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To understand the difference between ESE pods, coffee bags, and instant coffee, we must first understand the three separately. We have explained ESE pods in detail in our article “Best ESE Coffee Pods 2022 And Which Machines to Use Them with“, let us know about coffee bags and instant coffee.

What is a Coffee Bag?

The first coffee bags used for coffee grounds in France in 1720 were introduced in Britain (in London by Bryan Donkin and John Hall) in 1813 and the US (In New York by Lewis Osborn ) in 1860. But now, coffee bags have become much more popular in the UK and US over the years. And now you can find them in most supermarkets all over the world.

A Coffee Bag is a heat-sealed material (paper, cornstarch-based products, and degradable spun-bound non-woven fabric).

Each coffee bag contains roasted and ground coffee. The coffee’s high quality and freshness depend on how well the manufacturer packs the coffee inside the coffee bag. Has it packaged a single-origin coffee or a blend? How long before the coffee beans are roasted and ground in the coffee bag. And most of all, how long has it been packing coffee grounds in this coffee bag? That is, how old is this coffee bag?

Benefits of Single Serve Coffee Bags

Coffee bags give you the convenience that instant coffee provides but a thousand times better.

Coffee bags are an excellent choice for those addicted to coffee who can’t adjust to instant coffee.

Using coffee bags can give you a taste of real coffee without the hassle of using all the gadgets of coffee brewing methods.

How to Brew Coffee Grounds Wrapped in Coffee Bags?

You put your coffee bag in your empty coffee mug, off boil water in a pan, pour four tablespoons of off boiled water on the top of the coffee bag in your cup, let it bloom for 30 seconds, then fill your mug with off boiled water, let it steep for 2 minutes.

Your drink is ready. You can add milk, cream, or other ingredients to your beverage. 

Stir it up and enjoy.

What Is The Difference Between Tea Bags and Single Serve Coffee Bags?

Coffee bags and tea bags, however, look the same and have the same cover. Some people say that using coffee bags and tea bags is the same, but I have noticed a big difference in the ways of using both.

When using a teabag, you steep the tea; in contrast, you bloom coffee beans for the first 30 seconds using a coffee bag. When they bloom, then you soak them for 2 minutes. The water temperature in black tea is 208 ° – 212 °F while in coffee, it is 195 ° – 205°F. You can use a teabag more than once as long as it affects you. On the contrary, you can use a coffee bag only once.

Yes, you can say that instant coffee is made like instant tea; both have similar packaging bags. You can make coffee by dipping an instant coffee bag filled with dehydrated coffee granules in hot boiling water like instant tea.

What Is The Difference Between ESE Coffee Pods And Single Serve Coffee Bags?

Coffee bags and ESE pods have a lot in common, and in many ways, they are very different. The things that coffee bags and ESE pods have in common are:

In both cases, there are coffee grounds. In both, the coffee is first roasted, then finely ground, then packaged. Precautions are taken before packing so that coffee grounds are not damaged for a long time.

The most significant difference between coffee bags, coffee pods and ESE pods is that they are made for different methods. ESE pods or coffee pods are made to make espresso by inserting them into espresso machines.

On the other hand, coffee bags are introduced because it’s not easy for you to make coffee when you’re in a hurry or out. When using coffee bags, you don’t need fancy drinking equipment or clean dirt. It’s just an easy way to prepare the perfect coffee with a coffee bag.

Since coffee grounds in the coffee bags are finely ground, you can’t use them to make Cold brew, French press, Moka pot, percolator, and any of these hand-brewed coffees, because these coffee brewing methods require coarse ground size coffee grounds. If you try to make Cold Brew, French Press, or similar hand brewing method coffees using coffee bags, it will become a drink, but it will not be a pleasure to brew it properly. 

If you put a coffee bag in the espresso machine, the machine will not accept it, and there is a risk of the appliance breaking down.

If you open the ESE coffee pods and try to use Cold brew or a French press or any coffee by hand brew method, your coffee will not be proper because the coffee grounds in the ESE pods are finely ground and Cold brew and French press require a coarsely ground coffee grounds.

But if your espresso machine breaks down and you like Turkish coffee at home, you can open the ESE pods and put them in a Turkish kettle to make coffee because it also needs finely ground coffee as well as espresso. 

What is Instant Coffee?

Instant coffee is made by spray dry or frozen dry and is the cheapest form of coffee available on the market.

Since instant coffee came on the market, it has been a controversial choice for coffee lovers, as many people consider it a fake or weak coffee. And I think they are partly right.

Because its quality is often lacking, we have become so accustomed to drinking that it is difficult to break this habit for life.

People in the UK and US have become so accustomed to drinking instant coffee that their bags are never empty of instant coffee.

What is the difference between instant coffee bags and ESE coffee pods?

ESE coffee pods are better than instant coffee because ESE pods are filled with coffee grounds made by grinding whole coffee beans. And after grinding them, they are not brewed before packaging into ESE pods.

In contrast, in instant coffee processing, the coffee is first brewed, then the water is dried with a frozen dry or spray dry method so that all the water is expelled and granules are left behind in the form of crystals. They are packaged in bags and delivered to you in the form of instant coffee bags. When you add hot water to these coffee granules, they become instant coffee drinks.

Health Benefits and Disadvantages of Instant Coffee 

Since freshly roasted coffee beans are ground and packaged inside ESE coffee pods and coffee bags, the drinks made from them contain all the health benefits that have been proven by research on coffee drinks to date.

On the other hand, instant coffee is a chemical composition that contains more acrylamide than regular coffee. It is a potentially harmful chemical that is formed when roasting coffee beans. Although, studies have shown that the amount of acrylamide in instant coffee is less than the dangerous amount. However, it should be taken with caution as high-level acrylamide usage can damage the nervous system. Acrylamide also has the potential to increase the risk of cancer in the event of overuse.

Single Serve Coffee Bags VS Instant Coffee

A coffee bag is freshly roasted coffee beans ground and packed in coffee bags with precautions so that the effects of the weather do not damage them. Since it was ground and packaged several months ago, it does not taste like fresh coffee. 

The real competition of coffee bags is with instant coffee. It can be beneficial when you want to enjoy a better quality of coffee than instant coffee without using a coffee machine. One of the benefits of coffee bags is that you can keep them in your purse or bag at all times, so they’re great to use outdoors, perhaps at work or at events or camping. Or when you go to your friend’s house, and his coffee machine using ESE pods breaks down.

Their price is also reasonable and depends on the quality of the coffee you want to drink. You can expect to pay between 10p – 30p per bag in the UK and 25¢ to 50¢ in the US, so it can cost you much cheaper than 3£ or 3$ plus coffee in coffee shops. 

Although coffee made with coffee bags may not give you the taste you can get from espresso, latte, cappuccino, or frappuccino using ESE coffee pods in an espresso machine, since it is a natural coffee, it is a thousand times better than spray dried or frozen, dried instant coffee.

Mainly, instant coffee contains the lowest quality coffee beans, so it substantially affects the taste. You will notice a clear difference in the taste and flavor of both coffees.

Can I Use ESE Pods As I Use Single Serve Coffee Bags to Make Coffee?

My answer is, if you use ESE pods to brew coffee, as you use coffee bags, it will become a coffee drinker, but it will not be of a quality that will satisfy your mind.

It is less worthy for ESE pods to buy such an expensive coffee pod, throw it in a cup, pour hot water over the cup, and drink. Such a drink made with an ESE pod will give you a very bitter taste, even if you do because it’s strong enough. An ESE pod only makes espresso and espresso-based beverages such as latte cappuccino and frappuccino in espresso machines. 


If you have to meet your caffeine needs, you can get coffee pods, ESE pods, instant coffee, or coffee bags from anyone. It all depends on your taste preferences and the occasion. If you are traveling or camping, you will choose one of the instant coffee or coffee bags. Conversely, if you are at home, coffee pods or ESE pods are the best options for you, depending on the compatibility of your coffee machine.

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