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Buyer Guides

How to choose the right coffee pod for your Dualit or Nespresso® Coffee Machine

To make a great cup of coffee or espresso in your Dualit or Nespresso® machine, there are two key points to understand:

  1. Buy best quality coffee-making equipment together with high quality coffee pods that are compatible with your machine. Using a pod that can extract the best flavour from the coffee inside combined with your chosen equipment is the determining factor to the taste, flavour, and satisfaction you get out of your cup of coffee. Dualit's coffee pods are compatible with all domestic drop-through Nespresso® machines as well as our own range of beverage machines.
  2. Buy pod flavours that suit your palate and use a good quality blend: learn the general differences between the type of bean used in the pods (where it originates from and how the location affects the flavour) and how different roasting methods affect the taste.

HOW COFFEE PODS WORK

Coffee pods offer a fast and convenient way of making coffee; a pre-portioned, pre-tamped serving of ground coffee enclosed in a capsule that is discarded when used. There are many different designs of coffee pods, from Nespresso® to Dualit to Café Pod and not all will preserve and produce quality espresso in the same way. For example, the shape, material and compare a Dualit NX® Coffee Capsule to a Nespresso® capsule; Dualit capsules are made of a different material to Nespresso, have a different seal and shape. Here are the main points to look out for when selecting pods:

  • Choose pods that use a high quality bean or blend of bean.
  • The freshest coffee will come from beans that are roasted, ground and encapsulated in quick succession. This can only happen if all three stages occur within close proximity of each other. Coffee that is roasted but then has to travel to an encapsulation plant cannot maintain the freshness required to produce perfect coffee. Dualit's Nespresso® compatible capsules are currently the only brand manufactured in the UK.
  • The pod MUST keep the coffee totally protected from damage and oxidation, so the coffee remains fresh. This means looking for a pod that has a full seal to stop air getting inside and is packaged so that is can't be damaged in transit or by other objects.

WHERE CAN YOU BUY YOUR PODS?

Pods and capsules can be found in high street stores, supermarkets and online. Availability will depend on the brand you are buying. Dualit capsules are stocked on our website, in supermarkets and high street stores giving you flexibility and choice. A local supermarket stockist is useful if you prefer buying your pods with your grocery shopping, or if you are running low and need to stock up fast. Other brands of pod differ in availability. For example, Nespresso® capsules can only be bought from the Nespresso® website or Nespresso® boutiques, located in major cities. In the UK these are London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh only.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT COFFEE

There are two varieties of coffee plants: one grows Arabica beans and the other grows Robusta. These two bean varieties are harvested differently, used differently, and taste different. Knowing the differences between the two beans will help you purchase coffee beans whose characteristics meet your taste expectations.

Arabica

  • Arabica coffee beans are grown at high altitudes; as a general rule the higher the bean is grown then the denser the bean becomes giving a better taste
  • Have a deep green colour and are slightly larger than Robusta beans
  • Makes a rich blend and gives milder, more aromatic taste compared to Robusta

Robusta

  • Grown at low altitude, typically less 800m above sea level, in hot, tropical climates
  • Are pale green in colour with a brown tint
  • Creates a full bodied flavour that is bitter, earthy and woody, a dense crema and creamy mouth feel; the key characteristics of a traditional Italian espresso
  • A hardy, economic bean to grow, most often used in blends of coffee
  • Has a higher caffeine content than Arabica

Coffee Bean Origins

Location of origin has the greatest effect on the flavour of a coffee bean - more than roasting and brewing. Any type of bean from any region can be roasted light, medium or dark. There are around 70 coffee-producing nations in the world, with Brazil being the biggest producer overall. All the coffee beans Dualit uses in our pods and capsules are sourced from the world's top producing countries, which have been producing high-quality coffee for centuries and each origin gives a distinctive character to the beans it grows.

In any coffee shop or supermarket you will likely find coffee and pods from beans grown in the following regions. Though each region can produce a variety of different tasting beans, these are some of the more common characteristics you can usually expect to find:

Central America

Well balanced, smooth flavours with fruit-like characteristics. Generally few extremes in acidity or bitterness so a good choice for those drinking coffee for the first time.

South America

Even, well rounded taste with moderate acidity and sweetness. Known for chocolate and nut notes. Taste is best when given a mild to medium roast only, to retain the light flavour characteristics.

Africa & the Middle East

These countries produce a more medium bodied bean. Known taste characteristics are spice, chocolate, wine and fruit-like acidity. The best flavour is achieved with a medium to medium-dark roast to balance the contrasting flavours.

Far East & Pacific Islands

Heavy bodied with low acidity. These beans produce hearty and earthy flavours with some bitterness. They do well with a dark roast, to preserve the smooth undertones. Monsooned Malabar is a process applied to coffee beans grown in the Malabar Coast of Karnataka and Kerala in India. When harvested, the coffee beans are then exposed to the monsoon rain and winds that occur in the area between June and September. The process removes acidity and gives the bean a sweet, mellow flavour. Coffee beans gown in this location has a unique taste and is a popular choice in coffee pod ranges; Dualit and Nespresso, for example, have a Monsoon Malabar coffee pod in their current ranges.

Roasting

The roast you choose will depend on the flavour you like and also what type of coffee you are making.

The time and temperature of the roast is what determines the flavours and aromas that are created. Generally speaking, the beans grow and darken the longer they are roasted, giving more intense flavours. A dark roast has a greater effect on flavour, as the bean reaches a higher temperature. Any acidity is usually eradicated and beans take on bitter notes. This roast also retains the least amount of caffeine in the bean. A shorter, lighter roast keeps more of the geographic characteristics of the bean and brings out sweeter, more acidic flavours.

FAIRTRADE

Buying Fairtrade is a way of ensuring that the farmers who have grown the coffee beans are paid fairly. The price paid for the beans will cover all of the costs involved in growing and harvesting, as well as leaving money for reinvestment in machinery, processing equipment and their community. As the value of coffee can fluctuate widely, Fairtrade ensures that even if the price of the coffee falls, the farmers are paid a minimum Fairtrade price that will cover their costs and make a profit to reinvest. All of the coffee in Dualit's NX® Nespresso® compatible capsules is Fairtrade, with the exception of Indian Monsoon. In this case, there is currently no Fairtrade sourced Monsoon Malabar coffee available to buy. We have ensured that the beans we use are sourced from small farms run by community co-operatives, where part of the profits are reinvested back into the community.

Dualit NX Coffee Capsules Bean & Flavour Profiles

Dualit has its own coffee production house in West Sussex, where coffee is encapsulated immediately after grinding to ensure it is as fresh as possible and retains the "just roasted" taste. All NX® capsules are sealed to retain the freshness of the coffee and then carefully packed by hand into gift boxes for retailing. Dualit capsules can be used in our own range of coffee machines as well as all "drop-through" Nespresso®* machines. Dualit's exclusive range of six patented NX® coffee capsule flavours, five of which are fairtrade, use only the finest Arabica and Robusta beans, freshly roasted, ground and encapsulated here in the UK.

We recommend all coffee connoisseurs try the Single Origin Coffee Capsules; high quality, single origin coffee sourced from small co-operatives in some of the world's finest coffee regions.

*Suitable for drop-through machines only. Excluding professional machines and 'built in' models. Nespresso® trademark is owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.

Intense Espresso

Origins: Brazil and Mexico

Fairtrade: Yes

Beans: 50% Arabica, 50% Robusta

Roast: Medium

Strength: 10

Tasting Notes: Distinctive Italian-style espresso; full bodied with notes of roasted nut, molasses and dark chocolate with a long finish.

Classic Espresso

Origins: Brazil and Honduras

Fairtrade: Yes

Beans: 100% Arabica

Roast: Medium/dark

Strength: 9

Tasting Notes: Complex and balanced; notes of roasted nut and honey with a bittersweet chocolate finish.

Lungo Americano

Origins: Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico

Fairtrade: Yes

Beans: 90% Arabica, 10% Robusta

Roast: Medium

Strength: 7

Tasting Notes: Velvety mouthfeel, notes of fresh bread, burnt sugar and dried fruits in the finish.

Decaf Espresso

Origins: 70% Peru or Honduras, 30% India

Faitrade: Yes

Beans: 70% Arabica, 30 % Robusta

Roast: Medium

Strength: 4

Tasting Notes: Smokey and roasted nut notes, soft acidity and delicate mouthfeel coupled with a bittersweet finish.

Indian Monsoon

Origin: India

Fairtrade: No, but sourced from a small co-operative

Beans: 80% Arabica, 20% Robusta

Roast: Dark

Strength: 9

Tasting Notes: Smooth mouthfeel, notes of tobacco and toast with a subtle, spicy finish.

Sumatra Mandheling

Origin: Indonesia

Fairtrade: Yes and sourced from a small co-operative

Beans: 100% Arabica

Roast: Medium

Strength: 8

Tasting Notes: Creamy mouthfeel, notes of milk chocolate and tropical fruits with a malty, sweet finish.