If you want to brew the perfect cup of coffee at home, you have many options today. There are now various coffee machines available, both for home and office use. When it comes to the coffee itself, there are also various choices.
You can get whole coffee beans and ground them yourself or you can also buy pre-packaged ground coffee. Now that we are on the subject of the kinds of coffee available on the market, we will discuss two of the most popular options today and they are easy serve espresso pods or ESE pods and ground coffee.
Easy serve espresso pods
A coffee pod is the equivalent of a teabag. It has a pre-portioned serving of coffee which is wrapped in a paper filter. All you need to do is infuse it with water and you have can have a cup of coffee ready in just minutes. It is the worldwide standard for coffee pods. Only pods which meet the ESE standard can be used for the ESE compatible espresso machines.
A standard pod contains between 6.5 and 7.5 grams of coffee. In order to make a cup of coffee, the pod is placed in a filter which fits inside the portafilter of an espresso machine.
One of the key selling points of ESE pods is convenience. Preparing espresso by hand requires skill and it is a process which can be somewhat messy. You have to deal with calibration of the grinders, the coffee itself and the cleanliness of the surrounding workspace. When you opt for an ESE pod, you need not deal with these things. The pods are already pre-tampered and pre-dosed and they stay intact in the paper filter. Once done, all you need to do is just discard the pod like a teabag.
Here’s a good video about how to use ESE pods with the Gaggia espresso machine
Although easy serve espresso pods have advantages, there are times when ground coffee is a better choice than pods. Coffee grounds are a lot fresher, have more flavour and have better aroma because the beans are ground just when there is a need for them. The actual grinding process helps release all the preserved flavors in the bean.
The convenience of ESE pods comes with a price and that is the fact that the taste is sacrificed to a certain extent. Handcrafted espresso using freshly ground coffee tastes a lot better than coffee made with an ESE pod. The pods lack depth and flavor.
Both ground coffee and ESE pods both come with advantages and disadvantages. They certainly have good things to offer but they also have shortcomings. It is best to ask yourself what you truly want out of your coffee and what things you are willing to go without in order to determine which option is best for you. If you want convenience more, you should go with ESE pods but if you want more flavor and aroma and do not mind a little elbow grease when preparing your coffee, then ground coffee is the perfect choice for you.