For coffee that comes with a push button convenience that rivals even that of instant coffee, pod based coffee machines certainly are an attractive option. Coffee pods, or capsules as they are otherwise known, are a conveniently packed form of coffee, with each pod containing a single serve of coffee.
It should be noted that the term coffee pod originally referred to the single serve of coffee contained in its own filter, much like a tea bag. These pods are designed to be used in espresso machines, or regular coffee machines, and are in fact a better option than a coffee capsule if you want a full strength espresso. Coffee capsules on the other hand, are single serves of coffee contained in a plastic or aluminum capsule.
A ‘real’ coffee pod will contain 7g of coffee blend (the bare minimum for a full strength espresso), while capsules are sold in between 5 and 5.8 gram sizes. Needless to say, a capsule of this size will fail to produce a full flavored espresso. These days the term ‘pod’ has become interchangeable with the more popular ‘capsule.’
Coffee pods (or capsules) have been exploding in popularity of late due to their extreme convenience. Never before has such a wide range of flavors been available with the convenience of an almost instant cup of coffee, but when you’re on the hunt for the best coffee machine with pods you will still need to do a little research before settling on a model.
Many coffee pod machines are brand specific, meaning you may be locked into buying that brand of coffee, so you will want to make sure that there are plenty of flavors to choose from. Some brands have as little as 3 flavors, while Nespresso, the brand which kicked off the whole craze, has 16 flavors available at the time of writing. You should also be aware that what flavors are available will depend on the company’s bottom line. If a flavor isn’t performing in the marketplace, it’s highly like it may be dropped, never to be seen again.
As the war for coffee pod profits heats up a few manufacturers have entered the fray with their own versions of coffee pod machines. These often come with the ability to use pods from a number of different companies, thereby freeing you from being forced to use only one particular brand. This is a great option if you want to maximize the amount of flavors available to you. Due to the fact they are manufactured by third parties these off brand coffee pod machines are usually a little cheaper as well.
The best pod coffee machine that we have found on the market is the DeLonghi Silver Lattissima Plus Nespresso Capsule System pictured below.