E.S.E. pods - prepare good espresso quickly and easily

By Frederik, published at 12.05.2022

I have been drinking espresso or a specialty coffee based on it regularly for several years now. I've already tried a few different preparation solutions (e.g. aeropress, fully automatic machine or espresso machine), all of which have different advantages and disadvantages.

As the two aspects of taste and simplicity (preparation and cleaning) are particularly important to me, I couldn't find a really satisfactory solution for a long time. The fully automatic machine is particularly easy to use, but you can't expect a real espresso in terms of taste. By contrast, you can probably create the best espresso using a portafilter, but this requires a number of steps and several devices (grinder, tamper, etc.).

I came across the E.S.E. pods via a tip in the Forum of Kaffee-Netz and became very happy with them. E.S.E. stands for Easy Serving Espresso and is an Italian standard that is strictly standardized by the Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano. E.S.E pods are also known as cialde, pods and tabs. One pod consists of 7 grams of coffee and 0.2 grams of paper and is therefore fully biodegradable.

The advantages of E.S.E. can be quickly summarized:

  • Taste almost like a portafilter (thanks to 9 bar pressure and high-quality processing)
  • Very little effort (both during preparation and when cleaning the machine)
  • Always consistent quality
  • Completely biodegradable

If you have a suitable machine and the pads, all you have to do is insert a pad, press the lever firmly and then let the hot water run. Cleaning (apart from descaling and cleaning the trays) only consists of removing the pod in the organic waste and briefly rinsing.

Spinel Pinocchio with pads in packaging

The taste of such an espresso is just as delicious as in a café or from a portafilter machine, depending on the variety and barista skills.

However, there are also a few disadvantages:

  • Poor availability of pods and machines in retail stores
  • Pads are often individually packaged in aluminum
  • Machines are very simple in terms of functionality and cannot be compared with the functionality of a fully automatic machine

I have tested two machines ("La Piccola Piccola" and "Spinel Pinocchio") and am very satisfied with the second one, as it is better made, works more reliably and also offers me a steam lance for milk foam. I currently use "Caffè Gioia ESE coffee pods Bio STRONG" as pods, which you can get from espressissimo and which carry an organic seal and are packaged in a resealable bag containing 20 pods without aluminum.

Pad up close

With this article I hope to increase the popularity of E.S.E. Pads a little bit, because I am sure that even more people could be enthusiastic about them.



My name is Frederik Niedernolte, I am 36 years young and a native of Detmold in NRW.
I am a media and business psychologist (working as Service Manager User Research), trained IT specialist and hobby photographer.
In this blog I report about everything that moves me, interests me, fascinates me and present some photos of me.


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  • Ludwig replied @ 14.05.2022 11:00

    Cool, bzw. hot… jedenfalls danke für den Tipp!

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