The Grind One Pod machine is a stylish and simple-to-use, single-serve coffee maker. It produces smooth, rich espresso with a thick crema quickly, and lets you customise the volume of coffee dispensed. However, it’s expensive, bulky and, for those who prefer longer milk-based hot drinks, requires the purchase of an additional milk frother.
Produces smooth, rich espresso
Purs two quantities of coffee
Simple to use
No way to texturize milk
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When it comes to single-serve coffee machines, Nespresso is usually the first name that springs to mind. The brand offers a range of pod coffee makers, and a plethora of capsules that allow you to create a coffee to suit your tastes. However, Nespresso isn’t the only company offering coffee makers that can brew coffee from its capsules.
Grind is a London-based coffee shop brand and roaster that’s been around for more than a decade. In 2018, it launched compostable Nespresso-compatible capsules to enable coffee-lovers to enjoy their coffee fix without contributing to the estimated seven billion coffee capsules that end up in landfill every year. Now, the brand follows this up with its own single-serve coffee machine.
Made from stainless steel, the Grind One Pod machine is a stylish pod coffee machine, which Grind states is far more hard-wearing than the plastic single-serve machines we’re used to seeing, ensuring it doesn’t end up in landfill within a couple of years.
It works in the way you’d expect, piercing the coffee capsule and, with 19-bar of pressure, pushing hot water from a 1.2-litre tank through the grounds to create a rich, smooth espresso. Once the coffee has been brewed, the capsule is ejected into a container that slides out of the machine for emptying into a compost bin.
With the Grind One Pod machine it’s even possible to adjust the volume of coffee dispensed, to ensure you can create your perfect coffee with far less mess and input than is involved with an espresso machine.
At £275, the Grind One Pod machine is expensive. However, for those who want a stylish single-serve coffee maker, which produces smooth espresso quickly, it’s worth the investment.
Grind One Pod machine price and availability
- RRP: £275
The Grind One Pod machine costs £275 and is available only from Grind directly. This price makes it more expensive than any Nespresso-branded pod machine that doesn’t come with a built-in steam wand or milk carafe for making longer coffee-based drinks on the market right now. It’s also available in a bundle with a milk frother for £325.
As we’ve already mentioned, the Grind One Pod machine can be used with Grind’s compostable coffee capsules, priced from 50p per capsule, depending upon the number bought. Nespresso capsules cost anywhere between 36p and 60p per cup, depending upon the variety selected.
- 1.2-litre water tank
- 19-bar pressure
- Bulky design
The Grind One Pod machine is bulkier than many Nespresso-branded coffee makers, measuring 25.9 x 18.6 x 33.6cm (h x w x d) and weighing in at 4.31kg. It's also one of the most stylish single-serve coffee machines we’ve tested, with sleek lines and a high-shine finish – although we did find this was prone to fingerprint marks.
It features a 1.2-litre water tank, which is positioned at the rear of the machine, with a hinged-lid to make it easy to fill. On the top of the machine sits a coffee pod inlet, while on the right-hand side is a lever, which, when pulled, will close the inlet and puncture the capsule ready for pressurised water to be pushed through the coffee inside the capsule. Offering 19-bar of pressure, Grind’s coffee machine is more powerful than most Nespresso-branded machines.
An on/off switch can be found on the front of the machine to the left of the spout, while to the right sit buttons, surrounded by an LED ring, for making both a standard espresso shot (40ml) and a longer coffee of 100ml. The drip tray is adjustable and can accomodate coffee cups up to 11cm in height. However, this must be removed for emptying the waste pod container, which can hold up to 20 capsules.
- Produces rich espresso with thick crema
- Simple to use
- Customisable volumes
The Grind One Pod machine proved extremely simple to use, creating a smooth, rich espresso with minimal mess. All we had to do was drop a coffee pod into the slot, pull down the lever, then select the button corresponding to the volume of coffee we wanted to dispense.
During testing, it took 20 seconds to brew a single espresso and 35 seconds for a longer 100ml coffee – although the machine does take 35 seconds to heat up after switching on. The two coffee volume buttons flash during heat-up, and then turn solid once the machine is ready to start brewing.
The resulting espresso had a thick crema, which reformed when a teaspoon of sugar was sprinkled on the top, and was delivered at a temperature of 63ºC, which is acceptable for a cup of coffee. The temperature did rise to 71ºC when we ran a brew cycle without a capsule in first (this is something Grind recommends to prepare the machine). We were also pleased to find that there was minimal splashing when the coffee was poured.
Used coffee capsules aren’t automatically ejected into the container; you need to lift the lever for this to happen. In fact, Grind recommends that the lever should remain in the upright position when the machine isn’t in use, which means the pod inlet isn’t protected from dust and debris.
We also found it was possible to customise the volume of coffee dispensed, by holding the brewing button for the relevant coffee volume for the perfect quantity. This volume is then stored in the coffee machine’s memory, unless reset.
However, unlike Nespresso’s more affordable single-serve coffee machines, there’s no way to texturize milk with this coffee maker. Instead, you’ll need to invest in a milk frother for making milk-based coffees such as cappuccino.
When it came to noise levels, our decibel meter registered 62dB during the brewing process, which is equivalent to background chatter in an office. It’s the sound level we’d expect from a single-serve coffee machine.
Should I buy the Grind One Pod machine?
Buy it if...
You want a machine that’s built to last
Made from stainless steel and coming with a two-year guarantee, this coffee maker is less likely to end up in landfill following a few years of use, unlike its plastic counterparts.
You want the ability to customise the volume of coffee
Unlike many pod coffee machines, the Grind One Pod lets you tweak the volume of coffee dispensed during the brewing process, making it a good choice for those who want to try their hand at playing barista.
You value stylish design
This is a good-looking coffee machine that will add a touch of style to any home.
Don't buy it if...
You’re on a budget
As we’ve already mentioned, at £275 this is one of the more expensive Nespresso pod-compatible machines on the market (if you don’t want milk texturizing ability). If you’re on a tight budget, look elsewhere.
You prefer milk-based coffee
Unfortunately, the Grind One Pod machine doesn’t come with a built-in way to texturize milk (although Grind does offer its own milk frother) for making milk-based drinks. For those, consider a model such as the Nespresso Latissima One or the Nespresso Creatista Uno instead, which don’t require additional appliances to create milk-based hot drinks.
You’re tight on space
Bulkier than many Nespresso-branded coffee machines, the Grind One Pod isn’t a good option if you’re tight on space.
First reviewed: March 2022
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Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.