Espresso pods take the mess out of making espresso. By enclosing the coffee grounds in a disposable case, these pods allow you to make espresso without ever having to clean the filters, portafilters or other parts of the machine. There are three main types of pods.
iperEspresso - Produced by illy, these small pods fit into their line of Francis Francis and other espresso makers. The typical cost of a pod is between 60 cents and $1, depending on the blend and type of beans used, with the single origin coffees being more expensive. iperEspresso pod espresso makers do not allow you to use your own beans or blend; you are limited to the ones offered by illy.
Nespresso - Produced by Nestle, these pods fit into the Nespresso line of espresso and other drink makers. The typical cost of a pod is between 70 and 80 cents, depending on how many you buy. Nespresso pod espresso makers do not allow you to use your own beans or blend; you are limited to the ones produced by Nestle.
E.S.E - Short for Easy Serving Espresso, these pods are designed to fit into most consumer espresso makers. They are effectively a pre-tamped and compressed puck of coffee grounds in a small filter. They can be used in most machines (although you should check if your espresso maker supports them before buying), but are generally thought to produce a lower quality brew than using your own.