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I have a nespresso machine at work. I don't much like the coffee I get out of it but needs must.

 

It's time to place a new order so I'm going to test whether I can improve things by changing the pods. Does anyone have experience with alternative brands of pod?

 

It's a basic nespresso machine and I tend to drink a sort of poor man's flat white: 1 or 2 short shots with half a cup of lightly microwaved milk. I also think it can be improved by stopping the shot short. I've used loads of nespresso's own branded pods and not felt much love for any of them, frankly, so I haven't noted down what i liked and disliked. Sorry not to be more specific!

 

Is there a significant improvement to be had from moving to say Pact's pods? Or is there anyone else I should look at? I'm skeptical since at the and of the day we're talking about pre-ground coffee. However, if there is an improvement in quality to be had then I don't mind an increase in cost.

 

Edit: I see a couple of other roasters at it too:

https://colonnacoffee.com/collections/capsules

https://departmentofcoffee.com/pods/

I imagine there are more, but given the limitations, is there much of an improvement?

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@LukeT

 

what's your preference with coffee?

I went through some of Colonna's capsules and enjoyed them in comparison to the Nespresso own brand.

Found that their long capsules were more to my taste as closer to filter.

 

I've actually just had an email from Colonna, saying they've got some new capsules out (including a Geisha)

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I think drunk this way I'd be thinking caramel/chocolate/nutty type flavour notes would be desirable, but anything that works with a bit of milk is good.

 

I suspect I need to find a quality source before refining the type of flavour though.

 

What is the real difference between the long and short capsules? Is long ground coarser to extract over longer? Or just more in the pod? I'm very likely always going to drink it short but if the grind is the same on a long capsule I'm not sure I get why you wouldn't push the short button on a long capsule.

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Stopping the Nespresso pods short is unlikely to give good results. Volluto, Rosabaya & Bukeela ka Ethiopia are the ones that are most like coffee that I normally drink, all pulled to 45g.

 

L'Or Splendente is like a fairly traditional espresso flavour-wise, probably works well in milk (don't drink milk so can't say myself).

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I think drunk this way I'd be thinking caramel/chocolate/nutty type flavour notes would be desirable, but anything that works with a bit of milk is good.

 

I suspect I need to find a quality source before refining the type of flavour though.

 

What is the real difference between the long and short capsules? Is long ground coarser to extract over longer? Or just more in the pod? I'm very likely always going to drink it short but if the grind is the same on a long capsule I'm not sure I get why you wouldn't push the short button on a long capsule.

 

All the capsules have maybe 6.5g tops in the pod, you're not going to see much more than that. Grind will be the difference. Stopping some long pods short (assuming you mean shorter than 25mL?) will just make them sour.

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I reckon my short button is a hell of a lot longer than 25ml. I thought I read 40ml. Maybe I'll measure it. The pour goes pretty pale and thin very early on in the shot and I don't think I'd call what it produces an espresso. It's also possoble my machine isn't much cop - it was about the cheapest available.

 

Anyway, as a test I've ordered from both Collona and Pact. Will try those and comment!

 

When I upgrade my Mignon I might replace the office Nespresso with that and aeropress or v60.

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I reckon my short button is a hell of a lot longer than 25ml. I thought I read 40ml. Maybe I'll measure it. The pour goes pretty pale and thin very early on in the shot and I don't think I'd call what it produces an espresso. It's also possoble my machine isn't much cop - it was about the cheapest available.

 

Anyway, as a test I've ordered from both Collona and Pact. Will try those and comment!

 

When I upgrade my Mignon I might replace the office Nespresso with that and aeropress or v60.

 

Short is 25mL, Espresso is 40mL (I like mine a little bit longer), Colonna long are 65g, Lungo is 110mL (but often over-extracted). Best to set your buttons with scales, I wouldn't rely on the preset from the factory.

 

Even the cheapest machines (Inissia) work OK.

 

It's pressure brewed coffee & you kind of know what you are getting into (not ground to order, not gloopy shots), but you can't cheat the laws of the universe, 5-6g of coffee into 25g of beverage is still going to produce a weaker drink than a 1:2 or 1:3 shot from a typical machine & grinder.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]34029[/ATTACH]

 

"Real" coffee has waste issues too. If we were so conscious of waste then we'd all drink instant.

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yeah lets ignore the waste issue

to the OP - there is an option of getting re-usable pods and grind whatever beans you fancy

 

Not a case of ignoring it, if waste is important to you, tell us how you & the roasters you deal with are reducing it rather than posting ill researched voxpops.

 

Tell us which reusable pods you use, how you grind & fill them, how good the coffee tastes?

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I would never touch the single use ones and don't need to use the reusables as I don't have such machine...single non-reusable and hard to recycle packaging of 6-7 grams of coffee for user convenience is a joke IMO

the waste issue won't disappear using straw-man arguments

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I didn't realise you could set your buttons! Every day's a school day....

 

Waste issue accepted (I don't disagree with you Stanic) but it is a different subject. I may lose this machine sometime and I wouldn't have one in my home (for not just the waste reason) but for the time being I'm interested to see whether I can get a half decent coffee out of it at work.

Edited by LukeT
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I would never touch the single use ones and don't need to use the reusables as I don't have such machine...single non-reusable and hard to recycle packaging of 6-7 grams of coffee for user convenience is a joke IMO

the waste issue won't disappear using straw-man arguments

 

There's no straw man argument, I'm suggesting you contribute to the thread, rather than throwing stones (like people in glass houses probably shouldn't do).

 

We're all guilty of creating waste, whether we do it in the name of quality, or convenience it doesn't make much difference to the planet.

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I didn't realise you could set your buttons! Every day's a school day....

 

Waste issue accepted (I don't disagree with you Stanic) but it is a different subject. I may lose this machine sometime and I wouldn't have one in my home (for not just the waste reason) but for the time being I'm interested to see whether I can get a half decent coffee out of it at work.

grinding fresh into re-usable ones would most likely result in markedly improved cup

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grinding fresh into re-usable ones would most likely result in markedly improved cup

 

Nice theory, so test it out.

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grinding fresh into re-usable ones would most likely result in markedly improved cup

 

... but would render it no more convenient or cleaner than various other methods, and it seems to me that these are the USPs of Nespresso, rather than quality or the particular type of brew it makes.

 

If I had one at home I'd maybe try this but at work I'd sooner move to another method and lose the machine.

 

Its surely true, however, that the, in my view welcome, growing anti feeling towards single use plastics will hit Nespresso more in the near future, as well as hopefully other unnecessary waste, plastic or not.

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there are specialists that can give you a hand with your personal issues

 

That's rather personal, I don't appreciate it. You are making judgemental statements one after the other.

 

If you're going to give someone practical advice, have an idea how feasible it is before you offer it.

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The official Nespresso pods aren't plastic, they're aluminium. You can leave them out in a bag for them to recycle when you get your next load of capsules, or hand in your used ones at a nespresso store. As for the colonna ones, they're plastic but they are recyclable.

 

Not everybody has the skills, the money, the patience or time, or wants to deal with the faff and mess, to make great espresso. For those who don't want coffee as a hobby (like my parents) then I usually recommend them a nespresso machine because fast, mess free and takes no skill whatsoever.

 

I wonder how much waste is generated by us coffee enthusiasts - from our used bags of coffee, vacuum packing beans for the freezer, not to mention the wasted heat and power of our e61/lever coffee machines - and the materials required to make them.

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surely there are some positives, mentioned perhaps unsurprisingly by Nespresso spokesperson in an article here

and yes, there is waste generated by us, but why add more?

I haven't used a typical machine at home for the last year as I've got the Portaspresso but surely I do admit I plan on getting a DB..and I work in a restaurant and I get to see wasting of resources on a scale which is many folds higher than at home..but I don't cover my eyes with ignorance arguing that because every action creates waste, it doesn't matter to the environment

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I hadn't. And I received a lovely tamper handle from Joey today so could've saved £1 in postage! That would be great for taking on holiday but I'm not sure it's my office coffee answer. If I was to move to a basic pour over system there I could soon do it with stuff I already have.

 

Having said that, I am off on hols soon... Damn this place!

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