I was recently gifted a couple different brands of coffee pods, and I don't really know what to do with them, since the coffee machines for them seem to be a bit pricey for a whimsical purchase. Is there a way to make a cup of coffee with these pods if I don't have a pod coffee machine?

I've looked it up and it seems that different pods (even within the same brand) are designed for different water volumes passing through them and at different temperatures, so if there are multiple recommended ways to brew them DIY-style, I'd like to know which method fits which the best. Maybe I could reverse-engineer the process a machine does and repeat it manually.

The pods I have are labeled "Nescafe Dolce Gusto café au lait" and "Starbucks Caffé Verona". If manual method works out, I'm open to buying these pods separately, so methods for brewing other brands are also welcome :)

  • 1
    Consider selling them to someone who does have a machine. The amount of coffee contained in these pods is too little for submerged brewing methods and is intended for use with pressurized extraction. You'd likely be disappointed trying to brew these manually.
    – R Mac
    Mar 5 '20 at 0:06
  • I don't think anyone's going to buy a dozen assorted pods out of the box, or that it's worth the hassle :p Besides, it seems to be working okay with the paper filter method, at least to my unrefined taste in coffee. I'm more of a tea person myself (hence the tea filters) and just wanted to see if brewing pods manually could work as an experiment more than finding a high quality method of brewing coffee. Mar 5 '20 at 3:24

For now I've been using single-use white paper filters for tea. I cut open the tops of the pods with an office paper knife and pour out the contents into the paper bag. Then I pour hot water into the bag while holding it directly over the cup, careful not to burn your fingers (maybe use kitchen clamps to hold the bag if it's too hot).

From what I've seen in videos showing the disassembled insides of pod coffee maker machines, the contents of the pod don't really spend much time in contact with the water, so this method is a close enough approximation of how the machine works, and the resulting brew tastes good enough to me.

For illustration, here's an image of a tea filter. You can probably use coffee filters just as well if you have them, I just happened to already have tea filters at home and didn't feel like spending extra.

  • There’s a significant difference in flow-through time between tea and coffee filters. While the former have basically zero flow retention, the latter are designed to slow down the flow.
    – Stephie
    Feb 15 '20 at 20:14
  • You will probably burn your fingers using coffee filters. Water doesn't flow well through those, and they're likely to overflow while pouring. Ouch...
    – R Mac
    Mar 5 '20 at 0:09
  • @RMac actually I burned my fingers over these just from them being too close to the steam coming off the hot water, so I started using kitchen tongs to hold the paper filter. Mar 5 '20 at 3:19
  • I used a manual filter for "dolce gusto" capsules but it didn't filter anything ... probably the capusles only contains water solubale coffee like with Nescafé and others ...
    – The Beast
    Dec 28 '20 at 14:06

This little AreoPress from Amazon is what I use. Just cut open the pod and dump it in. WOrks well


  • Does that make pods for a coffee machine? It doesn't look that way.
    – Mayo
    Feb 24 '20 at 14:07
  • @Mayo I don't think it's supposed to be a pod making device. This is basically a french press with a single-use paper filter disc instead of the metal mesh with large holes. Mar 5 '20 at 3:20
  • Aeropress's advantage in this regard is that it typically uses a finer grind of coffee than drip, which is close to what pods use. One pod might not be enough for the Aeropress though depending on how strong you like your coffee. You want about 19g of ground coffee per ~8-10oz of finished brew
    – R Mac
    Mar 5 '20 at 12:29

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