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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Pod & Capsule...  
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dorkroast
Senior Member
dorkroast
Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 88
Location: CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cheapo Melitta pourover
Roaster: Behmor, Popcorn Pumper
Posted Sat Jun 29, 2013, 8:11am
Subject: Re: Pod & Capsule Machines
 

You could visit a Williams Sonoma if you have one locally. The one near me has a decent selections of different machines and will allow you to test them all out in the store. I tried making latte's on Starbucks new pod machine which they were really pushing lately. It made an acceptable quicky drink but I realized that one latte from the machine used one coffee pod, and two milk pods which put it at about $4 to make,  not factoring in the cost of the machine on top of it.

I've used a Nespresso in the past and thought it was pretty good, I've also used a cheaper espresso machine with an ese pod setup and found it acceptable.

I think if I were really setting up my office though I'd get a Bonavita and just make drip coffee. Less of a mess to clean up in an office environment, less restriction with a grinder, and I could bring in my own fresh coffee instead of using pod.
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EricBNC
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EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,828
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Sat Jun 29, 2013, 1:36pm
Subject: Re: Pod & Capsule Machines
 

DenVogel Said:

I'll make a trip there tomorrow. I see that they have a couple machines branded Illy capsule compatible.
Francis Francis Y1.1
Gaggia for Illy

Anyone have experience with them? I am not turning up either model in my searches of consumer reviews. Maybe they're too new?

Thanks.

Posted June 28, 2013 link

I read up on the Gaggia and it seems like a lot of owners complain about it crapping out or not making a hot enough shot. The other one looks cool but it will not steam milk - might or might not be a deal breaker for you though...

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Jun 29, 2013, 1:56pm
Subject: Re: Pod & Capsule Machines
 

I would probably use a pod Oscar for office.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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DenVogel
Senior Member
DenVogel
Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 36
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Francis Francis X1
Grinder: Solis Maestro Classic
Drip: Jasper Morrison Rowenta
Posted Sun Jun 30, 2013, 8:23am
Subject: Re: Pod & Capsule Machines
 

In case anyone else heads down this path, I'll keep posting my progress.

Made it to Sur La Table. Sadly, they did not have either of the Francis Francis Y1.1 or Gaggia for Illy machines I was looking for.

They did have, and were able to demo:
  • Cuisinart for illy: In short, I was really disappointed. I'm usually a fan of Illy. The shot I had was really bitter. I don't think that even a lungo should be so bitter, but maybe I am wrong. It did produce decent crema. I'm not sure if this is representative of all Illy pod machines, or just the Cuisinart. It was kinda nice that the milk container could be detached and put in the fridge till you need it.
  • Nespresso Gran Maestria: They also had a few Nespresso machines they could demo, and a rep there who was pretty knowledgable about the machine. Though not so much on the coffee in the pods. I asked her about bean types (i.e. is this a Bourbon), and her response was "this is from Brazil". :P In any case, she tried to be helpful and let me try a couple pods. They were both bitter, and quite acidic. This may have been her picking things that matched her preference for coffee, which was Peet's. I think they used the Ristretto and Arpeggio capsules.

In either case, they are non starters for me. Even on sale I would not buy them.

Side note: She also demoed the foam makers for me. I was really impressed with microfoam from the Aeroccino frother. I guess it can do hot or cold foam? Very cool (pun intended).

P.S. I'm sure they were using tap water, which is not bad in my area.
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DenVogel
Senior Member
DenVogel
Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 36
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Francis Francis X1
Grinder: Solis Maestro Classic
Drip: Jasper Morrison Rowenta
Posted Sun Jun 30, 2013, 8:35am
Subject: Re: Pod & Capsule Machines
 

We were at Macy's today, and I decided to swing by their kitchen section. To my surprise, they had a couple machines they could demo. Nespresso had quite a display there, including a chart with coffee descriptions. Nice job Macy's! I found a single origin Dulsao do Brasil (red and yellow Bourbon). It was quite palatable, even when made with tap water that had been in that machine for an unknown amount of time. They claim the specs across the Nespresso machines are the same (i.e. 19 bar with no mention of temperature), with the main difference being aesthetic design and whether the frother is attached or not.

The Nespresso Pixe Bundle (with detached Aeroccino Frother) may be my solution. It is $270 with their current promotions. Certainly a far cry from what we make at home with the French Press, but quick, clean, and easy. I will try some more pods, but I think the Brasil will be something I can live with. On sale, I can stomach the machine price.

Note that they are reportedly phasing out the Citiz Nespresso line.

Comments and questions welcome.
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DenVogel
Senior Member
DenVogel
Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 36
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Francis Francis X1
Grinder: Solis Maestro Classic
Drip: Jasper Morrison Rowenta
Posted Sun Jun 30, 2013, 8:43am
Subject: Re: Pod & Capsule Machines
 

dorkroast Said:

I think if I were really setting up my office though I'd get a Bonavita and just make drip coffee. Less of a mess to clean up in an office environment, less restriction with a grinder, and I could bring in my own fresh coffee instead of using pod.

Posted June 29, 2013 link

I should clarify what I mean by "for the office". My co-workers seem quite content with the shared use DeLonghi machine they have in the kitchen. I don't want to rock that boat. if they're happy, let them be happy. I'm searching for a single serving machine that I can put in my personal office, at The Office (work). Hope that makes sense. :P
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 217
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, '84 La Pavoni Pro,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario, La Pavoni PGC
Posted Sun Jun 30, 2013, 9:30am
Subject: Re: Pod & Capsule Machines
 

On my Citiz+Milk I have one of those frothers.  Another friend has the Pixie with separate frother.  They both seem to work about the same.

If you hold the start button on the frother for about 3-5 seconds you'll get it to activate in cool method which just whips the milk with either the latte or cappuccino whisk.  Quick push of the button will froth with heat.  The hot froth doesn't get HOT and some complain about that.
If you like rich, glossy, beautiful, cappuccino foam this isn't going to deliver that, but other than that it's pretty good.

Along with the Dulsao pods they also have Indrya and Rosebaya that are all 'special' origin coffees I think.  (For my home ground and podded flavor I pick a coffee that is closest to Dulsao in flavor, but a little more character.)  I don't think Nespresso gives out much information about the beans other than where they might come from.

For the flavor 'strength' of the pod look at the darkness of the pod.  Nespresso seems to make the lighter, mellow flavored pods lighter color; darker for the more intense flavors.  Red colors are for the decaf pods.

Ristretto pod is okay, but my guess is they over extracted it in the store and that would just ruin it.  Their standard dose was around 2oz per pod when I was there before, but it should be adjusted to 1 oz per pod in my opinion.

The Nespresso machines do heat to cooler temps than a real espresso in my experience on the Citiz.  I've put a thermapen in the stream where it hits the pods and it runs in the high 180's F range if I remember correctly.  A little lower than European espresso standards, and very low by USA espresso standards.  Still it seems to work okay when the grind is adjusted specifically to match the machine.  I don't know if there is a way to adjust that temp anywhere.

(Oh, and if you come across a deal on *bucks Verismo steer far clear.  I tested that machine and pods for a pre-release study in the USA, and it was a miserable experience from the coffee onward.)

I think the Nespresso is a pretty good choice for a personal office.  It's pretty clean, much cleaner than any real espresso machine.  Pods are easy to dispose of.  If you have any water on the counter issues it's small enough to fit on a food tray to contain the mess, although you shouldn't have that problem in my experience.  (With my NS Oscar I'm pretty clean too, but it's nowhere as clean as the pod machines.)
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