Decaffeinated Coffee Pod Problems
Whilst coffee pods are great in low volume sites and in particular for fresh ground decaffeinated coffee, they can be challenging to use when trying to make great coffee. Because the coffee is held in by paper a significant barrier is created for the water.
In fact the barrier is so significant that if you haven't got the right insert in your group handle the water will go around the pod rather than through it. We've had a couple of experiences of this lately and the immediate reaction is either the machine isn't functioning properly or the pods are no good. Both of these reactions proved to be incorrect.
Pods need to be held up tight to the group head to ensure that all the water is forced to go through the pod. This is achieved by having the correctly shaped insert in your group handle. The problem in the commercial market is that what works in one machine will not necessarily work in another. On the whole a flattened insert works in most machines, however it will be a case of trial and error. If you're using double pods, the depth of the double insert will be critical and once again there are different depths available.
If you're having to compromise, one little trick I've found helps is to slightly dampen the insert prior to inserting the pod. This causes the paper to stick slightly to the insert and thus makes it more difficult for the pressurised water to push the pod out of the way.
Don't despair pods are a good idea in the right environment and for the right reasons; it's well worth spending some time and effort selecting the correct inserts to deliver great coffee.