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Coffee Pods vs. Ground Coffee vs. Instant Coffee

by Alex Bider 16 Dec 2020
Coffee Pods vs. Ground Coffee vs. Instant Coffee

As a coffee drinker, you have a preference for the kind of coffee you love. However, there is an age-old debate involving coffee pods vs. ground coffee vs. instant coffee. Whichever one you choose, it is important to know their respective pros and cons to guide your choice.

It may be ground coffee which comes in a fresh brew. Alternatively, it can be coffee pods or capsules, with all the flavour and comfort they bring. Conversely, it may also be instant coffee's convenience, taste and cost.

Coffee is one of the healthiest beverages you may get. It is full of antioxidants and it improves mental clarity and cognitive processes. Additionally, it is also low in calories.

There are various unique reasons to pick between coffee pods, ground coffee and instant coffee. Therefore, the jury is split when it comes to making a decision. With their tastes on how they want their coffee, every coffee drinker is special. Let's learn more about instant coffee, ground coffee and coffee pods.

Why Choose Coffee Pods?

Commonly, coffee pods are single-serve coffee cups that carry pre-ground coffee. Coffee bags, whose inspiration originated from tea bags, are small copies of these. All these items are coffee portions with their filters to seal them in pods.

Both industrial and home-use coffee pods are available. They usually come in the form of single-serving, but they're also multi-serving. Ultimately, this depends on the objective and type of machine you are using. However, it all allows you to enjoy it instantly, all with the click of a button. There are a variety of temperature settings for coffee machines. Therefore, this enables you to select the ideal drinking temperature for you.

In the coffee pods vs. ground coffee vs. instant coffee debate, there's a noticeable difference in flavour. Usually, coffee pods feature hermetically sealed aluminum pods that lock in freshness. This comes after the coffee harvesting and processing phase. For a cup of coffee, the aluminum pods resist oxidation and guarantee maximum freshness.

In its country of origin, coffee undergoes brewing, washing and drying. Furthermore, the roasting of the coffee cherry seeds takes place in special facilities. Here a meticulous mixing and roasting method brings it to perfection. It is only then that it is ground and put into a seal.

A coffee pod cup is much like ordering a coffee made by a barista. Ultimately, offering a range of flavours and blends. You can't go wrong with coffee pods, with so many choices. You will always find a flavour that suits you.

Pros of Using Coffee Pods

Why don’t we dive into the advantages of coffee pods? There is a reason why this form of coffee has risen in popularity. Its high degree of efficiency has come to make it a favourite in homes and bars.

Freshness Preservation

In Canada, the coffee grounds are fresher and longer when you purchase coffee pods. This has been a bone of contention in the coffee pods vs. ground coffee debate. Usually, coffee makers that use standard ground coffee come in large packets. As a result, when you open these packets, they lose their freshness over time.

The flavours and scents appear to disintegrate as you open a pack of ground coffee. However, coffee pods use special air-tight containers to retain the flavour for longer. Ultimately, this ensures a longer period of freshness.

Simple to Use and Clean

A great reason to choose coffee pods over ground coffee is the simplicity of cleanliness. The bulk of single-serve coffee pod machines come from virtually the same materials. And from either side, they are easy to disassemble and clean.

You just have to do with refilling the water bottle. Ideally, it’s better to use distilled water if the device does not feature one of its own. In addition, insert the preferred pod into the chute. Water tanks are simple to clean with a wet cloth. The daily dish detergent can also work to keep the appliances clean.

Brew Variation Does Not Need Expertise

This is another great benefit to enjoy when you buy coffee pods in Canada. There is a slow and tedious learning curve for espresso makers. Machines that simplify some of the tasks, though also require a kind of familiarity. Also, you need to learn the exact ingredients for the brew you want to prepare.

Not all drinks like the espresso, latte, or cappuccino come out at the same water temperature. Some brews need warm milk, while others require milk froth.

Things get even harder as you decide to adjust recipes to find precisely the right proportions. When you buy coffee pods in Canada, all the guessing is a part of the package. These little pods already contain the pre-ground coffee and condensed milk for your brew.


This is the undoubtedly biggest advantage in the coffee pods vs. ground coffee debacle. One of the most common benefits of the use of coffee pods is the comfort factor. Moving out of bed can be stressful in the morning. Why not make things a bit better for yourself then?

The coffee world has become more convenient than ever. You just insert your coffee pod and finish the brew by pressing a tap.

Energy Saver

In the coffee pods vs. ground coffee debate, anything that saves power is always a benefit. Some machines have optimization for low power consumption, relative to a traditional espresso machine. Coffee pods reduce the amount of electricity consumption in this new era of renewable energy.

This is due to the machine's swift design and the small size of the pods. Because hot water flushes the pod once you push the trigger, a coffee maker spends less energy brewing your coffee. This method is essentially very rapid and can save you thousands of dollars over time.

Related article: Pros and Cons of Using Coffee Pods

Cons of Using Coffee Pods

Is a coffee pod the best option? Bear in mind that a drawback doesn't necessarily imply that it's bad. For some people, most of the disadvantages just pose conflicts. It's ultimately up to you to decide whether or not pods fit your lifestyle.

Expensive Costs

In the coffee pods vs. ground coffee debate, this is a major setback for the pods. It is known that the purchase of coffee pods and equipment can be expensive. It doesn't take long for items to add up. In addition, packets of 50 pods start from around $50.

The whole brewing machine runs for about $150, aside from the pods. How much of this happens to you also depends on how you drink your coffee. Additionally, one coffee pod can cost as much as you consume in a regular coffee shop.

If paying less for coffee appeals to you, using coffee pods won't sound very cheap — especially if you need to purchase a different device for them. However, if you always leave your house to get coffee, it may be different. Because it means that you will save extra expenses and save time.

The Typical Espresso Disparity

Why choose coffee pods over ground coffee? This is likely because they imitate the taste and flavours very well. A coffee capsule, though, will never be the same as a hand-made espresso. Particularly, not one that a professional barista makes.

This is a downside, but only if you like coffee in a very particular way. Before making a decision, take time and only decide whether it's to their taste. We're always going to encourage anyone to try.

Single Brew Setting for All Beverage Types

Convenience becomes a downside later when grappling with the coffee pods vs. ground coffee issue. Typically, coffee pod makers are programmed to function quickly and effectively. The vast majority of single-serve coffee makers, unfortunately, have a single setting.

The downside is that with all coffee styles, the method uses the same extraction procedure. It uses the same pressure and the same water temperature. Regardless of whether you like an American or a cappuccino.

For specialties like macchiato or latte, the capsules already contain milk powder for foamy froth. It's all right, though, but it's not the same as fresh milk froth.

What Makes Ground Coffee the Ideal Choice?

It’s time to see the other part of the coffee pod vs. ground coffee debate. Ground coffee is made from ground coffee beans. It is made up of roasted coffee beans. This is similar to flour being made from wheat or maize coming from corn.

Using ground coffee is the same as using a tea bag: Add hot water to it, allow it to soak for a few minutes, then filter and drink. The resulting brew is what is known to us all as coffee.

Based on the type of coffee you want to make, ground coffee comes in various sizes. However, we must emphasize that ground coffee is not instant coffee. They look pretty much the same, and they may even smell the same thing. Nevertheless, the difference is clear.

For coffee, there are various grind sizes, and they each have their use in the long run. What you use depends on how you're going to use it. This is because grind size can and does change your coffee's flavour.

Examples here are:

  • Very fine, almost powdery
  • Medium-fine, this is typically in the coffee filter
  • Medium-scale, still great for filtering
  • Medium-coarse, more suitable for pour-over,
  • Coarse, for French press and cold brew,  

The better the brew, the fresher the beans. Hence, this means that you'll get a fresh cup of coffee with freshly ground coffee. This is more flavorful than pre-ground coffee.

Pre-ground coffee, in general, undergoes close packing and vacuum sealing. So by the time you open it, it maintains much of its flavour. Although, if you do not store it correctly though, it loses its aroma easily.

Advantages of Ground Coffee

It’s time to shift the spotlight in the coffee pods vs. ground coffee argument. You are now familiar with the pros and cons of coffee pods. Next up, you will also learn about the advantages and disadvantages of ground coffee.


A big drawback for pods in the coffee pods vs. ground coffee debate is the flavour. Both the essential oils and other chemical components remain in freshly ground coffee. Hence, this makes it a richer, more subtle flavour than most other coffee types. For ground coffee, there's more variation in taste.

However, the biggest explanation for the disparity in flavour is the raw material. The cheaper Robusta bean, which has a bitter edge, makes instant coffee. However, the more flavorful Arabica beans which people prefer are present in ground coffee. The presence of Arabica coffee beans gives ground coffee a unique advantage. You can brew your coffee at your own pace and to your taste.

Highest Quality

A huge focus when deciding which is best between coffee pods, ground and instant coffee is the quality. Due to the fresh nature of ground coffee, it usually comes in the highest quality. The coffee beans only undergo washing and roasting and nothing else. You do the rest of its processing yourself.

Compared to other coffee types like the pods, nothing gets lost in its packaging. You get exactly what you buy with ground coffee. To cap it off, you can decide what you want your coffee beans to look like.


This is typically seen as an advantage of coffee pods and instant coffee. However, the time you save with pods or instant coffee is what another person enjoys.

The time it takes for you to grind the coffee might seem tedious to you. However, this is what some people love about ground coffee. The process of grinding the beans can be soothing and relaxing.

You can enjoy the process of crushing the beans and customizing them to your preferred size. The entire process can relieve stress for the user. Thereby, creating a calming atmosphere for you as you make your coffee.

Additionally, you get the best quality from grinding your coffee beans. The crushing of the beans activates its latent aroma and flavour. This adds a unique and delicious kick to your coffee.

It Comes From Arabica

Another glaring advantage of ground coffee is in its source. Arabica coffee serves as the basis for most ground coffee beans. This gives it a very unique and splendid flavour that places it above other coffee species.

It is less bitter than its popular counterpart, the Robusta beans. Additionally, it contains notes of caramel and chocolate. This adds to its pleasant flavour and higher sugar content.

It is also very rich in antioxidants and is low in calories. Ground coffee is great for starting your busy day and ensuring your alertness.

Disadvantages of Ground Coffee

Let’s descend further into the coffee pods vs. ground coffee debate. You have become conversant with the advantages of ground coffee. Now it is time to delve into the disadvantages of it.

Time Consuming

Another reason you may choose coffee pods over ground coffee is the processing time. The process is more time-consuming with ground coffee. Whether you are looking at ground coffee beans or ground powder, it doesn't matter. You're still going to have to take your time.

Some minutes will be required to prepare ground coffee. Ground coffee, also, requires the use of a coffee maker. Thus you have to consider the time it takes to clean and prepare the machines.

It is not ideal for early birds that need to leave for work promptly. It requires time to process and brew the coffee which can delay a busy person.

Steep Learning Curve

You have to take your time to learn how to grind ground coffee. Learning how to brew a decent cup of coffee can be tasking. You have to learn to pick the best equipment to use. Whether it's a mocha jar, an espresso machine, and so on.

You will be given a distinct flavour by the different equipment. Additionally, each of these equipment requires a different grade of grinding. Furthermore, each coffee machine may require extra knowledge to operate.


Compared to instant coffee, ground coffee creates quite a lot of waste. Instant coffee does not contain any by-products. You will have to get rid of the coffee grounds with ground coffee.

You will also have to thoroughly clean the machinery after each use. This makes for a seemingly stressful procedure. Extra care also has to be taken to ensure no leftover beans in the machine. Ultimately, the presence of these coffee residues can damage the machine over time.

Short Shelf Life

Preservation is crucial when considering the coffee pod vs. ground coffee argument. Ground coffee is available in packets and containers. As long as it stays closed, its quality remains intact.

However, once you breach the seal and open it, it starts to deteriorate from that moment. Ground coffee has a shorter shelf life in comparison with other coffee types. The reopening and closing of its pack will expose it to oxygen periodically.

Eventually, this leads to an overall decrease in its freshness. If proper care isn’t taken, the ground coffee can become stale and flat. It is best to transfer it into an airtight container after you open it.

Requires the Most Beans to Produce a Cup of Coffee

Compatibility plays another important role in the coffee pods vs. ground coffee debacle. With pods, there is control over the amount of coffee that makes a cup. However, with ground coffee, you can’t easily control the amount you use.

When using a coffee grinder, you have to add an arbitrary amount of ground coffee. There is no standard form of measurement or regulation

Why You Should Consider Instant Coffee

Instant coffee, also known as coffee powder, is a beverage gotten from brewed coffee beans. It helps individuals to prepare hot coffee easily. Usually by simply applying hot water or milk to the powder or crystals.

Instant coffee can come about either by freeze-drying or spray drying. After which it can undergo rehydration. Additionally, instant coffee is available in a condensed liquid form.

The distinction between instant coffee and ground coffee is what happens before it gets to the shelf. Instant coffee comes from coffee beans that undergo roasting to taste. Typically, a low-quality Robusta type makes up the instant coffee.

Then, it is finely ground into an almost powder-like state. Then by brewing, a drain of their water content takes place, leaving an extract behind.

The result of this process is crystallized coffee. Further extraction of any residual water takes place. This is to retain the taste of the coffee. Also, the granules go through processing again, preparing them for packaging and room on your shelf.

Benefits of Instant Coffee

Though they may seem similar, there are differences between coffee pods and instant coffee. Instant coffee has grown immensely popular over the years. Its ease of use is one major contributing factor to its popularity.

Speed of Preparation

Regardless of the coffee pod vs. ground coffee debate, instant coffee is the fastest. Its preparation process lasts seconds. You simply need a cup of hot water and milk and sugar if you require.

It dissolves easily and smoothly. It is ideal for busy people and a great way of having quick coffee on the go. It takes the least amount of time to make.

Cheaper Option

When comparing the price of instant coffee to the other coffee types, instant coffee is the cheapest. It is available in sachets that you can buy individually and in pieces.

You do not need an extra machine or grinder to process the coffee. Therefore, you avoid any additional cost of equipment. What you buy, is what you use.

Requires No Skill to Operate

Due to the lack of machines, instant coffee requires no prior knowledge or skill to use. You simply tear the sachet and pour out its content.

There is no need to learn about buttons on a machine or grinding speed on a grinder. Its process of use is very simple for even a child to use.

Produces the Least Amount of Waste

Another major point in the coffee pod vs. instant coffee debacle is waste. As compact as coffee pods are, instant coffee yields less waste. Instant coffee packaging contains no metal; hence you can easily discard it.

Drawbacks of Instant Coffee

We are slowly closing off the coffee pods vs. ground coffee vs. instant coffee debate. You are familiar with the drawbacks of both coffee pods and ground coffee. Now it’s time to go through the cons of instant coffee.

Mostly Made From Robusta

This is not to demean Robusta coffee. However, it is known to be a more bitter strain of coffee universally. Robusta coffee is usually what is used in making instant coffee. This is due to its relative cheapness and availability.

However, for die-hard coffee drinkers, this option may seem inferior. The quality of the taste is not on par with Arabica coffee.

Poorer Taste

Owing to its source coffee bean, instant coffee tends to be less flavorful than other types. Advocates for either side of the coffee pods vs. ground coffee battle can attest. The drying and freezing process also takes away some of its aromas.

This is largely due to the philosophy of quantity over quality in instant coffee. The companies tend to cut corners by using less superior coffee beans in favour of volume.

Regardless of the coffee pods vs. ground coffee side, both are of higher quality than instant coffee. The key advantage of instant coffee is its convenience and speed. Unfortunately, quality suffers in that regard.

General Comparison of Coffee Pods vs. Ground Coffee vs. Instant Coffee

Coffee Pods

Ground Coffee

Instant Coffee

Moderate caffeine levels

Higher caffeine levels

Lower caffeine levels

Most expensive option

Relatively cheaper option

Cheapest option

Takes a short amount of time to make

Takes the longest time to make

Takes the shortest time to make

Relative medium quality

Highest quality

Lowest quality

Dissolves in a medium time

Dissolves the slowest

Dissolves the fastest

Longest shelf life

Shortest shelf life

Moderate shelf life

Moderate environmental footprint

Highest environmental footprint

Lowest environmental footprint

Requires low skill to operate

Requires  some skill to operate

Requires no skill to use

Produces less waste

Produces the most waste

Produces the least waste



Regardless of whichever form you take your coffee, it is good for your body. Each coffee type has its unique positives and negatives. Therefore, it is up to you to decide which type best suits your lifestyle.

Do you need to buy instant or ground coffee or coffee pods in Canada? Then look no further than Invigo Coffee, we sell different flavours of coffee pods. Check out our collections today!

Related article: Why Are Coffee Pods Growing In Popularity

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