(19)
(11)EP 2 693 920 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
29.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/31

(21)Application number: 12711865.1

(22)Date of filing:  29.03.2012
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A47J 31/22(2006.01)
B65D 85/804(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2012/055609
(87)International publication number:
WO 2012/130928 (04.10.2012 Gazette  2012/40)

(54)

BEVERAGE CAPSULE FOR PREPARING A BEVERAGE BY CENTRIFUGATION IN A BEVERAGE PREPARATION DEVICE

GETRÄNKEKAPSEL ZUR ZUBEREITUNG EINES GETRÄNKS MITTELS ZENTRIFUGATION IN EINER GETRÄNKEZUBEREITUNGVSORRICHTUNG

CAPSULE DE BOISSON POUR LA PRÉPARATION D'UNE BOISSON PAR CENTRIFUGATION DANS UN DISPOSITIF DE PRÉPARATION DE BOISSON


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 01.04.2011 EP 11160908
04.10.2011 EP 11183807

(43)Date of publication of application:
12.02.2014 Bulletin 2014/07

(73)Proprietor: Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.
1800 Vevey (CH)

(72)Inventors:
  • ABEGGLEN, Daniel
    1439 Rances (CH)
  • GERBAULET, Arnaud
    25160 Oye et Pallet (FR)
  • TINEMBART, Jean-François
    1400 Yverdon (CH)
  • PERENTES, Alexandre
    1012 Lausanne (CH)

(74)Representative: Sacroug, Olivier et al
Société des Produits Nestlé S.A. Avenue Nestlé 55
1800 Vevey
1800 Vevey (CH)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 152 608
WO-A1-2010/026053
WO-A1-2010/026045
WO-A1-2010/066705
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field of the invention



    [0001] The present invention relates to a capsule for preparing a beverage from beverage ingredients contained in a capsule by inserting the capsule in a beverage preparation device and by passing water through the ingredients using centrifugal forces. The invention further relates to a system comprising a capsule and a beverage preparation device.

    Technical background



    [0002] The preparation of a beverage by a capsule containing beverage ingredients is known. In general, the capsule is inserted in a beverage production device, such as a coffee machine, liquid is fed in the capsule, the liquid interacts with the beverage ingredients and a beverage is extracted from the capsule under pressure or by gravity.

    [0003] The preparation of a beverage by using centrifugation is also known. In general, the principle consists in providing beverage ingredients in a container of the capsule, feeding liquid (i.e., water) in the receptacle and rotating the receptacle at elevated speed to ensure interaction of liquid with ingredients so as to create a gradient of pressure of liquid in the receptacle; such pressure increasing gradually from the centre towards the periphery of the receptacle. As liquid traverses the coffee bed, extraction of the coffee compounds takes place and a liquid extract is obtained that flows out at the periphery of the receptacle.

    [0004] A capsule system and method for preparing a beverage from a capsule using centrifugation forces is described in the following documents: EP2210539, WO2008/148604, WO200/8148650, WO2008/148646, and WO2008/148656.

    [0005] WO 2008/148646 relates to an improvement of the preparation of a beverage by centrifugation wherein a capsule system is proposed. In particular, the system comprises a device for receiving a capsule containing beverage ingredients; said capsule being driven in rotation in the device and flow restriction means, in particular, a valve means, being provided in the flow path of the centrifuged liquid for maintaining a gradient of pressure in the capsule. In particular, the valve means is formed by a spring-biased ring of the device engaging on a portion of rim of the capsule. The valve means is controlled in such a manner that the pressure of the centrifuged liquid forces the valve means to open. In particular, the ring is moved against spring-biasing means by the centrifuged beverage forcing a flow path between the rim portion and the pressing ring. As a result, a control of the flow rate of the beverage is made possible thereby enabling the production of a wide range of different possible beverages (e.g. different coffee beverages).

    [0006] WO2010/066705 discloses a capsule to be used in a beverage production device for preparing a beverage from a substance contained in the capsule. The proposed capsule comprises an annular raising portion forming a restriction for the centrifuged liquid flow path when said portion is engaged by a pressing surface of the beverage production device.

    [0007] WO2010/026053 also disclose a beverage production device for preparing a liquid comestible from a portioned food substance contained in a sealed capsule using centrifugal technology. Once the capsule is pierced, the liquid is allowed to flow out of the capsule through a valve of the beverage production device. The valve opens by the pressure of liquid and the pressure of the liquid causes the enlargement of the outlets.

    [0008] WO2010/026045 discloses a capsule for preparing a food liquid using a beverage preparation machine. The machine comprises piercing elements located on a rotary engaging part of the beverage preparation machine and are formed of small element protruding from the lower surface of the engaging part. The puncturing elements are solid elements and form a puncturing crown at the surface of the engaging part. The piercing elements interact with the membrane of the capsule by the effect of the pressure rising in the capsule as a result of the centrifugation.

    [0009] EP 2 152 608, in one of the proposed embodiment, presents a capsule made of U-shaped sidewalls presenting peripheral sealing edges. During extraction the peripheral sealing edges are opened thereby forming outlets for the beverage liquid to flow out of the capsule. The term "capsule" refers to any flexible, rigid or semi-rigid packaging container containing beverage ingredients. Other synonymous to a capsule are: "pod", "pad", "cartridge" or "sachet". The capsule can be designed for a single use. The container can also be filled with ingredients by the user to form the capsule just before use.

    [0010] The term "beverage ingredients" means any suitable beverage substance such as ground coffee, soluble coffee, leaf tea, soluble tea, herbal tea, dairy powder, culinary powder, baby food and combinations thereof.

    Summary of the invention



    [0011] The present invention aims at proposing an alternative system solution, in which a new capsule is designed to fit in an existing device for delivering a beverage from the capsule through a beverage flow restriction path that regulates the flow rate of the beverage leaving the capsule but without activating (i.e., opening) the valve to create a variable flow path under the pressure of the centrifuged liquid. The advantage is that the opening cross-section provided by the flow restriction is predetermined by the capsule itself and/or by the engagement of the capsule in the device and is made independent from the operational parameters set in the device such as the pressure in the capsule and/or the rotational speed. As a result, a simpler control of the brewing parameters, in particular, the flow rate can be obtained.

    [0012] The invention is defined in the appended independent claims. Embodiments of the invention are defined in the dependent claims. The use of the word "embodiment" below in this description merely implies the illustration of examples or exemplary embodiments, if not otherwise defined by the appended claims. The scope of the invention is thus defined by the appended claims.

    [0013] The invention relates to a beverage capsule for preparing a beverage in a beverage preparation device from the beverage capsule containing beverage ingredients by passing water through the beverage ingredients contained in the beverage capsule using centrifugal forces,the beverage preparation device comprising- means for driving the beverage capsule in rotation around an axis of rotation (I) at an operational rotation speed, a capsule holder for receiving the beverage capsule and a water injection means for injecting water in the beverage capsule,- a resilient valve means for engaging a valve engaging portion of the beverage capsule; said resilient valve means comprising a pressing ring;the beverage capsule comprising- a body;,- a lid delimiting a compartment containing beverage ingredients;- a valve engaging portion designed for being inserted between the capsule holder and the resilient valve means of the beverage preparation device; and- an outlet structure comprising beverage flow restriction passages of defined cross-section in the beverage capsule, the flow of the beverage during extraction of the beverage from the beverage capsule being the result of the flow restriction passages themselves and/or of the insertion of the valve engaging portion between the capsule holder and the pressing ring of the valve means,wherein the outlet structure is formed on a top surface or edge of the valve engaging portion; said top surface or edge being arranged to come in abutment against the pressing ring of the resilient valve means when the beverage capsule is inserted in the device, and wherein the valve engaging portion of the beverage capsule has an axial dimension (h) such that, before extraction of the beverage from the beverage capsule, the pressing ring of the resilient valve means is stressed by the valve engaging portion according to a feature selected from the group consisting of an axial force, axial distance, and combinations therefore and such that, during the extraction by rotating the beverage capsule in the beverage preparation device, the pressing ring no longer moves by the pressure of the centrifuged beverage on the resilient valve means within the operational rotational speed and a flow of the beverage is only funneled through the flow restriction passages.

    [0014] Preferably, the capsule comprises a flange, at least a part of which is formed by the valve engaging portion. Furthermore, the outlet structure is provided on and/or through the flange, more preferably on and/or through the valve engaging portion. Preferably, the valve engaging portion of the capsule is designed for pre-stressing the valve means of the beverage preparation device, when the capsule is inserted between the capsule holder and the valve means, to such an extent that the pressing ring abuts against a fully compressed elastic means and/or against a solid abutment portion of the device.

    [0015] In a preferred configuration of the capsule system, the valve engaging portion extends outwardly and upwardly above a transversal flange portion of the capsule. The valve engaging portion preferably further extends downwardly below the flange portion of the capsule. In such case, the valve engaging portion extends axially beyond each side of the flange portion of the capsule.

    [0016] In a preferred mode, the valve engaging portion has an axial length of at least 5 mm. Such length value is determined to ensure that the engagement of the engaging portion of the capsule in the valve means results in a substantially full compression of the elastic means by the pressing ring and consequently results in a blockage of the valve means, at least within the operational range of rotational speeds of the device. Of course, the axial length may vary depending on the spring characteristics of the valve means and/or the geometry of the valve means (in particular, the ability of the valve means to geometrically displace).

    [0017] The operational rotational speed range of the capsule in the device is considered as the rotation speed of the capsule in the device during extraction of the centrifuged beverage out of the capsule and is lower than 8000 rpm.

    [0018] Preferably, the outlet structure of the engaging portion defines flow restriction passages that determine a total flow opening cross-section for the beverage of less than 5 mm2, preferably comprised between 2 and 0.1 mm2, most preferably between 1 and 0.2 mm2. Such upper limit of the total flow opening cross-section ensures a pressure gradient in the capsule and enables to maintain a sufficiently low flow rate during centrifugation to ensure the beverage quality (e.g., good coffee extraction). In particular, the flow rate can be maintained below 5 ml/second, preferably between 0.5 and 2 ml/second when the rotational speed range of the capsule in the device is comprised between 2500 and 6000 rpm. Such outlet structure can be obtained by grooves, knurls, spikes, studs and combinations thereof provided on a surface of the valve engaging portion or by openings provided through the valve engaging portion or combinations thereof.

    [0019] In a mode, the outlet structure is formed on a top surface or edge of the valve engaging portion; said top surface or edge being arranged to come in abutment against the pressing ring of the valve means of the device when the capsule is inserted in the device. In such case, the restriction of the flow of the centrifuged beverage is delimited by the engagement of the capsule in the device, more particularly by the surface of the ring portion of the valve means contacting the top surface or edge of the valve engaging portion of the capsule. For example, the outlet structure can be formed by grooves distributed on the periphery of the engaging portion. In an alternative, the outlet means can be formed by knurls provided on the top surface or edge of the engaging portion. Such grooves or knurls are preferably arranged radially to guide the flow of centrifuged beverage off the capsule under the effect of the forces of centrifugation. Other possible structures can create a labyrinth-type structure for the beverage flow path such as obtained by grooves, knurls, spikes, studs and any equivalent structure in relief or recess provided on the top surface or edge of the engaging portion.

    [0020] The outlet structure can be produced by casting, milling, laser or chemical etching or sanding.

    [0021] In another mode, the outlet structure is formed by openings delimited between a cup-shaped body and a lid of the capsule connected to the body. In particular, the outlet structure forms openings of controllably variable cross-section. The cross-section of such openings can be varied, for example, by a relative movement of the lid and body such as by rotation of the lid relative to the body. This relative movement can be applied manually by the user or by a relative displacement of a part of the device after insertion of the capsule in the device. The benefit for providing openings of variable cross-section is to offer the possibility to vary the pressure distribution in the capsule as well as the flow rate of the beverage. It can also be that the openings are of different cross-sections within a set of different capsules. In this case, the user selects a capsule amongst the capsules of the set which has openings of predefined cross-section.

    [0022] The outlet structure can also be formed of radial grooves, knurls, spikes, studs or combinations thereof provided on the bottom surface or edge of the valve engaging portion; said surface or edge being designed for coming in abutment against a support surface of the capsule holder. In addition, the capsule may further comprise openings provided through the sidewall of its body. In such a mode, the centrifuged beverage traverses the sidewall of the capsule and, then, is guided through the flow restriction passages formed, by such outlet structure, between the valve engaging portion of the capsule and the capsule holder.

    [0023] The outlet structure can also be formed of at least one layer of porous material such as a woven or non woven, filter paper, sponge or foam. Such layer of porous material can be inserted in at least one opening formed between the lid and the body of the capsule. As an alternative, the layer may be applied onto the top surface and/or bottom surface of the engaging portion of the capsule. It may be sufficiently rigid to leave flow restriction passages in radial directions when the layer is pressed under the compressive forces of the valve means of the device.

    [0024] In a possible mode, the lid comprises a transversal portion which is positioned, towards the cavity of the capsule, inset relative to the flange of the capsule in order to form a recess below extraction perforating means of the device (e.g., needles, blades or pyramids) when the capsule is in insertion position in the device; said transversal portion of the lid further comprising filtering openings located at its periphery for filtering the beverage leaving the compartment.

    [0025] The invention also relates to a capsule kit comprising a beverage capsule and a separate insert.

    [0026] In particular, the invention relates to a beverage capsule kit for preparing a beverage in a beverage preparation device comprising from a capsule containing beverage ingredients by passing water through the ingredients contained in the capsule using centrifugal forces, said kit comprising a capsule and an insert separable or separate from the capsule comprising a valve engaging portion,

    said device comprising means for driving the capsule in rotation around an axis of rotation (I), a capsule holder for receiving the capsule and a water injection means for injecting water in the capsule, said device further comprising a resilient valve means for engaging the said valve engaging portion of the insert; said valve means comprising a pressing ring;

    the capsule comprising a body and a lid delimiting a compartment containing beverage ingredients,

    said valve engaging portion of the insert being designed for being inserted between the capsule holder and the valve means of the device;

    wherein said insert and/or capsule comprises an outlet structure forming beverage flow restriction passages of defined cross-section in the capsule at such and/or as a result of the insertion of the valve engaging portion of the insert between the capsule holder and the pressing ring of the valve means,

    wherein the valve engaging portion of the capsule has an axial dimension such that, before the extraction of the beverage from the capsule, the pressing ring of the valve means is stressed by the valve engaging portion to an axial force and/or axial distance such that, during the extraction by rotating the capsule in the device, the pressing ring no longer moves by the pressure of the centrifuged beverage on the valve means within the operational rotational speed and the flow of beverage is only funneled through the said flow restriction passages.



    [0027] The insert may be designed for a single use or multiple uses in the device.

    [0028] The insert may be connected to the capsule holder such as by gluing, press-fitting, snap-fitting or combinations thereof. It may also be connectable to the capsule in a removable manner, such as by gluing, press-fitting, snap-fitting or combinations thereof, before insertion of the capsule in the beverage preparation device. The insert may also be free of any connection with the device or capsule.

    [0029] In the kit, the capsule may be free of outwardly protruding flange. The insert may be such that it forms an outwardly protruding flange including the valve engaging portion.

    [0030] The present disclosure further includes the combination of a capsule and a beverage preparation device as aforementioned.

    [0031] In particular, it also relates to a beverage capsule system for preparing a beverage from a capsule containing beverage ingredients in a beverage preparation device by passing water through the ingredients contained in the capsule using centrifugal forces comprising :
    • a device comprising means for driving the capsule in rotation around an axis of rotation (I), a capsule holder for receiving the capsule and a water injection means for injecting water in the capsule,
    said device further comprising a valve means for engaging a peripheral outlet portion of the capsule; said valve means comprising a pressing ring and an elastic means acting on the pressing ring,
    • a capsule containing beverage ingredients and a valve engaging portion designed for being inserted between the capsule holder and the valve means of the device;,
    wherein said capsule comprises an outlet structure forming beverage flow restriction passages of defined cross-section in the capsule at such and/or as a result of the insertion of the valve engaging portion between the capsule holder and the pressing ring of the valve means,
    wherein the valve engaging portion of the capsule has an axial dimension such that, before the extraction of the beverage from the capsule, the pressing ring of the valve means is stressed by the valve engaging portion to an axial force and/or axial distance such that, during the extraction by rotating the capsule in the device, the pressing ring no longer moves by the pressure of the centrifuged beverage on the valve means within the operational rotational speed and the flow of beverage is only funneled through the said flow restriction passages.

    [0032] Additional features of the invention will appear in the detailed description of the figures which follows.

    Brief description of the figures:



    [0033] 

    Figure 1 is a cross-sectional partial view of a beverage capsule system according to the invention;

    Figure 2 is a perspective view of a capsule according to a first embodiment of the invention;

    Figure 3 is a top view of the capsule of figure 2;

    Figure 4 is a cross sectional view of the capsule along line A-A of figure 3;

    Figure 5 shows a detail of the capsule of figures 2 to 4;

    Figure 6 shows a detail in cross-section of the capsule system using a capsule according to the first embodiment;

    Figure 7 is a cross-section along line A-A of figure 6;

    Figure 8 is a cross-section along line B-B of figure 6;

    Figure 9 shows a detail in cross-section of the capsule system using a capsule according to the first embodiment in a variant of the device of figure 6;

    Figure 10 is a perspective view of a capsule according to a second embodiment of the invention;

    Figure 11 is a top view of the capsule of figure 10;

    Figure 12 shows a detail of the capsule of figures 10 and 11;

    Figure 13 shows a detail of the capsule of figures 10 and 11 according to a third embodiment;

    Figure 14 is a cross-section along line A-A of figure 6 according to the second embodiment;

    Figure 15 shows a detail of the capsule of figures 10 and 11 according to a fourth embodiment;

    Figure 16 shows a detail of the capsule of figures 10 and 11 according to a fifth embodiment;

    Figure 17 is a cross-section along line A-A of figure 6 according to the fifth embodiment of figure 16;

    Figure 18 shows a detail of the capsule of figures 10 and 11 according to a sixth embodiment;

    Figure 19 shows a cross-section of a capsule according to a seventh embodiment;

    Figure 20 is a detail in cross-section of the capsule system using a capsule according to the seventh embodiment of figure 19;

    Figure 21 is a cross-section along line A-A of figure 6 according to the seventh embodiment of figure 19;

    Figure 22 is a cross-section along line B-B of figure 6 according to the seventh embodiment of figure 19;

    Figure 23 shows a side view of a capsule according to an eighth embodiment;

    Figure 24 shows a cross-section view along line A-A of figure 23;

    Figure 25 shows a cross-section view along line B-B of figure 23;

    Figure 26 shows a detail of a capsule according to a ninth embodiment;

    Figure 27 shows a detail of a capsule according to a tenth embodiment;

    Figure 28 is a cross sectional view of the kit including a capsule and an insert along line A-A according to a eleventh embodiment;

    Figure 29 shows a detail in cross-section of the capsule system using a kit of capsule according to the eleventh embodiment in a variant of the device of figure 6;

    Figure 30 shows a cross sectional view of a kit including a filter pod and a pod holder along line A-A according to a twelfth embodiment;

    Figure 31 shows a cross sectional view of a kit including a filter pod and a pod holder of smaller size along line A-A according to the twelfth embodiment;

    Figure 32 shows a detail in cross-section of the capsule system using a capsule according to the eleventh embodiment in a variant of the device of figure 6;

    Figure 33 shows a perspective view of a capsule according to a thirteen embodiment;

    Figure 34 shows a top view of the capsule of Figure 3;

    Figure 35 shows a variant of figure 34;

    Figure 36 shows a second variant of figure 35;

    Figure 37 shows a detail of the capsule of figures 33 and 34 during beverage extraction;

    Figure 38 shows a cross sectional view of the capsule of figures 33 and 34 in a beverage preparation device;

    Figure 39 shows a detail of the capsule of figure 36;

    Figure 40 shows a cross sectional view of the capsule of figures 36 and 39 in a beverage preparation device during extraction.


    Detailed description of the invention



    [0034] A general representation of a capsule system 1 of the invention is illustrated on figure 1. The system comprises a capsule 2 containing beverage ingredients such as ground coffee powder. The capsule 2 is inserted in a beverage preparation device 3 comprising a capsule holder 4, a water injection device 5 for supplying water in the capsule and a valve means 6. The device further comprises a water reservoir 7 for supplying water in a water circuit 8. Water is circulated in the water circuit 8 by means of a pump 9 and can be heated by a heater 10 to a controlled temperature before it enters into the capsule. In Figure 1, the capsule is shown in a position of engagement in the device, with the device being closed and ready for centrifuging the capsule; such position which will be described in more detail in relation to figure 6.

    [0035] Concerning the device, it comprises more particularly an upper frame 11 and a lower frame 12 which do not rotate during the centrifugation of the capsule in the device. The upper and lower frames 11, 12 have collecting parts 13, 14 respectively surrounding the capsule onto which the centrifuged beverage is received when leaving the capsule. The collecting part 13 forms a tubular jacket surrounding the capsule and separated from it by a small gap (also called "flying distance"). The second collecting part 14 can be a U-shaped reservoir placed below the first collecting part 13. An upper rotatable part 15 of the device is mounted around the injection means 5 which are static relative to the upper frame. For example, a ball bearing 16 is inserted between the injection means and the part 15. This upper rotatable part 15 comprises a capsule engaging plate 17, e.g., with a convex engaging surface intended for pressing on the upper surface or lid of the capsule. The valve means 6 are mounted around said plate 17 as it will be further described. The lower frame 12 also supports the capsule holder 4 which is rotatably mounted via the ball bearing 18. The capsule holder is connected via an axle 19 to a rotary motor 20. The motor drives the capsule holder 4 and upper part 15 in rotation and consequently the capsule too which is inserted between the parts 15, 4.

    [0036] The device further comprises a beverage duct 21 which forms an extension of the collecting means, in particular, of U-shaped collector 14. The collected beverage is drained through this duct 21 and received in a receptacle, such as a cup or mug, placed beneath. The device further comprises a control unit 22 and a user interface 23. The unit 22 is programmed to adjust the brewing parameters such as the flow rate, the rotational speed, water temperature, the volume of the beverage and combinations thereof. The unit may receive information from a capsule detection system such as a code associated to the capsule or a capsule size's sensor to control the brewing parameters such as described in European co-pending patent application No. 10170042.5.

    [0037] A first embodiment of the capsule of the invention is illustrated in figures 2 to 5. The capsule is also shown in engagement in the beverage preparation device on figures 6, 7 and 8. In general, the capsule 2A has a cup-shaped body 24 and a lid 25 connected to the body so as to delimit an inner compartment 26 containing beverage ingredients 27 (e.g., ground coffee). An axis "I" can be defined that traverses the centre of the lid which forms the virtual axis of rotation of the capsule when the capsule is the centrifuged in the device. The body has a cup portion 28 and a flange portion 29 extending outwardly from the capsule. The flange portion 29 may be a part of the body and/or lid. At the free end of the flange is provided a valve engaging portion 30. Such portion 30 may take various shapes. Preferably, it extends axially beyond the flange 29 both above and below. The term "axially" refers to the direction of extension of the axis "I". The terms "above" and "below" are defined in the context of the capsule of the invention, relative to the axial direction when the lid of the capsule is oriented upwardly as represented in the figures.

    [0038] In particular, the valve engaging portion has a height "h" defined as the maximal height between a top surface or edge 31 and a bottom surface or edge 32. The valve engaging portion has also a width "w" defined as the maximal width between an inner surface 33 and an outer surface 34 both extending beyond the flange 29. The flange portion may not necessary be perpendicular to the axis "I" but may be slightly inclined relative to axis "I". Also the flange portion may not necessary have a constant thickness "t" but may have a variable thickness. It may, for example, merge with the engaging portion 30 progressively or stepwise. Importantly, the valve engaging portion has an outlet structure 35 that predetermines the flow restriction of the centrifuged beverage passing the valve engaging portion. In the present embodiment, the outlet structure 35 is formed of a plurality of grooves 36 provided in the top surface or edge 31. The grooves extend generally in radial directions. The grooves may not necessary be rectilinear in the radial directions. The grooves may, for instance, take a curved shape, a "Z" shape or a shape of labyrinth.

    [0039] In general (i.e., for this embodiment but also applicable to all other embodiments), the lid comprises a transversal portion 37 in the form of a disc partially closing the compartment. The transversal portion 37 is positioned inset relative to the flange portion 29 to form a recess, at least in the vicinity of the periphery 38 of the lid. The lid may further extend on its side by an upwardly raising edge portion 39. The edge portion 39 is connected to the inner surface of the cup portion of the body such as by welding, gluing, press-fitting and any combinations thereof. Of course, the edge portion 39 can be oriented downwardly below the transversal portion 37 (towards the compartment) or, both upwardly and downwardly both below and above the transversal portion 37.

    [0040] The centre of the lid may be further provided with a tubular guiding portion 40. This portion serves to guide a water injection member such as a needle of the beverage preparation device. The tubular guiding portion 40 may be closed by a perforable or breakable part or may be open.

    [0041] At the periphery of the transversal portion of the lid is provided a plurality of openings 43. These openings may be sized to allow beverage release out of the capsule. For example, the openings have a diameter of less than 250 microns, preferably comprised between 50 and 200 microns in order to filter the beverage from the larger non-soluble particles of the ingredients.

    [0042] Finally, an (optional) foil 44 can be provided on top of the capsule covering the lid (figure 4). The foil 44 may be impervious to liquid and even preferably to gas. The foil 44 can be connected to the flange portion 29 and/or lid 37. The foil may be designed to be perforated or may be a peel-off membrane.

    [0043] The device and the engagement of the capsule in the device according to the embodiment of figures 1 to 5 will now be further described in relation to figures 6 to 8. The device comprises a valve means 6. The valve means comprises a pressing ring 45 mounted in axial relationship around the engaging plate 17. The pressing ring can take various spacing positions relative to a supporting flange 46 of the capsule holder 4 depending on the height "h" of the valve engaging portion 30 of the capsule. When a capsule is inserted in the device, the valve engaging portion forces the pressing ring 45 against an elastic means 47, such as a plurality of helical springs or spring-blades distributed along the circumference of the ring. The elastic means is positioned between an abutment portion 48 of the engaging plate 17 and the pressing ring 45. The capsule of the invention is designed in such a manner that the pressing ring is pre-stressed by the elastic means and cannot be further moved against the elastic means (in upward axial direction or direction A shown in figure 8) under the pressure of the beverage when the device is centrifuging the capsule. In other words, the valve means is blocked in a compressed position of the ring. Blocking of the valve means can, for instance, be obtained by fully compressing the helical springs such as, for instance, the coils of the springs 47 comes to a contiguous position (as illustrated in figure 8). The valve may be further or alternatively blocked by a mechanical abutment 54 of the pressing ring against the abutment portion 48 as illustrated on figure 9. For instance, the height "h" of the valve engaging portion is of at least 5 mm, preferably comprised between 5 and 10 mm.

    [0044] The "blocking" of the valve means may also be obtained at insertion of the capsule a by creating a reaction force at the hysteresis curve of the spring means which cannot be further overcome by the forces of the centrifuged liquid on the valve means so that no further opening of the flow passage of the valve means is possible during centrifugation (at least in a clear discernible manner). For example, the axial reaction force during insertion of the engaging portion of the capsule in the valve means is set at 250 N on the valve means. In the centrifugal operation, the capsule is centrifuged at an operational speed which creates an axial force on the valve means lower or equal to 250 N. Thus, the axial component of the force of liquid is too low to further open the valve means during centrifugation. It is therefore ensured that the flow restriction passage is well defined by the structure of the capsule itself and/or as a result of the engagement of the capsule in the device during insertion.

    [0045] As illustrated on figure 7, flow restriction passages 49 are formed resulting from the engagement of the top surface 31 of the valve engaging portion 30 and the contact surface 50 of the pressing ring. The flow restriction passages are preferably of a very small cross section to provide a pressure gradient in the capsule and to set up the flow rate of the centrifuged beverage. The flow rate may be set up in a range comprised between 0.5 and 5 ml/second. The flow rate highly depends on the rotational speed but these values are valid for a speed comprised between 2500 and 6000 rpm. These passages are thus oriented radially to provide a liquid communication from the inner surface 33 of the valve engaging portion to the outer surface 34. As also apparent in figure 6, the flange portion may be pinched by a pinching portion 51 of the engaging plate 17 of the device while leaving larger passages 52 for the beverage upstream of the flow restriction passages 49. The engaging plate 17 also comprises perforating extraction means such as a series of blades, needles or pyramids 53 which perforate the foil 44 to allow the centrifuged beverage to flow in radial direction. Further upstream, the peripheral openings 43 of the lid may filter the beverage to ensure that the large solid particles are retained in the compartment, e.g., the non-soluble coffee grains. The openings may also be combined to a separate filter element placed adjacent or below the openings 43.

    [0046] A second embodiment of the capsule 2B of the invention is illustrated in figures 10 to 15. The capsule has the same characteristics as the capsule of the first embodiment except that the outlet structure 37 of the valve engaging portion 30 comprises a top surface 55 with knurls. The top surface is corrugated in the radial direction to form a multitude of knurls. When the capsule is engaged in the device as illustrated in figure 14, the knurls on the top surface of the valve engaging portion 30 of the capsule cooperate with a relatively flat contact or pressing surface 50 of the pressing ring 45 to delimit radial passages 56. The height of the knurls may be (as measured from their base to their crest) comprised between 5 and 500 microns, preferably between 5 and 50 microns, most preferably between 10 and 30 microns. The longest distance between two adjacent knurls, such as measured at the crest, is preferably comprised between 10 and 350 microns. The knurls may have a pyramidal or triangular cross-section or a rectangular cross-section. The knurls may abut a their base when pyramidal or triangular.

    [0047] In the embodiment of figure 13, the filter openings are obtained by a band of porous material 56.

    [0048] In the embodiment of figure 14, the knurls are replaced by a multitude of small spikes or small studs. When the capsule is engaged in the device, this structure creates a labyrinth or tortuous flow path for the beverage on the top surface of the valve engaging surface.

    [0049] In the embodiment of capsule 2C of figure 16, the valve engaging portion 30 comprises through-openings 57. In particular, the valve engaging portion is formed as an inverted L-shaped profile with an upward tubular wall 58 and a transversal upper engaging wall 59. The height "h" of the valve engaging portion 30 is here measured between the top surface 31 of the wall 59 and the bottom surface 32 of the tubular wall 58. The arrow "F" shows the flow path of the centrifuged beverage leaving the capsule in its way to the beverage collecting means of the device. The flow path starts from the compartment and travels through the openings 43 in the lid, then through the flow restriction openings 57 provided in the portion 30. The capsule 2C when engaged between the valve means of the device and the capsule holder is illustrated in figure 17. This figure shows that the only possible flow for the beverage is through openings 57 of the valve engaging portion whereas the valve means 6 is blocked due to a sufficient "h" of the engaging portion inserted between the flange 46 of the capsule holder and the pressing ring 45.

    [0050] In the embodiment of capsule 2D of figure 18, the outlet structure comprises openings 59 provided through the flange portion 29 of the capsule to enable the liquid to traverse the flange upstream of the valve engaging portion and communicate in a recess or interstice between the flange portion and the capsule holder. The lower surface 32 of the valve engaging portion is provided with an outlet structure such as knurls or grooves 60 and the like to form restriction passages 61 for the flow of beverage in conjunction with the upper surface 62 of the capsule holder as illustrated on figure 21. Again the height "h" of the valve engaging portion is sufficient to maintain the valve in a blocked position so that the flow of beverage can only pass through the restriction passages 61.

    [0051] In the embodiment of capsule 2E of figure 19, the capsule also comprises a body and a lid connected to the body. The lid closes the body at its periphery. In other words, the lid has no filter openings and the openings 43 present in the previous embodiments have been removed. The side wall 63 of the body comprises openings 64 allowing the centrifuged beverage to leave the capsule as illustrated in figure 20. Furthermore, the capsule comprises a valve engaging portion 30 of determined height "h". As illustrated in figure 22, in order to allow the beverage to traverse the flange portion 29 of the capsule, its lower surface 65 comprises an outlet structure such as knurls, grooves, spikes, studs and the like.

    [0052] In the embodiment of capsule 2F of figure 23, the outlet structure is formed of openings, such as thin slots 66, provided between the lid and the body of the capsule. As illustrated in figure 24, the openings may be cutouts formed in a peripheral edge of the lid and/or body. As also illustrated in figure 25 showing the assembly at a different radial section, the edge of the lid defines a valve engaging portion with an upper surface 31 and bottom surface 33 distant from height "h". It should be noted that, in a possible solution, the lid and the body can be rotated relative to one another along axis I for adjusting the size of the openings or slots.

    [0053] In the embodiment of capsule 2G of figures 26 and 27, the outlet structure is formed by a layer 67 of liquid porous material. The porosity must be oriented at least in radial direction. The layer may be sufficiently rigid for resisting to the deformation when the pressing ring 45 is compressed thereon. For example, it can be a layer made of sintered or plastic or metal or rigid foam. In this case, the height "h" of the valve engaging portion is determined by the sum of "h1" which represents the thickness of the layer of liquid porous material and "h2" which represents the thickness of the non-porous part 68 of the valve engaging portion. The beverage therefore flows through the porous layer in direction of the collecting means of the device.

    [0054] In an alternative illustrated in figure 27, the layer of porous material is partially compressible under load of the valve means. In such case, the height "h" of the valve engaging portion 30 of the capsule is determined by the sum of the thickness "h3" which represents the thickness of the layer in the compressed state and the thickness "h2" which represents the thickness of the non-porous part 68 of the valve engaging portion.

    [0055] It should be noted that the pressing ring 45 can be made (in general) of a slightly compressible material such as a rubber or hard foam.

    [0056] Of course, a layer of porous material can form the outlet structures of the described embodiments in replacement to, e.g., the grooves, knurls, spikes or studs.

    [0057] Figures 28 and 29 relate to a beverage capsule kit 2H comprising a capsule 70 without outwardly protruding flange and a separate insert 71 forming the engaging valve portion 30. The insert 71 has the shape of a ring and is dimensioned to match the supporting flange 46 of the capsule holder as illustrated on figure 29. The capsule 70 comprises a cup-shaped body 24 and a lid 25 partially closing the body. The body has no laterally protruding flange. The body and lid can be connected by an upward flange portion 73, e.g., which ends below the level of the insert. The lid may comprise flow openings 43. The engaging valve portion 30 may be designed with the flow restriction passages being configured according to any of the aforementioned embodiments.

    [0058] Figures 30 to 32 relate to another embodiment in which the capsules 2I and 2J are formed of a filter pod 75 which fits into a pod receiver 76. The pod receiver forms a cup-shaped body 24 which extends by a valve engaging portion 30. The filter pod comprises a compartment with a porous upper wall 77 forming, for instance, the lid of the capsule when the two parts 75, 76 are assembled together. The upper wall 77 connects to a sidewall and bottom wall 78 which may be porous or, alternatively impervious to liquid. The pod may comprise a central recess 79 for enabling a tubular liquid distribution tube 80 of the receiver to be fitted in. The tube 80 is traversed by at least two, preferably a multitude of flow inlets 81. In this embodiment, the filter pod may be formed of a flexible liquid porous material such as filter paper, woven or non woven or a combination of these flexible porous material and liquid impervious foil material such as an aluminium and/or polymer. As illustrated on figure 32, the filter pod is dimensioned so that its upper wall 77 comes below the perforating extraction means 53 of the device when the capsule is inserted in the capsule holder and the engaging plate 17 is engaged on the receiver. As a result, the pod is not perforated by the extraction means 53 and the beverage (e.g., coffee extract) can be properly filtered.

    [0059] For all the embodiment of the capsules, the lid may be flexible, semi-rigid or rigid. The body can also be flexible, semi-rigid or rigid. Both can be made of aluminum, plastic or biodegradable polymer such as PLA or starch and combinations thereof. Parts of the capsule can also be formed of cellulose such as paper filter or textile such as woven or non woven material.

    [0060] Figures 33, 34 and 37 illustrate another embodiment for the capsule 2K of the invention. It comprises a cup-shaped body 80 and a lid 81. The lid is configured with a flange portion 82 fitting at least partially on a flange portion 83 of the body. The flange portion is formed of a multitude of protrusions 84 and channels 85 distributed on the circumference of the portion and extending individually radially. The combination of the flange portions 82, 83 forms the valve engaging portion 30 of height "h" enabling to place the valve means of the device in compression as illustrated in figure 38. The lid 81 further comprises a peripheral recess 86 close to the flange in order to allocate room for the extraction or perforating means 87 of the device when the engaging plate 17 of the device engages with the lid of the capsule. Figure 38 further shows the beverage flow moving under the forces of centrifugation and traversing the peripheral openings 43 provided on the lid, flowing through the recess 86 and passing through the channels 85 provided on the portion of flange of the lid. An additional filter 87 can be placed between the openings 43 and the cavity of the capsule, such as affixed to the internal surface of the lid.

    [0061] Figure 35 shows a variant of the capsule 2K, more particularly, where the lid has large arc-shaped openings 88 covered by a filter 89 such as filter paper, woven or non woven fabric and combinations thereof.
    Finally, figures 36 to 40 illustrate a capsule 2L in which the lid is free of the peripheral through-openings 43. The variation here is that the lower surface of the portion of flange 82 of the lid comprises the protrusions and channels 90. Such structure of flow passage can be obtained by embossing of the flange portion. As apparent on figure 40, the flow of the centrifuged beverage traverses the channels 90 present between the lid and body.


    Claims

    1. A beverage capsule (2, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 2I, 2J, 2K, 2L) for preparing a beverage in a beverage preparation device (3) from the beverage capsule containing beverage ingredients by passing water through the beverage ingredients contained in the beverage capsule using centrifugal forces,
    the beverage preparation device comprising

    - means for driving the beverage capsule in rotation around an axis of rotation (I) at an operational rotation speed, a capsule holder (4) for receiving the beverage capsule and a water injection means (5) for injecting water in the beverage capsule,

    - a resilient valve means (6) for engaging a valve engaging portion (30) of the beverage capsule; said resilient valve means comprising a pressing ring (45);

    the beverage capsule comprising

    - a body (24);,

    - a lid (25) delimiting a compartment (26) containing beverage ingredients (27);

    - a valve engaging portion (30) designed for being inserted between the capsule holder (4) and the resilient valve means (6) of the beverage preparation device; and

    - an outlet structure (35) comprising beverage flow restriction passages (36) of defined cross-section in the beverage capsule, the flow of the beverage during extraction of the beverage from the beverage capsule being the result of the flow restriction passages themselves and/or of the insertion of the valve engaging portion (30) between the capsule holder and the pressing ring of the valve means,

    wherein the outlet structure (35) is formed on a top surface (31, 37) or edge of the valve engaging portion (30); said top surface or edge being arranged to come in abutment against the pressing ring (45) of the resilient valve means when the beverage capsule is inserted in the device, and wherein the valve engaging portion of the beverage capsule has an axial dimension (h) such that, before extraction of the beverage from the beverage capsule, the pressing ring of the resilient valve means is stressed by the valve engaging portion according to a feature selected from the group consisting of an axial force, axial distance, and combinations therefore and such that, during the extraction by rotating the beverage capsule in the beverage preparation device, the pressing ring no longer moves by the pressure of the centrifuged beverage on the resilient valve means within the operational rotational speed and a flow of the beverage is only funneled through the flow restriction passages.
     
    2. A beverage capsule according to claim 1, wherein, the valve engaging portion (30) of the beverage capsule is designed for stressing the resilient valve means (6) when the beverage capsule is inserted between the capsule holder and the resilient valve means, to such an extent that the pressing ring (45) abuts against a fully compressed elastic means (47) and/or against a solid abutment portion (48) of the beverage preparation device.
     
    3. A beverage capsule according to claims 1 or 2, wherein the valve engaging portion (30) extends outwardly and above a transversal flange portion (29) of the beverage capsule.
     
    4. A beverage capsule according to claim 3, wherein said valve engaging portion (30) extends further below the flange portion of the beverage capsule.
     
    5. A beverage capsule according to claim 1 wherein the valve engaging portion (30) has an axial dimension (h) of at least 5 mm.
     
    6. A beverage capsule according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the outlet structure is formed of a plurality of radially oriented grooves (36) or knurls (55, 60) distributed on the circumference of the engaging portion.
     
    7. A beverage capsule according to any of the claims 1 to 5 wherein the outlet structure is formed by a labyrinth-type structure obtained such as grooves (36), knurls (55), spikes, studs (550) and the like provided on a top surface (31, 37) or edge of the engaging portion.
     
    8. A beverage capsule according to any of the claims 1 to 5, wherein the outlet structure comprises a plurality of radially oriented through-openings (57) formed in the valve engaging portion (30).
     
    9. A beverage capsule according to claim 8, wherein the outlet structure is formed of openings (43) delimited between a cup-shaped body and the lid of the beverage capsule connected to the body.
     
    10. A beverage capsule according to claims 8 or 9, wherein the outlet structure forms openings (66) of controllably variable cross-section by relative movement of the lid (25) and body (24) such as by rotation of the lid relative to the body.
     
    11. A beverage capsule according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the outlet structure is formed by flow restriction passages (61) such as radial grooves (60), knurls, spikes or studs and the like on the edge of the valve engaging portion; said edge being designed for coming in abutment against a support surface of the capsule holder.
     
    12. A beverage capsule according to claim 11, wherein the beverage capsule further comprises openings (64) provided through the sidewall (63) of its body.
     
    13. A beverage capsule according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the outlet structure is formed of at least one layer (67) of porous material such as a woven or non woven, filter paper, sponge or foam.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Getränkekapsel (2, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 2I, 2J, 2K, 2L) zum Zubereiten eines Getränks in einer Getränkezubereitungsvorrichtung (3) aus der Getränkekapsel, die Getränkezutaten enthält, durch Hindurchleiten von Wasser durch die Getränkezutaten, die in der Getränkekapsel enthalten sind, unter Verwendung von Zentrifugalkräften,
    wobei die Getränkezubereitungsvorrichtung umfasst

    - Mittel zum Drehen der Getränkekapsel um eine Drehachse (I) mit einer Betriebsdrehzahl, einen Kapselhalter (4) zum Aufnehmen der Getränkekapsel und ein Wassereinspritzmittel (5) zum Einspritzen von Wasser in die Getränkekapsel,

    - ein elastisches Ventilmittel (6) zum Eingreifen in einen Ventileingriffsabschnitt (30) der Getränkekapsel; wobei das elastische Ventilmittel einen Druckring (45) umfasst;

    wobei die Getränkekapsel umfasst

    - einen Körper (24);,

    - einen Deckel (25), der ein Fach (26) begrenzt, das Getränkezutaten (27) enthält;

    - einen Ventileingriffsabschnitt (30), der dafür ausgelegt ist, zwischen dem Kapselhalter (4) und dem elastischen Ventilmittel (6) der Getränkezubereitungsvorrichtung eingesetzt zu werden; und

    - eine Auslassstruktur (35), die Getränkestrombegrenzungskanäle (36) mit definiertem Querschnitt in der Getränkekapsel umfasst, wobei die Strömung des Getränks während der Extraktion des Getränks aus der Getränkekapsel das Ergebnis der Strombegrenzungskanäle selbst und/oder des Einsetzens des Ventileingriffsabschnitts (30) zwischen dem Kapselhalter und dem Druckring des Ventilmittels ist,

    wobei die Auslassstruktur (35) an einer oberen Fläche (31, 37) oder Kante des Ventileingriffsabschnitts (30) gebildet ist; wobei die obere Fläche oder Kante so angeordnet ist, dass sie gegen den Druckring (45) des elastischen Ventilmittels anliegt, wenn die Getränkekapsel in die Vorrichtung eingeführt wird, und wobei der Ventileingriffsabschnitt der Getränkekapsel eine solche axiale Abmessung (h) aufweist, dass vor der Extraktion des Getränks aus der Getränkekapsel der Druckring des elastischen Ventilmittels durch den Ventileingriffsabschnitt gemäß einem Merkmal belastet wird, das ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus einer axialen Kraft, axialem Abstand und Kombinationen davon und derart, dass sich bei der Extraktion durch Drehen der Getränkekapsel in der Getränkezubereitungsvorrichtung der Druckring durch den Druck des zentrifugierten Getränks auf das elastische Ventilmittel innerhalb der Betriebsdrehzahl nicht mehr bewegt und ein Durchfluss des Getränks nur noch durch die Strombegrenzungskanäle gelenkt wird.
     
    2. Getränkekapsel nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Ventileingriffsabschnitt (30) der Getränkekapsel zum Spannen des elastischen Ventilmittels (6) ausgelegt ist, wenn die Getränkekapsel zwischen dem Kapselhalter und dem elastischen Ventilmittel eingesetzt wird, in einem solchen Ausmaß, dass der Druckring (45) gegen ein vollständig zusammengedrücktes elastisches Mittel (47) und/oder gegen einen festen Anlageabschnitt (48) der Getränkezubereitungsvorrichtung anliegt.
     
    3. Getränkekapsel nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei sich der Ventileingriffsabschnitt (30) nach außen und über einen transversalen Flanschabschnitt (29) der Getränkekapsel erstreckt.
     
    4. Getränkekapsel nach Anspruch 3, wobei sich der Ventileingriffsabschnitt (30) ferner unter den Flanschabschnitt der Getränkekapsel erstreckt.
     
    5. Getränkekapsel nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Ventileingriffsabschnitt (30) eine axiale Abmessung (h) von mindestens 5 mm aufweist.
     
    6. Getränkekapsel nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Auslassstruktur aus einer Vielzahl von radial ausgerichteten Nuten (36) oder Rändelungen (55, 60) gebildet ist, die auf dem Umfang des Eingriffsabschnitts verteilt sind.
     
    7. Getränkekapsel nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei die Auslassstruktur durch eine erhaltene labyrinthartige Struktur gebildet wird, wie Nuten (36), Rändelungen (55), Spitzen, Zapfen (550) und dergleichen, die auf einer Oberseite (31, 37) oder einer Kante des Eingriffsabschnitts bereitgestellt sind.
     
    8. Getränkekapsel nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei die Auslassstruktur eine Vielzahl von radial ausgerichteten Durchgangsöffnungen (57) umfasst, die in dem Ventileingriffsabschnitt (30) gebildet sind.
     
    9. Getränkekapsel nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Auslassstruktur aus Öffnungen (43) gebildet ist, die zwischen einem becherförmigen Körper und dem Deckel der Getränkekapsel, der mit dem Körper verbunden ist, abgegrenzt sind.
     
    10. Getränkekapsel nach Anspruch 8 oder 9, wobei die Auslassstruktur Öffnungen (66) mit steuerbar variablem Querschnitt durch Relativbewegung des Deckels (25) und des Körpers (24), wie durch Drehung des Deckels relativ zum Körper, bildet.
     
    11. Getränkekapsel nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Auslassstruktur durch Strombegrenzungskanäle (61) wie radiale Nuten (60), Rändelungen, Spitzen oder Zapfen und dergleichen an der Kante des Ventileingriffsabschnitts gebildet ist; wobei die Kante so ausgelegt ist, dass sie gegen eine Stützfläche des Kapselhalters anliegt.
     
    12. Getränkekapsel nach Anspruch 11, wobei die Getränkekapsel ferner Öffnungen (64) umfasst, die durch die Seitenwand (63) ihres Körpers hindurch vorgesehen sind.
     
    13. Getränkekapsel nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Auslassstruktur aus mindestens einer Schicht (67) aus porösem Material, wie einem Gewebe oder Vlies, Filterpapier, Schwamm oder Schaumstoff, gebildet ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Capsule de boisson (2, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 2I, 2J, 2K, 2L) pour préparer une boisson dans un dispositif de préparation de boisson (3) à partir de la capsule de boisson contenant des ingrédients de boisson en faisant passer de l'eau à travers les ingrédients de boisson contenus dans la capsule de boisson à l'aide de forces centrifuges,
    le dispositif de préparation de boisson comprenant

    - un moyen pour entraîner la capsule de boisson en rotation autour d'un axe de rotation (I) à une vitesse de rotation opérationnelle, un support de capsule (4) pour recevoir la capsule de boisson et un moyen d'injection d'eau (5) pour injecter de l'eau dans la capsule de boisson,

    - un moyen de soupape élastique (6) pour mettre en prise une partie de mise en prise de soupape (30) de la capsule de boisson ; ledit moyen de soupape élastique comprenant une bague de pression (45) ;

    la capsule de boisson comprenant

    - un corps (24) ;

    - un couvercle (25) délimitant un compartiment (26) contenant des ingrédients de boisson (27) ;

    - une partie de mise en prise de soupape (30) conçue pour être insérée entre le support de capsule (4) et le moyen de soupape élastique (6) du dispositif de préparation de boisson ; et

    - une structure de sortie (35) comprenant des passages de restriction d'écoulement de boisson (36) de section transversale définie dans la capsule de boisson, l'écoulement de la boisson pendant l'extraction de la boisson à partir de la capsule de boisson étant le résultat des passages de restriction d'écoulement eux-mêmes et/ou de l'insertion de la partie de mise en prise de soupape (30) entre le support de capsule et la bague de pression du moyen de soupape,

    dans laquelle la structure de sortie (35) est formée sur une surface supérieure (31, 37) ou un bord de la partie de mise en prise de soupape (30) ; ladite surface supérieure ou ledit bord étant agencé pour venir en butée contre la bague de pression (45) du moyen de soupape élastique lorsque la capsule de boisson est insérée dans le dispositif, et dans laquelle la partie de mise en prise de soupape de la capsule de boisson a une dimension axiale (h) de telle sorte que, avant l'extraction de la boisson à partir de la capsule de boisson, la bague de pression du moyen de soupape élastique est sollicitée par la partie de mise en prise de soupape selon une caractéristique choisie parmi le groupe constitué d'une force axiale, d'une distance axiale, et de combinaisons de celles-ci et de telle sorte que, pendant l'extraction par rotation de la capsule de boisson dans le dispositif de préparation de boisson, la bague de pression ne bouge plus par la pression de la boisson centrifugée sur le moyen de soupape élastique avec la vitesse de rotation opérationnelle et un écoulement de la boisson passe uniquement à travers des passages de restriction d'écoulement.
     
    2. Capsule de boisson selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la partie de mise en prise de soupape (30) de la capsule de boisson est conçue pour solliciter le moyen de soupape élastique (6) lorsque la capsule de boisson est insérée entre le support de capsule et le moyen de soupape élastique, dans une mesure où la bague de pression (45) vient en butée contre un moyen élastique complètement comprimé (47) et/ou contre une partie en butée solide (48) du dispositif de préparation de boisson.
     
    3. Capsule de boisson selon les revendications 1 ou 2, dans laquelle la partie de mise en prise de soupape (30) s'étend vers l'extérieur et au-dessus d'une partie de bride transversale (29) de la capsule de boisson.
     
    4. Capsule de boisson selon la revendication 3, dans laquelle ladite partie de mise en prise de soupape (30) s'étend en outre au-dessous de la partie de bride de la capsule de boisson.
     
    5. Capsule de boisson selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la partie de mise en prise de soupape (30) a une dimension axiale (h) d'au moins 5 mm.
     
    6. Capsule de boisson selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle la structure de sortie est formée d'une pluralité de rainures orientées radialement (36) ou de stries (55, 60) réparties sur la circonférence de la partie de mise en prise.
     
    7. Capsule de boisson selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5 dans laquelle la structure de sortie est formée par une structure de type labyrinthe obtenue telle que des rainures (36), des stries (55), des pointes, des goujons (550) et analogues fournis sur une surface supérieure (31, 37) ou un bord de la partie de mise en prise.
     
    8. Capsule de boisson selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans laquelle la structure de sortie comprend une pluralité d'ouvertures traversantes orientées radialement (57) formées dans la partie de mise en prise de soupape (30).
     
    9. Capsule de boisson selon la revendication 8, dans laquelle la structure de sortie est formée d'ouvertures (43) délimitées entre un corps en forme de godet et le couvercle de la capsule de boisson reliée au corps.
     
    10. Capsule de boisson selon les revendications 8 ou 9, dans laquelle la structure de sortie forme des ouvertures (66) de section transversale variable de manière contrôlable par un mouvement relatif du couvercle (25) et du corps (24) tel que par rotation du couvercle par rapport au corps.
     
    11. Capsule de boisson selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle la structure de sortie est formée par des passages de restriction d'écoulement (61) tels que des rainures radiales (60), des stries, des pointes ou des goujons et analogues sur le bord de la partie de mise en prise de soupape ; ledit bord étant conçu pour venir en butée contre une surface de support du support de capsule.
     
    12. Capsule de boisson selon la revendication 11, dans laquelle la capsule de boisson comprend en outre des ouvertures (64) fournies à travers la paroi latérale (63) de son corps.
     
    13. Capsule de boisson selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle la structure de sortie est formée d'au moins une couche (67) de matériau poreux telle qu'un papier filtre, une éponge ou une mousse, tissés ou non tissés.
     




    Drawing

































































    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description