Novo Capsule on creating the perfect single-serve Nespresso-compatible coffee capsule

Novo Capsule

Novo Capsule is a joint venture that started with the intention to create the perfect single-serve Nespresso-compatible coffee capsule and, through innovation, design and attention to detail, the company has achieved its goal.

According to recent Mordor Intelligence research, the global coffee capsule market is expected to grow by nearly 8 per cent over the next four years, and Novo Capsule is at the forefront of this growth.

The company is a Swiss-based joint venture combining the innovation and entrepreneurship of Israeli-based coffee company Spresso-Cup and the world-class knowledge and manufacturing experience of a Swiss company.

The group prides itself on the quality of its product and continues to innovate its design in the capsule market, one of the few industries to have benefited from the global pandemic. A survey released in March 2022 and conducted by the National Coffee Association in the United States discovered that 70 per cent of consumers now prefer at-home coffee preparation.

Novo Capsule believes that the quality of at-home coffee is dependent on the type of coffee capsule consumers use. After it is filled, the pod must protect the coffee until it reaches the cup. If the coffee capsule is not sealed correctly, the flavour and freshness will be lost, resulting in an inferior product.

According to Yuval Weinshtock, Co-CEO of Novo Capsule, the first and most important component of the capsule, is the material that the pod is made from. The second is the sealing of the capsules.

“Aluminium is much better in keeping the level of oxygen very low and keeping the coffee fresh for a very long time,” says Weinshtock. “This means that our capsules have a very low OTR, or oxygen transmission rate, because aluminium is better at creating a stronger barrier to oxidisation.”

He says aluminium is flavourless, odourless, strong, and the preferred base for Nespresso- compatible capsules.

The popularity of the aluminium capsule market means that its share of the coffee capsule market as a whole is expected to grow from 10 to 15 per cent today, to 30 to 80 per cent in five years’ time according to Novo Capsule, driven primarily by customer demand for an environmental alternative.

“Obviously, the aluminium is much more environmentally friendly than plastic,” says Weinshtock. “But aluminium is also much better at protecting the Nespresso machine because the operation of punching the capsule is easier with aluminium than it is with plastic.”

Unlike plastic, however, Weinshtock says Novo Capsule’s aluminium pods are recyclable, so consumers can recycle it infinitely without any loss in quality.

Nespresso machines were originally designed for use with aluminium capsules because they are less likely to warp or deform like plastic or compostable coffee capsules.

Novo Capsule is made entirely without polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

“Today, every aluminium capsule still has a small amount of the capsule that is plastic and uses PVC for things like the lacquer coating of a capsule,” says Weinshtock. “Our capsule is the only one that has no PVC and PVC. As you know, it’s considered to be the least friendly plastic component, so this capsule is free of that. Our capsule is also recyclable.”

Weinshtock points out that the base material is not the only way that Novo Capsule is improving its product. Its large welding lid surface helps improve production efficiencies.

“Once you have the larger sealing area you have less breaks and less stops during the production process, which allows you to get bigger volumes from production and better quality,” says Weinshtock.

The wider welding surface also assists with filling the pod with coffee.

“One of the challenges in the filling machine is that after you fill the coffee at really high speed, there are particles of coffee spread on the top of the capsule,” he adds. “A very wide ceiling area, like our capsule, can help the filling machine to put the lid into position and weld it on very quickly. This helps seal in the flavour and gives us an advantage over other capsules.”

Another key factor in the success of Novo Capsule’s capsules is their strength. Weinshtock says while the thickness of most capsules hovers around 100 microns, Novo Capsule capsules are made at a thickness of above 120 microns. This also makes them safe to transport and easy to stack without fear of damaging the capsules and the coffee inside.

In a correctly functioning scenario, the water flows through the capsules at high pressure and pours down into the cup, but if the capsule is not fitted correctly or is not made well, this leakage can be a problem.

“Novo Capsule capsules have significantly lower leakage in both the front and the rear,” says Weinshtock. “This is because of the excellent sealing of the lid and in the meeting point of the capsule and the Nespresso machine, this attention to detail by Novo Capsule ensures that the hot water goes directly to the glass and does not spill out into the capsule container or other places.”

Weinshtock also points out that due to the unique structure of Novo Capsule’s capsules, there is no need for a filter.

After the growing, sourcing and roasting of the coffee beans, the care and attention that is given to creating a blend with a high cupping score, Weinshtock says having the right capsule is key to making sure all this effort reaches the customer and results in a perfect cup.

“Through its constant innovation and manufacturing excellence Novo Capsule has designed a capsule that gives consumers the best at-home coffee experience,” says Weinshtock.

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This article was first published in the September/October 2022 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.

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