Refillable Coffeeduck Capsules for Nespresso Coffee Machines
For about one year already I have been using a Nespresso machine to quickly make great tasting espresso coffee. It's great time-saving, hassle-free way to drink good quality coffee at home. Compared to all means of making coffee at home, the Nespresso machines require the least cleaning, preparation and the taste of coffee is generally great.
The only down-side to it is the cost of the machines and the capsules. Because this kind of kitchen appliances are first to go during harder times, the selection of almost new machines in the second hand market is big. You can check local pawnbrokers, second hand stores or simply buy it online. That said, despite the saving made when buying the machine, you will quickly realize the toll of buying new capsules on a monthly budget.
In the mornings I like to use two capsules to make one big cup of strong coffee to get the day started (If using two capsules you can let one of them run a little longer to get slightly stretched espresso, or café allongé). After work we would drink again at least a few cups. In that way my roommate and I would use a box of 10 capsules at about 3€ (over 4 dollars) in few days, each month we were paying over $50 for the capsules.
All that changed when we discovered on the internet the refillable capsules. Although there are many different variations of capsules on the market, the Coffeeduck quickly proved to be our favorite. The plastic used to produce Coffeduck capsules is durable and smooth - this means easier to clean (hot water under high pressure is enough to get it squeaky clean) and they don't deform (other capsules sometimes melted together or got big dents in them because of the hot water inside the machines) and the lid stays intact.
How much will you save?
For two persons about six refillable capsules are more-less sufficient (but if you prefer preparing a greater batch of them let's say the night before and not worry about cleaning the whole day you can also buy 9 or 12 capsules). These will be good for at least 3 months, the only recurring cost being the loose coffee you can buy at the supermarket. Now everything depends on which brand and roast you prefer but you should be able to save at least 50% compared to buying pre-packed capsules.
As mentioned before when buying pre-filled cups we would spent at least $50 a month, right now we average at around $20 dollars a month. Here we add the ecological upsides - less trash, less plastics to recycle, less trips to supermarkets with the only added hassle of cleaning and filling the capsules which proved to be less tedious than I was afraid it would be. The Coffeeduck capsules are also dishwasher friendly, so you can simply throw them in a dishwasher and all left to do is fill them up once they're dry.
Time saved compared to Moka pots, French presses and filtered coffee machines is substantial. In the morning my Magimix Nespresso machine needs a minute to warm up and less a minute later my coffee is ready.
If you grind your own coffee, you should just pay attention that the ground coffee be nicely even, otherwise the water might not flow evenly and the coffee once ready wouldn't really be what you are used with.
If using ready ground coffee the only thing you really have to master is filling the cups. the easiest way is to keep coffee in a wide container (narrow and high is uncomfortable to use when you start running out of coffee as it's harder to fill the capsule). You simply use the capsule itself to scoop coffee from the container and then with a finger wipe excess coffee back to the container. Make sure the edges stay clean as you will want the lid to close tightly. No need to pack it tightly - the idea is the same as using a traditional espresso machine where you don't want to pack the coffee too tightly inside the piston.