How to Get the Best Out of Your Coffee Pods

Love them or hate them, coffee pods are here to stay.

While there has been much debate over the environmental impact of used pods, innovative companies have been hard at work to create sustainable solutions for this new branch of the speciality coffee industry.

Chimney Fire Coffee Nespresso Compatible Pods

Combined with using our directly sourced and organic Peru Classic Espresso, we think that our Nespresso® Compatible Pods represent a vast improvement over own-brand alternatives, from both environmental and ethical standpoints.

But how do you get the best tasting coffee possible from your pod machine? There are a few simple things you can do to maximise the flavour in your cup, and keep your equipment running smoothly. Read on to find out more, and discover how our team likes to drink theirs…

Keep your machine clean

Build up of coffee oils within a machine can lead to bitter tasting coffee and, eventually, an equipment malfunction. Keep this at bay by always flushing your machine before, between, and after each pod.

Find yourself an empty glass that fits under the nozzle of your machine, and make sure there is no pod inside. Press the middle size button to send a good blast of clean water through the tubes, and you’re ready to go once the water runs clear. Repeat this process after removing the used pod (and putting it in your food waste bin) to make sure that no residual coffee is left in the machine until its next use.

Use filtered water

As with all our coffees, we highly recommend using filtered water to produce the cleanest tasting cup. Not only will it drastically slow the rate of limescale build up inside your pod machine, but reducing calcium carbonate in your water will lead to a fuller flavour overall.

You don't need any fancy plumbing solutions for this - a simple water filter jug such as a Brita will do just fine!

Set your extraction time

chimney fire coffee pods

No matter what type of equipment you have, the same principles of extracting a great espresso apply: sweetness comes in the first part of the extraction process, and bitterness at the end. This is why shot time is such an important factor in pulling a great espresso.

The good news for pod machine users is that, while it is not possible to control other traditional variables of espresso extraction such as dose volume and grind size, most pod machines allow you to set your desired extraction time. Usually this is achieved by pressing and holding your chosen button (short, medium, or long) for the desired length.

Each pod contains only a small amount of coffee (under 6g), so in the office we prefer using the short shot button for a well-balanced single espresso. We’ve set up our Opal pod machine to yield about 25g coffee per pod, and have been known to double up if there’s a long morning ahead!

Coffee pod compatibility

If you don’t have a Nespresso® compatible machine, it could be possible to buy a converter. For Dolce Gusto machines which have larger capsules, adapters such as this one on Amazon are available to ensure the smaller Nespresso® pod fits nicely into the pod cradle. Be sure to check the adapter is compatible with your pod machine.

Our favourite coffee pod recipes

Dan & Row: Cortado

Founder Dan and Ops Manager Row say they love to add a little steamed milk to their coffee pods to create a creamy but intense cortado or macchiato.

Elizabeth: Single Espresso

Head Roaster Elizabeth prefers to use the shortest shot button, which gives the coffee plenty of sweetness while retaining plenty of punch.

Neroli: Long Black

Preferring her coffee without milk, Ops Assistant and Production Roaster Neroli always goes for a long black (otherwise known as an americano). She adds around 75ml of hot but not boiling water into a cup, then presses the middle sized shot button so the coffee goes straight into the water.

Belgian style cappucino with whipped cream

Sam: Belgie Cappuccino

Relationship Manager Sam is a sucker for all things Flandrian, so is partial to adding whipped cream to his double espresso to make a cappuccino Belgian style! Perfect for getting some calories back in after a muddy cycle into work.


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