100% Arabica, Black Label (ESE pod)

Location: Padenghe sul Garda, Italy

Origin: Not disclosed.

Roast: Light

Est. Price:

Review Date: January 2009

Agtron: 0/80

Aroma: 7

Body: 8

Flavor: 7

Aftertaste: 7

With Milk: 8

Blind Assessment:

Produced from an ESE pod on a FrancisFrancis! pod brewer. Aromatically simple, robust espresso with a heavy, slightly rough mouthfeel and a woody date and nut character. Pleasingly rich in milk, with a minty hint to the chocolate.


ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) pods are wafer-like single-serving sized portions of ground espresso coffee compressed and enclosed in filter paper. Any company that has access to the proper machinery can produce them. Although “pod adaptors” are available for many home espresso machines, ESE pods seem to produce best results when used on home machines exclusively designed for them. We tested this set of sample pods on the pod-only FrancisFrancis! X6 Trio home espresso machine, which allows for some control of extraction rate by how firmly the pod-bearing portafilter is tightened into the machine. We evaluated this espresso at a rather long 37-second extraction for a one-ounce serving. At this writing about 50 cents per pod in smaller quantities and 40 cents per pod in larger quantities when purchased online. Lucaffe’s motto is “Enjoy Your Life” and the packaging features a large, smiling black man obviously enjoying himself in various costumes and settings. Visit www.lucaffe.com for more information.

Who Should Drink It: An attractive pod espresso for big milk drinks.

This review originally appeared in the January, 2009 tasting report: Convenience First: Espresso Pods and Capsules

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