Big Cup Little Cup: An alternative to Nespresso pods

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a company called Big Cup Little Cup. They’d seen my review of the Nespresso machine I use at work, and wondered if I’d be interested in trying some free samples of their Nespresso-compatible capsules and maybe writing something about them. Well,  I had a quick look at their website, and it looked like they’re doing something interesting, so I agreed.

A few days later, a parcel arrived at the office. Inside were two packs of their coffee – one a blend designed for espresso, the other for longer coffees. First impressions were good – clearly labelled boxes with more detail about the coffee:

The box

The box

Camera: iPhone 5s
Aperture: ƒ/2.2
Shutter speed: 1/30s
Focal length: 4.12mm
ISO: 100
Taken: 27 November, 2013
Location: 54° 58.2698′ 0″ N 1° 36.6515′ 0″ W

If you’re at all familiar with the Nespresso system, you’ll know that the “official” pods also come on packs of ten, but the box is a long thin one. There’s a reason why the Big Cup Little Cup box is a different shape. Let’s look inside:

Inside the box

Inside the box

Camera: iPhone 5s
Aperture: ƒ/2.2
Shutter speed: 1/30s
Focal length: 4.12mm
ISO: 100
Taken: 27 November, 2013
Location: 54° 58.2698′ 0″ N 1° 36.6515′ 0″ W

Yes, each pod is individually wrapped. Let’s take a closer look:

Not a fortune cookie

Not a fortune cookie

Camera: iPhone 5s
Aperture: ƒ/2.2
Shutter speed: 1/30s
Focal length: 4.12mm
ISO: 80
Taken: 27 November, 2013
Location: 54° 58.2698′ 0″ N 1° 36.6515′ 0″ W

The pods are properly sealed to keep the coffee fresh. The Nestlé pods avoid having to do this by being fully sealed, but the Big Cup Little Cup pods are different (I suspect this is partly to avoid patent issues, and indeed nasty attacks of lawyers in general). What you get is a translucent plastic[1] pod with a film cover. This means you can see the actual ground coffee in the pod, which I rather like. It also means you can smell the real ground coffee, which I like even more.

Real coffee

Real coffee

Camera: iPhone 5s
Aperture: ƒ/2.2
Shutter speed: 1/30s
Focal length: 4.12mm
ISO: 125
Taken: 27 November, 2013
Location: 54° 58.2698′ 0″ N 1° 36.6515′ 0″ W

Pods fit into the machine in the usual way. As they mentioned on the website, it does take a little more force to bring the lever down on my machine, which is due to the different design of the pod. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s worth knowing in advance to prevent alarm and despondency and other such things.

And the result? Well, I have to say I’m impressed. I’ve used about half of the pods, and I’ve enjoyed the results. While not as good as I get from fresh coffee beans and a moderately good bean to cup machine at home, I do think it’s better than you’d normally expect from a pod system. The coffee blends that I’ve sampled so far get it right – espresso that’s nicely strong without excessive bitterness. I’ve just ordered a selection of pods, and I’ll more than likely be making them my regular supplier.

There’s a decent range of blends on offer, with various package deals available. At the moment, there’s a free delivery offer, and they’re sufficiently confident of their quality to offer a money back satisfaction guarantee, so if you’ve got a Nespresso machine, it’s well worth giving them a try.

Oh, and did I mention that their pods are actually cheaper than the ones you’re used to buying? Can’t say fairer than that.

And, one more thing. If you’d like to give them a try, and you place your order before 27 December, you can have a 15% discount if you use this code:

LES2711

Order here: Big Cup Little Cup

[1] This is recyclable wherever you can normally recycle plastics

One thought on “Big Cup Little Cup: An alternative to Nespresso pods

  1. C Selby

    Great review! I tried BCLC pods for the first time over the Christmas period and I have to say they are fantastic! I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between Nespresso and BCLC. The only thing that I found a bit frustrating was that I couldn’t put them in my metal “pod holder” due to the foil wrapping, but then as you say the smell when you open the wrapper is incredible… and ultimately fresh, tasty coffee is all I am after.

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