Brewing E.S.E. pods in existing espresso hardware?


New member
Dec 4, 2006
Cambridge, MA
I am interested in brewing E.S.E. pods in my existing late-90s Krups semi-pro pump machine, as well as a variety of Italian commercial machines around my building at work.

I'm wondering: is it reasonable to just use pods in existing single/double-type filter inserts, or is it fundamentally necessary to use an ESE-compatible machine (and a pod-specific insert) to get reasonable results?

None of these machines have any official ESE pod interfaces, but my in first exposure to pods at an office I was visiting, I just used what I believe was a standard (single or double-shot) filter insert -- the first one that seemed to fit the filter pod. I remember being confused at the time, since the pods seemed precision-sized, but the filter inserts in question didn't seem very precisely matched. The machine in question was relatively modern, so it may have been officially ESE pod-compatible, but it didn't exactly seem like it.

Is there anything particularly unique, other than the size/shape of the filter insert tray, to an ESE-compatible machine vs. a non-ESE-compatible machine? Does the size/shape/fit of the insert tray actually matter much to the effective brewing of ESE pods (i.e. will a looser-fitting tray -- the smallest standard tray in which I can fit the pod -- be a big problem)?



New member
Dec 8, 2006
Portland, Oregon
regarding p o d s...

The premise of a pod: clean and simple (and expensive!). It's espresso coffee in a tea filter. I think we need to treat it like loose ground espresso. With traditional portafilters, we need it's volume to accommidate a proper amount of grounds- 7g tamped in a 7g basket. There can be no empty space between showerscreen and leveled grounds. The portafilter locked and loaded needs metal to grounds to metal to avoid a pool of water (a lack of siphon, truely). You can do it "loosely", but the pressure is compromised. Espresso isn't fast- it's (es)pressed.