Coffee is not the first thing that will come to mind when reading the name ‘Instant Pot’, a brand name that has always been synonymous with slow cookers. But as the company expands, they’ve come up with a versatile single-serve coffee and espresso maker that will brew a cup to everyone’s taste. The coffee maker, is appropriately named, Instant Pod.
Features of Instant Pod Coffee Maker
- Compatible with all single-serve K-Cups, generic universal reusable K-Cups, and original Nespresso-style capsules
- 19 bar high-pressure pump delivers optimal espresso flavor extraction
- One-touch programs for 2 oz, 4 oz and 6 oz Nespresso capsules and 8 oz, 10 oz and 12 oz K-cups.
- Fits espresso cups and smaller coffee mugs, 7 inch tall travel mugs (most 16 oz mugs), also perfect for single and long shot espresso
- Large 68 oz removable water reservoir is easy to handl
If you, or someone in your family, or even your colleagues at the office, enjoy different type of coffee pods, the Instant Pod is a great choice as it’s compatible with both K-Cup pods and Nespresso Original Line capsules, so you can enjoy both coffee and Espresso drinks.
You’re not only getting a variety of capsule usage, but a nice variety of serving sizes, too. Using a K-Cup pod, you can brew sizes 8, 10 and 12 oz. And with a Nespresso pod, which are espresso pods, normally, you’d be able to brew 2 to 4 oz, but the Instant Pod allows you to brew up to 6 oz using a Nespresso capsule. However, I do expect the coffee to taste watered down using that serving size as the OriginalLine capsules do not contain enough coffee ground to brew 6 oz of coffee.
The Instant Pod has a larger 68 oz water reservoir, so you won’t have to refill frequently. But that would depend on your usage, too.
Now, usually with multi-capsule coffee makers, you’d need to use adapters to hold the different type of capsules/pods. With the Instant Pod, you don’t need adapters. You’ll find that the machine already has two slots for each type of pod. You’ll also find dedicated buttons for each serving size. You can brew into any cup size you prefer, from an espresso cup (with the help of a cup tray) or a travel mug up to 7” tall.
What Pods Are Compatible with Instant Pod Coffee and Espresso Maker?
As mentioned above, using Instant Pod allows you to brew two types of pods, Nespresso OriginalLine capsules for espresso and K-Cup pods for coffee. Of course, you can also use K-Cup pods for other beverages. The machine is compatible with official and non-branded, 3rd party pods of both K-Cups and Nespresso OriginalLine capsules.
Can You Use Reusable (Refillable) Pods in the Instant Pod Coffee Maker?
The ongoing cost of pods can add up pretty quickly. So if you plan to use refillable pods, either to save on cost or limit your plastic/aluminum usage, you’ll be happy to know that the Instant Pod coffee maker is compatible with refillable pods, too. Either Nespresso’s or K-Cup pods. However, results can vary as those reusable cups come from different 3rd party brands and not all of them of the same quality.
Instant Pod vs. Nespresso – Which Is Better?
If you want to brew Nespresso espresso shots, then your first option is to go for a Nespresso OriginalLine machine like the Essenza, Pixie or CitiZ. However, if you want to expand your coffee brewing option, you’d go for something like the Instant Pod.
Most OriginalLine brewers by Nespresso will give you two serving sizes: an espresso shot of about 2 oz and a lungo shot of about 4 oz. Instant Pod offers an additional serving size of 6 oz, but it will most likely taste watered down because Nespresso pods were not measured to brew that much coffee.
Nespresso’s machines allow you to reprogram the serving sizes and it will automatically save them. Instant Pod does not have this option.
Then there’s the size and design, of course. Nespresso’s machines are known for their compact designs that barely take up any space. The Instant Pod, being a 2-in-1 machine, has a heavy foot print and requires some counter space.
When it comes to the actual coffee quality, you can expect the same quality from both machines (provided you use the same serving sizes).
So which machine to go for would totally depend on what you need out of your machine. Do you want to brew K-Cup pods as well as Nespresso? Then an Instant Pod is your choice. If you don’t need to brew K-Cup pods, then you’ll be able to save countertop space and get a more compact machine by going for a machine like the Essenza Mini by Nespresso.
Instant Pod vs. Keurig – Which Is Better?
Right off the bat, and just like how the Instant Pod compares to Nespresso, with the Instant Pod is a 2-in-1 machine that gives you more coffee variety than buying a Keurig or a Nespresso machine.
With Keurig, there’s a whole world of coffee makers that give you different options. All of them brew K-Cup pods only, but you still get variety of options based on the model you choose. Some of them will have more brew sizes than others, some are dual coffee makers that can brew both single-serve and coffee pot (using ground coffee). Some will have strength selection as well as temperature control.
Generally speaking, if you want to brew both Nespresso espresso capsules as well as a K-Pods for coffee using a single machine, then go for the Instant Pod.
However, if you want more customization out of your Keurig brewing, you’ll want something from Keurig where you’ll be able to:
Have a Strong coffee option – temperature selection – serving sizes from 4 oz to 12 oz – an option to brew ground coffee.
Here are some detailed posts on Keurig’s machines if you want to learn about them in details:
- Keurig K-Duo – Single Serve and Coffee Pot Brewer
- Keurig K-Supreme – Brew sizes up to 12 oz – Strength and temperature settings
- Keurig K-Cafe – Has built-in milk frother for specialty coffee drinks
- Keurig K-Mini or K-Slim – compact K-Cup brewers
The Instant Pod does a great job as a 2-in-1 espresso and coffee maker using both K-Cup pods and Nespresso OriginalLine capsules.
While it does gives you a variety of serving sizes for both espresso and coffee options, what it lacks is programmability. It also lacks strength control or temperature control, which can be offered by Keurig machines, but not Nespresso machines.
When it comes to pricing, and please do keep in mind that prices of machines do fluctuate regularly, but generally, the Instant Pod is sold for nearly the same price as a Nespresso or Keurig machine, so it will be like getting two machines for the price of one.
Instant Pot have released a newer version of their coffee and espresso maker that just goes by the name “Instant”. The updated features in the machine address most issues from the previous model:
- Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use
- It now has an option for bolder brew.
- It includes a refillable K-Cup refillable pod, so now you don’t have to go through different brands to find one that fits.
- It has a removable 68 oz water reservoir, just like the previous model, but this time it has a water level alert which will blink to remind you to refill the reservoir.