Capsules Or Beans - Which Coffee Machine Should You Choose?

Capsule machines (or pod machines as they are also referred by) have seriously entered our kitchens, and have now become a serious alternative to both regular filter coffee machines and coffee espresso machines using freshly ground beans.

It can be a bit of a jungle to navigate the type of coffee machine that best suits your needs. It really depends on how often you drink coffee, how much you care about the coffee and taste itself, and how much money you want to spend on a coffee machine.

Therefore, I will now go through some advantages and disadvantages of capsule and bean machines, respectively, and hopefully you can get some ideas to what will work best for you. 

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Coffee machines with capsules

coffee pods vs beans

It is far from unreasonable that the capsule machines have become as popular as they are. The taste is mostly really good and then it is incredibly easy and quick to make a single cup of coffee.

The convenience of being able to quickly brew a single cup of coffee is, in our opinion, the great advantage of the capsule machine. Most people who own or own a traditional filter coffee machine have tried to wait 10 minutes for the coffee to finish, then pour half of it out afterwards.

You do not have this problem with a capsule machine. Besides that, cleaning the coffee machine is also non-existent. The last good argument in this round is that the machine itself is often relatively inexpensive compared to the alternatives.

In contrast, a capsule machine is by far the most expensive alternative when looking at the cost per day per cup of coffee. 

According to the Consumer Council “Think”, you will spend an average of USD150 on coffee a year if they drink filter coffee.

On the other hand, if you use capsules, you will spend an average of between USD400-800 depending on which capsules you use.

A capsule machine can thus become very expensive in the long run if you drink a lot of coffee. On the other hand, it is perfect if you do not drink many cups a day and value convenience highly.

I feel I should mention that the capsules that is used for al the various pod coffee makers, are aluminium, and its destroying our nature. If this is something you feel as strong about as I, please read this article I wrote, where you learn some additional info.

Coffee machines that use beans

An espresso machine has a definite advantage over the capsules, namely the taste. Freshly ground beans give a much more intense and full flavor, compared to capsules.

At the same time, beans are also cheaper than capsules. If you drink many cups of coffee on a daily basis, it is cheaper for you per day. cup to choose the beans and then the taste is better.

Unfortunately, the disadvantages of an espresso machine are that it is far from as easy and convenient as a capsule machine.

It takes longer to brew the coffee and there will be far more cleaning work.

Choice between convenience and quality

Now that we have reviewed the main advantages and disadvantages of both types of coffee machines, you can probably see that the choice is largely between a better taste and price, or convenience and more expensive coffee.

If you are the type who appreciates a good cup of coffee and likes to spend the time it takes, then beans are the way to go.

If, on the other hand, you just need a quick shot of caffeine, without too much work, then the capsules are the right choice.

How to choose the perfect coffee maker

The choice of coffee maker for your home depends on budget, taste preferences, and even the lifestyle of you and your household. For starters, we offer to answer 4 questions that will help you decide on the type of technology, and then you can learn more about the coffee maker/coffee maker that interests you.

  1. How much coffee do you drink? This is the first question you should ask yourself before buying a coffee maker or coffee maker. If you like to drink a few large mugs at a time, or if you have a large family, choose a device that can prepare large quantities of drinks. The time-tested drops of coffee makers are ideal for this purpose because most of them are capable of making 10-12 cups per day. Cycle. But if you only use one cup at a time, then you need a machine that breaks coffee a la carte.
  2. What flavor of coffee do you like? Coffee lovers are as different as the varieties themselves, and each type can offer their coffee maker/coffee maker. For example, a French press will satisfy a true gourmet because it maintains all tastes better than others. Geyser coffee machines are ideal for lovers of extra strong coffee. Fans of milk drinks (cappuccino, latte, cocoa, etc.) should buy a capsule coffee maker or an automatic coffee maker with a cappuccinator — Well-Loved espresso-espresso-type espresso machines.
  3. How and when do I drink coffee? If you spend the morning most often in a hurry, then a drip coffee machine with a double-walled stainless steel mug will allow you to make coffee quickly, but not drink it immediately, but when you are ready. Furthermore, you can take a thermocouple with you and drink your portion of caffeine on the road or at work.
  4. How big is my kitchen? Decide which place you can assign to your coffee maker and possibly a free-standing grinder. If there is not much space, then look for a compact model with an integrated coffee grinder.

Now that you have answered these 4 questions, let’s look at the type of coffee machine that interests you more.

Drip filter coffee maker

This is probably the most common type of coffee machine in the world because they are so practical, cheap and easy to use. Drinking coffee machines can cook up to 12 cups in 5-10 minutes. And although they receive poor reviews on the quality of brewing from strict connoisseurs, for those who love American coffee, not espresso, don’t drink fine varieties every day, a drip-type coffee maker will be an excellent choice.

drip filter coffee machine

Such a “workhorse” is an ideal choice for large families and “American” lovers (coffee in a large mug and not as strong as espresso)

Principle of operation: The water is heated in the tank, flows into the filter with ground coffee, and then the drink is lowered into the pot.

Here’s how to use drops of coffee maker: all you have to do is fill the water tank, pour the beans into the filter, press a few buttons, and voila, your coffee is ready!

Here’s how to choose a drip coffee maker:

  • Its recommended that the water tank is removable and not built-in – so you can descale it.
  • The higher the unit, the faster the coffee is brewed. On the other hand, the longer the brewing time, the stronger the coffee becomes.
  • The filter in drops of coffee machines can be paper (disposable) or nylon (designed for 60 cycles). Paper filters are good because they are thrown away with the coffee grounds, they better filter the drink, but they do it a little longer. Furthermore, they must be purchased separately and always in stock.
  • It is good if the jug heated for your chosen model is to maintain the temperature of the finished beverage. This feature is usually available for more expensive coffee machines (from 2500 rubles).
  • Drinking coffee machine can have not only a coffee filter, but also a water filter.
  • Be aware of the presence of the “Drop-stop” option. Thanks to this, after the jug is removed, the remaining coffee will not drip from the strainer filters on the tray.
  • Some models allow you to adjust the potency of the drink, which is always useful.
  • Convenient when measuring scale is calculated in milliliters, and not in cups, as is often the case. Before buying a coffee maker, make sure the tank and can both have a graduation meter.
  • The glass cover must be provided with an edge designed to protect the container from breaking.
  • For two people, you can buy a mini model that serves coffee in two cups at the same time and not in a jug.

Prices: The simplest models can cost from USD10, up to premium drip coffee makers – from USD100.

I made a comparison between the best drip/filter coffee makers. You can read it here if you are interested.

Moka coffee maker

The good old method of brewing coffee in a geyzernaya coffee machine on the stove is still popular with coffee makers. The reason for this is the low cost and simplicity of design and of course the strength of the drink that is obtained to achieve.

  • Coffee from a geyser coffee machine is somewhat richer in taste than coffee from a drip coffee machine, but still no better than an espresso machine.
geyser coffee pot

The lack of moka coffee pots is that they require attention during coffee brewing and a small volume of thought. In fact, a moka coffee maker is a device for one or two people. Preparing a few cups of coffee for guests will be quite difficult. However, it is not possible to drink a drink less than the amount specified by the manufacturer.

Principle of operation: When boiling water in the lower part of the pot, it rises under pressure in the middle part with ground coffee, passes through it, and eventually the drink falls into the upper part of the coffee cabbage.

How to use a moka coffee maker: Fill the bottom compartment with water and the middle fill the coffee completely (medium grinding), then mount the coffee maker parts and place it on the oven. After 3-4 minutes, as soon as the steam comes out of the spout or an elevator begins to radiate, remove the coffee pot from the oven and enjoy your drink. The most important trick is not to overdo the coffee and not bring it to a boil, otherwise the taste will be bitter.

  • Electric geyser coffee makers do not even require stoves, they automatically heat and switch off.

How to choose a moka coffee maker:

  • Volume is the first criterion for choosing a moka coffee maker. Consider that an “Italian” cup, which usually measures the amount of coffee pots, is only 50 ml, that is, only a quarter of a standard cup.
  • The degree of readiness of the beverage is more convenient to determine if the flask is glass and not metal.
  • The function of maintaining the coffee temperature allows you to drink a hot drink immediately, but within 30 minutes of preparation.
  • For an induction cooker, buy a coffee pot specifically designed for this purpose.
  • The handle of the handle must be made of insulating material.

Prices: USD20-75 (the price of standard moka coffee machines) and USD50-150. (cost of electric models).

Semi-automatic espresso machine

Making coffee more close to the original idea of ​​espresso, cappuccino or latte at home, can be in the “carob” espresso machine, also called semi-automatic or manual. This unit is fairly expensive, but due to more efficient extraction of coffee, a finer grain is required.

Carob espresso machine
  • Semi-automatic espresso machines are detached and built into the kitchen.

Functioning principle: In a semi-automatic coffee machine, the beverage is not brewed with boiling water, but with water vapor passing through a layer of soil, tamped coffee in a high pressure horn (9-15 bar).

How to use a semi-automatic espresso machine: First, fill the kettle with water. Then ground coffee is poured into a specially designed horn (holder, gate filter), manually emptied into a “tablet” with tempera and inserted into the brew head. Then just turn on the machine and wait for half a minute when the drink will pour into a prepared cup.

Most espresso machines can prepare not only espresso, but also milk froth for cappuccino or latte using a hand (panarello) or automatic cappuccinator, which beats the milk with steam.

Price: from USD50-1000, depending on the quality, effect, the volume of the water tank and the functionality.

If your interesting in Semi-automatic coffee machines, i recommend you read this review here on my absolute favorite Semi-automatic espresso machine.

Automatic coffee maker

If the earlier types of coffee machines require your attendance / control, then an automatic coffee maker can make the perfect drink almost without you. What it does is a full duty cycle – from grinding coffee beans to self-cleaning. The only downside of an automatic coffee maker is the high cost ($ 650 on average).

automatic coffee maker
  • The process of cooking 1 serving (from grinding to spilling) takes only 30-40 seconds.

To use the automatic coffee maker: Add cereal coffee, pour water, select the potency of the drink, set the desired number of servings and turn on the unit. In half a minute, your perfect home espresso will be ready.

How to choose an automatic coffee maker: In fact, all automatic coffee makers are the same and brew coffee almost as well. Models of different price categories differ only in design, size and functionality.

  • For example, the cheapest coffee maker in 2016, Philips Series 2000 HD8649 does not have a fortress regulator, brews only cereal coffee and espresso only (though you can manually make milk drinks using the built-in cappuccinator) .But one of the most expensive coffee machines for the home Delonghi ESAM 6904 has an LCD screen, touch buttons, two thermal blocks, allows you to select the height of the skin and can even make hot chocolate at the touch of a button. However, they brew coffee for the same quality and speed.

Therefore, you have to choose the unit based on price-functional conditions. With “everything else equal,” it is necessary to prefer a machine with a metal body, a ceramic coffee grinder with a higher height of the cup, more pressure and power. Before buying, make sure you move the cappuccinator tube, close the water / cereal / cake containers and press buttons.

Prices: Start from USD200.

If your interested in knowing more about automatic coffee machines I recommend you read this article.

Capsule coffee maker

Capsule coffee maker is the best choice for those who love espresso and foam drinks but do not want to: spend a lot of money to buy an expensive espresso machine, make their own coffee in any type of coffee maker or simply do not like to clean the parts.

  • Capsule coffee machines are designed to brew coffee only from partial capsules and pods. They are very convenient both for making beverages and for cleaning. To keep the unit in order, it is only necessary every three months to start the “cooking” cycle with a special cleaning tablet.
capsule cofee maker

Capsule coffee machines can, firstly, only make one cup per cycle, and secondly, they limit some choice of varieties (although there are many different capsules). And thirdly, the purchase of coffee in specialty stores. In addition, cappuccino and latte foams are made from powdered milk and also packaged in a separate capsule. It turns out that to make cappuccino, you need two capsules, which is not too economical. The taste of such drinks, of course, drops drinks from the coffee machine.

Functioning principle: the capsule is punctured, the coffee is mixed with an air stream, then water enters the room with coffee under high pressure.

How to use capsule coffee maker: All you have to do is insert the capsule into a special room, fill the tank with water and press the start button.

Price: Start from USD75-100.

If your interested in reading more on capsule/pod coffee machines, please check this link.

Below I have added a Infographic, that maybe can help you a little in your search for the perfect machine, thats just right for you 🙂

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