Pod Coffee: What is in it?
We live in a world of ever-changing formulations, compositions and recipes. It can be incredibly difficult to keep up with the trends and stay informed on what exactly you are consuming. We will guide you through the composition of Coffee Pods and what exactly influences these compositions.
The three main variations of end-product coffee are relatively basic and easy to understand:
1) Whole Coffee Beans (Roasted):This is the beginning process of each and every coffee variant; the coffee cherries are picked, then opened to reveal two green coffee beans – and thereafter – roasted. The resultant product is a full, roasted coffee bean which can be retailed to the public.
2) Ground Coffee: After successfully roasting your green coffee beans, the yield is two darkened, hardened and roasted beans per “cherry” These are then ground into one of three variants: The Espresso grind (very, very finely ground); the filter coffee grind (medium-coarseness) and lastly, the Coarse grind (very rough texture with a heavier composition).
3) Instant Coffee:This coffee type has been through each stage listed above, but is then added to water and brewed to make coffee – in the ground coffee stage. This end-product coffee is then “evaporated” in one of two ways – either by means of spray-drying (resulting in coarser, medium-quality instant coffee) or by means of freeze-drying (this yields a more hardy, higher-quality instant coffee).
Short of physically opening your coffee pod or capsule, it is quite hard to determine the type of coffee used inside. There are a minimal few brands who make use of instant coffee in their pods, as this can (and will) result in bad tasting coffee. Think about it – all that filter coffee really needs is hot water to dissolve in. Add in the elements used to make pod coffee – and the taste of that instant coffee changes drastically – it may be weak and bitter.
Bearing that in mind, the vast majority of coffee pods contain ground coffee. This is the popular choice, in large due it it’s efficiency is yielding the best possible tasting cup of coffee form a pod.
No, you won’t get the same great taste from a pod coffee as you would from a freshly ground bean-to-cup machine coffee, but I can bet my bottom dollar that the coffee yielded from a pod coffee machine is in the higher ranking quality coffee types of the three grind types outlined above.
In short, pod coffee is ground coffee. Referring back tot he run-down of coffee types, we can see that this is the second purest form of coffee obtainable.
It would make perfect sense for coffee pods to have coffee beans in them, right? Considering a coffee bean is the freshest, most tasty form of coffee, and sealing it in the coffee capsule will only make it better, right? Sadly not. Due to the mechanical functioning of a capsule / pod coffee machine, and the composition of the pod itself – it would make grinding coffee beans impossible.
Think about it – you pop your pod into the machine, close the lid and “press play.”
If there were coffee beans, they would (at most) be slightly crushed inside that pod.
A factor to consider is the brewing method your machine employs: is it a high-pressure system, forcing water through coffee and filters? Or is it a drip / gravity brewing system? This is a huge deciding factor in how the coffee needs to be ground for optimal outcomes.
The grind size of coffee impacts the taste more than you could imagine. Coarsely broken coffee beans will hinder the brewing process of your coffee. Badly. I would love to see the results, but I am not willing to potentially damage my pod machine, nor risk being forced to consume bad tasting coffee.
Basically, the grind level of your coffee affects 90% of how your coffee tastes (apart from country of origin, time from roasting to consumption and the likes) and because of this, pod capsules contain the highest quality coffee possible – with the finest grind level possible.
Meeting halfway, we can see that finely ground, ground coffee is our best bet.
In summary, we always need to consider the compatibility of each level of grind with the result we need to achieve. So, unless it is otherwise stipulated, we can safely assume that the majority of coffee pods contain ground coffee.
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