It’s true that with ESE coffee pods, there’s no more messing around grinding coffee beans or waiting for coffee pre-infusion time. You’re just a push of a button away from brewing espresso and I take this as one of life’s greatest blessings.
With that said, let’s see whether the ESE Frog espresso coffee pods are really worth your money or whether you’re better off brewing coffee the old-fashioned way.
Frog Espresso Machine – Is It Worth It?
There are a lot of things that one has to consider before he/she buys an espresso machine. For instance, some may prefer build quality over user experience whilst some may even prefer user experience over taste.
If you want an espresso machine that looks out of the box and has a range of customizable options to choose from, I can’t recommend the Didiesse’s Frog machines enough. You should definitely check out the customizable skins and colors that make it stand out from other dull-looking, single-tone espresso machines.
Moreover, if you’re looking for an ESE espresso machine with an integrated steam wand, there’s no other better option than the Frog Espresso machines.
Even though you would have to stretch your budget a bit more for the steam versions, no other manufacturer provides such a feature at this price bracket.
However, most people – whilst considering an espresso machine – look for the machine’s durability and whether it can withstand more than 5 years of usage or not. The average lifespan of an espresso machine is about 10 years.
However, the Didiesse’s Frog reviews say otherwise.
According to many users, the Frog espresso machine lasts a maximum of two years before the pump starts malfunctioning. So, if you are looking for an ESE machine that can last you more than 2 years, the Didiesse’s Frogs are not for you.
Moreover, Nespresso offers a range of their own coffee/espresso capsules and pods that leave no needs unattended. From light-roasted Iced coffee pods to dark-roasted smoky espresso capsules, Nespresso has everything covered.
Also, it is safe to say that Nespresso has nailed the design language of all the Nespresso machines.
Of all the ESE machines, I’d go for the Nespresso Vertuo Black. Yes, it’s slightly more expensive than the high-specced Didiesse Frogs, but it’s 5x more worth it. Even if it means not having a steam wand!
Frog Espresso Machine – Pros & Cons
The single, most common benefit amongst all ESE machines, including the Frog espresso machines, is their user experience. The amount of effort required in the brewing process is zero to none. The only effort that goes into it is while pulling the lever.
After that, the machine simply takes over and you have before yourself a hot, Plus, the fact that you can brew a consistent quality espresso means that you won’t have to learn to use the machine.
It would be unfair to discuss the Frog machine’s Pros without mentioning its customizability. You have complete freedom from choosing between a range of customizable skins on your individual Frog machines. You can really make your Frog stand out from other (countless) ESE coffee pod machines.
A quick look at their website, and you can tell the extent to which Didiesse has diversified the design of their espresso machines.
The customizable options don’t just end there. Each Didiesse Frog espresso machine gives you a range of accessory holders for holding things like sugar or coffee pods, which just makes for a better user experience.
Thankfully, Didiesse has kept the prices of these machines low. You should be expecting a cost of around $150 – $190. Under $200 bucks for an easy-serving espresso machine with excellent-tasting coffee pods is more than you could wish for. Plus, their customizable feature(s) affirms that you’re getting the bang for your buck.
Users have reported the Frog’s pump not working after some time. Either the pump is burnt or it completely goes off. Also, the 2-year warranty service is in Italy, which basically means that once the pump stops working, the machine is rendered useless. That is unless you live in (or near) Italy.
Now, this raises some questions about its build quality and long-term use. Such is highly unlikely of the Italians who are known for making some of the most durable espresso machines which are said to last for generations like the Rancilio Miss Silvia.
All Frog espresso machines, except the landing-twin machines, share the same round and bulky design language. No matter how customizable these machines are, the design always seems a bit debatable and even controversial for some.
For instance, the LED buttons look a bit dated and you can almost feel as If Didiesse could have done a better job at it.
Compare its design to a similar-priced ESE machine and you can easily tell which machine looks more dated.
Frog Espresso Machine vs. Nespresso Vertuo
The Nespresso Vertuo espresso machines give a really tough competition to the Frog espresso machines. In every aspect. Nespresso offers a range of espresso machines, but the lower-priced Vertuo machines are what trouble the Frog espresso machines.
Every single one of these machines is exceptionally well-made and profoundly thought-out. Even the cheaper espresso machines look more well-built and purposeful than the more expensive and high-specced Didiesse’s Frogs.
Also, the design is kept very minimalistic, yet classy. And, unlike the Frog Espresso machines, the design doesn’t seem like it’s trying too hard.
Also, unlike the Frogs espresso machines, the Nespresso machines have a wide range of networks that are not just limited to Italy. Numerous positive reviews show how well-received these machines are in the eyes of coffee lovers. And, I think that should be enough of a buying factor for these machines.
Finally, we come on to their user experience. In this case, and unsurprisingly, Nespresso Vertuo coffee machines eat the Didiesse’s frogs for dinner. Nespresso just makes the brewing process a whole lot easier and much more satisfying.
Instead of cheap, low-quality, and dated LED buttons, Nespresso makes use of smart and well-integrated buttons. Even the lid opens and closes automatically which is something that the Didiesse Frogs can only wish for.
Everything feels purposeful and well-engineered, from disposing of the coffee capsules to energy-saving features.
Frog Espresso Machine – How to use It?
The beauty of all ESE coffee machines, including Frog espresso machines, lies in their (simplistic) nature. The easy brewing process in these machines is enough for people to go straight ahead and buy them.
For those new to the world of ESE coffee machines, let’s have a quick rundown of some of the steps necessary for an ideal cup of a Frog espresso.
If it’s your first time using the machine, you’ll need to fill water inside the water chamber. This can be done by inserting the (filled) water bottle into the water chamber.
Next, locate the (two) water pipes that can be found in the same chamber and insert them into the water bottle. This allows the water to run through the machine’s system and through the (ground) coffee pods.
Also, the water container should give you access to a couple of Shims. These can be installed under the filter compartment or the pod holder to support these pod holders as they can be a bit flimsy.
Next, plug in the machine to its electricity source and then push the ‘green’ button located on the machine’s top-left corner. The orange button – or the temperature indicator light – should light up indicating that the machine is getting ready for the brewing process. Wait till the orange LED light goes off before finally starting the brewing process.
As with all espresso machines, it is recommended to run water through the machine’s system. This helps your espresso get rid of any substances that remain in the machine’s system.
Once you are done with all the preps, lift the lever and place the coffee pod under the pod holder. Now lower the lever until you hear a solid click indicating that the pod is in its place. Press the orange temperature indicator LED light and let the machine take over from here.
After the machine has done its job, remove the used coffee pods from the holder and you should be good to go.
(Optional) On more expensive steam versions of Frog espresso machines, you have the added benefit of a steam wand. First, push the ‘red’ steam button until a blue LED comes on.
Next, wait for the blue LED to go off and then start the steaming process. Take the wand for a test run to ensure that the wand is letting off proper steam.
Now, run the steam wand through your beverage by long-pressing the blue LED button and steam the milk to the desired temperature.
I hope I speak for everyone when I say that Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) coffee machines have made life for us coffee lovers much easier. Undoubtedly, it’s a blessing in disguise. Gone were the days when brewing a cup of coffee was but a lengthy and laborious task.
Undeniably, many of us like the smell (or should I say aroma) of freshly ground coffee beans in the morning as well as the ‘ritual’ of brewing coffee.
However, the other half of us are just looking for a hot cup of espresso to kick off our day. And – lucky for them – this is where ESE coffee pods, especially, the Frog espresso machines come in.