The debate of coffee pods vs ground coffee splits opinions. Coffee is one of the most popular beverages across the globe. By the end of 12 months ending in October 2021, Canadians may have consumed an estimate of 4.85 million bags of coffee, with each bag weighing 60kg. That figure may quadruple when you include other countries in the world.
Because of the widespread use of coffee, there's a lot of competition in the coffee-making industry. This competition, as usual, gives rise to innovations and product diversity. One of the many innovations in the coffee industry is the creation of coffee pods. While coffee pods offer loads of advantages, the product itself is not without its share of debates vs ground coffee.
As far as drinking coffee goes, ground coffee is the pioneer. However, coffee pods came along and have since made the brewing process very easy. It’s a feature that has been the catalyst for the widespread popularity of coffee pods in Canada.
In turn, this widespread fame has only made the coffee pod vs ground coffee debate popular. In this article, we'll give our take on this topic. Here, we’ll provide a holistic comparison between coffee pods and ground coffee. This comparison will include the costs, features, and taste, among others. Come along!
Coffee Pods vs Ground Coffee: Cost
As a consumer, when you have questions about which is the best between coffee pods and ground coffee, the cost is a point you should consider. The odds are high that coffee is a daily fixture in your life. And whether it's a coffee pod or ground coffee, you still have to buy your coffee. At the same time, you may also want to save money from time to time.
To achieve this, you’ll want to buy your coffee or ground coffee at cost-effective prices. When comparing the price of both forms of coffee, there are two influential factors you should consider. The first factor is the type of coffee pod or ground coffee you're purchasing. Coffee pods and ground coffee have different manufacturing processes. This difference also extends to the price.
Coffee Pods and Ground Coffee: How Much are They?
On average, coffee pods cost less than $10 for a pack that has 12 pods. So, it’s safe to say that one pod costs less than $1, which seems relatively cheap.
The difference between the price of coffee pods vs ground coffee is not too pronounced. For ground coffee, the price is a function of weight. Depending on the brand, you can buy ground coffee at a price between $1 and $2 per ounce.
Coffee Pods vs Ground Coffee: Which is More Effective?
When you compare the price of a coffee pod to ground coffee, the former is higher on the scale. Using the price range above as a reference, you may get one pod for maybe $0.8. On the other hand, you’ll buy one ounce of ground coffee for maybe $1.
With one ounce of ground coffee, it’s possible to brew about four cups of coffee (one ounce is approximately 28.3grams). Conversely, a single coffee pod always equals a single brew — regardless of price. Therefore, it may seem like it’s more cost-effective to buy ground coffee.
However, if you consider the convenience coffee pods bring to your brewing process, you’ll understand why the cost is worth it. With coffee pods, you hardly have to bother about how you’re making your favourite cup of coffee. Also, you need not worry about the change of taste because coffee pods always offer taste consistency.
Related Article: Pros And Cons Of Using Coffee Pods
What are the Factors that Affect the Cost of Coffee Pods?
Before you decide on which is best between coffee pods vs ground coffee, you want to know the factors that determine the price. This way, you’ll be able to decide if they favour your situation and preferences.
One key factor here is your choice of coffee pod product. If you’re looking to buy coffee pods, there are different brands, styles and combinations of constituents. Consequently, this will mean there’s an option for every price point.
Below are the factors that determine whether coffee pods are right up your price alley.
Type of coffee pods
There are tons of coffee companies in the business of creating coffee pods. Even traditional ground coffee companies have started joining the bandwagon of producing coffee pods. The differences between each of their coffee pod products influence its price.
Chief of these differences is the material used to make the coffee pod. Some coffee pods come in a filter paper bag which you can easily liken to a teabag. Therefore, the primary constituents of these coffee pods are the coffee and the filter paper.
The cost of production for filter paper and the coffee content of the pods is on the low end of the spectrum. In turn, this will mean the selling price will be a bit more affordable.
In some cases, coffee pods come with plastic containers, and sometimes, aluminum containers. That means the manufacturer first has to collect raw materials in the form of plastic and aluminum.
After that, the producer has the challenge of making the plastic or aluminum in the right shape and size. Even if they outsource this, it still costs money.
There’s also the in-house production cost of the coffee content. When you combine all of this, the production price for a single plastic/aluminum coffee pod is on the high side. As such, it’ll cost more to buy this type of coffee pod.
Since there are different brands for a product, it means you’ll have varying production processes. These diverse processes only mean products from different brands can’t offer the same qualities. You may get products that do the same thing, but there’ll be a clear difference. This same analogy suits the different coffee pod brands perfectly.
Now two brands produce coffee pods the same way. So, it’s almost impossible to get the same taste of coffee pods from different brands. Some of these brands tend to add some extra ingredients or tweak their coffee beans to help the taste quality of their final coffee pod products. This taste helps them to stand out from other coffee pod brands.
These extra spices and constituents will influence the total cost price for you. Some coffee pod brands intentionally use high-quality materials to produce their pods. These raw material and constituent choices will, in turn, affect the price of their coffee pod products.
Brewing ground coffee may seem like a simple process, but it has its technicalities. It’s a skill you have to learn professionally especially if you want to become a coffee barista.
This tedious process is one of the reasons coffee pods are now very popular. If you compare the brewing process of coffee pods vs ground coffee, the former is a lot easier.
There are two ways to brew a coffee pod — manually or with a coffee pod machine. If you prefer to buy a coffee pod with filter paper, you can just use it like a teabag. This means you can quickly put your coffee pod into a mug and pour in hot water. After a few minutes, you’ll have your treasured cup of coffee.
You can decide to brew coffee pods with a coffee machine. Here, you’ll be needing a device with features that support your preferred coffee pods. Even before coffee pods came into the coffee industry, the world was already using coffee machines. These days, some coffee machines work well for both ground coffee and pods.
Coffee pod machines have different modes of operation. So, you have to read the users’ manual and guide to understand how to operate the machine. The first feature to check is the size of the coffee pod compartment. This way, you can quickly know if the coffee pod machine will work well with your favourite brand of coffee pod.
Another factor to consider when you’re buying a coffee pod machine is the cost. A coffee pod machine can cost anywhere between $35 and $750. The type of machine, its features, and the brand will affect the price of the coffee pod machine heavily.
Between 2020 and 2021, the world consumed more than 165 million bags of coffee pods, according to Statista. Each one of these bags of coffee weighs 60kg. By calculation, we consume more than 9.9billion kilograms of coffee yearly. These stats only indicate there are millions of coffee lovers all around the globe.
With respect to our love for coffee, the way we all consume coffee will differ. As a coffee enthusiast, you may drink as many as three cups of coffee per day. For another person, a cup of coffee every day is more than enough. Of course, the amount of coffee you’ll consume will be more than the other person.
In turn, this disparity will affect the amount each person spends on coffee pods. The same goes if you live with a large family of coffee lovers. It means you’ll spend more on coffee. So, whether it’s coffee pods or ground coffee, quantity and price go hand in hand.
The cost of doing business in different locations across Canada isn’t the same. Therefore, two companies can produce a similar product but have different prices.
In the coffee pod industry, you can have very different prices of coffee pods at various locations. It doesn’t mean one brand has better coffee pods than the other. It only means the cost of coffee pod production between the two locations is not the same.
Also, there are certain localities within a country where the standard of living is higher. For instance, in a city like Toronto, stores may offer coffee pods at a higher price than normal.
What Determines the Cost of Ground Coffee?
Coffee beans do not just grow in just any part of the world. The major producers of coffee beans in its raw form are Brazil, Indonesia, and Colombia. Here in Canada, we have to import some of these coffee raw materials before processing them into ground coffee.
That’s one of the first factors that determine the cost of ground coffee. Of course, just like coffee pods, factors such as the brand and location may affect the price of ground coffee.
The origin of coffee is a bean plant. In other words, coffee is an agricultural product. For the average agricultural product, the changes in demand and supply levels will affect its market. Expectedly, these market changes also influence the prices of ground coffee.
For instance, coffee beans have a specific harvest season. If the climate for that year wasn’t great, there’ll be fewer coffee beans to go around when harvest time rolls around. That means there’ll be insufficiency from the supply chain.
The demand chain, which includes you and every other coffee lover in Canada, doesn’t always reduce demand. With the same demand and an insufficient supply, there’s pressure on the supply chain.
This situation gives room for suppliers to increase the prices of their coffee beans. Of course, this situation will affect the demand chain — manufacturing companies and the end-user. Therefore, when discussing cost in the coffee pod vs ground coffee discourse, you should consider the market changes.
In the coffee pod industry, there are many competitors, which means reduced prices. However, for ground coffee, once there’s an issue with the supply, prices will likely go up.
Coffee taste preference
Like we mentioned earlier, some experts expect Canadians to use about 4.85 million bags of coffee. This figure indicates a large number of coffee drinkers in Canada. But it doesn’t mean each coffee lover likes the same type of coffee. Some may prefer their coffee light, while some others will prefer dark coffee.
These different tastes are a major pain point in the coffee pods vs ground coffee debate. If you prefer a sharper coffee taste, it means you’ll use large quantities of ground coffee while brewing.
Consequently, compared to the average user you’ll end up spending more money per cup of coffee. With coffee pods, a single pod always equals a single brew — regardless of how dark you want your coffee.
Just like coffee pods, ground coffee also comes from different brands. Since ground coffee has been here long before coffee pods, there are even more ground coffee brands.
What this means is there are diverse methods of ground coffee production. It also means there are different brand choices and constituents that make up each choice.
For example, the way ground coffee A will taste may differ from how ground coffee B may taste. That means that you’ll not always see the exact type of ground coffee from different brands. The ingredients for making coffee A Will differ from that of coffee B. As a result, the prices of coffee A and B can’t be the same.
Also, some specific brands offer a luxurious experience. Luxurious brands try to design their coffee pod products to offer you the highest quality. Of course, this level of attention will reflect in how much the ground coffee costs.
Coffee pods may have differences from ground coffee, but they share a few similarities. One similar feature both coffee pods and ground coffee have is the brewing process. Just like coffee pods, you can brew ground coffee manually or with a machine. Of course, if you brew it manually, it can be tedious, but it’s easier with a machine.
As usual, a ground coffee machine has specific commands and features. So, if you want to use a machine to brew ground coffee, start by understanding the operations. The best way to understand it is to read the machine guide that comes with the device.
Depending on the operations it offers, the machine can determine how expensive drinking ground coffee is for you. Based on the features and functions, a coffee machine for brewing ground coffee can cost between $30 and $500.
If you’re a coffee lover that takes coffee very frequently, you’ll buy it often. Therefore, you’ll spend much more on ground coffee than an average user. Also, if you have a large family, you have to buy ground coffee in large quantities. With larger quantities comes a higher price point.
Ground Coffee Vs Coffee Pods: Taste Difference
In the coffee pods vs ground coffee debate, one critical area of comparison is the taste of both offerings. The taste of your coffee is the whole point of drinking coffee. If you can’t stomach it, how will you be able to enjoy the health and mood-boosting benefits of coffee?
In its natural state, coffee does not have a conventional sweet taste. You do have the liberty to tweak this taste. Constituents like milk and sugar will enhance the flavour and taste of your coffee pods.
If you compare coffee pods vs ground coffee, ground coffee has a more pronounced traditional coffee. But coffee pods will usually taste better than ground coffee.
For ground coffee, hot water mixes the coffee directly, so it dissolves instantly. On the other hand, for a coffee pod, the hot water has to first pass through the outer material. As such, ground coffee offers a strong taste. If you’re new to drinking coffee, this taste may not be quite right for your palette.
It’s not a given that you’ll enjoy the less distinct taste of every coffee pod. Different brands of coffee pods come with multiple options. So depending on how you like your coffee, you can test, enjoy and find the right coffee pod for your taste buds.
The taste of ground coffee and coffee pods cannot be the same. Factors like the coffee beans quality, size of grind, roast time all affect the taste of your ground coffee.
Coffee pods, on the other hand, have designs to brew your coffee in single-serve mode. So while the ground coffee inside retains freshness and quality, some other factors like machine dirt, age, and water all play a part.
Before you choose a side in the coffee pod vs ground coffee discourse, consider the following factors:
Without a doubt, the producer of the coffee pod or the ground coffee has a massive effect on the taste. The way producer A will produce coffee will differ from producer B's method. As a result, the taste of coffee pods vs ground coffee is always relative to the brand.
Water quality and quantity
Do you ever drink a cup of water and come away with a weird taste? The taste is due to contaminants in the water or the holding container. Likewise, with coffee pods or ground coffee, the quality of water used during the brewing can affect the taste. If the water has impurities in it, it may change the taste of the coffee.
The same way water can determine the taste of coffee is the same way a faulty machine can affect the taste. If your machine or cup is dirty, it will affect the water quality. In turn, the taste of the final coffee brew will suffer for it.
Also, the quantity of water you are using is very crucial to the taste of the coffee you make. If you add too much water to a coffee pod brew, it will reduce the taste quality. When you add too much water to ground coffee too, it also affects the taste quality. The only advantage here is that you can just add more ground coffee to the mix.
What are the Features of Coffee Pods?
Before you make your final decision between coffee pods and ground coffee, you must compare their features. The features of coffee pods and ground coffee are not the same.
In most cases, these features contribute to the final coffee brew that comes from each option. Here are some of the major features of coffee pods:
- Coffee pods have the constituents for a single-serve.
- Coffee pods usually come with a container. (Can be plastic, aluminum or paper).
- Coffee pods come in portable sizes.
- They offer a wide variety of taste
- Straightforward, less messy brewing process
What are the Features of Ground Coffee?
Now that you know what to expect from coffee pods, here are the major features of ground coffee;
- Ground coffee comes mostly in fine form but can have different sizes.
- Depending on the urgency, you can reuse ground coffee. Bit, it will lose taste and quality.
- There is less variety of taste with ground coffee
- Ground coffee loses its quality faster.
Coffee Pods vs Ground Coffee: Which is Best?
It's quite complicated to choose a side in the coffee pods vs ground coffee debate. The truth is both coffee pods, and ground coffee taste great and have good quality.
But, if you don't learn how to brew ground coffee professionally, you'll make mistakes. That means you need time and effort to learn how to make coffee with ground beans.
Coffee pods only need you to put the pod in your machine or cup and then add hot water. With zero stress, you’ll have your cup of coffee waiting for you. That means coffee pods help you save time and stress while still offering a natural taste.
Related Article: Coffee Pods Vs. Ground Coffee Vs. Instant Coffee
We may not be able to end the coffee pods vs ground coffee debate in just one article. But we have been able to comprehensively compare both options based on their features, taste, and cost.
There’s another point to consider. Ground coffee may give you freshness at the early stages. But coffee pods stay fresh for months without needing any extensive preservation efforts on your part.
At Invigo Coffee, we can help you enjoy all of these benefits of coffee pods. We are a team of coffee lovers. As such, we understand the dedication it takes to offer the same delicious, distinct taste with every single pod. Check out our online collection of coffee pods today!