Our Honest Review of the Instant Pod Single-Serve Coffeemaker

This coffeemaker is compatible with both Keurig and Nespresso pods!

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July 13, 2023

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Tested by Rachel Trujillo for Food Network Kitchen

Instant Pot is a household name, changing the way we cook just about everything. From pressure cookers with multiple functions to top-performing air fryers, Instant Brands is known for doing it all in one appliance — and the Instant Pod, the brand's coffeemaker, is no different. The 2-in-1 single-serve coffee machine has the ability to make coffee and espresso using any kind of coffee pod or ground coffee with just the touch of a button. Naturally, we jumped at the opportunity to put another Instant Brand product to the test and got our hands on one immediately. Here’s our honest review of the Instant Pod coffee machine.

Use (Almost) Any Kind of Pod You Want

First off, it’s important to note that this single-brew machine works with packaged pods much like Keurig or Nespresso machines do. While there are currently no Instant Pod specific pods on the market, this machine has two separate openings to fit both K-Cups and Nespresso original capsules (it does not fit the Vertuo line capsules). The K-Cup opening also fits reusable pods, so you can still brew a cup from your favorite coffee grounds. There are two separate openings for K-Cups and Nespresso pods, and it’s easy and efficient to brew a cup of coffee one minute then immediately switch to brewing espresso.

Multiple Size Options Offers Variety

Most people can agree that when you’re in charge of the amount of grounds and water going into your pot, you can better control the flavor and strength of your cup. While that is harder to achieve with a single-brew machine, the Instant Pod can brew a variety of sizes, so you still feel like you’re getting that custom cup you desire. When brewing espresso, you can choose a two-ounce, four-ounce or six-ounce pour, and, when brewing K-Cups, you have the option of eight ounces, 10 ounces or 12 ounces. I found that I preferred to brew on the smaller-ounce side, ensuring a stronger and bolder coffee with a little creamer or milk.

Taste Holds Up Against Other Machines

I also own a Nespresso CitiZ espresso machine, so I felt confident in my ability to compare the machines taste-wise. While I rarely find myself enjoying a cup of coffee brewed from a single-brew machine, I do personally feel like they are the best way to enjoy an accessible shot of espresso. Compared to my Nespresso machine, the flavor from the espresso on the Instant Pod was equally robust. The shot came out creamy and coated in a rich crema. I tasted the espresso both on its own and in an iced latte with almond milk and was pleased with both.

Who Should Buy This?

Now that we’ve tested out this machine, the original impression of a versatile coffee machine certainly holds true. Much like any single-brew coffee machine, this is perfect for anyone who prefers brewing in smaller batches or is regularly taking their morning cup on-the-go. The Instant Pod is currently sold on Amazon for $174.99, which is significantly cheaper than most semi-automatic espresso machines and around the cost for many Nespresso machines. Plus, since the Instant Pod can do the work of both a Keurig and a Nespresso, it’s perfect for anyone who wants the functionality of both devices but might not have the counter space.

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