Which Coffee Pod For You?

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nespresso coffee pods

Coffee pods are single-serve portions of coffee that can be used with various coffee machines to produce a quality cup of joe from the comfort of your own home.

They come in various shapes and sizes, and they can be manufactured with either a plastic or an aluminum casing.

Ground coffee is sealed inside the pod or capsule container, lined with some type of filter paper, and sealed using foil, which is great for ensuring the coffee stays at its best and helps to retain that original, fresh coffee flavor.

This also means they’re easy to store at home, and you don’t have to worry as much about the coffee getting stale.

How do you use Coffee Pods?

do coffee pods retain original flavor of coffee

It’s important to know which type of pod you’re using in your machine, as this will determine how you make your coffee and how well they retain their intended flavor. For example, certain pods are designed to produce an espresso shot, whereas others are designed to produce larger amounts of coffee.

If you use the wrong coffee pod with the wrong setting on your coffee machine, the resulting coffee can end up tasting too weak, too strong, or just plain bad, which is an unnecessary and not altogether fair strike against coffee pods in the debate of whether or not they can retain their original flavor.

Nespresso and Keurig K-Cups

Brands like Nespresso and Keurig K-Cups are extremely popular, although they’re not the only coffee brands that’ve branched out into coffee pod-use. They are however leading brands, and their coffee pods are among some of the best available.

Initially, you could only choose from a select few different types of coffee pods. These were marketed as high-end products after Swiss and French success, and they produced more traditional variations of coffee.

But coffee is an incredibly personal thing, and this was simply not enough choice to find the right pod for each person’s individual tastes whilst achieving that original coffee flavor we all know and love.

These days, it’s the opposite! There’s an overwhelming amount of possibilities when it comes to coffee pods with a huge range of different blends and styles of coffee.

They come with different strengths and intensity of flavor, and you can even find non-coffee based pods to work in your machines, such as tea or hot chocolate variations, or blends to replicate those you’d find in Starbucks for that coffee-shop taste.

Not all coffee pods will work in every machine, however, so it’s important to check which types of pod are compatible with your coffee machine before you attempt to use them. Not only will this result in off-tasting coffee, but it could also potentially damage your machine.

Some branded coffee machines, like Nespresso and Keurig, simply won’t work with any other brand or knock-off coffee pods, so don’t waste your hard-earned cash on coffee pods you can’t use!

Nespresso and Keurig K-pods are usually manufactured using aluminum or plastic for the outer casing, and these are small containers which store ground coffee. This is the type of pod that Nespresso exclusively uses in their machines.

Nespresso has also recently moved to a much larger design with its Vertuo range of coffee pods. The Vertuo range was developed to give larger cups of coffee such as the American and uses the centrifugation method for extraction rather than the pump method. A good comparison between the original Nespresso pods and the Vertuo range can be found at ‘Which?’

You may also like to read more about Nespresso and Keuring on our site

Nespresso VertuoPlus vs. VertuoPlus Deluxe

Nespresso Pixie Review. Small But Packs a Punch

Difference Between Keurig and Keurig 2 Brewers

Keurig K-Elite vs. K-Select

Popular and highly rated Nespresso Pods

Amazon Brand - Solimo Espresso Capsules, Medium Roast, Compatible with Original Brewers, Pack of 1x50 Capsule (50 count)
  • 50 CT Coffee capsules compatible with Nespresso OriginalLine machines. Not affiliated with Nespresso
  • Mellow & balanced; full-bodied
  • Exquisite blend of high-density coffees, providing a strong but balanced espresso
  • Made with 100% Arabica coffee
  • This coffee was grown by UTZ certified farmers who implement better farming practices, with respect for people and planet.
L'OR Espresso Capsules, 50 Count Ristretto, Single-Serve Aluminum Coffee Capsules Compatible with the L'OR BARISTA System & Nespresso Original Machines
  • L’OR ESPRESSO CAPSULES COMPATIBLE WITH THE L’OR BARISTA SYSTEM: An artisan one-cup coffee and espresso maker that uses 19 bars of high pressure for the perfect crema delivering an at-home French café experience
  • ESPRESSO CAPSULES ARE COMPATIBLE with Nespresso* Original coffee machine; not compatible with Nespresso Vertuo *Trademark of a third party, not connected to JACOBS DOUWE EGBERTS
  • RISTRETTO, INTENSITY 11 - Curated by French Coffee Artists: dazzles the senses with its expressive, fresh persona and powerful spicy aroma, an ideal ristretto blend that makes striving for espresso perfection an intensely unforgettable journey
  • 50 RECYCLABLE ALUMINUM CAPSULES to protect and preserve the freshness of the finest arabica and robusta beans, perfectly roasted and balanced for a gold standard body, intensity, and crema that creates a smooth, rich experience
  • A RAINFOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFIED COFFEE, an ethical involvement helping to improve social and environmental conditions within coffee bean plantations. Origin: Central & South America.
Nespresso Capsules OriginalLine,Ispirazione Variety Pack, Medium & Dark Roast Espresso Coffee, Espresso Coffee Pods, Brews 1.35oz 10 Count (Pack of 5)
  • NEW LOOK, NEW NAME, SAME GREAT TASTE: This Nespresso OriginalLine espresso coffee pod pack contains best-selling Nespresso capsules (10 each) Capriccio, Ispirazione Roma, Ispirazione Genova Livanto, Ispirazione Firenze Arpeggio, Ispirazione Ristretto
  • INTENSITY: Explore the rich tastes of the following Nespresso Capsules Capriccio (Intensity 5), Ispirazione Roma (Intensity 8), Ispirazione Genova Livanto (Intensity 6), Ispirazione Firenze Arpeggio (Intensity 9), Ispirazione Ristretto (Intensity 10)
  • ESPRESSO BREWS 1.35 OZ: These Nespresso Original Line pods are part of the flavored range that will provide you with a 1.35 oz serving of a delicious coffee beverage
  • WE RECYCLE: Nespresso aluminum capsules ensure 100% recyclability and guarantee coffee freshness - we provide different options for recycling your used aluminum coffee pods to fulfill our collective commitment to protecting the environment
  • ORIGINALLINE ONLY: Nespresso OriginalLine offer a range of coffee in a cup, from a milder fruity espresso to the Neapolitan style short Ristretto, with or without milk. Nespresso OriginalLine capsules are not compatible with VertuoLine machines

Last update on 2024-04-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Popular and Highly-rated Keurig Coffee Pods

Amazon Brand - Solimo Medium Dark Roast Coffee Pods, House Blend, Compatible with Keurig 2.0 K-Cup Brewers, 100 Count
  • 100 House Blend coffee pods
  • Mild, medium-dark roast with robust aroma
  • 100% Arabica coffee
  • Compatible with 1.0 and 2.0 k-cup brewers
  • An Amazon brand
Victor Allen's Coffee Variety Pack (Morning Blend, 100% Colombian, Donut Shop Blend, and French Roast), 42 Count, Single Serve Coffee Pods for Keurig K-Cup Brewers
  • Contains 1 box of 42 pods of Victor Allen's Coffee Single Serve Coffee Pod Variety Pack (Flavors Included: Morning Blend, 100% Colombian, French Roast, Donut Shop Blend; 42 pods total)
  • Roast and Flavor: A mix of light, full bodied medium (smooth and robust) and dark (robust and bold) roasts. Morning Blend: Mild and satisfying with a subtle kick, striking a perfect balance between the quiet you want and the jolt you know you need to get moving in the morning; Donut Shop Blend: this classic brew is sweet and smooth, striking the perfect balance between mellow and bold, to deliver just enough bite to brighten your day; 100% Colombian: Lively and bright, starting rich and warmly aromatic—but landing softly with its mild acidity; French Roast: A velvety body with a soft, smoky flavor; intensely rich but always smooth
  • Victor Allen’s Coffee offers a wide selection of coffee choices from light, medium and dark roasts to everyday and seasonal flavors, in bagged, single serve and ready to drink.
  • Brand Story: Since 1979 Victor Allen has been proud to bring you high quality, roaster fresh perfection. We source 100% Arabica beans from all over the world and use precision roasting techniques to guarantee the very best coffee
  • This product is 100% Gluten Free, Non-GMO and certified Kosher-OU (Pareve).
Peet's Coffee, Dark Roast K-Cup Pods for Keurig Brewers - Major Dickason's Blend 75 Count (1 Box of 75 K-Cup Pods)
  • Contains one (1) Box of 75 Peet's Major Dickason's Blend Dark Roast Coffee Keurig K-Cup Pods - 100% Arabica Coffee
  • Flavor and Roast: Dark Roast. Flavorful, robust, full-bodied. Developed by Mr. Peet and his most discerning customer, Major Dickason’s Blend epitomizes the rich, flavorful taste of Peet’s
  • Brewing Methods: Peet's single serve, K-Cup Pods are compatible with all Keurig K-Cup Brewers
  • Recyclable: Peet’s K-Cup Pods are fully recyclable - peel, compost or dispose grounds & recycle. Check locally, not recycled in all communities
  • Sourcing with Impact: The coffee you buy can impact the welfare of the people and planet. Peet’s is actively engaged in driving positive impact in communities where our coffees are grown
Keurig Coffee Lovers' Collection Sampler Pack, Single-Serve K-Cup Pods, Compatible with all Keurig 1.0/Classic, 2.0 and K-Café Coffee Makers, Variety Pack, 40 Count
  • Includes 2 K-Cup pods from 20 popular varieties, including Green Mountain Coffee Breakfast Blend, The Original Donut Shop Regular, Newman’s Own Organic Special Blend, Caribou Coffee Caribou Blend, Tully’s Coffee Italian Roast, and many more
  • Sample different coffees and discover your favorites from a wide variety of roasts, flavors, and brands
  • Contains authentic Keurig K-Cup pods, engineered for guaranteed quality and compatibility with all Keurig K-Cup coffee makers
  • K-Cup Pods are not in original packaging and may appear different than in the image
  • Includes light, medium, and dark roast coffee as well as Fair Trade and organic varieties

Last update on 2024-04-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Easy Serving Espresso (ESE) pods

The ESE pods (also known as capsules) became popular in the 1970s when Illy coffee first developed the pod. and also partnered with ESE Consortium. It is due to illy’s massive marketing efforts that the ESE is one of the popular pod alternatives today.

It was Illy’s constant efforts that spread these ESE standard coffee machines on a mass level which gave people a new way to enjoy their daily espresso at home. And because the ESE was launched as an open standard, other coffee roasters also adapted to this new opportunity and coffee machine manufacturers like Gaggia, Dualit, Delonghi, etc. launched their own kind of ESE 44mm pods and produced their version of ESE compatible coffee machines that changed the way people drank their coffee.

Instead of a plastic container or capsule, Easy Serving Espresso (ESE) pods more closely resemble the construction of a teabag, only they use coffee instead of tea leaves.

As standard, they come in 44mm size pods that are made using filter paper rather than plastic, which is a much better option for the environment.

Every ESE pod contains about 6.7 grams to 7.5 grams of coffee. An ESE pod or ‘capsule’ can be used in adapters to espresso machines or in machines designed especially for ESE pods.

Popular and highly rated ESE pods

Caffe Mercanti ESE (Easy Serve Espresso) Rossa Italian Coffee Pods in Filter Paper - 44mm, 150 Pods - Italiano Caffe Filter Paper - Non-GMO
  • ITALIAN ESE COFFEE PODS — 150x Italian ESE (Easy Serve Espresso) roasted coffee pods in filter paper containing 7.5 g of roasted ground coffee wrapped in protective atmosphere; 44mm. Packed and produced in Napoli, the home of Italian food and drink. Intensity: 5/5. An ESE 44mm portafilter is required for traditional Espresso Machines
  • INTENSE, ROBUST TASTE — Rossa Italian coffee produces an intense flavour with a balanced blend that is full of energy and punch of Robusta to give strength and substance to your drink. A sincere coffee to awaken all the senses with an irresistible creaminess
  • MEDIUM-DARK ROAST COFFEE PODS — this Rossa (red-quality) strong genuine roast has an intensity of 5/5 and an aromatic bouquet of cacao, tobacco and spices that will awaken all your senses. After use, our ESE pods are compostable
  • THE PERFECT EASY SERVE ESPRESSO — a cup of Caffe Mercanti is ideal for every moment of the day, whether to liven up your morning or for a boost later in the day! Our Italian ESE coffee pods contain ground coffee specifically for use in an espresso machine or an ESE portafilter
  • 100% ITALIANO CAFFE — named after the famous medieval market square in Milan, Piazza Mercanti, we intend to offer you the same Italian experience at home with the best variety of quality products from all over Italy
illy E.S.E. Coffee Capsules - Classico Medium Roast, Chocolate & Caramel Notes - 18 Count
  • DELICIOUS CLASSIC ROAST COFFEE - E.S.E. espresso pods contain a perfectly dosed and tamped measure of the distinctive illy blend, enclosed in filter paper designed to preserve notes of chocolate and caramel, without losing taste and freshness.
  • COFFEE MAKER POD PREPARATION - Simply insert pods using the top lever to begin brewing and when you’re finished the same lever ejects the used pods into a removable collection drawer for easy clean up.
  • NO-MESS, EASY SETUP - An E.S.E. pod coffee is simply placed inside compatible coffee machines, and within 30 seconds yields an espresso with the signature illy taste. The illy espresso coffee pods in filter paper are suitable for all E.S.E. coffee machines.
  • WE BRING THE TASTE OF ITALY TO YOU - We’ve spent eight decades refining a singular, signature blend celebrated over the world as the pinnacle of what 100% arabica coffee can be.
  • SUSTAINABILITY IS OUR VISION - We pride ourselves on the constant focus on our environment and the community. We are part of a global movement with a common goal: to pave the way for a better, more liveable and more enlightened world.
SALE!
Caffe Borbone 150 Single Served Espresso Coffee Pods, Blue Blend with Refined Taste, Powerful Character and Intense Aroma, Roasted and Freshly Packaged in Italy
  • COMPOSTABLE ESPRESSO PODS: Caffè Borbone is now using increasingly sustainable packaging for its coffee pods. Thanks to the quality and control department's ongoing commitment to research and development, the material recently introduced means that the packaging can be recycled into paper, while preserving the quality and taste of the authentic italian espresso
  • MEDIUM ROAST COFFEE CAPSULES: This carefully-selected blend offers the perfect combination of body, persistence, and sweetness. Our Blue blend is set apart by its refined taste, powerful character, and intense aroma
  • 100% FRIENDS OF NATURE: Caffè Borbone ESE Espresso pods are compostable and have a completely recyclable paper wrapping
  • CAFFÈ BORBONE: Born in Naples in 1998, Caffè Borbone has been a constant source of innovation and inspiration, experimenting with new technology to bring the unique and inimitable taste of Neapolitan coffee to the world
  • Italian (Publication Language)

Last update on 2024-04-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

PurPod100

PurPor100 is a recent coffee pod innovation. It is a fully biodegradable coffee pod. Currently, it fits only Keurig machines.

PurPod is very serious about recycling and wanted to ensure that they not only made great coffee but that the packing for the coffee was also great for the environment.

Cometeer Coffee Pod Capsule

The Cometeer Coffee Capsule is a new concept. It is frozen brewed coffee in a pod.

The coffee isn’t cold brew or powdered instant coffee. It is the best quality brewed coffee but frozen.

You thin just ‘melt it’ to make your coffee either cold or hot!

Refillable & Reusable Coffee Pods

There is a general move in society to prevent unnecessary waste. This is where the reusable and refillable K-pods and Nespresso Pods come in. 

You can get plastic or steel refillable containers designed either for Keurig machines or Nespresso machines. 

You can obviously fill these pods with your favorite coffee. You just need to ensure that you pack the coffee properly to allow water to flow through the coffee to extract the best flavor and aroma. 

Popular and highly-rated refillable coffee capsules and pods

Perfect Pod Cafe Save Reusable K Cup Pod Coffee Filters - Refillable Coffee Pod Capsules with Built-In, Integrated Mesh Strainer for use with Keurig & Select Single Cup Coffee Makers, 6-Pack
  • Saves Money - Our 6-pack of Cafe Save reusable k cup pod coffee filters offer the best value for your buck! Designed for budget-conscious coffee drinkers, these refillable capsules for Keurig coffee machines (reusable k cup filters) allow you to save as much as 80% over pre-filled and pre-made, store-bought coffee pods. Why pay more at retail prices when you can buy a bag of coffee or container of coffee grounds to fill on your own?
  • Reduces Unnecessary Waste - By using our 100% BPA-free reusable k cups for Keurig, you are helping to reduce the costly environmental waste caused by single-use, pre-filled and non-recyclable plastic coffee pods. Did you know over 10+ billion one-time use coffee pods are left in the landfills every year?
  • Brew a Fresher Cup of Coffee - Cafe Save empty k cups allow you to also use your very own freshly-grinded coffee beans. Unlike store-bought coffee pods that can become stale and had been sitting on the shelves, you can grind your own fresh coffee grounds for use with your Keurig coffee maker or other compatible single cup coffee machine (see full compatibility chart).
  • Fully Tested for Compatibility - Café Save k cup reusable coffee filters (coffee pods) work with Keurig K-Mini, K-Mini Plus, K-Duo Essentials, K-Duo Plus, K-Slim (one Steam Brewers), K-Classic, K-Elite, K-Latte, K-Café, K-Select, K-Compact, and Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 coffee machines. Please see compatibility chart for full list of compatible models. (*Note - Not for use with Keurig 5-Stream Brewers- see Café Supreme, ASIN B08R9C3F83 for Multi-Stream reusable option).
  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed - At Perfect Pod, we stand by our brand and product. If you are unhappy for any reason, please just let us know. We can either offer you a replacement or refund. Our customers' satisfaction and providing the absolute best shopping experience is extremely important to us. We aim to build trust and a long-lasting relationship with our loyal customers.
SALE!
Reusable K Cups, 6 Pack Universal Fit Reusable Coffee Filters with Food Grade Stainless Steel Mesh Eco-Friendly Coffee Pods, for Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 Brewers
  • Newest Design, Universally Compatible:Compatible with Keurig 1.0:K15,K31,K40,K45,K55,K60,K66,K70,K75,K77,K80,K100;B31,B40,B44,B50,B60,B70,B77,B100,B140,B145,B200,B300. Keurig 2.0 Brewers:K200,K250,K300,K350,K360,K400,K450,K460,K500,K550,K560. As well as the following brewers: Keurig Elite, Keurig Select, Keurig Classic, Keurig Ultra, Keurig Special Edition, Keurig Ultimate, and the Keurig Platinum. Breville K CUP, Mr. Coffee K CUP.
  • Save Money: These Reusable Coffee Filters suit included 6 packs and each one can use many times. With our refillable k cup coffee filters, you can stop buying disposable K Cups that made out of paper or lower quality plastic! Our k cups will help you minimize all Keurig brewing accessories expenditures, allowing you to get more out of your blend purchases, all the while helping you remain environmentally conscious, too!
  • High Quality: These Reusable Coffee Pods are made from high quality materials, food grade stainless steel, which is dishwasher safe and through the HOT water will not take Hazardous substances! One-piece design with stainless steel high heat resistant mesh system. Helping produce the best brews you ever had! Our ridge-less design on the inside also makes clean up easily.
  • Eco Friendly: These Reusable k cups are not only excellent for you and your personal enjoyment, they are also extremely helpful to our planet. Help reduce your carbon footprint by reusing your refillable k cups all while enjoying your favorite coffee. Our ridge-less design on the inside also makes cleanup a breeze.
  • Easy to Use and Safe: Our Reusable K cups is newest design for coffee lover. The cups themselves are very easy to use: fill with coffee, snap the lid closed easily and then put in the machine. Emptying them is just as easy. Package included 6 Cups, this is a great value for the amount of reusable cups you get.
SALE!
Geesta Reusable Aluminum Foil Seals Lid Compatible with Nespresso Vertuoline Capsule-120 Pcs (120 PCS)
  • Compatible: Refill and reuse your Vertuoline Nespresso capsules in less than 60 seconds! Not fits the Originalline Capsules
  • Best Quality: Unlike low-quality competitors, these foil seals are made with extra-thick, food-grade aluminum foil, which won’t ever rip during brewing – no mess!
  • Perfect Fit: GEESTA aluminum foil seals are expertly designed with precise dimensions to match Vertuoline Nespresso pods without covering up the barcode underneath.
  • Smart Solution: Save money with this simple, eco-friendly method. Now you can enjoy a creamy cup of coffee with your favorite blend and reduce waste in the process.
  • Item Included: Includes 120 foil seals. Foil Diameter: 59mm
SEAL POD Refillable Coffee Capsules – Stainless Steel Reusable Capsules Compatible with Nespresso Line Coffee Machines – Eco-Friendly Refillable Pods – Pack of 2 Pods, 120 Lids
  • Wide Compatibility: Our reusable pods are compatible with Nespresso Original Pixie, Inissia, Creatista, Expert, Citiz, Essenza, Latissima, Le Cube, Maestria, U, and more. Not compatible with Essenza D90, Nespresso Vertuo and Dolce Gusto.
  • Enjoy Your Favorite Coffee: Compared with disposable coffee pods, our reusable coffee capsules can be refilled with a coffee mix of your choice without compromising on quality and taste.
  • Eco-Friendly Choice: The SEAL POD refillable capsules are eco-friendly and can be reused, saving you money and reducing plastic waste, contributing a cleaner and safer environment.
  • Premium Quality Materials: These Nespresso compatible coffee capsules are made in Taiwan with high-quality stainless steel, which is a food-grade, non-toxic and corrosion-proof material.
  • What You Get: The set includes with 2 x refillable coffee pods, 120 x foil lids, 1 x spoon, 2 x O-ring, 2 x unique Fresh Covers and 1 x pack of coffee sample for grinding level reference.

Last update on 2024-04-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Coffee Pods vs Coffee Beans

Most coffee enthusiasts would argue that in a fight of coffee pods vs coffee beans, coffee beans would win every time, but there are some benefits to using coffee pods that means they shouldn’t be discounted.

As we’ve already discussed, coffee pods are designed to provide the user with maximum convenience.

They’re easy to store and they come in conveniently pre-measured single-serve portions for you to use in your machine, and often you’ll find the strength of the coffee is indicated on the pod, which allows you to choose the intensity of the coffee flavor according to your personal preference.

This means there’s no more fussing as you try to measure out the correct level of coffee beans, and there’s less chance of affecting the taste of your drink by using an incorrect quantity of beans or ground coffee.

Coffee pods are also a great way to keep your coffee tasting fresh if you’re a little lax when it comes to storing coffee beans, thanks to the sealed container they come in.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve previously mentioned, coffee is one of those personal things that only the individual can judge, which makes answering the question of this article a slightly difficult one.

With that being said, any coffee purist would agree that coffee pods aren’t the same quality as using freshly ground coffee beans and they don’t produce quite the same taste.

The flavor you can achieve from coffee pods depends on the quality of the coffee used, the machine you decide to use it in, and the way in which you prepare your coffee.

There are multiple things you can do to ensure your coffee pod retains as much of the original taste as possible, but if you want that truly authentic, original coffee bean taste, you may have to sacrifice the convenience of coffee pods and invest in a more traditional coffee-making method.

Notes
Keurig and K-cups are trademarks of Keurig Inc
Nespresso and Vertuo are trademarks of Societe des Produits Nestle S.A. Corporation.
PurPod is a trademark of Club Coffee LP

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