How To Use Coffee Pods Without A Machine (DIY Brewing)

Find yourself without a coffee machine or espresso maker and a stack of coffee pods? Thinking of throwing them away? Well, don't! 

You can use those pods to make a great cup of coffee even without a machine. However, the brewing method takes a bit more work, so you've got to get it right. 

Don't worry though, because in just a few minutes we'll show you exactly how to use those pods without coffee machines and help you get a delicious mug of coffee to start your day right. 

A coffee pod is a round capsule filled with coffee grounds used to make a cup of coffee. 

They're placed into a coffee maker and used to brew coffee.

Many of these pods or capsules even contain their own coffee filter, removing the need for anything else, and they are compostable so they're environmentally friendly. 

Your average compostable coffee capsule will hold about 7 grams of coffee grounds between two pieces of paper (to keep them safe).

You can get some caffeine free pods, like a hot chocolate pod, but they're typically used for coffee.

They work quickly in your coffee maker and can be disposed of without any mess - perfect for a coffee in a hurry. 

Can You Drink Coffee Pods Without A Machine?

Yes, you can use your pods or coffee capsules without a coffee machine! 

The pods are just coffee grounds surrounded by paper or plastic.

Typically, the coffee maker will pass hot water through the ground coffee to make your brew, but you can just use the capsule directly in your coffee mug and apply hot water manually. 

Of course, this 'DIY brewing' will take a little more work. It's very similar to using a tea bag, and you'll have to steep this 'coffee bag' in hot water to create a tasty cup of coffee. 

The good news is this method allows you to get a great cup of coffee without having to worry about purchasing an expensive machine.  

How To Use Coffee Pods Without A Machine (DIY Brewing)

Benefits Of Using Coffee Pods When Brewing Coffee 

You're probably already wondering why you would use a pod or capsule as a coffee bag without a machine instead of just using instant, French press, or drip coffee. 

Well, there are a few advantages to using coffee capsules without a machine: 

Coffee Pods Make Exquisite Coffee Without The Need For Specialist Barista Training 

Coffee capsules or pods are usually great quality, often better than your regular finely ground coffee you use to brew coffee directly. 

Making coffee with Nespresso pods or other coffee capsules allows you to get all this good quality flavor without buying an expensive machine or going to your local coffee shop.   

Coffee Pods Stay Fresher For Longer 

Coffee capsules or pods help the coffee store better and stay fresh longer, giving you a better cup of coffee. 

The pods or capsules will have an expiration date, which is usually much longer than other forms of coffee.

This means you can purchase in bulk and use them as coffee bags to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee any time you need. 

Coffee Pods Mean Less Cleaning And Less Waste 

Using coffee capsules/pods as coffee bags is a great way to make coffee without any mess

The pods are small and don't create very much waste. You can use them like tea bags and just throw them away when you're done.

This means less cleaning and less time spent in the kitchen making your brew.

Coffee Pods Are Time-Efficient 

Coffee capsules/pods can save a lot of time. 

Just like with tea bags, it's all there for you. You don't need to use a measuring cup for the grounds going into your coffee cup, because it's all there in the plastic pod. 

Plus, brewing them straight from the pod takes a fraction of the time of brewing with other methods.

This can make them a great option when you are on the go and need a quick cup of coffee.  

coffee pods ready for use without machine

How To Use Coffee Pods Without A Machine (DIY Brewing) 

There are a lot of coffee makers which use pods.

This includes the Nespresso machine, Keurig, Cuisinart, and Hamilton coffee makers. 

They all use slightly different pods, and Keurig use their unique K-Cups.

Each K-Cup contains a single serving of coffee in a range of flavors.

If you have the machine to accompany your coffee capsule, espresso pods, or K-Cup then you can just go ahead and use them to create a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

However, if you don't then there's no need to panic, because you can use the K-Cups or coffee capsules without a machine.

Just follow these steps below:

pouring coffee with use of coffee pods
  • Weigh out the coffee pod, K-Cup, or espresso pod with a scale or look at the packaging to see the exact amount the coffee pod has inside. This will help you know the amount of boiling water that you will need.  
  • Add the coffee pod, or K-Cup into a coffee mug. This is similar to how you would place tea bags inside a mug.  
  • Calculate the amount of steaming hot water you will use. This can be different based on how strong or weak you like your coffee. A ratio of 1:17 is usually a good place to start. You can choose whether the water is warm or cold.  
  • Boil water and allow the coffee pod or K-Cup to steep for a few minutes. Watch the coffee here. If the pod tends to float towards the top, use your spoon to push it down to be fully submerged.  
  • After two minutes, taste the coffee to see how it is for you. If you want it stronger, put it back in, checking every two minutes to see if the coffee is just right.  
  • When the coffee tastes fine, take the pod out of the water and put in some of your chosen additives (if necessary) before enjoying your cup of coffee.  

This process for using coffee capsules without a machine can take a little longer to complete than using a coffee pod machine, but it provides options.  

You also have the choice of the type of water you would like to use, making hot or iced coffee any time of the day.  

Want to make more than one cup? Just put several coffee capsules in a French press coffee machine and top up with hot water.

This will take slightly longer, but you can pour it straight from the French press into each mug. 

Frequently Asked Coffee Pod Questions

What is the difference between coffee capsules and pods? 

Coffee pods and coffee capsules are often used interchangeably because they are so similar, but it's important to note that they are a little different.

A coffee pod will often be placed into a paper package, while the coffee capsule is going to use a plastic or aluminum package.

The pod is often considered safer because the paper will not have potentially dangerous chemicals found inside.  

Are coffee pods healthy? 

Coffee pods are going to have some of the same health benefits as brewed coffee. The biggest issue is the plastic that holds onto the coffee in the pod.

Make sure to go with a company that uses safe materials, and these coffee pods are perfectly safe for you to use.  

Can you use hot chocolate pods without a machine? 

It is possible to create hot chocolate from one of the pods without the machine. You would follow some of the same steps above.

Hot water will help the hot chocolate powder dissolve faster, so you can get that warm cup of joy you were craving. 


You don't have to own Nespresso machines, coffee makers, or espresso machines to use coffee pods.

In fact, using your coffee capsule like a tea bag is one of the quickest and easiest ways of making coffee at home. 

Just follow the steps we've given you in this article and you should be able to use your pods to make a delicious cup of coffee in no time at all.

Kayla Stavridis

Head of Marketing

Kayla Stavridis
Kayla Stavridis is a coffee enthusiast and Head of Marketing for Barista HQ. She blends her professional insights and experience with a deep passion for all things coffee. Kayla offers a unique, hands-on perspective on coffee culture and trends. You can find her sipping a cold brew with just a touch of milk on the beach in the afternoon and a Corona with lime in the evening.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... Cold Brew

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1 thought on “How To Use Coffee Pods Without A Machine (DIY Brewing)”

  1. How wonderful of you to give this dyi to people who don’t make 6 figures. To senors espresso machine challenged. 50 pods to use !
    Thank you for seeing us the ignored.

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