If you have heard the term coffee pods or capsules before and is unsure what it means, it is a method of consuming coffee that focuses on a single serving. This is mostly geared towards those drinking coffee at home. If you have a single-serve espresso machine, these are two options to consider.
Coffee pods are quite smaller than capsules and you will be able to find eco-friendly coffee pods as well. There are different shapes and sizes to a coffee capsule. Whichever type you use, you need to consider whether they are compatible with your coffee machine. There are some machines that are compatible with both but they are newer versions that have recently come out in the market. A coffee pod will have 7g of espresso ground and compressed inside a paper pod. The machine needs to be compatible with pods or should be a versatile model.
There are also machines where you can use 2 pods at the same time. Capsules also have a measured amount of ground coffee inside and they are made or either plastic or aluminium. There is a foil top for capsules. While there are dedicated machines for capsules, you cannot assume that any capsule will fit the machine. You will need to do some research in order to find out a capsule that you like and a machine that will accept a wider range of capsule brands.
The reason that pods and capsules have become popular is because of the portion control options they offer. Compared to a bag or tin with loose coffee grounds that will change over time once the seal is broken, the freshness of pods and capsules will remain the same from the time you bought them to the time you consume. The design of some coffee pods is similar to tea bags and they are called soft pods. These can be recycled or used as compost so it is a more eco-friendly way of drinking coffee as opposed to discarding the plastic or aluminium shells of capsules. There are hard coffee pods as well which are very similar to capsules.
Coffee pods are more versatile as they can be used in different machines. Most of the time, coffee capsules will only be compatible with one brand of coffee machine. This is done as a way of increasing sales of the manufacturer. You may be able to enjoy more variety in your coffee if you choose coffee pods or certain compatible capsules that are suited for a wider variety of machines. If you already have a coffee machine, this will determine what you can use.
The differences between coffee pods and capsules are very subtle and the determining factor when going for one or the other will be the compatibility levels with the coffee maker that you have or planning to buy. You can also look at the eco-friendly option if you are interested in practicing concepts on sustainability in your lifestyle.