Your Guide to Single Serve Coffee Pods

Single Serve Coffee Pods essentially look like overgrown tea bags. The bag is placed into a pod brewer, which forces heated water through the coffee pod and into your mug below.

There are two great things about pods. First, they are the cheapest one cup coffee option out there. Second, because any coffee roaster is permitted to put their blends into a coffee pod, the varieties of gourmet coffee pods are nearly endless.

The significance of this "open source" nature of coffee pods is incredibly important. With k cups, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters exercises tremendous control, allowing only certain coffee makers to produce k cups. In addition, only coffees that can be sold in mass make the cut. Single serve coffee pods, on the other hand, face no such restrictions. As a result, there are some very poor pod makers out there. On the flip side, there are some absolutely amazing small-batch roasters, such as The Coffee Artisan and Fratello, that are superior to anything in a k cup.

Brands
There are a number of manufacturers of single serve coffee pods. We're working on getting reviews of all of these. If the manufacturer below is underlined, you can click for more detailed information and reviews.

  • Baronet
  • Fratello
  • The Coffee Artisan
  • Folgers
  • Senseo
  • Melitta
  • Starbucks
  • Millstone
  • Gevalia

Recommendations
Our desire is to help guide you to which single serve coffee pods might be right for your particular taste. To make these recommendations most beneficial, we offer six different lists. Because, let's face it. If you enjoy a dark, dark roast, you'll probably not like a light flavored coffee, no matter how good the coffee is. One quick note: Fratello, in our view, is the best of the best. However, they typically deal in very small lots of coffee, so a particular variety sells out quickly and a new one comes to take its place. As a result, the list below will be ever changing (at least when it comes to Fratello).

Suggested Dark Roasts

  • Baronet French Roast — A straightforward french roast. Smooth with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Excellent aroma.
  • Coffee Artisan Dark Side — Nice hint of smokiness. A solid every-day dark (also available in extra bold).
  • Reunion Island Sumatra Ketambe Dark — Sweet and smooth, with a bit a spiciness thrown in. Excellent Sumatran.
  • Coffee Artisan Artisan Blend — This is more of a medium-dark roast. A great, complex coffee. Sweet, spicy, and a bit smoky (also available in extra bold).

Suggested Medium Roasts

  • Fratello Nicaraguan Red Pacamara — Fratello is known for their Nicaraguan coffees, and this one is no exception. Definite tobacco and maple syrup notes.
  • Fratello Acid Jazz — A wonderful combination of Columbian and Kenyan coffee. Complex coffee with definite sweetness and earthiness.
  • Fratello Ethiopian Sidamo Ardi — Decided strawberry flavor. Clean and bright. Full bodied. This Ethiopian is not quite in the same ball park as the legendary Ethiopian Idido Misty Valley (no longer available), but is still excellent in its own right.
  • Baronet 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain Medium Roast — Expensive, but worth it for this excellent Jamaican Blue Mountain. Chocolate flavor with a hint of citrus.
  • Baronet 100% Kona Fancy — We think this is the best of the Kona coffee pods. Rich and smooth.
  • Coffee Artisan 100% Kona Extra Fancy — Excellent Kona as well. Not quite as smooth as the Baronet.

Suggested Light Roasts

  • Cofee Artisan Ethiopian Harrar — Bright berry flavor. Makes an excellent morning coffee.
  • Coffee Artisan Papua New Guinea — Sweet and fruity.
  • Coffee Artisan Celebes Kalossi — Full bodied with definite earthy and spicy notes.

Suggested Decaf Coffee Pods

  • Coffee Artisan Organic Mexican Altura Decaf — A truly excellent decaf. Rich and smooth with citrus notes.
  • Fratello Colombian Natural Decaf — Full and rich.
  • Fratello Sumatra Natural Decaf — Rich and earthy.
  • Fratello Dixie Voodoo Decaf — The best dark roast decaf coffee pod.
  • Reunion Island Decaffeinated Medium Roast — Great for a lighter decaf.

Suggested Flavored Pods

  • Reunion Island Blueberry Pie — Nice, strong hit of blueberry. Great aroma and not too sweet.
  • Baronet French Vanilla — Light, as expected. Excellent aroma and flavor.

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