Discover the best pod coffee machines with this expert guide from our baristas.
Brewing coffee in capsule form has come a long way. With so many machines to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. Read on to discover the best pod coffee machines for home use, with a tailored collection curated by our expert brewers, so you can craft the ultimate brew time and time again.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST COFFEE MACHINE: FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Deciding how much to spend on your pod machine is a good place to start. There are plenty of coffee pod machines on the market to suit any budget or skill level. If you’re looking for a universal coffee pod machine that’s a good all-rounder - quick, convenient, and easy to use - expect to spend up to £150. There are plenty of affordable options too, with the cheapest coffee pod machines starting around £40.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND ON A COFFEE POD MACHINE?
Coffee pod machines are perfect for those with busy schedules who still want to enjoy a great cup of coffee at home. Place one in your home kitchen or office; these machines have been calibrated to give a consistent brew each time. All pod machines have a similar basic function, but there are differing levelling options in terms of customisation options and add-ons such as steam wands or app connectivity technology.
There are many coffee pod machines available at different price ranges, with coffee pod sizes ranging between some brands. We offer two different types of pod machines:
The first is the OPAL One Coffee Pod Machine - sitting on the lower end of the price bracket for pod machines - which was awarded best speciality coffee pod machine in 2023 by BBC Good Food. Available in black or white, and currently with 15% off - shop now.
We also offer the Morning Coffee Machine for those wishing to elevate their home experience with precision-brewing technology. Also available in black of white, and now part of a bundle - explore now.
Of course, these pod machines usually come with the heavy caveat of environmental impact, which is why we have fully compatible, home compostable pods which are easy to dispose of responsibly at home. Our two coffee pod options showcase what speciality coffee is all about: provenance and quality. Simply discard them in your food waste bin or garden compost after use. Stronghold (espresso) presents a rich, luxurious flavour, whilst Atlas (decaf) offers a balanced and sweet profile.
The look and feel of your pod machine is another important factor. This varies depending on the brand, machine features, and price, but there are plenty of options that allow you tailor your pod machine so that it fits in with your existing interior design.
POD MACHINE FEATURES
Depending on your budget, you can find coffee pod machines with minimal user interaction for quick, convenient coffee making at the touch of a button. The cheapest coffee pod machines will have a universal design for easy functionality. Advanced coffee pod machines incorporate optimum design for an immersive coffee making experience, with more user control, personalisation and digital display for a precisely engineered brew.
Depending on your preferred brew, you may need to consider which type of machine is best for you. If you’re primarily using your machine to make a pod espresso, you can opt for a simpler design with a primary function of exerting water pressure to make a coffee. Other coffee pod machine designs include a built-in automatic milk frother, or steam wand, allowing you to get creative with your coffee for a wider range of drinks, such as a latte or cappuccino.
DO I NEED A POD MACHINE WITH A MILK FROTHER?
It may be worth buying a coffee pod machine with a built in milk frother if you regularly have milk with your coffee, or you might look to purchase a milk frother separately. You can shop our entire range of coffee pod machine equipment and accessories here.
CAPACITY AND SPEED
Depending on your lifestyle and the average pod machine usage, you may want to prioritise a pod machine with a fast brew time for minimal fuss in the morning. Some pod machines require more user interaction to make the perfect brew, whereas others can make a fresh cup of coffee with a press of a button.
MACHINE SIZE AND FOOTPRINT
Depending on how much counter space you can afford to store your pod machine, you may need to consider the machine dimensions. The smallest coffee pod machines can have a footprint between 30cm to 40cm, with larger pod machines taking up more space, particularly if you buy a pod machine with a frother.
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE
In general, pod machines are far less ‘messy’ than traditional espresso machines, as the residue from the coffee pod is kept within an in-built receptacle. Pod coffee machines generally require little maintenance, as long as the water tank is refreshed, the drip tray is cleared out, and used pods are removed on a regular basis.
Make less of an impact on the planet with a compostable coffee pod subscription. Simply dispose of your speciality coffee pods in your compost.
Try to find a pod machine that’s compatible with your favourite coffee brands, so you don’t limit yourself to a singular brand of pod. Most coffee pod machines will be compatible with nespresso pods, including our compostable pods - this keeps your options open, and means you can shop around for the best coffee to suit your tastes.
THE BEST COFFEE POD MACHINES
Designed for speciality coffee, the best coffee pod machines consider every element of brewing, just as an espresso machine would, with water temperature, weight, water, and extraction time central to their design.
THE MORNING MACHINE' COFFEE POD MACHINE
- Precision brewing features with real-time control
- Built in scales for weight based brewing
- PID algorithm for water temperature precision
- Interactive OLED screen
- 850ml water tank capacity
- Nespresso capsule compatible
The Morning Machine from speciality coffee brand Morning has changed the future of home brewing with coffee capsules. The sleek, award-winning design not only looks great, but houses some seriously clever tech, too. The two brains behind the Morning Machine - both with a wealth of speciality coffee experience - have taken their time to consider and perfect every detail, from water quality monitoring through to a built in bloom in order to present an effortless and consistent, delicious brew, every time.
Although the Morning Machine is certainly not the cheapest coffee pod machine, the bespoke features provide improved accuracy and personalisation, as well as a smart, sleek design, making this a great choice if you’re happy to invest a little more into your pod machine.
Craft the ultimate coffee in style with the Morning home pod coffee machine; with a simplistic, clean aesthetic, it's suited to any workspace. Easy to use, with a streamlined user-friendly design, you can explore ten default brew modes while you enjoy building up your own library of recipes on the downloadable Morning App.
OPAL ONE COFFEE POD MACHINE
- Easy to use
- Compact design
- Unique silicon brew chamber
- Nespresso capsule compatible
Slim, smart, and affordable, the OPAL coffee pod machine is designed specifically for speciality coffee pods. The OPAL coffee machine boasts a silicone brew chamber that eliminates unwanted dilution, plus optimum brewing technology, with an intelligent flow rate at a high pressure. With adjustable water temperatures for a customised brew, you’re in control of the temperature and weight of your shot.
THE BEST COFFEE PODS TO BUY
Choosing the right coffee pod is as important as the machine you buy. It’s vital to find quality coffee pods that present a seamless brewing experience, as well as brilliant tasting notes, for the best coffee drinking experience, right at home.
- Prioritise a quality coffee brewer to ensure as much flavour and freshness as possible. Speciality coffee pods are made from exceptional SCA approved coffee for an unbeatable flavour and drinking experience.
- Compatibility is key - make sure the coffee pods you choose are compatible with your coffee pod machine, and you can make life even simpler with a coffee pod subscription, bringing fresh quality coffee to your door.
- Look for sustainable coffee pods that use fully recyclable materials. Compostable coffee pods are easy to dispose of in your food bin or compost bin, making them a great option for fuss-free coffee.
ORIGIN COFFEE SPECIALITY COFFEE PODS
Our speciality coffee pods feature our speciality Stronghold house espresso. Originating from Brazil, with tasting notes of nut, caramel and chocolate, this coffee makes for a rich, clean-tasting brew.
DECAF COFFEE PODS
No caffeine? No problem. Our decaf coffee pods are the perfect alternative; sourced from Colombia, this brilliant blend provides an approachable, easy drinking cup made to enjoy day and night.
Find out more and explore the full collection here.