Welcome to the Pod Star barista academy for Espressotoria
To help you get the best out of reusable coffee pods we have put together a simple training guide. Once completed you too will be barista ready!
Before you start please download this handy PDF that you can print out and refer too as you make your first Pod Star. (Click Here)
Start your journey
Watch this video first
It's all about the coffee!
Freshness is the key
Having a reusable pod gives you freedom. You get to choose the coffee you drink and you control the freshness.
Single use pods are pre-packed, sealed in plastic and foil that could have been on a shelf for months. Fresh roasted coffee is ready to brew 4 days after it has been roasted and only stays fresh for a few weeks from roasting. The flavour deteriorates rapidly after 4 weeks.
It’s common to find single use coffee pods injected with Nitrogen gas to stop oxidation, but you will find if you open a pod it wont have the strong aroma of freshly roasted and ground beans.
Espressotoria pods hold 6.5 grams. Compare this with your cafe made, barista style coffee which uses 11 grams of coffee to get that richness.
Pod Star Espressotoria reusable pods hold 4.5 grams. Why you ask?
These pods have been designed to not let your machine pierce the steel capsule with its spikes. There is a ring at the back of the pod to avoid damage, resulting in slightly less coffee.
How many pods do I need?
The next step is simple maths. To get close to your cafe style coffee without paying cafe prices, you will need to use 2 x Espressotoria compatible pods per cup.
These stainless steel pods are hot when they have just been used. Not just in design but in temperature. So think of buying 4 pods if you make 2 coffees at a time, although it is easy enough to rinse the hot pods under cold water to empty and refill them for the second cup.
Pack and Go!
The Daily Grind
Coffee ground for reusable pods are normally fine to medium. Don’t be caught out by the pre-packed coffee in the supermarket aisle. They generally won’t work as the grind is too fine. But why does the grind matter? Because without the right grind your flow will be wrong for extracting all that goodness from your pod. You don't want fine grinds in your cup and you also don't want coffee that has been ground so coarsely that the water flows right through the grinds without stopping and seeping in the lovely coffee.
Get the grind right, buy coffee ground for use in reusable pods or buy a grinder. If you buy a coffee grinder you can finely tune the grind to get that flow just right and use any roasted beans you like. This is the freshest way to use a Pod Star that gives you the most freedom.
More information about grind size and where to buy coffee can be found here.
Think about how long water flows through compacted sand. If you put finely ground coffee in your pod the water has difficulty pushing through. Watch this video on the grind. You will see the coffee drip, drip, dripping out. Some machines just stop due to the water getting bogged in the pod and not flowing.
If the grind is too coarse the water flows too quickly which will give you a watery coffee.
The best coffee to start with is our Star Eco Coffee. It's freshly roasted, organic, Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance, and ground perfectly for reusable pods.
The amount of water coming through your machine when making a coffee is commonly known as “The Pour”.
This will need to be adjusted when making a coffee if you're using a reusable pod.
For a good strength coffee use two pods and the short pour button. As the water flows through, press the short pour button on your machine to start and then stop the flow halfway through by pressing the button again. Then load in the second pod and repeat the same process.If you do a full pour with just one pod you will notice the coffee colour changing, this is due to the fact that you have already extracted the goodness in the first part of the pour.
We recommend getting the strength right by using the short pour button only, and stopping the machine in the first strong part of the pour and using 2 reusable pods. Then if you want to add water for a long black, take all pods out of the machine and press the button so that just hot water pours into your cup to the level and strength you want.
Practice = Perfection!
It takes all types
Some people like milk, others like soy or maybe you're an espresso purist, but once you have understood and mastered the act of grinding, pouring and flow you will be a Pod Star barista. The best thing about being an expert is distilling this information upon your family and friends and showing them the joy of truly controlling your coffee.
So, grab some fresh coffee and begin your journey with Pod Star.
Pod Star have pod packs that include delicious eco coffee. They are great value for money. To get started, we recommend choosing one of the Pod Star packs with everything you need to start your journey to using reusable pods: Starter Pack, Family Pack, Barista Pack, Ultimate Pack.