Island Joe's Coffee

90-Mile Stretch Espresso (ESE pod)

Location: Key West, Florida

Origin: Not disclosed.

Roast: Medium-Dark

Est. Price:

Review Date: January 2009

Agtron: 0/42

Aroma: 8

Body: 8

Flavor: 9

Aftertaste: 9

With Milk: 7

Blind Assessment:

Produced from an ESE pod on a FrancisFrancis! pod brewer. Sweet, juicy-impressioned fruit dominates in the aroma (papaya? cherry?) with a hints of fir and leather. Syrupy mouthfeel and great richness and depth of sensation in the small cup, with continued low-acid fruit and fresh-cut fir notes. Superb finish: long, deep. In two parts milk good presence and chocolate-toned fruit, though just a touch flat and woody.


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 26-second extraction for a one-ounce serving. At this writing about 41 cents per pod on the Island Joe’s website. Joe Wells started his small-batch roasting business in a gas station because no one else in his part of the Florida Keys sold fresh-roasted coffee. His growing but still home-grown business carries the motto “Born Out of Necessity – Crafted with Passion.” Visit www.islandjoescoffee.com or call 305-294-1190 for more information.

Who Should Drink It: An outstanding pod espresso, particularly for straight shots. Excellent value, emphasis on freshness.

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

Comments are closed.