Making a cup of high quality coffee at home is quick and convenient using a pod coffee machine. Even when you are still half asleep you can enjoy consistently tasty, high quality cups of coffee. No need for grinding coffee beans, no unnecessary noise, just pick a capsule and push a button. However, with so many capsule coffee machines on the market in Australia, how do you choose the best one for you? Check out our reviews below:
1. Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus Pod Coffee Machine (Top Pick)
The Breville Nespresso Creatista is an all digital, sleek machine that is packed full of handy features. You have complete control in the simplest way so you can make each cup exactly as the baristas do.
There’s multiple coffee types available including; espresso, ristretto, lungo, cappuccino, flat white, latte and latte macchiato. You can also froth the milk and there’s 8 different textures to choose from and the temperature is adjustable too.
While this may sound like a lot, this capsule machine is very user friendly and it is all digital; you simply make your selection and the machine will do the rest. Oh, and it is self cleaning too!
What We Like:
- High quality and low maintenance
- Lots of options
- All digital
What We Don’t Like:
- Nespresso capsules are not reusable
2. Nespresso Essenza Mini Solo Capsule Coffee Machine
The Nespresso Essenza Mini is a minimalist and compact design perfect for smaller worktops. It is lightweight, easy to store and is one of the smallest pod coffee machines available.
While it is small in size, the Essenza Mini does not cut corners. It is efficient, uses a powerful 19 bar pressure pump and has hot water ready to go in just 25 seconds. There is also an energy saving mode and the machine automatically shuts down after 9 minutes.
If you have a different preference to the pre-set options you can reprogram the drink volume to your liking. When making a cup of coffee you simply put in the capsule, select espresso or lungo and the coffee maker does the rest.
What We Like:
- Energy efficient
- User friendly
What We Don’t Like:
- Small water tank, not great for serving large groups
3. Lavazza Jolie Plus Pod Coffee Machine
The Lavazza Jolie is a stylish, compact and simple to use machine. It is one of the best coffee pod options for individuals and it suits smaller areas thanks to it’s size and quiet operation.
You place the capsule in and choose either an espresso or long coffee (you can also program the coffee length if preferred). The Jolie Plus pod machines come with a generous 600ml water tank so that’s enough for multiple cups.
There is also a milk frother included that heats and whisks milk. An adjustable drip tray helps to keep things clean and the removable components are dishwasher safe making these coffee machines easy to maintain.
What We Like:
- Compact in size, perfect for individuals or couples
- Whisper quiet
- Includes a milk frother
What We Don’t Like:
- Only offers two options
4. Nespresso DeLonghi Inissia Capsule Coffee Machine
The Nespresso DeLonghi Inissia is one of the best pod coffee options for someone who is new to Nespresso machines. It is a compact, lightweight and colourful model that looks great in any kitchen without taking up much space.
The pod machine is easy to use so you can easily make espresso or lungo coffees at just the push of a button. The water tank is removable and comes with a lid to prevent spills. There’s also a hinged drip tray that can be flipped up to make room for larger cups.
If you forget to turn it off, the DeLonghi Inissia will automatically switch off to save energy. This model is convenient, inexpensive and comes with 16 capsules.
What We Like:
- Affordable entry-level model
- Fast operation
- Compact and portable
What We Don’t Like:
- Only offers basic options
Pod Coffee Machine Buyers Guide
Is a Nespresso Machine Right For You?
As our lives get busier we often look to technology to make our daily routines simpler and more efficient. It’s no surprise, therefore, that many busy households are turning to the convenience of capsule and pod coffee machines. But are there any drawbacks? Below we take a look at the pros and cons of this popular type of coffee machine.
- Speed and Convenience – Perhaps the most appealing feature of pod coffee machines is their simplicity. No other device can make silky smooth coffee with the touch of a button. Say goodbye to mucking around with a coffee grinder and tamper and coffee grounds spilled all over the bench.
- Bench space – Let’s face it, most apartments don’t have space for a full-sized espresso machine. Pod coffee machines mean you can still get a high-quality coffee fix without a bulky appliance taking up much-needed countertop space.
- Consistency – Nespresso machines take the guessing out of coffee making. If you don’t like variation in your daily brew, this right of machine is for you
- Easy to use – Unlike with an espresso machine, which can take years to master, the learning process on a pod coffee machine is very short. Read the instructions (or watch a video) You’re then free to experiment and find your preferred coffee capsules.
- Self cleaning – Designed with the busy coffee drinker in mind, most Nespresso machines have a self-clean function.
- Cost – While they still wouldn’t be considered a cheap kitchen appliance, they are certainly a lot more affordable than a full coffee machine.
- Taste – For most people, the coffee from a good quality pod machine certainly passes the taste test, however, it’s still not quite the same as from an espresso machine. For hardcore coffee snobs, this may be a deal-breaker.
- Waste – Unless you’re utilising a dedicated recycling program, like that offered by Nespresso (who have over 19,000 collection points across Australia), your used coffee capsules end up in landfill. This, however, isn’t the whole story, and recent research suggests that pod coffee actually has a less damaging impact on the environment than traditional espresso.
- Cost – While the price does vary from brand to brand, coffee pods aren’t particularly cheap when compared to buying beans. Consider your daily coffee usage and the price of your pods to get an idea of how much you’ll spend on pod refills.
Features To Watch Out For
When you’re looking for the best pod coffee machine there are a few factors to think about as each model offers something different:
- Capsule compatibility – Most pod machines are only compatible with a certain type of capsule, this can be limiting in terms of availability, cost and personal preference.
- Drink types – Consider what kinds of coffee you want to make and ensure the machine is able to make those – some are only able to make an espresso while with others you can make lattes or cappuccinos.
- Environmental impact – If you’re looking for a greener alternatives then keep an eye out reusable pods or recyclable products.
- Ease of use – Many machines are simple one-push button models that don’t have digital displays, make sure the product you choose is easy to use.
- Auto shut down – This is a great energy saving feature that shuts off the maker after a set amount of time.
- Water tank – The water reservoir should be removable to make it easy and mess free to refill.
- Milk frothers – Milk frother steam wands are a great addition if you enjoy milky coffees.
- Customisable – The more expensive pod coffee machines offer increased customisation options.
Other Options for Making Coffee At Home:
Not quite sold on the idea of a Nespresso machine? Here are your best alternatives:
Moka Pot / Stove Top Coffee Maker
Invested by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, the Moka Pot is something you’ll find in every home in Italy, and is also popular in the rest of Europe. They are cheap to buy, easy to use, and take regular ground coffee.
The process involves water being heated in a lower chamber, turned to steam, which rises and is presurised and forced through the ground coffee as it rises. It then turns back to liquid coffee in the upper chamber, from which you pour.
The key downside vs a pod machine is the time they take to brew on the stovetop, as well as the volume of coffee being restricted by the capacity of your particular moka pot (think wisely about what cup size would suit you best).
Automatic Home Coffee Machine
The automatic home coffee machine is a bit of a hybrid between a pod coffee and a full-blown espresso machine. They are small enough to fit on most bench tops and offer a range of features that take the guesswork out of coffee making. Often with an integrated grinder, these machines will use the precise amount of beans and the right amount of water to consistently create a tasty cup of coffee. They also often come with self-cleaning functions
If you’re serious about your coffee, consider investing in an espresso machine. If you know what you’re doing, they undoubtedly make the best brew. However, the learning curve is steep and the gear is expensive (and too big to fit in most kitchens). Definitely one for the coffee aficionado.
If you enjoy filter coffee, then there’s nothing wrong with the good old plunger. Cheap, easy to use, and reliable, there’s a reason most homes have one of these in the cupboard. The obvious downside is its limitation in creating a wider range of coffees like espresso, flat whites, cappuccinos etc.
Created by the president of Aerobie (yep, the frisbee company), this coffee making device steeps ground beans in its first chamber before the liquid is manually through a filter by the user. The outcome is similar to what you’d get with a filter or french press coffee. The AeroPress has gained a lot of popularity with hikers and those who spend a lot of time in the outdoors, thanks to its small size and low weight.
Pod Coffee FAQs
The Nescafé Dolce Gusto (by Nestlé) tends to be more simplistic and has an “all-in-one” approach while Nespresso offers more features and options. Nespresso also offers more variety in terms of the pods and flavours.
No, many coffee pods are created to fit only specific brands. This means pods come in various sizes and weights and not all coffee pods and pod machines are compatible.