How to make the Normcore coffee capsule better?

Posted by Chanho Hong on


How to make the Normcore coffee capsule better?


Capsule coffees are known as bad coffee for years. Maybe this is because we never tasted a good tasty capsule coffee or maybe the capsule makers are using bad quality coffees or are having a problem somewhere in production. Interestingly, after we launched our Normcore Coffee Capsule, we have been hearing a number of good feedbacks saying this is the best capsule coffee they have ever tasted. Well, from the view of the maker, I believe that this is because we use exactly the same DG blend which is designed to bring the best quality as milk-based coffees. To get this result, our roasting profile upgrades its solubility hence getting more flavour out of the beans.

To go back to the capsule, two elements are out of control which is the capsule machine and capsule manufacturing. The size of the capsule should be always the same, 5.5g. And the machines are totally depending on the customers’ choice. Consequently, to get the best taste of our coffee capsule, we just had to focus on roasting as there is nothing we can control.

However, there is still one more thing we can suggest to our customers about how to make the Normcore coffee capsule better. With one of the cheapest Nespresso machine, I have tested some extractions.

Short Setting

  • 5.5g Coffee

  • 34g Beverage Yield

  • 18s Extraction Time

  • 2.75% Total Dissolved Solution

  • 17.9% Extraction Yield

  • Slightly bitter, medium-low acidity, medium sweetness

  • Dark chocolate, a hint of vanilla, rounded mouthfeel

Long Setting

  • 5.5g Coffee

  • 77.5g Beverage Yield

  • 40s Extraction Time

  • 1.38% Total Dissolved Solution

  • 19.5% Extraction Yield

  • High bitterness, low acidity, low sweetness

  • Dark chocolate, watery, lack of flavour

To compare with our usual coffee serving from the shop, I have also tested our DB blend espresso.

  • 24g Coffee

  • 26g Beverage Yield

  • 38s Extraction Time

  • 1.38% Total Dissolved Solution

  • 19.5% Extraction Yield

  • High bitterness, low acidity, low sweetness

  • Dark chocolate, watery, lack of flavour

  • 18.66% Total Dissolved Solution

  • 21% Extraction Yield

  • Med-low acidity, medium-high sweetness, medium bitterness

  • Dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, creamy mouthfeel

Here is a tricky part. If we only look at those numbers, we might think the long setting would taste similar to the espresso. However, flavour is not just according to numbers but also a number of different elements. The brew ratio of the espresso is 1:1.08, the long setting is 1:14.1, the short one is 1:6.2.

As described in MT Space(HTTPS://WWW.PATREON.COM/POSTS/35725315), brew ratio is the most important factor in the flavour of the coffee. The DG blend is designed to provide the best taste when it is around 1:1~1:1.2 brew ratio, shortening the brew ratio of the capsule coffee will help make taste better. So I tested it.

Adjusted Setting

  • 5.5g Coffee

  • 16g Beverage Yield

  • 13s Extraction Time

  • 5.8% Total Dissolved Solution

  • 17.5% Extraction Yield

  • Medium bitterness, medium-low acidity, medium sweetness

  • Dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, syrupy mouthfeel

Leaving the numbers for a moment, the taste profile of the adjust setting seems better.
Now, we have one more important thing we have to look at which is the drink strength. As the coffee capsule is designed to serve in 4oz(approx. 100g) cup and the espresso is for 8oz(approx. 240g) cup, I calculated the numbers to find out how much of coffee is in the drink, in case of milk-based coffee, which we call, Drink Strength Ratio(DSR).DSR is an important measurement to figure our how intense your final product is. For example, even though the espresso itself is stronger, it could be weaker as a final drink. Therefore, we evaluate the taste of coffee as well as DSR.

  • Espresso: 2.52/cup, 1.05% DSR

  • Short: 0.49g/cup, 0.49% DSR

  • Long: 1.07g/cup, 1.07% DSR

  • Adjusted: 1g/cup, 1% DSR

As you can see in the numbers above, the long setting and the adjust setting have a similar drink strength ratio, however, as the long setting tastes much worse than the espresso, the adjust setting could be the best option in terms of taste and the numbers.

To conclude, in order to get the best taste quality from the Normcore Coffee Capsule, it is highly recommended to shorten the brew ratio. If you have a scale, you are welcome to use it, otherwise, time your shots, then just finishing your shots at a half amount of time. 

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