From Green Beans to Filled Capsules – A Guide to Coffee Capsules Production Process

From Green Beans to Filled Capsules

There are three major phases in the coffee capsule production process. The first phase involves processing the coffee beans. The second phase involves the production of coffee capsules and the packing of processed coffee in the capsules. The final step is distribution.

In this guide, we delve deeper into every stage and learn more about what goes into preparing a single coffee capsule. We get to understand how coffee is processed, how roasters make coffee capsules, and, eventually, how the distribution of coffee is achieved.

Coffee capsule production is intricate, but each step employs thousands of people worldwide.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in.

Sourcing and processing green beans

Sourcing is the most important process of coffee capsule production. Without high-quality coffee beans, nothing else really matters. You could have beautiful coffee capsules and packaging, but you must have good quality coffee to succeed.

Sourcing green beans

To grow the best coffee, you need a tropical climate where the temperature averages about 64oF or higher throughout the year (tropical climate). Rainfall should also be distributed to ensure the rich red soil consistently has sufficient moisture.

These climate conditions are ideally found around the equator. It explains why some of the best coffee in the world comes from regions around the equator, which include:

  • Ethiopia
  • Brazil
  • Uganda
  • Colombia
  • Indonesia

There are, of course, more coffee-producing countries in the world. Consider your client’s preference before settling on a single source.

Preparing and storing the cherries

After harvesting coffee beans, the processing starts right away. The first step is separating the pulp and skin from the bean (seed of the cherry) and removing the mucilage. Then the coffee beans are dried to about 11% moisture. Removing moisture from the beans ensures they don’t go bad in storage.

After they are dried, the beans are then sorted and graded. Through this process, only the finest quality, flawless beans are selected and packaged for transport to different destinations. If you make an order, the processing company packages and ships your beans at this stage.

The roasting process of the green beans

Until the beans are exported from the source country, the buyer (you) has no control over how the coffee turns out. But this changes in the roasting stage. Since customers should get freshly brewed coffee, you roast the beans in the country where the consumers are.

To roast coffee beans, you need a coffee roasting machine. Roasting begins by dumping your coffee beans in a loader which loads the beans into a rotating coffee drum. Before the process begins, it is essential to pre-heat the drum to about 2400F.

The coffee beans roast for about 12-15 minutes before being cooled in a cooling tray on the machine. After roasting, passing the beans through a filtering machine that removes any foreign objects like rocks is essential to retain the purity of the beans.

The coffee is ready for packing and distribution at this stage, but there is another important step.

Grinding the roasted beans

Extracting the oils and flavors from the roasted beans requires hot water to contact as much surface area on the bean as possible. The grinding process enables this by reducing coffee beans into small particles.

The size of particles, also known as coarseness, depends on preference. Basically, the finer the particles are, the tastier a cup of coffee is likely to be. However, the period coffee grounds are in contact with hot water also affects the final flavor.

For capsule coffee, finer grounds are necessary because they are in contact with hot water for a shorter period.

Capsule production and coffee packaging

Not everyone has access to roasting, grinding, and packing infrastructure. The upfront investment required to set these up is colossal, especially for small private label coffee businesses.

To get around this hurdle, private label coffee companies find a suitable roaster – a business that specializes in roasting, grinding, and packing coffee. Roasters take instructions from private label coffee business owners and deliver coffee that meets expectations.

Upon request, roasters can source the capsules for private label companies. They understand that coffee freshness must be preserved until it reaches the consumer. To achieve pro-longed freshness, they:

  • Apply special sealing techniques to the coffee capsules.
  • Choose unbreathable materials to prevent oxygen from leaking into the capsules.
  • Select durable materials to make the capsules.

When it comes to preserving coffee freshness, no material does this better than aluminum. It has the best barrier properties of any material. But not all private label brands use aluminum. Each roaster has his own reasons for choosing the material.

After choosing the right material for you, it is important to find the best capsule manufacturer for your needs. The process of making a capsule begins, depends on the material. The production can include cutting, injection, forming, assembling and more.

The next step is testing the produced sample to ensure the machine assembled all the parts correctly to prevent air leaks. If this step is successful, thorough sterilization of the container takes place.

Sterilization removes or neutralizes unsafe substances on the surface to prevent food poisoning. Blowing the capsules with an air gun to remove solid particles from the surface also takes place.

Now, the capsules are ready to fill at this stage, and the coffee beans are ground to the required grind size. A machine known as an auger filler fills the capsules with specific quantities of coffee.

After this, each capsule is cleaned and properly sealed to retain coffee freshness.

Capsules can be submerged in water to check for the oxygen transmission rate (OTR) – the rate at which air escapes from the pod. Lower OTR means that the seal has been installed correctly.

Roasters package the coffee capsules in different types of boxes and ship them to the client.


Distribution ensures the coffee capsules reach the consumer. Private label companies have various methods of reaching their consumers. Some own brick-and-mortar stores, others sell through superstores, and some use the Internet.

Those who sell online create a brand with a website and social media pages that help them reach and connect with customers on most platforms. When the capsule reaches the consumer, it is ready to use.


So, there you have it. There is more that goes into each stage of the production process, but now you have an idea of what goes on behind the scenes. We hope that you now know that you can control more parameters that determine the end product you sell your customers.

A small change to any stage of the production process can drastically change your bottom line.

All the best!


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