Capsule Coffee Machine: Why Do Barista’s Hate Them?

Capsule Coffee Machine: Why Do Barista’s Hate Them?

Whether it’s spelling your name wrong on a to-go coffee order, or “making your coffee too strong”, Barista’s all over the world get the worst rap for their profession. Little do we know, nor appreciate, the artistic skill and technical strength required to be a Professional Barista.

The coffee shop industry has become somewhat of a growing phenomenon, and we see the industry in South Africa really taking off of late. At the same time, we see the sales of capsule coffee machines sky-rocketing; the home user has become empowered by having a coffee machine in their kitchen – at their beck and call as and when they please.

But, is the capsule coffee machine slowly killing the coffee industry?

Capsule Coffee Machines: What You See IS What You Get

Capsule coffee machines are generally far cheaper than your traditional coffee machine. This is in large part due to the technology of this coffee lying in the coffee capsule, and not the coffee machine. See, the capsule is what allows for the extraction.

Here’s where the problem comes in; you’re really drinking a single shot of filter coffee, and we are glorifying this to the point we have de-sensitised out palettes and now think we are drinking “café quality coffee” at home. Let me clear this up. We are not!

Capsule coffee is nothing fancy – it’s all about convenience.

Capsule Coffee Machines VS Bean to Cup VS Filter

Seems a bit of a broad range, but capsule coffee machines should really be pitted up against what we are glorifying the capsule machine to be.

Firstly, bean to cup is your only real guarantee to having café-quality coffee, because that is what café’s use. Bean to cup ensures freshness, uses whole beans ground as needed, and the technology lies in the machine as opposed to the consumable product.

Filter coffee machines use exactly the same ground coffee as you would expect to find inside a coffee capsule, but the brewing method simply takes a little longer. What we overlook in this instance is freshness. Whose to say those coffee pods haven’t been standing (albeit sealed) for 6. 7, 8 months? Ground filter coffee can be used in one shot. See where I’m headed with this?

Another major downfall is the coffee pod itself. Germany has instituted a ban on coffee pods because of the potentially disastrous effect the coffee pods can have on recycling methods. Read the article here.

Capsule Coffee Machine Types

We are all victims of media persuasion here. A capsule coffee machine costing upwards of

R 5000.00 – because it has a milk frother – is that OK? No, it’s not.

Going back to the Barista’s – who go through years of training, honing in on and fine-tuning their skill-set, have come to see more and more of a commercialisation of the coffee industry as a whole.
A Pumpkin-Spiced Latte is NOT coffee, and my biggest concern is that we are pushing out the true art and culinary “meat” behind coffee itself.

Taking away the skill required from a Barista was the reasoning behind, and the result of, the Automatic Coffee Machine.
See, that we can live with, because it still provides us with genuinely great coffee.

However, the idea of being fooled into having “great coffee’ at home, when in fact you have a glorified single-serve filter coffee machine that impacts our environment negatively is something we need to start moving away from.

If you disagree, as I know many will, I challenge you to go to a coffee shop and have yourself a PROPER Coffee.

What do I mean by proper coffee?

We’ve all made this common mistake more often than we’d like to admit.

In our video review, try having your Barista brew a single-shot of Espresso, and top it up with some hot water.

Sip on that, taste it properly, and then compare that to the capsule coffee machine you have at home.

If you can honestly say there is no difference, then PLEASE let me know!

By all means, the capsule coffee machine is a great innovation, and definitely has “it’s place”, but I beg you not to overlook what a real, great coffee is in place of simply a convenient, better-than filter coffee.


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