Actual Volumetric Flow Rate To Standard Volumetric Flow Rate What is an ESE Coffee Pod?

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What is an ESE Coffee Pod?

A coffee pod is the coffee-making equivalent of a teabag: a pre-portioned serving of coffee wrapped in a paper filter, ready to pour with water. ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) is the worldwide industry standard for coffee pods. Any pod that meets the ESE standard can be used in any espresso machine that is ESE compliant.

An ESE pod contains 6.5-7.5 grams of coffee, packed in a tightly rounded puck. The pod is placed in a special pod filter (usually supplied by your espresso machine) that fits into the portafilter.

History of ESE Pods

Coffee pod machines were originally designed for use in Italian workplaces, making it quick and clean for workers to make and enjoy espresso in the office. Later, these machines were adapted for restaurant use, negating the need to train anyone to use a traditional espresso machine.

It wasn’t until Eli created the ESE standard in 1998 that home espresso pod machines became popular. After launching this standard, Eli made a concerted effort to mass market these machines as a convenient way to enjoy espresso at home.

ESE legume vs. Traditional preparation

The main selling point of ESE pods is convenience. The traditional preparation method for espresso requires skill and creates a lot of confusion. The grinder has to be calibrated to achieve the correct flow rate; Coffee must be properly dosed and tamped; And then the coffee grounds must be cleaned from all equipment, work surfaces and generally the floor as well. The ESE pod has none of these. The pods are already pre-dosed and pre-tamped and the coffee grounds are in the paper filter. Once done, the pods can be discarded like a tea bag

However, the convenience of ESE pods comes at a price: traditionally brewed espresso (done properly) tastes superior to ESE espresso. Compared to the traditional method, ESE espresso lacks depth of flavor and vitality in the mouth. This is because ESE beans are not as fresh as conventionally brewed coffee, and the brewing time with the beans is too quick to extract the full flavor.

When making espresso using the traditional method, the coffee is ground immediately before use to preserve freshness. This is because the actual grinding process releases aromatics from the coffee that are lost from the final cup if not consumed quickly. Ground coffee has a much larger surface area than the whole bean, making it more vulnerable to air. However, ESE pods are far from stale. Once ground, the coffee is quickly ground into a tight puck which, while essential for making espresso, reduces the surface area of ​​the coffee. Many manufacturers seal their pods in individual foil packages to preserve their flavor.

The flow rate of ESE Espresso is faster than the traditional method. The traditional method aims to produce about 1.25oz of espresso in 25-30 seconds, as this is the optimal time to extract as much flavor as possible before releasing bitter compounds and excessive caffeine into the drink. Creating an equivalent volume with an ESE pod can take less than half the time. ESE pods are designed to hold fast flow rates to improve consistency from shot to shot. However, the faster flow rate is due to the lower resistance of the water during the brewing process and this lowers the brewing pressure, resulting in flatness. Since there is no way to control the flow rate through the ESE pod, it is impossible to create variations of espresso such as ristretto or lungo.

The fact that ESE pods are pre-ground negates the need for a coffee grinder, which can be a significant savings. A good grinder for making espresso will cost upwards of £100. However, the price of ESE pods is much higher than that of coffee beans. Expect to pay three times as much for an ESE pod for an equivalent weight in beans. On the positive side, unlike beans, coffee with ESE beans does not go to waste.

ESE Pods Vs. Other coffee capsules

Apart from ESE pods like Nespresso and Senso, there are many types of coffee capsules available in the market. In terms of price and taste, there is little difference between ESE pods and capsules. The big problem with these other capsules, however, is that they are currently only made by one manufacturer: Nespresso by Nestle and Senso by Dove Egberts. So, for example, if you choose a Nespresso compatible machine you are limited to Nestle coffee. ESE pods, on the other hand, are manufactured to an industry wide standard and as a result are available from all major Italian roasters, such as Illy and Lavazza, and many other roasters. So with an ESE compatible espresso machine, you have a much wider choice of coffee. Not only that, but with most ESE compatible machines you also have the option of making espresso the traditional way.

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