February 3, 2014 by Beans Ahoy
Over the next couple of days we will be bringing you a series of articles on the capsule brand, Gourmesso.
Nespresso has been around for decades now. So long in fact that the patent on the capsules has run out. As a result we have seen new players on the capsule market able to produce capsules for the Nespresso machines. Some have been a success, some haven’t. The appeal of Nespresso and the reason why it often features on this website is because in many ways it has brought better coffee to peoples homes in a significant way for the last decade. Before Nespresso if someone wanted an espresso they would have had to buy supermarket coffee (often Lavazza), have the problems of a messy coffee machine and were limited to only what ground coffee they could find.
The whole process for anyone other than those in the coffee industry or the most ardent of coffee drinkers meant that most didn’t really have a choice. No, Nespresso is not specialty coffee. They have over the years released exceptional coffee some of which could arguably reach ‘specialty status’ (Kona special reserve springs to mind), but they don’t generally produce ultra top end coffee. Nonetheless, their coffee is a step up from anything available in supermarkets and it brought choice (and a lifestyle, more on this later) to home coffee drinkers.
Fast forward to present day and we have an increasing choice as to where we buy our coffee capsules. I should declare here and now that I don’t think Gourmesso competes with Nespresso, at least not directly. Nespresso has quite literally spent hundreds of millions marketing their ‘brand’ and creating that lifestyle I referred to. Everything from their slick dressed attendants at their limestone and walnut clad stores to their shiny coloured aluminium capsules they have a heavy focus on their presentation, design and marketing. I don’t believe however that Gourmesso necessarily wants to compete with Nespresso. The most notable reason for this is the price. Gourmesso advertises as being 30% cheaper than Nespresso with individual capsule cost starting at just £0.21 and offers coffee mainly on the basis of intensity rather than origin with almost all of their coffee being blends.
Now, I have written on the dangers of blends before on this blog but will keep an open mind as to the quality of these blends. After all, some blends can be very good. So when assessing this coffee I think that the focus is on other Nespresso compatible brands and how Gourmesso stands up against those. Of course here in the UK one of the main compatible brands is Dualit NX. Readily available in most UK supermarkets Dualit has pushed to become the leading supplier of coffee capsules after Nespresso. It is with these types of brands that I think Gourmesso competes, which is no bad thing. With individuals and companies turning to other sources to stock their coffee cupboards, the compatible capsule market is growing rapidly.
Does Gourmesso have what it takes to take the fight to the competition? Stay tuned to find out.