IF you love nothing more than indulging in a cuppa before you start your day, you’ll want to have the best coffee pods on your radar.
A quick way of making a quality cup of coffee, pods are a simple solution if you’re in a rush or want to wind down with a warm beverage.
With a variety of blends and strengths to choose from, there is a pod for everyone whether you like a milky latte or a cappuccino that packs a punch.
The addition of a coffee machine and pods will switch up the way you create your drinks and bring the essence of a cafe into your home plus, they come in handy when you have guests.
We’ve rounded up the best coffee pods that will turn you into a fully-fledged barista.
Best coffee pods at a glance
Best coffee pods for intense brew: Nespresso Intenso 50 Capsule Box
- Nespresso Intenso, $32 for 50 capsules from Nespresso – buy now
A perfect pick for lovers of a stronger brew, these capsules have been intensely roasted with aromatic notes of cocoa.
This is best served as part of an Italian-style Lungo, a large Americano, or an espresso if you need a caffeine hit.
With origins including Brazil and Uganda among others, this has body and a touch of bitterness making this great for a morning pick-me-up.
Simply pop one of these in your Nespresso coffee machine and enjoy.
Best coffee pods for beginners: Lavazza Classico Keurig® K-Cups®
- Classico Keurig® K-Cups®, $8.70 for 10 capsules from Lavazza – buy here
If you’re new to the world of coffee, picking the perfect pod can be overwhelming particularly with different strengths and blends on the market.
A classic cup is always a great place to start when seeking out the right coffee for you and Lavazza’s capsules offer quality along with an intensity level of five out of ten.
With origins in South America and Africa, this full-bodied and balanced blend contains aromatic notes of dried fruit and a rich taste.
Dubbed the perfect daily ritual, this is compatible with the Keurig coffee machines so you can make your morning cuppa with ease.
Best coffee pods for iced coffee: Green Mountain Coffee Brew Over Ice Classic Black
- Green Mountain Coffee Brew Over Ice Classic Black, reduced to $13.98 from Walmart – buy here
A much-loved alternative to warmer beverages, iced coffees are refreshing and a great drink to have on the go.
Vowing to offer cafe-quality coffee at home, Green Mountain’s pods are made from 100% Arabica coffee to create a full-flavored medium roast with a subtle hint of sweetness.
Compatible with Keurig Coffee Makers, these are best served with ice, the milk of your choice, and a sweetener depending on your taste.
Best decaf coffee pods: Nespresso Decaffeinato 50 Capsule Box
- Decaffeinato Capsule Box, $32 for 50 capsules from Nespresso – buy here
Having a decaffeinated coffee doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the rich and dense taste of a regular cup.
Nespresso’s Decaffeinato delivers a full-bodied blend that contains aromas of cocoa as well as roasty toasted cereal for a powerful coffee.
At $32 for 50 capsules, you won’t have to replenish your pod selection in a hurry.
Best coffee pods for espresso: Lavazza Expert Espresso Aroma Top Capsules
- Expert Espresso Aroma Top Capsules, $22.70 for 36 capsules from Lavazza – buy here
Lavazza’s Expert Espresso offers a mild-tasting coffee with a medium roast making it a great option for anyone who would rather steer clear of stronger blends.
With aromatic notes of flowers and cereal, this gives off a floral, roasted aroma that will make this a delight to drink whether you’re having a cuppa in the morning or in the evening after dinner.
When you fancy a brew, slot one of these creamy, fragrant pods into the Lavazza Capsule Coffee machine and sip away.
Best medium roast coffee pods: Folgers Classic Roast Coffee K-Cup Pods
- Folgers Classic Roast Coffee K-Cup Pods, $31.44 for 60 capsules from Walmart – buy here
Compatible with Keurig machines, Folgers Classic roast offers a rich and smooth medium-tasting coffee that is perfect for starting the day with.
Whether you like black coffee or a milkier taste, these are simple pods that give off classic aromas. When you have finished your cup, simply peel the lid, compost, or dispose of the grounds and check locally where you can recycle your empty cups.
Best balanced coffee pods: Maxwell House Original Roast K-Cup® Coffee Pods
- Maxwell House Original Roast K-Cup® Coffee Pods, $29.94 for 60 capsules from Walmart – buy here
Featuring a balance of strength and flavor, Maxwell House’s Original Roast is made with 100% pure coffee to deliver a medium roast.
The single-use pods can be used with the Keurig® 1.0 or 2.0 brewing system and contain 60 pods at just $29.94.
Promising to be good to the last drop, these are best served black or with cream and sugar.
How do coffee pods work?
If you’re in a hurry during the morning rush or you want a simpler way to make your brew, coffee pods take all the fuss out of grinding beans and boiling the kettle.
In short, coffee pods contain ground coffee inside a plastic or compostable container that is lined with filter paper and sealed with foil.
They are super easy to use and best of all, they can make a great cuppa in less than a minute.
Simply, load water into the tank that is usually located at the back of the coffee machine, place the pod in, and press the relevant button to activate.
Are all coffee pods the same?
Unfortunately not, coffee pods often won’t be compatible with rival brands, so once you purchase a machine you’re essentially buying into a particular brand.
This means you won’t be able to use Nespresso pods in a Lavazza machine and vice versa. Before choosing the brand you want to go with it’s good to think about the kind of drinks you want to make.
Pods from brands including Lavazza and Nespresso are the most popular, especially for their espresso blends.
Maxwell House and Folgers tend to offer more original coffee blends that are perfect for anyone who likes a classic cup.
We recommend exploring the different ranges available with each machine before you make the decision.
Which is the best coffee pod machine?
There are many different factors to consider when it comes to finding the right coffee pod machine for you including the price point, the blends you prefer as well as how much space you have.
As previously mentioned, when buying a machine you will often be stuck with one type or shape of pod however, the Keurig is compatible with a variety of blends depending on your taste.
Are coffee pods recyclable?
Many coffee pods are usually recyclable, but it’s worth noting that the process often has to be done at a specialist facility to separate the materials the pods are made from.
This means that you often can’t place your used pods in your regular recycling bin at home. However, most of the major pod suppliers including Nespresso are now offering schemes to help you dispose of your used pods responsibly so you can do your bit for the environment.
There are also biodegradable and compostable pods on the market with some being suitable for throwing in the garden compost, although we recommend finding out how to dispose of your used coffee pods.
Enjoyed our round-up of the best coffee pods? Do your bit for the planet and check out our guide to the best eco-friendly coffee pods, too.