Coffee Pod Machines

The question: What is the deal with those coffee makers that use pods? Which one is best for a single gal in a small condo?

My results…

There are basically two options: K-cup or Nespresso. For either system, you are looking at around 60 cents per cup.


K-cups are the most widely available pods, and there are a lot of brands of coffee to choose from including decaf options as well as tea (why??), chai, and hot cocoa. The systems are built to make you coffee, not espresso. Some K-cups are labelled “espresso”, but I think that really just means they are stronger flavored or something. The system is essentially still a drip coffee machine, just sped up with mild water pressure (but not full espresso pressure).

“Brewing your own coffee” is questionable – they sell a re-usable K-cup that you can put your own coffee in, but reviews said it tended to leak and produce weaker coffee than the regular K-cups.

The Mr. Coffee versionis small and gets stellar reviews. $80.


Nespresso produces the best coffee, with the most expensive machines. They are specifically designed to produce espresso beverages rather than coffee. The pods themselves are smaller but similar in price to K-cups. There are only 16 flavors to choose from but apparently they are really good. Three of these are decaffeinated. Their website is an ungodly mess of Flash and you can only buy capsules from them. The smallest is the newer Pixie (which comes in cool colors) for $228, but the larger CitiZhas a better track record for $280.

Other Systems

The other systems did not look as good as either of these for various reasons (quality of coffee available in the pods mostly).

My Opinion

If all you want is coffee, this Chemex coffeemaker gets excellent reviews, is tiny, and will last forever.

If you want a fancy drink every morning and you are willing to pay $20/month for it, then get a Nespresso. They sound yummy.

Or you could get one of the Nespresso milk frothers and make coffee-lattes. Maybe all your boring coffee needs is some frothy milk to make it pop.

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