October 25, 2007

Fantini Decaf ESE Pod Review

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Thought I would start playing around with decafs as a lot of readers are asking for a few ideas on decaf pods to try out. I ordered the Fantini Decaf ESE Pods up and

have been enjoying even more espresso later into the night and am still able to sleep without issue, waking to a fresh caffeinated shot in the morning.

The Fantini company started roasting coffee in the 1960's in Rome and these days they deliver coffee to more than 10,000 espresso bars around the country and around the world. Their new plant, built to ISO 9002.2000 standards for quality and care. The new plant location is about 12 miles south of Rome.

I've been pulling a few of these over several nights and have enjoyed them a good bit. The aroma is good, but not overwhelming like a freshly ground whole bean. In the cup, the crema is nice and full but again, it's not as voluptuous as a freshly ground set of freshly roasted coffee beans. It's not bad and covers the cup giving you a nice pillow of foam.

The roast is dark, and as a result the flavor is spicy, peppery with some chocolately flavors mixed in. It's moderately acidic, and has a finish that is fairly full bodied, but with some sharp pungent notes that stick out. It is by no means a bad espresso, and with the kind of treatment that decaffeination does for a bean, it's good to see these flavors.

The Fantini Decaf Pods are available at Selecto

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October 5, 2007

Quick Pick: Lucaffe Blucaffe ESE Pods

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Quick pick this weekend for Lucaffe Blucaffe Espresso Pods. I got these in recently from Pod Merchant and think that they are pretty good. They are a premium pod from Lucaffe, and are said to be sourced from the areas of the Indian Ocean, aged 18 months and slow roasted for great taste.

What I noticed is that the Blucaffe pods are fairly dark roasted, and a powerful cup, with a cleaner finish than I like with robusta pods, but fuller than typical Arabica pods. The aroma is good, crema, acceptable, not the best I have seen, and again a fairly dark roast.

Pod Merchant has a sampler pack and larger sizes too.

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September 21, 2007

Lavazza Grand Crema ESE Pods

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A year later, I still have to say that I love the Lavazza Super Crema ESE Espresso Pods; I felt that way a year ago when I reviewed them, and still feel that way now. They are a blended pod, not 100% Arabica, so they have a bit more body to them and a full finish, but not overly done. I got a fresh shipment the other day and have to say that I keep going back to how good they are. Absolutely well blended, seamless and full bodied. I haven't had them in a while, and had forgotten how good they really are.

They come in various sizes, from a dozen to 150 count:

  • Lavazza Grand Crema ESE Espresso Pods – 12ct
  • Lavazza Grand Crema ESE Espresso Pods – 150ct

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  • August 23, 2007

    Selecto ESE Pods - Free Shipping

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    Thought I would pass along that Selecto is running a free shipping deal on its ESE Espresso pods. They are offering two brands of ESE pods in several varieties.

    Fantini - Established in Rome during the 1960's, and now moved to Pomezia, south of Rome, the company is focused on high quality coffee selecting the best beans to develop a "Creamy" espresso.

    Torrefazione Settebello - A blend with just a hint of robusta to add flavor balance and a fuller body. Great crema.

    More at Selecto

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    August 9, 2007

    Illy Individually Wrapped ESE Pods

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    Illy has gotten on the bandwagon and is now offering individually wrapped Illy ESE Pods in medium, dark roast and decaf varieties. When I reviewed the Illy Medium Roast ESE Pods a while back I have to say that I was a bit disappointed to see loose pods in the non-air-tight tin. We tend to rip through Espresso pods around here, so freshness wasn’t a huge issue. It would be an issue if you rotate around to different types and it takes a while to get through a tin of 18 loose Pods.

    Either way, you can get individual wrapped or loose ones straight from Illy.

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    July 19, 2007

    Espresione ESE Pods Revisited

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    This past winter I reviewed the Espressione ESE Pods, both the classic and the 100% Arabica. My tastes lead me to like a bit of robusta in my hot espresso, so while I thought that both were good shots, well blended and all around above average, I liked the Classic version better than the Classic.

    Now that the warmer weather is here I have been drinking a lot of iced espressos, and my tastes have changed. The 100% Arabica version of the Espressione is the better choice. The flavor profile is clean, but definitely espresso that stands up to the ice, milk and sugar that make up the balance of my iced espressos. Net, I can still recommend the Espressione family of pods, and for me the 100% Arabica is the iced espresso choice, and the Classic is the hot espresso choice.

    Espresione Classic, 100% Arabica at Amazon

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    June 27, 2007

    New Dock ESE Espresso Pods

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    There’s a new pod in town, and PodMerchant has them. Dock ESE Pods are now available at Pod Merchant and they come from Vidiz & Kessler based in Trieste Italy. The company was created by Antonio Vidiz, who worked in the bakery industry, and Bruno Kessler, who worked in the field of tea and herbal drinks. The trademark “Dock” is reminiscent of the old harbor in Trieste, the classic trading area of the city where the coffee beans come in from far off lands and the finished coffee starts its journey.

    The Dock Pods come in three varieties:

  • Dock 100% Arabica - A well-balanced blend of 100% Arabica beans, produced by a noted Trieste roaster. Smooth but not delicate.
  • Dock Espresso Italia Blend - Dock's blend of Arabica and Robusta -- an excellent, hearty daily cup.
  • Dock Decaf - Dock's famous decaffeinated espresso. Possibly the most flavorful decaf pod available.

    Available at PodMerchant

    More at Dock's Website

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  • June 25, 2007

    Attibassi ESE Espresso Pod Review

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    Attibassi coffee company is located in Bologna Italy, and specializes in not only coffee but chocolate, another favorite product of mine. According to their website (www.attibassi.com) “Attibassi is an historical brand that was born in Bologna and that attracted the attention of refined palates since 1918, guarantees this pleasure for every product through the selection of the best raw materials and the use of traditional working methods. Today we continue to care for quality in the same way, but, in almost one century, Attibassi has become a modern industrial company.”

    I happen to come across their ESE Espresso Pods and tried them out not only as hot espresso, but since the weather is getting hot here, as an iced espresso or Iced Americano.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Attibassi ESE Espresso Pod Review"

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    June 22, 2007

    Illy Scuro ESE Espresso Pods

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    Want a little richness in your life? The Illy Scuro takes the famous Illy coffee roasting skills just a little deeper and richer in flavor and brings you the Illy Scuro ESE pods. The flavor is just a bit more intense, and comes packed in a nitrogen flushed can. Like all ESE pods, the Illy Scuro pods are carefully weighed and pressed into pods to give you the easy and fast way to have great espresso.

    Illy Scuro ESE Espresso Pods at Amazon

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    May 11, 2007

    Hausbrandt Ethiopia ESE Pod Mini-Review

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    Hausbrandt started just like most roasters as a smaller operation seeking out a better cup of coffee. In this case it was Captain Hausbrandt who decided to establish the "Coffee Roasters of Trieste" in 1892. His idea was to roast coffee that was of high quality and ready to use. They used high technology (for the time) to create consistently high quality coffee and distributed this coffee through highly efficient direct distribution systems to make sure their coffee was fresh, and superb in taste.

    The Ethiopian Sidamo is only one of a collection of single origin coffees that are roasted into espresso and packed in a protective inert atmosphere to bring the tastes of the world to your doorstep.


    I'll continue to run through the Hausbrandt espresso series in the coming weeks to find the ones I like and write them up.


    Hausbrandt Ethiopian Sidamo ESE Espresso Pods At Amazon

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