Espresso Pods vs Espresso Grounds

I know a few espresso purist friends who would put their feet down when anyone suggested using espresso pods instead of grounds to make the drink. It could be the insecurity of not being sure what goes in the espresso pod; or maybe they love the control over the size of the grind and the amount to use to make their own version of perfect espresso. If you are open to choices though, here are a few notes on the benefit of using espresso pods vs espresso grounds.

Espresso Grounds

  • You can buy your favorite espresso beans and grind it yourself with a quality grinder, adjusting the size of the grind to the best one that makes the espresso of your taste.
  • Fresh grounds are always better in creating a rich and strong taste compared to pre-ground, which is why many espresso lovers insist on grinding the beans just before making the coffee.
  • There’s the flexibility of trying out different tamps, to make different tastes of espressos anywhere from watery thin to strong and bitter.
  • If you are looking for a caffeine jolt, grounds fare better than pods. Somehow.
  • Using espresso grounds save you about 25 cents per shot compared to pods.

Espresso Pods

  • You save money by not having to buy a grinder. A good quality grinder can cost one-third of the price of an espresso machine.
  • There is never any mess to clean up when you use pods. This is cool if you’re on the rush to work and cannot spare that extra five seconds to wipe off the counter top.
  • For people who don’t want all that irregularity in their espresso shots (usually due to unperfected skills), espresso pods eliminates the guesswork and makes the same tasting espresso, over and over again.
  • There are many flavors of pods to choose from, even with additives like caramel and vanilla.

Well, you don’t have to decide whether you want to use espresso pods or grounds when you are buying an espresso machine, because most espresso machines accommodate both options. Unless you are getting one of those Nespresso automatic espresso machines that use their patented espresso pods.

Like I said, if you’re not a traditionalist when it comes to making a good shot of espresso, it won’t hurt to try out both grounds and pods. Personally I have fresh beans and a variety of flavor pods at home, and I take my pick on a whim. Often I go for pods when I’m really in a hurry, otherwise my wife will hiss between her teeth at the sight of a messy counter. :)

Find out which espresso machine is the best for you here at my Espresso Machine Ratings site.

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