Sealed capsule for containing beverage ingredients and having an inlet-side membrane

Abstract

The present invention proposes a system for preparing a beverage from a food substance contained in a single-use capsule ( 1 ) by injection of a liquid into the capsule ( 1 ), said system comprises a device ( 50 ) having at least one enclosing member ( 13 a , 13 b ) connected to a closing mechanism ( 21 ) for selectively enclosing said capsule ( 1 ) in a receiving chamber ( 16 ) of the device ( 50 ), said device further comprising a pump ( 70 ) for supplying liquid to the capsule ( 1 ), opening means ( 15,16 ) for opening a first inlet face ( 3 a ) and a second outlet face ( 3 b ) of the capsule ( 1 ), and a control unit ( 80 ) for controlling at least the pump ( 70 ) of the device, wherein the opening means ( 15,16 ) are arranged to supply a liquid received from the pump ( 70 ) to the inside of the capsule ( 1 ), wherein the capsule ( 1 ) further comprises a rigid body ( 2 ) and a recessed section ( 4 ) formed as an integral part of the body ( 2 ), and wherein said recessed section ( 4 ) is formed at the inlet face ( 3 a ) of the capsule ( 1 ) and comprises a plurality of perforations ( 6 a , 6 b ).

Claims

1 . A sealed beverage capsule comprising: a form-stable body having an inlet face for introducing a liquid into the capsule after being opened; an outlet face for delivering a beverage from the capsule; a recessed section at the inlet face of the body of the capsule; at least one compartment for ingredients located between the inlet face and the outlet face of the body of the capsule; the recessed section is an integral part of the body and is provided with a plurality of injection openings; and the recessed section is sealed against the exterior of the capsule in an air-tight manner by an additional cover member that is connected to the body of the capsule as a separate piece. 2 . The capsule according to claim 1 , wherein the recessed section of the capsule is a form-stable tube-like member comprising an annular wall and a bottom face which is positioned transversally relative to a main flow path of the liquid through the capsule. 3 . The capsule according to claim 2 , wherein both the annular wall and the bottom face comprise injection openings. 4 . The capsule according to claim 3 , wherein the injection openings of the recessed section of the bottom face is different from the recessed section of the annular wall thereof. 5 . The capsule according to claim 1 , wherein the cover member is made of a material which has a lower perforation resistance than the material of the body. 6 . The capsule according to claim 5 , wherein the body and recessed section of the capsule is made integrally of form-stable plastics or aluminium. 7 . The capsule according to claim 1 , wherein the outlet face is a closed tearable membrane. 8 . The capsule according to claim 1 , the cover member is a membrane made of plastics or metal and thinner than the body. 9 . The capsule according to claim 1 , wherein the capsule comprises a bypass channel extending from the inlet face to the outlet face of the body, the bypass channel is connected to the recessed section at the inlet face. 10 . The capsule according to claim 1 , wherein the injection openings of the recessed section differ with regard to a characteristic selected from the group consisting of shape, size, and amount. 11 . The capsule according to claim 1 , wherein the capsule comprises a first and a second compartment for ingredients and the capsule comprises means for regulating the distribution and/or the flow rate to the first and second compartments. 12 . A beverage preparation device having at least one enclosing member connected to a closing mechanism for selectively enclosing a capsule in a receiving chamber of the device, the device further comprising: a pump for supplying liquid to the capsule; opening means for opening an inlet face and an outlet face of the capsule; a control unit for controlling at least the pump of the device; and the opening means comprises heating elements for creating at least one opening by softening or melting at least one portion of the inlet face of the capsule. 13 . A beverage preparation system comprising: a device comprising at least one enclosing member connected to a closing mechanism for selectively enclosing a capsule in a receiving chamber of the device, the device further comprising: a pump for supplying liquid to the capsule; opening means for opening an inlet face and an outlet face of the capsule; a control unit for controlling at least the pump of the device; and the opening means comprises heating elements for creating at least one opening by softening or melting at least one portion of the inlet face of the capsule; and a single-use capsule adapted to be inserted in the device and comprising an inlet face formed of a softenable or meltable portion at its inlet face. 14 . A method for providing a liquid to a single-use beverage capsule having a body comprising the steps of opening an inlet face of a capsule and passing the liquid through at least one compartment containing the beverage ingredients wherein opening of the capsule for passing liquid through is performed by softening or melting at least one portion of the inlet face of the capsule. 15 . A method for providing a liquid to a single-use capsule having a form-stable body, comprising the steps of opening a cover member which seals an inlet side of the capsule in an air-tight manner; and passing the liquid through a recessed section of the capsule, the recessed section is an integral part of the body of the capsule and the recessed section comprises a plurality of injection openings.
[0001] The present invention generally relates to the field of production of beverages or other liquid comestibles on the basis of ingredients contained in a capsule. [0002] Such capsules are known for being inserted in matching beverage production machines (e.g. coffee machines). After being placed in an extraction chamber of the beverage production machine, water is injected into the capsule. The water will interact with the ingredients contained in the capsule. As a result of the interaction, a beverage or other comestible will be produced which can then be obtained from the capsule. [0003] The invention preferably uses capsules which are hermetically sealed at a production site and which are inserted into the extraction chamber of the beverage production machine while still being in the sealed state. The capsule is opened both at the water inlet face for injection water under pressure in the capsule as well as at the beverage outlet face for delivering the beverage. Opening on both sides may be produced by dedicated members of the machine. Note that these members can be driven manually, e.g. via a lever mechanism, or automatically by motor or by effect of the deformation under the internal pressure building in the capsule. [0004] For user's convenient, no manual opening of the sealed capsule is necessary. [0005] EP 0512468 relates to a gastight capsule with a truncated body and a tear membrane which is torn against a puncturing holder of the machine under the effect of the inside pressure built in the capsule when a liquid is injected through the inlet face of the capsule. [0006] EP 870 457 A1 and WO 94/02059 disclose a similar extraction methods and extraction machines for essentially symmetrical capsules. [0007] WO 94/01344 also describes a symmetrical capsule. [0008] EP-A-1772081 relates to a device for preparing an infused liquid using a cartridge comprising a bottom forming both the inlet for the liquid and the outlet for the beverage. The bottom is further recessed and comprises openings for inlet of the liquid in the cartridge. The flow of liquid in the cartridge is not optimized because the same side of the capsule is used to form both the liquid inlet and beverage outlet. If the cartridge is placed under pressure of liquid, liquid will tend to bypass in the compartment by taking the shorter path. Typically, such cartridge is used at low pressure and liquid is just passed through the ingredients as in a fluid bed. This capsule is not adapted for providing a beverage under a high pressure of liquid. [0009] DE2255552 relates to a beverage capsule with flow distributor in recess and slots provided in the sidewall of the body of the capsule. Again, the flow of liquid through the ingredients is not optimal and liquid can bypass the ingredients in its way to the slots. [0010] EP 1344722 relates to a cartridge comprising a flow distributor and a flow collector forming inserts with embossings and channels and which are placed between the substance and the upper membrane or the bottom wall of the cartridge respectively. [0011] When water is injected into the interior of the capsule, especially when using ground coffee powder as an ingredient, it has to be assured that the water will be homogenously distributed all over the ingredients. An heterogeneous flow distribution of the water through the ingredients will lead to a poor quality or an unreliable quality of the produced beverage. In particular, the liquid tends to create privileged flowpaths through the bed of substance while leaving areas of the bed of substance insufficiently wetted. [0012] One known solution consists in piercing a plurality of opening through the capsule and having the water enter the interior of the capsule at the openings such that water distributes evenly across the whole transversal section of the capsule. However, this leads to a rather complex machine which has to be provided with a plurality of perforation/water injection members to this regard. Furthermore, the production of a plurality of openings requires a relative high closure force to be able to correctly pierce through the capsule for the injection of water. [0013] Furthermore, for capsule formed of semi-rigid or rigid plastic, correct and repeated piercings can become difficult because the plastic tends to deform under the pressure of the piercing elements, e.g., blades, and the piercing elements tend to become blunt capsules after capsules. [0014] Another issue, especially when extracting coffee from ground coffee powder containing capsule, is to control the flow rate of the usually pressurized hot water through the interior of the capsule. Depending on the kind of coffee to be produced, different flow rates and pressures inside the capsule have to be guaranteed. Flow rate may depend on the coffee average particle size and the compaction of the coffee in the capsule. For example, the flow rate through a coffee capsule to deliver a long coffee (“lungo”) should be higher than the flow rate for delivering a short coffee (“espresso”). [0015] It exists cartridges comprising discrete inserts placed inside the ingredient chamber, e.g., cartridges as described in EP 1344722. Inserts provide several disadvantages. In particular, it renders the manufacturing and logistic more complex. This requires the handling, the placing and the fixing the inserts in the cartridge. Most of the time, the inserts are not totally fixed in the capsule and this may lead to variable thicknesses of the bed of substance and high variation of flow rates. [0016] Another issue is that when a “long” beverage (e.g., 110 mL or more) is desired, the solution usually consists in passing a higher amount of water through the ingredients. However, this may result in over-extracting the ingredients and to bitterness issues of the final drink. [0017] The present invention therefore has the object to provide a an improved water flow distribution technology for producing a beverage from a sealed and ingredient containing capsule with a reliable quality. [0018] An object is to provide a capsule which is easier to manufacture and requires less discrete elements to handle and assemble when producing the capsule. [0019] Another object is to facilitate and make reliable openings through the inlet face of the capsule, in particular, even when the capsule comprises form-stable part(s) made of material such as semi-rigid or rigid plastics. Therefore, it offers more freedom in the choice of materials for building the essential parts of the capsule. It also offers alternative solutions for opening the inlet face of the capsule. [0020] The present invention seeks to address the above described problems. The invention also aims at other objects and particularly the solution of other problems as will appear in the rest of the present description. OBJECT AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0021] In a first aspect, the present invention proposes a sealed beverage capsule comprising a rigid body having a first inlet face for liquid to be passed through the capsule and a second outlet face for the beverage to deliver from the capsule and at least one compartment comprising the ingredients between the first inlet and second outlet face, said capsule further comprising a recessed section at the inlet face of the body of the capsule which has a plurality of injection openings, wherein said recessed section is an integral part of the body, and wherein said recessed section is sealed from the exterior of the capsule in an air-tight manner by means of an additional cover member connected to the body of the capsule. [0022] According to the invention, reliable control of the flow rate and the pressure conditions inside the capsule can be achieved due to the perforated recessed section at the inlet face of the body of the capsule. Moreover, the liquid distribution at the inlet face of the capsule can be adjusted. [0023] In a preferred embodiment, the recessed section of the capsule is a rigid tube-like member comprising an annular wall and a transversal bottom face. The bottom face thus is arranged transversally to the liquid flow path when liquid is passed through the capsule from the inlet face to the outlet face thereof. However, the bottom face may as well be conical or cup-shaped. [0024] Preferably, both the annular wall and the bottom face of the recessed section comprise water injection openings. Therefore, the flow of water entering the capsule can be distributed both in a substantially axial direction and in a substantially radial direction in the at least one chamber containing the ingredient. The combination of axial and radial flowpaths at the flow distribution site ensures that all part of the substance is properly wetted, in particular, at the entry side. The flow pattern and rate through the substance of the liquid can also be controlled in a more flexible manner depending on the location (radial/axial), number and cross-section of the injection openings in the recessed section. [0025] Therefore, the injection openings of the recessed section are different for the bottom face and the annular wall. The difference may, for instance, be a difference in the cross section of the openings and/or density of the openings (i.e., number of injection openings by square centimetre). [0026] Preferably, outside the recessed portion, the body of the capsule is devoided from any perforation that would constitute liquid inlets or beverage outlets. It is indeed important that the liquid flowpath is passed through the ingredients in its way to the outlet face, as aforementioned, without taking shortcuts through ingredients. [0027] The body of the capsule is preferably made of form-stable plastic or metal, e.g. aluminium in order to provide a stable casing of the capsule. As the recessed section is an integral part of the body of the capsule, both, the recessed section and the body are preferably manufactured in one single step. The recessed section hence is preferably of the same material as the body of the capsule. However, it may as well be possible that the recessed section is made of a different material. Accordingly, said recessed section and the body of the capsule are joined in an additional manufacturing step. For example, the recessed section may be made of metal such as aluminium which is then coated by an injection moulding process to form the capsule body. [0028] It should be understood that the water injection openings of the flat bottom face of the tube-like member face the centre of the compartment for the ingredients. Thus, liquid which is passed through these openings is directed towards the centre of the capsule. Accordingly, liquid which is passed through the plurality of openings provided within the annular wall of the tube-like member is directed towards the side surfaces of the capsule. Hence, liquid passed through the perforated recessed section can be evenly distributed within the ingredient compartment of the capsule, since the openings face both, the centre of the compartment as well as the boundary portion of the compartment. Thus, a homogenous distribution of liquid within the capsule is achieved. [0029] Thereby, the water injection openings of the recessed section may differ for the annular wall and the transversal bottom face thereof. The injection openings may differ in shape and their size. Moreover, the density of injection openings (i.e., number of injection openings in a nominal surface area) formed at the annular wall may differ from the density formed within the bottom surface. It is thus possible to use injection openings of different shape, size and density in order to adapt the flow rate through the injection openings. Accordingly, a different flow rate through the bottom surface and the annular wall can be obtained. It is thus possible to control the amount of liquid supplied to centre and the side of the ingredient compartment inside the capsule body. [0030] The injection openings of the recessed section may as well be designed such that the flow resistance provided through the bottom surface is smaller at its periphery than at the centre area thereof. For example, the number of injection openings and/or their cross sections may be larger at the annular section of the recessed section than at its bottom surface. This configuration enables to distribute liquid, injected from the centre, more evenly through the whole cross section of the ingredients compartment of the capsule. [0031] The injection openings of the recessed section may be manufactured using injection moulding process or common stamping techniques. [0032] In a preferred embodiment, the additional cover member for sealing the recessed section at the inlet face of the capsule from the exterior thereof is a thin membrane suitable for being connected in an air-tight manner to the body of the capsule. Such a connection may for example be established using soldering or adhesive techniques. Preferably, the cover member is a thin metal membrane suitable for being pierced by dedicated opening means provided by a device the capsule is intended to be connected to in order to inject liquid into the capsule. In another preferred embodiment, the cover member is a thin plastic membrane suitable for being melted or dissolved by heating means in order to be able to inject a liquid into the capsule. [0033] In another preferred embodiment, the capsule may comprise a bypass channel extending from the inlet face to the outlet face of the capsule body. Thereby, the bypass channel is preferably a tube-like member being disposed within the centre of the ingredients compartment. Preferably, the bypass channel is connected at least to the bottom of the recessed section. Thereby, an aperture is preferably formed at the bottom surface in order to establish a fluid connection between the recessed section and the bypass channel in case liquid is passed through the capsule. [0034] The bypass channel may be integrally formed with the recessed section or connected by means of soldering or adhesive. [0035] Accordingly, liquid which is injected into the inlet side of the capsule may enter the ingredient compartment of the capsule through the perforations provided at the annular sides of the recessed portion. However, as the bypass channel is connected to at least one aperture or perforation formed within the bottom surface of the recessed portion, liquid may bypass the ingredient compartment without interacting with the enclosed ingredients. This embodiment is particularly advantageous when “long beverages” are desired. Accordingly, an over-extracting of the ingredients and the resulting bitterness issues of the final drink can be effectively prevented since part of the dispensed liquid is not interacting with the ingredients within the capsule. Thereby, the amount of liquid passed through the bypass channel may be adjusted by means of the perforations or openings connected to the bypass channel at the bottom surface of the recessed section. Accordingly, the flow rate within the bypass channel can effectively be modified and the amount of liquid to bypass the ingredients can be adjusted. [0036] In order to further adjust the flow rate through the bypass channel, the channel may as well comprise flow regulating means such as a duct, a valve or the like. Moreover, in another preferred embodiment, the bypass channel may as well comprise perforations at the circumferential surface of the channel in order to directly distribute liquid from the channel into the centre part of the ingredients compartment. [0037] The bypass channel preferably has a constant diameter of several millimetres. It may as well be possible to have a varying diameter of the bypass channel. For example, the bypass channel may be of a greater diameter and hence forming an additional compartment for ingredients. Accordingly, the same or different ingredients may be enclosed within a first ingredient compartment of the capsule and within a second ingredient compartment which is formed by the bypass channel. [0038] Hence, due to the different injection openings within the recessed section according to the invention, the distribution of liquid to the first and the second ingredient compartment can be regulated effectively. [0039] In a second aspect, the present invention proposes a system for preparing a beverage from a food substance contained in a capsule by injection of a liquid into the capsule, wherein said system comprises a device having at least one enclosing member connected to a closing mechanism for selectively enclosing said capsule in a receiving chamber of the device, said device further comprising a pump for supplying liquid to the capsule, opening means for opening a first inlet face and a second outlet face of the capsule, and a control unit for controlling at least the pump of the device, wherein the opening means are arranged to supply a liquid received from the pump to the inside of the capsule, wherein the capsule further comprises a closed rigid body and a recessed section formed as an integral part of the body, and wherein said recessed section is formed at the inlet face of the capsule and comprises a plurality of perforations. The inlet face has no perforations outside the recessed section that would provide outlets for the beverage. The outlets for the beverage are exclusively provided at the outlet face of the capsule which is separated by the compartment containing the ingredients. The outlet face is so positioned at the opposite from the inlet face in relation to the compartment. As a result, the flow path of the liquid through the capsule is properly controlled to ensure an homogeneous wetting of the ingredients in the compartment. [0040] “Recessed section” is to be understood as a section which is recessed vis-à-vis the contours of the body of the capsule when seen in a side view. [0041] With a device according to the present invention, it is possible to enable an interaction between liquid supplied by the device, more particularly by the pump of the device, and ingredients contained in a capsule provided to the device. The internal pressure within the sealed capsule which is built up due to a liquid supply to the capsule causes a lower face of the capsule to open which enables the output of the beverage to be prepared. Thereby, the injection of the liquid provided by the device takes place at an upper face of the capsule which is opened by the opening means of the device. As already described, the output of the beverage to be prepared takes place at the lower face of the capsule thus, enabling a direct flow of the liquid. Accordingly, a receptacle such as a cup can be placed beneath the capsule in order to receive the beverage to be prepared. [0042] The closing mechanism of the device has an open and a closed state. The capsule can only be inserted to or withdrawn from the device when the closing mechanism is in an open state. As the closing mechanism is connected to opening means for opening the capsule, it causes a relative movement of the said opening means and the capsule. Accordingly, by usage of the closing mechanism, the capsule provided to a receiving chamber of the device can effectively be opened and thus connected to the liquid supply of the capsule. [0043] In a preferred embodiment, the capsule suitable for being enclosed by at least said one enclosing member of the device is of conical shape and has a rigid body. Said capsule further comprises a first inlet face and a second outlet face, wherein liquid may be injected into the capsule through said inlet face. The capsule contains one or more ingredients. After the injection of liquid into the capsule, the pouring from the capsule may be delayed in order to provide sufficient time for the interaction of the liquid and the ingredients contained within the capsule. For the pouring of the beverage to be prepared from the capsule, opening means such as reliefs against an outlet membrane which open an outlet face of the capsule may be provided. These opening means interact with the pressure rise within the capsule when the liquid is injected. The capsule has amongst others the advantage that beverages can be prepared without “cross-contamination” i.e. that a first beverage to be prepared does not transmit one or more undesired characteristics such as taste, colour and/or odour to a second beverage distributed after the first. The present invention may as well apply to any other food or beverage cartridge, pod or sachet containing ingredient(s) brewed, dissolved or diluted in a beverage device. [0044] In a preferred embodiment, the capsule comprises an aperture at the inlet face of the capsule which is covered by a cover member such as a thin membrane or the like, suitable for sealing the capsule in an air-tight manner. In addition, a recessed section may be formed below the cover member. Said recessed section is preferably integrally formed with the body of the capsule. Moreover, said recessed section is suitable for receiving opening means of the device, the capsule is intended to be connected to. Therefore, the recessed section may have a tube-like or conical form. Preferably, the recessed section comprises a plurality of perforations in order to adjust the flow rate of liquid through the capsule. [0045] The outlet face is preferably a closed tearable membrane. The outlet face of the capsule is preferably a thin aluminium membrane. The membrane is preferably suitable for being opened by opening means provided at the device. Such opening means may be for example protruding ridges or the like which are preferably provided at a lower enclosing member of the device which the capsule is intended to be connected to. When pressure is exerted to the interior of the capsule due to injection of liquid, the outlet face of the capsule interacts with said opening means and is thus ruptured. Accordingly, the liquid comestible can be poured from the capsule. The outlet membrane is preferably of a thickness between 20 and 100 microns. [0046] The body of the capsule and the recessed section are preferably made of aluminium or plastic. [0047] The cover member which covers the aperture at the inlet face of the capsule is preferably a thin aluminium membrane. However, the cover member may as well be of plastic material. [0048] The opening means provided at the device in order to enable the opening of the capsule may be any means suitable for disintegrate the cover member. The opening means may for example be a needle element suitable for puncturing the cover member. In another preferred embodiment, the opening means may comprise heating means for melting, burning the cover or, alternatively, for softening the cover while piercing it. Hence, the cover can be opened in a more reliable way. This is particularly advantageous if the cover member of the capsule is made of plastic material. [0049] Furthermore, the capsule preferably comprises sealing means for sealing at least one face of the capsule when being connected to the dedicated device. Hence, when the capsule is enclosed by the closing mechanism, the capsule can effectively be sealed. Thus, liquid injected into the capsule can be prevented from leaving the capsule. [0050] In third aspect, the invention relates to a beverage preparation device having at least one enclosing member connected to a closing mechanism for selectively enclosing said capsule in a receiving chamber of the device, said device further comprising a pump for supplying liquid to the capsule, opening means for opening an inlet face and an outlet face of the capsule, a control unit for controlling at least the pump of the device, wherein the opening means comprises heating elements for creating at least one opening by softening or melting at least one portion of the inlet face of the capsule. [0055] The invention also relates to a beverage preparation system comprising a device as aforementioned and a single-use capsule adapted to be inserted in the device and comprising an inlet face formed of a softenable or meltable portion at its inlet face. [0056] In a fourth aspect, the invention proposes a method for providing a liquid to a single-use capsule having a rigid body, comprising the steps of opening a cover member which is sealing an inlet side of the capsule in an air-tight manner, and passing the liquid through a recessed section of the capsule, wherein the recessed section is an integral part of the body of the capsule and wherein the recessed section comprises a plurality of water injection openings. [0057] In a fifth aspect, the invention relates to a method for providing a liquid to a single-use beverage capsule having a body comprising the steps of opening an inlet face of the capsule and passing the liquid through at least one compartment containing the beverage ingredients wherein opening of the capsule for passing liquid through the inlet face is carried out by softening or melting at least one portion of the inlet face of the capsule. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0058] Further features, advantages and objects of the present invention will become apparent for the skilled person when reading the following detailed description of embodiments of the present invention, when taking in conjunction with the figures of the enclosed drawings. [0059] FIG. 1 shows a device for beverage preparation according to the present invention in side view. [0060] FIG. 2 shows the receiving chamber for the capsule in sectional side view. [0061] FIG. 3 shows a preferred embodiment of a capsule according to the present invention in sectional side view. [0062] FIG. 4 shows another preferred embodiment of a capsule according to the present invention in sectional side view, wherein a bypass channel is provided within the capsule. [0063] FIG. 5 shows another preferred embodiment of a capsule according to the present invention in sectional side view, wherein the capsule comprises two compartments for ingredients. [0064] FIG. 6 shows another preferred embodiment of a capsule according to the present invention in sectional side view, wherein a bypass channel of the capsule forms a separate compartment for ingredients. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS [0065] FIG. 1 shows a beverage preparation device 50 according to the present invention in side view. The device 50 comprises a housing 50 a containing at least a heater 60 , a pump 70 and control means 80 . Further the device comprises a liquid reservoir 40 connected to the device (which optionally can be replaced by an external liquid supply), an extraction head 20 and a base 50 f . The device further comprises a stand 50 d for a receptacle such as a cup having an upper surface 50 e provided with a grid 50 g on which the receptacle is positioned. [0066] The reservoir 40 is provided in order to supply liquid such as water to the heater 60 and the pump 70 , and hence to the extraction head 20 of the device 50 . Preferably, the reservoir 40 is connected to the device in a detachable manner and has an inlet 40 b in order to insert liquid. An outlet 40 c which is preferably situated at the bottom of the reservoir 40 enables a connection between the reservoir 40 and the device 50 . [0067] The extraction head 20 of the device comprises a closing mechanism 21 for selectively enclosing a capsule 1 provided to the device 50 and an optional control mechanism (lever, switch, etc.) 27 for selectively supplying water to the extraction head 20 and hence to the capsule 1 . Thereby, the control lever 27 is connected at least to the control means 80 of the device 50 . [0068] The device further comprises a main switch 50 b and a plurality of control indicators 50 c which may inform the user about the operating status of the device 50 . The control means 80 are at least connected to the pump 70 of the device in order to control the liquid supply. [0069] As can be seen in FIG. 1 , an aperture 22 is provided at the extraction head 20 of the device 50 in order to access a receiving chamber 16 of the extraction head. The aperture 22 can be selectively opened and closed by the closing mechanism 21 of the device 50 . Therefore, the closing mechanism 21 is connected to at least one enclosing member 13 a which may be moved in response to an operation of the closing mechanism 21 , thus opening or closing the aperture 22 . Accordingly, it is possible to provide a capsule 1 to said receiving chamber 16 if the closing mechanism 21 is in an open state. The capsule may be provided to the receiving chamber 16 by hand or by means of a capsule-holder which may be connected to the device. Preferably, such a capsule-holder fits into the aperture 22 provided at the extraction head. [0070] The device further comprises a main switch 50 b and a plurality of control indicators 50 c which may inform the user about the operating status of the device 50 . [0071] FIG. 2 shows a sectional side view of the extraction head 20 of the device 50 . The receiving chamber 16 is enclosed by preferably a first and second enclosing member 13 a , 13 b . At least one of said enclosing members is connected to the closing mechanism 21 in order to enable a relative movement of the enclosing members 13 a , 13 b . Hence, after the capsule 1 is inserted into the receiving chamber 16 when the closing mechanism 21 is in an open state, the closing mechanism 21 may be brought into a closed state such that the enclosing members 13 a , 13 b are approached relatively towards each other. Thus, a capsule 1 situated within the receiving chamber 16 may effectively be enclosed by the enclosing members 13 a , 13 b as shown in FIG. 2 . [0072] Injection means 14 are provided at the first enclosing member 13 a in order to provide liquid to the sealed capsule 1 within the receiving chamber 16 . Said injection means 14 are connected to the pump 70 of the device 50 . Thus liquid can effectively be provided from the reservoir 40 to the receiving chamber 16 . The injection means 14 comprise opening means 15 which are protruding into the receiving chamber 16 of the device 50 when the closing mechanism 21 is brought into a closed state. Accordingly, a capsule 1 enclosed within the receiving chamber 16 can effectively be opened by said opening means 15 . Accordingly, the capsule 1 can effectively be connected to the injection means 14 and liquid provided by the pump 70 to the injection means 14 can thus be injected into the capsule 1 . [0073] The opening means may be any means suitable for providing at least one opening in a cover member 5 of the capsule, as will be explained later on. [0074] In a preferred embodiment, said cover member 5 is a thin membrane preferably made of metal such as e.g. aluminium and/or of polymer. Preferably, the cover member 5 is made of a material which has a lower perforation resistance than the material of the body. Accordingly, the opening means 15 may be a sharp protruding needle element suitable for puncturing the cover member 5 . The term “needle” encompasses piercing means such as blades or spikes of various shapes. [0075] In another preferred embodiment, said cover member 5 of the capsule is made of a meltable or heat softenable material such as thermoplastics such as polyethylene, polyamide or polypropylene. Therefore, the opening means 15 can be a heating element suitable for melting or burning the cover member 5 in order to open the capsule 1 and inject liquid therein. Of course, the opening means 15 can be both piercing and heat softening elements. For instance, the opening means 15 can be one or more needles which are heated to a temperature reaching the softening or melting point of the cover. Thus, certain plastics can be used which are not easily pierced by non-heated needles but can open easily by heated needles since the piercing resistance is reduced under the heat conditions of the needle. For instance, the needles can be heated by heat transfer using electrical wires embedded in the injection head. Opening means may also be contact less heat radiant means such as lamps or heating wires. [0076] At the lower enclosing member 13 b , opening means 16 are provided for interacting with the outlet face 3 b of the capsule 1 . Said opening means 16 is preferably a plate which comprises protruding elements 17 b such as small pyramids or needles suitable for puncturing the outlet face 3 b of the capsule 1 . Hence, liquid injected into the capsule 1 can be released by said outlet face 3 b . Moreover, the opening means 16 preferably comprise liquid channels 17 a which connect an upper surface of the opening member 16 to its lower surface. Accordingly, liquid poured from the capsule 1 can effectively be guided from the upper surface of the opening means 16 to an outlet 18 which is connected to the liquid channels 17 a. [0077] Furthermore, the capsule 1 preferably comprises sealing means 10 which are suitable for sealing the receiving chamber 16 during the injection of liquid into the capsule 1 . The sealing means are preferably arranged circumferentially at the outlet face 3 b of the capsule 1 . More preferably, the sealing means are arranged circumferentially at a flange 2 a of the body 2 of the capsule 1 . Thus, when the closing mechanism 21 is brought into a closed state, thereby approaching the enclosing members 13 a , 13 b , the sealing means 10 are compressed between the enclosing members 13 a , 13 b as shown in FIG. 2 . Thus, effective sealing of the receiving chamber 16 is obtained. [0078] FIG. 3 shows a preferred embodiment of the capsule 1 according to the invention in sectional side view. As can be seen from this figure, the capsule 1 is of conical shape and comprises a body having an inlet face 3 a and membrane defining the outlet face 3 b . The body 2 of the capsule is preferably a rigid or at least a form stable body made from plastics or metal, e.g. aluminium. [0079] The outlet face 3 b is preferably a thin membrane such as e.g. an aluminium membrane which is connected to a flange 2 a of the rigid body 2 . The outlet face 3 b is preferably sealed by welding and/or crimping to said flange 2 a. [0080] The capsule 1 comprises at least one compartment for ingredients 7 which is enclosed by the rigid body 2 and the outlet face 3 b of the capsule 1 . [0081] At the inlet face 3 a of the capsule 1 , a recessed section 4 is formed as an integral part of the body 2 . “Recessed” is to be understood as being recessed vis-à-vis the outer surface of the otherwise substantially convex body. [0082] When manufacturing the body, the recessed section 4 can be produced by deforming the sheet used for the body. As—see details later on—the recessed section 4 can act as a water distributor, a water distributor can be achieved integrally with the body walls and thus without asking for the provision of a separate piece. [0083] As shown in the figure, said recessed section 4 preferably comprises an annular cylindrical wall 4 a and a transversal bottom face 4 b . However, the bottom face 4 b may as well be conical or cup-shaped. The annular wall 4 a comprises a plurality of perforations 6 b which are preferably arranged homogenously over the surface of the wall 4 a . However, it may be of particular interest to provide the perforations 6 b in an non-homogeneous way over the surface of the wall 4 a . Moreover, the size, the shape and the amount of the perforations may be altered for different sections of the annular wall 4 a in order to adjust the flow rate of the liquid passed through said perforations. Therefore, the perforations may be of any geometrical shape such as circular or squared. [0084] Apart from the recessed section 4 the body 2 is not provided with openings. [0085] The bottom face 4 b of the recessed section 4 preferably comprises perforations 6 a which preferably differ from the perforations 6 b provided at the annular wall 4 a . The perforations may differ in their size, their shape and in the provided number of perforations 6 b at the bottom face 4 b . Accordingly, a different flow rate of liquid passed through the perforations 6 a of the annular wall 4 a and the perforations 6 b of the bottom face 4 b may be achieved. [0086] As can be seen from the figures, the bottom face 4 b of the recessed section faces the centre portion of the compartment for receiving the ingredients 7 . The annular wall 4 a by contrast faces the side walls of the body 2 of the capsule 1 . Accordingly, the flow rates through the perforations at the annular wall 4 a and the bottom face 4 b can be adjusted in order to obtain a preferred distribution of liquid within the compartment for ingredients 7 in the capsule 1 . [0087] Of course, the recessed section 4 may be recessed even further towards the centre of the compartment for ingredients 7 compared to the shown embodiment in FIG. 3 . Hence, even further adjustment of the liquid distribution within the capsule 1 can be achieved. [0088] In order to cover the inlet face 3 a of the capsule, a cover member 5 is provided which seals the inlet face 3 a in an air-tight manner. The cover member 5 is preferably a thin membrane which is mounted to the body 2 as a separate piece e.g. by welding or adhesive techniques. The cover member 5 has a diameter larger than the recessed section 4 such that the cover member 5 overlaps with the closed wall of the body 2 surrounding the recessed section 4 . [0089] The cover member 5 being a piece separate from the body 2 and the recessed section 4 , it can be made form a material different to the one used for the body 2 . Thus e.g. the body can be made from plastics, which due to its elasticity is not easy to be opened mechanically, while the cover member 5 can be made from a metal membrane (e.g. aluminium) which is easier to be perforated. [0090] On the other hand, if the body is made from a metal, the cover member can be made from plastics in order to allow for an opening via heat (melting). [0091] The cover member 5 is preferably dome-shaped as shown in the figure. However, the cover member 5 may as well present a flat surface or a cup-shaped surface. Moreover, the cover member 5 is preferably made of metal such as aluminium. In another preferred embodiment, the cover member 5 is of plastic material. Thus, effective sealing of the capsule 1 can be achieved by the cover member 5 . [0092] In addition, the flange 2 a of the capsule body 2 preferably comprises sealing means 10 . Thus, when the capsule 1 is connected to a dedicated device, effective sealing can be achieved during operation of the device. [0093] FIG. 4 shows another preferred embodiment of the capsule 1 according to the present invention in sectional side view. In this embodiment, a bypass channel 8 is provided which comprises an inlet aperture 11 a and an outlet aperture 11 b . Preferably, the inlet aperture 11 a is connected to the recessed section 4 of the capsule 1 . The outlet aperture 11 b is preferably situated in vicinity of the outlet face 3 b of the capsule 1 . The bypass channel is preferably of cylindrical shape and has a constant diameter d 1 . Preferably, the diameter d 1 is between 0.5 mm and 3 mm. Accordingly, liquid injected to the capsule 1 can be guided through the perforations 6 a , 6 b and the inlet aperture 11 a of the bypass channel in order to adjust the liquid distribution within the capsule 1 . [0094] In another preferred embodiment, the bypass channel may comprise additional means for controlling the flow rate within the channel such as a duct or a valve. Moreover, the bypass channel may optionally comprise perforations 9 at its circumferential surface in order to supply liquid provided to the channel 8 to the centre of the compartment of ingredients 7 . [0095] As indicated in FIG. 4 , the cover member 5 is preferably connected to the inlet face 3 a of the capsule 1 at a circumferential surface 12 of the inlet face 3 a . The contours of the surface 12 and the cover member 5 preferably overlap at a circular section d 2 . Hence, effective sealing of the capsule 1 is obtained by the cover member 5 . [0096] FIG. 5 shows another preferred embodiment of a capsule according to the present invention. Therein, the capsule 1 comprises a separating member 19 which is preferably a thin wall or membrane and which divides the interior of the capsule 1 such that at least two compartments for ingredients 7 , 7 ′ are formed symmetrically or asymmetrically on the two sides of the separating member 19 . Thereby, the separating member 19 may provide two equal compartments 7 , 7 ′. However, it may as well be possible to provide two different compartments 7 , 7 ′ with respect to their volume. Accordingly to this embodiment, two equal or different ingredients can be housed within these compartments. [0097] The separating member 19 is preferably a thin wall made of metal or plastic material. The separating member 19 is connected to the recessed section 4 at its one side and to the outlet face 3 b of the capsule 1 at its other side. Preferably, the separating member 19 is an integral part of the recessed element 4 . [0098] With respect to this embodiment, it should be understood that the recessed member 4 comprises different perforations for being in fluid connection with the first and the second compartment 7 , 7 ′. Hence, the perforations 6 a and 6 b formed at the annular wall 4 a and at the bottom face 4 b which are connecting the inlet side 3 a of the capsule to the first ingredients compartment 7 are preferably different from the corresponding perforations 6 a ′ and 6 b ′ leading to the second ingredients compartment 7 ′. Hence, the flow rate through these perforations 6 a , 6 b , 6 a ′, 6 b ′ can effectively be adjusted for each of the provided ingredients compartments 7 , 7 ′. [0099] FIG. 6 shows another preferred embodiment of the present invention, wherein the separating member 19 is of circular shape and provides a tube-like member within the ingredients compartment 7 . Accordingly, a second ingredient compartment 7 ′ is formed by said tube-like member 19 . [0100] In this embodiment, the perforations 6 a and 6 b correspond to the perforations of the embodiment according to FIG. 3 . However, the perforations 6 c provided at the centre of the bottom face 4 b of the recessed section 4 which are connecting the inlet side 3 a of the capsule to the second ingredient compartment 7 ′ preferably differ from the perforations 6 a formed in the annular section of the bottom face 4 b which are connecting the inlet side 3 a and the first compartment 7 . Hence, the flow rate and distribution of liquid injected into the capsule 1 can be effectively adjusted for the first and the second compartment 7 , 7 ′. [0101] Although the present invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, many modifications and alternations may be made by a person having ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope of this invention which is defined by the appended claims.

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