There are probably mainly four categories of coffee capsules that we commonly use in our daily life.
Though they can refer to both capsule types and brewing systems.
While most capsules differ only in shape and dimensions, each type of capsule indicates a different selection of blends or extraction systems.
The typical ones here are K-Cup and Nespresso, in which the former stands for drip-style coffee, and the latter is designed for espresso-style coffee.
You might often see a comparison between capsules and pods.
Generally, we consider pods as round pie-shaped paper coffee powder containers, which include soft type and hard type.
Though soft coffee pods are also used for drip coffee, they are not interchangeable with K-Cups.
The hard coffee pods which are also called ESE pods, are used for espresso coffee, but are not interchangeable with Nespresso.
We will focus on the above four common types of coffee capsules without further description of coffee pods.
Capsule systems are not interchangeable even though in the same category.
It behaves like the below.
The largest difference between Nespresso Original Line and Vertuo Line is the style in which they make coffee.
The Original line is suit for the one who prefer espresso or espresso-based drinks.
Each machine of Original line offers three coffee brew sizes: 0.7 oz ristretto, 1.4 oz espresso, and 3.7 oz lungo.
On the other hand, if you also want to opt for a bigger coffee, you'll be a fan of the Vertuo line machine.
These brewers are available in 5 brew sizes: espresso, 2.7 oz double espresso, 5 oz gran lungo, 8 oz coffee mug, or 14 oz alto XL.
The second difference between them is that the Original line has a far bigger selection of capsules.
Since the patents on this particular shape capsule has expired, they are now available from a wide variety of third-party sellers.
If you already have your favorite coffee single origin or blends, you might even find it in capsule form.
It's also easier to find Original capsules in a variety of packaging, perfect for large families or offices.
The only downside to this capsule is that they only come in one size, so larger drinks like Lungo will definitely be tasted lighter.
The third difference between them is the extraction method.
The Original model uses a pressure-based system which is similar to the way that traditional espresso was made.
The top of the capsule is punctured and hot water is injected at a pressure of up to 19 bar until the bottom bursts and a frothy espresso emerges.
While the Vertuo model uses a spinning system they call "centrifusion".
The Forth difference between them is that Original line need no barcode scanning system which is also the reason why there are so many third-party alternatives for it.
As mentioned above, the Original line has a very wide range of options for different capsule designs from many third-party sellers.
They are basically interchangeable with each other and their images are showed in the table below.
Keurig 2.0 is a brewing system with K-cup top lid scanning technology.
With a result, it limits its usage to Keurig-licensed pods, but the good point is that it also automatically controls brew temperature and brew size to accommodate extra-large single-serve pods or 4-cup carafe pods -- as well as brewing better coffee.
Much different from it is the Keurig 1.0 pods, which is the original type without lid scanning technology and will not identify the capsules.
Why does the Keurig 2.0 system appear?
The growing popularity of Keurig and other pod-based coffee makers has led to the rise of many unlicensed producers of K-cup pods.
However, since the K-cup patents ran out in September of 2012, licensing has not really been an issue.
More and more companies are now selling the K-cup pods that have become the coffee bean standard.
The non-Keurig-produced K-cup pods raised concerns for Keurig and their future business model.
So, in the fall of 2014, Keurig debuted their Keurig 2.0 brewing system which features lid label scanning technology.
They feature this technology on all new models and on all new K-cups manufactured or licensed by Keurig.
If the proper licensing requirements are not printed on the pod's top lid, the device will not function.
In fact, earlier Keurig models with 2.0 systems would simply not function if a non-2.0 K-cup pod was placed in the device.
Many customers see this as a scheme to force the use of expensive Keurig K-cups and make more money for Keurig.
In addition, customers do not like the variety of coffee or tea that is restricted.
Also unusable thing were the reusable My K-cup that Keurig made in earlier years, because they haven't made a reusable K-cup with a license stamped on it -- and it's unclear what they intend to do.
After all, having a reusable K-cup means Keurig owners can choose any brand of coffee they can put in a reusable pod.
When Keurig started to suffer on their bottom line, they gradually began to change their minds about the 2.0 brewing system.
All models now allow any K-cup, including Keurig-authorized K-cups with the 2.0 label and older (1.0) or off-brand K-cups.
OneCUP™ pods are BPI certified for composting in a commercial or industrial composting facility.
They are made from plant-based, sustainable, compostable materials.
Although some plastic materials are used, but only renewable plastics.
They are made from cellulose (paper/fiber/tree material) and plant-based resources such as rapeseed, cornstarch, tapioca, sugar cane, sugar beets, etc.
Besides, they are also designed to use 30% less material than other coffee pods.
They have a flat top that gets pierced during use, and the coffee comes in a fine mesh bag attached to the top.
The same as Nespresso, Dolce Gusto is also a coffee capsule system from Nestlé.
When compared to Nespresso, you will find out the differences as below.
Dolce Gusto machines are relatively more affordable and are capable to brew larger coffee and non-coffee drinks.
Meanwhile, Nespresso is good at making some aromatic espresso which tastes like a classic full-bodied espresso.
Both are excellent, but the choice depends on you: more drink options (Dolce Gusto) or an excellent espresso (Nespresso).
A comparison of the two capsule systems was made here for your reference so you can choose the one that best suits your preferences.
|OriginalLine and VertuoLine
|Only one type
|Specializes in espresso
|Brews many different coffee drinks and other drinks
|Each line has several models
|Several models available
|Optional milk frother
The Dolce Gusto was first come into the market in 2006 and has become a hit due to its versatility since then.
The latest one in the Dolce Gusto line can brew XL-sized cups, which means cups up to about 10 ounces (300 ml).
The Dolce Gusto machine is one of the most affordable pod machines on the market, and the price of the pod is lower than the Nespresso.
However it does not use fresh milk to make milk-based beverages, but uses milk capsules.
Milk capsules are paired with coffee capsules to make different kinds of drinks (lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, etc.).
If you're not particularly concerned with gourmet coffee and want an espresso-based flavored drink, Dolce Gusto is a better choice.
If beverage variety is your main requirement and you're on a tight budget, this is a better option.
It's also a good option if you don't want to deal with milk froth or have to buy a separate milk frother.
There are also some 3rd-party sellers provide their own brand Dolce Gusto capsule.
(Nestcafe Dolce Gusto)
Lavazza is a coffee brand in Italy, but originally Lavazza Espresso is a selection of blends ranging from mild to bold, with your favorite brew to enjoy your coffee like an Italian.
Lavazza is one of Italy's top coffee brands - no small achievement in a country that takes espresso very seriously.
After more than a century of development, Lavazza is known for its finely crafted espresso blends.
Not surprisingly, given its Italian heritage, Lavazza is best known for its espresso roast mix.
In fact, it was the espresso machine, invented shortly after Luigi Lavazza (founder) started his grocery store, that started his coffee journey.
Lavazza Capsules come in three variants - Lavazza Blue, A Modo Mio and Espresso Point.
These capsules are different from each other and are not compatible with machines from other capsules.
Blue comes in single and double servings, while Modo Mio appears to have three different serving sizes, presumably to match the machine's brewing capabilities.
In a single-dose capsule, the Blue machine will gets 7 grams of ground coffee, while the A Modo Mio goes up to 7.5 grams.
Surprisingly, the larger drink sizes of the Modo Mio still have the same amount of ground coffee.
The Modo Mio itself isn't widely available in the US, so unless you're buying from an online store, it's a challenge to find the machine or its line of capsules.
Blue are made for blue machines like the Blue Classy Mini.
The machine is straightforward and convenient, with two preset drink sizes and programmable water.
Lavazza Espress Point capsules are made of white plastic and are packaged in foil of 2 or 1 capsule.
These foil capsules are sold in boxes of 50 and 100.
EP (Espresso Point) capsules are smaller than EP MAXI capsules.
There are totally eight different capsules(brewing system) that are mentioned in this article and they are not compatible with each other.
·Nespresso Original Line
·Nespresso Vertuo Line
·Keurig 1.0 and 2.0
·Lavazza A Modo Mio
·Lavazza Espresso Point