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Advice needed about Coffee Pod machines - Beginner

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  • Advice needed about Coffee Pod machines - Beginner

    Hi all,

    New to the forum and am beginning to get into the different types of Coffee.

    Just wondering if any of the brand name / department store coffee pod machines are worth it? I'm looking for something to use at home but something to 'WOW' my guests and friends. Would you guys recommend the usual DeLonghi, Smeg or even Philips machines or do we need to up the budget or maybe even look at different equipment?

    Your advice is much appreciated

  • #2
    Welcome to CS!

    To put it as delicately as possible.............. if you want to be taken seriously about your coffee,
    don't go anywhere near a pod machine, other than to walk straight past it.
    You will wow your guests with a great roast, a decent grinder and something as simple as a press,
    google 'how to make coffee with a french press' for technique, brew ratios and steep times.

    If you want to go the espresso machine road then do some reading on the various CS threads,
    according to your budget. Plenty of people go with box branded machines from the likes of HN/GGs but
    I can only advise to purchase from someone who can give you instruction, support
    and after sales service. Check out the many sponsors on this site. Don't overlook the importance of a good grinder.

    Having the equipment is only part of it and is no automatic shortcut to 'wow' coffee. The most
    important factor is 'the hands that make it', in other words your technique.

    We are all on the learning curve, just at different places.
    Ask questions, enjoy the journey.


    • #3
      Your going to struggle to WOW people using any kind of automatic or super auto equipment, mild surprise that it tastes ok, maybe if its all working well.

      If you want it to taste like what you would get in a cafe, or even better, you'll need equipment that replicates the same process and principles.

      That means something with a commercial style portafilter (brass or stainless steel) without a dual wall crema system. You will also need a burr grinder that grinds fine enough for espresso. Sunbeam em450 still seems to be the entry level grinder for producing real espresso, and and a gaggia classic still seems to be the cheapest thing out there for making real espresso on. A decent tamper is also important.

      Thats the entry level. From there on good beans and good technique are more important. More money buys durability/usability and consistency with very small and incremental improvements in the quality of coffee produced.

      If you plan on entertaining large groups look at Heat exchanger or dual boiler machines.


      • #4
        Hi guys,

        Appreciate your advice. I kind of knew we would have to explore other avenues and increase our budget and also do some research/study on equipment. Even though it's mainly for home use, we love the thought of creating great coffee at home and drinking with great food and company. Sounds like I will need to do a course or watch plenty of Youtube tutorials


        • #5
          If you source your equipment from one of the sponsors you will receive free training, at purchase, to get you started.
          And then some............ the ones that I know will also give follow up help to overcome issues you come up against.
          After all, their reputations rely on happy clients.


          • #6
            Best bang for buck is the Aeropress and a decent grinder. It makes good strong coffee that WOWs people. People that have milk with their coffee seem to love it when I use it to make coffee for them.


            • #7
              Appreciate the advice guys. I will have to research the sponsors over the weekend and get in touch with a few of them. Just didn't want to sound completely 'dumb' when searching for equipment and accessories. I'm also looking at hands-on beginner courses or training to build up some knowledge. So...I am scratching the retail/department store products off my list


              • #8
                Sorry guys, one more question. In terms of getting started is it better to invest in something such as a pod machine or something else? We've been looking at Bluepod or Gaggia for example...? Thoughts? Should we even bother? sorry couldn't post links


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BlueCoffee View Post
                  Sorry guys, one more question. In terms of getting started is it better to invest in something such as a pod machine or something else? We've been looking at or something from the like a Gaggia for example...? Thoughts? Should we even bother?
                  Surely the few replies to this thread have made the answer to your original question pretty clear, it's time to do some of your own research.


                  • #10
                    Re: Advice needed about Coffee Pod machines - Beginner

                    If you are looking for convenience and not good coffee, go the pod machine.

                    If you want to explore a variety of good coffee, have flexibility in where you source your coffee, and discover a new passion, get the gaggia.

                    I have plenty of friends who love the convenience of thier pod machines. They are also usually the first to jump in when I ask who wants a coffee... (and I use a very average espresso machine!)


                    • #11
                      If you are chasing the WOW factor in coffee to give your guests and friends a treat, I'd suggest it all begins with the coffee you use.

                      Freshly roasted good quality beans used within 3 weeks of roasting, (usually at best between 1-3 weeks after roasting), is the starting point.
                      Brew within 3 minutes of grinding with a decent burr grinder. Something like a Breville Smart grinder is probably the most recommended in regard to lowest cost v quality of grind. There are definite price levels at which the quality of grinders take "steps up" in quality, durability and grind quality.

                      The coffee machine best suited to your needs depends on the type of coffee you mostly make, how many cups at one time and your budget.
                      Will you need to steam milk regularly for a number of people or will you mostly be making coffee for 1 or 2 people? Is making espresso your main consideration or milk based coffees?


                      • #12
                        Hello Blue,

                        How you like your coffee will invariably be different to me.

                        Years ago I was happy to drink instant coffee, like a majority of our population do now. I drank it with milk and sugar to mask the bitter taste and make it palatable.

                        About 15 years ago I wished to improve my coffee experience at home so I ground beans in a cheap blade grinder and brewed it in paper filters and then a plunger with much improved results.

                        I then progressed to lower end espresso machines with thermoblock water heaters and a burr grinder with much better results.

                        Some lower cost machines can produce great coffee when good fresh coffee beans are freshly ground in a burr grinder and care is taken with grind, dose, tamp and pour. However consistency of temperature may be difficult especially when making several coffees at the same time.

                        The more expensive machines tend to use boilers to heat and steam the water and use PID temperature controls for accurate and consistent temp. Some have dual boilers so brewing and steaming can be concurrent.

                        I have been using a Breville Dual Boiler machine for 19 months and I am happy with it. Last weekend I made about 50 coffees for friends with it.

                        As I now drink great fresh coffee, my taste buds have developed to where I cannot stand Instant coffee and pod machine coffee tastes stale to me.

                        I now mainly drink macchiatos without sugar.

                        You have to decide how you want your coffee and get the equipment that will make the coffee you like at the cost you are prepared to pay.

                        Last edited by Barry_Duncan; 22 February 2013, 03:39 PM.


                        • #13
                          There is no such thing as an 'investment', in regards to a pod machine.


                          • #14
                            Q: Advice needed about Coffee Pod machines
                            A: Don't.

                            Here endeth the lesson.