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Your Guide To Using DeLonghi ESE Coffee Pods

DeLonghi Espresso and Coffee Machines Feb 12, 2023

As an owner of a DeLonghi Dedica espresso machine myself, I understand that sometimes the use of an ESE coffee pod is much easier than using ground coffee.

ESE pods work for all DeLonghi espresso machines, as long as you have the adapter for it.

Below, I will explain to you how you can brew a shot of espresso using an ESE pod and your DeLonghi espresso machine

Your Guide To Using DeLonghi ESE Coffee Pods
My DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe

Most of DeLonghi’s espresso machines use, like Dedica or Stilosa, use the same portafilter and the same pump, so any questions answered here will apply to both of them.

What ESE Stands For

Your Guide To Using DeLonghi ESE Coffee Pods

ESE means Easy Serving Espresso. These pods are a great way to brew a shot of espresso without the need to measure your coffee or deal with a mess of ground coffee inside the portafilter.

With Easy Serving Espresso pods, the ground coffee is contained inside a paper filter. And it is brewed while contained inside it, which means you don’t have to do any cleanup other than disposing of the pod.

So they’re not easy to serve only, but easy to clean, too!

The ESE Pod Filter

Your Guide To Using DeLonghi ESE Coffee Pods
ESE pod filter basket, which is already included with your espresso machine. If not, you can buy it here.

This is an adapter that goes inside the portafilter of your espresso machine to make it compatible with ESE pods.

These DeLonghi espresso machine models need an ESE pod filter (included with your machine)

Dedica – ECP3420 – ECP3120 – COM532M 2-in-1 Delonghi coffee machine – EC155

The DeLonghi Stilosa is compatible with ESE pods but does not require a pod filter.

ESE Pod Filter compared to the single shot basket filter

Your Guide To Using DeLonghi ESE Coffee Pods

Here are a couple of photos I took of the ESE pod filter and single-shot basket that came with my Dedica. Other DeLonghi coffee machines should have identical ones.

The ESE pod basket is the one on the right. On the bottom of it, you should find an icon that resembles an ESE pod. This filter basket is shallower than the single-shot basket and has no plastic insert inside it.

The Single Shot Basket is the one on the left side of the photo. It’s a deeper basket and has a scoop icon on the bottom and a plastic insert inside it.

When it comes to diameter, both are the same and are sized 51mm, which is the only size that can fit a DeLonghi portafilter.

Brewing coffee using an ESE pod

Using these pods is as easy as it gets. Place it in the portafilter using the correct basket filter, attach the portafilter to your machine, and brew as usual!

Espresso Quality from ESE Pod vs Ground Coffee

Using an ESE pod or ground coffee in your portafilter will result in the same espresso shot.

ESE pods are great in terms of not having to grind your coffee fresh, measure your ground coffee, or deal with the mess that comes with it. Also, there is no need to tamp and level the grounds, which is another messy step.

These espresso pods contain 7 grams of coffee as a standard. When using ground coffee, it is also recommended that you use 7 grams of coffee for a single shot of espresso [see Dedica Grind Guide]. So when it comes to dose, you’ll get the same out of both for a single shot.

The other factor is freshness. If you grind your coffee fresh before espresso preparation, you could notice a difference in freshness.

ESE pods have pre-ground coffee, and even though it’s been sealed fresh and individually packed so no air or moisture reaches the pod, freshly ground coffee always wins.

But overall, taking convenience into account, ESE coffee pods are a great way to use an espresso machine and not deal with the mess that comes with it.

Each ESE Pod Equals a Shot of Espresso

It’s important to note that when you use one ESE pod, it equals a single shot of espresso. So always use the single cup button on your espresso machine.

Can you use two ESE pods at the same time to double the amount? No, that can’t be done.

To brew double shots of espresso using ESE pods, you’ll have to do each shot separately using one pod at a time.

I have found one brand that makes double-shot ESE pods where each pod contains 14 grams of coffee ground. You can check it out here.

You Can’t Use the Same ESE Pod Twice

Espresso pods are a single-serve kind of coffee pod. Each pod is meant to be used just once and for a single cup of coffee.

If you brew the same pod twice, you’ll get weak coffee that is not even drinkable.

ESE Pods Are Not The Same as Nespresso Pods

Easy Serving Espresso pods and Nespresso pods are both single-serve coffee pods. But that’s where the similarity ends.

These coffee pods are not the same. ESE pods are designed to be used with traditional espresso machines like DeLonghi’s. While Nespresso pods are designed for their own coffee machine usage only.

You can read my article on the difference between ESE pods and Nespresso pods to learn more.

Recommended ESE Pods

These pods are great for DeLonghi Dedica or others like Stilosa or other pump espresso machines. But a quick reminder, always use these pods with the ESE pod filter.

1- Illy Classico ESE Pods: These are the most popular ESE pods to try. It’s a medium roast blend with a classic taste that is not milder or overpowering. But if you prefer stronger coffee, you’ll find the same pods as the Intenso blend, which is a dark roast blend.

2- Lavazza Gran Espresso: another popular medium roast blend from Lavazza that produces a balanced shot of espresso.

3- Caffe Borbone ESE Pods: A popular Italian brand with many available blends to choose from.

4- ESE Pods Sampler Pack: If you’re not sure where to start with ESE pods, try this sampler pack that includes pods from many Italian brands.