I heard an interesting point of view about using pods. Pods are packaged/ sealed so quickly after grinding that they keep very well and stay fresh due to the limited air exposure.
Any contrary opinions?
Let's handle the "air exposure" issue first. Even "vacuum packaging" does not totally illuminate the air, and very little air is required to affect the coffee. And once the coffee is ground, you have increased the surface area by like 10000%, making the process happen very quickly.
Also, as soon as beans are roasted, they begin degassing. Those one-way valves on coffee bags are not there to keep air out (it's already in there)...it's to keep the bag from expanding too much from the gasses produced by the fresh beans. Those pods contain coffee grounds that have already completely degassed, and guaranteed to be stale and lost most of its flavour.
So the problem isn't really how quickly they package the pods after grinding
...it's how quickly after roasting
The other problem with pre-ground coffee is that the grind is something that needs to be regulated all the time...one grind does not suit all. Timing is one of the most important things for a good shot...grind and tamp must be regulated by the person manually pulling the shot. Of course those super autos cannot detect this stuff.
Then there is the question of the quality of the beans, roasting and blending in the first place to consider.
Then there is the fact that this inferior equipment and coffee actually costs more
than the quality stuff. Even the convenience aspect is pretty much a myth.
All in all...a pretty outrageous mess of a situation. I can only explain it by lack of knowledge, as I can't imagine a well-informed person making this kind of decision.