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How to use E.S.E. pods for coffee makers? What is ESE? Step by step guide to cheap and clean way of making espresso at home.

My independent advices are based on 6 years of experience in coffee machines sales. 6 comments

  1. You need to have an espresso coffee maker compatible with E.S.E. pods (also called cialda or monodose). It means that there should be special ESE sign on your espresso machine. Like this one:

E. S. E. pods are disgend to be used in pump espresso machines

All modern Delonghi pump coffee makers (ECP series, ECO ans EC series) and all Philips/Gaggia/Saeco models (Saeco Poemia HD 8323, HD8325, HD8327, Gaggia Baby and others) are compatible with E.S.E. pods.

Other brands like Breville, Hamilton Beach, Clatronic (all of them are OEM manufactured, that means one factory in China makes the same coffee makers under different labels) could be or could be not E.S.E. pods compatible. You should check if there is a special E.S.E. sign on the machine or in the manual.

You still can use pods in any coffee maker with pressurized filter baskets (that mean almost any pump espresso maker for home use). Nevertheless the result would be little bit poor. You can’t use pods with unpressurized filter baskets.

2. The E.S.E. (Easy Serving Espresso) itself is a standart developed by italian company called Illy. It is famous name in the coffee world.

This standart regulates form (round with holder), size and dimensions of the pod (44mm in dimater) and weight. It’s always 7 gramms (.24 oz) of finely ground and tampered coffee inside.

ESE pod looks like it

The standart is open, so any coffee producer could make E.S.E. pods. Unlike single serve capsule systems like Nespresso, Dolce Gusto or Keurig that are proteced by patents. That’s why pods are cheaper than capsules. Nevertheless in terms of price per cup pods are more expansive compared to using whole beans and coffee grinder.

ESE podd (cialde) example

3. ESE is not the only pod (cialda) standart. But the most popular one. ESE pods combine easiness and cleaness of single serve capsules and control over the process like in traditional approach with ground coffee.

However, pods also combine the cons of both ways. Pods are easier to use, but not super easy compared to capsules. I think that’s the reason why cialdas loose their popularity. Majority of people that are seeking cleaness and easiness switch to Nespresso/Dolce Gusto/Keurig etc. Real espresso lovers prefer fresh ground coffee and think that ESE pods give more watery taste and less crema. And I personally agree.

Still ESE pods are ‘golden middle’ and reasonable choice in some cases. Like in case when you left your grandma in your house and have only five minutes to explain her how to make coffee.

4. Anyway, how to brew espresso using ESE pod? Read my step-by-step guide with photos below or simply watch youtube video that I filmed for you.

Step 1. If you have De’Longhi’s coffee maker, you should change filter in your portafilter. Choose one with ESE sign on the bottom (it was in the box). For other coffee makers simply use single shot filter.

Delonghi filter for ESE pods

Delonghi filter installation

Step 2. Open the packet. Each pod is packed in sealed in water- and airproof package to keep coffee as fresh as possible.

Open ESE pod package

Step 3. Put the pod inside the filter. No need to tamper!

ESE pod installed

Step 4. Install the portafilter and start the brewing proccess as usual.

Your espresso is ready, sir! Now you simply need to throw away used pod. It’s biodegradable, by the way, since pod filter is made of paper. And there is no need to wash the filter or brush away ground coffee on the table. Clean and simple.

Where to buy ESE pods? There are variety of ESE pods sold on Amazon

Автор: Dmitriy


Ask me!

6 комментария:

  1. Can a KitchenAid Pro Line Espresso machine use E.S.E. pods? thank you

    Steve Bradshaw

    16 Nov 17 at 5:29 pm


    • Yes. The single shot basket of KitchenAid is designed to be used for ESE coffee pod also.


      16 Nov 17 at 5:37 pm


  2. I know tastes are very different, for different people and drink styles, but am curious as to which ese pods are recommended by this group ?
    I’m looking at using the Delonghi 680 in my motorhome where space is at the upmost premium.


    3 Jan 18 at 4:50 pm


    • As a start point I would likely recommend Illy blands if you like more bitter taste, because they are distributed worldwide, always have the same taste wherever you buy it and they have two types of pods (dark and medium roast), so you can determine what you prefer more. Lavazza is also a good start point for bitter espresso (Gran Crema is more balanced, still bitter, while Crema e Aroma is classic Italian espresso, which could be even too bitter).

      If you want more sour and mild taste of espresso, then I would start with pods by Compagnia Dell’Arabica


      4 Jan 18 at 11:43 am


  3. Just purchased a Gaggia caffitaly machine. What pods are compatible with the machine please

    Mrs Reed

    24 Jan 18 at 10:20 am


  4. Have some doubts which model to choose? Ask me!