Picking the best Nespresso pods for your coffee machine isn’t as easy as most people think, especially when you’re dealing with a new Nespresso machine.
You might have a few doubts when it comes to picking the suitable pods for this type of coffee machine. This is why we’ve come up with this detailed article on some of the best Nespresso pods out there and how to buy the pods that’ll best suit your coffee machine.
You can find Nespresso pods easily both online and in local retail stores.
However, these days you can also find “Nespresso-compatible” pods or the pods specifically designed for a Nespresso coffee machine. However, the brand itself doesn’t sell them.
The most important thing you need to know about Nespresso pods is, for starters, 80-percent of the Nespresso pods are manufactured using coffee from the Nespresso Sustainable Quality program.
This program is designed to produce capsules and pods that are more sustainable and more eco-friendly. Also, in addition to all the originals, nowadays, you can find Nespresso-compatible pods for your coffee machine.
Last but certainly not least, before you pick Nespresso pods, there are a few things you might need to consider, such as the number of pods you need and the variety you’re interested in acquiring.
Table of Contents
- Best Nespresso Pods – Reviews & Buying Guide for 2021
- How To Choose The Best Nespresso Pods
- Are Nespresso Pods Organic?
- Best Nespresso Pods For Your Coffee Machine: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Wrapping Up
Best Nespresso Pods – Reviews & Buying Guide for 2021
- Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine
- Nespresso Barista Creations Caramel Cookie
- Peet’s Coffee Espresso
- Starbucks By Nespresso
- Lavazza Nespresso Compatible Pods
Best Overall: Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine
Nespresso has been delivering the most sustainable and best coffee experiences for quite a while now. The capsules and pods they make are fully recyclable using the Nespresso Recycling Program.
The Rainforest Alliance and Nespresso came up with their AAA Sustainable Quality Program to improve the coffee quality, sustainability, and productivity of independent coffee growers.
These pods, in particular, are powerful and highly intense. They’re a blend of Central America’s Robusta Beans and South America’s Arabica beans that produce a creamy and full-bodied blend.
This Nespresso coffee assortment pack has forty Nespresso capsules is a variety of two best-selling coffee blends. They’re designed for their Nespresso VertuoLine System. This assortment pack will allow users to explore the different notes and rich tastes of Altisso (which has an intensity of 9) and Diavolitto (which has an intensity of 11).
It’s ideal for those of you looking to discover a wide and distinctive range of coffee. These Nespresso capsules are among the Espresso range that’ll provide you with about a 1.35-ounce serving of espresso.
Nespresso aluminum pods guarantee coffee freshness and are fully recyclable. The company provides different recycling options for your used aluminum Nespresso coffee capsules to fulfill the collective commitment to protecting the environment.
Furthermore, Nespresso Vertuo offers a wide range of coffee styles and cup sizes from Alto XL to espresso with easy-to-use pods. You can enjoy the hot beverage or pour it over ice.
- It has a combination of Altissimo and Diavolitto pods
- Can produce a nice shot of espresso
- Pods have a bold flavor and no bitterness
- A bit on the pricey side of things
- Misleading advertising. The two packs are entirely identical
Runner Up: Nespresso Barista Creations Caramel Cookie
Barista Creations has taken inspiration from indulgent desserts and has managed to elevate your favorite flavored coffee and transforms it into more decadent creations. These pods offer unparalleled coffee quality and a unique centrifusion brewing tech that’ll allow you to savor the pods’ versatility.
With this product, the company has still strived to deliver some of the most sustainable and best coffee experiences. These particular capsules are also wholly recyclable via its Nespresso Recycling Program.
With Nespresso Caramel Cookie capsules, you can expect to get that classic caramel aroma and taste through all the pods.
However, you can also get hints of biscuit, almond, and coconut. These pods have an intensity of 6 with a split roast. The company roasts Brazilian beans quickly and medium-dark to develop their sweetness. The second split provides that velvety texture that you’ll notice in all the pods. The caramel flavor is added after roasting.
These particular Nespresso pods will offer a serving of about 7.8-ounces of coffee. These pods are ideal if you’re looking for long drinking experiences. You can recycle these capsules as well. Not only do these capsules guarantee coffee freshness, but they’re fully recyclable as well. Nespresso offers different recycling options for the used coffee capsules.
The company does this to fulfill its commitment to protecting the environment. The company also of a wide variety of coffee styles and cup sizes from Alto XL to espresso with relative ease.
- Super quick to make
- It has three different distinct flavors
- It has a velvety and smooth texture with no aftertaste
- It doesn’t have hot chocolate pods
- A bit on the pricey side
- No espresso pods
Alternative: Peet’s Coffee Espresso
Peet’s signature dark espresso provides a deep, nuanced, and complex dark coffee. You can explore four top-selling, rich coffee blends that come in a pack of ten each.
These four coffee blends include Ricchezza (which is perfect with milk and has an intensity of 8), Crema Scura (with an intensity of 9), Nerissimo (with an intensity of 11), and Decaffeinato Ristretto (with an intensity of 9).
Manufactured using 100-percent Arabica coffee beans, each pod produces a high-quality, rich coffee moment that you’d expect from Peet’s. These pods will provide you with a complex, plush espresso that’ll seamlessly slip into steamed milk’s malty sweetness, especially the Ricchezza.
Each pod is sealed to deliver richer foam, more intense espresso moments, and preserves aroma.
You can use these pods in Nespresso Original machines; Creatista, KitchenAid, Lattissima, CitiZ, Pixie, Essenza plus and Essenza Mini.
These machines offer a consistently rich crema, an exact pull, and high-pressure extraction. Peet’s aluminum pods can be recycled fully through its mail-back program.
Each aluminum pod is sealed for a strong espresso moment and delicious aroma with a satisfying, rich crema. The range of intensities you can expect to get ranges from a dark roast intensity of 10-11 to a medium roast with an intensity of 8-9.
- Produces a soft, rich, and smooth crema
- Excellent, deep flavor with no bitterness
- Features four different coffee blends
- You can easily recycle used pods
- It makes a weak lungo cup
- A little on the expensive side
Alternative: Starbucks By Nespresso
That same top-drawer Starbucks coffee we all know about and love so much is something now Nespresso makes so that you can enjoy at home.
Furthermore, these pods are manufactured using aluminum for guaranteed coffee freshness and 100-percent recyclability. You can now enjoy five of the best Starbucks roasts in the comfort of your home with this variety pack.
The options included in the package are Caffe Verona, Single-Origin Colombia, House Blend, Pike Place Roast, and Starbucks Blonde Espresso. The coffee machines that work well with these pods are Creatist, KitchenAid, Lattissima, Expert, CitiZ, Pixie, and Essenza Mini.
With these pods, you can expect to get that quintessential Starbucks quality. Like all at-home Starbucks coffee products, Starbucks’s Nespresso Capsules are manufactured using 100-percent Arabica coffee beans with sustainable practices. It’s also relatively easy to find the exact roast you’re looking for.
You can get the roast levels you usually enjoy at Starbucks. Dark roasts have an intensity range of 10-12, and Blonde roasts range between 4-6. You can enjoy high-pressure extraction and dense coffee crema that you could only previously enjoy in a Starbucks café.
These espresso pods brew 3.7, 1.35, or 0.85 ounces of coffee. Just place the Nespresso pods in the machine and then pick the ristretto, espresso, or lungo brew size.
- Five different Starbucks coffee blends to choose from
- Pods have a bold, thick flavor that isn’t bitter
- Rich, full-bodied crema
- A tad bit expensive
- It could have had more capsules in the package
- It can get smashed up in the box easily
Alternative: Lavazza Nespresso Compatible Pods
Lavazza, a company based in Italy, is world-renowned for the Arabica-Robusta espresso blends they produce. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, considering they reside in espresso’s homeland.
Not many people have mastered espresso like the Italians. The global reach Lavazza has allows the company to get its hands on the best coffee blends for Nespresso-compatible pods.
Their size means that they can provide these exceptional coffee blends at affordable prices.
If you want to taste the wide-range Italy offers, you might want to consider the sampler pack with five different varieties. With the wide variety of intensities and flavors in this pack, it’s ideal for those who haven’t had Nespresso before and don’t know what they like.
Each coffee capsule is both roasted and blended right there in Italy, using a unique technique to maximize aroma. This particular variety pack features 120 espresso pods, which should be able to keep anyone caffeinated for a long time and will spare you the trouble of always having to restock frequently.
It also features two lungo coffee pods; the Leggero Lungo (which is the mildest choice) has a flower and fruit flavor with an intensity level of 4. The next one is the Avvolgente Lungo (which has a slightly higher intensity with spice and cocoa hints.
The other 3 are espresso brews, the Armonic blend (which has an 8 intensity level with flavors of toasted cereals and caramel)—the Deciso dark-roast (which has 10 intensity levels and hints of woodiness and cocoa. Lastly, the most powerful ristretto (which is a true Italian espresso with classic chocolate and caramel flavors).
- It Has 10 capsules in the pack
- It has an intensity level of 5 through to 13
- Offers 10 cups of espresso in total
- Roasted and blended in the espresso capital, Italy
- It doesn’t have a lot of coffee in the capsules
- A bit on the expensive side
- Plastic coffee capsules
How To Choose The Best Nespresso Pods
Suppose there’s a specific coffee you already like, then you’re on the right path.
However, picking Nespresso-compatible pods is not the same as purchasing entire coffee beans. It would be best to consider a couple of things before getting Nespresso-compatible pods.
Look For Flavor First
A coffee lover knows that when you’re out shopping for espresso pods that are Nespresso-compatible (or even just regular coffee beans), freshness usually has a more enormous influence on the flavor of the coffee than the bean’s origin or even its level of roast.
That’s why most coffee lovers are more inclined to go for well-established and prominent brands with plenty of turnovers. Small boutique brands are usually better for entire bean coffee. So, rather than looking for a particular roast or region of origin, look for brands that have flavor profiles you trust and enjoy.
Intensity Vs. Roast
While roast levels are often exclusively there to market whole bean coffee, you are more likely to get Nespresso-compatible brands with the intensity level labeled on them. Some brands go further and define the roast.
The intensity level is a subjective rating system that considers numerous factors, including concentration, bitterness, body, and roast level. Caffeine content is one thing that’s not taken into account, though. So, the more caffeine content it has doesn’t necessarily equal intensity.
High-intensity coffees have high concentration and a heavy, dark body. Their flavor will taste more bitter than sweet. Low-intensity coffees are the opposite of this. Their roasts are lighter, with a sweeter flavor and mild body.
Lungo Vs. Espresso
Nespresso-compatible pods are all designed for lungos, espressos and ristrettos. The most concentrated of them all is the ristretto, with about half the amount of water you’ll find in an espresso.
The weakest of them all is the lungo (with lungo meaning long in Italian). Essentially it’s an espresso that feels and tastes a bit more like a pressure-brewed coffee or Americano.
Some brands will advise you to use individual pods for one drink due to concentration, intensity, and flavor. If there’s a particular drink you like, look for pods that are the appropriate size, and you’ll be able to get some of the tastiest coffee.
Single Origin Is Less Common Than Blends
Although single-origin Nespresso-compatible capsules exist, they’re rare when comparing them to blends. It is not just a Nespresso machine feature. Generally speaking, espresso is usually something people make with blends instead of single-origins.
Some folks are afraid of blends because roasters, in the past, have used them to mask sub-par beans and save money. However, that’s no longer the case. These days, blends are crafted more carefully for greater consistency and a more balanced flavor profile.
In the past few years, 3rd-wave coffees have seen single origins become more popular, mostly lighter roasts with a complex character and bright acidity. The same things that help make these components attractive brewed coffees can end up being a little overpowering in espressos.
Nespresso Vertuo Vs Original
The pods highlighted in this article people can use in Nespresso OriginalLine machines. These include the Essenza, CitiZ, Latissima, Creatista, and the popular Pixie machine.
However, Nespresso just recently released the VertuoLine, which has a design that allows you to make both brewed coffee as well as espresso. So far, the VertuoLine machines can only take Nespresso brand pods.
Meaning you’ll need to get a purchase from Nespresso itself if you’ve got a VertuoLine coffee machine. Alternatively, you can get your hands on refillable capsules for the VertuoLine so that you can brew regular coffee, which is an excellent Nespresso pod alternative.
Are Nespresso Pods Organic?
Although Nespresso right now doesn’t supply organic coffee, it has AAA Sustainable Quality coffee.
Over 80-percent of pods currently on the market have been made with ingredients and components from this program. This program was brought to life in 2003 and was designed to give the world the highest quality possible.
Today the company works with more than 70,000 farmers in 13 different countries. The program represents the long-term commitment Nespresso has to coffee communities and farmers worldwide.
Nespresso’s actions are based on technical assistance, financing, training, and support to continuously improve productivity, sustainability, and quality.
Best Nespresso Pods For Your Coffee Machine: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Pods are compatible with Nespresso?
The pods that are Nespresso machine-compatible are the ones that have a kick and taste great. If you’re the type that loves the heavy body and bold flavors of classic espresso, then the best option for you would be to go the Peet’s Coffee route.
However, many more pods can be used in Nespresso machines. Some of the best ones include Starbucks Variety Pack, Lavazza Coffee Pods, Nespresso Barista Creations, L’OR Variety Pack, and Don Francisco’s Old Havana.
How many shots of espresso are in a Nespresso pod?
Two espresso shots people commonly refer to as a double espresso. One single-serve capsule should give you a double espresso.
It has a more intense taste, a more robust aroma, and has the ability to satisfy any size coffee craving. If you like robust and intense Italian-style espressos, then the double shot or double espresso might the most ideal option for you.
Why is Nespresso coffee so bitter?
Your Nespresso machine will start having a build-up of residue and old coffee oils in the brewing chamber with regular use and over time. In this chamber is where all the old coffee oils sit. This blocks the nozzle, in turn, resulting in bitter-tasting coffee.
Can Nespresso pods go in the recycling bin?
Yes, they can. It’s essential to put your used pods in the bag that comes in the package and then throw it into a recycling bin.
The used pods are entirely recyclable if they’re aluminum-based. Plastic ones may prove a bit difficult to deal with. Aluminum-based pods are the only ones that are infinitely recyclable.
How Do You Know If They’ve Expired?
Nespresso pods are hermetically sealed to keep oxygen, humidity, and light away from the coffee inside. At the bottom of every Nespresso pods’ package, you’ll see both the expiry date and the production date.
The expiry date is almost always about a year or so from its elaboration. However, since the pods’ expiry date is simply an indicator of how fresh, tasty and aromatic, the unopened pods are safe for human consumption after that date.
So don’t fret too much if you’ve still got pods that you haven’t eaten yet, as long as you’ve not opened them. Keep in mind that if you can smell the coffee aroma from the pod, this means that it’s not been sealed properly—those ones you should discard immediately.
Understanding The Notes
Like wines, coffee beans have several professional descriptors that people use to figure out what the blend and bean will taste. Sometimes these terms are a bit vague or end up in a kind of a furrowed brow effect. If you’re in North America, you probably drink a lot of Colombian coffees.
They typically have a nuttiness with an intense caramel sweetness, so it can be a good idea to use this as a rule of thumb. These descriptors are still very straightforward. However, Ethiopian coffee isn’t too shabby itself. It has a more floral natural flavor tone. You just need to know what you like drinking in the morning, and you’re good.
There was a time it was a luxury if you had a Nespresso coffee machine.
Today, however, thanks to the wide variety of pods in the market and the high possibility of getting compatible ones. This type of coffee is now within the average man’s reach. With that said, not all pods are the same.
However, if you’ve read until here, you should know how to pick Nespresso compatible pods and the top brands in the market.