You’ve heard me talk before on this blog about the ESE coffee pods. Today we’ll spend the whole time talking about these coffee pods and what they are and how you can best use them in your espresso machine. In fact, these ESE espresso pods you’ll be able to use in practically all the cappuccino machines that are out there. I can’t guarantee that of course and you’ll want to check with your specific machine in the information booklet that came with it or with the salesperson before you buy your machine. But I’m pretty sure that 9 times out of 10, you can use ESE pads as they’re called in Europe in your espresso machine.
Right to the ESE coffee pods
So let’s get right into the meat of the matter and talk about what the ESE pods are exactly. The ESE espresso coffee pods stand for Easy Serving Espresso. It was a system created by Illy back in 1988 to try and help standardize the making of coffee for home users. This was more of a marketing ploy because back then, using an espresso machine at home seemed intimidating to most consumers with the mess, the grinding, the tamping etc. So this was an attempt at carving out a market and being able to curry favor with consumers as many cappuccino machine manufacturers were launching semi automatic espresso machines for home use.
The actual ESE coffee pods or the filter pad technology was patented to an American back in ’59 and originally used for businesses to help alleviate the tedium of office folk having to constantly brew espresso for their colleagues. At least that is how the story goes. In Italy the ESE coffee pods go by the name of cialde ESE. Cialde meaning pod, though I think a literal translation is waffles or wafers, and doesn’t it just sound that much nicer in Italian? Forgive me, my love of coffee and my love of Italy get in the way sometimes. In fact, I spent a whole article writing about the cialde Lavazza or the Lavazza blue coffee pod.
The ESE espresso pod looks like a tea bag, a compressed tea bag that has been vacuum packed and contains 7 grams of coffee or espresso if it is an ESE pod. Also, the size of ESE coffee pods has become standardized in the industry and this is why so many espresso machines will take them. The size is 45mm in diameter. Most things to do with espresso or coffee are measured in metric thanks to the Europeans so you’ll have to get used to that. Actually, most of the world uses metric so we’ll have to climb on board soon enough. But as usual I digress.
Using ESE coffee pods
To use the ESE espresso pods in your DeLonghi coffee makers that take it you will often need to use the espresso machine accessories that come with it. Usually there is a small disc that you insert into the portafilter first and then you place the espresso pod on top of it before latching the portafilter to the cappuccino machine. It’s a very simple and easy system and you don’t have to worry about mess and the exact amount of coffee to use. You also don’t have to worry about fiddling around with an espresso tamper either.
Though having said that, I think that anyone who enjoys espresso beverages and has a home machine that is manual or semi automatic should try and use real ground coffee beans. You’ll find that you can get a much more rich and flavorful profile out of your machine and beans if you just take the time to practice.
However, you could go your whole coffee drinking life just enjoying ESE coffee pods. There are so many companies offering them that it would take a long time to try them all. Everything from Kona Hawaiian organic coffee espresso pods to Illy coffee pods and ESE espresso pods offered by PodMerchant to Espressotiamo sampler espresso pods, the choices are practically endless.
So if you’re new to espresso making and espresso machines this is a great way to get started. You’ll enjoy consistent quality beverages that will impress friends and family as well as delight your taste buds just by using the ESE coffee pods!