In the realm of coffee brewing, the shift towards sustainability is gaining momentum, with reusable coffee pods leading the charge. This comprehensive guide explores the benefits of using reusable pods over traditional aluminum or plastic options and provides essential tips for getting the most out of your eco-friendly coffee experience.
The Benefits of Reusable Coffee Pods
- Environmental Impact: Reusable pods significantly reduce waste compared to single-use aluminum or plastic pods. By choosing to reuse, you’re contributing to less landfill waste and a healthier planet.
- Cost-Effective: Over time, reusable pods can save you money, as they can be used with your choice of ground coffee, which is often more affordable than pre-packaged pods.
- Customization: They allow for greater flexibility in coffee choice and strength, enabling you to customize each cup to your preference.
- Better Coffee: Using reusable coffee pods allows you to use the coffee you want. You can experiment with different roast types and coffee varieties. You can also opt to buy coffee from companies that focus on sustainable coffee growing and pay their workers fairly.
Understanding Coffee Grind Settings for Different Brews
- Espresso: Requires a fine grind to extract the rich flavor and create the signature crema.
- Drip Coffee in a Keurig Machine: A medium grind works best, balancing flavor extraction and preventing clogs in the machine.
- Experimentation is Key: Finding the right grind setting for your coffee type and machine may require some trial and error. It is always a good idea to open an existing coffee pod and check the ground level of the coffee.
Filling Your Reusable Pod Correctly
- Assessing Pre-Packaged Pods: Open a standard coffee pod to understand the ideal grind size and fill level.
- Avoid Overfilling: Filling the pod too much can lead to poor extraction or damage the machine. Aim for a level similar to pre-packaged pods.
- Gentle Tamping: Avoid pressing the coffee too firmly. A light tamp is sufficient to ensure even water flow without overcompaction.
Machine Compatibility and Workarounds
- Machine Specifics: Not all reusable pods are compatible with every machine. It’s crucial to check compatibility before purchase.
- Using Aluminum Pods in Nespresso Vertuo Machines: For machines like the Nespresso Vertuo, a workaround involves using an aluminum pod, carefully removing its lid, refilling it with your choice of coffee using PodMkr, and sealing it with a silicon lid provided in the PodMkr kit.
The Art of Perfecting Your Brew
- Trial and Error: Finding the perfect grind setting and coffee amount for reusable pods is a process of experimentation. Be open to adjusting variables and trying different combinations.
- Record Your Experiments: Keep notes on the grind settings and coffee amounts that work best for your taste and machine. When you find the perfect amount of coffee that should go into your pod, make sure to program the buttons on your PodMkr accordingly.
Specific tips for each pod system
- Recommended reusable pod system: We recommend using a reusable stainless steel pod with either a silicon lid or an aluminum foil sticker.
- Fill amount: 4-5 grams. Please note, that most reusable pods are smaller than the original Nespresso pods and can hold about 0.5g less coffee.
- PodMkr grind setting: we recommend a fine, espresso setting but not too fine. On your PodMkr that would be a 5-12.
- Tampering: apply medium to soft pressure
- Recommended reusable pod system: We suggest starting with an original Nespresso aluminum pod for the best results. Once you’ve used it, take off the original lid and replace it with a silicon lid (we provide) or an aluminum foil sticker. While using our stainless-steel pod remains a viable alternative, be prepared for a bit of a learning journey to fine-tune the perfect settings, including the grind size and the quantity of coffee. This approach ensures you get the most out of your coffee experience, tailored to your tastes.
- Fill amount: The fill amount depends on the coffee and pod you want to fill. We recommend the following:
- Espresso: 5-7 grams
- Double espresso: 7-10 grams
- Gran Lungo: 9-11 grams
- Coffee: 11-13 grams
- PodMkr grind setting: again, this depends on the coffee you want to make. We recommend the following:
- Espresso: 5-12
- Double espresso: 5-12
- Gran Lungo: 7-20
- Coffee: 7-20
- Tampering: apply soft pressure
Keurig & Keurig Supreme
- Recommended reusable pod system: We recommend using a reusable stainless steel pod with a steel lid. Make sure to use the right lid for your machine. Older models have one hole, and the newer models 5 holes on the lid.
- Fill amount: 7-10 grams – please make sure not to overfill it, there should be some space left on top. Too much coffee will lead to coffee grinds in the final coffee.
- PodMkr grind setting: We recommend a medium grind. Too coarse of a grid will yield a weak cup of coffee and too fine of a grind can cause the filters to clog. On your PodMkr that would be a 7-20.
- Tampering: no tampering is needed, just gently tap the pod on a surface.
- Recommended reusable pod system: We recommend using a reusable stainless steel pod with a silicon lid.
- Fill amount: 10-12 grams.
- PodMkr grind setting: we recommend a fine, espresso setting but not too fine. On your Podmkr that would be a 5-12.
- Tampering: apply medium to soft pressure
Embracing reusable coffee pods is a step towards a more sustainable and personalized coffee experience. While it may take some time to perfect your technique, the environmental benefits and the satisfaction of brewing a cup that’s tailored to your taste make it worthwhile. Remember, each small step towards sustainability makes a significant impact in the long run.