessons on quality risks.
Specifically, we defined our key control points in the areas of green bean coffee sourcing, fully controlled computer profile roasting of coffee beans, expert handling of the process involved with converting the roasted coffee beans to capsules and the ultimate storage of the finished product – everything in the supply chain had to be exact and exceeding our quality philosophy.
Our capsules are a precision engineered product – the tolerances in every step of the process are extensively managed.
Originally, we wanted to build our own conversion plant so that we had full control over all the grind, fill and seal variables that are so critical in the espresso extraction procedure.
However, with risks around patent infringements still unresolved, we decided that it was best to find a professional and reliable partner who shared our same desire for product excellence – a partner we can trust to grind the coffee perfectly, pack the exact dosage and perform all the required Q&A testing so that we can be confident our capsule delivers upon the promise of a rewarding cup and is consistent with our extensive range of quality mycuppa.com.au coffees.
We then looked at importing capsule from outside of Australia – which is how the existing market operates today.
This would have relegated our product into a simplistic, basic, low-grade, mediocre, “me-too” clone the same as everybody else and presented us with continuous supply and quality risks without the ability to differentiate, optimize or improve.
You now have coffee capsule choices
We are pleased to announce we have created a quality Nespresso-compatible capsule using premium grade specialty coffees, roasted fresh in Melbourne on our best-in-class plant, snap-sealed to lock in the freshness and converted into capsule format by an Australian-based company.
That’s right – a locally produced capsule fully managed with a quality plan controlling the end-to-end process from the coffee farmer to the moment your carton arrives at your door.
Coffee capsule drinkers deserve better – so we have responded with our offer of a locally produced and engineered capsule to compete against the myriad of imported clones that flood the coffee capsule market.
Why are our coffee capsules different ?
Imported capsules are at least 2+ months (and more likely up to 6 months) old having traveled in a boiler-house container for many weeks, degrading the quality of the finished product.
Have you every opened a container that has been sitting in tropical or the Australian 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 packed into sleeves of 12 individual capsules to seal in the freshness.
When you open a sleeve of capsules, we advise you to store the remaining capsules in an air-tight container.
The capsules itself consists of a material that is manufactured in Europe and has been successfully used for many years and many billions of capsules around the world.
Our mycuppa.com.au Nespresso-compatible coffee capsules contain around 5g of premium grade 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. 5.1 or 5.2g 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 by our partners at the capsule conversion company 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.
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 Espresso-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, flavor 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-flavored, 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 the authentic and authorized Nespresso U, Latissama, Citiz and Pixie systems.
Our capsules are NOT compatible with Nespresso commercial machines (fully automatic), Miele capsule machines, Krups Models F893, F896, F897, Lavazza Blue, MAP, Aldi Expressi,
When can I purchase mycuppa.com.au Nespresso compatible coffee capsules
Trials were completed in the middle of October 2013 and we expect full production to be operational by 20 November 2013.
Our capsules can be pre-ordered here…….mycuppa.com.au
* 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.