Coffee Pods

Pod Packaging Preserves Freshness

A coffee pod consists of roasted, ground coffee that is self-contained, usually with perforated filter paper and ready for brewing coffee, or pre-pressed into a puck shape that fits into a pod portafilter for brewing an espresso. Pods are often individually packaged to help preserve each pod’s freshness.

Pros and Cons of Coffee Pod Systems

The advantages of the pod system include faster, neater, and more convenient preparation of brewed coffee or espresso as well as less waste. Due to the consistency of the pod preparation and brewing, a consistent taste is provided.

Disadvantages of the pod system in regards to espresso include a higher cost per serving, and also questions about quality as compared to freshly ground and tamped coffee. Another problem is the waste associated with the extensive packaging (e.g., mylar film pouches used to individually wrap each pod).

Easy Serving Espresso Pods

In 1998 the Illy Company developed the Easy Serving Espresso (E.S.E.) design and standards as an open design with the goal of encouraging compatibility and adaptation so as to make home espresso preparation more convenient.

Standardized Pod Systems

Many espresso machines (espresso coffee makers) now accommodate the use of either a 45 mm, 7 gram pod or hand tamped coffee grounds.

Manufacturers of Coffee Pods

Coffee pods (including espresso pods) are used in coffee makers produced by various different manufacturers including Senseo as well as Tassimo and Braun (which use a T-Disc coffee pod).

Coffee and Espresso Brewing Tips

For tips on brewing the perfect cup of coffee see our section on Coffee Brewing. You can also read detailed coffee flavor profiles of Gourmet Coffees and instructions on preparing Espresso Drink Recipes.

For step-by-step instructions see Pulling A Perfect Espresso Shot as well as How to make Lattes and Cappuccinos.

For detailed definitions of coffee terminology see the Coffee and Espresso Glossary.  Also check out the World’s Best History of Coffee.

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