I failed to update the blog with the coffees I’ve tried since the last post on this topic. I’ll only tell you what I settled for: Carracci.
Despite the fact that they don’t ship to Germany (they ship to 30 Europeans countries and territories, except for Germany!), I can find them on and off at Tk Maxx (but again, it’s a hit and miss, so I can’t always drink Carracci). The Nespresso-compatible capsules exist in five varieties:
- Palermo, strength 12 (20% Arabica, 80% Robusta)
- Napoli, strength 10 (30% Arabica, 70% Robusta)
- Milano, strength 8 (100% Arabica)
- Bologna, strength 8 (45% Arabica, 55% Robusta)
- Decaffeinato (no details given)
To my surprise, I very much prefer Napoli, despite the Robusta-favoring blend (despite all the legends, 70% Robusta with 30% Arabica is the typical strong Italian blend; the milder one is 70% Arabica with 30% Robusta, and 100% Arabica usually can’t be too strong); second-best is Milano, obviously. Maybe my preference is due to the fact that most of the time I don’t drink them at 40 ml, but longer, at about 70 ml.
For a less favorable surprise, it looks like they have discontinued the boxed capsules which used a softer plastic and an aluminum back…
…to use cheaper, hard plastic capsules in larger bags:
The capsules are still color coded, no matter what the pictures show. For the curious, the profile for each variety.
Frankly speaking, Napoli and Milano are all I can find at Tk Maxx…
UPDATE (March 19): My new number one coffee is Cellini Caffè Pure Origini Guatemala (strength 10), which I happened to find at Galeria Kaufhof. It’s much better than the other Cellini flavors, which generally don’t live up to the price.
LATE EDIT: I just realized that in neither of my coffee-related posts were Gran Caffè Garibaldi’s Nespresso-compatible capsules ever mentioned. What I like from them is Gusto Dolce (strength 9/10), and this came rather as a surprise. The (bad) surprise was actually that the 100% Arabica sorts (Selezione 1860 and Grand Cru, both strength 7/10) are actually too acidic for my taste, with Gusto Oro (8/10) being acceptable. I could only get the four flavors packaged Nespresso-style (in long bars) and rated “x/10”; the four flavors rated “x/5” and packaged with capsules in 2 lines were unavailable to me, and they seem to have been created to match Garibaldi’s mother company, Gimoka, own’s capsules (which are rather mediocre).
As a side note, I’m amazed by how stupid are most of the people who encounter problems with Nespresso-compatible capsules in their machines. Whoever experiences “a scant amount of coffee before the machine gives up” should fucking stop just inserting the capsules and waiting for a miracle to happen; instead, they should carefully punch the capsules before the insertion. Sometimes, I wonder how are all those 7+ billion people managing to survive, given their negative I.Q.
Updated with my new fav.
I just found at REWE a new Capsa flavor, just released in March: Lungo Selektion Brasilien, strength 5/12. While on the weak side, it’s one of the best Brazilian blends ever in a Nespresso-compatible capsules, and it’s 100% Arabica (Cerrado, Campo Altos), which is quite an achievement, given how mild Brazilian Arabica is.
OK, I mentioned
I’ve been rather disappointed by Gimoka’s Lungo (strength 5, roasting 2), Vellutato 100% arabica (strength 6, roasting 3), Cremoso (strength 7, roasting 3), and Deciso (strength 10, roasting 5), but the last blend I’ve tried from them is rather good: Intenso (strength 9, roasting 4)!
Gimoka Intenso and Deciso are also available as 30-caps. Family Packs (4.99 € at Tk Maxx, when and where available).
They have not discontinued the boxed capsules at Carracci, quite the contrary. But once I tried this new style of capsules made of softer plastic and aluminium back, I noticed that sometimes the back isn’t properly perforated by my Inissia.
Old style vs new style:
I suggest punching the new capsules in their back prior to use*:
Now, I also grabbed some ATTIBASSI capsules, which are made by the same company. As a matter of fact, their “Intenso: Forte e Deciso” variety is identical to Carracci Napoli (although the taste seems to be slightly different):
Maybe the ATTIBASSI brand is made from a different coffee though. For instance, they have the “Aroma: Intenso e Cremoso” variety, strength 9, which doesn’t have a Carracci exact equivalent, but I quite like it. To add insult to injury, this variety got packed in an almost cubical box (in which the capsules are contained in a hermetically closed bag) and it’s using the hard plastic capsules. Not bad, but slightly worse than Carracci, whereas they’re priced the other way round by Tk Maxx: 1.99 € for Carracci, 2.29 € for Attibassi.
*Not all the capsules need to be punched, but only those that are not pressurized enough. From my latest purchases, this was the case with Carracci Napoli (prod. date 23/11/2018), but not with Carracci Milano (prod. date 19/12/2018) and Attibassi Intenso (prod. date 11/04/2019), which were properly pressurized, so the machine could break the rear foil while pushing.
I’ve solved “The Carracci Mystery”: the full range of coffee brands owned by Co.ind Trading srl, Castel Maggiore (Bologna) that offer Nespresso-compatible capsules:
■ Caffè Carracci
■ Caffè Leoni (technically owned by Caffè Premium S.r.l., San Lazzaro di Savena (Bologna), but apparently part of the Co.ind group)
All four brands are listed on Capsule House (en).