So you’re tired of heading to the coffee shop every morning, but you need your espresso intake.
What’s a gal or guy to do?
Ever since the invention of the Keurig, everyone is familiar with the concept of pod-based coffee machines.
However, you might not be as familiar with pod-based espresso machines.
Yup, you heard that right.
You get the complex taste of a freshly brewed espresso and the convenience of a one-button coffee machine.
It’s the best of both worlds.
Let’s start simple.
What exactly is an espresso machine with pods?
Is it even possible to make a good cup of espresso using a pod-based machine?
In this day and age, the answer is yes.
While traditional espresso machines create espresso by pushing water through finely ground coffee using a large amount of pressure, these pod-based machines mimic the taste of espresso using traditional coffee brewing methods.
For people who are caught up in the semantics, it may not be a “true” espresso.
However, the taste is almost identical, and the convenience factor is a huge selling point.
These machines are redefining the what espresso is by proving that you don’t need a complex or expensive machine to make a great tasting espresso.
By opting for a pod-based espresso machine, you reduce the prep and cleanup involved in making espresso.
All it takes is loading the pod, selecting your drink of choice, and hitting the dispense button.
Some machines come with additional features, such as a milk frother or different temperature settings, but at the very minimum, an espresso machine with pods dispenses extra strong shots of coffee to satisfy your espresso cravings.
If your mornings are spent rushing around the kitchen, frantically trying to gather all of your things before sprinting off to work, you probably don’t have time to mess around with a complicated espresso machine.
And rather than wasting time standing in line at a coffee shop and spending hundreds of dollars a month on overpriced coffee, you can brew yourself a barista quality espresso at home.
Espresso machines with pods appeal to on-the-go, cost-conscious people who don’t want to give up the favorite part of their morning.
Advantages of Pod Espresso Machine
The clear advantages of a pod espresso machine include:
Convenient: It has never been easier to make a high-quality cup of espresso at home. Now that espresso machines with pods are widely available, you don’t rely on a barista to make you a drink or purchase a clunky machine. Most people don’t own espresso machines because they know they won’t go through the trouble of actually using it. Instead, why don’t you buy a machine that everyone can use?
Cost-saving: When you start doing the math on how much your espresso habit adds up to be annually, it’s probably enough for you to rethink your choices and consider drinking tea instead. Rather than cutting espresso completely out of your life, you can now have an espresso at a fraction of the cost, making your habit completely guilt-free. Traditional, top-of-the-line espresso machines can run you up to $10,000 dollars. Thankfully, the average price of pod-espresso makers is around $200.
Easy Clean-up: The process of making espresso has never been easier, so it only makes sense that the cleanup process is a breeze as well. These machines are low-maintenance and perfect for those lazy mornings you don’t feel like don’t any dishes (which usually ends up being every morning if we ’re being honest!).
Less Bulky: If you’ve ever seen a proper espresso machine, you understand why those machines are not a staple in everyone’s household. Espresso machines are bulky, heavy, and hard to maneuver. Even espresso fanatics may not have enough room for a real espresso machine. Simplify your life with a space-saving pod-based espresso machine.
Disdvantages of Pod Espresso Machine
On the flip side, the disadvantages of a pod-based espresso machine include:
Not “True” Espresso: For espresso snobs, this might be the deal breaker. The definition of espresso is coffee that is creating by forcing steam through coffee beans. Since the espresso or coffee shots are not created in this method, some people may label it as strong coffee. For most people, it’s a small price to pay for the convenience, but die-hard espresso lovers may turn their nose at strong coffee that is masquerading as espresso.
Not All Machines Include Milk Frother: If you’re looking to kick your coffee shot habit, you may be disappointed that an espresso machine with pods doesn’t come with a milk frother. This may be a crucial part of your coffee shop experience, so you can either spring for an expensive method with a milk frother or buy a separate milk frother.
Must-have features for Pod-based Espresso Machine
The idea pod-based espresso machine should include the following features:
Wide Variety of Cup Sizes: You may not want a strong shot of espresso every day, so make sure to get a machine that has a variety of cup sizes to choose from. Sometimes you may want to mix up your routine with a traditional cup of coffee.
Compatible with refillable pods: Many people are hesitant to invest in a pod-based machine in fear their favorite coffee grounds will go to waste. Make sure to pick a machine that works with refillable pods. And for you eco-conscious consumers out there, this will help lessen your waste production.
Large Water Tank: There’s nothing more annoying than constantly being reminded by your coffee machine that you’re out of water. Lower the frequency of this happening by choosing a model with a generous water tank.
Dishwasher safe components: Make life easier by choosing a machine that your dishwasher can clean for you. Some machines won’t have parts to clean, but for those that do, look for a model that can easily be tossed in the dishwasher.
Customize-able elements: Whether the most important part of your drink is the froth or being able to create an iced drink on those hot summer days, choose a machine that suits your needs. There’re many models on the market, so pick one that hits everything on your checklist.
As a pod-based coffee machine, the Muller Ultima offers strong shots of coffee that can quench your espresso needs.
While not technically an espresso maker, it provides a close alternative with added convenience, proving you don’t need a professional espresso maker to make high-quality coffee.
Compared to other pod-based coffee makers, the Muller Ultima is average in price.
This coffee maker has a solid fan base and very positive ratings.
Many former Keurig users have since converted to the Muller brand.
Users state that this product has many advantages, such as a smoother tasting cup of coffee, a larger cup size option, and a more aesthetically pleasing and compact design.
At half the price of a Keurig, buyers are pleased with the quality and durability of this machine.
This product’s design resembles a Keurig machine, providing familiarity to users who may be looking to switch to a new brand.
The white and light gray color scheme of this machine makes it look brighter and more fun than other coffee machines.
It will simultaneously blend in and stand out on your kitchen counter.
You will find that the Muller Ultima features:
- Variety of Sizes: With 3 different cup sizes, you can easily customize the strength of the cup to match your specific tastes.
- K-Cup Compatibility: Don’t let your K-cups go to waste, this machine is compatible with any version of the K-cup as well as other pods.
- Large Water Tank: With a 45 oz water tank, you’ll find yourself spending less time refilling the tank and more time enjoying your coffee.
Keurig K Cafe
Keurig lovers rejoice, there is finally a way to get your espresso fix using your favorite k-cups.
The Keurig K Cafe creates delicious, handcrafted lattes, cappuccinos, and iced drinks with the push of a button.
You can even top it off with perfectly frothed milk, giving you the coffee shop experience right at home.
In comparison to similar products, this machine is on the higher end of the price scale.
However, if you compare this product to other Keurig brand machines, this machine would be mid-range.
The Keurig K Cafe is a popular choice amongst longtime Keurig fans and is gaining traction with new users as well.
Buyers marvel at the taste of the espresso as well as the ease of making it.
Convenience is a huge selling point for this machine since it creates espresso that tastes great without an overly complicated machine or lengthy clean up process.
The versatility of making hot and iced drink is also a much loved feature.
This machine resembles the classic Keurig machine, except it has a larger water tank and a milk frother system on the right.
It features curved edges and simple buttons, giving it a softer, less bulky look.
In addition to making espresso shots, this machine features:
- Variety of Cup Sizes: Some days you need more coffee than others, and this machine has your back. Choose from 4 cup sizes ranging from 6 to 12 oz.
- Large Water Reservoir: With a 60 oz reservoir, you won’t waste time refilling the tank.
- Easy to Clean: The milk frother is dishwasher safe, making clean up a breeze.
- Compatible with Reusable Filter: If you prefer to use coffee grounds from your local coffee shop, go right ahead.
- Custom Drink Temperature: Satisfy your tastes in the summer and winter. With the option to make cold and hot espresso drinks, you’ll never get bored.
Gourmia GCM6000 6 In 1 Single Serve
You get an all in one machine with the Gourmia 6 in 1 Single Serve Multi.
If making espresso drinks wasn’t enough, this machine can also brew your favorite teas.
Coffee, espresso, and tea–what more could you possibly want?
In terms of price, the Gourmia 6 in 1 Single Serve machine is mid-range in comparison to similar products.
This product has favorable reviews from its buyers.
Even though this machine does not have a large following, its small base of users have given it positive feedback and are satisfied with their purchase.
The top selling points of this machine include its versatility and its value.
Buyers love that they have the choice between loading K-cups or ground coffee directly into the machine, a unique feature that comparable products do not offer.
The price of this machine is also lower than most Keurig brand machines, yet offers the same quality and convenience.
Sleek and compact, this machine would fit in nicely with your kitchen appliances.
The simplicity of its design is purposeful, reflecting how simple it is to use.
This machine includes the following features:
- Milk Frother: We know your drink isn’t complete without a healthy dollop of foam. This milk frother steams the milk directly into your cup, which means no mess and no extra dishes to do.
- Compatible with Coffee Grounds, K-Cups, and Loose Leaf Tea: Get a machine that truly does it all, while protecting the flavor integrity of your drink. This coffee comes with separate inserts that ensure whatever beverage you’re drinking will not be compromised by the taste of previous drinks.
- Removable Drip Tray: This machine will accommodate your mugs and travel cups alike.
Hamilton Beach 49980A Coffee Maker
If you are looking to make a strong shot of single-serve coffee, but you aren’t willing to give up your traditional brewer either, this machine is the answer for you.
Simply load the machine with your favorite pod, and minutes later you can find yourself enjoying a strong shot of espresso-like coffee.
This product’s price is average, making it accessible to a large group of buyers.
With thousands of satisfied customers, this machine has proven to be a popular choice amongst coffee lovers.
One of the highlights of this machine is its appeal to both traditional and pod-coffee drinkers.
Users love the ability to switch between a single serving or a full pot.
Additionally, this machine allows you to program the coffee pot side 24 hours in advance, a feature that other pod-compatible machines lack.
Users are also big fans of the single-serving filter that allows you to load coffee grounds directly into the machine.
The design of this machine resembles your traditional coffee machine with a twist.
Featuring a familiar LED clock surrounded by front-facing buttons, this coffee maker looks approachable and user-friendly.
The Hamilton Beach 49980A features:
- Two Ways to Brew: Whether you need a cup of coffee to go or you’d like to make a whole pot for your household, you don’t need to choose with this machine. You can even brew them at the same time.
- Brew Strength: With the ability to brew bold or normal coffee, cater your morning beverage to your specific tastes.
- 24-Hour Programmability: Wake up to a steaming cup of joe, and get your caffeine fix right away.
- Compatible with Grounds or Pods: We know that you can’t beat the convenience of pods. But if you’re more eco-friendly or prefer the taste of freshly ground coffee, you can load this machine with coffee grounds as well, meaning you never have to compromise.
WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker
Have you ever found yourself on the road, craving your favorite homemade espresso?
You will never find yourself in this situation again with the WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker.
With the ability to dispense barista grade coffee from Nespresso pods, it doesn’t get more convenient than this.
Finally, you can take your espresso anywhere you go.
When compared to other portable espresso makers, the WACACO Nanopresso is one of the more expensive brands.
However, if you were to compare this product to a traditional pod-based espresso maker, it is average in price.
Garnering positive feedback, this product has proven to be a hit with espresso drinkers on the go.
The general consensus among buyers is that this machine makes delicious tasting espresso, even when compared to higher-end, “real” espresso machines.
The convenience of this machine also cannot be beat, and it’s the perfect gift for frequent travellers.
Some minor complaints include the inconvenience of cleaning the machine, since it includes many small parts, and the necessity of buying an attachment in order to use Nespresso pods.
However, these issues are small annoyances, and do not detract from the machine’s high ratings.
Shirking all expectations of how a traditional espresso maker should look, this machine resembles a portable bluetooth speaker.
Pill shaped and small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, this machine looks like an espresso machine from the future.
The WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker includes:
- Energy Efficiency: With no need for a battery or electrical charging, this machine runs off manual power. All it takes is 8 pumps to pump out high-quality espresso.
- 18 Bars of Pressure: Incredibly powerful, this machine contains more bars of pressure than some home espresso makers, with none of the bulk or complexity.
- Light and Compact Design: Weighing in at 336 grams, you can throw this in your carry-on or camping bag with ease.
- Detachable Cup: A fully seamless process from start to finish, the Nanopresso even includes a detachable cup for added convenience. You’ll never be stranded without espresso ever again!
Keurig K Elite
The Keurig K Elite offers on-demand, espresso inspired coffee.
For all you coffee lovers out there that want an extra kick of flavor and caffeine, you’ll love the option for a strong brew.
While it’s not officially espresso, it is delicious and convenient.
This machine is on the higher end of the price scale.
Buyers have given this machine their stamp of approval.
Proving to be both convenient and durable, this product has received high ratings from a wide range of users.
Users are very pleased with how the Keurig K Elite has made their morning routine a breeze.
Making a cup of coffee has never been easier, and users state they can’t imagine going back to a non-automated machine.
Buyers lover the taste of the coffee and the variety of beverage choices the Elite offers.
This machine has a no nonsense, monochrome design, giving it a bolder look than the original Keurig.
The main differentiators between the Elite and the Orignal are the darker color and the wide array of buttons on top.
The Keurig K Elite also comes with:
- Quiet Brew Technology: Want some peace and quiet in the morning? This machine features technology that minimizes noise while in use.
- Iced Setting: Enjoy coffee the way you want it–with this machine, you can get a perfect cup of iced coffee every time.
- Variety of Cup Sizes: You can get exactly the amount of coffee you want with cup sizes ranging from 4 to 12 oz.
- Auto On/Off: Program your machine to wake up when you do and shut off when you leave.