Product Comparison: Opal One Pod Machine vs Nespresso® CitiZ
Today's video is all about seeing how these two machines stack up against each other. Our resident expert Cath Seay will put 50 pods through each machine and analyse how compatible they are with a range of different coffee capsules.
Parameters for a failed pod:
A properly extracted shot from both machines presents visually as a golden brown stream of coffee coming out of the spouts from the beginning to the end of the pump cycle. If any plain water does come out of the spout that means that the water hasn’t passed through the coffee and instead is getting pushed around the outside of the pod and we will mark this as a fail. We’ll overlook any tiny drops of water that are obviously just residual drips from previous cycles. We're also going to keep watch for any other anomalies that might occur, like a pod not getting extracted at all.
Why a small amount of water not passing through the coffee pod is such a big deal?
Because there is a double negative effect on the flavour of the coffee. Firstly, the coffee will be under extracted and it's likely to taste more sour. Secondly the water escaping around the outside of the pod ends up diluting the espresso. Overall you’ll end up with something, watery, sour and rather disappointing.
Responsible Pod Disposal:
All pods used in the video were disposed responsibly. The aluminium pods were split open with a Upress Pod Recycler, and the aluminium was put into the recycling and the coffee grounds into the garden. Home compostable pods went straight into the compost and the commercially compostable pods were taken to a local cafe for disposal. The nespresso pods were sent to a nespresso recycling facility.
And if you are wondering what’s going to happen with all this coffee, don’t worry, Cath has a plan! Espresso martinis were definitely on the menu that evening and she also set aside some for baking. Anything leftover will be frozen into ice cubes and saved for making iced coffee at a later date.
This was a really interesting exercise! The Nespresso CitiZ Machine had more issues (18 in total) and it was mainly regarding water coming through in the beginning of the brew. So instead of water passing through the coffee capsules and extracting the coffee, it was just going around the capsules, making it an under extracted and diluted cup of coffee.
There are a couple of other interesting things to notice. The coffee that came through on the Opal One machine looks a lot more viscous, probably because it is dissolving a lot more of the coffee during brewing as the Opal One can be set to really high temperatures.
On the other hand, the CitiZ machine cannot be set to any temperature at all. Cath measured it with a thermometer and it’s around 80º to 85º, which is not really hot enough to dissolve the coffee. The end result is a more translucent liquid.
The Opal One came out on top on this challenge. But let’s be honest. Both machines did pretty well considering we’ve put 50 capsules through them (remember these are home capsule machines), but the Opal One really did prove that it can handle a variety of different coffee pod — which is what you want when you are buying different coffee capsules from different speciality coffee roasters.