Basics of ESE Espresso - What is an ESE Espresso Pod?
In 1998 a consortium of manufacturers made an agreement to have a single standard for espresso pods and makers to help people around the world to consistently make an excellent espresso. The ESE standard was born. There were 7 founding members and has grown to over 120 members today. ESE Stands for Easy Serving Espresso, and the standard sets the requirements for the pods – 7 grams of coffee, a proper grind, and a shape and diameter that allows it to be used only in ESE approved machines. The pods sandwich the coffee between two layers of sealed filter paper.
The diameter of the ESE pod is 44-45 millimeters, which is much smaller than the 55-60 mm pods that are available for the “Single Serve” coffee makers that have become popular in the last few years (learn a lot more about Single Serve Coffee at our sister site: singleservecoffee.com). The ESE Machines work in a similar way; to promote ease of use, and consistently good espresso. Fill the reservoir with water, turn on the machine, open the foil sealed package containing the E.S.E. pod, drop a pod into the pod holder and lock it into the machine. Turn the machine on and in about 30 seconds you will have a beautifully pulled espresso with a nice head of crema. Clean up is pretty easy too. Open the pod holder, dump the pod in the trash or recycle it, rinse the holder and you are done.
Many espresso machines these days come with optional pod baskets. So, this is to say that you can choose to use espresso ground coffee to fill and tamp into the basket yourself, or use the pod holder to use ESE pods. Obviously we advocate making sure that the machine has a pod adapter. Pods really are a great way to get into making and drinking espresso at home. They can be expensive when compared to whole bean coffee, but we prefer them for convenience and consistency. One study out says that only 1 in 5 households that has an espresso maker uses it on a regular basis. Those 4 out of 5 cite the bother and mess associated with making espresso with ground coffee as a key reason that they stopped using their machine. Viva la pod!
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Posted by Scott Martin at July 27, 2006 8:29 AM