Scritto da Jean-Claude Luvini il 29/03/20
"Dear Barney, coffee capsules are a thing of the past!" - Fred Flintstone
Fred's prediction is based on 8 considerations :
1. ENVIRONMENT: a coffee capsule is made up of 1 gram of aluminum or plastic. It is not sustainable to waste these materials to make a coffee. On an individual level it may not seem much. But multiplying by the 30 billion capsules consumed per year, globally the total adds up to 30 million kg of aluminum and plastic! Only an infinitesimal part is recycled. A clear sign of change came from the city of Hamburg. It banned the purchase of capsules for all entities managed by the city.
2. COST: the cost of 0.50 CHF per capsule is a huge price! It's equivalent to more than 100 CHF per kg! Approximately three times the price of good coffee beans (calculation basis: with 1 kg of coffee beans we can prepare at least 125 coffees).
3. AROMA: capsules contain only 5-6 grams of coffee (compared to the 7-8 grams of a real espresso). This results in less intensity and aroma. Especially if the beans are ground fresh.
4. CLOSURE: the capsule system does not derive from the desire to improve coffee quality. It is based on a business model that aims to bind the customer for the long term. Once the machine is purchased, the customer is bound to purchase a certain type of capsule, produced exclusively by a given manufacturer (same as for printers).
5. STERILITY: inserting a capsule in a hole, pressing a button and listening to a strange noise is sterile and lifeless. Especially when compared to the ritual of coffee. Capsules lack the beauty, gestures and aromas of brewing coffee the traditional way. Think of the Moka, the American filter, the Espresso machine or the Turkish pot. Their ability to bring people together and make us feel at home.
6. FASHION: the capsule system was conceived in 1976. After 10 years of difficulty, in the 1990s it experienced exponential growth worldwide. This success is related to the sale of a status symbol. The illusion of belonging to a certain class because we own a certain type of appliance. The new generations are relatively indifferent to this charm. They are looking for more authentic life experiences.
7. HEALTH: the hot water, before being swallowed, runs through the aluminum. This poses a certain risk to our health. Several scientific studies claim that the threat to our health is negligible. However, there is consensus for the need to minimise the ingestion of aluminum in our body.
8. TEMPERATURE: coffee in capsules coffee often comes out lukewarm. Don't we want our coffee to be hot?