Last Updated on February 16, 2022 by John Moretti
With the recent popularity of home brewing stations, coffee and coffee brewing machines have become household products that you almost expect everyone to have.
Using coffee pods to simplify the process and save time has also become standard practice. But are coffee pods better than ground coffee? What do you find when comparing pods vs. ground coffee?
It is widely believed that the best coffee is made with freshly roasted and freshly ground coffee beans. However, if you do not have the time to grind and brew coffee regularly, using a high-quality coffee pod should give you a quick, easy, and flavorsome alternative.
Both ground coffee and coffee pods have their pros and cons. Looking at both parties while remaining impartial can be challenging but is necessary to ensure you can make an informed decision when considering which machine to buy or want to know which one is better.
Coffee Pods and Ground Coffee Advantages
There are plenty of plus points for both coffee pods and ground coffee. As a coffee enthusiast that recently had the opportunity to use a coffee pod machine, it is easy to see why coffee pods are preferred by many.
There are, however, many things about ground coffee that need to be considered. As an experienced brewer, I will do my best to list the pros of both methods.
Coffee Pods Advantages
1. Easy to use
2. Not time-consuming
Coffee pods are easy to use and save you a whole lot of time. Both coffee pods and the machines they can be used in are made to take as little time as possible.
With the simplicity of the process and no need to grind beans, the process of getting your morning coffee can be as quick as having your coffee 45 seconds after waking up. Coffee preparation being this fast is another apparent reason for the popularity of coffee pods, especially if you have little time to ensure the quality of your brew.
3. Good quality
Most coffee pod producers are open about the process of creating their pods. Looking on a coffee pod producer’s website or speaking to customer support will tell you a lot about the coffee pod production process.
The high-quality flavor of pods is also ensured by most pod producers packing and sealing their pods as soon as possible after roasting the beans. Packing and closing the pods so fast ensures little time for external factors to influence the coffee.
Because pods are sealed so quickly after roasting the beans, pods have a relatively long shelf life. If a high quality, pods that have been standing for a couple of months will be able to produce coffee better or on par with coffee beans that were ground a week before use.
Ground Coffee Advantages
1. Super fresh
There is little that can compare to grinding your beans fresh for use when making a coffee. Both the taste and smell of freshly ground coffee can not be underappreciated. Many coffee enthusiasts, including myself, believe that this is the best way to make coffee.
If you are buying unground beans to grind at home, you will spend a lot less money than you would for buying basic coffee pods. Though there are a few extra steps involved in the preparation of coffee when using ground coffee, the price difference indeed makes up for the time spent grinding your coffee.
3. Brewing methods
One of the other places where ground coffee is seen above coffee pods is the number of brewing methods you can use to prepare your coffee. No matter what brewing method you prefer, it is easy to grind your coffee for that specific use.
You could also grind the same beans three different ways for three different brewing methods if you wish. This is the kind of choice that you do not get when using the limited settings of coffee pod machines.
Coffee Pods and Ground Coffee Disadvantages
Though there are many benefits to using both coffee pods and ground coffee, some aspects can be unfavorable. These aspects are crucial to consider when choosing which options most suit your needs.
Coffee Pods Disadvantges
1. Plastic waste
When using coffee pods, it is easy to see that a lot of plastic waste can be produced if you drink a lot of coffee. After using coffee pods for a little over a week, I collected enough used pods to take a bag to the recycling station.
2. Limited use
Though pods are easy and quick when making coffee, there are limited choices for the use. The only options you are given in preparation for your coffee are presented on your machine. If you consider using a different pod brand, it is also essential to check compatibility with your device, as this is not always a given.
If you don’t care about the money you spend on buying your coffee, this is a factor that might not affect your decision. However, the price of pods is not only higher than their bean counterparts, but you also have to buy a machine that your pods can be used to brew coffee.
Ground Coffee Disadvantages
1. Time Consuming
Getting to know your coffee machine and the optimal grind settings for your preferred brewing method can be a bit of a time-consuming process. This process consists of the usual trial and error that is to be expected when using ground coffee and can sometimes discourage new brewers.
2. Cleanup process
Using ground coffee instead of coffee pods also means that you have a bit more of a cleanup process. Not only do you have to clean your grinder and your coffee machine, but you also need to dispose of the ground coffee left after extraction. Luckily ground coffee can be used in compost heaps and is naturally biodegradable.
If you do not grind your coffee at home but instead buy pre-ground coffee, there is a significant chance that you are sacrificing the freshness and quality of your coffee. As most other coffee enthusiasts and I will attest, grinding your coffee fresh at home and just before use will always yield the best results of taste and aroma.
Both coffee pods and ground coffee can produce excellent coffee if you know how to use them. There are benefits to both coffee pods as well as using ground coffee. The freshness and art of using ground coffee are unparalleled, but as long as you are willing and able to recycle your used coffee pods, they are a great option to make coffee.