Introduction: Ghetto Coffee Pod

You need to meet a tight deadline, and you realize you're out of *espresso pods?

Or you desperately need some coffee, and you're stuck at a friend's house with a Nespresso machine, sans pods (because your friend forgot to stock up)?

You don't support not recyclable coffee pods?

You live in some far away country and don't have easy access to de luxe coffee pods (say, Cuba, or Syria)?

Don't despair, I give you "the ghetto coffee pod".

All you need is a used pod, preferably made from plastic as it will withstand manipulations. And some decent quality ground coffee.

Step 1: Get a Used Pod

Get your hands on a used pod.

Peel away the tin foil cover, rinse away the used coffee.

Warning: this will probably void your warranty. But, hey, you live in the ghetto, right?

Now, get some fresh coffee.

Step 2: Fill Your Used Pod With Ground Coffee

Fill your used pod with ground coffee.

CAUTION: do not fill it up, or water will not be able to flow through the pod. Nespresso machines have tiny compressors that were not meant to give you the full 18 bars of pressure you would need.

Fill your pod to around half or 2/3 of the way.

Use something broad (knife handle or whatever is lying around in your kitchen) and press lightly to gently pack the coffee powder in the pod.

CAUTION: no need to overdo this since your coffee machine won't be able to deliver enough pressure to take the water through densely packed coffee powder. Besides, if you're using a metal used pod, you might damage the pod if using too much strength.

Step 3: Cover Your Pod With Tin Foil

Now, all you need to do is get some tin foil on the opening, so that the ground coffee doesn't spill. I'm using standard issue tin foil here, but you might use the heavier kind (BBQ tin foil).

Just make sure everything is reasonably sealed.

Once this is done, just place your pod normally inside the machine.

Press the handle till you hear the tell-tale "crunching" sound.

Step 4: Enjoy

Now, use your ghetto coffee pod as you would a brand new one: press the lever, watch the espuma form, and...


You can probably re-use your ghetto pods till the end of time (plastic is durable, after all), using different types of coffee (Sidamo Moka is among my favorite, can't get this one at the Nespresso shop, right?). You can even get creative: for example mix a bit of ground cinnamon or cardamom to the ground coffee, or a tiny bit of cocoa powder (caution: too much cocoa will clog the pod, possibly damaging your coffee machine), or vanilla. Or mixing different types of coffee to get the best out your coffee experience. With the ghetto pod, you'll be able to use organic or local coffee brands, environmentally friendly decaffeineted brands, etc.