Review: Capsul'in Empty Nespresso Compatible Capsules
Capsul'in is the first empty Nespresso compatible capsule that works in the full line of Nespresso machines that I have used. The Ne Cap design does not work in the Nespresso Citiz and the Nespresso Pixie machines that used a new design standard for the capsules which included a raised ridge at the base of the Nespresso capsule. The Capsul'in design also features a raised ridge on the base of the capsule, making it work well with the newest and currently most popular machines that Nespresso has to offer.
Capsul'in Left, Necap on the Right - the ridge around the Rim of the
Capsul'in makes it compatible in the
newest Nespresso Machines
The Promise of Nespresso Compatible Capsules
The promise of empty Nespresso Compatible Capsules is that users can take advantage of the amazing simplicity of the Nespresso machine design, its consistent quality and its convenience to brew up capsules filled with your own favorite espresso blend in a more economical way. Other empty Nespresso compatible designs have offered some savings and have delivered on the ability to use your favorite espresso blend, but as far as capturing the convenience of the Nespresso machine system, they fell short. I didn't think hauling my old Nespresso Essenza out of the basement very convenient, and given the popularity of the newer machines, I found that I just couldn't get behind the idea.
Having universal compatibility, the Capsul'in system has promise and was worth trying.
More after the jump.....
Using Capsul'in Empty Nespresso Compatible Capsules
Capsul'in capsules come in a box or a flow-wrapped bag, with silver adhesive disks to seal up the coffee. The silver disks have adhesive around the edge, and not across the whole disk, so you aren't exposing the coffee to the adhesive. The video below shows you how a professional can do it. After a few dozen, I am close, but not quite as good.
Easy To Fill - I picked up some properly ground espresso for this exercise to remove any question of home grinding issues. I tended to make a half dozen or so at a time and put them into a re-sealable container. In about 5 minutes I can crank them out start to finish. My Recommendation for filling Capsul'in: 1) Use a demi-tasse or similar spoon to fill each to slightly over flowing, 2) Pack down with the back side of the spoon so it is even with the rim, 3) tap the side with the spoon to get as many grounds out of the ridges along the rim as possible, 4) Repeat until you have a half dozen, 5) Get dealing disks and seal each capsule, 6) Store for use over the next couple of days.
Tips - Early on I left a few more grounds in the ridge than I should have and ran into sealing issues. I found that a pretty diligent pressing of the seal around the ridge helps once you get them sealed too.
Easy to Use - With a half dozen in a tub next to my Nespresso Pixie, I was able to use the Nespresso system as intended; easy, convenient and quick. With Capsul'in capsules, almost every capsule fell into place perfectly and had no trouble inserting and closing the lever. There was only one time when I had an issue, and that was early on when I didn't have the foil perfectly sealed. I had regular issues with NextPod when I was trying to get the pod seated perfectly, and it was an area of poor performance.
Overall, the results were good, in fact nearly perfect. Capsul'in is the first user fillable capsule that I have used that I was able to easily use in my new Nespresso machines that delivered a great espresso.
To make this comparison, I used the newest Dhjana Limited edition blend from Nespresso by slicing open the Nespresso capsules, and filling the Capsul'in capsules with the Nespresso blend. Dhjana has 5g of coffee packed into its little aluminum skin, and I was able to pack pretty much all of it into the Capsul'in. I would say that comparing side by side to Nespresso capsule brewed Dhjana, the Capsul'in version is nearly indistinguishable. I would say that maybe there is a ten percent knock off the flavor, and a slight hit to the crema.
Everyday - In using the Capsul'in capsules everyday, I found them to produce a good espresso with good crema. the flavor profile was full and overall delivered on the promise.
Capsul'in provided me with the capsules for this review, and are not generally available in the US for sale. I can't give you an economic analysis since the price isn't set for the US. I would expect that they would come in around the same $0.17 cost per empty capsule delivered to you as competitors, delivering a slight savings to users over the long haul. For me, the benefits are slight in the cost savings area if you aren't an everyday user, but the benefits are huge if you stumble onto a favorite espresso blend that you want to use in your espresso machine.
Review Summary Capsul'in Nespresso Compatible Capsules
Capsul'in delivers on the Nespresso promise of easy high quality espresso that in a side by side comparison is nearly indistinguishable from a native Nespresso capsule. Except for the extra attention that you need to pay to getting the capsules sealed, the whole system works easily and works well. By filling a few at a time, I can replicate the "drop-it in and brew" simplicity of the Nespresso Capsules. Well Done.
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Posted by Scott Martin at September 25, 2011 10:44 PM