Style, simplicity, sustainability, and seriously good coffee – the Grind One Pod Machine ticks all the boxes

Espresso machine aesthetics meets capsule convenience in Grind's One Pod. Can it live up to its impressive credentials though?

Grind One Pod Machine on a countertop with pods, a cup of coffee, and a milk frother around it
(Image credit: Grind)
Homes & Gardens Verdict

If you're looking for easy capsule coffee, look no further than the Grind One. The polished stainless steel exterior evokes professional, Italian espresso machines, but it comes with all the convenience of a speedy single-serve machine. It's just a little high maintenance.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Stylish design

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    Small footprint

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    Durable build-quality

  • +

    Compatible with Nespresso original pods

  • +

    B-Corp certified

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Limited functions

  • -

    High maintenance exterior

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    More expensive

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The Grind One has probably caught your eye before. The shiny, boxy, stainless steel exterior isn't quite like any other single-serve coffee makers. That's because the Grind isn't quite like any other pod coffee maker.

Two coffee-roasting geeks – London's Grind and Stockholm's Sjöstrand – teamed up to bring this single-serve coffee maker to the market. Grind says 'it is built as an antidote to mass-market. plastic machines which are designed for landfill.' That's exactly what it is: B-Corp certified, compatible with the brand's compostable pods, and crafted to last for a lifetime.

I've tested some of the best single-serve coffee makers on the market, so was keen to put the Grind One through its paces. The stainless steel exterior, lever, and drip tray are evocative of Italian espresso machines, so I was hoping to taste some specialty coffee. I wasn't disappointed.


Grind One Pod Machine

(Image credit: Grind)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Dimensions6.5 x 10.2 x 13.2 inches
MaterialStainless steel
Water reservoir capacity40.6 oz
Compatible withNespresso original pods, own brand pods
Pump pressure19 bar


Grind One Pod Machine on the countertop with packaging around it

(Image credit: Future)

I really enjoyed unboxing this coffee maker, which I can promise you is not a line that I say often. The pink box and compostable cardboard just feel good to open up. They look beautiful (very social media friendly) and they're easy to dispose of. You're winning on all fronts.

Once I'd peeled off a couple of stickers, I put the machine on the countertop and took a step back. It's beautiful in a very commercial-industrial way. The boxy silhouette and shiny stainless steel exterior is reminiscent of professional espresso machines. However, the Grind One differs from proper espresso machines because it doesn't demand too much countertop space.

Who would it suit?

Grind One Pod Machine in front of a box

(Image credit: Future)

Within the single-serve category, the Grind One has a broad appeal. The boxy stainless steel design is the opposite of sleek Nespresso machines. It would look great in a vintage or very modern, stainless steel kitchen. I have a small, classic urban apartment and it looks great on my countertop too.

I've already gushed over the B-Corp, compostable credentials, but I'll underline them again. Plenty of single-serve machines now have recyclable capsules, but these can be time-consuming to dispose of properly. Grind's compostable capsules can go in the food waste, whilst looking cute and delivering delicious flavors. You can still use Nespresso's original line pods (big win for families with lots of different coffee preferences), but it's nice not to be limited to them.

The only downside of the Grind One is that it doesn't come with a milk frother. If you don't drink many cappuccinos or lattes, you won't miss this feature. In fact, it makes the coffee maker even smaller. However, if you do, you'll need to take a look at our buying guide for the best milk frothers and accept that you're going to need to spend a little more money.

What is it like to use?

Grind One Pod Machine side profile in front of a box

(Image credit: Future)

Single-serve coffee is popular for its sheer simplicity and Grind doesn't miss the mark. Once you've flicked an analog switch, which turns the machine on, it will warm up in just eight seconds.

You'll also need to pour filtered water into the reservoir, but this is simple. There's a discreet handle inside the reservoir, which makes it easy to carry. There's a neat lid that holds your reservoir in place on the machine too.

Before brewing I ran a rinse cycle and was told by the instructions to 'de-air' the machine. All this requires is for you to lift and press back the lever. It takes a matter of minutes and the step-by-step instructions walk you through the whole process.

Test 1: espresso

Grind One Pod Machine making an espresso

(Image credit: Future)

On the front of your machine, there are two buttons. One for an espresso (1.35 oz) and one for a lungo (3.4 oz). I used Grind's own, compostable, dark roast pods to make my first espresso – it was nothing short of perfect.

It only took 18 seconds to brew a delicious shot of espresso. I could see a nice, thick crema on top of my shot, which is rare on single-serve machines (Nespresso's are artificial). I checked the temperature and this was another flawless result from Grind's One: it was 190 degrees, exactly 1.35 oz and made with next-to-no noise. The machine made no more noise than an oven would.

I thought my cup of coffee had a slightly earthier smell than normal coffee, so I wasn't sure how this would translate tase-wise. In short, it didn't. My espresso actually tasted much smoother and sweeter than I was expecting. I wondered whether the unusual smell was the compostable capsules. It was only slight (I have a very sensitive sense of smell), but it is worth flagging as nothing to worry about if you are like me.

Test 2: lungo

Grind One Pod Machine lungo

(Image credit: Future)

Testing the longer, lungo section was more of the same story as the espresso. I brewed a flavorful, fresh cup of coffee in just 24 seconds. It was hotter than the espresso at 195 degrees, but still delicious and very drinkable. There were some really strong, chocolatey, nutty notes. 

My only concern with this part of the process is that the quantities are completely machine-determined. You could press the lever down and select the Lungo button, but I don't think this is official, so it could do funny things to the machine. Your best bet is to use a kettle or hot water tap, which might sound like too much work for your morning Americano.

Test 3: extra features

Grind One Pod Machine with a travel cup underneath

(Image credit: Future)

The espresso and lungo really are the limits of the Grind One. However, I wanted to mention a few more features and design functions. First, the adjustable drip tray can get your espresso shot really close to the brew head. Conversely, removing the drip tray gave me enough room for my tall travel cup to fit underneath. I have lost count of the number of single-serve coffee makers that don't fit tall or travel cups, but the Grind is adjustable and yet the drip tray still feels durable. I had no concerns putting my favorite — but very delicate and very wide — mug on the drip tray without a cautionary hand.

I also wanted to see how the Grind's espresso tasted with textured milk. I use the Illy milk frother (available at Amazon) to make some cappuccino foam. The already smooth and sweet shot of coffee only got sweeter in my cappuccino oat milk. It was a delicious blend and a real testament to the quality of the Grind One machine's extraction.

Cleaning, storage, and maintenance

Grind One Pod Machine pod bin

(Image credit: Future)

Stainless steel, by nature is relatively high-maintenance, especially around coffee. My hot tip which came out of testing this is to keep a microfiber cloth (available at Walmart) nearby. You can polish out any splashes and keep your machine shining if you stay on top of the daily messes.

If you forget to lift the lever and dispense your pod into the pod bin, you'll find that the machine drips a little. This is all caught and contained in the drip tray, so doesn't create much of a problem. However, it's best practice to keep on top of where your pods are. Empty the pod bin regularly too. 

Aside from regular rinsing and standard deep cleans of the drip tray and pod bin, there's very little you need to do to keep the machine running smoothly. 

How does it rate online?

Grind One Pod Machine top

After only a few coffees, you can see that the top has some splashes and marks on top. That's why some people say that this is high maintenance.

(Image credit: Future)

There's a lot of love for the Grind One online, especially amongst those who normally enjoy specialty coffee, but who are looking for a quicker way to make coffee. Almost everyone commented on the mini-espresso-machine aesthetic, which features cup warmer rails, a lever, and drip tray.

People generally loved the boxy design for being stackable and space-efficient. Although the top looks like a cup warmer, it's actually well-insulated, protecting against any excess heat. Most people put their cups on top anyway, but it's good to know that you have some versatility in what you can store on your coffee maker. 

People all commented on how much quieter this is than most other single-serve machines. The sum of all the reviews is, that good things come in small packages. 

The criticisms were exactly as I would have expected: this can't texture milk and the stainless steel is high maintenance. Some people felt that it was expensive for a simple machine, but it's built to last, rather than end up in landfill, so I think this really reflects the build quality more than anything else. 

It's also worth noting that this doesn't have an auto-shut-off. There's an energy-saving mode, but most people were confused over whether the lack of auto shut-off is good or bad. It means your machine will always be ready to go, but it might be nice to have such features integrated into newer models.

How does it compare?

Grind One Pod Machine's compostable pods

(Image credit: Future)

If you're looking at investing in a quality single-serve coffee maker, you have some options. The first is a Nespresso Creatista (available at QVC). This has a similar, espresso machine aesthetic. It's shiny and made from stainless steel, but the Nespresso also comes with a steam wand for texturing milk (and it does a great job of it too). 

The compromise you make with the Nespresso is twofold. Firstly, it's eye-wateringly expensive. I'd need to buy one in the sale to justify it to myself. Secondly, it's only compatible with Nespresso Vertuo pods. These come in thirty different flavors, so you won't be short on options, but you are tied to the brand's expensive line without the option of switching to Grind's neat, compostable pods.

If you like the eco-credentials of the Grind and you're not fussed about the milk frother, I'd recommend looking at Cuisinart's Grind and Brew coffee maker (available at Amazon). This simple machine grinds fresh coffee into reusable capsules. Then you use these to brew black, filter-style coffee. The freshly ground beans mean that your coffee tastes strong and bold. However, it's not the espresso-style coffee that you'll find with Grind. The coffee is more like a rich drip coffee maker's. It's great and the Cuisinart is cheaper, fresher, and comes with reusable pods, but it's no expert in espressos.

Should you buy it?

Grind One Pod Machine on the table

(Image credit: Future)

If you like specialty coffee, both for flavors and aesthetics, you'll love Grind's machine. Even as a former barista and self-confessed coffee snob, I'm in love with it. 

The style and brewing quality are both exceptional, so you won't be disappointed with your single-serve coffees. However, if I didn't already own a milk frother, I don't know whether I'd be feeling the same way.

How we test

A Morning Coffee Maker lined up next to a Nespresso Latissima One, a Nespresso Vertuo Pop, and a Nespresso Vertuo Next

(Image credit: Future / Alex David)

At Homes & Gardens, we are meticulous in how we test our coffee makers. Before calling one in, we do our research, checking the credentials and reputation of every brand to make sure that they can stand up to the models that we already know and love.

Once we have our hands on a coffee maker we have a standardized series of tests that we follow. We ask our coffee makers to first make an espresso. This tests the basics of the machine, looking at flavors, speed, temperature, and quality extraction. A good machine should take between 20 and 30 seconds to brew an espresso to 190-205 degrees. If we can see a crema on top, we know the machine has done a good job.

We'll also test the machine on how well it makes an Americano or lungo. This evaluates how well the machine manages hot water. If the machine brews boiling water onto an espresso, it will scald and burn it. If it's too cold, it will cool the coffee too quickly and make it sour. 

 Normally, we would also do a test on cappuccinos or lattes, but the Grind didn't have a milk frother. 

After brewing, we do a full clean up, so we can identify any quirks that might pop up when you're maintaining your machine. We'll also let you know what we think of the machine's aesthetics, footprint, and value for money. 

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.