Everything modern stands synonymous with minimalism. The world has shrunk to fit in our hand, but we still take all that trouble to brew your favorite cup of coffee in order to keep yourself going?
Well . . . John Sylvan was not ready for such a lifelong commitment. Hence, he came up with the idea coffee pods. Initially designed for office use, a coffee pod contains freshly-roasted, finely-ground and precisely tamped coffee, preserved in its fresh taste and aroma, sealed into paper to make a perfect single or double serve cup of coffee.
With the coming of pods, anyone can be a barista, no matter how limited their knowledge of the process of actually going from the beans to the cup is.
What’s so revolutionary about coffee pods?
Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world. A decade back brewing the perfect cup of coffee was quite an art. You had to move outdoors and spend money to enjoy a perfect cup of coffee.
Gradually coffee makers became a common presence in any kitchen. You could have an espresso, a latte or a cappuccino within the comfort of your house. That wasn’t as easy as it sounds though. One had to roast beans or ground roasted bean or precisely tamp the grounded ones in order to get the perfect shot. Not to forget the cleaning afterwards.
Taking away all the calculation and care required before finally pouring out a cup of coffee, pods came ready to be processed in most machines.
Naturally, it was quite a revolution in the world ruled by the caffeine high. Vir Sanghvi, in his famous Rude Food blog in Hindustan Times, shared how coffee pods make life a lot easier, “The challenge, however, is to drink good coffee at home. It will never be cheap. But it needn’t be as expensive as Starbucks or Costa. Fortunately, technology has made our lives easier. A modern coffee machine is the simplest gadget to operate. You fill water in the tank, shove a capsule into the chamber and press a button. You get terrific, world-class coffee in a minute.”
Types of Coffee Pods
Since the aroma, taste and quality of the coffee beans is largely determined by the climate of the region where it is grown, there are innumerable varieties of coffee all over the world. Commercially, different varieties of coffee are blended together to produce a balanced taste unless of course, you insist on having a particular type of bean from a particular region.
These are some of the most popular options for coffee pods that are available in India.
Nespresso Coffee Pods top most lists because of the wide variety they offer. Apart from 16 regular flavors they also treat customers with their Limited Edition, Special Reserve and Variation varieties every year.
However Nespresso pods won’t give you a strong intense cup of coffee since they contain only about 5-6 g (less than the standard 7g) coffee for a single serve.
LavAzza is a century-old reputed brand of coffee. Offering about seven varieties of coffee pods, their 44-mm pods are compatible with most machines. If you’re really into the brand, you must try out their exclusive A Mio Modo Espresso pods which require their Favola brewing system.
If you’re addicted to Starbucks coffee you can replicate the exact flavor at your home using the Starbucks Verismo brewing system and coffee pods. Their unique essence lies in the finely ground coffee, which, unfortunately, also makes it incompatible with other machines.
Keurig has been taking care of all our coffee needs since the time it came up with the first coffee pod maker to make things as convenient as they could be. They not only offer a wide range of flavors and varieties of their own but also collaborate with popular brands to give you the best coffee.
Why have pods been losing popularity?
While pods were designed to make our lives easy, their immense popularity has had some major drawbacks. These have led to a gradual decline in their use, so much that their creator now regrets even making them!
Firstly, they have very much killed the art of coffee making. Those time saving super-easy-to-make pods can never match the essence of that magical potion you end up with by taking things in your own hand (quite literally).
Secondly, when you let the control off your hands you can’t even control the amount of coffee you will end up with! Pods are designed to give you a maximum of 110ml coffee, which most of the times wouldn’t make a full mug. Don’t even think of over extracting unless you are looking for a burnt and bitter flavor.
Thirdly, if you sit and calculate, these compact and convenient coffee pods are a lot more demanding on your pocket than even the finest quality organic or fair trade coffee.
Lastly, coffee pods might be a savior for us at work but have a drastic effect on the environment. Their plastic or aluminium packaging not only generates a lot of non biodegradable waste but is also a health hazard that lead to hormonal imbalance, weight gain and fertility problems.
Read what people across the world feel about the impact of pods on the environment here.