These are the 3rd or 4th different brand of pods I have bought for my espresso machine. The illy pods are noticeably harder than the other brands I tried and I think this causes water to leak out around the pods before it is able to permeate through. As a result, the first few seconds of liquid that pours into the cup is just water. This has not happened with the other brands I have tried and so you will end up with a watery espresso shot. One other point, once you open the tin, the pods are not individually wrapped which means you'll have to use them within a reasonable amount of time before they go stale.