Technology

True compatibility with Euro-Caps

Euro-Caps

Single serve manufacturer Euro-Caps on what distinguishes its Nespresso Professional pads and capsule range.

Versatility, quality, and efficiency are the building blocks of the single-serve coffee industry. They are also skills which European capsule manufacturer Euro-Caps has championed since its conception in 2012.

It was a time when Nespresso’s patent had just expired and there was an absence of capsule manufacturers for private label customers. Euro-Caps seized the opportunity to fill this gap in the market and has grown rapidly, now offering its own range of capsules, pads, and pods. This includes Nespresso- and Dolce Gusto-compatible pods, along with its newest portfolio addition, the Nespresso *Professional* compatible pads.

“We offer five sustainable Utz blends which are reminiscent of the top five selling blends bought by Professional customers,” says Edwin Wijnholds, International Sales Manager of Euro-Caps. “We have studied both their intellectual property and all the dimensions of those pads extensively and scientifically.”

This has led Euro-Caps to be what Hans Voorschuur, Sales Director of Euro-Caps, describes as “the only company selling Professional pads that are truly compatible with Nespresso Professional”.

Euro-Caps sells five Nespresso Professional-compatible pads that are reminiscent of the top selling blends bought by Nespresso customers.

“We can claim true compatibility because we are producing it on the same type of machines and using the same type of material, like the foil, as the original Nespresso pads,” says Voorschuur. “In previous years, we bought capsules off the shelf from other producers to see if we could improve their capsules. We have built upon this research and development, and quality assurance (QA) knowledge to develop our own compatible capsules and pads.”

Today, Euro-Caps sells it capsules and pads to retailers and coffee chains around the world, including European coffee retail giant Costa Coffee. Besides its compatibility, Voorschuur says Euro-Caps’ advantage is its ability to deliver knowhow, innovation, and a high-quality product at a lower price.

“We offer pads with a better price and therefore increase consumers’ accessibility to quality coffee pads. It will make the market grow for Nespresso Professional compatible products, because the Nespresso Professional is receiving more attention,” says Voorschuur.

This attention to quality doesn’t just begin in the lab, but at origin. Euro-Caps’ coffee is made of different bean varieties from around the world, including single origins from Nicaragua, Cost Rica, and Guatemala.

“In the Apui region we are also working on different levels of sustainability. For example, we have partnered with the Worldwide Fund for Nature to teach farmers how to grow more sustainable crops and prevent deforestation in Brazil,” says Wijnholds.

Only the ripest beans are picked, sorted, processed, and graded before roasting.

“We work with a couple of preferred partners for roasting. These roasters are all around us in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Germany. We do this to offer our customers the best range of products available for the best price quality, no matter where they are,” says Wijnholds.

He adds having roasters in different countries helps Euro-Caps stay in touch with local consumer preferences. After roasting to the desired level, the roasted beans are delivered to Euro-Cap’s production facility in the Netherlands where they are evaluated by coffee specialists based on sight, smell, and taste.

“In our team, we are among giants in coffee knowledge,” says Wijnholds. “We have Q Graders, and our R&D and QA teams are made up of about 35 people. Our coffee director has been in the business for more than 35 years and one of our R&D team members worked and made coffee for Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks, every morning for eight years in a row.”

Wijnholds says Euro-Caps’ R&D team has spent years dissecting the science behind the coffee grinds, the foil barriers, and how the capsule works within single-serve machines to develop its range of products. Wijnholds says he is always impressed with the talent and drive that Euro-Caps’ youngest team members display.

“When we develop our pads, it is always done in combination with a senior coffee specialist and a junior coffee specialist,” Wijnholds says. “To see that synergy and the enthusiasm between these people and to see the premium products they create, make us so proud of our team.”

Once the coffee has been tested and approved Euro-Caps pads are ground using a roller grinding method.

“First we determine the particle size needed for each pad. Then we use the roller grinder which has three different compartments and allows us to grind the beans from a course to very fine size,” says Voorschuur.

To determine the correct grind size, Euro-Caps conducts several tests with different levels of pressure and flush.

“For example, a lungo, which is a black coffee extracted over a longer period of time, requires coarser grinds to deliver an optimal flavour,” says Voorschuur. “That selection, measurement, and R&D to understand what the best grind size is and best [machine] setting for that coffee has taken years for us to create and really makes the difference whether the coffee is good or not, batch after batch.”

The grounds are packaged tightly in Nespresso Professional compatible laminated foils that prevent any oxygen that could affect the freshness of the grounds. They are packaged, often in boxes of 50 pads, and sent to customers around the world.

“The Nespresso Professional pads market has seen double-digit growth in the last six to seven years and will continue to grow because of social change,” says Wijnholds. “People want something instantaneous. They don’t want to wait, they don’t want to grind it, brew it, and take that process. At Euro-Caps, we’ve been working to create a single serve capsule that provides all this and still produces a great coffee.”

Wijnholds says COVID-19 has been a shifting point for the single serve market. As consumers were forced to stay in the home environment, being able to produce convenient yet high-quality coffee became more important, driving demand for capsules. However, as people return to offices and hotels, Wijnholds predicts demand will continue, especially for Nespresso Professional pads.

“And we’re looking forward to be able to meet this demand, as we have since day one, and continue to evolve with the market,” says Wijnholds.

*The Nespresso Professional brand belongs to a third party not affiliated with Euro-Caps Holding B.V.

For more information, visit euro-caps.nl/en/

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

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