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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2014
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    New York, NY
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    Can single-serve ever be high quality?

    Hi, I wanted to introduce myself and ask the community a question. Can coffee in single-serve packaging ever reach "high" specialty quality? Third-wave is intended to be slow and high quality by design, while single-serve (particularly Keurig and Nespresso) are intended to be fast and convenient. Are these completely different markets, serving completely different customers? And either way, how would you raise the quality of single-serve offerings to match more closely what consumers currently get at their local specialty cafe?

    We have been thinking about these questions for about year and haven't come up with definitive answers yet. I'd love to hear what you think.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by topher; 12-23-2014 at 04:50 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2014
    Location
    Hollywood Fl
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    not if it is ground and sits in a little plastic cup at a retail store for 8 months.
    Great coffee does not just happen!
    South Florida Artisan Coffee Roaster

  3. #3
    Member
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    Feb 2014
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    56
    I have a coffee capsule machine, and a high quality semi auto ground coffee espresso machine. I find that the capsules don't fall *very* far short of the coffee I get on my real machine, but they're less nuanced. Also, they hold less coffee (I believe ~5g per capsule, while I generally pull shots with 10g on my real machine) so the coffee is weaker and more bitter.

    There are, however, single serve machines which make pretty high end coffee, it's more dependant on the machine than the capsule, but a combo of good machine and good capsule is even better. I don't like Nespresso for 2 main reasons. The first is the Nestle boycott, and the second one (which is also more to the point) is that the Swiss may be good with a lot of things, but for coffee, go to the Italians. The machine I've seen which outputs espresso to rival many home baristas is the Lavazza Point. Notice, though, how massive it is relative to most single serve machines today. I believe that the massiveness is part of the reason it's so good.
    Last edited by Mhippo; 12-23-2014 at 12:55 AM.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2009
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    13
    You can have two of the three, but you always sacrafice the third: High Quality, High Speed(convenience) and Low Cost.

    Kurig: Low Quality, High Speed, Low-ish cost
    DIY Pour-Over: High Quality, Low Speed, Low Cost
    Cafe Pour-Over: High Quality, High speed, High Cost

    Anybody have an example that doesn't fit into this model?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2013
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    Milwaukee, WI
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeemannw View Post
    You can have two of the three, but you always sacrafice the third: High Quality, High Speed(convenience) and Low Cost.

    Kurig: Low Quality, High Speed, Low-ish cost
    DIY Pour-Over: High Quality, Low Speed, Low Cost
    Cafe Pour-Over: High Quality, High speed, High Cost


    Anybody have an example that doesn't fit into this model?
    Why would the speed to prepare be different between home and cafe?

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    56
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeemannw View Post
    You can have two of the three, but you always sacrafice the third: High Quality, High Speed(convenience) and Low Cost.

    Kurig: Low Quality, High Speed, Low-ish cost
    DIY Pour-Over: High Quality, Low Speed, Low Cost
    Cafe Pour-Over: High Quality, High speed, High Cost

    Anybody have an example that doesn't fit into this model?
    Usually, to gain convenience one sacrifices both quality and price...

    Quote Originally Posted by peterjschmidt View Post
    Why would the speed to prepare be different between home and cafe?
    He wrote that by speed he meant convenience. Cafe pour over, you don't have to do setup and cleanup making it "faster"

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2014
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    6
    If you use a reusable single-serve and freshly roasted, small batch coffee (or home roasted even), then yes, and that's much cheaper than the store-bought stuff. But not the stuff you find in boxes on shelves, no...

 

 

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