Overview of the different capsule systems

It is not always easy to keep track of the different capsule systems. Especially at the beginning, the consumer is spoiled for choice. Which system is right for me? What are the advantages and disadvantages of all the capsule systems?

Many consumers swear by the capsule system they bought first. The following overview is intended to give a brief overview of all the capsule systems and to simplify the purchase decision. There are various systems. Probably the best-known systems are Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, Cafissimo, Tassimo and the K-fee system.

All capsule systems can also be clearly compared again in the comparison table.

Comparison table of the capsule systems

Nespresso

Nespresso capsules, which came on the market in 1986, are sold by the Swiss company Nestlé. Thanks to a clever marketing campaign, the small, colorful coffee capsules finally became a success a few years later. The Nespresso capsule system is one of the premium capsule systems, and not just because of the capsule prices. Buying Nespresso capsules is only possible on the internet or in boutiques. The boutiques can now be found in almost every big city. There should now be almost 300 such exclusive coffee shops worldwide. The small aluminum capsules cost between 34 and 42 cents per coffee capsule and are only compatible with certain machines. These move in a price range of around 90-250 SFr. and are made by well-known manufacturers such as DeLonghi and Krups. In 2011 Nestlé had sales of 2.9 billion euros.

The patent for the small, colorful coffee capsules from Nestlé has expired in 2012. Since then, there have been more and more capsule manufacturers producing capsules that are compatible with Nespresso machines.

Many espresso drinkers in particular swear by the Nespresso system. There are now countless varieties. Some limited editions, which are mostly based on the seasons, have already come onto the market. The focus here is on a wide range of espresso types (40 ml). But there are also some Lungo variants (110 ml) available from Nespresso.

The focus of the Nespresso system is clearly on coffee of all kinds. You won't find sweetened milk drinks (cocoa or caramel macchiato) here.

benefits

+ Lifestyle factor and "exclusive feeling"

+ large selection of capsules with many types

+ high-quality capsule machines from well-known suppliers

+ good espresso

+ Excellent taste

+ Limited Edition varieties

+ many copycat capsules are now available

+ good aroma protection through aluminum capsules

disadvantage

- high capsule price

- small amounts of coffee (40 and 110ml per capsule)

- Capsules can only be purchased online and in Nespresso boutiques (no supermarket sales)

- The aluminum used has to be recycled at great expense

- When buying capsules online, the machine must be registered (address and name are mandatory)

We have the following compatible capsules for the Nespresso System:

Bonga Red Mountain

Capsa from Dallmayr

Mövenpick

Lavazza

Jacobs

G&G

Denner

Cellini

Café Royal

Cafe

Bell aroma

Tassimo

The T Disc, as the capsule for the Tassimo system is called, is manufactured by the American company Kraft Foods. This capsule system established itself on the market in 2005 and has enjoyed increasing popularity ever since. The manufacturer of the capsule machines is Bosch. One advantage of the Tassimo capsule system is that these can be bought in any supermarket. There is no exclusive boutiques or shops here. This makes it easier to buy the coffee capsules, which mainly consist of an artificial head. However, the capsule machines only work with patented capsules from well-known corporate brands such as Jacobs coffee. Although this keeps cheap copycat capsules away, it is also less attractive for consumers. Tassimo is believed to have contributed just $ 100 million to Kraft Foods sales in 2006. The focus of the Tassimo system is also more on sweetened coffee beverages with milk. Normal coffee is also rather secondary to this system.

benefits

+ easy handling thanks to the barcode

+ large selection of capsules with many types

+ high-quality capsule machines from Bosch

+ many varieties with milk (cappuccino and latte macchiato)

+ Capsules available online and in the supermarket

disadvantage

- high capsule price (up to 80 cents per drink)

- No copycat capsules because of the barcode

- Drinks sometimes very sweet and high in calories

- Little choice of normal coffee

- a lot of waste (plastic)

Dolce Gusto

Like Nespresso, Dolce Gusto also comes from the Swiss company Nestlé. The capsule system has been on the German market since 2007. It was developed together with Krups. Dolce Gusto capsules are also freely available in supermarkets. Although this reduces the lifestyle factor, it is beneficial for consumers. Unlike the Nespresso capsules from Nestlé, the Dolce Gusto capsules are made of plastic. The Dolce Gusto capsules are not compatible with the Nespresso system. At Dolce Gusto there is also a large selection of different varieties. In contrast to Nespresso, the focus here is more on drinks with milk (milk powder in capsules). Coffee and espresso are rather secondary to the Dolce-Gusto system.

benefits

+ large selection of milk drinks (cocoa, latte macchiato, etc.)

+ large selection of capsules with many types

+ high quality capsule machines from Krups and DeLonghi

+ modern design

+ many varieties with milk (cappuccino and latte macchiato)

+ Capsules available online and in the supermarket

disadvantage

- high capsule price (up to 80 cents per drink)

- No copycat capsules available

- Drinks sometimes very sweet and high in calories

- Little choice of normal coffee

- milk from capsules (milk powder)

- a lot of waste due to large plastic capsules

Cafissimo

The capsule system from Cafissimo is sold by Tchibo. This system has been on the German market since 2005. At Cafissimo, too, the capsules are mainly made of plastic. One advantage of the Cafissimo system is that this capsule system does not use milk powder. In 2010, Tchibo had sales of 3.4 billion euros. In 2014, Tchibo launched the first fully automatic capsule machine. This can produce a cappuccino with just one push of a button. A well-known principle is used here, in which a milk tank is docked to the device. But Tchibo also offers simple coffee capsule machines. The simplest model is available for around 50 euros. Cafissimo brings special types of coffee from certain countries onto the market at regular intervals. These are mostly sold as limited editions and always offer a special taste experience. At Tchibo, the focus is on coffee beverages. Sweetened drinks with milk foam are not used. But the coffee drinkers get their money's worth. A wide range of different varieties can be used.

Tchibo has set itself the goal of purchasing only sustainable green coffee in the medium term. In 2013, a good 30 percent of the green coffee processed annually was included in Tchibo's sustainability concept and came from sustainable cultivation.

benefits

+ large selection of different types of coffee

+ exclusive limited editions

+ high quality capsule machines with a long guarantee

+ modern design

+ Capsules available online, in Tchibo branches and many supermarkets

disadvantage

- No copycat capsules available

- a lot of waste from plastic capsules

K-fee

K-fee is a system platform. This enables different coffee capsule suppliers to use a compatible system (Multi Beverage System), the K-fee system. In Germany, Aldi Süd is currently doing this with EXPRESSI, Starbucks with VERISMO and K-fee with ESPRESTO. This offers the consumer the opportunity to fall back on different types of coffee in different price segments. Both cheap discounter coffee (Aldi Süd) and exclusive Starbucks coffee. Internationally there are other partners who offer the system under their own name. The customer can tell whether capsules are suitable / compatible for the K-fee system from the K-fee system imprint / logo on the packaging (usually bottom right).

The K-fee system is diverse and, in addition to many different types of coffee, also offers cocoa, latte macchiato and cappuccino. The system also uses powdered milk from coffee capsules. The machines are of high quality and particularly robust.

benefits

+ large selection of different types of coffee

+ Milk drinks, cappuccino, latte macchiato, cocoa possible

+ cheap capsules (Aldi Süd) and expensive capsules available -> selection

+ high quality coffee capsule machines with simple operation

+ modern design

+ Capsules available online, at the discounter (Aldi Süd) and some electronics stores

disadvantage

- Milk made from milk powder

- No copycat capsules available

- a lot of waste from plastic capsules

beanarella

The beanarella system is a very young capsule system. This system offers a special feature that all other coffee capsule systems do not offer: The coffee capsules are 100% biodegradable and compostable. The system was developed by the Swiss Coffee Company AG from Switzerland. This company is engaged in developing compostable coffee products. For the development of the compostable coffee capsule, the company even received the Golden Idea Award in 2013 - the IDEE-SUISSE innovation prize. Due to these circumstances, the beanarella system is an insider tip when it comes to coffee capsule systems. Especially when the whole waste of coffee capsules bothers you. No other system offers biodegradable coffee capsules. The coffee at beanarella is also fair traded and comes from organic farming. The main focus at beanarella is on coffee and espresso. The beanarella machines are all of high quality and are characterized by their simple and innovative operation.

benefits

+ 100% biodegradable coffee capsules

+ Organic fair trade coffee

+ gentle drum roasting

+ high quality coffee capsule machines with easy operation

+ modern design

+ Coffee capsules available in some electronics stores and in the online shop

+ high quality coffee and machines

disadvantage

- a bit expensive

Delizio / Cremesso

The Delizio capsule system has been available in Switzerland for several years. The machines have also been available in Germany under the system name Cremesso since 2014. The Cremesso system is a system that focuses on coffee and tea drinks. There is a large selection of tea and coffee capsules. The Cremesso system made its breakthrough in Germany when the machines and capsules were offered by the discounter “Netto Marken Discount”. The Cremesso machines are all particularly robust and of high quality. The Delizio system is a major competitor to the Nespresso system in Switzerland.

benefits

+ large selection of different types of coffee

+ Tea and coffee capsules available

+ compatible, cheaper coffee capsules at discount stores (net)

+ high quality coffee capsule machines with easy operation

+ modern design

+ Machines and capsules available online and from discounter (Netto)

disadvantage

- Little machine selection with milk frother

- a lot of waste from plastic capsules

Iperespresso

The Iperespresso capsule system comes from the coffee giant illy. The coffee from the large coffee company stands for quality and unique taste. With the Iperespresso system, the perfect illy espresso should also be easily produced at home. The system works with the Iperespresso capsules of the same name. Espresso drinkers in particular should be familiar with illy coffee. With the Iperespresso system, illy dares to step into the world of coffee capsules. There are many different machines to choose from in each price segment. The Iperespresso capsules are patent-protected capsules that work with a special brewing chamber. The capsules are therefore unique on the market.

benefits

+ Selection of many different espresso types from illy

+ patent-protected capsules with special brewing technology (hyperinfusion and emulsion)

+ high quality coffee capsule machines with easy operation

+ modern design of the machines

+ Machines available in every price segment (from 139 SFr.)

+ Machines and capsules available online and in selected electronics stores

disadvantage

- few capsule machines with integrated milk frother

- a lot of waste from plastic capsules

Caffitaly

Cafissimo is a single-serving coffee system with capsules, espresso and coffee machines distributed by Tchibo in Switzerland for the Caffita capsule system (also known as Caffitaly) developed in Italy. It has been on the German market since March 2005 and joins systems such as Nespresso, Senseo and Tassimo in the range of single-serving machines.

benefits

+ Selection of many different types of espresso from Tchibo

disadvantage

- a lot of waste from plastic capsules

Conclusion

Which system you choose depends primarily on what you want. A capsule machine for the whole family, which can also produce cocoa or sweetened latte macchiato and cappuccino, or a system that mainly focuses on pure coffee enjoyment. Availability in the supermarket around the corner could also be important when making a decision, as ordering over the Internet is too time-consuming for many. The market now offers enough choice for both. But you might also want a system where the coffee capsules are biodegradable so you don't produce as much waste. Many factors can be taken into account when making a decision. You have to set priorities and finally decide on a system. The coffee capsules of the different systems are unfortunately not compatible with each other, so that the purchase decision should not be taken lightly.