Pods – the Convenient Single Serve Systems
A coffee roaster never stops thinking about all aspects of coffee making, therefore naturally also about pods as a trend product. The “long cup” as Caffè Crema has now been added to the two espresso blends produced by Coffee Roasting Company Schreyögg for some time in this segment.
It is particularly the private market which has long been conquered by the well-known single- serve systems, which are, however, also used increasingly in the catering business due to the many advantages which they offer. For the right choice of system it is, however, important to really know about the differences.
Basically the collective term “pod system” is applied to all single-serve systems with filter paper, “pod” being the English name, “Pad” the German and “cialde” the Italian name of the ready-to-use coffee portions embedded in filter paper and wrapped in plastic or foil. Their main common feature is their easy handling allowing the perfect preparation of espresso.
Pods (or hard pods). Each pod consists of about 7 g of ground espresso coffee, which is hermetically sealed, protected by two thin layers of filter fleece. With a diameter of 44 mm it is pressed into a standardised mould and wrapped in airtight packaging in a protective atmosphere. This preserves the flavour of freshly ground coffee every time it is made – irrespective of the quantity of coffee flowing through the machine per day.
Soft pods. Soft pods are loose unpressed coffee portions, which are brewed in specially designed machines and mainly used for the long cup.
Capsule system. In this system the coffee is shrink-wrapped in a capsule instead of filter paper. Just like pod machines capsule machines are single-serve coffee machines, except that the process by which they are filled is different. It should also be mentioned that the environmental aspect of capsules is seen as highly critical. The so-called open system is a quick and convenient solution which is adapted to the needs of the catering industry. The pods of the open system are suitable for all traditional espresso machines with a portafilter. The shape of the pod usually corresponds to that of the portafilter, if not, the machine manufacturer offers a suitable portafilter. The shape of the pods of the best known open system is regulated by the E.S.E. (Easy Serving Espresso) standard of the Consorzio per lo Sviluppo e la Tutela dello Standard “E.S.E.”. Almost all Italian machine manufacturers and roasters have adopted this system.
As opposed to the open system the closed system works exclusively in the combination of a particular machine with a particular pod or a particular capsule. The fact that only one supplier’s coffee can be used results in the customer’s dependence on the manufacturer and can, therefore, be viewed critically.