Capsules vs. Dripbags: A Battle for Single-Serve Supremacy

Do you ever wake up to one of those mornings where you just want to skip the ritual and have your coffee fix right away? We feel you.

While brewing at home is becoming more common nowadays, those lazy mornings may call for something a little simpler, and that’s where single-serve brewing comes in. This process takes a lot of the work out of your brewing ritual, but it still provides a great cup to start the day with.

In the world of single-serve coffee, the two most popular options available today are coffee capsules and drip coffee bags.

Coffee capsules have found themselves in the homes of millions worldwide thanks to widespread selections and availability, aggressive machine pricing, and the emergence of Nespresso-compatible capsules made by various coffee companies and roasters.

The drip coffee bag, invented in coffee-obsessed Japan, was made to make filter coffee much more accessible. By having the pre-ground coffee contained in the drip bag, the bare minimum a coffee drinker would need is hot water, ready to pour into the coffee. The bag itself does its job by also serving as the coffee filter. If you wanted to follow the recommended brewing instructions on the drip coffee bag packet, you would most likely need a scale and a gooseneck kettle (with a thermometer) to make the most out of the drip coffee bag.

The coffee capsule, on the other hand, simply requires you to put the capsule in the machine, press the button, and voilà! You have coffee.

In terms of how the coffee is made, they serve vastly different cups.

While a coffee capsule can be made to brew an espresso up to a long black, a drip coffee bag is made for filter coffee. Prep time may be slightly quicker with the coffee capsule since all you need to ensure is that your machine is plugged in, and that it has water in it.

The drip coffee bag, on the other hand, may require you to set up some additional brewing equipment. However, when travelling, a drip coffee bag is much friendlier since you’ll be guaranteed to, at the very least, find a source of hot water. You can’t always guarantee the availability of a coffee capsule machine during your travels, unless you bring your own, of course.

With varied preferences across the coffee drinking spectrum, having these two unique single-serve coffee options is great. What coffee drinkers ultimately want is a satisfying cup of coffee, and whether that is achieved through single-serve methods or through your own coffee brewing ritual, what matters is to simply enjoy the cause and effects of making your own cup of coffee.

Words by Ryan Uy @thenameisrye

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