Podster FAQs | Podster Questions

Podster Warranty
Podster Warranty

Top Questions

1. Why The Podster?

As well as creating top-quality espresso, The Podster’s contemporary and sleek design makes it the perfect addition to any kitchen. Attention to detail gives it that extra edge — take, for instance, the engraved pod loader. Soft-touch buttons make it a dream to use, and a matte charcoal finish gives it that real je ne sais quoi.

What’s more, The Podster comes paired with a free Podcycler, so you can easily recycle your used coffee pods. However, you enjoy your coffee, make sure it’s cafe-worthy and environmentally conscious with The Podster. Here at Hotel Chocolat, we passionately believe that great coffee doesn’t have to be complicated.

GET TO KNOW YOUR PODSTER:

Podster Diagram

GETTING STARTED

To achieve optimum performance from your Podster follow this procedure for FIRST USE, or if you have not used your machine for a prolonged period. SAFETY INSTRUCTION: Never lift the lever whilst the beverage is being dispensed. Hot beverage may cause injury and burns.

2. How do you make a barista-grade drink with a machine like this?

To achieve optimum performance from your Podster follow these steps for daily or regular use of the machine.

3. How much coffee is produced?

The default settings are 35ml for an espresso and 70ml for a long shot.

4. How long does it take?

It takes 13-28 seconds to extract from a compatible pod in an espresso size.

5. Can the dosing be adjusted?

Yes. You will be able to adjust your extraction amount of your Lungo shot to approximately 100ml.

1. Hold either button down until the extraction begins.
2. Release the button
3. Once the desired amount has been reached pressed the button again once.
4. This is now your programmed amount for the button pressed.

Please note, as with all capsules, the extraction amount is predetermined by the pod itself and so is generally used for larger espresso type coffees or shorter americanos. We find in our cafes this is topped up using hot water to create a longer drink, depending on how you enjoy your coffee. Please also bear in mind that The Podster has been designed specially to create short shots, such as Espressos and Lungos, rather than Americanos.

6. What Pods can be used?

Direct from us at Hotel Chocolat, these can be found here. The Podster is also compatible with Original Nespresso compatible coffee capsules.

7. What size cup can I use?

To create the perfect espresso, we suggest our Petit Pod Cup. If you prefer an Americano, or milky coffee we recommend our Pod Cups, or our stunning range of Mugs, all found here. Mugs with a height of 100mm can fit comfortably under the nozzle.

8. Can I froth milk using The Podster?

No. The Podster is to extract the coffee shot only. You can pair this with our amazing Velvetiser though to create barista-grade Lattes, Cappuccinos, Macchiatos, Flat Whites and Chocolate Lattes.

9. Do I have to descale The Podster?

Yes, you will have to, how often will depend on the hardness of the water in your area.

For the best results, we recommend using Kilrock Esp & Coffee Machine Descaler, which has been carefully selected by our partners and designers at Dualit. You can find it here. The filter plate will also need to be cleaned before each descale.

DESCALING YOUR PODSTER

Hotel Chocolat recommends descaling regularly to prevent limescale build up in the machine. Your machine has a Descale Counter which will indicate to the user that the machine requires descaling. IMPORTANT NOTICE: PRODUCT FAILURE DUE TO THE BUILD UP OF LIMESCALE IS NOT COVERED BY WARRANTY - PLEASE DESCALE REGULARLY.

10. Can I use my Pod Cups in the dishwasher?

We recommend that you give your Pod Cups a wash before the first use. Your Pod Cups are safe to use in a dishwasher.

 

Troubleshooting

1. My Coffee is not hot enough for me.

A simple tip for a warmer drink is to fill your cup with hot water and empty it just before extracting your coffee. The Podster has been calibrated to serve at the best temperature for flavour, which is around 70 degrees Centigrade. Adding cold milk to your coffee will undoubtedly cool your beverage down quickly. If you enjoy a milky coffee, we recommend using our Velvetiser alongside your Podster to create a beautiful, hot latte or cappuccino at home.

2. The lights are flashing on The Podster.

The filter plate could have become blocked with coffee residue causing the varying extraction volumes and leakage into the pod basket. This occurs when devices are used often and much loved, regardless of the frequency of descaling or could be the result of a split coffee pod, for example.

1. Unplug The Podster and clear any debris from the filter plate and brew chamber, which you can see below. This is located inside the machine where we insert the Pods.

Podster Diagram

2. Using a small brush, such as a toothbrush, gently clean the area so it's free of built-up residue.
3. Close the lever and press button to dispense water to clean any remaining debris. Please descale your device as normal following our Podster Manual using a reputable descaling solution (see Point 9 above descaling your Podster)
4. Once completed, ensure both buttons are pressed at the same time for a full 5 seconds. This should take the Podster back into Coffee mode.

3. I think there is an issue with the power.

1. Check the plug is in the socket and the switch is turned on. 2. The Podster may be in standby mode, which activates automatically after 10 minutes. In this mode the coffee lights turn off to conserve energy. You can exit standby mode by pressing any button and this will allow your device to wake up.
3. Check and replace the fuse if necessary. Note: to open the plug, remove the label to reveal the screw. Please only do this if you feel comfortable to do so.
4. The device could be in descale mode. Please hold both buttons for 5 seconds and this should bring the Podster back to service mode.
5. The filter plate could be blocked and causing the machine to rest. Please unplug machine and clear any debris from the filter plate and brew chamber. This is located inside the machine where we insert the Pods and using a small brush, such as a toothbrush, gently clean the area so it's free of built-up residue. Then close the lever and press button to dispense water to clean any remaining debris.
If you are still experiencing issues, please see no 5.

4. How do I return it?

We hope that you do not, but we understand that sometimes this is required. We do ask that you call or email us first though on 03444 932323 or Homebarista@hotelchocolat.com, help@hotelchocolat.com as there may be something we can help with.

You are welcome to return your device to any of our stores or contact us directly for the relevant forms to post your Podster back using our Free 48 hour Tracked Returns Service. To be on the safe side, always ask for proof of postage!

5. Got a technical issue?

Please email or call us at 03444 932323 or Homebarista@hotelchocolat.com as there may be something we can help you with. If necessary, we will then send you a return label and form to use. You can also return The Podster to a Hotel Chocolat store. Depending on why you are returning your Podster, we can either send you a replacement or issue you with a refund or a Gift Card (depending on the purchase). If you purchased this from a third party and would like a refund you will need to contact them directly.

6. The extraction is a slow flow/not at all.

We’ve carefully crafted our pods to be compatible with our coffee. We’ve extensively tested their performance; however, it is worth noting that you will see a slower extraction time with a Hotel Chocolat pod, versus other brands on the market.
This is intentional, and through research and working with our specialist partner, Dualit, discovered that by increasing the pressure within the pod, and slowing down the extraction process, we could intensify the flavour, giving a much fuller profile. Ideally the coffee extraction time should be anywhere between 18 – 25 seconds per pod, but this is only a guide, and will vary between machines. We would prefer that you focus instead on the result and achieving that consistently great taste.

1. It could be that the extraction nozzle could be blocked. For this, please follow the cleaning instructions found in your manual. If this does not clear the blockage, please descale your Podster to ensure all pipes and mechanics are flushed through correctly.
2. The inserted pod itself could be faulty. Please wait a few moments before opening the lever, flush the machine through and then try again with another pod.
3. Ensure that the lever is properly closed, and the pod basket is empty as our sensors will block any action should the basket be full.
4. There could be air trapped in the pipework. Remove the pod and ensure that the water tank is full of clean water. Press one of the coffee buttons. Water should exit the nozzle. If it doesn’t, press an extraction shot button again to release the trapped air. Remove the water tank and refill with fresh water. Position by aligning the connection and pushing down firmly. A handy tip to note is that the bubbles rise in the water tank when it is correctly seated. Then push the water tank lid down to cover the water tank.
5. Sometimes, we find the filter plate could have become blocked with coffee residue causing a slow extraction. This occurs when devices are used often and much loved, regardless of the frequency of descaling or could be the result of a split coffee pod, for example.
6. Please unplug machine and clear any debris from the filter plate and brew chamber. This is located inside the machine where we insert the Pods and using a small brush, such as a toothbrush, gently clean the area so it's free of built-up residue. Then close the lever and press button to dispense water to clean any remaining debris.
7. Your Podster may still be in 'descale mode' rather than 'coffee mode'. Please ensure you have held both buttons down at the same time for 5 full seconds to ensure your device is ready to start creating the perfect coffees once more.

7. The Podster is leaking.

1. There will be a small amount of condensation forming underneath the Podster after making numerous beverages. This is safe and does not mean the machine is leaking.
2. There could be water underneath the Pods itself. Please switch off the device and ensure there is no water in the brew chamber.
3. Ensure that the water tank has been correctly inserted. When refilling with water, always switch off the Podster and only then remove and refill the water tank. Otherwise, water could leak from the appliance.
4. The Filter Plate could be blocked and so please unplug machine and clear any debris from the filter plate and brew chamber, which you can see below. This is located inside the machine where we insert the Pods and using a small brush, such as a toothbrush, gently clean the area so it's free of built-up residue. Then close the lever and press button to dispense water to clean any remaining debris.

8. There is little/no crema on my coffee.

1. Each time coffee is dispensed, essential oil is deposited in the nozzle and will create a build-up of residue over time. Please follow instructions for cleaning and descaling regularly. This timeframe for this will vary depending on your quality of water as well as how often you use your device.
2. Although our Podster is compatible with many other pods, for the best quality of coffee, we recommend using our Hotel Chocolat Rabot Estate Coffee pods. These have been especially tailored to suit the mechanics of our device.
3. Check your pods are in date. Stale coffee will affect the crema produced as well as the taste of the coffee itself.
4. Using the same pod for an additional cycle will not produce crema a second time. This is due to the pod being compacted carefully.
5. Please check the Podster Filter Plate is cleaned and free from any build up. This is the area where the pod is inserted, and any residue here will prevent sufficient crème from being produced.
6. If you enjoy a milky, frothier coffee, I recommend using our Velvetiser alongside your Podster to create a beautiful, hot latte or cappuccino at home.

9. What happens if I have lost/a damaged component?

Do not worry we have got your covered! Just email or call us at 03444 932323 or Homebarista@hotelchocolat.com and we can help with any part you might need. Maybe you moved house and left the Water Tank behind, maybe the Drip Tray broke, could the rubber feet has become dislodged on the base, or perhaps your beloved pooch used the Pod Basket or Podcycler as a chew toy.

 

Facts & Figures

1. Can I use other Pods with The Podster?

You can use pods designed to fit the Nespresso Original coffee machine. However, for the best barista-grade coffee, we recommend using our especially tailored capsules which you can find here: https://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/shop/coffee/pods/

2. How much pressure is produced?

19 Bar Pump to produce your delicious coffee.

3. What descaling product should I use?

For the best results, we recommend using Kilrock Esp & Coffee Machine Descaler, which has been carefully selected by our partners and designers at Dualit. You can find it here.

4. How big is The Podster?

L 35.10 x W 15.90 x H 23.60 cm.
The water tank holds 800ml of water and the Pod Basket can hold 10 used pods.

5. Can I send The Podster overseas?

The Podster is specifically designed for us at Hotel Chocolat for UK voltage only and international use of the device will void your warranty with us.

6. What are the wattage and voltage?

1140-1365W
This auto-switches off after 10 minutes of inactivity.

7. How long is the guarantee?

Your full parts and labour guarantee lasts for 1 year from purchase. If you haven’t already, please register The Podster so you don’t miss out here.