June 21, 2024

What’s the best roast level for wholesale coffee capsules?

Coffee capsules continue to grow in popularity, and more businesses across the country are looking to source their capsules wholesale. As demand has grown, clients are asking how best to roast the coffee in order to get optimal results from wholesale coffee capsules. Should you go dark for a classic espresso profile, or try something lighter and brighter for a third wave approach?

Ultimately, it’s all up to each individual business. To help you understand how to approach the question, we spoke with Metropolis Coffee's Director of Coffee, Chris Petrovich. Read on to find out what he had to say on how to source espresso capsules.

Coffee roasting equipment

Roasting wholesale coffee capsules

Before we look at the different roast levels for capsules, let’s break down how coffee roasting works.

The beans are dropped into a hot roasting drum. The roaster raises the heat slowly and steadily until around 435 degrees F, at which point the beans hit a period of development called 2nd crack. Most coffee roasts end at some point during 2nd crack. Earlier, and the coffee will be lighter. Later and the roast will be darker.

Light roasts show more of the coffee’s flavor with fewer characteristics of the roast. Dark roasts, meanwhile, are the most developed, with bold, chocolatey, and toasted nut flavors. Medium roasts, as the name suggests, fall somewhere in between.

Coffee roasting equipment

What’s the best roast level for wholesale coffee capsules?

Light, medium or dark – which is the best of these three options for wholesale coffee capsules?

The truth is that there’s no simple answer. The perfect roast level for wholesale coffee capsules depends on what your customers enjoy.

However, Chris elaborates by saying that "third-wave specialty coffee drinkers tend to prefer light and medium espresso roasts while many steeped in the 2nd wave will prefer their espresso capsule coffee to be roasted to a darker level”.

He adds: "The darker the roast, the more caramelization and smoke you get in the flavor profile. Personally, I believe in roasting coffee in a way that preserves and balances all the potential and nuances inside."

Espresso capsules – such as those we make at Metropolis – are exclusively brewed using Nespresso original line machines. These force pressurized, heated water through the capsule, extracting the coffee in a manner similar to traditional espresso.

Traditionally, most coffee shops have used a medium or dark coffee for espresso, as the body and intensity suit the brewing method well. These roast levels also pair better with milk, which means that you can use the same coffee for straight espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, and more.

As such, much like espresso, a large percentage of the capsules on the market have historically been darker roasts – thanks largely to their versatility.

"Coffees at a darker roast profile tend to present better in terms of crema, body and balance," Chris adds.

However, as third wave coffee culture has become more prominent in recent years, the market for lighter roasts has increased, with more coffee drinkers looking to taste the origin characteristics of the coffee.

This means you need to recognize what your customers want – and that it can be a good idea to stock a range of capsules to meet a spectrum of flavor preferences.

Coffee capsule brewer and mug

Metropolis wholesale coffee capsules

At Metropolis Coffee, we manufacture wholesale coffee capsules in our facility, which is certified SQF Level 2.

As well as being exclusively compatible with Nespresso original line machines, our capsules are made from plant-based sustainable materials, and thus commercially compostable.

We offer four different capsule options to our wholesale customers:

As well as wholesale coffee capsules, we also offer private label coffee capsules – prepared with signature espresso blends and packaged with your branding. Alternatively, if you have your own coffee prepared and need it in capsule form, then our co-packing service is perfect for you.

If you are interested in our wholesale, co-packing, or private label coffee capsule solutions, don’t hesitate to contact get in touch.


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 espresso capsules are made under license from Smile Beverage Werks, P.B.C.

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


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