Congratulations. You are now one step closer to being a coffee podder and enjoying the hassle free way of making great cups of coffee quickly and easily.
There’s just one big question you need to answer now: which coffee pod machine should you choose?
We’ve put the below guide together to help you make the all-important decision on what is the best coffee pod machine for you – based on a variety of different criteria.
Best selling coffee pod machines
If you are new to the world of coffee podding, then a simple way to choose your first machine is to go with the most popular.
This can be a safe option, as the best selling machines are popular for a reason, but you should practice a little caution as some of the best selling coffee pod machines are so popular purely on price.
For instance the Handpresso range is very popular as they are quite cheap, but are used for a very specific reason – making a coffee on the move – so they will not be ideal if you are looking to make coffee at home.
To help you on your way, we’ve listed the top selling coffee pod machines below:
Coffee pod machine reviews
Another surefire way of picking out the perfect first coffee pod machine is to go with the machine that has the best reviews.
This can be more reliable than simply going for the best selling machines, but you should be aware that most independent reviews look at machines in a very broad way – so a good overall rating might not indicate a good machine that suits your individual needs.
Similarly, customer reviews often focus on very specific elements and features of the machines so you should take the time to read reviews thoroughly before making your choice.
Know your brands
The growing popularity of coffee pod machines means that more and more brands are getting involved in making their own machines.
A lot of well-known coffee brands have teamed up with manufacturers to produce coffee pod machines, which can be confusing when you start researching. For instance, the popular Nescafe Dolce Gusto range of machines are manufactured by various different electronics brands including De’Longhi and Krups, who also make machines for other brands.
However some brands have exclusive partnerships, such as Bosch and Tassimo, which makes it a little easier. Even then though, you have to negotiate a lot of complicated model names and numbers in order to distinguish between the machines.
Basing your decision on brand loyalty can therefore be a complicate business. To get you started though, the current top coffee pod brands are
Nescafe Dolce Gusto
What they say: “A quick and easy way to make a wide variety of drinks using coffee and milk capsules. Perfect for the whole family.”
Pod varieties: Currently over 30 different types of coffee available in pod form, including favourites like Espresso, Americano and Latte.
Cost of pods: For one-pod drinks, the cost is £0.24p per beverage. For two-pod (milk based) drinks the cost is £0.46p per beverage.
Pod availability: Dolce Gusto pods are available online as well as in all major supermarkets.
What they say: “Enjoy your Costa favourites and so much more. Makes a range of drinks in seconds, just pop in a pod and push the button.”
Pod varieties: Currently over 30 different types of coffee available in pod form, from top brands like Cadbury’s, Twinings and Costa Coffee.
Cost of pods: Between £0.29p and £0.33p per beverage, depending on the flavour/type of coffee.
Pod availability: Tassimo ‘T-Disc’ pods are available online as well as in all major supermarkets.
What they say: “Best suited for the coffee connoisseur. Gourmet fresh coffee is hermetically sealed in stylish recyclable capsules.”
Pod varieties: Currently there are 22 varieties of coffee blends in the Nespresso range.
Cost of pods: Between £0.26p and £0.62p per beverage, depending on the flavour/type of coffee.
Pod availability: Nespresso pods are available online via the official Nespresso Coffee Club, and in official Nespresso stores.
Know the difference between ESE pods and normal coffee pods/capsules
Another area of confusion in the coffee pod market is the availability of ESE pods. This stands for ‘Easy Serving Espresso’ and although they are marked out as ‘pods’, they are not compatible with the new range of coffee pod machines and require a specialist machine.
ESE pods are basically discs of coffee made out of paper filter – so are effectively like tea bags and look like this:
ESE pods can work in a lot of dedicated filter coffee and espresso machines, and can be a great way to adapt your current manual machine into a convenient coffee machine.
However, they won’t work in dedicated coffee pod machines which require tailor-made sealed pods of coffee.
When researching what machine to buy, make sure you read all the details regarding the pods it uses. Ideally you need to know:
- What brand of coffee pods can the machine use?
- Where can I buy these pods?
- How expensive are the pods?
- What variety of coffee flavours are available?
Coffee pod machine prices
One of the biggest benefits of choosing coffee pod machines is that they are generally quite affordable.
Entry level machines can be purchased for well under £100, while even the top-level machines with more features rarely cost much above £200.
This is in stark contrast to manual coffee bean grinding machines that can cost upwards of £1,000.
Almost all of the coffee pod machines available to buy at coffeepodders.uk are priced between £100-£200, and they all come with at least a 2-year manufacturers guarantee – so there’s very little risk involved.
You must factor in the cost of coffee pods when making your decision though, as these can vary drastically between the different manufacturers.
When choosing the best coffee pod machine based on price, our tip is to have a strict budget and stick to it. The great thing about coffee pod machines is that they will all make great cups of coffee as they are all essentially very simple machines, the great taste and flavour comes from the pods – so there’s no need to overstretch and get an expensive machine with all the fancy bells and whistles.
What features do you need?
The cheapest and simplest coffee pod machines will come with the most basic features that you need to make great coffee quickly and easily. These include a hot and cold option, a water tank, a pod holder and a drip tray.
That is all you really need, however a lot of manufacturers are beginning to increase the level of features of their coffee pod machines to make them even more convenient. Extra features include larger water tanks, LED displays, more controls to regulate water distribution, multiple pod holders, cup holders, self-cleaning options and much more.
All of the extra features are designed to offer customers two things: better control of regulating the strength and flavour of the beverages you make, and a more convenient and efficient experience.
Always make sure you know exactly what features you require from your machine before you make the decision to buy a more expensive option, as you could end up paying more money for features that you rarely use.
Coffee pod machine design
As well as working on new features, manufacturers are also making new coffee pod machines of varying designs. This can have a big influence on your final choice, as your coffee pod machine will undoubtedly be on constant display in your kitchen – so you need to make sure it fits in!
There isn’t a great deal of choice in colour options yet (black, white, and chrome are the dominant colours), but in terms of size, shape and finish there are lots to choose from.
There’s big and bulky machines as well as small and discreet machines, some with hard edges and others with a sleek design – so make sure you’re happy with your choice before you buy.
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