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How Does a Pod Coffee Maker Work?

Alexis Labadie Profile image

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Updated August 29, 2022

If you’re a new coffee lover or a curious one, you may wonder “how does a pod coffee maker work?” You probably know that these machines remain easy to operate, and you may even own one. However, more goes into the process of using the best coffee maker than many realize.


  • Pod coffee makers feature a water reservoir, one-way valve, heating element, tubes, nozzle, and coffee compartment.
  • Your coffee brewer turns water into a cup of coffee using heat and pressure to extract flavors from the coffee grounds.
  • To use this product, insert your favorite capsule, add water, and press the brew button.

To fully understand how these devices operate, you should learn about each of the parts included in your machine. Additionally, you may want to find out how to use one. If you purchase a new coffee machine, consider how does a drip coffee maker work.

How Does a Coffee Pod Machine Work

Many coffee fanatics enjoy a cup of coffee every morning, starting their day with a strong drink full of caffeine. More recently, the preferred brewing method has shifted from a drip coffee maker to a single-serve coffee maker. These small appliances provide an alternative to making several cups of coffee at one time with decreased counter space, and they come in pod, capsule, and cup forms.

Additionally, you can check out our review of the Starbucks Verismo 580 for a highly-rated, single-serve coffee maker. Or, if you prefer espresso, you can check out the best single-serve espresso machines. That said, it’s a good idea to learn how to use an espresso machine so you always have a delicious cup of joe.

Before you learn how to use a coffee machine with pods, you might want to learn how the machine works and what each part does. If so, read on to find out. If you are interested in a brewing process with a low cost, check out how does a Moka pot work.

The Brewing Process

A single-serve pod coffee machine works similarly to a regular coffee maker. The cold water begins in the water reservoir when you fill it. You should ensure the water starts cold because hot water can affect the brew time.

Then, once you have pressed the button to brew, the coffee maker activates the heating element. The liquids speed to the bottom of the device through a one-way release valve inside the tubing toward the heat. The machine heats the water to the proper temperature for your type of coffee while also heating the coffee cup or coffee carafe within minutes. Heating can be costly, if you are worried about energy use, be sure to read how many watts a coffee maker uses.

Pressurized Steam

The pressure created during the brewing process forces the base liquid toward the nozzle at the top, sometimes referred to as the showerhead. On a pod coffee brewer, the nozzle increases the pressure further, pushing the water through the top of your coffee capsule or coffee pod instead of a coffee filter during coffee brewing.

Insider Tip

Check whether your coffee machine will accept your desired brand before buying it.

When you inserted the pod and closed the lid, the device punctured the bottom. Because of these features, the hot water fills the inside of the item before falling through to the coffee pot below with a quick speed for single-serve brewers. Additionally, if you are in the mood for something different, you can learn how to make hot chocolate in a coffee maker.

Brewing Pod Coffee


Fill your water reservoir with cold water. Some coffee makers don’t require this step every time you want a hot coffee, but others only hold enough water for one cup.


Select your preferred pod and insert it into the top of the machine. You will need one that works specifically with your machine since different brands use different size pods. If you buy one, not from your manufacturer, look to see whether your machine accepts it.


Place your coffee mug under the spout. Usually, this spot is pretty obvious and shaped to hold a cup.


Press the “Brew” button. This button will begin the brewing method.





Hot water can throw off the brew time for your cup of coffee, so start with cold water.

Can I use coffee pods in a regular coffee maker?

You may be able to find workarounds, but most coffee makers brew several cups at a time, meaning a different serving size. This factor can cause the coffee to be watery and under-extracted.

Does Nespresso make regular coffee?

Yes, some Nespresso coffee pod machines make regular coffee as well as espresso beverages in an espresso machine.

Do you take the lid and foil off coffee pods?

No. Your single-serve brewers will puncture the top and bottom during brewing.

STAT: All that is required of the user is the proper insertion of the capsule and ample water in the water tank, and the system will take care of the rest, delivering an exceptional cup of coffee or authentic espresso each and every time. (source)

Alexis Labadie Profile image