Pod coffee makers are single serve brewers which use pre-packaged pods and heated water from a carafe. They make one cup of coffee at a time and are extremely simple to use. Coffee makers that use pot technology bypass the need to purchase coffee beans, filters, and grinders.

What are coffee pods?

A pod is a parceled out scoop of coffee grounds with a miniature filter, all contained within a paper packet or sealed plastic cup. The pod is designed to be placed inside a pod coffee maker. Once a pod is in place, the press of a button uses slight pressure to push water through the coffee grounds, preparing piping hot java.

The coffee pod market is diverse and the pod model translates well to all types of hot beverages. Pods can have tea, hot chocolate, or coffeehouse drinks. Beverage choices can be as fancy as such as raspberry mochas, skinny vanilla lattes, and caramel macchiatos. Your favorite drink is most likely available in a pod form. Coffee pod catalogs often offer samples or variety packs, a perfect chance to discover a new favorite!

Pods are meant to be one-time-use and disposable. The most popular pod designs include:

Paper pods: Generic pods which can be used with many types of machines. These 62mm pods are industry standard, although obsolete systems sometimes pods with a smaller diameter. These pods are used by Senseo, Cuisinart, Mellitta, Hamilton Beach, HomeCafe, simplehuman, Bunn, and many generic models. coffee-pod-simple/
kcupK-cups: Developed by Keurig, and can be used by Keurig, Breville, and some generic machines. They are made of lightweight plastic and  the lid is made of foil. The following diagram shows the inside of a k-cup: kcup-diagram/
T-discs: Designed just for Braun Tassimo machines. Their machines read the barcode on the pod, which calibrates the correct amount of water and the proper temperature and brewing time. tdisc/

Coffee brands you love make pods


Different brand names in the coffee world produce coffee pods, including Starbucks, Gloria Jean, Seattle's Best, Nestle, Tully's, Newman's Own, Caribou, and Dunkin' Donuts. They offer an array of options for your java fix. Their contained mini-vessels deliver coffee beans, tea leaves, chocolate, flavors, and concentrated milk in familiar taste combinations.

The maker of your pods coffee maker may also carry branded pods which work with their machines. Generally, pods are also available in decaf, extra strength, organic, or free-trade versions.

Make your own


Due to high demand, most pod coffee machines also allow drinkers to make their own pods. Since not every blend is available in pre-packaged pods, the solution is reusable pods that you can fill yourself. This eliminates one of the downfalls of pod coffee makers: finite choice of coffee. Making your own pods is less expensive and adds versatility to your pod coffee maker. Now you can enjoy brewing coffee from your local roasters in a pod!

 pod-maker/ This device helps make a custom coffee pod.

Convenience in a cup


Pod coffee making systems are amongst the simplest. Machines are purposely designed to be easy to use. As long as you maintain the water level in the carafe, making coffee with pods is as straightforward as placing the pod and pressing a button. The used pod can be tossed after it's used.

Although it will vary based on which coffee maker you choose, pod coffee makers are designed to be fast. The longest part of the process is heating the water, some pod coffee makers keep the water above room-temperature for expediency. Depending on your model, the time it takes to brew ranges from immediate results and several minutes. There's minimal mess and clean-up, too.

No more pots poured down the drain


Pod coffee makers brew coffee one cup at a time. This is a drawback for those who need to make coffee in large batches. The brew time is so quick, making 4 cups out of a conventional drip coffee maker and a pod coffee maker would probably take about the same amount of time. It's more labor intensive to have to change out the pods for each cup.

However, many customers love the benefit of not wasting when they switch from a drip machine to single-serve machines. With a drip coffee machine, any coffee leftover in the pot must be disposed of: the equivalent of pouring money down the drain. For families with only one coffee-drinker, a pod coffee maker will be even more useful than a drip machine. It can be used to make tea, hot chocolate, and other hot beverages so children and those avoiding caffeine can also enjoy.

Sealed in flavor

Coffee pods are sealed from the air which preserves the freshness of the grounds. The coffee taste won't be weak or stale since the pods are sealed right after grinding. The taste will be comparable to brewing newly ground coffee.

The idea behind pods is that each cup tastes as delicious as the first cup of coffee. When coffee sits in the pot, the flavors deteriorate. This produces stale, bitter tasting coffee.

Customizable features

Higher end models include extra features which improve the customizability of making coffee from a pod:
  • Temperature control: Coffee can be made hotter depending on desired strength and when you plan to drink it
  • Brew strength: Slightly alters the brew time to adjust the potency of the flavor
  • Cup size: Let's you specify what size your coffee cup is, to prevent overflow or allow room for cream
  • Water filtration: Water is filtered before it brews coffee, allowing for a cleaner, more vibrant flavor
  • Clock: Presets the machine to make a cup at a specified time