Single-serve coffee container

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"coffee pod" redirects here. For other uses, see Chinese Senna.
Used Nespresso coffee capsules, showing the puncture holes in the top and bottom for mixing the product with water
A Senseo ESE coffee pod, upside down
Used Lavazza BLUE coffee capsules, showing the puncture holes
A paper coffee bag by an unknown manufacturer - E.S.E. (Easy Serving Espresso Pod)

A single-serve coffee container is a method for coffee brewing that prepares only enough coffee for a single portion.

Single-serve coffee containers can both reduce the time needed to brew coffee and simplify the brewing process by eliminating the need to measure out portions, flavorings, and additives from large bulk containers. They can also help to keep the unused product fresher by individually packaging portions separately without exposing the entire supply batch to air and light. Paper coffee pods can be functionally identical to plastic and metal coffee capsules, if the paper pods are individually sealed in separate bags.

Variations[edit]

Several different systems exist:

  • Coffee pods are pre-packaged ground coffee beans in their own filter.
  • A coffee capsule differs from a coffee pod in that the coffee is packed in a plastic or aluminum package instead of a paper filter, and it is usually designed for use with a single brand or system and is therefore not interchangeable with other systems. A patent on the Nespresso system expired at the end of 2012, and there are now rival capsules available for the Nespresso system.[1]
  • A variation, coffee bags, were developed to provide the convenience of instant coffee but maintain the flavor of brewed coffee. Modeled after tea bags, they consist of a gauze bag containing a mixture of instant coffee and finely ground roast coffee, which is to be steeped in hot water for approximately three minutes.

Comparison of systems[edit]

The plastic and metal coffee capsules typically are used in a non-removable receptacle on the brewing device. The capsules have an outer ring or rim that stays dry during use, allowing for removal and disposal after use without getting the user's hands wet or sticky. Handling of a used moist coffee pod is not necessary if the brewing device has a removable filter tray. This tray is removed after brewing and inverted to eject the used coffee pod.

Coffee pods, bags, and capsules can be sized for individual or multi-serving portions. In food service businesses, pods and capsules used with automatic brewing can help to provide consistency of product strength and flavor for customers.

Paper coffee pods such as those used in Easy Serving Espresso Pod or Senseo machines have the benefit of being a fully biodegradable product that can decompose naturally, while plastic and metal capsules such as those used in Keurig or Nespresso machines either aren't recyclable, or require additional processing to separate the plastic/metal container from the organic waste products.

Many capsule machines specifically warn the user to not disassemble the machine or put their fingers inside the capsule receptacle, as the devices commonly use sharp razor-edge tubes or prongs for piercing the coffee capsule during use.

Different single-cup systems are not interchangeable; some systems force machine owners to buy capsules from a single company (usually the patent owner), locking the machine owner into a single source of coffee. Coffee pods are made by a variety of manufacturers and are interchangeable between brand of pod and model of pod brewer most of the time.

System Owned by Year invented Machine manufacturers Capsule / pod manufacturers Markets Type Notes
Espresso Point MAXI Lavazza 1992 The ECL (Espresso e Cappuccino Lavazza) branded as Lavazza Lavazza Worldwide Capsule The ECL used a new bi-dose capsulesystem and had a double dispensing head that couldbrew two coffees at the same time.
Espresso Point Lavazza 1983 Uno Per branded as 1x Lavazza Worldwide Capsule The first single-dose capsule machine produced in 1983 by Uno Per (Gattinara),acquired by Lavazza in 1989
A Modo Mio Lavazza 2007 Saeco (Philips) branded as Lavazza/Gaggia, Electrolux Lavazza Worldwide Capsule Lavazza vertical
BLUE Lavazza 2003 Lavazza Worldwide Capsule BLUE stands for "Best Lavazza Ultimate Espresso” - mostly used in business and vending machines
Bialetti Diva Bialetti 2013 Bialetti Caff dÕItalia Worldwide Capsules
Bodecker Brewer Bodecker Brewed 2005 TBD Bodecker Brewed Canada Cups
Caffitaly (Caffita) Caffita System SPA 2004 Various inc. Princess of Netherlands, Tchibo, Gaggia until recently Various, inc. Dualit, Gaggia, Ecaffe, CBTL Central and Northern Europe Capsule
Delta Q Delta Cafés 2007 Flama, branded Delta Cafés, Brasilia S.p.A, Casa Bugatti Delta Cafés, Tetley Portugal, Spain, Angola, Brazil, Luxembourg, Canada Capsule
Dolce Gusto Nestle 2008 Krups, branded Nescafe Nescafe (Nestle) UK, US, Canada, Germany Capsule Nestle vertical
Easy Serving Espresso Pod (ESE) Italian ESE Consortium for Development 1998 (standard) and previous Various including Delonghi, Dualit, FrancisFrancis, Handpresso, Kitchenaid, Krups and Saeco Various Worldwide Pod Open, generic standard not tied to particular vendors, pods fit most traditional espresso machines. Not all pods are 45mm (the standard diameter).
Flavia Beverage Systems Mars, Inc. 1984 Flavia (Mars) Flavia (Mars) UK, US Capsule The "fresh pack" (the capsule) is the brewing vessel, so that the drink is not tainted by previous user. Controlled by Mars.
Folgers Folgers.  ??? None needed The J.M. Smucker Co. US Bag Folgers coffee singles, instant coffee
iperEspresso Illy 2007 FrancisFrancis (Illy), Gaggia[2] (Saeco), Cuisinart[3] Illy Worldwide Capsule Recyclable[4]
K-Cup (Keurig) Green Mountain Coffee Roasters 1992 Many: Keurig, Breville, Cuisinart, Insignia, etc Many, including Green Mountain US, Canada Capsule My K-Cup available as a reusable filter for using any filter coffee.
K-Fee KRÜGER Group 2010 Aldi Espressi, K Systems GMBH Preferenza K-Fee, Paulig Cupsolo, Starbucks Verismo Europe, US Capsule
Nespresso Nestle 1986 Eugster/Frismag branded as Krups, Magimix, Siemens; Delonghi make Latissima model Nespresso Worldwide Capsule Nestle-controlled system
Nespresso VertuoLine Nestle 2014 Nespresso Canada, United States Capsule Nestle-controlled system
Coffee Pods None 2001 (Senseo patent) Bunn, Philips, Melitta, Grindmaster, Cuisinart, CafeXpress, etc. Douwe Egberts, Café Liégeois, Reunion Island, Wolfgang Puck, Melitta, Fratello Coffee Roasters, etc. Worldwide Pod Not owned by a specific corporation. Many more manufacturers of pods and brewers exist. Also biodegradable.
T-Discs (Tassimo) Kraft 2004 Bosch branded as TASSIMO Various subsidiaries of Kraft. (see T-Discs) North America, Europe Capsule

See also[edit]

References[edit]