/ Food & Drink

UK Coffee Week: are you a coffee capsule snob?

We Brits drink 95 million cups of coffee a day, it was revealed this week – but could the home coffee pod machine ever take the place of the artisan barista? 

I am a coffee snob. I freely admit it. As a campaigner, I practically run on the stuff. I can’t remember when I last drank instant and I’ll navigate my way around cities using my favourite coffee shops. If we were catching up and you suggested going to Starbucks, I would judge you.

For years, I dreamed of owning my own coffee machine – the proper kind you get with the steam wand. I even looked down on the ones that used pods. That is until I went on holiday and the Airbnb I was staying in had one.

Now, I’m a convert. I’d easily say the best thing I’ve ever bought is my Nespresso machine (other coffee machines are, of course, available) and the accompanying ‘Aeroccino’ – or, fancy pants milk frother, to you and me.

My friend, who is also a coffee snob, accused me of being seduced by George Clooney – what can I say: the man knows good coffee!

Latte for work

I worked out that until I bought my machine, I was spending anything up to  £1,000 per year on takeaway coffees during the week.

So, in 2017, I set myself a challenge: for the first three months of the year, every weekday morning I would make my own coffee rather than buy one. After all, I was paying off my Christmas present to myself. I excluded weekends, as going for coffee and reading the paper is my time to unwind.

On telling people about my challenge, I was often asked why I didn’t just switch to a cafetiere, given it’s even cheaper. While that’s true, a cafetiere doesn’t recreate the experience of having a proper barista-made coffee. And with my own coffee capsule machine, I even get to choose my own coffee.

Daily grind

The official Nespresso pods normally cost around 30-40p each, and I soon found it became easier to pick them up during my weekly shop. I’ve since tried rival coffee capsules such as L’or, Café Pod, Dualit, many of the supermarket-own brands and a mistaken purchase of some vile caramel-flavoured capdules that shouldn’t be legal.

But the pods I always come back to are those made by Taylor’s. I normally end up the with the Colombian, with the Lava Java on standby, for those mornings I need a kick. Sadly, Taylor’s pods didn’t make it into this year’s taste test but that just means I have a whole new bunch of brands to try.

Ultimately, I’ve slipped back into my old ways and now buy my daily coffee as much as I make it. But my machine has still cut down on the amount I spend and allows me to indulge in fancy coffee at home.

Are you a lover or a hater of coffee capsule machines? If you own one, has it saved you money and do you have a favourite brand of coffee pod?

Comments
Guest
Patrick Taylor says:
22 April 2018

“I am a coffee snob. I freely admit it. As a campaigner, I practically run on the stuff. I can’t remember when I last drank instant and I’ll navigate my way around cities using my favourite coffee shops. If we were catching up and you suggested going to Starbucks, I would judge you”

I am confused as to the logic of “campaigner and coffee”. I campaign but get by on three square meals and tea. Do I need to change my diet to become more effective? : )

Guest
Andrew Barr says:
22 April 2018

I like coffee. I haven’t had an instant coffee since I gave up sugar over ten years ago (without the sugar I couldn’t stand the taste of instant). I had a Tassimo machine and tried every type of capsule available for that machine – two weeks after buying it I sold the whole lot at a knock down price at a car boot as the stuff it produced bore little resemblance to coffee. I have now got an Aeropress and haven’t used any other method of coffee making in over a year of using it. I’ve just bought a burr grinder and that has made the end result even better. If you can’t afford or justify the cost of a decent espresso machine then I recommend the Aeropress, at about £25 it can’t be bettered.

Guest

I don’t think I’m being hedonistic with my also running on coffee. However, when out I am more tolerant clearly than Patrick as Starbucks – with an extra shot of course – is on the whole quite acceptable.

Guest

It was the covetous attitude towards the expensive apparatus that I was alluding to, Roger, not the desire for coffee.

Guest

That is quite simply economics! I have typically 10 cups per day. At 25p a pop with pods and 4p a cup with beans, even if the pod machine were free I’d be quids in with my bean-to-cupper after 2 1/2 years. The works one use rate was dramatically more for the four of us.

I have yet to indulge in solar power (long story, should have embarked a decade ago). Would you regard spending out several thousand for cheaper electricity as covetous?

Guest
Patrick Taylor says:
25 April 2018

As an added extra I should point out that too much caffeine is not good for fetuses.
epigee.org/pregnancy/caffeine.html
and there is good research to back this up.

Guest

Fortunately I’m not pregnant..

Guest

It’s inconceivable how this could affect men.