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7 Best Coffee Pods in 2022

Even if you run late, there is always time to brew a quality coffee! Coffee pods exist to make our lives, and most notably our coffee, easier for us via their sheer convenience. There is the best quick-brew choice for everyone, from light roast lovers to dark roast drinkers.

At A Glance:

  1. TOP PICK: Pact Coffee Fruit & Nut
  2. VALUE PACK: Illy ESE Pods Espresso Variety Pack
  3. BEST FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: Cafepod Brunch Blend

Coffee Pod Reviews: The 7 Best Coffee Pods In 2023

Home Grounds has compiled a review of the best coffee pods in 2023. We’ve dug deep into different types of coffee pods for you, including the roast, bean type, tasting notes, and any possible allergens to watch out for.

image product details
Best Overall Best Overall pact coffee Pact Coffee Fruit & Nut
  • Dark roast
  • Arabica
  • Almonds, Dried Fruit, & Milk Chocolatey
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Best Value for Money Best Value for Money Illy ESE Pods Espresso Variety Pack Illy ESE Pods Espresso Variety Pack
  • Medium & Dark roast
  • Arabica
  • Classic, Espresso, & Rich
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Budget Pick Budget Pick Café Royal Espresso Café Royal Espresso
  • Medium roast
  • Arabica
  • Acidic, Balanced, & Turmeric
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Best Light Roast Best Light Roast CRU Kafe Organic Light Roast CRU Kafe Organic Light Roast
  • Light roast
  • Arabica
  • Balanced, Black Tea, Blood Orange, Bright, & Caramel
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Best Medium Roast Best Medium Roast Tassimo Costa Americano Tassimo Costa Americano
  • Medium roast
  • Arabica & Robusta
  • Americano style
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Best Dark Roast Best Dark Roast Lavazza A Modo Mio Espresso Passionale Lavazza A Modo Mio Espresso Passionale
  • Dark roast
  • Arabica
  • Caramel, Chocolatey, & Cinnamon
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Best for the Environment Best for the Environment Cafepod Brunch Blend Cafepod Brunch Blend
  • Light roast
  • Arabica
  • Caramel Brownies & Decadent Chocolate
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1. Pact Coffee Fruit & Nut – Best Overall

Specifications

  • Roast: Dark

  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Tasting Notes: Almonds, Dried Fruit, & Milk Chocolatey
  • Contains Allergens: No

Pact Coffee’s Fruit & Nut Espresso is the best choice for your next espresso or homemade cappuccino. Two different coffees come together here in these 100% recyclable aluminium pods, which can be recycled right at home or brought back to your local grocery store. 

These Arabica dark roast coffee pods are of the Topázio, Yellow Bourbon, Acaiá, Rubi, and Mundo Novo Bourbon coffee varieties. The coffees in them were grown at altitudes of 1100 m and 1900 m, and they underwent natural and washed processes in Brazil and Rwanda. 

These Original Line Nespresso®-compatible pods bring you the best of both worlds with a melodious blend of tasty blackcurrant notes and milk chocolatey goodness plus a punchy almond aftertaste. Enjoy their flavours with the added bonuses of a creamy mouthfeel and a lemony zing, all sweetened with refined sugar. There are no allergens here to worry about.

2. Illy ESE Pods Espresso Variety Pack – Best Value for Money

Specifications

  • Roast: Medium & Dark

  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Tasting Notes: Classic, Espresso, & Rich
  • Contains Allergens: No

For coffee lovers who are on the fence about choosing a good medium roast or a great dark roast for their next coffee pods, get both, which also happens to be the best value for your money! Try Illy’s Espresso Coffee ESE-compatible variety pack of 36 capsules with 18 pods per roast type. The classic Italian-style espresso shots resulting from these pods are rich in flavour both in their classic and bold roasts and all without any allergens.

By drinking these Arabica coffee pods, take some comfort in knowing that you’re supporting one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies, which Illy has been a part of every year without fail since 2013 as the only Italian company. Illy’s supply chain is also responsible and DNV-certified.

3. Café Royal Espresso – Budget Pick

Specifications

  • Roast: Medium

  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Tasting Notes: Acidic, Balanced, & Turmeric
  • Contains Allergens: No

From Café Royal comes the best coffee at the lowest price with their Swiss premium 100% Arabica coffee pods that are compatible with Original Line Nespresso® coffee makers. A full 65 years has gone into meticulously crafting the perfect medium roast used here. These medium intensity aluminium capsules come in a package of 36 pods and have no allergens in them.

The espresso flavours featured here yield a refined acidity that seamlessly blends with some spice and turmeric into a nice, balanced cup. This coffee is UTZ-certified, eco-friendly, and 100% recyclable. For reference, UTZ is a nonprofit working to promote coffee farming in a sustainable way. Café Royal, and the UTZ organization it works with, is looking to deliver a great cup and an even better future for coffee-producing environments and the people involved along the way.

4. CRU Kafe Organic Light Roast – Best Light Roast

Specifications

  • Roast: Light

  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Tasting Notes: Balanced, Black Tea, Blood Orange, Bright, & Caramel
  • Contains Allergens: No

Light and bright, these best organic light roast 100% recyclable aluminium coffee pods from CRU Kafe are sure to dazzle you. With just the push of a button on an Original Line Nespresso® machine and less than 20 seconds, you’ll have a marvellous blend of 2 unique Arabica coffees with balanced tasting notes of black tea, blood orange, and sweet caramel.

These coffee pods come in a box of 60 and are free from chemicals, pesticides, and allergens. They are also 100% Soil Association Certified, 100% Fair Trade Certified, and Certified B-Corp. This means less energy goes into making them, less of a footprint is left behind, and yet more delicious sensations, tastes, and aromas are to be had by fellow coffee lovers enjoying them.

5. Tassimo Costa Americano – Best Medium Roast

Specifications

  • Roast: Medium

  • Bean Type: Arabica & Robusta
  • Tasting Notes: Americano
  • Contains Allergens: No

All of the authentic Americano flavour of a Costa Americano coffee has now been encapsulated into a portable coffee pod thanks to Tassimo’s Costa Americano coffee capsules! This unique medium-roasted Arabica-Robusta blend is available in packages of 16 coffee pods that are solely compatible with Tassimo coffee machines and are without any allergens. These coffee makers work by making the internal adjustments necessary to accommodate your pod with the perfect intensity, size, and temperature via Intellibrew™ technology. Enjoy the finest crema topping your coffee creation and sip with ease knowing an Americano is just a press away. 

If Americanos just aren’t your thing, but you don’t want to miss out on the best medium roast, other comparable Tassimo offerings include the following flavours: Cappuccino, Caramel Latte, Costa Favourites Variety Pack, Gingerbread Latte, Iced Caramel Latte, and Latte Coffee.

6. Lavazza A Modo Mio Espresso Passionale – Best Dark Roast

Specifications

  • Roast: Dark

  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Tasting Notes: Caramel, Chocolatey, & Cinnamon
  • Contains Allergens: No

The art of curating espressos in the ancient Italian traditional way is not lost by Lavazza A Modo Mio with their Espresso Passionale best dark roast coffee pods. These recyclable coffee capsules come in a box of 36. Each is compatible with Lavazza A Modo Mio coffee machines and has no allergens.

These coffee pods are oozing with intense caramel, chocolate, and cinnamon tasting notes in one harmonious fine blend of Arabica coffee beans from Asia, Brazil, and Central and South America. You’ll get a warm, smooth, and amber cream-topped espresso shot that’ll pick you up when you need it most. Every blend that goes into these luxurious coffee pods is chosen, roasted, and ground by experts to high-quality standards with a golden finish in every cup.

Other flavours from Lavazza A Modo Mio that may be your cup of tea, or more aptly your next cup of coffee, include Dek Cremoso, Lungo Dolce, and Qualità Rossa.

7. Cafepod Brunch Blend – Best for the Environment

Specifications

  • Roast: Light

  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Tasting Notes: Caramel Brownies & Decadent Chocolate
  • Contains Allergens: No

Fast brunch in a quick cup! Cafepod offers a specialty crafted light roast brunch blend in their coffee pods made from 100% Arabica coffee. Cafepod is an independent coffee company born in the heart of London with an emphasis on making coffee using a process that is best for the environment.

This particular Brunch Blend is balanced and smooth with beans from both East Africa and Brazil that infuse each pod with a zesty richness. Each box comes with 60 recyclable Nespresso®-compatible aluminium coffee pods. This coffee is Rainforest Alliance Certified and is without any allergens. This brunch blend tastes so good with its decadent chocolate caramel brownie flavouring that it has won 2 Stars in the Great Taste Awards of 2020.

You’ll have to try it for yourself to see how good it is! Enjoy it with some good food and great company at your next Sunday brunch get-together. This coffee goes particularly well with sourdough bread.

How To Choose The Best Coffee Pods

When choosing coffee capsules, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. To discover what that is, consider the following factors: desired roast, bean type, tasting notes, and the presence of allergens that should help guide you in making your choice. You can also check different types of coffee pods.

BestCoffeePods

How Dark Do You Like Your Roast?

Knowing how dark you like your roast is key to finding your favourite coffee as a coffee drinker. Different roast types yield a different coffee flavour profile. For example, a light roast has a lighter body and more acidic after-taste experience: a green mountain coffee breakfast blend, French vanilla, or any other weak coffee. A dark roast has a characteristic boldness to produce a stronger full-bodied coffee best enjoyed black with a longer-lasting taste. Milk also pairs well with dark roasts, and a medium roast finds a smooth balance between the two. These roasts have a rich complexity and feature origin characteristics.

Team Arabica Or Robusta?

Most coffee capsules are made with 100% Arabica beans, yet some blends also incorporate Robusta beans. Each of these two main types of beans yield different flavours. If you are looking for a smooth, sweet, and sugary taste with notes of chocolate, fruit, or berries in your coffee, then seek out any Arabica-only pods on this list. However, suppose you prioritize a higher-caffeine content, a more impressive-looking crema resulting from hot water being pushed through the coffee grounds within the coffee pods, and a more traditional bitter espresso coffee taste. In that case, an Arabica-Robusta blend like Folgers is the way to go.

Noteworthy Flavors

Certain roasts elicit specific noteworthy flavours. A light roast has citrusy, floral notes, and flavoured coffees also tend to fall into this category. Typical notes in a light roast range from sweet vanilla and honey to more sour lemon and lime. A dark roast has sweet notes that vary from a woody, earthy, and cocoa taste to more pepper, brown sugar, and smoky qualities that are far more bitter than acidic. A medium roast combines a dark roast’s creaminess with a light roast’s fruitiness. The notes in a medium roast feature a unique sensation for your taste buds, flavours ranging from plum to sweet caramel to maple.

Vegan-Friendly?

Coffee pods themselves do not contain any allergens. They are safe for any coffee lover to consume regardless of their dietary restrictions outside of moderating their caffeine intake.

If you see a creamy top layer forming over your brew, this is not an indicator of the presence of dairy products.

This is just the crema, which is vegan-friendly. However, it is important to take into account add-ons like latte froth that are included in fancier coffee pod kits as these accompaniments do contain allergens such as milk and soy. Use oat milk for a lighter, creamier, and healthier substitution or almond milk for a richer and denser one.

The Verdict

All these different types of coffee pods are easy-to-use. Home Grounds’ favourite is the Pact Coffee Fruit & Nut Pods, which make delicious coffee filled with notes of chocolate, almonds and blackcurrant. However, the best coffee pods for your first brew are the ones that appeases your flavour profile. Fortunately, the variety of coffee pods available allows for much experimentation.

Even home baristas benefit from the convenience of brewing coffee pods. Life gets busy, but that should never be an excuse to compromise the quality of your daily brew. You still get great coffee from pods with the push of a button.

pact coffee

FAQs

The most popular coffee pod machine in 2022 is the Nespresso Vertuo Next (8). The Double Espresso Chiaro is compatible with this Nespresso machine but not with Keurig brewers. To see more variety, look at some of the best-tasting Nespresso capsules, including the Lavazza pods for Nespresso.

Nespresso machines are more popular than Keurig K-cup brewers as they are higher-quality and lower maintenance (9). However, it is worth noting that Keurig is more cost-effective, with more significant savings on its coffee makers and pods. It is up to you to choose a good pod coffee machine and decide for yourself. 

The healthiest coffee pods are organic, made of stainless steel, free of BPA plastic, and made from paper or other compostable materials. However, coffee pods come with risks if they are made from plastics and aluminium (10). Chemicals in plastic may disrupt endocrine, leading to weight gain, fertility issues, and hormonal imbalances. Certain aluminium exposure contributes to anxiety, Alzheimer’s, and depression. As with everything, use coffee pods in moderation.

You can recycle coffee pods and regular K-cups. To recycle ESE pods, coffee pods that look like tea bags, you can safely dispose of them via compost. Some of the best ESE pods for recycling are made by Illy Medium Classico. Not all communities offer recycling for used coffee pods, so check locally. 

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  2. Coffee Stylish. (n.d.). Coffee Roast Levels – Everything You Need To Know. Retrieved July 30, 2022, from https://coffeestylish.com/coffee-roast/
  3. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2022, June 23). Food Allergies. Retrieved July 29, 2022, from https://www.fda.gov/food/food-labeling-nutrition/food-allergies
  4. Storr, T. (2022, January 9). Light, Cinnamon, City: What Do Coffee Roast Names Really Mean? Retrieved August 1, 2022, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/01/light-cinnamon-city-what-do-coffee-roast-names-really-mean/
  5. Nespresso. (n.d.). Force For Good: Because How We Make Coffee Matters. Retrieved July 31, 2022, from https://www.nespresso.com/us/en/doing-is-everything
  6. Nespresso. (n.d.). Responsibility means recyclability. Retrieved July 31, 2022, from https://www.nespresso.com/us/en/how-to-recycle-coffee-capsules
  7. Pipunic, A. (2022, April 26). Are reusable coffee pods a viable option? Retrieved August 1, 2022, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2022/04/are-reusable-coffee-pods-viable/
  8. Warwick, S. (n.d.). Best pod coffee machines 2022: for low-maintenance mornings. Retrieved July 30, 2022, from https://www.realhomes.com/buying-guides/best-pod-coffee-machines
  9. De Luca, B. (2022, January 20). Nespresso vs Keurig: The ULTIMATE Guide (Updated For 2022). Retrieved July 31, 2022, from https://www.thecoffeemaven.com/guides/nespresso-vs-keurig
  10. Coffee Addict. (n.d.). Are Coffee Pods Healthy? Retrieved July 31, 2022, from https://fullcoffeeroast.com/are-coffee-pods-healthy/#the-final-word-on-are-coffee-pods-healthy
Dasha Toptygina
I am a writer who delves into all manner of things related to coffee, cats, and characters. I started drinking coffee daily in university and now my entire work, life, and personality all revolve around procuring the perfect brew. I start every morning with yoga, French Press coffee, and some special creative time devoted to working on a magical cat café story... but, more on that later.

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