Single-serve coffee has never been more popular. Thanks to the sustained success of coffee capsules and coffee pods, the National Coffee Association estimates that single-cup brewing machines have become 50% more popular in the last five years.
Decades ago, Nespresso identified a huge gap in the at-home coffee market. Its answer was the Nespresso original line espresso capsule: a groundbreaking new format that enabled consumers to make espresso coffee with the touch of a button.
But single-serve coffee has changed a lot since Nespresso entered the market. Plenty of other brands and formats have emerged – including coffee pods.
This can make it confusing. You might be wondering – what’s the difference between coffee pods and coffee capsules? And are they cross-compatible? Can you use coffee pods in Nespresso machines?
Keep reading to answer these questions and learn more.
Back in 1976, Nestlé applied for a patent for a single-serve coffee system under the Nespresso brand. In the years that followed, it switched from its original focus on offices to offer espresso capsules to coffee drinkers at home instead.
Fast forward nearly 50 years, and there are now plenty of coffee capsules on the market which are compatible with the Nespresso original line brewers. These include Metropolis’ range of espresso capsules.
If you’re wondering what an “original line” capsule is, it’s simple: any coffee capsule made to be compatible with Nespresso’s original brewing system. Typically, this system works by piercing the narrow end of the capsule and pumping pressurized, heated water through it.
The hermetically sealed foil then ruptures, allowing the coffee to flow out of the spout and into your cup. The system’s safety pressure valve regulates the flow to keep it consistent. The result? A delicious cup of coffee with a thick, distinctive layer of light-brown crema.
We refer to this as the “original line” to differentiate between these capsules and Nespresso’s new range: the Vertuo line. These aluminum capsules are larger and different in shape. As you might have guessed, these don’t work with original line brewers!
Yes – coffee pods and coffee capsules are different.
Not long after Nespresso entered the market, other single-serve coffee brewing systems started to appear. One of the most well-known in the US is the Keurig K-Cup coffee pod.
Coffee pods are popular for many of the same reasons as coffee capsules. Both offer a quick and easy way to brew a fresh cup of coffee at home, but there are several key differences.
First, most coffee pods can’t be used to make espresso. In many cases, they brew something closer to classic diner-style drip coffee. They might also be mixed with creamer, flavorings, or other ingredients.
Second, the brewers often function differently. While it varies from machine to machine, Keurig systems often puncture pods with a needle before filling them with hot water.
They then puncture the pods again at the bottom of the pod, allowing the coffee to drip through and flow into your cup. This is much slower than Nespresso original line brewers. It also reflects how drip coffee is usually brewed – while coffee capsules are brewed more quickly and at a higher pressure, more similar to espresso.
Third, coffee pods and coffee capsules generally share little in the way of design. As well as being manufactured in different shapes, the materials generally differ – coffee pods often come with a paper filter, for instance.
Because of their shape and size, coffee pods are not compatible with Nespresso original line brewers.You can only use Nespresso original line compatible capsules with original line brewers.
But that doesn’t mean you’re restricted. There are thousands of compatible coffee capsules on the market – more choices than ever before.
As well as being great for consumers, this is also a huge opportunity for businesses that want to sell coffee capsules. That’s why we offer a range of wholesale coffee capsule options for our customers.
At Metropolis, we make commercially compostable espresso capsules that are compatible with Nespresso original line brewers.
Some quick facts about our capsules:
To be as flexible as possible for businesses who want to offer their own coffee capsules, we have a range of choices. Whether you want to fill capsules with your coffee or ours, we’ve got you covered.
If you want to buy espresso capsules on a wholesale basis, check out the Metropolis Coffee capsule range. We currently offer four options:
However, if you want something customized to your specific needs, we also offer private-label espresso capsules and a co-packing service.
With private-label espresso capsules, we’ll work with you to design a signature blend suited to your requirements. We then grind, fill, flush, and seal the capsules using our cutting-edge Italian filling machine, before putting your brand on the capsules.
And co-packing is where you provide the coffee and we tackle the rest. That means your beans and your branding – we just handle the packaging.
Interested in learning more? Check out our wholesale co-packing and private-label espresso capsule solutions today.
Metropolis Coffee is not affiliated with, endorsed, or sponsored by Nespresso. Nespresso is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé.