By: Trevor Friedman

Over the last decade the market for coffee machines has grown dramatically. That growth can be partially explained by growth in both the office and domestic market for coffee pod machines. Whilst only relatively recent in development, the concept of coffee pods has been embraced throughout Europe and is now increasing in popularity in the English speaking world.

Put simply, a coffee pod is a single serve of coffee, finely ground and tamped, and sealed, hermetically between 2 layers of food grade filter paper. The individual pod is sealed in a foil pouch which in turn is flushed with nitrogen to preserve the freshness of the coffee. In order to make coffee from a coffee pod, the pod is removed from the pouch and inserted into a dedicated coffee pod machine. The pod is then compacted in the brewing group and pressurized water is passed through the pod to produce the desired extraction.

Coffee Pods are now largely manufactured to an internationally agreed standard as defined by the ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) consortium and the majority of coffee pod machines share the same brewing group geometry. Accordingly, most pods will fit into most machines providing the user with a range of options in terms of coffee choice. In this respect, pods differ from capsules which tend to be proprietary in design and must be used with specialized equipment. The non standardization adds to the cost of the coffee with the user obligated to source product through the single supplier.

The simplicity of the pod system offers numerous benefits. There is little skill required to operate the machine and as each coffee pod is largely identical, the quality of the coffee is consistent. There is no waste or mess produced in making a coffee and there is very little cleaning of the machine as the pod is simply discarded after use. Coffee pod machines offer a real alternative to automatic machines with equivalent quality, more competitive pricing and significant savings in maintenance costs.

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Author: Trevor Friedman is a Director at Espressohead, a specialist office coffee machine and coffee Pods supplier. Visit us at to learn more.

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