Nespresso are now starting to attract attention from some of the world’s largest coffee brands – and Starbucks® has entered the ring with new Starbucks® Nespresso compatible capsules.
Duncan Moir, who is the EMEA vice-president for channel development, says “Our customers value convenience and expect excellent coffee wherever they are. The single-serve coffee capsule market is growing fast, and by launching these new espresso capsules we have a great opportunity to bring the Starbucks® quality coffee experience to even more consumers right where they want it, at home.”
There is no information about the level of collaboration between Starbucks® and Nespresso, as some third party manufacturers in the past have reported compatibility issues when Nespresso produced new machines. We can only assume that some collaboration has taken place, given the size of these companies and the production capacity they both have.
Starbucks® have launched four distinct types of Nespresso compatible capsule. In their marketing they avoid the use of the Nespresso name as other brands can also take the ‘K-Cup’ type capsules. Instead, they refer to these simply as Starbucks® Espresso capsules, or Starbucks® Espresso pods.
Let’s take a look at the four types of coffee capsules that Starbucks® have launched in more detail: the Fairtrade Espresso Roast capsule, Guatemala Antigua Espresso capsule, Kenya Espresso capsule and Colombia Espresso capsule.
Starbuck’s® signature espresso roast comes home with you in a capsule that can be described as their ‘baseline’ offering as they venture into coffee capsules and coffee pods.
The Fairtrade Espresso Roast capsule is a rich blend with a hint of caramel, which is the same house roast that Starbucks® use in their coffee as standard. To quote Starbucks®, “a recipe for caramelly sweetness so right it’s never been changed.”
The Starbucks® Guatemala Antigua espresso capsule is a medium roast single origin coffee.
It’s farmed from the Antigua Valley in Guatemala where farmers take pride in traditional cultivation methods. It is more complex in flavour compared to the standard Fairtrade Espresso Roast, with flavours including lemon, chocolate and soft spice.
Starbuck’s® Kenya Espresso capsule is a single-origin capsule that is much brighter in flavour than the rest of the range.
There is a lot of acidity that can be tasted in this coffee, with more pronounced citrus flavours and wine-like notes that make it taste distinctly different. Notes of grapefruit and blackcurrant in particular can be spotted, and these get more pronounced as the coffee cools as well.
The Starbucks® Colombia Espresso capsule is a pretty traditional single origin Colombian coffee, but that doesn’t detract from the signature flavour you get.
The farms that produce these coffee beans are at high altitude in the Latin American countryside. The result is a very round body with still a decent amount of juicy taste – but where you can tell it’s different is the nutty finish which is the signature taste of this particular coffee. This is a medium roast with rich undertones and a walnut-like finish.
Starbucks® espresso capsules work with all normal Nespresso machines that you would buy for home use. The only machines that Starbucks® Espresso Capsules do not work with, are built-in units such as those in a Miele integrated unit or a business solution Nespresso machine. For 99% of us, it should be no problem at all.
Please also note that Starbucks® manufacture their own brand of capsule coffee machine called Verismo. These have different and unique pod styles and don’t take the ‘standard’ K-cup sizes seen here, so these will not be compatible.
Check out our reviews of Nespresso coffee machines and take a look at what might be the right one for you, if you are looking to buy one to use these coffee capsules.
You can buy these Starbucks® coffee capsules from participating Starbucks® stores, where they are rolling out the product range throughout the first half of 2017. You can also buy variety packs of these coffees online through the links below. We hope you’ve enjoyed this review of all four types of Starbucks® Nespresso compatible capsules!