The Moneybags coffee capsule machine comparison

By Sean Binedell and Angelique Ruzicka

Brewing good coffee can take ages, depending on the ritual you like to follow, while some instant coffee can taste like cardboard. Enter the coffee capsule machine and, if you pair it with George Clooney (thanks Nespresso), the ability to make a consistent cup of coffee in a flash with a smile on your face.

The jury is out on whether coffee capsule machines make the best quality coffee around but one can’t knock their convenience. And because they negate the need to hire a barista a number of restaurants are making use of them now including apparently Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant in the United Kingdom.

Love them (because they make you look professional) or loathe them (because capsules are hardly friendly to the environment), capsule machines are being bought around the world not only by consumers but by professional restauranteurs as well.

If you are still sitting on the fence about which coffee capsule machine to buy we’ve done simple pros and cons list for you and even compared some prices:

Pros
• All that messing about with measuring coffee, grinding and cleaning up afterwards is avoided.
• You should always get consistent cup of coffee.
• According to some reports the carbon footprint of capsule machines is usually quite small, they are more energy efficient than normal coffee machines.
• The machines are quite portable and so you can take them with you when camping or on holidays in small apartments or units that have small kitchens.
• They deliver coffee much faster than general coffee machines.
• The capsules are individually sealed containers, usually made of aluminium and so the coffee inside will stay fresher for longer than some instant or ground coffees.
• They are great for delivering coffee quickly for a large number of guests, which is probably why more restaurants are making use of them.

Cons
• They can be twice as expensive per cup than ground coffee.
• For those of you who care about the environment, there is additional waste associated with the packaging.
• There are more coffee bean types than there are capsule.
• Many of the machines do not include a way to heat or steam milk.
• Since the coffee is prepackaged, you have much less choice for the intensity and volume of your coffee.

Brands

Caffeluxe

Cost of the machine: Verona Espresso Machine Black R1199.
Cost per capsule: R89.90 for 25 capsules = R3.60 per capsule. Caffeluxe capsules are compatible with Nespresso machines and offer a cheaper version for your daily coffee routine.

Nespresso

Cost per machine: Nespresso machines can be quite expensive and set you back at least R1650 if you buy the Iniisia. However, Nespresso are currently running a special till the 16 June 2014, where you receive up to R900 off the machine and the capsule that go with them. Buy the cheaper Nespresso machines and you get some money off the machine and some off the capsule. So, for instance, you can now get the following machines for R300 less: Nespresso Pixie for R1850; Nespresso Umat for R1650, Nespresso Iniisia for R1350. If you are feeling flush, you can get the Gran Maestria for R7,500 (a saving of R400).
Cost per capsule: Capsules range between R63 and R72 for a sleeve of ten so one would cost you around R7.

De Longhi
Cost per machine: DeLonghi EDG605 Dolce Gusto Coffee Maker R2, 300 at DionWired or get the DeLonghi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio Coffee Maker for R1630 from Kalahari.
Cost per capsule: You can use Nescafe capsules in this device (the only company that prohibits you from using other capsule in its machine is Nespresso). Get 16 capsules at R79 from Takealot, which means you pay around R4.94 per capsule.

Caffitaly
Cost of coffee machine: Caffitaly Capsule Coffee Machine in white costs: R1,995 from Kitchenchef  or  you can get this deal from Takealot for R1,959: Caffitaly S04 Capsule Machine Metalic Red + 50 free capsules.
Cost of capsule: You can buy 10 Nescafe capsules at R61 from Takealot, which means you pay R6 per capsule.

Moneybags says:
You can buy a coffee capsule machine below R2, 000 from most of the major brands as you can see. However, you need to decide which brand will suit your needs, taste and wallet in the long run.
While you might be a Nespresso fan at a cost of R7 per capsule you’d be paying at least R210 a month if you only have one cup of coffee a day. Meanwhile, if you bought the Caffitally machine and spent R3.60 per Caffeluxe capsule from  you’d only pay R108 a month. However, both options would be cheaper than if you were to buy your coffee from a coffee shop, where you would be paying around R20 a cup, which can add up to R600 a month.