Best Nespresso Pods

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So you have just invested in your shiny new Nespresso machine, now comes the exciting part of finding the best Nespresso pods to brew with! A quick look will show a vast variety of blends, strengths, and flavors to choose from. We have compiled a list of some of the best Nespresso pods as a starting point for you. From there, you can see what roasts and tasting notes best suit your taste.

What is Nespresso?

The Nespresso system was initially invented by Eric Favre, a Swiss engineer who wanted to design a single-serve machine that brewed good-tasting coffee. Enter Nespresso. Nespresso machines are known for their convenience and ability to produce consistent quality coffee. Nespresso currently has two lines of machines (OriginalLine and VertuoLine) and thus Nespresso Pods to fit those machines.

Nespresso currently has about 30 different pod options in both lines of machines:

  • Espresso Capsules- contain blends of coffee designed for espresso shots. With the Vertuo range, there are different flavors depending on whether you are aiming for a single or double shot.
  • Master Origin capsules- espresso capsules that contain single-origin coffee rather than a blend
  • Lungo, Gran Lungo, Mug, and Alto Capsules- designed for a larger cup of coffee. Only compatible with Vertuo Machines
  • Decaffeinato capsules- capsules containing decaffeinated coffee
  • Barista creations- flavored coffee such as vanilla, caramel, cocoa, or hazelnut

The OriginalLine has three different sizes of shot available; Ristretto (.85 ounces), Espresso (1.35 ounces), or Lungo (3.7 ounces). If you are a coffee rather than espresso lover, you do have the option of making an Americano with Nespresso machines. The VertuoLine caters to those who love both espresso and drip-style coffee with five cup sizes: Alto Coffee (14oz), Coffee (8oz), Gran Lungo (5 oz), Double Espresso (2.7 oz), and Espresso (1.35 oz).

Best Nespresso Pods

OriginalLine vs VertuoLine

As mentioned above, Nespresso currently has two lines of Nespresso machines on the market:


These machines feature the original technology. With the OriginalLine system, the pointed end of the capsule is pierced with three holes when inserted into the machine. The machine then pumps hot water at 19 bars of pressure into the capsule until the foil bottom bursts, as it is made of thinner foil than the rest of the capsule, and espresso is released. OriginalLine Nespresso pods brew a more traditional espresso.


The Vertuo machines use a newer system known as Centrifuge to produce coffee. Vertuo capsules are pierced with a single hole at the flat top. The machine then scans the barcode on the capsule, which dictates the temperature and water volume required to brew each capsule. Hot water flows through the capsule while the machine spins the capsule at up to 7000 rpm to blend the coffee and water. VertuoLine Nespresso Pods produce larger drink styles and more drip-style coffee. The drinks are also topped with a thicker layer of crema.

As you can tell from the two different systems, the Nespresso pods cannot be mixed. So make sure you buy the correct Nespresso pod to fit your machine.

What To Look For In Nespresso Capsules?

Tasting Notes

Each Nespresso pod has different tasting notes depending on how the coffee was processed and roasted. Identify which roast level you prefer: light, medium, or dark. Light roasted coffee is generally a more mild flavor with a light, sweet, slightly acidic notes. Dark roasted coffee is more intense and rich with chocolate, smoky, and bitter notes. Medium roasted coffee is a more balanced profile.


Every Nespresso pod is labeled with an intensity level ranging from 1 to 13. Generally, the lighter roasted coffee has a lower intensity, while the darker roasts have a higher intensity. When you are starting out, it pays to try a range of different intensities to find what works best with your preferred drink.

VertuoLine or OriginalLine

As mentioned above, the two different types of Nespresso Pods are not interchangeable. If you have already got a machine, check which type of pod you need before buying. If you are deciding which machine to get, think about what type of coffee you like to drink. Suppose you like more traditional espresso-based drinks, then opt for the OriginalLine machines. Alternatively, if you prefer to be able to brew both espresso and drip coffee opt for the VertuoLine machines.

Best Nespresso Pods- OriginalLine

Nespresso Ristretto Intenso Capsules

Best Nespresso Pods 

The Ristretto Capsule is one of the best Nespresso pods available. It is made with a blend of both Arabica and Robusta coffee from South and Central America and East Africa. The coffee is dark roasted and has an intensity rating of 10 out of 13. It has a rich flavor with fruity notes and a hint of acid. This pod works well with both espresso or milk-based drinks like latte and cappuccinos. 

Category: Original | Intensity: 10 out of 13 | Cup Size: 0.85 and 1.35 ounces | Origin: South and Central America and East Africa | Roast: Medium Dark

Nespresso Arpeggio Intenso Capsules

Best Nespresso Pods

Another popular Nespresso pod is the Arpeggio Intensto. This is another more intense blend made from beans from South and Central America. It offers a bold, roasty flavor profile with notes of cocoa and wood. 

Category: Original | Intensity: 9 out of 13 | Cup Size: 0.85 and 1.35 ounces | Origin: South and Central America | Roast: Dark

Nespresso India Capsules

Best Nespresso Pods

The India capsule is part of the Master Origin selection. This capsule is made from Arabica and Robusta beans that originate in India. The Robusta beans are grown during the Monsoon season, where they spend months in Monsoonal winds, which repeatedly swell and dry the beans. This results in a unique woody and spicy flavor profile with a deep intensity.

Category: Original | Intensity: 11 out of 13 | Cup Size: 0.85 and 1.35 ounces | Origin: India | Roast: Dark

Nespresso Volluto Capsules

Best Nespresso Pods

If you are looking for a more mild, light roasted coffee, the Nespresso Volluto capsule is an excellent choice. This is a blend of Brazilian and Colombian Arabica beans that are lightly roasted. The coffee has a sweet, biscuity profile with a hint of acidity and fruity notes.

Category: Original | Intensity: 4 out of 13 | Cup Size: 1.35 ounces | Origin: South America | Roast: Light

Nespresso Kazaar Intenso Capsules

Best Nespresso Capsules

If you are a fan of dark, bitter coffee, you can’t go past Kazaar Intenso Capsules. This high-intensity coffee blends two Robustas from Brazil & Guatemala and a separately roasted Arabica from South America to produce the strong flavor. With an intensity level of 12 out of 13, this is not for the fainthearted. You will find this has a strong bitter flavor with woody and peppery notes.

Category: Original | Intensity: 10 out of 13 | Cup Size: 0.85 and 1.35 ounces | Origin: South and Central America and East Africa | Roast: Medium Dark

Nespresso Best Sellers Assortment

Best Nespresso Pods

If you want to try a range of different coffee, the best way to go is by buying an assortment pack. Their best sellers pack contains a range of their most popular capsules and a range of intensity levels allowing you to experiment with different flavor profiles and see which capsules you prefer.

Nespresso Ristretto Decaffeinato Capsules

Best Nespresso Pods

If you want a coffee that won’t give you the jitters or keep you up all night, Nespresso has a range of decaffeinated capsules. The Ristretto Decaffeinato is a popular option that tastes pretty similar to the original capsule minus the caffeine. The coffee is dark roasted and has an intensity rating of 10 out of 13. It has a rich, full-bodied flavor with fruity notes and a hint of acid. 

Category: Original | Intensity: 10 out of 13 | Cup Size: 0.85 and 1.35 ounces | Origin: South and Central America and East Africa | Roast: Medium Dark

Best Flavored: Nespresso Vanilla Eclair

Best Nespresso Pods

The Nespresso Vanilla Eclair capsule is one of their most popular flavors. It is made with a blend of Brazilian and Colombian beans; the resulting coffee has a velvety mouthfeel, with notes of malted cereal and warming vanilla. If you love a decadent drink, try it brewed as a cappuccino. 

Category: Original | Intensity: 6 out of 13 | Cup Size: 1.35 ounces | Origin: South and Central America | Roast: Medium

Best Nespresso Pods- VertuoLine

Nespresso Diavolitto Capsules

Best Nespresso pods

The Nespresso Diavilotto capsule is a favorite among coffee aficionados. This popular blend is made from Brazilian Arabica and Robusta beans that are dark roasted for a rich body and hint of bitterness. This is a great capsule to use if you want to brew a strong espresso.

Category: VertuoLine | Intensity: 11 out of 13 | Cup Size: 1.35 ounces | Origin: Central and South America | Roast: Dark

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsule

Best Nespresso Capsules

If you love a large mug of coffee, you will find a friend in the Alto Intenso capsule. This capsule is made from a Robusta from Guatemala blended with an Arabica from Costa Rica. The beans are dark roasted for a strong brew with tasting notes for dry wood and dark caramel and topped with a thick layer of crema.

Category: VertuoLine | Intensity:7 out of 13 | Cup Size: 14 ounces | Origin: Central America | Roast: Dark

Nespresso Voltesso Capsule

Best Nespresso Capsules

If you are after a mild coffee, the Voltesso capsule is a good option. It is made from beans from Brazil and Colombian that are lightly roasted. This results in a balanced coffee with biscuity notes and a sweet aroma- the perfect breakfast blend.

Category: VertuoLine | Intensity:4 out of 13 | Cup Size: 1.35 ounces | Origin: Colombia and Brazil | Roast: Light

VertuoLine 60 Capsule Discovery Pack

Best Nespresso Pods

For those new to Nespresso and looking to try a selection of capsules, the discovery pack is a good starting point. This pack contains 2 pods of their popular coffees: Alto Intenso, Giornio, Elvazio, Melozio, Odacio, Stormio, Colombia, Scuro, Chiaro, Fortado, Arondio, Ethiopia, Diavolitto, Altissio, Voltesso.

VertuoLine Decaffinato Capsules

Best Nespresso Pods

The VertuoLine also has a range of decaffeinated options at each brew size. Their Decaffinato capsule is a dark-roasted blend from Colombia and Costa Rica. This blend has a medium intensity and notes of cereal and malt.

Category: VertuoLine | Intensity:6 out of 13 | Cup Size: 7.77 ounces | Origin: Colombia and Costa Rican | Roast: Dark

Nespresso VertuoLine Hazelino Muffin Capsule

Best Nespresso Pods

If you love flavored coffee, then the VertuoLine range has multiple different flavors for you to try. The Hazelino blend is a popular one. This is a sweet and velvety blend with a distinct Hazelnut flavor.

Category: VertuoLine | Cup Size: 7.77 ounces | Origin: Latin American and African  | Roast: Medium Dark

Alternatives to Nespresso Capsules

If you own an OriginalLine machine, you will find one of the benefits is that you are able to buy other brands of capsules. While we would say the name brand capsules are the best in terms of the quality of coffee, sometimes price wins out. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, you could try one of the other brands listed below:


Best Nespresso Pods

Gourmesso offers an affordable alternative to Nespresso Capsules. They have a wide variety of blends available in different flavors and intensities. One of the best ways to shop is to buy a bundle of capsules. This allows you to try a wide variety of flavors and is very affordable. One of their most popular bundles is the Flavored espresso bundle which includes their top blends: caramel, chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and hazelnut. While Gourmesso is a great option to save some bucks, some users have found the espresso is not as strong as Nespresso, and some of the pods are difficult to puncture. See our full review here.


Best Nespresso Pods

BestPresso is another Nespresso alternative you could try. These capsules are similar in design to Nespresso capsules. They also produce a similar shot in terms of the level of richness and crema. BestPresso has 12 different flavors and the option of buying a variety pack to try a range of them. However, some users have found that the espresso is once again not as strong as the Nespresso brand. But once again, this is a more affordable option.

ReCaps Reusable Pod

Best Nespresso Pods

The final option is to go for a reusable pod. This is a bit more fiddly as it requires you to fill it with ground coffee yourself and then clean it after, but you can get better tasting coffee if you are using freshly ground coffee. While this is a more cost-effective option, we would question whether it is worthwhile using. Users have found it is very messy to fill the capsules and hard to find the right grind size and tamping pressure to use. All this seems to nullify the benefits of using a Nespresso machine which is for convenience and ease.

The Best Nespresso Pods

Well, we hope this guide has been helpful in highlighting some of the best Nespresso pods. As with all types of coffee, choosing your favorite blends is a highly subjective process. If you are starting out, we highly recommend buying the variety packs to sample a range of flavors and see which ones you prefer. See our guide to where to buy Nespresso pods to explore the best places to buy Nespresso pods and how to choose the perfect blend.

Happy brewing!


Can Nespresso Capsules be Recycled?

There is a lot of concern around single-serve machines regarding the environmental impact they are having. However, Nespresso has made an effort to reduce this. All of their capsules are made from recyclable aluminum. In addition, the leftover coffee grounds can be composted. Nespresso also offers free recycling bags that can be ordered from their website. These hold up to 200 OriginalLine capsules or 100 VertuoLine Capsules and can be returned to one of their stores once filled for them to recycle.

What Is The Difference Between OriginalLine And VertuoLine Capsules?

OriginalLine Capsules are the original design and brew espresso. There are a wide variety of flavors and intensities available, and you also have the option of buying third-party capsules which are more affordable. VertuoLine Capsules are Nespresso’s latest offering. They allow the brewer to make both espresso and drip-style coffee. They have the option of brewing five different cup sizes of coffee. These capsules use barcode scanning technology to allow the machine to know how long to brew each capsule for. Because of this, there are not currently any third-party options for the Vertuo capsule. This means the capsules are slightly more expensive.

It is also worth noting you cannot swap the different capsules between the two lines of machines.

How Much Caffeine Is In A Nespresso Capsule?

Nespresso capsules contain anywhere from 55 to 200mg of caffeine, depending on which blend and sized capsule you opt for. Given that the OriginalLine capsules brew a smaller shot, they generally have less caffeine than the VertuoLine capsules. See our article on Nespresso caffeine content for a more in-depth guide.

Do Nespresso Capsules Expire?

Nespresso capsules have a very long shelf as they are hermetically sealed to protect the coffee inside from light, moisture, and oxygen. However, like all products, they do expire. When you buy a box, you will find there are two dates printed on the end of every sleeve: the Production Date (which indicates how fresh the coffee is) and the Best Before date. The Best Before date is usually around 12 months from the date of production. However, this date is more of an indication as to the optimal freshness and flavor of the coffee. Capsules past this date are usually still fine to consume. Nespresso recommends testing the freshness of the capsule by gently pressing down on the seal; if you feel some resistance, this generally means the capsule can still be used.

What Does The Capsule Intensity Mean?

This is a scale Nespresso uses to give you a guide as to the strength of the coffee. This is not based on the caffeine content in the capsule, instead on the level of roasting, body, bitterness, and concentration of the coffee. If you like a strong brew, opt for a high-intensity capsule and vice versa; if you prefer a mild coffee, opt for the lower-intensity ones.

Where Can You Purchase Nespresso Capsules From?

There are several options of where you can purchase Nespresso Capsules from. As with most things, these days the most obvious choice is to purchase them online either directly through the Nespresso website or from online stores like Amazon. The second option is to find a Nespresso store; these are usually in most large cities. Going to a store allows you to sample some of their capsules before purchasing. The final option is to buy them from the supermarket. A lot of supermarkets are stocking Nespresso capsules, making it an easy and convenient way of purchasing the capsules.

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