June 15, 2006
Nothing says Father's Day quite like the gift of espresso. Yeah - that sounds right. Imagine your dad winding up a little milk frothing, pulling a shot of espresso, and then sitting down for a nice latte while reading the paper this Sunday. We've got three picks for you below ranging from $199-500.
The BIG day is fast approaching (this Sunday actually) but you still have time to give the gift of espresso. We recommend going the ESE espresso pod route. Having reviewed several of these machines (you can read our review of the Francis! Francis!, we like the quality and variety of espresso produced from these machines using the ESE espresso pods.
ESE Stands for Easy Serving Espresso, and the standard sets the requirements for the pods - 7 grams of coffee, a proper grind, and a shape and diameter that allows it to be used only in ESE approved machines. The pods sandwich the coffee between two layers of sealed filter paper. The diameter of the ESE pod is 44-45 millimeters, which is much smaller than the 55-60 mm pods that are available for the "Single Serve" coffee makers that have become popular in the last few years.
We wonder where these single serve coffee machines have become popular? :-)
The Francis! Francis X6 features a 1100-watt espresso/cappuccino machine housed in ABS plastic with chrome accents and works with ESE pods. It also features an 18-bar pressure pump; all-brass boiler refills automatically and the new Trio Technology which allows for making 3 espresso preparations--short, normal, and long. It has a 5-cup removable water tank, steam jet with built-in milk foamer, and a handy cup warmer. The Francis Francis X6 is priced at $429.99 for a limited time and normally runs $500 and higher.
The Breville ESP8XL Café Roma Stainless Espresso Maker is a good-looking espresso machine that is built with quality in mind at a good value. The pump driven maker is rated to give you 15 bar of pressure to deliver a beautiful crema every time. A full 15 bars of pressure is maintained throughout the process to maximize crema, giving the coffee a rich, barista-style aroma and taste. Three stainless steel filters (single shot, 7g; double shot, 14g; and E.S.E. pod) incorporate Breville's unique dual-wall crema technology. Beneath the first wall's 333 pores is a second steel wall with a single exit hole. This produces a backpressure, ensuring a rich, smooth flavor and texture from every extraction. We like the price at $199 and think your dad will like the espresso too.
And finally we give you the Krups XP4050 1200-Watt 15-Bar-Pump Programmable Espresso Machine. This little number has a 1200-watt programmable espresso machine with Thermobloc 15-bar pump system and easy push-button programming for controlling size and strength of espresso. The filter holder offers 3 interchangeable inserts that hold single, double, or E.S.E. pods. The KRUPS XP4050 also froths milk to perfection and has a 32-ounce removable water tank, drip tray, and cup-warming tray. This is a total steal at half off - normally $400 - you can get it right now for $199 from Krups america.
Looking for more Single Serve Coffee related Father's Day gifts? Please visit our Father's Day Single Serve Coffee Gift Guide.
May 23, 2006
We like our espresso simple, short, and with no mess. We've been researching ESE pod only espresso machines and think the the latest collaboration between renowned Italian espresso machine maker FrancisFrancis! and architect Luca Trazzi is quite the machine. The X6 features an 18 Bar pressure pump and unique Trio Technology that makes three espresso preparations: short (ristretto), normal(espresso) and long (espresso lungo). The Francis Francis! X6 comes with all-brass boiler and brewing components, and is designed to work exclusively with E.S.E. Servings (pods).
- Automatic boiler refill to prevent heating element burn-out
- Auto refill for continuous steam for cappuccinos and lattes
- Solid color ABS plastic and chrome accents
- Brass boiler and brewing components
- 18 Bar ULKA pump
- Cup-warming rail
- Easily identifiable symbols on function buttons
- Handle designed for E.S.E. espresso pods only
- Trio Technology for ristretto, espresso and espresso lungo preparation
At Francis Francis! X6 ESE Pod-Only Espresso Machine
May 16, 2006
Portable espresso or making coffee of any type on the go seems to be coming of age. We've seen the Aeropress, in-car espresso makers, and now the Preva xSport Portable Espresso maker for camping, rv-ing, and backpacking.
This ultra-compact espresso maker will make espresso on the go and is compact, light, and durable. Preva has a pretty exhaustive FAQ for any question you might have about the xSport Portable Espresso maker. We could see this being a pretty good choice for a long weekend hike or perhaps making a double shot cafe Americano on the side of a mountain.
April 18, 2006
Target.com and Amazon.com have an online only order of Caffe Ferrero 100% Arabica E.S.E. Espresso Pods. We haven't tried these yet, but it's an interesting move on Target's part to offer a 120-count box of coffee pods at $49.95 in a bulk box. The E.S.E. espresso pods are made up of 100% Arabica coffee beans and use eco-washed and sun-dried coffees from the Brazilian regions to produce a full-bodied espresso. We'll see if we can track down some of these pods in a lesser amount for a review.
Note: these E.S.E. espresso pods will only work in a E.S.E. (easy serving espresso) espresso machine like the FrancisFrancis! or other new Krups espresso machines.
At Target and Amazon.com
March 30, 2006
Imagine fueling your morning with a few dozen shots of "mad cow espresso"! Now Ascasco calls this their "Dream Cow Crazy" espresso machine and perhaps that's as close to mad cow espresso as you'll get. The machine is Hand assembled and features a 16 bar pump espresso machine adaptable for use with ground coffee or coffeeservings (ESE). So if you like single serve coffee, perhaps some ESE espresso pods and a little steamed milk would also be a nice addition to your kitchen.
At Ascaso Espresso Machine
March 1, 2006
CoffeeWhiz.com has the new KRUPS Espresso Cafe Primo E.S.E Pod Brewer. We've been hunting around for a medium priced E.S.E. pod brewer. E.S.E. is not for making coffee per se, it's for making espresso and of course you can make a perfect cup of single serve coffee but the E.S.E. coffee pod is smaller and weighs in at 7 grams. We've covered quite a few of these different E.S.E. (easy serving espresso) machines over the past year but this one looks pretty good for $299.
Continue reading: "KRUPS Espresso Cafe' Primo E.S.E Pod Brewer"
- Programmable 15 bar pump machine makes café quality espresso, cappuccino and latte
- Thermoblock heating element ensures optimal temperature and pressure for perfect espresso extraction
- Removable stainless steel drip tray for easy clean
- 32 oz. removable water tank
- Easy push button programming to customize size and strength of espresso and control steam and hot water functions
- Patented auto-cappuccino system for foolproof frothing of milk
- Compatible with E.S.E. pods
- Brushed stainless steel front panel with cup warming tray
September 14, 2005
We've been enjoying the new line up of ESE espresso pods from Baronet Coffee. Baronet was kind enough to send us a sampling of their Light, Dark, and DECAF espresso pods along with a Grimac ESE Pod machine for testing. We can't thank them enough.
If you aren't familiar with ESE Pods, they are not coffee pods. ESE pods are a smaller pod, and are used for making espresso shots only. ESE Pods will not fit in your Home Cafe, Senseo or Bunn. They will however fit in any ESE espresso pod machine. We reviewed the FrancisFrancis! recently, and it used ESE pods and we feel a good choice for a starting espresso machine.
Unlike coffee pods, ESE is an actual standard. They are all sized the same and fit in any ESE espresso machine. Imagine if the coffee pod market actually used a standard 10 gram, 62 mm pod and you knew you could use any coffee pod in any machine? Wild.
The Baronet Light, Dark, and Decaf ESE pods are very good. We really enjoyed the Dark roast over the light roast, and found the DECAF pod to have a good flavor despite being decaf.
We like to have our shots of espresso "ristretto" style. So we tend to use a little less water and try to get the most crema we can into the cup. Each of the Baronet espresso pods had a nice full crema and passed the dreaded sugar test - sugar staying on top of the crema for 3-4 seconds and then falling into the hot water.
We are really enjoying a shot of espresso about mid day and then following up with a nice cup of single serve coffee in the late afternoon. Great stuff and we recommend trying out the Baronet Espresso pods if you have an ESE machine.
At Baronet Coffee
June 15, 2005
illy was kind enough to send us their new FrancisFrancis! X5 E.S.E. (Easy Serving Espresso) Espresso machine to help us on our journey into the world of espresso.
Buy the FrancisFrancis! X5 Espresso Machine & Get FREE Shipping at Amazon.com
It's also important to note: E.S.E. Espresso Pods work in E.S.E. espresso machines. E.S.E. pods will not work in your Home Cafe, Senseo, or Bunn My Cafe. However, if you love the ease of use that your Single Serve Coffee machine has provided you, then moving into the world of espresso via the E.S.E. pod is the way to go.
I have in the past tried to get into espresso and found it too time consuming, too difficult to get right every time, and most of all - MESSY. With the E.S.E. pods this goes away, and making espresso is as easy as brewing a cup of single serve coffee.
Continue reading: "Review: FrancisFrancis! X5 Espresso Machine from illy"
October 17, 2004
When I first heard about Super Automatic Espresso
machines from Capresso, to say the least, I was very skeptical that a fully automatic machine would make a terrific cup of espresso. My friend Jeff Paradiso
(who is very into coffee) had purchased such a machine from Capresso - well actually - he had purchased the Ultima (The only semi-automatic pump coffee/ espresso/cappuccino with automatic tamping and used coffee removal technology).
He couldn't stop talking about how easy it was, and how the machine took care of the grinds for you. At the time he purchased the machine, I was very into purchasing one, but the Senseo finally came out in the US (and hence this site), so I abandoned my Capresso desires and thought maybe in a few months Jeff's tune of Capresso dominance would end and I would see if it was worth the higher cost to buy one.
Needless to say, Jeff's love of Capresso has never ended. And after receiving the Jura-Capresso IMPRESSA E8 to review - a fully automatic version - my love has since started, grown, grown some more, and been growing ever since.
Continue reading: "Jura-Capresso IMPRESSA E8 Review"
September 16, 2004
The folks at Capresso have provided us with a Jura-Capresso IMPRESSA E8 to review! WOO HOOO! We can already tell you - YES - it does cost $1000 bucks - but man...the coffee is well...amazing! Stay tuned for our multi-week look at the E8.
A little about the E8:
"The IMPRESSA E8 is equipped with all the necessary hi-tech features for brewing superb espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and long crema coffees. The easy to read LED display will show you if you brew mild, regular or strong coffee and displays the cup size while the machine is brewing."
Read more at CAPRESSO