It is an increasingly sophisticated technological combination of coffee machines and a capsules or paper pod coffee portioning system.
What does this system offer? Service and quality. It directly fulfils the demand of consumers, who find the service answers their need for simplicity as well as providing the quality guaranteed by an experienced barista thanks to the careful calibration of both espresso machines and coffee servings, which ensures the product and service delivered by the system do in fact satisfy the end consumer.
The market currently offers open systems and closed system.
Open System. Allows different brands of coffee and machines to be used interchangeably, thanks to a predefined standard. The consumer may choose whichever machine and coffee combination he prefers, since manufacturers abide by a standard that allows the industry to create, plan and operate more interactively with the market. The only open system currently on the market is in fact the standard E.S.E.
Semi-open system. Small associations with few member companies; technically it is an open system, but not registered as such.
Closed system. Also defined as being a proprietary system. It is a system protected by patents both on the machine and the pod. The consumer who chooses it can only use it by purchasing that specific brand and type of coffee. There are numerous examples of companies that launched proprietary systems of their own and control them directly, although their approach to the market may differ.
Pods are made of paper, capsules of aluminium or plastic. Paper pods can further be devided into: compact pods, which deliver traditional espresso and soft pods that yield a beverage more akin to the European filter and coffee culture and which, in Italy, is known as “long”.
Ho.Re.Ca., offices and families. Every company has either focused on a few segments of the market or has tried to establish a presence in all of them.
Another line of demarcation is drawn between espresso and long coffee. Italian consumers can easily tell the difference, but not European consumers in general. Each system to a lesser or greater extent lies on either side of this demarcation line.
Multi-beverage systems make not only coffee, but other beverages as well. Offices have used them for many years, and now they are also available for home use.
Systems that offer greater versatility in terms of making espresso and long coffee. These systems allow consumers to make both versions with the same machine. These markets require large investments, and new products are being launched at an extremely rapid pace.
Numerous new players are trying to gain market shares from different starting positions. A critical factor for everyone’s success lies in offering consumers an integrated system.