Which Coffee Machine has the Cheapest Pods 

 February 22, 2019

By  Enda McLarnon

A question we are often asked here at the Perfect Grind website, is which coffee machine has the cheapest pods? That is what we will be answering just below.

If you are asking this question, then you already know that there are a few choices available when it comes to buying a pod/capsule or disc type of coffee maker.


If you are pushed for time and don't have time to read all of this article, then the Bosch Tassimo range of pod coffee machines has on average the cheapest pods to buy.

Just to explain from the outset, there are two types of coffee pods available on the market:

  1. There are pods that can fit into your espresso coffee machine
  2. There are also pods that are also referred to as capsules and discs and these are made to fit into a range of coffee pod machines from brands like Nespresso, Dolce Gusto and Bosch Tassimo

We do explain this in more detail in this article, but we did want to point out these different types of pods, so as you are aware what pods are available right from the start.

They are two very different types of pods, but they deliver the same end result.

Who Makes Coffee Pod Machines?

When people in the UK talk about coffee pods, they are almost always talking about some type of coffee pod machine. You will see these in many stores such as Debenhams and Currys. You will also find these for sale in many of the well known supermarkets and also online.

We have included an image of the Bosch Tassimo Vivy model below as an example of one of these machines.

coffee pod machines

There are in fact 6 different coffee brands associated with this style of pod/capsule/disc coffee machine. They are:

  1. Dolce Gusto
  2. Tassimo
  3. Nespresso
  4. Illy
  5. Lavazza
  6. Dualit

Now what people may not know, or even care, is that these are then made by several different manufacturers.

  • Nespresso machines are made by DeLonghi, Krups, KitchenAid, Magimix and Sage
  • Dolce Gusto machines are made by DeLonghi and Krups
  • Tassimo machines are made by Bosch
  • Lavazza make some of their own and some are made by De'Longhi
  • Dualit make their own machines

The reason we mention this information early in this article, is because buying pods can get confusing, if you are not aware that many different types exist. There are quite literally hundreds of them.

They come in different shapes and sizes, and in many different flavours. Pods are not a universal fit as they are made to fit the many different types and manufacturers of machines.

You need to be really careful when buying those otherwise you can end up with the wrong fit.

ESE Pods, Pods, Capsules and Discs

Most people in the UK do refer to these in slightly different ways. The manufacturers also call these different names, and that is why this can often get confusing.

They can be called pods, capsules or discs. It really doesn't matter what they are called as long as everyone knows exactly what we are talking about.

Let's begin with the pods that are available for a normal coffee machine and not a pod coffee machine.

Normal coffee machines will have a portafilter and that is where you would normally put in the ground coffee. Some brands make pods that will fit neatly into the portafilter.

ESE Coffee Pods

Generally speaking a coffee pod for a coffee machine is pretty similar looking to a round shaped tea bag. (44 mm) It is a portion of coffee (around 7 grams) which is then wrapped and sealed in a paper style filter bag.

These can fit into your "espresso machine," and there are different sizes of these available. These can be used if your coffee machine is compatible with using pods, and most of them are. These are known as "ESE pods." ESE stands for Easy Serve Espresso.

You can see an image of an ESE pod just below.

ese coffee pod

ESE pods are made to an industry standard and are available from a few coffee roasters, including coffee brand names such as Illy, Lavazza and Segafredo. The image above shows an ESE coffee pod, which comes sealed in tin foil, and they are then bought in the packet shown.

On average ESE coffee pods cost around 35-50 pence a pod depending on the brand you pick, and what volume you buy them in.

Pods, Capsules and Discs

This is where it starts to get a tad confusing. The pods that we have mentioned above are suitable for an espresso machine. However, there are also pods available for what are called coffee pod and coffee capsule machines, that we mentioned at the beginning of this article..

These are coffee machines that use only pods and with these you can not use normal ground coffee. These machines are also referred to as capsule machines and sometimes as disc machines.

It does get confusing with some of the terms used.

The easiest way to remember the difference is that most espresso machines can take ESE coffee pods which are quicker, convenient and don't make any mess. As you know these also work well with ground coffee.

Other machines such as the Nespresso, Bosch Tassimo and Nescafe machines can not use ground coffee, and will only work by inserting a pod, capsule or disc into them.

The key thing to fully understand is that pods are not a universal fit. They come in different shapes and sizes, so a pod for a Bosch Tassimo machine will never fit an Espresso machine.

There are also a range of pods made by non-related brands. These are always referred to as "compatible," but again, these will only be compatible with a particular model of coffee machine.

These are explained in the sections below in lots more detail.

Let's Talk Price

Like most consumer grocery style product these prices will vary. You will find certain stores that will have special offers on them. The prices will also vary at online websites, and yet again, there are usually different price offers on them at different times of the year.

My point here is that is it very difficult to state with any clarity which pod is going to be the cheapest at any given time. All we can ever do to give our readers an indication, is take a snapshot at any given time, and then compare the prices on that day, at a range of different stores.

Just to make matters even more complex, almost always the brands will charge different prices for the different types of coffee drink. For example, generally speaking a Nescafe Americano pod will be slightly cheaper than a Nescafe Latte Macchiato pod.

In other words the more complex the drink, the slightly more expensive it will be.

Snapshot of Coffee Pod Prices

We picked all of these prices out on one day, and then ran them through our analysis. Below you will find included, the pod type, the number of pods that you get, the price point on that day and we have then calculated the average price per pod.

We looked at three different websites and then worked out an average price for the actual product name below.

Pod Type

No of Pods

Average Cost

Cost per Pod (p)

Tassimo Costa Americano




Tassimo L'OR Latte Macchiato




Tassimo Variety Pack




Nescafe Dolce Gusto Americano




Nescafe Dolce Gusto Cappuccino




Nescafe Dolce Gusto Cafe au Lait




Lavazza Espresso Gran Crema




Lavazza Modo Variety




Lavazza A Modo Mio Coffee




  • Tassimo 24p-34p per pod
  • Nescafe 20p-60p per pod
  • Lavazza 18p-30p per pod

As you can see for the basic coffee pods like Americano etc the average price will be between 20-30p per pod. The more complex coffee drinks are more expensive, as we suggested earlier.

Based on this research, the Italian Lavazza brand does seem to do very well in terms of price. However most of their pods are only compatible with their own Lavazza A Modo Mio Machines.

So if you were basing your buying decision on the price of pods then you would have to like Lavazza coffee and also own a Lavazza machine.

Nescafe seem to be the most expensive option, but they do make a wide variety of pods for their many coffee drinks. These pods again will only work with Dolce Gusto coffee machines.

Finally there is Tassimo which works on Bosch Tassimo machines. These are always fairly priced, and are the pods that I personally use myself as I own the Bosch Tassimo Vivy machine.


Our strong advice here though is not to buy a pod coffee machine based on the price of the pods. Pick a coffee machine based on the style and features that it has, and you will always find some type of deal, where you can buy the pods at the most competitive price.

which coffee machine has the cheapest pods

Coffee Pod Varieties

If you like different types of coffee, or even like to try different coffee drinks, then price may not be a huge issue for you. In that case it is good to know, what types of pods are available, for each of the machine types.

We have listed those below.

Coffee Pod Brands

Just before you look at the different pods available, here are a list of all the brands who make coffee pods:

  • Bosch Tassimo - ( All Tassimo range using T discs)
  • Cafe Rene - (Suitable to be used in Philips Senseo Coffee Machine)
  • Cafepod (Nespresso compatible)
  • Cafe Rene (Nespresso compatible)
  • Caffe Borbone (Nespresso compatible)
  • Caffe Impresso (Nespresso compatible)
  • Caffesso (Nespresso compatible)
  • Caffitaly (Compatible with Brand Dualit, Gaggia, Tchibo Cafissimo, Saeco)
  • Dolce Gusto (Compatible with Nescafé Dolce Gusto machines)
  • Douwe Egberts (Compatible only with Senseo machines)
  • Dualit (Nespresso compatible)
  • illy (Nespresso compatible)
  • Jacobs (Nespresso compatible)
  • L'OR (Pods for Tassimo and Nespresso)
  • Lavazza (For Lavazza machines)
  • Must Espresso (Compatible with Dolce Gusto)
  • Nero Puro Caffe (Nespresso compatible)
  • Nescafe (Nescafe Dolce Gusto Machines)
  • Nespresso (Nespresso Machines)
  • Nestle (Dolce Gusto Machines)
  • Pellini (Nespresso compatible)
  • Senseo (Philips Seneso Machines)
  • Starbucks (Nespresso compatible)
  • Taylors of Harrowgate (Nespresso compatible)

Bosch Tassimo Pod Varieties

Any of the pods shown below will fit into the Bosch pod machines such as the "Tassimo Vivy."

  1. Tassimo Kenco Americano Grande
  2. Tassimo Kenco Americano Smooth
  3. Tasimo Kenco Colombian
  4. Tassimo Kenco Decaf
  5. Tassimo Kenco Cappuccino Coffee and Milk Pods
  6. Tassimo Kenco Mocha
  7. Tassimo Costa Latte
  8. Tassimo Costa Americano
  9. Tassimo Costa Cappuccino
  10. Tassimo Costa Caramel Latte
  11. Tassimo Costa Latte Americano Cappuccino Cadbury, Jacobs
  12. Tassimo Costa Gingerbread Latte
  13. Tassimo Costa Vanilla Latte Coffee Pods
  14. Tassimo L'OR XL Classique Coffee
  15. Tassimo L'OR Latte Macchiato
  16. Tassimo L'OR Latte Macchiato Caramel
  17. Tassimo L'OR Espresso Delicious
  18. TASSIMO L'OR Espresso Decaf
  19. TASSIMO L'OR Espresso Forza
  20. TASSIMO L'OR XL Intense Coffee
  21. Tassimo Jacobs Café Au Lait
  22. TASSIMO Jacobs Espresso Ristretto
  23. Tassimo Jacobs Latte Macchiato Classico
  24. TASSIMO Jacobs Cappuccino Classico
  25. TASSIMO Jacobs Monarch
  26. TASSIMO Jacobs Kronung
  27. TASSIMO Jacobs Medaille d'Or Coffee
  28. Tassimo Morning Cafe
  29. TASSIMO Fortissimo Gold Espresso
  30. TASSIMO Grand Mere Petit Dejeuner
  31. TASSIMO Cafe HAG Crema Decaffeinated
  32. TASSIMO Marcilla Cortado
  33. TASSIMO Marcilla Espresso
  34. Tassimo Marcilla Decaf Espresso
  35. Tassimo Marcilla Cafe Largo Large Breakfast
  36. TASSIMO Carte Noire Classic Expresso
  37. TASSIMO Carte Noire Latte Macchiato
  38. Tassimo Carte Noire Petit Dejeuner
  39. Tassimo Baileys Latte Macchiato
  40. TASSIMO Baileys Hot Chocolate
  41. Tassimo Cadbury Hot Chocolate
  42. Tassimo Oreo Hot Chocolate
  43. TASSIMO Suchard Hot Chocolate
  44. Tassimo Hot Chocolate Mega Pack - Cadbury, Oreo, Milka

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Pod Varieties

The pods below will fit any of the Dolce Gusto coffee machines.

  1. NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO Americano Intenso
  2. NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO Americano Gold
  3. NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO Caffe Americano
  4. NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO Latte Macchiato
  6. NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO Espresso Intenso
  8. NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO Cafe au lait
  10. NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO Chococino Caramel
  12. NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO Ristretto Ardenza
  14. NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO Lungo Decaff
  16. Nescafe Caffe lungo for Nescafe Dolce Gusto Machine
  17. Nescafe Latte for Nescafe Dolce Gusto Machine

Lavazza Pod Varieties

The Lavazza Coffee Capsules are ONLY compatible with Lavazza Coffee Machines, which are stylish and quick and easy to use.

  1. Lavazza A Modo Espresso Mio Qualità Oro Coffee Capsules
  2. Lavazza A Modo Mio Rossa Coffee Capsules
  3. Lavazza A Modo Mio Passionale Coffee Capsules
  4. Lavazza A Modo Mio Magia Coffee Capsules
  5. Lavazza A Modo Mio Espresso Passionale Coffee Capsules
  6. Lavazza A Modo Mio Intenso Coffee Capsules
  7. Lavazza A Modo Mio Lungo Dolce Coffee Capsules
  8. Lavazza A Modo Mio Crema E Gusto Coffee Machine Capsules
  9. Lavazza A Modo Mio Delizioso Coffee Capsules
  10. Lavazza A Modo Mio Divino Coffee Capsules
  11. Lavazza A Modo Mio Soave Coffee Capsules
  12. Lavazza A Modo Mio Dek Cremoso Coffee Capsules
  13. Lavazza Espresso Gran Crema ESE Coffee Pods
  14. Lavazza Qualita Oro Coffee Capsules
  15. Lavazza Blue 100 Intenso Capsules Single Shot
  16. Lavazza Dek Decaffeinated ESE Esrpresso Pods
  17. Lavazza Caffè Crema Dolce
  18. Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso Pods

Coffee Pod Price Conclusion

So as you can see there are a wide range of pods available. The important thing is that when you are buying them, that you always get the right ones for the machine that you have.

A lot of people, especially when they get a new pod machine will get a few pods with it. This is usually a sample set and it offers you a few different choices of coffee drinks.

After that people will pick the ones that they prefer. Other people prefer to buy the larger combination sets, where you can buy a mixture of pods in larger amounts such as 50 or 100 pods.

Just be careful with those purchases. In most cases they are better value for money, but not always. The reason for that is that there are always offers available for coffee pods and capsules.

You really just need to search around and find the best value.

Enda McLarnon

Enda McLarnon has a Business Management Honour's Degree and applies his professional insight, to analyse and write helpful product reviews with tips and useful advice. I am also a coffee lover and enjoy tasting all of the coffee types the world has to offer.

Enda McLarnon

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    1. That is a very interesting question, and I don’t know as I have never come across any. I will check with a few contacts that I have and reply back here soon

  1. Interesting, but somewhat misleading for milky tassimo coffee, as that uses 2 discs per cup. So you get 8 cups in a pack for something like a latte macchiato, or cappuccino, whereas a pack of americano would be 16 cups for the same price.

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