OPAL One Capsule Machine Review + How to Use
The first capsule machine specifically designed to brew speciality coffee capsules - introducing the OPAL One!
All other capsules machines in the market are licensed by Nespresso, and they are designed just to work with Nespresso capsules. The OPAL One was designed specifically with specialty coffee capsules in mind. It brews better coffee by utilising a unique silicon brew chamber, eliminating unwanted dilution and features both higher pressure and higher temperature brewing - delivering a fuller-bodied, stronger coffee than ever before.
Coffee roasters all over the world are starting to put specialty coffee into capsules making it even easier to have delicious espresso style coffee at home. But you still need a good machine to get the best out of these capsules. This is where the Opal One comes in. There is serious expertise behind this machine. It was developed in conjunction with Maxwell Colonna Dashwood who is a three time UK Barista Champion, founder of Colonna Coffee and a pioneer of specialty coffee capsules in the UK.
It was designed with a real scientific approach to espresso extraction in mind and there are some key features that really highlight this.
The OPAL has an Adjustable Brewing Temperature with the hottest setting being ideal for brewing espresso. A lot of other capsule machines have brewing temperatures that don’t even come close to what you need to make a good espresso.
It has a unique silicone brewing chamber which forms a snug fit around the capsule ensuring any water is pumped fully through the ground coffee. Other machines have a brewing chamber that is made of a rigid plastic which means water often leaks around the sides of the capsule leaving you with a watery, under extracted espresso.
It has a 100% compatibility rate with any nespresso style capsules so you don’t have to worry about your pods failing — a common issue when brewing pods from different coffee roasters on a Nespresso machine.
It has an intelligent flow rate making your espresso extraction even better.
All of these amazing features, plus it’s really easy to use make the OPAL One a fantastic capsule machine to have at home.
How to Use the OPAL One
This is a really quick guide on how to get started with your OPAL One capsule machine.
First of all, you need to make sure that it’s filled with water, so you can either just lift up the back flap and pour water directly in it. Or you can remove the entire water chamber and fill water up in a tap or water filter jug separately. We recommend always using high quality soft water (check Peak Water filter jug).
Once you turn the machine on, allow it to heat up. The lights will flash while it's heating and will be solid once it's ready for you to use.
If it's the first time that you are using your OPAL One, make sure you follow the manual and give it a good flush before your first use. The OPAL also comes with a handy pump, so if you are having trouble getting your water to pump through for the very first time, or also after times that you haven't used the machine for a while, this pump will help you out.
The machine goes in an energy saving mode after 15 min, and the lights will softly flash.
Setting the Temperature
We recommend setting the machine to the hottest brewing temperature straight away. To do that:
1. Turn the machine OFF.
2. Hold down the left and middle buttons
3. Turn the machine ON, and you will see that the lights go red at the top.
4. Now select the far right button, for the hottest temperature.
5. Turn the machine OFF. Turn it back ON again and the lights will become blue again, meaning that it's ready to use.
Before brewing a capsule, we would always recommend to give the machine one quick flush of water (by pressing the Short or Long button), to bring it up to brewing temperature and remove any coffee grounds or oils that might been left there since the last time you used the machine.
Setting the Shot Weight
So now that you are ready to brew, we would recommend customising your weight instead of the pre-set volumes on the machine.
The machine comes with the following volume specifications:
Left button: 25 ml
Middle button: 40 ml
Right button: 110 ml
We recommend getting a set of scales and following the instructions of your preferred coffee roaster. Most roasters will give you a little guide with recommendations on how much your espresso should weigh.
The best way to do this is by removing the drip tray whilst keeping the pod container underneath (so it can catch any dispensed pods). Get a little set of scales and pop them underneath.
The capsules we are using on this example have a recommended weight of 25g. So we will program the machine to always produce 25g of liquid.
So just pop your capsule in, close the handle, pick any button that you would like to set the new weight. We are going to set the left button on this example.
Hold the button in, and it will start to brew. Keep holding the button while the liquid is being dispensed. Our target weight is 25g, so once it hits around 18g we will release the button, because there is always a bit of extra liquid that comes out.
Now the left button is set, so you should always get 25g of liquid coming out, and a great tasting espresso style shot.
You can buy the OPAL One Capsule Machine in our online shop. Also Save £25 when buying the Opal + an incredible set of 4 Loveramics Espresso cups.