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“A good “ristretto” is something I cannot live without”

Coffee capsules can be found in many households nowadays. But how are they made? What do you need to know about them? We spoke to Paolo Battiston, Senior Product Manager at Constantia Flexibles

Constantia Flexibles: Coffee „to go“ and small single portion Espresso machines have been a huge hit in the last couple of years. How do you like your coffee?

Paolo Battiston: The choice of different flavors is incredibly huge. That includes not only coffee, but also tea, milk-based products, cappuccino, chocolate, and so on. Even more so, other types of products are being developed, such as soups and baby-food. Personally, as an Italian, I always drink the strongest and shortest coffee possible - a good “ristretto” is something I cannot live without.  

Constantia Flexibles: Almost all capsules have aluminum lids. Why aluminum?

Paolo Battiston: Aluminum has certain characteristics that make it the material of choice when it comes to coffee capsules – especially the lids. Aluminum, once lacquered, has an excellent sealability, which guarantees tighten during handling. Also, during the extraction in the coffee machine it is properly perforated to guarantee the formation of the right level of foam - the famous “crema”, typical of espresso coffee.

It is also possible to emboss it with any designs – such as the name of the capsule producer or the type of coffee that is inside the capsule. This makes the appearance of the lid very attractive for the consumer. Last but not least, aluminum has an excellent machinability on all the packaging equipment what means that the machine can work with no problem as to unwinding, cutting and sealing.

Constantia Flexibles: Are there other possibilities you offer?

Paolo Battiston: We also offer flexible laminates used for sealing of capsules made of polypropylene, polyethylene and PBT (high tech plastics). These are intended for defined coffee machines. The materials have an excellent sealability, which guarantees a perfect tightening during handling and during the extraction of the coffee. They are also fully printable, if the customers wants that.

We also offer innovative solutions, like the co-extrusion coated aluminum. This material is thinner than many others and includes no glue, which represents an advantage for the environment.
We also offer flexible materials for the wrapping of the coffee capsules. They provide an excellent sealability even on high-speed machines, producing up to 400 packs a minute. They are available in different thickness and are fully printable.

Constantia Flexibles: How do you guarantee the quality?

Paolo Battiston: The production at Constantia Flexibles is fully integrated: we start from raw aluminum, we manufacture it to the desired thickness, and then we lacquer, print, emboss and cut it into the desired width. All the steps are carefully checked to guarantee the quality required by the application.
The same principle is applied in the case of flexible laminates or plastic coated aluminum webs. Once finished, the materials are tested in the Quality Control Laboratory - a minimum of 10 different quality checks are conducted with the product.

Constantia Flexibles: There are many competitors making these capsules – why choose Constantia?

Paolo Battiston: First of all we are in constant contact with the manufacturers of packaging machines and with the producers of capsules. This is important to guarantee a proper system approach. We view ourselves as a pioneer company in the coffee capsules market, as we go way back. The fully-integrated production is an outstanding advantage because we have a perfect control of the webs’ characteristics. Even the lacquers are produced in-house. We help our customers in finding the right solution for their products throughout consultancies, lab testing, quick sampling, and so on.

Last but not least we have special Research & Development centers for lacquered or co-extrusion coated aluminum and film – the latter was just opened in October and is fully equipped with the most modern apparatuses for the analysis of packaging materials.

Every day is devoted to improve and innovate our products and services.

Constantia Flexibles: Paolo please tell us something about your hobbies.

I like the classic music, my favorite composer is Johann Sebastian Bach. I play the organ in the church of the Italian community, in the very center of Wien. After the celebrations I go with my friends for a nice dinner - and a good cup of coffee, of course!