Shoreditch-based coffee brand Grind is known for its striking pink branding and coffee subscription services. We put its machine to the test in this Grind One Pod coffee machine review. With a sleek and simple design that's inspired by the professional, no-nonsense coffee machines you'll find in a café, it has the kind of design that won't age out in a few years.
The machine is designed to be 'an antidote to the mass-market plastic machines that seem destined for landfill', made in Stockholm in a partnership with Sjöstrand. The sustainability-minded might suspect that a pod coffee machine could never be one of the best coffee machines to buy when it comes to being eco-friendly. Its Nespresso-compatible pods claim to be free of plastics and fully compostable, delivery is carbon-positive, and the coffee itself is organic and ethically sourced. Music to our ears!
It's an expensive choice when compared to other pod coffee machines we've tested, but the Grind One Pod coffee machine is a suitable option for those who don't want to lose the convenience of pod machines but also care about reducing their plastic consumption. It's also a brilliant small coffee maker if countertop space is a premium in your home.
- Type: pod coffee machine
- Pressure: 19 bar
- Capacity: 1.2 ltr water tank
- Dimensions: 39.2 x 30.4 x 22.4 cm
Setting up the Grind One Pod coffee machine
The Grind One Pod coffee machine arrived in a very on-brand pink box, and assembly was very easy. All I needed to do was insert the drip tray, which latches onto some notches alongside the waste bin for adjustable height, and fill up the water tank.
Before using the Grind One Pod coffee machine you need to run six glasses of water through the machine to flush out the inner workings. I was ready to go within 20 minutes.
The machine is powered by airplane-style toggle switches which are backlit to add a slightly elevated user experience. When switched on, the light below will illuminate, and the two coffee presets will flash until the machine is warmed up.
The Grind One Pod coffee machine can be bought with a tin of refillable coffee pods, and a milk frother, or bought alone. When bought alone, the machine cost £275 at time of writing, and the added extras will cost a total of £350.
I tried it with the extras, and unless you really like black americano, I would suggest pairing the machine the Grind brand one, which is perfectly suitable and looks the part when placed next to the machine.
The frother has only one setting, but I found that it was easy to clean and because it has two frothing attachments, you can use it to simply warm milk or to froth it up for cappuccino or macchiatos.
How to use the Grind coffee machine
To use the machine, switch it on and let it warm up. You'll need to lift the lever and slot your pod in, and then pull the lever down to lock it into place. It's a satisfying motion, but you need to leave the lever down between uses, or something could fall down the pod holder.
While there are two lengths of coffee: a short espresso, or a lungo, you can press down either button to elongate the preset and replicate this every time you press that button. If you love an americano, this will be a blessing, and it's not something you'll find with every coffee machine. That said, many pod coffee machines such as the Lavazza A Modo Mio Idola coffee machine, do come with more coffee settings as standard, including modes to adjust the temperature.
Grind sent me their house blend, which has very drinkable notes of chocolate and hazelnut, and the pods are all Nespresso-compatible. The light blend is designed to be enjoyed in long americanos and espressos, and the dark blend is punchier.
I suspect the dark blend would've been more to my liking because I like my coffees very strong, but because there is a range of pods to choose from with a Grind subscription, you can try a variety until you find your favourite.
Making milky coffee in the Grind One
Making my perfect coffee was very straightforward with the Grind machine. It's easy to add the perfect amount of milk and the entire process takes less than two one from start to finish.
I do have a few gripes: for a start, the waste bin handle meant that there wasn't room for my mug to fit neatly under the dispenser, even when the drip tray was on the lowest level. The handle juts out and caused my coffee cup to stick over the edge of the drip tray slightly.
Another issue is the drip tray itself. The Grind One Pod coffee machine has notches alongside the bin, but you need to remove the drip tray to empty the bin, and there is no lower setting to put a seriously hefty or long mug underneath it. Both are small and very forgivable issues, and not enough to deter me from enjoying the machine.
Cleaning the Grind One Pod coffee machine
Made of stainless steel, the Grind One Pod coffee machine marks easily. I had it placed next to my hob which didn't help, so it got a little splattered and needed regular wiping down. Watermarks are left quite easily, but I buffed them away with a microfibre cloth.
The removable parts are very easy to clean thanks to the unfussy design. The drip tray and bin are easy to clean by hand and the water dispenser is easy to remove.
Should you buy the Grind One Pod coffee machine?
The style is an undeniable part of the appeal of the Grind One Pod coffee machine. It has a fashionable brand behind it, too, so while the design is high-quality I do suspect you pay for the name when buying this coffee machine.
That said, the Grind One Pod coffee machine is a refreshing step for pod coffee machines, and unlike many plastic alternatives, it's designed to be an investment that will last for years and years, as proven by its two-year warranty.
I enjoyed the adjustable coffee presets and the compact footprint was perfectly suited to my London kitchen. If you do want to invest in a pod coffee machine and pair it with one of Grind's pod subscriptions, it is a good choice.
About this review, and our reviewer
Millie Fender is an ecommerce editor at Real Homes, specializing in small appliances and all things cooking. She loves putting new products to the test, whether they're air fryers, blenders, or even pizza ovens, and her family and friends love eating the results.
Millie has a constant stream of new products waiting to be reviewed in her kitchen. It's a little snug, so if she thinks anything deserves to stay there, you know it's something special.
The Grind One Pod coffee machine was sent to Millie by Grind, and she tested it for two weeks before returning it to them.