The 9 Best ESE Coffee Pods And Which Machines To Use Them With

5 ESE coffee pods sitting on a wooden table

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Many people want the convenience and ease of use from ese coffee pods but aren’t sure what to look for in the best brands or what machine they need to use them.

This article will explain what flavors there are, different types of roasts, what machines are compatible, and the best way to dispose of them.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Illy Lassico


  • They come in dark, light, decaf, and espresso
  • They are compatible with the majority of machines


  • They’re a little pricey, but worth it

Quantity – 18 pack

RoastDark, light, or medium
FlavorGran crema espresso
CaffeineYou can get caffeinated or decaf

Lavazza Gran


  • Affordable price
  • Sampler boxes available
  • Can buy in bulk for a cheaper price


  • Don’t work with Nespresso or Keurig

Quantity – 150

FlavorGran crema, gran espresso, gran espresso intenso

Cafe Borbone


  • Compatible with any machine that is made for ese pods
  • Produces more crema than most pods


  • The taste may be a little stong depending on your preference

Quantity – 150

BrandCafe Borbone
RoastLight, but tastes more like a medium
FlavorMiscela Blue



  • Comes in four different flavors
  • Produces a silky texture unlike other pods


  • May have to use scissors to open. the pouch

Quantity – 100

FlavorArabica, Armonia, Napoli, Espresso Napoletano



  • Very rich flavor
  • Produces crema
  • Great price for the amount


  • Makes a little less coffee but isn’t a deal-breaker
  • Do not work in Nespresso machines

Quantity – 150


Illy Decaffeinated


  • A convenient decaf option
  • Doesn’t have an aftertaste like other decafs


  • Won’t wake you up, lol

Quantity – 2 packs of 18 pods for a total of 36


Lavazza Gran espresso


  • Rich, intense flavor
  • Comes in 5 flavors
  • Works with ESE adaptors


  • Doesn’t work with Nespresso, Keurig, or Bunn machines
  • A little more expensive

Quantity – 150


Cafe Lollo


  • Available in 4 flavors
  • 4 quantity selections
  • Intense aromatic brew


  • Thicker pod paper so takes a little longer to brew

Quantity – 50, 100, or 150

RoastLight to medium
FlavorArgento, classico, Nero, oro

Cafe Gioia


  • A great blend of Robusta and Arabica beans


  • Stronger taste then other brands

Quantity – 150


Espresso Grand Sampler

  • 70 pods
  • medium to dark roast
  • All are caffeinated
  • Great way to see which brands and flavors you prefer

What are ese coffee pods 

Coffee lovers are everywhere! Many different varieties of them as well!

Some are avid dark coffee drinkers, while others absolutely love the taste and smell of espresso drinks such as cappuccinos, americanos, and doppios.

With so many different people and preferences, coffee producers and companies aim to find ways to cater to different tastes. 

One of these are ese coffee pods. These are a rather unique development for those individuals that absolutely love espresso.

They are a time-saving way to make espresso coffee at home. These particular coffee pods may require an espresso machine in order to function.

They are a great alternative for grinding coffee and may also contribute to having fewer messes. 

What does ESE stand for in coffee pods? 

The acronym ESE stands for easy serving espresso pod.

These coffee pods may have a higher caffeine content than other comparable pods that you can buy off of the shelf.

Ese pods are ideal for those that want to learn how to make affordable and reasonable espresso coffee at home. The ease of these pods can benefit anyone in getting started in feeling like a barista. 

What should you ask yourself before buying ese coffee pods? 

Before purchasing a coffee pod, you might have a few questions. It is natural to want to know as much information as possible before purchasing.

Let’s go through some of these that you might have together.

Are they compatible with my machine 

Ese coffee pods might not necessarily be compatible with all machines out there.

Read your owner’s manual to see whether or not your machine works with the pods themselves.

Do not just guess and try it without first looking into the specs of your machine.

What is the strength or roast 

The roast or strength is going to be relatively similar to what you might find with regular coffees.

Some will be a medium roast while others might be a darker roast.

The roast will determine how strong the caffeine and taste of the coffee is and coffee pods are doing the same approach-using similar standards as regular non-pod based coffees.

It is just a matter of finding which one suits your particular taste. 

What is the price per pod compared to whole beans

One could expect to have a comparable price per set of capsules to the price of a bag of whole beans.

This usually does not factor in that you might have to spend a little more to make sure that your machine can handle the capsules, but overall the price per pod may be significantly lower if you can shop around for the best prices.

It would normally cost $20-$70 for both the whole bean and coffee pod set. 

How do you use ESE coffee pods 

Pods can be easier to use than most capsules and other things but may require learning some tricks to make it worthwhile.

The first thing you should do is make sure that any of the filters in the machine’s portafilter should be changed, and for other coffee makers, it should be fine with a single-use filter. This makes sure that the coffee taste is as good as possible.

The second step would be to open the packet and place it into the filter. The package is designed to be air and waterproof to keep it fresh longer. Once in the filter, there isn’t anything else you will have to do. 

The final step would be to return the portafilter, ensure it is secured and locked, and brew.

This simple and easy setup makes it much nicer to get that nice espresso taste in your coffee! Just make sure that you do any removal of old pods before doing anything new! 

Can you use them in all espresso machines 

One of the biggest things that people want to know is the compatibility that these pods have with machines. There might be a variety of answers that a person gets as a result of asking. 

As mentioned before, a quick look into your owner’s manual will yield information on whether or not these are likely to be compatible.

Many of the ones that are compatible will have a specialized sign that says that they will work.

Other machines may require having a pressurized filter basket to use. Most espresso machines should have this feature, so you might have lucked out when you have purchased your espresso machine. 

What are the benefits of using ese pods 

One is that ese coffee pods are a great time saver. These coffee pods make it much easier to get those shots of espresso for a fancy coffee drink.

Others might appreciate having to spend less time trying to get everything prepped. The ability to save some time is something that many people enjoy. 

The second benefit is that you might have an easier time keeping things clean. There is no cleaning filters, portafilters, or grounds after brewing.

With everything contained in a nice little package, one does not have to worry about the spills and messes that result from having to grind coffee beans.

Having a cleaner counter and surface to work with means less time spent on keeping everything up to spec. 

A third benefit is that these particular pods are great for freeing up space within a kitchen.

Unground coffee beans can take up a lot of space in cabinets, counters, and other house areas. Coffee pods, especially ese coffee pods, can reduce the amount of space taken for these things.

Some people living in tight quarters, like an apartment or a tiny house, might appreciate having the extra space. 

A final benefit is that they can be a good way to make things more convenient.

Sometimes people don’t always get very accurate measurements or just simply don’t have the patience to be able to go through the headaches of grinding their own coffee. 

With the coffee pods, this can be a rather easy way to avoid the hassles of setting up and making your own coffee. Some people enjoy the quickness and the ease of not having to do all this extra work. 

Are they better than freshly ground coffee 

The subject of better than freshly ground coffee is something that many individuals wonder when it comes to these particular pods.

While there are no truly objective ways to measure better, there are ways to incorporate ideas that can provide a sense of whether these can be good for you.

A consumer has to focus on what they would derive from using this nifty little device for their coffee. 

For some people, these coffee pods might be worth the investment. Ese coffee pods can save them time in trying to determine and measure out an amount of coffee for grinding.

It saves them a little on the time from having to clean up the dishes that they might have used in order to make their own espresso. Ese coffee pods make it much easier to get their fix when they are crunched for time (like getting out the door to go to work). 

For others, ese coffee pods might not be all they are cracked up to be.

They are interested in the process of making espresso and have perfected the art of making it for themselves.

They have tried the pods and found that the quality might not be up to their standards, or the prices of the pods aren’t worth the investment. 

Are ESE pods environmentally friendly

  • Less coffee waste – Since they are already measured out and sealed, there is no room for error when measuring.
  • You don’t have to throw the filter away – In most coffee and espresso machines, you have to throw away a filter after every use adding to the environment’s waste. ESE coffee pods never touch your machine’s filter, so there is no need to use a new one.
  • ESE pods are natural and recyclable – Pods are made up of coffee grounds and the plant-based paper pod that holds them together. Both of these are natural, organic, recyclable, and compostable.

Which coffee pods are ese 

One of the things that many people wonder is which pods are actually ese pods.

There are a few brands, such as Tassimo and Dolce Gusto, that don’t really have any major pods that are compatible with most machines.

Nespresso capsules also fall into the same category. These may be ese, but they may only work with specialized machines that are compatible with their pods. 

Brands with ese pods that work with various machines usually include Lavazza, Illy, and Caffe Borbone. These are the main brands that you will grow accustomed to knowing by heart when you get started brewing.

Other popular brands are Kimbo, Lucaffe, and Montedoro as alternatives. 

Where can I get ESE coffee pods 

There are a few places where ESE coffee pods can be bought. Some of the more common places might include the typical Amazon, Walmart, Target or similar retail outlets.

Other outlets might carry some of these pods, such as local coffee suppliers, or a few smaller outlets such as a grocery store. These outlets are also the most likely to have a few varieties available that might tailor to your particular tastes. 

Is pod coffee bad for you 

Invariably, there is also discussion about whether or not using pods can be toxic for your health.

Some studies might show that they are perfectly fine, though others might suggest other manufacturers are bad. Much of this debate stems largely from how the manufacturer chooses to package their product and how you prepare the coffee at home.

Overall, the general consensus is that the risks associated with using these pods and capsules are fairly low. It would be moderately safe for you to use on a frequent basis. 

Are all ESE pods the same size 

Like many other things, ese pods can vary in their sizes. Most tend to be around 44-61 millimeters in diameter but can have different weights.

Many of these pods will have 6-7 grams of coffee within the package itself.

The main reason for differences in sizes is related to the companies tailoring to different espresso machines and techniques in preparation.

You may have to read the manual to see recommendations for your machine and experiment to get the right taste.

Can you make a double shot of espresso with one pod? 

Some individuals think that they might be able to get a double shot of espresso by reusing a pod.

This is something that some people try to do from one pod or they try to double up on pods within their machines. This can be rather interesting and usually not recommended. 

By in large, you might not be able to make a double shot of espresso from one pod unless it is already set up that way.

There are double-shot pods that are available on the market that you can buy. These would be the only real way to get a double shot from one pod. 

Do they make a thick crema 

Each brand will obviously be different but the standard won’t be a very thick crema. You might find some have a thicker crema than other brands.

Even within the same brand, you might find that some of the different products have their own differences in crema thickness. 

What is the best tasting pod coffee 

Best tasting pod coffee, again, is largely subjective because everyone has different tastes.

What one person might think is the best-tasting coffee might be met with disdain out of someone else.

One of the ways to determine what a good-tasting coffee is to look at the brand, reviews, and price.

Popular brands such as Nespresso and Starbucks tend to have rich tasting products. These perhaps would be brands to start looking at if you are looking for a good and fresh tasting pod coffee. 

Are Starbucks pods ese

Starbucks does offer a few coffee pods.

Some of these might be ese and others might not be ese. To make sure that you are getting specifically ese coffee pods, make sure that the product states that it is ese and that listings confirm this fact.

If in doubt, always ask the seller. In the stores and cafes themselves.

Which pods can be used with De’Longhi

Some of these will include brands like Nespresso capsules and Caffe Borbone pods.

Other brands might be available for these machines as well. For example, Lavazza might be one of the few alternative brands that you could use in your De’Longhi machine.

It comes down to making sure the De’lomghi machine you own is able to use ESE coffee pods.

Best ese pods for De’Longhi 

There are perhaps several different ese pods that may be good for your De’Longhi machine.

The type of machine would determine the best ese pods but ones to look at may include looking at the Nespresso Original, Caffitaly, Lavazza A Modo Mio and Nescafé Dolce Gusto.

These may provide some of the best experiences for the machine you have purchased. 

Best Lavazza ese pods 

One of the better ese pod makers happens to be Lavazza.

In particular, one might enjoy the Lavazza A Modo Mio Soave Coffee Capsules, Lavazza A Modo Mio Espresso DEK, or the Lavazza A Modo Mio Eco Caps.

These have a rather good set of reviews and good taste for a reasonable price. Of course, one has to be aware that the “best” is largely subjective because tastes are different for each person.

These recommended pods are likely to be the ones most people find to be the best tasting and most recommended for new individuals. 

Are ese pods compatible with Nespresso? 

Many Nespresso machines have ese pods that work with them.

Nespresso even offers pods for these machines, so you can easily stick to a brand. There are plenty of people that are brand shoppers, so this would be perfect. 

As mentioned earlier, it might be prudent to make sure that your machine is certified for working with ese pods.

You might find that your machine has the necessary functions such as a pressurized container for these pods to work. 

How do ese pods compare to Nespresso capsules? 

The largest differences between ese pods and Nespresso capsules may be in the standards taken in production, pricing, amount of coffee, and the machines that might be compatible with the pod or capsule.

Ese pods have an international open standard with more coffee than most capsules, even ones from Nespresso. These standards are usually agreed upon by several agencies and companies. 

However, the capsules that Nespresso makes, like other capsule companies, may have machines that can improve the areas such as brewing performance to make up for the premium price that they charge.

You would have to factor in this as you are making purchasing decisions for machines and the actual coffee itself. Capsules can be rather proprietary to the company producing them.


If you are looking for a convenient, cleaner way of making espresso type drinks, then ESE coffee pods are exactly what you need.

If you’re an experienced espresso maker and have a decent espresso machine and grinder, you’re probably going to be a bit disappointed with the taste and texture produced by them.