Australians drink a lot of coffee. Whether it’s at home or at the local cafe, espresso is definitely big business here. One of the growing trends for home-based coffee machines is the meteoric rise of pod-based coffee machines. But are they good? Over the next few weeks, EFTM is going to find out.

As any good capitalist will tell you, competition is good for the industry, so it’s worth noting that there are three different pod-based solutions for Aussie coffee lovers. Nespresso is by far the largest, with a selection of different machines from DeLonghi (and others, but mostly DeLonghi) capable of using the Nespresso capsules, marquee Nespresso stores around the country and massive marketing campaigns. There’s little doubt that most Pod-based machines use Nespresso coffee. Given its model of requiring Nespresso users to register to actually purchase the coffee pods, it works out pretty well for Nespresso this way.

But Nespresso aren’t the only players. Italian coffee company Lavazza was one of the early pioneers of the pod-based systems, and have a few different machines available through its partnership with Philips Saeco. Given that Lavazza is a long-time Italian coffee company (you can buy their coffee at selected cafes and supermarkets around the country), some would argue that the coffee naturally tastes better than Nespresso, although taste is a pretty subjective classification.

The third player is a relative newcomer to the space, and has an interesting business model to try and make its mark. Map Coffee sells both the coffee and the machine, and partners with retailers to sell both. It thinks that by offering retailers the lucrative profits from the coffee side of the business, it will be able to stake a foothold in the competitive marketplace.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be testing some of the pod-based machines currently on the market, to find out if they’re any good. The quality of the coffee will certainly be judged, but mostly we’ll be looking at whether the machines make it worth investing in for the convenience – if you’re thinking about a pod-based coffee machine, chances are you want something incredibly simple to offer you a quality coffee at home. We’re going to find out whether any pod-based system is up to the challenge.

[EFTM Caffeination]