Nespresso's hermetically sealed capsules are made of aluminum. Depending on the Nespresso system being used, the flat top or the pointy end of the capsule is pierced when inserted into the machine and the compartment lever is lowered. Some machines make a single large hole, and others make 3 smaller holes. When the machine is activated it pumps hot water under high pressure into injector holes poked into the narrow end of the capsule upon insertion. This causes the flat bottom of the capsule to rupture, as this is made of thinner foil than the rest of the capsule. The base of the capsule holder (on which the capsule sits) has a number of raised squares which cause the foil to rupture at these points. The brewed coffee exits the capsule through these rupture holes and flows through a funnel nozzle into the coffee cup. As in pressure cookers, a safety pressure release valve inside the brewing chamber prevents an explosion from occurring if the normal coffee exhaust path becomes blocked.
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