How many times can a coffee capsule be used?

How many times can a coffee capsule be used?

Capsule machine manufacturers make their greatest profit from the sale of the capsules since a coffee maker of any well-known brand can function without problems for many years. The cost of the capsules you eat each year is probably higher than the price of the coffee machine, despite the fact that the cost of the coffee maker can seem excessive. Let’s see How many times can a coffee capsule be used?

Since the price of these capsules ranges between 0.22 euros for brands like Dolce Gusto and 0.60 euros for brands like Nespresso, it is not surprising that many users wonder if they can use the capsules to prepare more than one coffee. How many times can a coffee capsule be used?

But, it is not unreasonable to strive to get the most out of our coffee machines. The most demanding coffee drinkers would tell you that you are crazy just for asking this question. For this reason, we have prepared this guide where we will see how many times a coffee capsule can be used, how it is done, and the pros and cons of doing so.

What kind of coffee do the coffee capsules have inside?

In order to get into the topic of how many uses a coffee capsule can have, we must first get to know the capsules a little better. There are still many users who think that there is instant coffee inside the capsules, but this is wrong since it would be impossible to obtain an “espresso coffee” from instant coffee.

The coffee inside the capsules is ground coffee (usually very fine) which, when hot water is passed through it, produces an espresso coffee. Some brands have latte preparations, but these often use a second capsule that contains powdered milk.

The amount of coffee, the type of roast, the level of grinding, and the mixture vary from brand to brand and depend on each type of drink. Ground coffee of the lungo type has a coarser grind and a more natural roast, while ristretto pods will have a finer grind and a darker roast.

How do the coffee capsules work?

The specifics of how each sort of coffee capsule functions in accordance with the brand would demand its own essay, but for the purpose of setting the stage, I’ll attempt to provide a succinct explanation here.

Although each capsule is unique in shape, they are always perforated at one end, allowing hot water to be fed under pressure while the coffee emerges from the opposing end due to “self-perforation.”

The self-perforation for coffee extraction is always done by the pressure of the internal water against some rough, pointed, or sharp. Injection perforation is sometimes done with a needle, other times with a blade, and other times pre-perforated.

Can the same coffee capsule be used twice?

If we talk about whether the coffee maker will allow us to use a capsule twice in a row, the answer is yes, but the machine head cannot be opened if we use the same capsule. The ideal is to press the coffee preparation button after a few seconds of using the capsule the first time, without touching anything else.

If the head is opened and the capsule is moved, we will drill the hole somewhere other than where we did for the initial coffee brewing. If this occurs, the coffee can spill all over the appliance and our kitchen and come out of the initial perforation instead of the coffee outlet.

Even machines with an intelibrew system, such as Tassimo, do not have any physical drawbacks when it comes to using the same coffee capsule twice.

How many times can a coffee capsule be used?

As we just mentioned, there is no physical restriction on how many times a coffee capsule may be used in a capsule coffee maker. So long as you don’t open the machine head, you may press the brew button as many times as you like with the same capsule.

Why shouldn’t you reuse a coffee capsule?

So, if you can physically use a coffee capsule more than once, why is it not advisable to do so? The answer lies in the quality of coffee that we obtain after the first extraction.

Because it is often vacuum sealed, the ground coffee within a coffee capsule stays fresh for a very long period. But the moment we release the vacuum and pour the coffee, its flavor, fragrance, and freshness will all be gone. What remains inside the capsule is no longer known as ground coffee, but as grounds.

Without body or cream, little flavor, and plenty of acidities, coffee will be produced. Although there is one exception that we will look at below, remember that the longer the water runs through the coffee, the more lipids and acidity are extracted from it.

How to take advantage of a capsule for several coffees

We described how the type of coffee bean and the level of grinding varied from one drink to the next in our essay on the distinctions between ristretto, espresso, and lungo. Even though the lungo has a large volume—up to 150ml depending on the brand—this coffee is flavorful and fresh. The roast is quite natural, and the grind could not be any more coarse.

So, what can be done is make a single preparation and divide the coffee obtained into two cups. A 150ml lungo can be turned into two 75ml lunges without losing flavor. You can do the same with 30 to 40ml espressos since by dividing in 2, you will have two 15 to 20ml espressos.

When the preparation is complete, it is crucial to split the coffee since using the first portion of the extraction in one cup and the second half in another is not the same. Always, the first phase of the extraction has more cream and less acidity than the second phase.

Use of reusable or refillable capsules

There are numerous refillable capsules available for all capsule systems on the market since many manufacturers have previously considered the issue of the high cost of the capsules. Hence, refilling capsules are an option if you want to save money in the long run.

You should be aware that refillable capsules have the potential to harm your coffee maker’s injectors or perforators, which in many cases will force you to use them indefinitely. See how a refillable steel capsule harmed a Lavazza coffee maker’s perforators in the image below

How many times can a coffee capsule be used?

On the other hand, if you use refillable capsules, remember to follow these tips to obtain the best possible coffee at all times:

  • For ristretto coffee: Very finely ground dark roast coffee
  • For espresso coffee: Fine ground coffee and natural roast
  • For lungo coffee: Coarser ground coffee and very light roast

Use of compatible capsules

Using suitable capsules is another choice besides purchasing the pricey genuine ones. These days, they can also be purchased under private labels in stores. The issue with these capsules is that, while occasionally cheaper than the genuine ones, the coffee quality won’t always be the finest.

As for the operation, these compatible capsules do not usually work correctly and the coffee machines do not give many problems. In any case, it is recommended that you try different brands and types until you find the one with the highest quality and lowest price.


If your coffee maker permits it, it is not advised to use the same capsule repeatedly if you want to buy capsule coffee for the least amount of money. To keep all of the flavors while consuming less coffee, it is best to divide the coffee from a capsule into two glasses. If you are not persuaded by this substitute, you can switch to refillable or comparable capsules.

Remember that the metal refillable capsules can damage the perforations of your coffee maker and that the ground coffee you use must be adapted to the drink you want to obtain.  On the other hand, the variety of compatible capsules is so wide that you will have to try many brands and types of capsules until you reach the one that best suits your preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use coffee capsules more than once?

The technical response is “no,” in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Having said that, a lot of people have discovered that a single coffee pod may make coffee in several cup sizes. In other words, if you usually make a cup of coffee from a coffee pod that is on the smaller side, you might be able to make two.

How many times can you use 1 pod?

A single-use coffee pod is only meant for one usage, to reiterate the facts. Reusable coffee pods, on the other hand, may be used indefinitely. Do you wish to get the ideal coffee pod for your device?

How much coffee is in a Nespresso pod?

Around 5–6 grams of coffee are in each Nespresso pod. For one espresso, this is sufficient.

How many times can I reuse a Nespresso capsule?

There is no clear-cut solution, however, the majority of users reuse their Nespresso capsules without any issues. Just make sure to carefully clean the capsule and proceed with caution while placing it into the device.

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