10 mistakes to avoid when using your capsule coffee machine

Capsule coffee machines are undoubtedly the most practical coffee machines on the market, as they are designed to be simple, quick and efficient to use. The user of a capsule coffee machine only has to choose their favourite capsule, place it in the capsule holder and press a button to have their favourite coffee ready.

In addition, these coffee machines require very little cleaning and maintenance, thanks to their simple design and operation. They have nothing to do with traditional espresso machines, where the filter holder had to be cleaned every time the coffee was brewed. Even simple Italian coffee machines or French presses require more maintenance than capsule coffee machines. However, this does not mean that the user can make mistakes.

1- Never leave the capsule inside after preparing coffee

Coffee machines such as Nespresso have a compartment where the capsules are automatically stored each time coffee is brewed. Still, most capsule coffee machines require the user to remove the coffee pod manually. Most users do not do this until it is time to brew a new coffee.

If you leave a capsule in the capsule holder for a whole day, nothing will happen, at least in the short term, as in the long term, the injection needle can become clogged more easily by being in contact with wet coffee continuously. If the capsule spends several days in the capsule holder, the coffee capsule could dry out and swell with the injector inside and cause the machine to get stuck.

We have created this article to solve this problem: My Dolce Gusto coffee maker is stuck. But as with most issues, it is better to prevent them than solve them. So make sure you don’t leave a capsule inside the machine after every coffee brewing.

2- Don’t forget to descale your coffee machine

In our article “which coffee machine to buy”, we have already explained that most users choose capsule coffee machines due to the speed with which they serve coffee and the little cleaning and maintenance they require. However, the fact that they need little cleaning does not mean that they should never be cleaned, as this can lead to irreparable failures.

The main enemy of any coffee machine, especially capsule coffee machines, is limescale build-up on their internal components. Limescale is deposited little by little in all the elements that carry water, affecting the taste of the coffee and the operation of the coffee machine itself. If any pipes become too clogged, the water will not circulate properly, producing colder coffees with less water.

Many coffee machines have warning lights that appear when the machine requires descaling, usually an orange or yellow light. But if you want to know more about this issue, visit our article: How to descale your capsule coffee machine? Here are three of the best descalers on the market:

3- Remember to clean the water tank

After the coffee capsule, water is the most important element in preparing your coffee drinks. The water tank is one of the most important elements of a capsule coffee machine. Frequent cleaning of the water tank is essential to obtain the highest possible quality coffees.

Imagine that your coffee machine has a 1-litre water tank, and you fill it, but you only drink one or two espressos a day. This tank would take 7 to 10 days to empty, which would mean that you would be brewing coffee with stagnant water in the tank for too long the last few days.

Therefore, you should always refill the water tank with enough water for two days. If there is water left over after two days, it is advisable to throw that water away and refill it with fresh, clean water. It is also advisable to clean the inside with soap and water every week to prevent limescale and sediment build-up.

4- Do not use milk in the water tank

If you like cappuccinos or lattes, you have many options for preparing them: for example, you can buy coffee machines with an extra milk tank, or you can also buy a coffee machine such as Dolce Gusto or Tassimo, which have coffee capsules with milk or chocolate. But you should never use milk in the water tank.

Water and milk have different properties, with different densities and boiling temperatures. In addition, milk contains fats and sugars that can clog the pump or the heating element. On the other hand, the capsules are designed so that it is the water that extracts the drink and not the milk because the result would be very bad tasting.

If you want to try making coffee with milk, we recommend using a drip cone or French press instead of adding the coffee to the water tank. In this video, we learn how to brew coffee with milk:

5- Building capsules on your own is a mistake

Believe it or not, many users build their capsules. If you don’t believe me, look at Youtube and see the number of videos of people doing it.

The most surprising thing is that this happens even though compatible and refillable capsules are available for most brands. These homemade capsules can cause overheating of the capsule holders and their seals, injectors, etc. Be aware that this practice can even be dangerous.

6- Always use the right capsules

We often know that we will save money by using compatible capsules with our coffee machine. Still, the machine fails in many cases because the manufacturing materials are not suitable, even if they are “compatible capsules”.

When compatible coffee capsules do not work properly, it is more difficult for the nozzle to pierce, and it can break. Of course, if your coffee machine were under warranty, using compatible coffee capsules would have voided the warranty.

7- Never reuse a used capsule

I understand why some people consider reusing coffee capsules; you paid almost 50 cents for an original Nespresso espresso capsule, and you barely get 25ml of coffee. Why not prepare another espresso with the same capsule?

First of all, the capsule will already have been punctured, and therefore no one can be sure that the machine will work. But secondly, if it does work, the water that passes through the ground coffee inside the capsule will hardly get any flavour or aroma out; maybe, it will get a lot of fat and acidity.

Read here a full post about this topic: How many times can a coffee capsule be used?

8- Correct recycling of coffee capsules

Taking care of the environment is fundamental in any daily activity. When using our capsule coffee makers, we also have to consider whether we contaminate the environment or not. Undoubtedly, capsule coffee makers are the type of coffee makers that pollute the most, and they do so through the construction materials of the coffee capsules.

The proliferation of single-use coffee capsules has been exponential in recent years, all due to the convenience of their use. However, such an increase has brought great concern regarding the environment. In many cases, these capsules are composed of different materials that are difficult to separate at home for proper recycling.

Although many brands have coffee capsule collection programs, not all users use them and try to recycle them at home. We encourage you to recycle because a small individual effort makes a big global difference.

9- Don’t give a capsule coffee maker as a gift without asking

A capsule coffee maker is a magnificent and elegant gift that will delight the recipient. However, once the gift has been given and the date of the celebration has passed: the coffee maker must be fed with capsules. And this will not be paid for by the giver but by the gift recipient.

In the long run, the capsules are much more important than the machine itself, so before buying a coffee machine, it is necessary to be very sure of the person’s tastes to whom we are going to give it as a gift. And if you are sure about it, go ahead with your present and don’t forget to consult our list of the best capsule coffee makers to give as a gift.

10- Don’t buy a capsule coffee maker without being well informed first

Do you know the difference between a manual and an automatic coffee machine? Do you know what happens if you do not decalcify your machine? Do you know how much each capsule of each brand costs, especially how many coffee capsules you need to prepare each drink? Do you know that you can find many new coffee machines at lower prices than in official stores on Amazon? The answer to all these questions is the same: Coffeemaker.top.