May 3, 2007

Lucaffee Exquisit ESE Espresso Pods


One of our readers brought Lucaffe Exquisit ESE pods to our attention a few weeks back, and I was able to get some from Espresso Tiamo. Over the last week or so, I have been tearing into the supply and I have to say that they are pretty darn good. The blend is 90% Arabica and 10% Robusta, which if you have been a long time reader, you’ll know that this starts out to be a pretty good blend for me. I like the brightness and acidity that the Arabica coffees bring to the blend, but still want a like body and fullness to the finish that a little bit of robusta brings. I look for a well rounded flavor profile that not only gives you a delicious up front dark roasted espresso flavor, but a syrupy full bodies finish without flavor peaks followed by absences of flavor or thin presentations of flavor that leave you wondering where the blend went wrong.

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April 24, 2007

Mako Caffe Quick Review


The Napoletana Caffe Company is located in Pozzuoli, in the historic area of Flegrea in the Neapolitan region, and makes Mako Caffe ESE Pods. The production is specialized and production quality is high as is so many coffee producers in Itlay.

From their website; "Caffe Mako is a product selected for connoisseurs able to appreciate the quality obtained through the selection of the raw coffee by its experts locally, where the coffee beans are grown and also by carefully checking the of the quality of the beans and the reaction during roasting but principally by respecting the traditional formula handed down by the forefathers, who created the famous "Espresso

In ripping into the Mako Caffe pouch you get a nice aroma of dark roasted coffee. It brews up nicely in the cup with a decent crema, caramel in color. The flavor in the cup is very dark roasted, with some sharp bitterness backed by some formidable acid. This isn’t a bad thing for me, and most likely for you. Bitterness and acid brings highlights to the cup, and offers bright flavors. Without the acid and bitterness, the cup seems bland and flat without excitement. With that said, bitterness and acid don’t guarantee great flavors in the cup, nor is too much bitterness and acid…. The trick is to get just the right amount.

The Mako Caffe does well with bitterness and acid, but the overall flavor in the cup is a bit weak until I added a bit of sugar; just a bit. The result is a nicely rounded, more full flavor in the cup, filling the mouth with a nice espresso flavor. Net if you like a bit of sweetness in the cup, via added sugar, the Mako Caffe ESE Espresso does well.

At Amazon

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April 23, 2007

Lucaffe Exquisit ESE Espresso Pods


So a while back I talked about Lucaffe’s line, and one reader wrote in about where to find the Lucaffe Exquisit ESE Pods. Espresso Tiamo has them and they are just in. The ESE Pods are a blend of 90% Arabica, and 10% robusta. I am ordering some up to taste this, as I have come to realize that I really like that extra body the robusta brings to the cup without too much heaviness.

At Espresso Tiamo

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April 4, 2007

Lucaffe ESE Espresso Line - Yum!


So last week, I posted some information about the Lucaffe Mr.Exclusive that came in my Pod Cast newsletter from Pod Merchant. I went back and tried both the Lucaffe Mr. Exclusive, the Lucaffe Classic, and the Lucaffe Colombia. I like them all, and am pretty impressed with the three. For me 100% Arabica blends tend to be a little too acidic without the full bodies back end flavor that I enjoy from other blends that have robusta coffee in the espresso blend. So I was surprised to see that the Mr. Exclusive 100% Arabica blend to have that full-bodied flavor without having a Robusta flavor too it. So this might be the best of both worlds for some people. I like it.

The Lucaffe Classic was also a great little pod, with a slightly more pronounced back end full bodiedness, with some nice sweetness that came though in the flavor profile. The Colombia is similar to the Mr. Exclusive in that it is cleaner, but also with a full bodied flavor profile. With all of these, the flavors are complex, and not transparent with garish peaks of flavor sticking out to dominate the experience. I have to say the entire line here is well done. I don’t quite know what to make of the gentleman on the front of the pod packages, but the coffee inside is a winner.

At Amazon

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March 28, 2007

Ciald'Oro ESE Espresso Pod Review


Miscela D’oro is a decades old coffee company that started like most other Italian coffee companies, as a little store that sold its own coffee and spices. That small company that started in the 1940’s is now a modern production facility that has ISO 2000 certification for its quality products. The product line is fairly broad, but not limited to only Espresso pods.

In tasting the Ciald'Oro ESE pods, I have to say that I like them. The aroma is solid coming out of the pouch, and it is dark roasted for sure. The crema is nicely almond colored. The flavor is slightly acidic, but definitely full-bodied. The mocha flavors are strong in the base flavor profile with caramel and slightly sweet notes to top it off. It’s not as well rounded as I like, but it is better than average filling in the peaks with nice full body and subtle flavors.

At Amazon

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March 27, 2007

Lucaffee 100% Arabica Mr Exclusive

Pod Merchant sent out their email newsletter this past weekend, and if you missed it, you missed a coupon code for some money off (15%) your next order, and a good little run down on boilers and how different espresso machines get your water from room temperature to brewing temperature in short order.

You also missed a run down on the Lucaffee 100% arabica ESE pods, which are part of the Lucaffe line that Pod Merchant sells, including the Classi, Colombia, Decaf and the BlueCaffe versions.

Here's what the Pod Merchant had to say about the Lucaffe Mr Exclusive 100% Arabica ESE Pods: "Mr. Exclusive is a 100% Arabica coffee, meaning that only Arabica beans are used. It is not blended with Robusta beans (see our Coffee Primer). It is, however, a blend of various Arabica beans — as opposed to beans from a single country or growing region. This allows for producing a more well-rounded cup as well as ameliorating issues with poor growing seasons in a particular locale. Lucaffe describes Mr. Exclusive as a "blend coming from Arabica coffee from South America, Asia and a small percentage from the central Africa."

Starting with the pod itself, Lucaffe has improved the construction recently, adding on the bottom a circle of small bumps which indicate the downward facing side of the pod. (See Tip #6 in Issue 5 for more information on pod orientation). The crema is dark tan, substantial, and long lasting. The aroma reveals hints of toasted cereal, vanilla, and custard. It has a very neutral, well-rounded, classic coffee flavor without any substantial competing notes of other flavors. The body is medium — not heavy, grainy, or oily. I personally prefer the heavier body of a blend with Robusta, but at least the body is not thin or wimpy as can be the case with some Arabica blends. The aftertaste is minimal and not objectionable. This is a coffee best consumed straight, but it should hold up alright in a cappuccino or latte. Mr. Exclusive is one of my personal favorite espressos. "

More at Pod Merchant

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March 1, 2007

Caffe Gioia ESE Espresso Quick Pod Review

CaffeeGioiaClassico.jpgCaffe Gioia is made by Labcaffe, and is "based on a deep passion for coffee," according to their website. They are certainly concerned with quality, having achieved ISO 90001 certification for their manufacturing facility. I found their coffee available in regular and decaf ESE Espresso pod varieties.

Caffe Gioia Classico "Green" - I picked up the Caffe Gioia Classico "Green" pods for this review. The pod has a nice aroma coming out of the foil pouch. It has some nicely roasted notes; fresh and balanced. In the cup, the espresso is acidic with some nice chocolate and caramel notes. The intense spicy roasted notes are nice. In a latte, the mocha and roasted notes come through with the addition of a little sugar. Overall very good.

These ESE Espresso pods are made to be used in popular makers like the Breville Café Roma, the Krups XP4050, and the DeLonghi EC155 espresso machines; all have the ability to use ESE Espresso pods.

Available at Pod Merchant.

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February 27, 2007

Amigos Extra Bar and Blue ESE Espresso Pod Review

Amigos Caffee was founded in 1980 by Severino Mingardi as a family business because he wanted more for his family. Located in Trieste Italy, the family run business has grown and moved twice as a result of their European and worldwide demand behind their coffee products. They have 3 ESE Espresso products, the Amigo Extra Bar, Amigo Blue and Amigo Decaf.

I went ahead and got the caffeinated blends, the Amigos Extra Bar and the Amigos Blue.

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February 23, 2007

Review: Espressione Classic and 100% Arabica ESE Espresso Pods


Espressione is an old world coffee roaster based on the near the Amalfi Coast in Italy. This coffee roaster has been in business for over 50 years, and masterfully blends then roasts their coffee for whole bean and ESE Pods. Their ESE Espresso pods are fairly popular and are available from several outlets online. They offer three particular blends: Classic, 100% Arabica and Decaf for the ESE Pods.

Over the last couple of weeks, we've been tasting them almost daily as we go about our business around the test kitchen here at - you know, my house....

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February 21, 2007

Flavored ESE Espresso Pods

So why let all the "Single Serve Coffee" folks have all the fun with flavored pods? Did you know that you can get flavored ESE ESpresso pods? Yup. Almond, Hazelnut, Irish Creme, and Cremcaramel flavors are available. All imported.

At Espresso Tiamo

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