- Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
“La Semeuse” capsules offer Nespresso®* clients a flavourful alternative whose allure stems from the excellent quality of the coffee. “La Semeuse” capsules are protected against oxidation and therefore do not need to be individually packaged. This feature ensures an irreproachable freshness lasting several months.
Roasting and packaging takes place in Switzerland. Our coffee is carefully selected and roasted at 1000m altitude in La Chaux-de-Fonds, following the artisanal expertise we have cultivated over more than a century.
Please consult our compatibility list : Compatibilité avec votre machine
“La Semeuse” capsules are made of an innovative and extremely flexible material. They are compatible with all current Nespresso®* coffee machines, even those of the most recent line. The odds of your machine being damaged are therefore negligible.
No, “La Semeuse” capsules are only compatible with the Nespresso®* system.
No, the machine’s manufacturer cannot void your warranty or refuse warranty services for having used “La Semeuse” capsules.
We are sorry to hear that you are experiencing problems with your machine. Please contact us by phone (see “Contact” page) so we can help resolve the problem. The cause of your machine’s specific problem could be one of many. Our technical studies have however shown that, when used properly, “La Semeuse” capsules do not cause damage to the machines.
After having prepared several “La Semeuse” coffees, your machine may display a flashing light. This is because the machine needs to cool down before continuing in order to prevent the next coffee from being burnt. It by no means indicates a defect with the machine.
To prepare the perfect espresso, an extraction time of 15 to 30 seconds for a 40mL serving is to be expected. Coffee being a natural product, preparation time can vary. We recommend a regular descaling of your machine. Are you finding that these extraction problems arise immediately after preparing a cup of “La Semeuse” coffee? Please check if the filter is obstructed by residue and clean it if necessary. Make sure to turn off your machine before removing any residue.
10 - The lever can only be lowered with force or does not lower completely. Will this damage my machine ?
No. Your machine can be used as usual. Constituted of a flexible material, the capsules will always yield to pressure, and the machine will therefore remain undamaged. Throughout our testing with Nespresso®* machines, not a single case of damage was reported in connection with the use of “La Semeuse” capsules.
You can either apply a bit of pressure to the lodged capsule with the tip of your finger or move the lever back and forth until it is released. As a rule, we would encourage you to eject the capsule immediately after each coffee is prepared.
The capsules are made up of 90% plastic and can be thrown away with the household waste.
To achieve the optimal flavour, the coffee is finely ground. These very fine coffee particles form a sort of filter to obstruct other coffee beans. However, it is possible for the particles to pass through the machine’s filter and into your coffee. As coffee is a natural product, this will not affect your health. You can simply rinse the machine to remove any remaining particles.
Should you have further questions, please contact us by phone. Details can be found on our “Contact” page.
Single portions have a diameter of 44mm. This is the internationally compatible E.S.E (Easy Serving Espresso) size which is only compatible with machines with an adapted filter holder, such as Pinocchio, Minipods, Piccola and Lolita.
These portions are 100% biodegradable. Minigrip portions are soft with a diameter of 55mm and compatible with every espresso machine (universal) that works with ground coffee. These portions fit Senseo® machines perfectly.
They are swollen because once the air has been removed, we inject them with nitrogen to protect the portions from oxidation. Without this step, the portions would be compressed by the lack of air.
3 - For filtered coffee, how many grams do I need to make 1 litre? How much do I need for an espresso ?
In general, we suggest 60g of coffee per litre and 7g for an espresso. Adding more will result in a stronger flavour but a weaker coffee overall.
4 - What is the ``button`` on the bag of coffee beans for? Why isn't it on the ground coffee cartons ?
This little button is a unidirectional valve which allows the CO2 produced by roasted coffee (6 litres per kg coffee) to escape the bags without letting oxygen in. In the case of ground coffee, the nitrogen is extracted before it is packaged.
Mixtures No. 7 and No. 8. They are composed of 70 to 80% coffee while chicory coffee makes up the rest. Chicory is a plant whose roots are roasted like coffee.
Coffee can be stored in a silo for no longer than 12 hours. Gas is extracted from ground coffee in a silo in 4 to 8 hours. Coffee is packaged late because of gas extraction.
Approximately 2.5% in Robusta and 1.2% in Arabica.
In accordance with the Air Act, we are obligated to burn the smoke produced during roasting and thus release clean fumes back into the air.
9 - Is there a notable difference in taste between Mocca beans and ground Mocca? Is it the same coffee ?
Yes, it is the same coffee. However, freshly ground coffee will always yield better results than pre-ground coffee, even if it is vacuum-sealed
Coffee in an unopened bag (not including the little holes) that has been stored in normal conditions is safe for the consumer, since there is no risk of oxidation. However, over time, the aromas lose their subtlety and occasionally the glyceride can go rancid and produce an odd smell.
11 - What are the major elements in our roasting and packaging techniques that bring about such a difference in quality ?
The factors that distinguish La Semeuse from other roasters include: The choice of mixtures, which follow exclusive La Semeuse recipes The unique roasting technique: slow, with a specific coffee roasting profile The concentration of aromas The cooling process, achieved without adding water The altitude at which our coffee is roasted, 1000 metres above sea level
The grind of our coffees is controlled according to two parameters: Sieves allow us to determine the number of grams by thickness (5 sieves ranging from 1 to 0.125 micrometres) and to know if we are within range. We run many tests on various coffee machines according to grinding type and consumer usage. For further precision, we use a laser granulometre.
Finland 12 kg per inhabitant/year
Switzerland 9 kg
Sweden 8 kg
Denmark 8 kg
Germany 7 kg
Italy 6 kg
France 6 kg
America 5 kg
White froth indicates under-extraction, which can be caused by: The coffee being too coarsely ground Not enough coffee Insufficient pressure The water being too cool Dark brown froth indicates over-extraction, due to: The coffee being too finely ground Too much coffee Too much pressure The water being too hot
The coffee grounds could be too coarse, or you may not be using enough coffee. Alternatively, the temperature of the machine could be inadequate or the coffee may not be sufficiently tampered.
Between 85 to 90°. If the water is too hot, the pressure too great, or the extraction period too long (over-extracted) the froth on the coffee will be dark brown. If the water is too cool, the pressure too low, or the grind too coarse, the froth will be a pale white/yellow colour (under-extracted).
From inside out:
Polythene - for heat sealing Aluminium - for a protective barrier (to avoid oxidisation and light-damage) Polyester - for the brightness of the bag
We work with a business in the Val-de-Travers that collaborates with India to produce high-quality coffee.
The coffee is first roasted and ground. Then it is filtered, concentrated and freeze-dried. This process is used to preserve the coffee's aroma.
Chicory is a plant whose root can be roasted. It is used to make coffee blends for milk coffee in order to lower the caffein content.
La Semeuse has 4 coffee roasting machines:
1. one electric roasting machine for samples, capacity of 100 to 300g.
2. one shop roasting maching, capacity 3 to 10kg.
3. one roasting machine with a capacity of 40 to 120kg.
4. one roasting machine with a capacity of 100 to 250kg.
At La Semeuse, the green bean looses about 20% of its weight during roasting. This loss is high compared to other roasters because La Semeuse cools the coffee without adding water (legislation allows roasted coffee to contain up to 5% water).
Green coffee is the name used for coffee before it is roasted. It has nothing to do with being organic or carrying a "green" label.
In the pure mountain air of the Swiss Jura.
Roasting is a natural process that triggers important physio-chemical changes in the beans: loss of weight (20%), change in colour (caramelisation of the sugars), increase in volume and brittleness of the roasted beans. Chemical changes include:
Reduction of water content from 10% to 1% Increase in fatty substances from 12% to 16% Reduction in sugars from 10% to 2% Reduction in chloric acids from 7.4% to 4.5% Increase in trigonelline from 12% to 14%
New substances produced during the roasting process represent 30% of the weight if the bean (caramel, carbon anhydride and 7000 volatile aromas).
Out of a total of 125 million bags: 60 million (48%) come from South America 15 million (12%) from Africa 18 million (14.4%) from Central America 32 million (25.6%) from Asia Switzerland imports 98'000 tons of green coffee, this means 1.6 million bags of 60 kg.
Robusta gets its name from the very ROBUST coffee plants it is made from, grown between sea level and 800m (40% of world production). This coffee has a strong flavour and dense froth. Robusta contains twice as much caffeine (around 2.4%) and a rather wooded taste. Robusta comes mostly from Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Côte d'Ivoire) and Asia (Vietnam and Indonesia). Robusta coffee is less expensive than Arabica.
Arabica is grown at a high altitude, between 800 and 2200m. There are washed Arabicas (humid method) and unwashed Arabicas (dry method). Washed coffees come from Colombia and Central America (Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala) while unwashed coffees come from Brazil. Arabica coffees are more bitter and require darker roasting than Robusta coffees in order to diminish this bitterness that La Semeuse prefers to avoid.
La Semeuse's Nocturne coffee is decaffeinated through a physical process, without any chemical solvents (methyl acetate or dichloromethane). First, the green coffee beans are processed with water. Then, in a physical process, caffeine is extracted from the bean. Once this process has been completed, less than 0.1% caffeine remains in the green beans. Decaffeinated green coffee is then roasted using the same method as all our other coffees. This method allows the aroma to fully develop, such that the coffee can easily be mistaken as caffeinated.
Indefinitely. Often, people bring green coffee they found in the attic. This coffee turns yellow, loses humidity and is mostly still fit for human consumption. However, after five years, some coffees can lose their subtlety.
Green coffee can be damaged by humidity and odors
When exposed to air, roasted coffee can oxygenate, leading to a mouldy, displeasing taste.
First of all, we receive samples of green coffee (300) which we roast and then have evaluated by our panel of tasters. If we approve of a sample, we order a batch containing 300, 600 or 1200 bags. Upon arrival at La Semeuse, the batch is compared to the already tasted sample. If it doesn't meet the quality criteria, it is returned to the trader.
The price of raw coffee can be influenced by following factors:
Stock estimations in producer and consumer countries Consumption estimations Weather elements (ice, rain, drought, …) Natural disasters (volcanic eruption, cyclones) Social factors (strikes, civil wars) Activity in the stock exchange Rumours and manipulation Consumption increase by emerging nations
Each cherry contains 2 green coffee beans. A general ratio would be 5kg of cherries for every 1kg of green beans. A planter harvests between 50 and 100kg of cherries daily, meaning 10 to 20kg of green beans. To fill a bag of 60 kg, the planter needs between 3 and 6 days. A green coffee bag provides 48 kg of roasted beans, which makes 6'857 cups. If we assume that a planter works 8 hours a day, it would mean he needs between 20 and 40 seconds for each cup. All of this work, in addition to the work accomplished here by those responsible for preparing the coffee (baristas) deserves recognition and respect.
Between 100 and 160 tonnes (mandatory reserve in the event of war is 100 tonnes). Source: www.reservesuisse.ch
Between 60 and 70kg, depending on the country.
About 1000 tonnes of green coffee, meaning 12'000 - 18'000 bags, is roasted annually.
Brazil for unwashed Arabica
Colombia for washed Arabica
Indonesia for Robusta
This coffee was discovered in Ethiopia or Yemen, on the Arabic peninsula, which is where the name ARABICA comes from.
It is the same substance. Tea contains 3.5% theine. Arabica contains 1.2% and Robusta 2.4% caffeine.
We apply different roasting degrees according to our recipes. On a scale of 1 to 10 (light to dark), we would be around a 5, because we strive for a harmony and balance of flavours.
At the end of the roasting process, the temperature reaches a peak value of 213°.
For 250kg, roasting takes between 12 and 14 minutes.
*This brand belongs to a third party company and has no relation to La Semeuse SA