A quick overview of Pod or Capsule coffee machines
Updated: Apr 29, 2021
As the purpose of this site is focused on Coffee Beans and Blends I do not recommend the use of pre-packaged coffee in the form of capsules or pods. Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through links on this page.
It is well acknowledged that the reason these forms of coffee delivery have grown such a massive following throughout the developed world, is almost entirely based on convenience and has little to do with the benefits and values of fresh-roasted and served coffee. I have therefor simply listed the Pro's and Cons of this coffee delivery method for your own review and assessment, as there are so many nuances to selecting a suitable pod/capsule machine, the only thing I can offer is to provide you with a machine in this category which gets the highest number of reviews combined with the the highest ratings. Whether that is s suitable machine for your tastes is very much a personal discovery journey, but if you just want fast, mess-free way to have a consistent coffee-like experience, then maybe the Nespresso Creatista Plus by Sage would serve that purpose for you.
Of all the various "Top 'n' pod machines for 2020" review sites, this is the only machine which has significantly more than 500 reviews (888 at time of this post) resulting in an overwhelming 87% giving it the full 5 out of 5-star rating and scoring an overall 4.7/5 rating.
Coffee capsule or pod machines
Maintain coffee freshness for longer, although that doesn’t apply universally. They only have a freshness advantage against coffee makers that use regular ground coffee which comes in large packages, as once you open a pack of ground coffee its oils and aromas start to disintegrate and rapidly loose freshness. This is not so true when compared to beans being correctly stored and freshly ground;
Experience a variety of brews with no selection experience. Pods may even contain the milk powder along with the pre-ground coffee for your brew!
Coffee is not freshly ground. Coffee pods, bags, and capsules contain pre-ground coffee which by its very nature won’t be as fresh as when it’s prepared from beans that you grind on the spot. Also, capsules have a long shelf life which means that the coffee you drink today might have been ground and packaged possibly as much as a year earlier;
Pods can be expensive compared to using beans or bulk pre-ground coffee;
Pods restrict you to pre-defined blends;
Little or no control over how the coffee is extracted. No control over grind coarseness, and water quantities and temperature are often inflexible too. (one method for all coffee types);
Some pods and capsules are non-recyclable or difficult to recycle, and even when they can be recycled they are frequently disposed of in general land-fill garbage disposal. At least one European city has even gone so far as to prohibit the use of coffee capsules because of this!
While pod/capsule machines emulate barista taste and flavors fairly well, pod-coffee will never be the same as an espresso prepared by hand. Regular espresso preparation offers a much wider choice of variables in the brewing, such as bean type, grind coarseness, ability to create/adjust bean blends, water quantity, temperature and pressure, and much more;
Single-serve pod machine systems vary and some only work with a particular-size/shape of capsule or pod. This may prohibit the trial or use of some brands of coffee entirely or you may be locked-in to a particular machine vendors coffee offerings.
NOTE: this web site is NOT focused on reviewing coffee machines, I've just added these posts to offer some researched guidance on what machines you can use to enjoy the benefits of what the rest of the site is about ... coffee beans and blending