Pod machines are the current craze in the coffee industry these days. Manufacturers claim that these are the simplest alternative to the more complicated espresso machines. But are they? Purists would probably argue that espresso produced by pod machines are not espresso. However, espresso made by these machines actually do come pretty close.
Pod machines offer a quick and convenient alternative to the more fancy and expensive espresso machines such as the Breville Espresso Machine, or manual espresso makers, such as the Flair.
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Pod machines may, at the surface, indeed seem like a cheaper alternative to running to the nearest coffee shop on a daily basis. This holds especially true for serious coffee drinkers who go for more than a single cup of coffee a day.
There are, however, some costs involved when it comes to the use of pod machines with some costs not being so obvious.
Picture this. For a cup of coffee, estimated costs would probably be around 50cents to a dollar. This is for each pod which contains approximately only 5 grams of coffee. True espressos use approximately 7 to 11 grams of coffee in order to produce that rich, bold coffee flavor. One pound of coffee beans can result in 40 shots of espresso.
A pound of coffee beans will not cost more than $15 (which is approximately 38cents per shot). If you do the math, coffee pods don’t really turn out much cheaper.
In a time when people are much more concerned about the environment, the use of coffee pods have become much of a concern. While it is true that pod manufacturers now offer recycling programs for these pods, the process isn’t as simple as it is projected to be.
Because of this, many opt out of recycling these pods. These pods end up in the trash bin which add to the problem of trash disposal.
Thankfully, there are manufacturers now who are trying to get around this problem by manufacturing reusable or compostable pods.
Pod machines are not actually all too bad. They do have their advantages. If you are a coffee lover who doesn’t make much fuss about the coffee you drink, then you wouldn’t mind using a pod coffee machine. These machines do, after all, produce decent espresso. Pod coffee machines are definitely convenient to use and aren’t as time consuming as compared to the traditional machines.
They are perfect for those who are into busy lifestyles and always in a rush. For an office person, for example, it can be quite comforting to know that there is always a decent shot of espresso within easy reach because of that pod coffee machine nearby,
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST POD MACHINE
Why does one actually get a pod coffee machine? The simple answer is convenience. In today’s busy world, pod machines are a quick, yet decent, alternative to the more elaborate espresso machines.
What then should one consider before investing in a pod machine?
Bar pressure is the key to producing good espresso. Whether it’s a fancy espresso machine or a simple pod machine, one always has to check for the bar pressure since this will always affect the quality and flavor of the brew. The recommended bar pressure for pod machines is 15 bar.
If you want to know the good and the bad in a particular brand or model, always check the reviews. Reviews will always give you feedback with regards to the pros and cons of a certain brand or model. They will even explain to you whatever features a certain model has, which can help you decide on what can actually fit your need and lifestyle.
Amazon is a good site to go to for reviews from actual customers. Check these out to learn more about the model that you have in mind.
Although many manufacturers will offer options for cup sizes and serving size, only a few will offer options for a serving size equal to one mug. Check out what serving size options are available in the model that you are interested in.
Tips When Using a Pod Coffee Machine
1. Prime your machine before use.
Think of this as a pre-heating step for you machine. If you have some extra time to spare, heat a cup of water using your machine before brewing the actual pod. This helps keep your machine clean and it also “sets your machine on gear” enough to deliver better quality espresso. This also is a good way of warming your cup up so that it’s ready to receive the actual brew.
2. Use filtered water.
Some models come with a filtration system so you won’t have to bother with filtering your water. Unfitered water can produce limescale and this will affect the flavor of your brew. Limescale will also cause problems in terms of machine maintenance. If a filtration system is not included in the machine, then it would be best for you to get filtered water or have some kind of filtration system in your home.
3. Get to know your machine well.
Your machine will come with different settings that may affect the quality of your brew. The amount of water that you will use will affect your brew as well. Familiarize yourself with the settings available and try experimenting with them — to include the amount of water that you should use — so you can come up with a brew that’s perfect for you.
Pod Coffee Machine FAQ
Q: What is a Pod Coffee Machine?
A: Unlike a traditional coffee maker which makes use of ground coffee in a filter basket, a pod coffee machine is a coffee maker that makes use of a set amount of ground coffee in a container called a pod. The pod is placed inside the machine. The machine creates a hole on the pod and let hot, pressurized water pass through it.
The water is directly dispensed into the cups making them easy to serve. Pods are usually provided by coffee manufacturers. This machine brews coffee in single servings, although there are models that are available that will produce up to a carafe of coffee.
Q: What are the Benefits of Pod Coffee vs Normal Coffee?
A: Convenience. Pod coffee machines remove the inconvenience of having to grind coffee beans and putting them in a filter. Pod machines spare you the inconvenience of cleanups as well.
Most pod machines operate with the single push of a button and have settings that need little to no adjustment in order to produce a brew that is favorable to you.
Q: How much should I spend on a Pod Coffee Machine?
A: This really depends on the budget you have set and on the features you are willing to sacrifice. There are machines that will still produce decent brews without having you shell out a large amount of money.
The price of pod coffee machines usually range anywhere from $50 to $400, depending on what features they have to offer. Ultimately, your lifestyle and your preference will dictate the type of machine you will buy. Consider basic things such as size and design as well in order not to have any regrets when it comes to your purchase.