Back to Basics ESE Espresso

Apr 11, 2012



As we reach a mini milestone here at Aromo coffee, with nearly 200 blogs since we started on this magical mystery tour…I thought I would take this opportunity to reconfirm what an ESE pod is and why it is SO GREAT for perfetto espresso!!

ESE, or Easy Serving Espresso pods, are a simple and a convenient way to make great tasting, authentic espresso, with no mess and no fuss!

The hard pod was patented in 1959 by K. Cyrus Melikian of Automatic Brewers And Coffee Devices, Inc and commercialised by Illy and introduced in 1989 as the ESE pod

The Illy E.S.E. design was initiated as a marketing effort to sell a convenient solution for in home and simple catering espresso preparation

The Easy Serving Espresso system and brand is protected by the Italian ‘ESE Consortium for Development’ and is simply an industry standardization – or depending upon your perspective – a bunch of bureaucrats who seem intent upon consigning the brilliance of the ESE pod to the annuls of coffee history!

Typically, containing 7 of espresso fine grind or for a double, 14 g of espresso, the diameter of an ESE pod is 44 mm

The pod itself is hard and rigid…not like a traditional tea bag and not to be confused with the soft  pad, which is particularly popular on the continent and for sole use in low pressure Douwe Egbert Senseo type machines

The grind of espresso used in the pod is a critical part of the ‘perfetto’ ESE espresso process…. Espresso grind is the finest coffee grind available alongside Turkish… and is almost like talcum powder, with the particulates distributed evenly at the finest end of the particulate spectrum

The coffee ‘puck’ or pod ( The recipe of which is often secret and always subject to personal taste!) is then wrapped in a non bleached filter paper and vacuum packed, or nitrogen flushed, into a single pouch, to ensure it remains ‘tip top’ fresh, until you, the lucky consumer,  gets to prepare and drink it!

The ESE pod will suit almost all domestic and catering traditional machines, as the basket can be changed within the group handle to accommodate the change from ground to pod packed product

ESE pods are the simplest, cheapest, freshest, no mess method of consistently making authentic espresso in your home. Because the ESE pod is an industry standard it will fit any machine and you, the consumer, can choose from myriad brands, blends and qualities…..

On the other hand you can chose from a range of other single serve espresso capsule service options – including the hugely successful Nestle Nespresso range, or one of the other corporate offerings – such as Kraft Tassimo and Tchibo Cafissimo, who have tried to ‘jump on the espresso capsule band wagon’ but have failed miserably!

Alternatively – If you choose to use whole bean or pre packed espresso grind for use in your domestic espresso machine…then well done you!

This is undoubtedly the most authentic and cheapest method per cup of making espresso at home. Problem is, have you considered the mess and the fact that once you have opened your pack of finest espresso grind (even if you store it in the freezer) it will have gone stale within 7 > 10 days? So that expensive pack you opened for your Saturday dinner party, is past its best come the following weekend…

Use whole beans instead and you need to invest in a grinder… the best Burr or ceramic plate grinders will set you back easily over £200, plus you must also factor in the cost premium of say 100g of whole bean, which will make c 14 cups of espresso (assuming no wastage and an eagle eye on the dosing!) vs pre ground product.

So in Summary-

You don’t need to be a barista to make great tasting espresso, with a fabulous crema in your own home! Using an ESE pod could not be simpler…..

Equally, you don’t need to let yourself be ripped off by the corporate coffee money making machines!!

Chose an ESE pod and be assured you are getting the freshest possible espresso coffee, pre dosed for exacting performance….

With no mess on your kitchen counter, or in the machine, and with a clear conscience that the environment is not paying for your 35ml of pure indulgence!

On a personal level, I also have to say, that the huge eye watering range of beautiful ESE equipment available, suits genuinely every budget and offers a startling array of styles, colours and finishes to suit any and all ‘25 Beautiful Homes’ readers! This vs the bland corporate Mondeos which Nespresso and Kraft are shipping out in their millions….

The choice is yours !

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