Nespresso pods and ESE pods are two popular types of coffee pods that are used in different types of machines. While both are used to create an easy and mess-free espresso shot, they are not the same thing.
- Nespresso pods are designed for Nespresso machines, while ESE pods are compatible with traditional pump espresso machines.
- These pods don’t share the same design, so they can’t be used on the same machines.
- ESE pods are better in terms of price and eco-friendliness. And you can get the same coffee quality as a Nespresso pod from them.
ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) vs Nespresso Pods
Coffee Grams Per Pod
Both ESE pods and Nespresso’s Espresso pods are designed to brew a single shot of espresso per pod.
The exact grams of coffee grounds inside pods will vary from one brand to another, but on average, both ESE pods and Nespresso pods contain 7 grams per pod.
Compatibility and Usage
When it comes to using coffee pods, compatibility is key. Nespresso pods and ESE pods are designed for different machines and cannot be used interchangeably.
Nespresso pods are specifically created for Nespresso machines, which use a unique brewing system to extract the coffee.
On the other hand, ESE pods are compatible with manual or semi-automatic espresso machines. They are used as an easy way to brew a shot of espresso using a traditional espresso machine but without the need to measure coffee grounds.
So both pod types are used as a quick and easy way to brew a shot of espresso. But each type of pod requires a different kind of machine to extract the coffee.
ESE Pods: An Eco-Friendly Alternative
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option when it comes to coffee pods, ESE pods are the perfect choice.
ESE stands for Easy Serving Espresso, and these pods are designed to be used with manual or semi-automatic espresso machines such as the DeLonghi Stilosa or Dedica.
What sets ESE pods apart is their use of a biodegradable paper filter, making them a sustainable alternative to traditional coffee pods.
ESE pods are made from a blend of ground coffee that is tightly compressed inside the biodegradable paper filter. The paper filter not only allows for easy brewing but also ensures that the coffee grounds are contained, preventing any mess or grounds from ending up in your cup. Plus, the biodegradable nature of the paper filter means that it will break down naturally over time, reducing waste and environmental impact.
By opting for ESE pods, not only will you be enjoying a delicious cup of coffee, but you’ll also be making a positive impact on the environment.
Nespresso Is Biodegradable, too. But Not As Easily as ESE Pods
Nespresso pods are made from aluminum, which makes them fully recyclable. But paper filters in ESE pods are easier to recycle or decompose than aluminum.
So while both options are eco-friendly, ESE pods are the better option.
Cost Per Pod
As you know, coffee pods are an ongoing cost. So you have to do your math before deciding on a coffee system.
Generally speaking, ESE pods are the cheaper option at an average of $0.30 per pod. Nespresso pods, on the other hand, can vary greatly in price. If you opt for a 3rd party brand, you can get them as low as $0.45 per pod.
Nespresso’s own branded pods are more expensive at $0.80 per pod. But that’s only if you own a Nespresso Original machine.
If you have a Vertuo system, you are locked to Nespresso’s exclusive pods, you can pay between $0.90 to $2 per pod.
Flavor and Strength
Both pod systems can offer you a great variety of coffee flavors and intensities to match your taste.
ESE and Nespresso pods are available in mild, medium, or dark roast. You’ll find many decaf pods, too.
Brands and Availability
ESE pods are more popular in Europe than in the USA or Canada. So you’ll find most ESE pod manufacturers are European brands like Lavazza or Illy. They are widely available in the US, though, and are easy to buy online or in stores.
Nespresso pods, on the other hand, are gaining popularity in the USA, so you’ll find OriginalLine espresso pods from brands like Starbucks, Dunkin’s, L’or’s, Lavazza, Illy, and many more. These pods are available in grocery stores and online.
Nespresso branded pods are available through their stores or via Amazon.
If you have a Vertuo system, you’ll find Starbucks Vertuo pods only, no other brand is allowed to make Vertuo pods just yet.
Choosing the Right Pod System For You
If you’re still shopping for a pod coffee system, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The most important thing you want to consider is cost. And not just your initial cost of the machine, but the ongoing cost of pods.
- Nespresso Original machines can cost the same as a small pump espresso machine initially, but your Nespresso pod costs will be higher than ESE pods.
- Also, Nespresso pods will lock you to using pods only. While a pump espresso machine allows you to use both ESE pods and ground coffee.
If you want a cost-effective coffee pod system, I recommend that you go for a pump espresso machine and use ESE pods, which can make the same quality coffee at less cost.
How To Get Started with ESE Pods
You can get started with ESE pods by buying a manual espresso machine, the Stilosa is what I recommend for a beginner, and some ESE pods to get you started.
All you have to do is place the ESE pod inside the single-shot basket and attach the portafilter. Start the brew as you are brewing ground coffee.
It is incredibly easy to use ESE pods. If you already have an espresso machine, you simply have to make sure it is compatible with ESE pods (some machines will require a filter adapter).