For many years, enjoying a cup of freshly ground coffee, was a way of enjoying coffee for the few.
This was mainly because of the “ritual” one had to go through in order to get to such a cup.
You had to get a bag of ground coffee (some even chose to work with beans and grind them prior to placing them into the machine), place a paper filter into your percolator, throw some coffee into the machine, some water into the machine’s water reservoir, press the button for the whole process to start and wait a couple of minutes before you are ready to poor coffee into the cup. Of course, after going through the “ritual” you also had to, throw away the used coffee & filter and clean the machine.
Some serious coffee lovers, even went to the extent of purchasing very expensive manual coffee machines (usually with one head – not like the very big ones you get to see in coffee shops) and separately a grinder. Their “ritual” was a bit different – most probably slightly more complicated than the percolator ritual, but this way they could also produce espressos.
In time, compact bean-to-cup machines appeared, making the above rituals much simpler. You still had to deal (sooner or later) with worn out or out of calibration grinding disks, but this never appeared to be a train smash.
Round about the same time, even smaller machines appeared using pods (the tea bag like coffee pod). One could call them the 1st official attempt of single serve coffee machines.
Today, we are experiencing the era of the capsule. Small – extremely affordable, compact & durable single serve coffee capsule machines. The coffee is freshly packed within a capsule (plastic or aluminium) that the user places into the machine. The machine does not need more than a minute to warm up and the whole process involves pressing a button. The extraction of coffee takes form around 16 seconds (espresso) to about a minute (filter).
Some capsule machines come with milk frothing units – again offering frothed milk by a press of a button.
Super market chains around the world and small appliance retailers both confirm that the era of single serve coffee is here and most probably is here to stay. This notion is confirmed by most big coffee processing plants around the world that have already launched or are busy launching their coffee in capsules.