The espresso machine and the capsule system do not give the same result in the cup. That’s why!

I maestri della tostatura media

Many consumers have now opted for the capsule machine to prepare coffee in their homes, attracted by the convenience and speed of the system.

It is a practical method for everyday life made up of hectic rhythms and times. In fact, it makes it possible to extract excellent, creamy and aromatic coffee, reminiscent in all respects of the Italians’ beloved espresso, in just 15 to 20 seconds.

That’s right: “reminiscent” of espresso, not identical.

Coffee with capsules and espresso are similar in appearance, given the presence of cream, hazelnut in color, the amount of drink dispensed, a dark body, and the intense aroma it gives off.

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As mentioned above, the capsule is increasingly being chosen as the main extraction method in our homes because it is practical, convenient and fast, suitable for the busy times of modern life.

In addition, the capsule is already portioned, so it does not need to be weighed, filled, or require the use of other tools. You just need to take the capsule, insert it into the machine and press a button to operate it.

Finally, it opened up a new world in coffee consumption habits. It introduced in us the desire to experiment, to try new flavors, different brands, and different blends… many began to inquire about the differences of the various brands and flavors, the varieties between arabica and robusta, and to broaden in general knowledge about this beloved beverage.

In addition, the ease in switching from one flavor to another just by changing the capsule inserted has become like a game: trying to understand one’s tastes and delving into what is best for each of us, what composition of our coffee makes us say “wow.”

How then does this incredible system differ from espresso?

First of all, there is a difference in the grams of ground coffee used for one serving.

For a cup of espresso, 7 to 8 grams of powder are prepared, while 4.5 to 6.5 grams are found inside a capsule.

Specifically I am talking about Nespresso system compatibles.

The amount of drink dispensed in millimeters, however, remains the same: so if less coffee is used for equal amounts of water, it can be understood that the drink will be less full-bodied and intense.

The genius of this system lies in the fact that in spite of this lesser body, you are able to recreate a compact and thick crema, like that of espresso, if not even more!

This is where the importance of pressure pumps comes in. In fact, if a bar espresso machine has a pressure of about 9 bars, in a capsule machine they have managed to recreate a pressure from about 19 bars. Due to this strong pressure, a high and strong cream is structured. In addition, pressure also affects the taste, which is more intense and richer.

Another difference is the extraction time.

While in espresso the water filters through the coffee powder for about 25 seconds, in capsules the brewing time is less, ranging from 15 to 20 seconds for the dose of regular coffee.

This isolated feature would impart less aroma, bitterness, and caffeine in the cup. However, it is offset and balanced to some extent by the high pressure, which precisely increases its aromatic intensity and bitterness.

The last major difference lies in the heat of the machine.

While an espresso machine stays on all the time, h24 7 days a week, at a stable temperature of 115-120°C, a capsule machine reaches a temperature of 88-92°C, but not consistently, as it is turned on only at the time when extraction is required.

Due to the stable temperature of the bar machine and all its components, the water delivered is at a temperature of 90-92°C, which cannot be the case in the domestic machine, because even if the water in the boiler reaches the ideal temperature, it then cools as it passes through the various channels.

This is why we always recommend that you do at least two vacuum extractions, that is, without a capsule, before making your espresso, to give the machine and all the channels time to warm up.

The invention of the home capsule machine is undoubtedly an ingenious invention that has won us over from the start because of the professional result it brings to our homes. However, it is unfair to compare it with espresso, because of all the characteristics we have seen.

Still, it remains an incredible system, which in an absolutely small space manages to recreate an intense, aromatic drink with the creaminess that we have so sorely missed in previous domestic extraction methods.

Martina Mazzoleni
by Caffè Ernani

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager
Coffee Lover


Martina Mazzoleni

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager Coffee Lover

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