Kenco Singles was developed by a UK industrial design company (Warwick Design Consultants) to enable freshly brewed high quality coffee and tea to be delivered rapidly. It employs an integral filterbed and a sealed inlet and outlet. A brew mechanism, designed by the same consultants, draws in the capsule and pierces the inlet and outlet and clamps the capsule to resist the water pressure.
The water injector arrangement is designed so that it is not contaminated by the capsule ingredient. Similarly, the outlet is opened by a cutter such that the outgoing beverage does not contaminate that and cause flavour carry over to the next drink. A carefully phased sequence of hot water and air extracts the best flavours and leaves the capsule nearly drip free before disposing of it in the waste box.
Considerable innovation was required in the development of the device to minimise the capsule size and cost and delivery time, optimise the flavours and make the capsule difficult to counterfeit.
The capsule only works with the appropriate brewing mechanism, also designed by the consultants. The capsule also has identification features that tell the brewing machine what the ingredient is which calls up a unique brewing programme suited to the drink.
To develop a product with such high degree of commercial success considerable development time was involved in ensuring absolute functioning and high quality drinks.
A second type of capsule was then developed to allow hot chocolate drinks to be made. Chocolate powder very quickly turns to a thick impenetrable paste when wetted and ingenious jetting technology was developed to ensure complete emptying of the capsule and thorough mixing.
The same technology was employed in the development of the Tassimo system.