January 31, 2024

Can you brew wholesale coffee capsules without a machine?

At Metropolis, we manufacture wholesale coffee capsules that are compatible with Nespresso original line machines. They are perfect for hospitality businesses such as restaurants and hotels: they allow you to offer customers great coffee while being both simple and easy to use.

These capsules are designed to work exclusively with a specific brewing system. But does that really mean they won’t work without it? There’s coffee inside, right – so surely you could open it up and brew it in other ways if you wanted to?

The answer: while it isn’t technically impossible, it’s definitely a bad idea. Capsule brewing is precise – and it requires specific conditions that you simply can’t replicate without the machine. 

Let’s take a look at why you can’t brew wholesale coffee capsules without the right machine. Keep on reading to find out.  

A Metropolis coffee capsule brewer alongside a display case.

How do coffee capsule machines work?

Before we look at why you can’t brew coffee capsules correctly without a machine, let’s understand how the machines themselves function.

Nespresso original line machines force pressurized hot water through the capsule to brew espresso-style coffee.

As soon as you insert the capsule and close the chamber, the machine pierces the rigid end of the capsule and floods it with water. Eventually, enough pressure builds up that the sealed foil lid ruptures. The coffee then flows out of the capsule and into your cup.

The machine controls each variable with extreme precision, from the temperature and pressure of the water to the total brew time. This allows the coffee to brew extremely quickly while still extracting plenty of flavor.

This precision means that each capsule has to be designed, filled, and sealed to work perfectly with the original line brewing system. Even if you break open the capsules and try to use them with another brewing method, you’ll find that the coffee just won’t extract properly. 

But why is this? Let’s take a look.

Brewing a wholesale coffee capsule using a Nespresso original line brewer.

So, why can’t you use coffee capsules without a machine?

The first and most important variable to consider is pressure. According to Nespresso, their original line machines generate 19 bars of pressuremore than double the 9 bars recommended for espresso extraction.

This is why wholesale coffee capsules can be brewed in seconds. The high pressure allows the water to extract volatile flavor and aroma compounds more quickly. It is effectively impossible to replicate this with any other conventional brewing method. 

The next factor to consider is the grind size of the coffee. When coffee is ground, its surface area increases exponentially. The finer you grind, the more of this surface area is exposed to water. And generally speaking, as surface area increases, extraction gets quicker.

This is why you grind finer for espresso than you do for drip coffee: the higher surface area means that espresso takes seconds to brew, while a batch of drip coffee takes several minutes.

When we grind coffee for wholesale coffee capsules at Metropolis, we use an industrial roller mill. This allows us to consistently grind to an extremely fine particle size – much finer than for espresso. 

This is also why you only need 5g to 7g of ground coffee per capsule, as opposed to the 18g to 21g often used for regular espresso. Increasing both the surface area and the pressure allows the Nespresso original line machine to extract more of the flavor compounds in the ground coffee.

So, what would happen if you tried to brew a wholesale coffee capsule without a machine? 

Let’s say, for instance, that you break open a few coffee capsules and place the grounds in a French press or a drip brewer. The fine grind size means that the coffee would overextract, resulting in a bitter flavor profile with no acidity, sweetness, or subtlety in the cup.

Similarly, if you tried the same thing with a traditional espresso machine, you would also end up with inconsistent extraction. Grinding too fine creates a dense, tightly-packed coffee puck. This makes it difficult for water to effectively flow through, and instead, it finds the path of least resistance. 

This creates “channels” through the coffee bed, which results in the coffee being simultaneously over and underextracted. The result would be a cup of coffee which tastes bitter as well as weak and sour.

Metropolis La Cordillera coffee packaged in a green cardboard box.

Metropolis wholesale coffee capsules

So, now you know that there’s only one way to brew coffee capsules at your business – where should you source them from?

At Metropolis, we sell commercially compostable coffee capsules that are compatible with Nespresso original line machines. 

Our wholesale commercially compostable coffee capsules are certified by the BPI and CMA, meaning that they meet the strictest US standards for commercial composting. You can dispose of them at any commercial composting facility in the US.

Our wholesale coffee capsule lineup is the same as our retail offering, with four blends to choose from:

After we grind our coffee using an industrial roller mill, we dose and seal each capsule using our state-of-the-art Italian filling line. They’re also nitrogen-flushed, giving them a shelf life of 12 to 24 months.

Metropolis co-packing and private label coffee capsules

In addition to our wholesale capsule range, we also offer a co-packing service and private label coffee capsules. When you work with us, you draw on our decades of experience in the specialty coffee industry. Alongside this, we’re also able to minimize development times and start production quickly, with no need for a high minimum order quantity (MOQ).

Interested in learning more? Check out our wholesale co-packing and private-label espresso capsule solutions today.

Certified compostable facilities may not exist in your area. To find a composter near you, visit www.findacomposter.com or www.compostnow.org on all packaging and marketing materials.

Metropolis Coffee is not affiliated with, endorsed, or sponsored by Nespresso. Nespresso is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé.

Metropolis Coffee

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