We first heard about the Perfect Pod Maker last year when it was only available from Coffee Giant. Reviews were mixed at first, with some people loving it and some people sticking to using T-Sacs (disposable tea bags you can fill with coffee and make your own pods) instead. We decided at the beginning of this year that we'd pick a Perfect Pod Maker up, and see how it matched against T-Sacs, and how well the Perfect Pod Maker worked with the various single serve coffee pod machines.
We received the original Perfect Pod Coffee Pod Maker over 3 weeks ago, and have made just north of 30+ cups of single serve coffee with it. The Perfect Pod Maker can create any coffee pod you want from the "hot press" pod maker, using the 40 pod papers that come with it, and any ground coffee you want to put in each coffee pod. The Perfect Pod Maker will work with your Senseo, Melitta One:One, simplehuman, Juan Valdez, Bunn Home Cafe, Mr. Coffee, Hamilton Beach, and Black & Decker Home Cafe single serve coffee machines.
How does it work? Does it work well? Do the coffee pods made from the Perfect Pod Maker fit in most machines? What are the pros and cons of using the Perfect Pod Maker
Make Your Own Coffee Pods
The Perfect Pod maker is quite easy to use. First you pick the coffee you want to use in your own coffee pods and then plug in the unit and let it heat up. The Perfect Pod Maker is basically a heated "press" that has comes with coffee pod filters that have a fold over top that can be sealed.
For coffee to use, we picked up some Caribou Coffee that came pre-ground. The two flavors included:
Caribou Coffee Daybreak Morning Blend
Caribou Coffee French Roast
We then picked out the Bunn My Cafe and the Senseo Supreme single serve coffee maker to test our home made coffee pods created from the Perfect Pod Maker. It is good to note the following:
The pods you create with Perfect Pod Coffee Pod Maker are not meant to work in high-pressure espresso machines. Perfect Pod does NOT create ESE espresso pods. This machine best fits a pod size of 71mm. Perfect Pod Maker will NOT work with Keurig, Tassimo, or other single-serve machine that uses a specialized format.
So stick with single serve coffee machines mentioned above in the review including: Senseo, Melitta One:One, simplehuman, Juan Valdez, Bunn Home Cafe, Mr. Coffee, Hamilton Beach, and Black & Decker Home Cafe single serve coffee machines.
Making Our First Homemade Coffee Pod
We fired up the Perfect Pod Coffee Pod Maker and inserted a coffee pod filter. We then used a spoon to fill the contents of the coffee pod to 10.4 grams. You can use less or even a little more coffee. We think a 10 gram pod is nearly perfect for making an 8 oz cup of coffee.
We then weighed the pod in our coffee pod scale to make sure we were in the right weight range. Filling the pod was easy, but you need to be careful not to spill onto the edge of the coffee pod filter. We then folded over the flap and used a little water on the edge of our finger to get one of the sections of the pod filter to stay folded over.
Freshly pressed coffee pod from the Perfect Pod Maker
Next, we closed the Perfect Pod Coffee Pod Maker lid for 5-8 seconds. The instructions say 2-3 - but we found better results with the longer press time. We then opened the Perfect Pod maker and found a very nicely pressed - yet plump - home made coffee pod.
Using our Home Made Coffee Pods in the Bunn My Cafe and Senseo
We recommend highly you pre-moisten your coffee pods made from the Perfect Pod Maker. Results in both the Bunn My Cafe and the Senseo Supreme single serve coffee maker were much better, and produced a richer cup of coffee when pre-wetting the coffee pod prior to brewing.
Ahh...A perfect pod?
The coffee produced from both the Caribou Coffee Daybreak and French roast blends using the Bunn My Cafe were quite good. You really have to make sure the coffee pod is well seated in the holder and you use the 8 oz setting with the 10 gram coffee pod produced. The french roast was much better than lighter blends of coffee we used. This may be due to the fact we like darker coffee, but it's more to do with not getting a great seal. If you take the time to pre-wet - you won't have any issues and lighter blends do work well.
Brewing with the Bunn My Cafe using home made coffee pods
Using the 10 gram coffee pod from the Perfect Pod Coffee Pod Maker in the Senseo Supreme also yielded good results. You get the Senseo frothy top, along with a good coffee taste. It was more challenging to use the 10 gram pod in the single coffee pod holder, and we ended up having to go down to the 8-9 gram range of coffee to get the Senseo to close easily. Using the double pod holder produces a mixed bag of blow by and watery coffee.
Brewing with the Senseo Supreme using home made coffee pods
Comparing the Perfect Pod maker to T-Sacs
T Sac filled with Caribou Coffee
We ordered up a fresh batch of T-Sacs - disposable fillable tea bags and brewed up the Caribou Coffee Daybreak and French Roast Blend. Results were very similar using both machines with the T- Sacs. The Senseo had more trouble with the T-Sacs then the easier to use Bunn My Cafe pod holder, but we were able to get coffee from both and good coffee at that.
Though the T-Sacs are easy to use, we think the pods produced from the Perfect Pod Maker fit the machines better. You also don't have to worry about trimming off any of the excess bag on the T-Sac, and the coffee pods from the Perfect Pod Coffee Pod Maker are able to be made ahead in batches of 10-15 pods. We found making them ahead and storing them in our Brabantia Coffee Pod Canisters made things much easier in the morning.
Conclusions on the Perfect Pod Maker
Easy to use
Use any Coffee you want to make coffee pods
Small footprint on countertop
Works with a large variety of machines
Refills of Pods are more expensive than other options like T Sacs
Can be messy when making coffee pods
We like the Perfect Pod Maker. The fact is - the thing really works and works well. We had no problem creating our own coffee pods from a variety of coffee blends, and provided we pre-moistened our pods prior to brewing, the home made coffee pods worked well in the Bunn My Cafe and Senseo Supreme single serve coffee brewers. If you need to use your own coffee, or feel like just making some coffee pods, the Perfect Pod Maker is for you. The Original Perfect Pod Maker is priced at $39.99 and the Perfect Pod Maker Deluxe is priced at $49.99. Refills of the coffee pod papers are also available when you run out.
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