The special Invention of the Coffee Pods

The special Invention of the Coffee Pods

The pros and cons of coffee pods

Coffee pods have been very popular for several years. They are particularly practical because they can be used to prepare a single cup of coffee quickly and easily. Probably the best-known brand in the field is Senseo, a company that also launched the first coffee pod system. We show you the advantages and disadvantages of the coffee pods and the differences to the coffee capsule.

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The invention of the coffee pods

Antonino Di Leva is the name of the inventor of the pads. In the 1970s, he came up with the idea of ​​serving coffee individually during a walk. The bottom and lid were perforated and each pad was vacuum packed. After the development and production together with the coffee roaster Lavazza, the idea unfortunately failed due to family disputes. Thereafter, the Illy company took over the pad production. This is how the patented ESE pad system was created, the initials for “Easy Serving Espresso”. The coffee pods were originally designed solely for the preparation of espresso. It wasn’t until 2001 that coffee was made using coffee pods really popular.

Market share and popularity of the coffee pods

According to information from the German Coffee Association from 2015, the local market share of the pods is around 8 percent.
When they were first launched, the pads were only available in 4 different varieties, from the Dutch manufacturer Douwe Egberts.

The preparation of coffee with coffee pod machines, however, enjoyed increasing popularity, so that the number of different types also increased. Because of this variety, there is of course a great advantage over classic coffee machines, as coffee lovers can vary the types of coffee pods individually.

The coffee pods and their flavors

A coffee pod is packaged and portioned coffee powder for one person. One pad contains 7 g and is sufficient for one cup of coffee. In order to be able to use such a product, you need a coffee machine specially designed for such pads. Coffee pods are now available in a wide variety of flavors, from “normal” coffee to latte macchiato to flavored pods, for example with the note “chocolate”.

The pros and cons of coffee pods

Coffee pods have the advantage, among other things, that you, as a coffee lover, can choose from a wide variety of taste variations. They are also far cheaper than coffee capsules in terms of price, as pods can be produced much cheaper. In contrast to the capsules, they consist of a thin fleece of cellulose. The capsules, on the other hand, are made of plastic and aluminum, materials that are significantly more expensive to manufacture.

You can also use coffee pods in all pod machines, regardless of whether you buy the originals from Senseo, for example, choose pods from Drago Mocambo, Lavazza and Lucaffé , or prefer the pods from supermarkets. Pads, regardless of the manufacturing company, are always the same size. Also worth mentioning is the environmentally friendly disposal in the bio bin or in the residual waste. They are even compostable and if you own a garden you can dispose of them on the compost heap.

Some coffee fans see the taste of pods as a disadvantage. But that is the only possible negative point and in any case a matter of taste! Because coffee pods are diverse, inexpensive and environmentally friendly.

Coffee pods or rather coffee capsules?

Coffee capsules are not as versatile as the pads, since the capsules that fit a device are often only sold by one manufacturer. Some believe that coffee capsules gave better taste. This argument is plausible, as the capsules are individually packaged and thus flavor-sealed. In addition, they are brewed with a higher pressure and are particularly suitable, for example, for making a strong, tasty espresso that cannot be made in the same quality with coffee pods.
There is also another aspect, namely the rather problematic disposal of the coffee capsules and thus a not inconsiderable environmental aspect.

Read more about the topic:

Coffee beans, capsules or pads – which coffee is better?

The largest supplier of coffee pods and pad machines

The Philips company developed the first pad system with the Senseo coffee pad machine, which came onto the market in 2001 and is now almost THE classic model. By the way, behind the term “Philips Senseo” hides the coffee roaster Douwe Egberts. Petra electric and WMF are other well-known manufacturers. Renowned producers of pads are the companies Dallmayr, Melitta, of course Senseo and Illy. However, these are just a few examples within a large number of coffee pod manufacturers.


The biggest advantage of the coffee capsules, so their advocates say, is the great freshness, as the coffee in the capsules is protected from air and is only opened shortly before brewing. Coffee pods, on the other hand, have the following advantages:

  • The variety of flavors is significantly greater.
  • The cost of pads is lower.
  • Pads can be used in all designated coffee machines.
  • The disposal of coffee pods is particularly environmentally friendly.