It has taken us 18 months to develop an espresso capsule that lives up to our promise of Iconic Flavour. We caught up with Zach, our Australian Head Roaster, to find out how we did it. You just put the coffee in a tiny metal cup right? How hard can it be?
Allpress: Hi Zach, so these things are tasting quite delicious. Can you tell us a little bit about how we got there?
Zach: We didn’t feel like most pods met our expectations when it came to flavour so we took the time to challenge the status quo and really worked on getting a product we felt stood up to the expectations of Allpress coffee. The easy route would have been to just roast really dark like most other pods but the things we love about our coffee - like sweetness and complex flavours - were getting lost and it just didn’t feel like it stood up to our customers' expectations when it comes to Allpress coffee.
Allpress: What was the breakthrough in terms of flavour?
Zach: At the beginning, we were thinking strength was the important thing but as we worked through the R&D it became apparent this wasn’t the right thing to push as you were always compromising on flavour - we didn’t want to just replicate the products that already existed on the supermarket shelf - we wanted to capture that iconic, Allpress flavour.
This meant going back to the basics and thinking about stuff like balancing the soluble and insoluble flavouring material. Solubles are the compounds that help produce crema and aroma vs insoluble which are made up of fragments of the coffee cells walls and will impact mouthfeel and taste).
Allpress: You lost me there.
Zach: Essentially it's Allpress Espresso Blend adjusted to work best as a pod. We had to think about the roast profile, the mix of origins in the capsule and then finding the correct grind size that allowed the right amount of water contact giving us the most balance to our cup. Eventually, we got to a point where every time we tried a pod you would no longer go in with that reserved cringe where you expect it to be bitter and woody. Suddenly we could trust the brew would be sweet and full of those great caramel tones you expect from Allpress Espresso.
Allpress: What was the thinking behind a new roast profile?
Zach: We are dealing with a much smaller volume of coffee than we would use in a cafe espresso so we had to try and extract as many solids as possible. The actual roast profile is done in a way that works with the idea of increasing solubility with less water contact but that is as much as I’m willing to share.
Allpress: Trade secrets, got it. So have you single-handedly killed the cafe?
Zach: Haha, not at all. In all ways, this will taste how we all know Allpress Espresso Blend tastes. It’s that same classic flavour but in its own way, it's not trying to be a café espresso or a filter, this is Allpress Espresso Blend through a capsule and the concept is quite different.