Last updated: August 6, 2021

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Welcome to our big coffee capsules test 2021. Here we present all the coffee capsules we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best coffee capsules for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy coffee capsules.




Summary

  • To be able to use a capsule machine, you also need the corresponding coffee capsules. These capsules make it possible to prepare coffee quickly and easily.
  • Most coffee capsules are made of aluminium, plastic or a combination of both.
  • Many coffee capsules can be easily recycled by either returning them to the manufacturer or disposing of them with the plastic waste. There are also biodegradable capsules.

The Best Coffee Capsules: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying coffee capsules

Did you know that an adult can safely drink four to five cups of coffee a day?

The decisive factor is not the amount of coffee but the caffeine content. An adult can consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day without any problems. How much caffeine you consume depends on the strength of the coffee and the size of the cup. An average coffee cup with a capacity of 200 ml contains about 85 milligrams of caffeine.

What material are coffee capsules made of?

Most coffee capsules are made of a combination of metal (especially aluminium) and plastic. This, of course, creates waste.

However, there are suppliers who work with only one material, i.e. use only aluminium or 100% plastic for their capsules. For this reason, their capsules can be completely recycled and have less impact on the environment.

Another green alternative is coffee capsules that are made almost entirely from plant-based material, which are already available. You can simply dispose of these coffee capsules, throw them in the organic waste bin or compost them, because they are 100% biodegradable and therefore environmentally friendly.

How much do coffee capsules cost?

As with the capsule machines, there are sometimes quite big differences in the prices of coffee capsules. The cheapest espresso capsules for the respective capsule systems are available from an initial price of about 0.25 euros to sometimes almost 0.5 euros.

However, there are also different prices for different capsules within a capsule system. So if you are also interested in capsules with premium quality coffee or a large variety of different hot drinks, the price per drink can rise to over 0.6 euros.

Are there also reusable coffee capsules?

There are some manufacturers who offer coffee capsules that you can fill yourself. These capsules are usually made of plastic, stainless steel or a combination of these two materials.

Kaffeetasse und Früchtebrot

For one thing, the corresponding machines are very easy to use. On the other hand, they make it possible to prepare the various types of coffee that consumers are now familiar with from cafés or international coffee shop chains. (Photo: congerdesign / pixabay.com)

According to the manufacturers, the reusable capsules are compatible with a wide range of capsule machines. Some suppliers have even developed products for different capsule systems.

If you decide to use a reusable capsule, there are of course advantages and disadvantages.
On the positive side:

  • Low price in the long term
  • Free choice of coffee beans
  • Environmental protection

The negative points are:

  • Filling the reusable capsules is a little more cumbersome
  • The simplicity, speed and convenience of using a capsule machine therefore suffers
  • You also have to experiment longer to find the right grind level of coffee beans that brews your coffee without problems
  • Ultimately, no crema is produced with this method

Decision: What types of coffee capsules are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between three different types of coffee capsules:

  • Coffee capsules with Arabica beans
  • Coffee capsules with Robusta beans
  • Coffee capsules with Arabica-Robusta blend

Depending on how you like to drink your coffee, one or the other type is more suitable for you. In the following, we would like to help you find out which type of coffee capsules best suits your needs. For this purpose, we will present the three types of coffee mentioned above clearly and explain what their advantages and disadvantages are in each case.

What are the ingredients of Arabica coffee in coffee capsules and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Arabica coffee is the most valuable type of coffee in terms of quality. Because they are grown at an altitude of over 1,000 metres, Arabica beans contain a particularly high level of aroma, as they mature more slowly.

Coffee capsules with Arabica beans are therefore characterised by their full-bodied taste. This is often described as sweet, caramel, mild and finely acidic. These characteristics are also reflected in the price. Arabica coffee is popular because of its high quality and costs comparatively more money than blends.

Advantages
  • Lots of aroma
  • Full-bodied taste
  • Easy to digest
Disadvantages
  • Less caffeine
  • Expensive

Even if your stomach is a little more sensitive, Arabica coffee is the better choice because it contains less chlorogenic acid than Robusta coffee. The caffeine content, on the other hand, is lower in Arabica beans.

What are the ingredients of Robusta coffee in coffee capsules and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Robusta coffee is characterised by its strong, tart and smoky taste. In technical jargon, this is called "body". This means that the coffee retains its own typical flavour even after being diluted with milk.

For coffee producers, Robusta coffee is more advantageous because it is much more resistant to pests during cultivation.

It is also easier on your wallet because it is comparatively cheaper than Arabica coffee. If you want to drink very strong coffee from your coffee capsules, make sure that they contain Robusta beans. This is responsible for the increased intensity.

Advantages
  • More caffeine
  • Cheaper
Disadvantages
  • Harder taste
  • Little aroma

For people with stomach problems, Robusta coffee would be counterproductive, as it contains more chlorogenic acid, which is intolerant to the stomach. Note: If the coffee beans have been roasted traditionally and thus gently, the chlorogenic acid content is also reduced considerably.

Caution: It is worth taking a look at the packaging or the manufacturer's website. It is not uncommon to find no information on the packaging.

What are the ingredients of a coffee blend of Arabica and Robusta in coffee capsules and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

A blend of the two beans can combine the advantages of Arabica and Robusta and make individual preferences clear. Depending on the blend ratio, the intensity and taste can be adjusted. For you, this means that you can choose from an enormous variety.

Advantages
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • High caffeine content
  • Larger selection
Disadvantages
  • Tart taste possible depending on blend and coffee roasting

But the price of coffee capsules also becomes more affordable because cheaper Robusta beans are used. Note: However, when blended evenly, the tart and smoky taste of the Robusta beans can come to the fore again. For people with sensitive stomachs, this can also have negative effects with industrial roasting.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate coffee capsules based on these factors

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate coffee capsules. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain product is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Scope
  • Intensity
  • Special features
  • Caffeine content

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Scope

Before buying, think about how many coffee capsules you need. Of course, you need to consider practical criteria such as the number of drinks you drink every day, how often you want to buy capsules, and whether there are any discounts for larger orders.

But it's also important to know whether you prefer to drink a certain type of coffee all the time or want to try out the different options, or how much space you have in your kitchen to store the coffee capsules.

If you're buying a coffee capsule for the first time that you've never tasted before, you should also bear in mind that it might not be to your taste. In this case, it's probably not worth buying several dozen capsules at once.

Each portion of coffee capsules is different. Decide for yourself approximately how many capsules you need and which varieties you choose.

Intensity

Intensity is about how strong and aromatic the coffee is. This depends on several factors, such as the type of coffee beans used, the blend and the roast. The intensity of coffee capsules is usually indicated on a ten-point scale, with 1 being the least strong and 10 being very full-bodied.

The following table shows the different intensity levels and their flavours:

intensity taste
1-4 Mild coffee with a fine taste
5-7 Rich in flavours with a balanced taste
8-12 Strong coffee with a lot of aroma

Again, you need to taste your way through the selection first to see what intensity tastes best to you. A good indication of what you might like, however, can be how you prefer to drink your coffee.

If you're an espresso drinker who prefers it short, black and strong, you should look around among coffee capsules starting at about intensity level 6. However, if you are more of an occasional drinker, or if you mostly opt for milk drinks with sugar and/or syrups, then the milder capsules up to level 5 at the most are probably right for you.

Try different types of capsules to see which one you like best. They differ in intensity.

Special features

Many coffee capsules have additional information on them, such as information about allergens, ingredients or certifications. If you are particularly interested in a specific area, this information could be helpful and make your decision easier.

Produktbild Kaffeekapseln

Coffee capsules are available both with and without caffeine. However, the choice of decaffeinated capsules is more limited.

Caffeine content

In addition to caffeinated coffee capsules, decaffeinated varieties are of course also available for all capsule systems. Although the selection of decaffeinated coffee capsules is rather limited compared to the caffeinated options, you will find more and more offers in this area as well.

Did you know that coffee only has a wake-up effect after 15 to 30 minutes?

Caffeine makes you awake, even if only for a short time. It stimulates the cardiovascular system and the central nervous system. The intensity of caffeine's effect is individual and cannot be determined by gender or size. People react differently, some can tolerate several cups and feel only a slight effect. For others, one cup is enough to make them feel more dynamic.

Facts worth knowing about coffee capsules

Who invented the coffee capsule?

The most popular capsule coffee in Europe was invented by Swiss engineer Eric Favre. On a trip to Rome in 1975, his wife is said to have asked him why the espresso there tasted so much better than what they made at home. This gave Mr Favre the idea of developing a product with which perfect coffee could be prepared easily and without any special knowledge.

Besides his work, the engineer then tinkered with the capsules until he was able to convince his superiors of them about 10 years later. Although Eric Favre designed a technically perfect product as an engineer, it took a talented marketing man to make the capsules a sales hit in the 1990s.

How do I dispose of a coffee capsule?

How and where you dispose of your coffee capsules depends on which system or which capsules you use.

Some producers offer recycling programmes where you have to collect the used capsules and bring them back to the shop. The capsules collected in this way are then recycled.

Other capsules you can simply dispose of with the plastic waste, these are recognised and 100% recycled in the recycling facilities. Biodegradable coffee capsules can be thrown in the organic waste bin or composted.

Photo credit: CITYEDV / pixabay.com

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