When choosing a pod coffee maker, it’s important to know which features each one offers so that you’re able to align them with your preferences This will ensure that you pick the one that is best for you. We have created this purchasing guide to help you along with the purchasing process. Our hope is that after you read through it, you will be able to make the most informed decision. Read on, and be sure to pay attention!
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best capsule coffee machines on the market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about pod coffee machines
- 3.1 What is a pod coffee machine and how does it work exactly?
- 3.2 What type of extra features do pod coffee machines offer?
- 3.3 What are the pressure or ‘bars’ on pod coffeemakers?
- 3.4 How much do coffee pods cost?
- 3.5 Why is it a good idea to have a pod coffeemaker at home?
- 3.6 Can I find pod coffee machines at stores like The Bay?
- 3.7 What are the advantages and disadvantages associated with pod coffee machines?
- 4 Which machines have the most affordable pods?
- 5 Purchase Criteria
- 6 Summary
- Pod or capsule coffee makers are machines that make single cups of coffee at a time. There are many models of pod coffee machines on the market. Some appliances are simple and only brew regular coffee, while others can make beverages of different infusions all the way to the likes of hot chocolate.
- You’ll find a wide variety of cups/pods on the market. These varying capsules allow you to make many different brews and flavours of coffee in smaller amounts. This way, you can always choose the perfect brew depending on your mood or the occasion.
- When buying your capsule coffee makers you must consider all of it’s features to make sure you get the best possible value for your money. This is important because as you will see ahead, there is a wide range when it comes to their features, capabilities and price ranges.
Ranking: The best capsule coffee machines on the market
In the following sections you will find the best pod coffee makers on the market. You will notice that each of the products we have chosen offer different benefits and features. Keep in mind that although they are similar products, each one has something special to offer. Paying a closer look to each one and their characteristics will help you make the best possible decision.
No. 1: De’Longhi, Nespresso Essenza Mini
This is a Nespresso capsule coffee maker with 1,450 watts of power and a capacity of 0.6 litres. It has 19 bars of pressure for rich infusions. Its modern design comes in three colours which are sure to suit any kitchen. Moreover, it’s really small in size and it has energy consumption class: A-40%. The product dimensions are: (WxHxD) 11cm x 10.5cm x 32.5cm and it’s disposal container holds up to 9 used capsules.
The surprisingly small unit serves up coffee in just a few minutes. It has two serving settings you can choose form: short and long – you choose the perfect serving size for you. Alongside this feature, it also gives you the ability to customize the exact serving amount to your liking. This product is also energy efficient as it comes with an energy saving and auto-shutoff features that are activated at 3 and 9 minutes post brew.
No. 2: Black & Decker, Single Serve Coffee Maker
This coffee maker brews both ground coffee and prepackaged pods. It comes with a removable filter basket that allows you to use pods instead of ground coffee. This machine serves up one 16 oz brew at a time and it comes with a travel mug that holds this capacity. It’s dimensions are: (WxHxD in inches) 7.4” x 5.9” x 12.1”. This is a very affordable model that has great reviews deeming it of great value and performance.
This coffee maker is ideal for people with an active, on-the-go lifestyle. It works with both ground coffee or pre-packaged coffee pods, which can be brewed directly into the 16-oz. thermal mug it comes with. It has a convenient one-touch operating system as removable parts that are dishwasher-safe – these little details help make your morning routine a breeze. Lastly we should note this product also has an auto-shutoff feature.
No. 3: Hamilton Beach, 49976 – FlexBrew Coffee Maker
This Hamilton Beach coffee maker allows for two ways of brewing. You can either brew a full pot of coffee with grounds using the ‘carafe’ side of the appliance; or, you can make your coffee with single serve cups on the other side. This product also comes with reusable, single-use cups which you can fill yourself. Users love having the option of being able to brew with or without pods. This machine’s dimensions are: (WxHxD) 10.24” x 13.9” x 10.63”.
The carafe side of the appliance features a programmable timer with auto pause settings and a 2-hour automatic shut-off function. This is one of the most bought and best reviewed coffee makers on Amazon. When on the go, the single brewing side lets you brew right into a cup or an 8” tall travel mug. This product brews up to 10 oz of coffee with pods or 14 oz of coffee with grounds. Consumers love that this product is easy to clean, easy to use and fully programmable.
No. 4: Aicok, Single Serve Coffee Maker
This item is a single-serve coffee machine designed to work with pods and is compatible with most single cup pods available.These are including but not limited to: Realcups, k-cup pods and reusable k-cup filters. This coffee maker is very practical and quite small; it can easily fit in tight spaces. This makes it ideal for using both in small homes and for travel.
It has a light that indicates when coffee is brewing, and, for added safety comes with an auto-shut off feature that works to conserve energy. This feature works via a smart and simple one-touch button that allows the appliance to shut off automatically after the brewing cycle is over. It comes with a fully removable cover as well, making it very quick and easy to clean.
No. 5: Hamilton Beach, 499997C – FlexBrew Coffeemaker, GCM5100
This machine is a multi-functional brewer that allows you to brew both ground coffee and pods. It is a single-serve machine with a 14 oz water reservoir. Moreover, it comes with 2 brewing options: a bold setting, which is used to increase flavour extraction from the coffee grounds. This coffee maker is made of stainless steel for increased durability, and it’s removable parts are dishwasher safe.
This coffeemaker, like others on this ranking, also shuts off automatically when the brew cycle is complete. A tip form the manufacturer: this machine performs best with medium grind coffee; finely ground coffee may affect the extraction time and filtering process. This machine is quick, with a 2.5 minute brewing cycle which can brew between 10 – 14oz. This product’s dimensions are: (WxHxD) 26.5cm x 17.1cm x 32.5cm. Users like that it is easy to use and clean.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about pod coffee machines
Because you can find so many different models of coffeemakers in the market, it’s not likely you will make the right purchase if you leave the decision making up to chance. There are a few factors you should take into account before committing to one model or another. In the following section we outline some of the most the most important things to consider.
What is a pod coffee machine and how does it work exactly?
A capsule coffee maker prepares individual coffee servings, Allowing for you to prepare different varieties of coffee from cup to cup. Many models allow you to control the amount of water and coffee you can make, and in some cases, they have become so advanced that they can memorize the changes you’ve made. The cups used in these coffee machines are made of aluminium or plastic and can be single use or reusable. Each capsule usually has a capacity of between 5 and 8 grams of coffee.
The coffee machine itself always has a water tank and some models even have a milk tank. The machine heats the water and then runs it through the capsule with intense pressure. This ‘filtering’ process extracts the coffee, which then drips into your cup or coffee pot. The capsule is then disposed of by dropping into a container, which is usually located at the bottom or the back of the machine. From there, you’re ready to make your favourite coffee drink.
What type of extra features do pod coffee machines offer?
One of the first things to think about when buying a pod coffee maker is how you intend to use it. Of course the ultimate goal is to make delicious coffee, but we want to mention some machines that offer extra features that will take your coffee making skills to the next level. Here are the most popular brands you’ll find in the pod coffeemaker market.
- Nespresso This model of coffee machines only prepare coffee, with either short or long pours (small or large). Nonetheless, the Nespresso+Aeroccino line is also capable of making drinks with milk, in addition to regular coffee.
- Dolce Gusto These machines prepare pure, simple coffee as well as more elaborate drinks with not just milk, but other infusions of flavors like caramel or chocolate.
- Tassimo The Tassimo pod coffee machines are designed to prepare both coffee, lattes, infusion drinks and hot chocolate.
- Senseo This brand of coffee machines has both models that make only coffee, and others that make drinks with milk and chocolates.
What are the pressure or ‘bars’ on pod coffeemakers?
Another important factor to pay close attention to when buying coffee machines is their bars. The bars measure the pressure of the coffeemaker and the more bars a machine has , the greater the pressure the coffee will undergo. Thus, extracting the most from the grounds. A coffee maker with high bars will provide a drink with a richer and more intense flavour.
|Capsule coffee maker||Bars|
As you can see, there are noticeable differences in the bars from one model to another. However, all of them are more than capable of making coffee of excellent taste and quality. Measuring bars is one of the main ways that conventional coffee makers are differentiated from higher quality Italian coffee machines – which produce the famous style of coffee referred to as mocha. This is something to keep in mind when making your purchase.
How much do coffee pods cost?
For some users, one of the main disadvantages of this kind of coffee machine is the price of their capsules. However, when comparing it to the cost of purchasing coffee away from home, you’ll find you spend much less using capsule coffee makers. Much less so if you use reusable pods.Nonetheless, it is true that one cup of pod coffee costs more than a regular cup of ground coffee brewed at home. In this table you can see the price of the capsules according to each different brand:
|Types of coffee machines||Type of capsules and price|
|Nespresso||Original capsules are priced between 35 and 50 cents, while compatible pods of other brands are priced between 19 and 30 cents. The first mentioned are only sold on the web or in official shops. The second type are sold in stores and supermarkets.|
|Dolce Gusto||The original capsules from this brand have a price than hands around 30 cents. The compatible pods are cheaper, usually costing between 19 and 27 cents. Both options can be purchased in all types of stores – physical and online.|
|Tassimo||The price of the original capsules for this coffee maker ranges between 18 to 27 cents. This brand doesn’t have compatible pods. Pods from this brand can be purchased in their online store and also in many shops and supermarkets.|
|Senseo||You won’t find compatible pods for this brand either. It’s own capsules cost between 10 and 20 cents and you can buy them in online shops or supermarkets.|
Why is it a good idea to have a pod coffeemaker at home?
It’s possible that when you first thought about buying a capsule coffee maker, the idea that it would become just another appliance that will go unused on your kitchen counter may have popped into your head. But before you let your mind go there, check out these little features that may just make you change your mind about these handy machines:
- Quickness With these types of coffee makers you can make delicious, high-quality coffee in less than a minute.
- Cleaning The cleaning required by these types of machines is truly minimal. With these coffee makers you can forget about cleaning filters, coffee pots and anything of the sort.
- Flavour Coffee made with other types of machines will have a different flavour every time. With a pod coffeemaker however, the taste and quality of your coffee will always be consistent. Unless, of course, you decide to incorporate different pods with different flavours of coffee in your morning routine.
- Versatility With regular coffeemakers you are limited to only making brewed, ground coffee. The beauty of pod coffee makers is that you can make many different types of beverages with varying flavours.
- Customization If you live in a house with several people, it’s likely that each person has their own preferences when it comes to how they like their coffee or other drinks. The great thing about having one of these coffee makers is that you can customize drinks, so each person can have exactly the coffee they want with the flavour notes that each prefers!
Can I find pod coffee machines at stores like The Bay?
If you want to buy any of these brands of coffee makers at places like The Bay, you will find that in these stores, there are often many different models available. Furthermore, it’s common to find different sales and promotions in stores like these, which means you can get great deals on your purchase. Another great option, if you’re opting for a more expensive model, is the possibility of purchasing your coffee maker with a payment plan that suits your needs.
Another benefit of buying coffee makers in person at one of these stores, is that you can take your machine home right away. While deliveries often require waiting periods of a few days or even more before your item arrives. Moreover, the return or exchange process is much simpler in stores if, for some reason, you are not fully satisfied with your purchase. If you want to get a pod coffeemaker in stores, make sure to look out for end of the season sales!
What are the advantages and disadvantages associated with pod coffee machines?
Read on as we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of capsule coffee makers. These are some of the aspects we think will be useful to you at the time of purchase. Check out the following points to ensure you make your most informed decision.
Which machines have the most affordable pods?
Throughout this guide we have mentioned there are different factors that influence the cost of these machines. We have shown you examples of those in the higher cost range and those in the more affordable range. If you don’t have a big budget but still want quality coffee and a machine with interesting features, check out these three appliances that offer you great value for your money:
Bosch TAS1404 Tassimo Vivy 2
This coffee maker model provides functionality at a great rater, coming in at less than 30 euros. As always with the Tassimo brand, you can prepare not only coffee, but other beverages as well such as tea or chocolate. You’ll find it in different colours, such as white, black, vanilla, red and fuchsia. However, it’s good to keep in mind that not all options have the same price.
Bosch Tas1003 Coffeemaker Single-dose Multidrink
This model also has a price below 30 euros. You can easily prepare more than 40 different types of drinks. Its use is very simple, fast and intuitive. With this model, you will also find different colours like white, fuchsia, red, vanilla and black, and red and black. Again, prices amongst the styles will vary.
De’longhi Dolce Gusto Piccolo EDG200
The price of this coffee maker is somewhat higher than that of the two previous models, priced at 43 euros. However, this model has quite the high rating when it comes to power and quality for roasting coffee. It has 15 bars of pressure help to produce coffees of intense flavour with deep hidden notes. You will find this coffee maker in different colours, most of which will have similar prices.
When buying a pod coffee maker, there are certain considerations of each aspect that should be taken into account before your purchase. Doing so will ensure that you end up with the best possible model that will suit your needs. Keep the following criteria in mind when considering different models.
- Water Tank
One of most important aspects to consider when buying a coffee maker is capsule compatibility. Keep in mind that the cost of your coffee cup will greatly depend on the coffee maker’s brand. It’s best to look for machines that can work with multiple types of pods. We should note that some brands only work with their own products, and these models often end up yielding a more expensive cup.
Brands like Nespresso and Senseo can only be used to brew coffee, while others like Dolce Gusto and Tassimo also allow you to prepare a wide variety of drinks, like tea or hot-chocolate. These machines are a great option for those who don’t like coffee and want to have alternative options or want more variability in what their coffee maker can offer.
One of the main benefits of capsule coffeemakers is that they quickly and conveniently make single serving portions of coffee. The last thing you want is having to also fill the water tank every time you brew a cup. You want to be able to make yourself a cup of coffee a few times a day, or even several cups in a row when hosting others without needing a tank refill.
Most machines have a capacity between 0.8 and 1.5 litres of water. However, you will find some smaller models that have a lower max volume, of around 0.6 litres – we recommend staying away from these models if you drink coffee daily. You’ll find that you will need to refill one of these smaller models quite frequently.
Our advice is that whenever possible, you choose a well known manufacturer. With unestablished brands, you run the risk of the bran and it’s pods disappearing, rendering your appliance useless. Moreover, known brands offer certain quality standards and guarantees that brands of lesser prestige don’t offer. Keep this in mind when making your choice.
Pod coffee makers are usually made of aluminium and/or plastic. Most coffee machines are made of one layer of aluminium, which is covered by a plastic film. In these machines the coffee is isolated from the metal so that it doesn’t affect the natural taste of the coffee. Generally, it’s recommended to use a plastic-coated aluminium coffee maker. This material is known for being more durable, allowing your appliance to last you many years.
Having a capsule coffee maker is a great idea and a worthwhile purchase. You can easily prepare different varieties of coffee, infusions and other types of drinks in a convenient and efficient manner. These machines are great if you want to quickly prepare a single cup while also have the ability to prepare multiple cups of varying flavours without investing too much time and effort.
It’s no wonder that little by little they have become indispensable in many homes. In the Canadian market you will find many different models and each one will offer you different features and characteristics. Remember to evaluate which features are essential for you. Keep in mind that prices will vary greatly between models and don’t forget to factor in the cost of the pods that it’s compatible with.
We hope that with the information on this guide, you will be able to make the best purchase. Did you find this information interesting? Go ahead and share it on your social networks!
(Featured image source: Kimtong: 44614156/123rf.com)