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    You may have seen when searching for a new espresso machine, that some will accept ESE coffee pods as well as the grounds.

    ESE stands for Easy Serve Espresso, which already appeals. But they are not the traditional pods which we would now use in machines from the likes of Nespresso or Dolce Gusto – think of them more as a little teabag, but with coffee grounds in instead.

    It means you don’t need to cope with the hassle of grinding your own beans, and you have a ready-made amount measured out for a single espresso. They are also referred to as paper pods or bags.

    Here are our picks of the best ESE pods around.


    Our Top Picks

    The Best ESE Pods

    ESE Pod Buying Guide

    ESE Pod Size

    For the majority of ESE machines, the paper ESE pod will have to be 44mm. All of those featured above fall into this category.

    As long as you have a suitable portafilter, you should be good to go.


    Each ESE pod will make one espresso shot, as they contain 7g of coffee. So, think about how often you will use them, and how many you will need before you next make an online order.

    There are some which come in boxes of 18, and others where you can get 150 bags, but like with everything else, the smaller the box the better the quality will likely be. You may prefer to buy a few from a brand like illy or Lavazza than risk a big, value box from a brand you aren’t familiar with.


    This will usually be a roast level, which may fall under a certain name depending on the brand. Light, medium and dark are often available, but do bear in mind that they are often weaker than using ground coffee so you may want to take things up a level.


    Where can I buy the best ESE pods?

    Online will be your best option. Sites such as Amazon, Garraway’s and Next Day Coffee have a good selection.

    Finding ESE pods in stores may be a bit hit and miss as seeing they are not the most popular form of coffee, but you should still be able to find them in the likes of Aldi and Lidl where there is an excellent collection of coffee variations.

    What types of coffee machine take ESE pods?

    Easy Serve Espresso pods are accepted in espresso machines. You may be wondering how they are used, then? Well, they fit into the portafilter, and you then just use this as normal. The water will pour through the bag, bringing out the coffee.

    Popular brands which make dedicated ESE machines include illy, Francis Francis, and Smeg.

    Can I use an ESE pod in a Dolce Gusto, Nespresso or Tassimo machine?

    No. These brands use dedicated hard pods, so the foil is pierced allowing the water to run through. They will not work with ESE pods and trying to use one will likely break your machine.

    If you have not yet bought a coffee machine and know you want a pod option for convenience, an actual pod machine may be the best option. But if you already have an espresso machine, or know you will regularly use it as normal, it could be worth investing and buying some ESE pods when you just want a quick brew.


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    Our Philosophy is simple: “Love Coffee at Home.”

    We want everyone to be able to enjoy really tasty coffee in the comfort of their own home. It’s easy, and shouldn’t be exclusive to a coffee shop.

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