Everything You Need to Know About Coffee Pods

Celebrated as a convenient, sustainable option for coffee drinkers worldwide, coffee pods have boomed in popularity over the last decade. They’re huge time-savers, giving you high quality coffee at the press of a button, and they’ve helped drive more conversations on sustainability within the coffee industry. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits, usability, and caffeine content of coffee pods, as well as the different types of pods available.

What Are Coffee Pods?

Coffee pod is typically a single-use container of pre-measured ground coffee that enables you to get a great cup of coffee from your pod machine in a matter of minutes.

Their design combines convenience and quality in a way that many other brewing methods do not: instant coffee has always been a popular option due to its convenience and ease, but doesn’t provide great-tasting coffee, whilst fresh brewing methods such as the French press or V60 are great for producing fresh quality coffee, but they require more time and effort. 

Although coffee pods are often heralded as a sustainable option, not all pods are created equal. In general, coffee pods produce fewer emissions than filter coffee, but the mass production and disposal of plastic and aluminium pods requires an immense amount of energy and resources and creates a huge volume of waste. Millions of these pods are thrown away every day and end up in landfills, taking hundreds of years to decompose. 

In theory, you can recycle most coffee pods, and many brands have a recycling programme set up. In practice, however, recycling plastic and aluminium is a complex and often unachievable process, and many consumers don’t recycle their pods. 

That’s why Grind made the UK’s first home-compostable coffee pod that breaks down in weeks, disappearing without leaving a trace on the planet. You can enjoy our compostable coffee pods with the same ease and speed as other pods, just with a clearer conscience. 

Our coffee pods are compatible with all original style Nespresso® machines (but not vertuo machines—these are patented so you won’t find any home-compostable options for vertuo pods), and we’ve created a wide range of blends for all the different ways that people enjoy their brew. 

What’s Inside a Coffee Pod?

A coffee pod usually contains a single measure of ground coffee, sealed inside the pod to maintain its freshness. Unless otherwise specified, there are no additional ingredients inside a coffee pod. It’s just coffee. And inside our compostable coffee pods, the coffee is speciality-grade.

How Does a Coffee Pod Work?

When a coffee pod is placed inside a coffee pod machine, it is pierced at one end, which allows heated water to pass through the pod. This hot water extracts the coffee through the filter paper at the bottom of the pod, which then pours into your mug. 

How to Use Coffee Pods in a Machine? 

To start with, you’ll need a coffee pod machine. Grind’s speciality coffee pods are Nespresso® compatible (excluding vertuo), meaning you can use our pods with your Nespresso® machine as well as a range of other pod machines. Unsurprisingly, we’d recommend our Grind One Machine, which is designed to get the very best from your pods, squeezing every drop for a fuller-bodied coffee, every time. 

Depending on the machine you’re using, the steps to making your cup of coffee will vary, and it’s best to take a look at your machine’s instruction manual, but these are the basic steps: 

  1. Make sure there is enough water in the machine’s water tank, and make sure to regularly replace the water.If you live in an area with hard water, we’d recommend using a water filter to make sure that the water in your machine doesn’t impact the taste of your coffee.
  2. Press the start button on your machine and place a coffee cup underneath the water faucet. 
  3. The water will then heat up to brewing temperature. 
  4. Pressure pushes the hot water into the pierced pod, and the heated coffee blend will pour out of the machine into your cup. 

        You can find a step-by-step guide on how to use our Grind One Machine here

        How Much Caffeine Is in a Coffee Pod?

        On average, coffee pods contain around 60mg of caffeine, but this differs between brands and depending on the beans, roast, and blend. The caffeine content of Grind coffee pods varies across our different blends.

        Our House Blend has 50mg of caffeine per 40ml pour, whilst our Dark Blend contains 104mg and our Long Blend 100mg. If you’re looking to reduce your caffeine intake, our compostable coffee pods come in two decaf blends too. 

        Types of Coffee Pods

        The coffee used in coffee pods can be sourced from all over the world, in the same way as your coffee beans or ground coffee can contain coffee from different origins with different tasting notes. 

        Grind’s compostable coffee pods currently come in 12 different blends, using Arabica coffee that’s ethically sourced from sustainable farms around the world. 

        Our core range (think of these as your kitchen staples) includes our signature House Blend, a Dark Blend, Light Blend, and Long Blend. 

        We also have an Extra Dark Blend for people who like their coffee a little more intense, as well as two single origin blends in Dark—a rich Indian roast—and Light—a bright Ethiopian roast. 

        We have two decaf blends, Dark Decaf and House Decaf, and three flavoured coffee pods, which combine the natural sweetness and nuttiness of our House Blend with just the right amount of flavour, available in Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Caramel.

        Are Coffee Pods Recyclable? 

        Although the majority of coffee pods on the market are technically recyclable, many plastic and aluminium pods end up in landfills each day. Both materials are difficult to recycle efficiently, particularly aluminium, and brands have to set up complex recycling schemes for customers. 

        To make life a lot easier, especially if you drink as much caffeine as we do, our compostable coffee pods can be popped straight in your home compost bin after they’ve been used, and they’ll biodegrade in weeks. And they won’t harm the soil—they’ll enrich it. Even if you don’t have a compost bin at home, our pods will still vanish in general waste much, much faster than plastic and aluminium coffee pods.

        How Much Do Coffee Pods Cost?

        The prices of coffee pods will vary by brand, as will the quality of the coffee itself.

        Not all coffee pods are speciality-grade, but ours are.A Grind 10 Pod Box costs £4.25 (that’s just 43p per coffee), and we have 30, 60, and 100 boxes available.

        If you’re a regular coffee drinker, we’d suggest signing up to regular Grind deliveries so you never have to worry about running out—we’ll deliver your coffee pods to your door, as often as you like. 

        With a Grind subscription you’ll save up to 24% on your first order, get a FREE Grind tin of your choice (including limited-editions), and free shipping with every subscription delivery.

        You’ll save on all future orders and your subscription is completely flexible: you can pause, skip, edit, or cancel at any time. All you have to do is tell us how much coffee you drink and how you like to drink it (if you’re indecisive, don’t panic: you can change your preferences as often as you like).

        Get started here

        Benefit of Using Coffee Pods

        The best thing about coffee pods is their convenience. They’re super easy to use, and you can get high quality, delicious coffee at the press of a button. As much as we love our cafetières and our V60s, there’s a lot less mess and effort involved in a coffee pod machine. 

        Unlike other plant-based coffee pods, ours have an oxygen barrier to keep your coffee fresher for longer, without losing its flavour or quality. That means it’s easier than ever to enjoy the taste of our speciality-grade coffee blends. 

        When we created our home-compostable coffee pods, we wanted to unite quality, expertly-roasted coffee and sustainability for the discerning (and eco-minded) coffee drinker so that everyone could enjoy better coffee at home. And that’s exactly what we’ve done. 

        How to Choose the Best Coffee Pods

        There’s a huge amount of choice when it comes to coffee pods. Probably an overwhelming amount of choice. Let’s help you choose the right pod for you: 

        Firstly, take a look at the tasting notes. Some people prefer bright, light, and fruiter blends, whilst others prefer darker, smokier blends or chocolatey, nutty blends.

        Luckily, we have a blend for however you prefer your coffee, and with a Grind subscription you can mix and match your blends until you find your favourite(s). Different countries of origin are also useful indicators of flavour: Brazilian coffee is known for its sweet, nutty notes (like in our House Blend), whilst Ethiopian coffee is famous for its vibrant, fruity, and flowery characteristics. 

        Quality is equally, if not more, important. All our coffee has been ethically sourced from sustainable farms around the world and roasted by experts in order to maintain the natural aromas and flavours of the coffee beans we use. Being speciality-grade is a great indicator of coffee quality. 

        With a coffee pod machine, you can quickly and effortlessly enjoy a cup of coffee that’s full of natural flavour.

        By using sustainable coffee pods, you can enjoy that cup of coffee alongside the superiority complex that comes with making better choices for the planet. 

        You can find all our home-compostable coffee pods here