Update – CafePod gets in touch

Following my earlier review of the Caf?Pod Nespresso-compatible coffee pod system, Caf?Pod Director Peter Grainger got in touch to express his concern over the problems I had been having.

It turns out I was one of a small percentage of Nespresso owners whose machines were slightly incompatible with the Caf?Pod capsules and Peter and his team were already in the process of launching a new design of capsule. When Peter offered to send me a few capsules for me to try, I of course said yes (who in their right mind would say no to free coffee?!) and I’m happy to say these ones worked perfectly.

Being inquisitive I compared the two capsules to try and discern the changes but I couldn’t see anything, yet the new capsules fitted better to give a full measure of espresso coffee. The taste issue I had before was also resolved, with the bitterness gone. I raised this with Peter but he assured me that the coffee recipe was identical so I presume the lack of water in my first capsules was to blame.

The cost of the Caf?Pod system is still a bit of a negative for me, when I feel the cost should be slightly less than the equivalent Nespresso pod. Unfortunately the shelf price is dictated by the retailer so it’s a case of hunting around for the cheapest price – so far Sainsbury’s at ?2.99 for 10 capsules, but Morrisons are now stocking the Caf?Pod range so we might see some better pricing in the near future. Another option would be to sign up to Amazon’s Subscribe and Save service to get the price down to ?2.69 for 10.

So, with the new capsule design due to hit the shelves soon I’m a lot more confident in the quality and convenience of the Caf?Pod range!


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  1. I find that I need to make two or three good size holes in the back of the Cafe Pods for them to work in my machine. If I don`t do that the water simply can`t get through the tiny perforations and ends up in the lower tray — and not in the cup!

    The actual coffee tastes good to me. The main drawback is the price. They need to be no more than 25p to compete with the Nespresso dictatorship.

  2. I agree although the newer style pods (the boxes have a “new & improved” sticker on them) seem to let more water through. I do still tend to open up the holes on the back with a cocktail stick too.

    It’s down to supermarkets to set the price (something I mentioned to Cafe Pod) and Ocado currently sell a box of capsules for ?2.25 which is around the same as Amazon’s Subscribe and Save, so I’ve ordered a few in. At that price they’re much more competitive and I can overlook any slight issues with having to modify the pods.

  3. I’ve only had my machine for a month so i’m still in the honeymoon period (and not sleeping much), i don’t see the point in faffing about poking holes in compatible pods, when you can just pop a genuine one in and a few seconds later have a perfect cup of coffee for the same price or a couple of pence more. you only need one compatible pod to fail to make them more expensive than the originals – i’ll be sticking to the genuine pods until there is a significant difference in the price.

  4. Completely agree, genuine Nespresso capsules are so good any compatible systems have to equal taste and better on price, which is what Cafe Pod does – I pay 19p per capsule compared to Nespresso’s 35p. The new design shouldn’t need holes punching but if you’re still in warranty then it would possibly be invalidated by using non-genuine capsules so probably not worth the risk.

  5. I’ve been concerned with use of plastic pods instead of aluminium used by Nespresso. Apparently there are health risks to heating plastic with food?
    I believe Nespresso has a patient on the use of aluminium (happy to be corrected).

  6. The very latest CafePod capsules are, in my opinion, much worse than the earlier ones.
    The earlier types had pre perforated holes in them and were individually wrapped. (If they hadn’t been wrapped, then I assume the coffee would have gone stale duets exposure to air)
    The me were CafePods are not wrapped as there are no longer holes in the plastic.
    This has made them almost unusable in my machine. Water just can’t get into the Pod properly and hardly any coffee gets delivered to the cup. The “seal” is better as water doesn’t get into the capsule bin either.
    BUT… It can’t be good for the machine pump to be trying to deliver water under pressure through the pod for it just to meet a “blockage”.
    When Ilooked at a used pod, the plastic had become melted and distorted due to this pressure around the injector / needle holes

    Not good at all… I will be returning all these Pods to the shop for a refund.

    Added: I also got some Taylor’s pods too. These were just as useless.

    Stick to Nespresso for a decent cup with a capsule that actually works.

  7. Thanks for the feedback Nick, what machine do you use out of interest? I’ve had a similar experience to you but with a different brand but they Taylors of Harrogate capsules were pretty good for me. If the new CafePods are no longer supplied in foil bags then I don’t think I’ve tried those yet – I’ll pick up a box and update my review.

  8. I have tested several different makes of “compatible” pods in my Krups Inissia machine.

    I won’t comment on taste, as that’s a personal thing (except see Cafe Noir below).

    All varieties have been tested using at least 2 packs (20 capsules)

    Taylors – Tested Columbian and Kenyan. Don’t know whether it is the plastic, or pods just packed too tightly, but about 40% of them were discarded because they didn’t puncture and caused machine to cut out. Have stopped using them in my machine, pity as liked the Columbian taste.

    Dualit – Have had no problems at all with the Lungo capsules

    Cafe Direct – Have only tried Americano capsules, but all have been ok

    CafePod – Tried Columbian, Intense and Livewire. All latest style capsules, but noticed that the Intense ones seem slightly longer than the others (very tight fit). The Columbian and Intense have all been ok, but 2 (of 20) Livewire ones would not puncture to let water through, causing machine to stop.

    Cafe Noir – all worked ok, but no-one in our family liked them.

    Have found (even with Nespresso genuine capsules) that lifting the handle 2 or 3 times before pressing start button seems to make a difference in flow rate (but obviously cannot prove this as there always seems to be a diference in flow rate between capsules – even Nespresso ones).

    Hope this is of interest.

  9. I have found Cafepod has improved over the past year or so too. More recently I came across another brand called Podista – with very similar packaging (None individually wrapped pods, small box etc).

    They appear to be similar to Cafepod but originate from Australia. The thing that caught my attention was they have gone beyond coffee to hot chocolates and milkshakes for Nespresso so maybe worth another review on them too!

  10. I live in a pretty good recycling area, and do not send my empties to Nespresso but empty coffee grounds out to use in compost or the garden (10 @ a time), have tried Tea in other capsules, do not want any plastic capsules, bet most people just put them in the bin, should not be put in plastic recycling, so for me that is an issue, apart from the heated plastic issue, really not worth the effort to save a couple of pence. Mind you I don’t but bottled water either, invested many, many years ago in a mains filter.

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