10 Best ESE Pods in 2021

Updated 20-06-2021 – Dan Alvazrez

Finding the best ESE pods in the UK was not an easy task, not because there were not many great ESE pods but because there were so many of them. Also, coffee taste greatly depends on the person, it varies somewhat from each individual, and saying that one ESE pod is the best is always going to be hard. Personally, I am just a simple reviewer of technology, and doing taste samples is not one of my strongest suits. However, I was able to nail down the best espresso pods in the UK simply because I had a whole office of coffee lovers at my disposal.

ESE stands for Easy Serve Espresso, it is just one of the methods how you can make your own coffee without grinding it or using somewhat traditional coffee pods like the Nespresso ones. One of the biggest reasons why people confuse them for Nespresso pods is because they are also called pods when in reality they are not. I don’t know why they are called pods, but they are more like teabags but instead of tea they contain coffee. I know, confusing, right? Once you’ve got over the whole pod name thing, you can begin healing from this (took me 2 hours to fully grasp this concept).

Best ESE Pods Banner Image

We have selected a wide variety of ESE pods in this list, and I’m sure you’ll find something to your own liking. Of course, I cannot just call one ESE pod the best and call it a day, so I highly recommend that you check out the whole list before narrowing down what you like. The best espresso pod for me might not be the best one for you and I don’t want you to get a whole pack of pods that you exclusively use on your guests, hoping that they will love it.

Best ESE Pods

There isn’t a big price difference between each ESE pods, most of them come in a bundle and are very affordable. However, there is one big point you should know before getting a packet of ESE pods; ESE pods contain 7 g of coffee which is only enough to make a single espresso. So if you like having double espresso you’ll need to use two ESE pods. Most coffee shops also use a double espresso for their drinks so if you’re looking for an experience that is closer to a coffee shop, you’ll need to consume two pods for your drinks.

Product

Details

Lavazza Espresso Gran Crema ESE Pods
Rating 9.5
Lavazza Espresso Gran Crema ESE Pods
  • Format: Pods
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Package: Bag
  • Number of Pods: 150
  • Pod Weight: 27.2 grams
  • Dimensions: 34.3 x 23.8 x 17.6 cm
  • Package Weight: 1.56 Kg
Puregusto ESE Coffee Pods
Rating 9.3
Puregusto ESE Coffee Pods
  • Format: Pods
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Package: Box
  • Number of Pods: 100
  • Pod Weight: 40 grams approx
  • Dimensions: 25 x 25 x 15 cm
  • Package Weight: 0.8 Kg
Illy Classico Medium Espresso Pods
Rating 9.5
Illy Classico Medium Espresso Pods
  • Format: Pods
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Package: Box
  • Number of Pods: 18
  • Pod Weight: 131 grams approx
  • Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 10 cm
  • Package Weight: 0.13 Kg

Key Features

  • Format: Pods
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Package: Bag
  • Number of Pods: 150
  • Pod Weight: 27.2 grams
  • Dimensions: 34.3 x 23.8 x 17.6 cm
  • Package Weight: 1.56 Kg

Lavazza is a well-known brand when it comes to ESE coffee pods, and has been around for a while and has made a name for itself thanks to its good quality products. I’m only listing this as a premium product because it is slightly more expensive than other easy-serving espresso pods. It is not super expensive and thanks to the 150 pods bundle, is just a tad bit more expensive. However, if you are interested in getting coffee with a lot more crema, these are the pods for you. In my experience the coffee flow is excellent and the pod is capable of producing some decent cream. If you’re looking for an espresso pod that is consistently going to produce good quality crema, I highly recommend you try out the Lavazza Espresso Gran Crema ESE Pods.

 

Reasons to Buy

Produces some good quality crema

Has a creamy texture to your espresso coffee

Comes in a bundle

Reasons to Shun

A tad bit expensive than other coffee pods

Some users complained about the coffee

Key Features

  • Format: Pods
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Package: Box
  • Number of Pods: 100
  • Pod Weight: 40 grams approx
  • Dimensions: 25 x 25 x 15 cm
  • Package Weight: 0.8 Kg

The Puregusto ESE Coffee Pods bring you 100 freshly roasted coffee pods at a very affordable price. One of the biggest reasons why I love these is that they are packed within one hour of hand roasting. This retains the natural oils and flavours of the coffee and brings you a fresher cup every time. The company also uses industry-leading freshness preservation methods and in my experience, they work. While it is not as fresh as you using a manual coffee grinder in your own kitchen, it is as fresh as a coffee pot can get. The company also individually wraps the coffee pods and flushes them, this results in a longer-lasting freshness. The packet also comes with 4 different flavours of coffee, so you have a number of choices when it comes to your beverages.

 

Reasons to Buy

Good-sized 44 mm coffee pods

Comes in a bundle of a hundred

Some great freshness preservation methods

Reasons to Shun

The coffee pods are very tightly packed

Key Features

  • Format: Pods
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Package: Box
  • Number of Pods: 18
  • Pod Weight: 131 grams approx
  • Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 10 cm
  • Package Weight: 0.13 Kg

The Illy Classico Medium Espresso Pods are not exactly the budget pick of the list. All the best coffee pods on the list have similar prices and these are no different. So why is it my budget pick? Because it is available in a pack of 18 which is considerably cheaper than buying a pack of hundred or 150 ESE coffee pods. This also allows you to try out the coffee before committing to a bigger back without the worry of returning or spending a lot of money.

 The coffee inside the pods is made of 9 different ones at the ease of Arabica coffee beans. The company uses their expert roasting and blending techniques that they’ve been using since 1933. One of the reasons why I love this ESE pod is because the company is committed to producing sustainable coffee and has direct relationships with coffee growers. So not only the coffee tastes great but also their ethical practices are wonderful.

 

Reasons to Buy

Has a distinct aroma of chocolate and caramel

Strikes a great balance between flavour and strength

The company has direct relationships with the coffee growers

Reasons to Shun

Only has 18 servings

Key Features

  • Format: Pods
  • Flavour: 3
  • Package: Box
  • Number of Pods: 120
  • Pod Weight: 8 grams approx
  • Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 14.4 cm
  • Package Weight: 1.18 Kg

There are 120 ESE pods inside the Cialdissima Mixed ESE Pods package, and it includes 3 different blends as well. The coffee pods contain a mixture of 3 different types of coffee and the actual mixes are the trade secret which I completely understand. One of the mixes is called Columbia which includes 70% Arabica and Colombian coffee. The Parini mix has 4 different types of coffee with the majority of the percentage going to robusta coffee. Santos is a flavour that contains 80% robusta and is great for those who need a jolt in the morning. Overall, the Cialdissima Mixed ESE Pods are a good mix of coffees, and I really enjoyed testing them all out, my personal favourite is Parini because it makes more foam and feels like it has more taste.

 

Reasons to Buy

Contains 120 different pods

The mixes are all great with perks

It is not an expensive ESE pod

Reasons to Shun

The packaging could have been improved

Key Features

  • Format: Pods
  • Flavour: 4
  • Package: Bag
  • Number of Pods: 100
  • Pod Weight: 7 grams approx
  • Dimensions: 31 x 23.5 x 13 cm
  • Package Weight: 1 Kg

The Caffe Prima ESE Coffee Pod comes with 4 different blends and all of them are quite good in my personal opinion. There are 100 espresso ESE coffee pods in the package and all of them are of 45 mm size. The ground coffee itself is roasted using convection air as opposed to the usual drum method. All the ESE pods are individually packed, so you get longer-lasting freshness even if you open the overall package. The Caffe Prima ESE Coffee Pod also packages 20 decaf pods in the container which can be a good thing if you are into decaf coffee, however, they’d be useless to you if you don’t like it.

 

Reasons to Buy

Individually wrapped ESE coffee pods

Comes in 4 different blends

There are 100 ESE coffee pods

Reasons to Shun

You cannot change the proportion of the flavours

Key Features

  • Format: Paper Pods
  • Flavour: 2
  • Package: Box
  • Number of Pods: 50
  • Pod Weight: 7 grams approx
  • Dimensions: 24.8 x 24.8 x 20 cm
  • Package Weight: 450 Kg

This ESE coffee pod wins the award for best name and logo, they actually printed a black donkey on the packaging as well which is amazing. The Black Donkey Coffee Roaster is available in 6 different packages, 4 of them are dedicated to a single flavour profile while one is decaf and one package contains a mixture of all flavours. We ordered the variety pack just to check out what the company has to offer and suffice to say, we were thoroughly impressed with the black donkey.

The variety pack contains 2 premium coffee blends that comprise 25 supremo and 25 intenso ESE coffee pods. These are medium roasted coffee pods that come in a 44 mm size. There are 50 ESE espresso paper coffee pods inside the package with 7 g of roasted and ground coffee. The company selects premium quality beans that are sourced from across the world including Columbia, Kenya, Ethiopia, India, and Brazil.

 

Reasons to Buy

The packaging is superbly done

The paper pods are well-crafted

Contains selection of true premium coffee blends

Reasons to Shun

The packaging can be wasteful but is necessary for freshness

Key Features

  • Format: Paper Pods
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Package: Box
  • Number of Pods: 18
  • Pod Weight: 150 grams approx
  • Dimensions: 17 x 12 x 10 cm
  • Package Weight: 1.5 Kg

The Lavazza Qualita Rossa ESE Pods comes in 18 coffee pods and is capable of making rich tasting and full espresso. One of the biggest selling points of the Lavazza Qualita Rossa ESE Pods is that it is hundred percent roasted, blended, and packed in Italy. The company follows strict regulations and quality standards, so you’ll be getting freshly roasted and ground coffee inside the ESE pods. Overall, the coffee it produced was flavourful and rich, and I have no trouble recommending it to espresso lovers. As it is a smaller-sized packaging containing only 18 pods, it is available at a significantly lower price point so if you just want to check out what the company has to offer, it’s a perfect way to go about it.

 

Reasons to Buy

Comes in a good quality packaging

Individually wrapped pods

Suitable for all ESE coffee machines

Reasons to Shun

Individual packing can be wasteful but is needed

Key Features

  • Format: Paper Pods
  • Flavour: 2
  • Package: Box
  • Number of Pods: 50
  • Pod Weight: 7 grams approx
  • Dimensions: 24.8 x 24.8 x 20 cm
  • Package Weight: 450 Kg

If you’re a fan of decaffeinated coffee, the Illy Decaffeinated ESE Pods are made for you. I wouldn’t leave my decaf-loving friends out of the list and the Illy Decaffeinated ESE Pods are one of the best decaf ESE pods you can get. The company has a long history behind them and has a good name when it comes to ESE pods and other coffee-related products. These paper pods come in a pack of 18 and are great for testing out whether you love the taste or not. It is made with a hundred percent arabica coffee, so you’ll be getting a rich taste and full flavour.

 

Reasons to Buy

Good quality packaging

ESE pods fit perfectly in compatible machines

Good quality decaf

Reasons to Shun

The price is a bit higher

Key Features

  • Format: Pads
  • Flavour: Medium Roast Coffee
  • Package: Bag
  • Number of Pods: 90
  • Pod Weight: 125 grams approx
  • Dimensions: 36.6 x 15.2 x 11.8 cm
  • Package Weight: 1 Kg

The Douwe Egberts Senseo Coffee Pads contain a blend of medium roasted Arabica combined with robusta beans. This results in a flavourful and yet balanced and very rich coffee drinking experience. The Douwe Egberts Senseo Coffee Pads has 5 different pads that contain 90 total pods. If you own a Senseo espresso machine, you’ll definitely love these because they are perfectly compatible with that machine. I tested them out on a Senseo espresso machine and had absolutely no trouble getting good quality coffee out of these pods. The packaging is robust and the pods are kept fresh during shipment. The expiry date is a good 10 months from the date of purchase as well.

 

Reasons to Buy

Excellent quality coffee

Comes with 90 pods

Has a great blend of coffees

Reasons to Shun

Once opened, the packaging loses its freshness preservation

Key Features

  • Format: Pods
  • Flavour: Dark Roast
  • Package: Bag
  • Number of Pods: 180
  • Pod Weight: 55 grams approx
  • Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 14.4 cm
  • Package Weight: 1.57 Kg

Now that we are already discussing Senseo coffee pods, I’d like to introduce the Gimoka Senseo Dark Roast Coffee Pods. These are 180 Senseo compatible coffee pods that come in a pack of 18 pads. Each pack contains 10 coffee bags and has an intense blend. In my testing, the aroma of the coffee is slightly chocolatey which may or may not be a good thing for you. Taste wise it is a full-bodied blend and is teeming with flavour, the resulting coffee can be consumed with or without milk depending on your tastes. The coffee bags are also optimized for Senseo systems and provide a good quality crema layer on the coffee cup. These Coffee Pods are also 100% produced and packaged in Italy so ethically speaking, these are sustainable and come with high-quality standards.

 

Reasons to Buy

Arabica and Robusta beans are included

Made and produced in Italy

The coffee aroma has notes of toasted bread and chocolate

Reasons to Shun

Bigger bags would be appreciated

FAQs

What Are the Best ESE Coffee Pods?

There are several great ESE coffee pods available that suit your personal tastes and needs. Some of them are targeted towards a certain blend and some of them are decaf. Narrowing down the best coffee pods is a tricky thing because they depend on not only the espresso machine you use but also your personal taste. I’d say go with the premium pick if you need an overall well-rounded experience, 7/10 people in the office loved those.

 

What Coffee Machines Use ESE Pods?

There are several coffee machines that take ESE pods, but you will need to consult the instruction manual of the product to make sure. Generally speaking, all the latest Delonghi pump coffee makers include the ECP, ECO, and EC series except ESE pods. Several of Phillips, Senseo and Gaggia models also take ESE pods.

 

Are Starbucks Pods ESE?

Depends on the location but generally speaking yes they are ESE and can be bought off other third-party websites. However, I highly recommend that you try out other ESE coffee pods because they are not only cheaper but also readily available.

 

Parting Words

Before you purchase ESE pods, make sure you have a compatible espresso coffee machine that can accept them. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck using them as teabags that contain coffee instead of tea which may or may not result in a superbly horrible cup of coffee. Don’t ask how I know, but I think you know the answer.

All the ESE pods on this list are relatively inexpensive, the price at which they are selling is also close to each other. There are numerous differences between the ESE coffee pods though, from flavour to packaging and from blends to compatibility. Hopefully, this list will help you find the best ESE coffee pods that will suit your needs perfectly.

Now you’re ready to embark on a wonderful journey of finding which ESE coffee pod makes you go “wow”.

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