March 8, 2007

Review: CAFresso 8g Espresso Pods for Your Espresso Machine E.S.E. Pod Filter

Review from Single Serve - Coffee Pod Reviews Cafresso Ae-8G Smother-Espresso-1

If you're looking for something in-between coffee and espresso, then CAFresso may be for you. These 8 gram espresso pods won't work in your single serve coffee pod brewer, but they will work in any E.S.E. certified espresso maker like the FrancisFrancis!. E.S.E. Pods are typically 7 grams, but a CAFresso pod is 8 grams and a bit thicker, just fitting into the E.S.E. espresso pod holder. We fired up our rather new, yet stylish Gaggia Baby Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine that comes with the E.S.E. espresso pod holder attachment.

What did we find? Is CAFresso more coffee hype than good coffee? Are these espresso meets coffee E.S.E. pods worth your single serve coffee dollar?

What is CAFresso?

Img 3744
CAFresso coffee pods come packed in individual wrappers...

We think would have you believe it's truly revolutionary, but it's simply a bit of a bigger E.S.E. espresso pod. You do get a different type of coffee meets espresso drink with it, but you can still just use the CAFresso pods to pull a shot of espresso or make a larger 3-4 oz single serve cup of coffee with excellent crema on both.

CAFresso (TM) is a totally new concept in coffee we are introducing here at CAFresso (TM) can be brewed with any espresso machine equipped with the required E.S.E. single shot podholder. Our Arabica Express® coffee pods were designed after the E.S.E. espresso pods (44mm) for the Melitta One:One pod coffee maker, however when our Arabica Express® 8g coffee pods are brewed in an espresso machine, they will pull a smooth cup of CAFresso (TM) topped off with a beautiful crema. Arabica Express® 8g coffee pods are ground differently and are little thicker than the E.S.E. 7g standard size espresso pods adding a new dimension to your coffee/espresso experience. Play around with something in between a coffee and an espresso, sip a CAFresso (TM) with Arabica Express® 8g coffee pods. CAFresso (TM) is just the brew you are looking for!

Making a shot of CAFresso Coffee

Img 3689
Our new Gaggia Baby D Espresso Machine

We fired up the Gaggia 11300 Baby D Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine and proceeded to put one of the Brasil Santos CAFresso pods into the pod holder. We often pre-wet our espresso pods before using, and did the same here. Pre-wetting gets a very nice seal on the pod into the holder, but don't wet too much. Use just enough water to get the edges moist to make sure no water gets by.

Since these pods are not E.S.E. pods weighing in at 7 grams, but weighing in at 8 grams, putting the pod holder into the Gaggia was a little tighter than usual. We're not sure if this would have any long term negative effects on back pressure - etc. on the Gaggia, but it did go into place with the larger pod.

Just to make sure we weren't making this up, we got some illy Dark Roast E.S.E. espresso pods from our local Whole Foods like we used in our FrancisFrancis! review. The smaller E.S.E. pods were much easier to put into place and there was less resistance. That being said, the CAFresso Brasil Santos pods worked great.

Img 3742
Gaggia Baby D making a CAFresso Coffee

We pulled a typical 3 oz drink of espresso meets coffee - CAFresso. Good crema could be had on the top of the coffee, and the overall aroma was excellent. Using a bit of sugar to test the top of the crema yielded a second or two before it fell into the coffee, breaking the crema head. The taste of the Brasil Santos? Excellent. We reviewed the coffee pod version of this coffee not so long ago, and the match is close to the taste of the coffee pod, but a bit stronger.

Img 3743
A CAFresso Brasil Santos Coffee

We then pulled a few smaller shots of espresso using the CAFresso pods. Good crema and good flavor. Using the illy Dark Roast coffee pods, we were able to get similar results in crema and also in making a larger 3-4 oz cup of single serve coffee.

Img 3745
Note the excellent crema.


This is very good coffee. We like the cross-over idea of single serve coffee meeting espresso, and we've found the CAFresso espresso pods deliver great tasting coffee. You don't have to have a Gaggia Baby Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine at $500 bucks (we do recommend the Gaggia highly), so that means any E.S.E. espresso machine should work well.

We'll have more coverage over at with full reviews of their sampler pack of CAFresso espresso pods in the coming weeks.


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Posted by Jay Brewer at March 8, 2007 7:42 AM
Recent Comments

Hi guys,
I just upgraded to a Gaggia Baby Nero and tried using the Illy pods but ran into problems, maybe somebody can help: The E.S.E Illy pods were used with the Gaggia pod basket but extraction was so slow that after 25sec only a quarter of the espresso cup was full! I also tried espresso beans and used even the fines (no 1) setting of my Gaggia MDF grinder but the crema was light colored and extracted too fast (even with firm tampering). I don't know what to do - any tips? And should the machine make a "click" sound when the brew button is pressed or sometimes a suction sound when it is switched off?
Sorry for the long question but I am really desperate.
Thanks so much.

Posted by: Steve at August 10, 2008 1:55 PM
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