We have mentioned the best Nespresso capsules for your Original and Nespresso-compatible machines. These Nespresso coffee capsules can make ristretto, espresso, and lungo drinks. We have tested these ranked pods and experienced the best results. So we have mentioned their intensity, roast level, caffeine level, and body. Each Nespresso capsule has an info pic we’ve mentioned. Plus, we have mentioned which pod is best for you and which is not the best. Also, we have been told which ones are best for iced coffee and milk-based beverages.
What Are Nespresso Capsules?
Nespresso offers two types of pods: OriginalLine and VertuoLine. These pods contain ground coffee, either Arabica or Robusta, or a mixture of both coffees. Depending on your Nespresso machine, you can brew espresso and regular coffee using Nespresso capsules.
Like their capsules, Nespresso offers two types of coffee machines: OriginalLine and VertuoLine.
What Are Nespresso Original Capsules?
OriginalLine capsules are Nespresso brand capsules that you can only use in OriginalLine machines. These are cup-shaped or top hat-shaped capsules and make ristretto, espresso, lungo, and other milk-based recipes.
What are Third-Party Capsules?
Third-party capsules are compatible with OriginalLine Nespresso machines. They are the same shape and size as OriginalLine capsules but not the same taste because they are not of the Nespresso brand. Starbucks, Lavazza, Illy, Hiline, and Gourmesso are the most popular brands of third-party capsules.
What Are Nespresso Vertuo Capsules?
VertuoLine capsules are Nespresso brand barcoded capsules that you can only use in Nespresso VertuoLine machines. These are dome-shaped capsules; you can brew espresso, double espresso, lungo, coffee, and alto. You can also brew mug-sized regular brewed coffee and an 18 oz carafe, like a drip coffee machine, if you have a Nespresso Next Vertuo machine.
RELATED: Best Nespresso Vertuo Pods
What Are Original Nespresso Machines?
Nespresso offers 21 OriginalLine machines, out of which seven machines are discontinued. Here are twelve OriginalLine machines; you can brew your Nespresso brand OriginalLine capsules and third-party capsules. If you have a grinder, you can also grind your whole coffee beans and brew them in these Original Nespresso machines using reusable stainless steel Nespresso capsules.
- Essenza Mini
- Essenza Plus
- Citiz & Milk
- Lattissima Pro
- Lattissima Plus
- Lattissima Touch
- Creatista Pro
- Creatista Plus
- Lattissima One
Photo Credit: amazon.com
Best Nespresso Original machine, but it’s a splurge. Comes with a built-in milk frother.
Original Nespresso Pods
Nespresso offers 40 plus Original capsules, each making a specific type of ristretto, espresso, and lungo. These end beverages have a different body, intensity, bitterness, caffeine level, and tasting profile.
What is Nespresso Roast?
Nespresso roasts its beans from the light roast (or blonde roast) to medium, dark, and medium dark. Each Nespresso capsule has a different roast level; these levels tell you how long the beans were roasted. The light roasts are lighter in body and offer multilayered complexity, revealing traces of sweetness, fruit tanginess, or even a subtle floral aroma. On the other hand, the darker roasts will have a nuttier, deeper roasted, bittersweet, or toasty taste and a decadent chocolaty flavor.
And the medium roasts are of medium acidity, as well as a body with a rounded flavor profile that begins to reach into deep caramel sweetness.
What is Nespresso Intensity?
Nespresso intensity levels are based on the roast, body, bitterness, and concentration of the Nespresso coffee. The higher the Nespresso intensity score, the stronger the Nespresso coffee taste. Nespresso rates the intensity of its original line capsules from 1 to 13. Each capsule has a different intensity level.
What is Nespresso Caffeine Content?
The caffeine content of Nespresso capsules depends partly on the amount of Arabica and Robusta beans used to prepare the pods and their different green coffee varieties. Robusta beans have twice the caffeine content of Arabica beans, up to 2.5%, while Arabica coffee typically contains no more than 1.7% caffeine.
When we brewed and tasted all Nespresso capsules individually and tested them in our lab, we concluded that:
Original types of Nespresso capsules usually contain 55 to 100 mg of caffeine. While in Vertuo capsules, the same amount increases from 75 to 200 grams.
It proved that all Nespresso capsules have different levels of caffeine.
What Types of coffees contain Nespresso?
Starbucks by Nespresso pods only uses Arabica beans. At the same time, Nespresso prepares its coffee capsules from the world’s most popular coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta coffee from Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. The most popular countries from where Nespresso collects green coffee beans are as follows:
What Are Nespresso Cup sizes?
Most Nespresso OriginalLine machines have three cup sizes: Ristretto (25 ml), Espresso (40 ml), and Lungo (110 ml); the difference between the cup sizes is how much water is added to make the coffee. All Original Nespresso capsules can be brewed in these three cup sizes, but they taste best in their recommended cup size because they are designed for that cup size.
RELATED: Best Nespresso Machines
Can I Make Double Espresso With One Original Nespresso Capsule
Nespresso Original capsules contain 5 grams of coffee which are only enough for a single espresso shot. Most coffee drinkers like a double espresso because they have a reasonably strong coffee to which they can add cold or steamed milk to create a macchiato, cappuccino, latte, or latte macchiato if that is their drink of choice.
Like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, most coffee shops will always use a double espresso shot for all of their drinks. So if you want to produce a decent comparable milk-based recipe, you will need to use two Nespresso coffee pods every time you make a strong coffee.
How Can You Use The Same Nespresso Pod Twice?
It’s very easy. Use it again the same way you used it before. Insert the used capsule into the machine, press the button, and the machine will do the rest. But we do not recommend using one Nespresso capsule twice for three main reasons:
- Nespresso capsules are designed to be brewed only once.
- A second use will produce a weak and foul-tasting watery coffee.
- There is the risk of the capsule sticking to the machine by reusing used capsules. In this case, you will have to have the machine repaired.
20 Best Nespresso Flavors Table
|Decaffeinato Ristretto Italiano
|Forest Fruit Flavor
We Have Tested 20 Best Original Nespresso Pods, Ranked
Nespresso Ispirazione Ristretto Italiano Features Chart
Nespresso Ristretto Italiano Features Chart
The Bottom Line
Is there a difference between Ristretto and Nespresso Ispirazione Ristretto Italiano, or are they the same thing? For me, it is a little confusing since ristretto makes both ristretto and espresso, and it is famous with both names: Ristretto and dark roast Ristretto Italiano but the official name of this pod is Ristretto Italiano.
I opened the Nespresso website for this purpose and ordered both types of pods. I also ordered Firenze Arpeggio, — Roma, — Dharkan, and Kazaar. These five are the Intenso Series of Nespresso Original pods. The delivery reached my home on time.
Believe it or not, Nespresso coffee can taste just like traditional espresso. Ristretto East African coffee has a silky, full-bodied mouthfeel with no watery finish you might expect from a typical pod coffee. It is strong in flavor and body. This blend is made with organic, fair trade South America and Great East African Arabica beans, rain-washed, sun-dried, and fire-roasted to perfection. I have been testing coffee for over forty years, so now I can tell by the aroma of the cup of coffee which region the beans are used in.
When I made myself a cup of espresso from Ristretto and Nespresso Ispirazione Ristretto Italiano, I felt that Ristretto and dark roast Ristretto Italiano have the same taste and features. I smelled Colombian and Brazilian beans from the brewed cup. Plus, its citrusy aroma felt like it had a bit of Indonesian Robusta mixed in to add some zing. Its taste is rich but mellow and balanced with nuts, spices, and chocolate notes. It seemed as if the strong roasted notes were softened with chocolate notes. It has a smooth finish with just the right amount of bitterness. It was a subtle contrast between strength and bitterness and acidic and fruity notes.
Although some coffee baristas suggested that Nespresso OriginalLine Ispirazione Ristretto Italiano is best to serve it hot, we tested that you can serve it both hot and cold. Moreover, making iced drinks like Iced Caramel Macchiato is our favorite. Just keep in mind that if you want to serve it hot, serve it immediately, but if you want to serve it cold, add plain ice or cold brew ice cubes or refrigerate it before sipping.
Here are the results when I pitted the ristretto against its other intensive brethren:
I did not like “Dharkan” at all.
The Arpeggio took me by surprise with its short and dark roasted Arabica beans, resulting in a creamy taste with grilled, bold cocoa notes and woody hints, but I put it at number four.
Nespresso OriginalLine Ispirazione Palermo Kazaar is one of the best Nespresso pods. It was a bit of a hit for us because of its wild, intense flavor, spicy character, powerful bitterness, dense, rich, and creamy body, and its balanced peppery notes but we rank it at number three.
Roma is the capsule we liked best after Ristorto. Our testers felt similar flavor profiles of Indonesia and Kazaar, but it doesn’t taste like burnt coffee nor has a smoky flavor. In contrast, its spicy cereal and woody notes made us enjoy it.
My Final Verdict: Ristretto Remains Our Favorite
Ristretto delivers intense brew and is a crowd favorite and takes the number one spot as it’s a clear winner to all Intenso capsules. It is a medium-dark roasted coffee blend revealing all its intensity and complexity of aromas in a short, quick sip. The creamy, smooth, and not too bitter taste of ristretto is perfect for making all kinds of espresso drinks. We have well-made lattes, Cortados, flat whites, and cappuccinos a lot of times with this robust capsule.
Where to Buy
Amazon, Nespresso website, i.e., Nespresso.com, Nespresso boutiques, Bed Bath and Beyond, and other online stores.
The Bottom Line
Contrary to popular belief, not all Nespresso pods go stale like other coffee pods. Volluto is a pod dedicated to ristretto, espresso, lungo, lattes, Cortados, flat whites, cappuccinos, and other milk beverages. After brewing, you can use it with cold brew ice cubes, meaning you won’t have to wait for your brew to chill in the fridge to make a glass of iced coffee. Unlike some Nespresso pods that have Robusta beans, which are typically bitterer and harsher,
Light roast Volluto is the best Nespresso capsule and has 100 percent Arabica beans that combine Brazilian and Colombian Arabicas, which are smoother and sweeter. Do Nespresso capsules expire? All Nespresso pods contain no sugar, milk, or preservatives; they are produced by 100% pure roast and freshly ground coffee but don’t contain instant coffee. As Nespresso claims, their pods are made from 100% aluminum, the perfect barrier to oxygen, light, and humidity. Moreover, aluminum is infinitely recyclable and one of the most widely-recycled materials in the world, and it helps Nespresso coffee retain its flavor, smell, freshness, and aromas.
When we tasted Volluto espresso pods, we found sweet fruity notes harmoniously balanced with biscuity notes. The heady aromas of light roasted Brazilian Arabica tickled our nostrils so much that we were compelled to drink cup after cup.
We’re big fans of the single-serve Original Line Nespresso pods in the dark roast, light roast, and medium roast espresso varieties, thanks to their smooth, citrus-forward, mild, and robust flavors. Most so-called brands of coffee pods tend to be a little on the light side, but Nespresso pods are not; despite their strong flavor, if you find them watery, add your favorite flavored syrup or creamer to thicken the mouthfeel.
Did we mention Nespresso Canada is pleased to announce a $100,000 donation to Tree Canada to support its National Greening Program? It is a donation that will be used to re-green forests or areas in need of reforestation. It will plant 20,000 trees, hundreds of which will be planted in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia, making Nespresso’s contribution to cleaner air.
Like Nespresso Canada, Nespresso USA also works closely with NGOs that work to restore the environment.
When we compared the Volto to its other espresso brethren, our first choice was the Nespresso OriginalLine Ispirazione Genova Livanto. When we brewed our morning coffee from medium roast Livanto, it smelled of long-medium roasted Latin American Arabica. It was one of the best Nespresso pods. When we tasted it for the first time, it was a sweet coffee and caramel notes appeared on our palate. But I couldn’t find the enjoyment that I found in the ristretto, so in the espresso series of the Nespresso Original line, I put the Livanto espresso capsules as the second.
It is a blend of Arabica beans from Costa Rica, Kenya, and Latin America. When we took our first sip of Cosi, its lightly roasted citrus and fruity notes won us. It tasted like Ethiopia and Café au lait. After sipping the coffee, we realized that this coffee is best suited for light-roasted and fruity lovers. We never preferred the Cosi over the Volluto and kept it in the second tier. But when we wanted to drink less intense and less strong coffee, we had no better option than Cosi espresso capsules.
Capriccio, we tasted it on our Sunday afternoon. From the cup, we smelled a mix of South American Arabica beans and Indonesian Robustas, but the Arabica bean element dominated the aroma of the coffee. As we put the cup to our lips and took our first sip of Capriccio, its typical strong notes made our lips want to take sips of it again and again. It was not a complicated capsule. When I made cortado with it, my experience was not good, and I realized that it is not good for latte art and other milk recipes. Although my experience with the Capriccio wasn’t too bad, I rate it 4th in the Nespresso Original line of espresso series compared to the Volluto.
Where to Buy:
Amazon, Nespresso website, i.e., Nespresso.com, Nespresso stores, Bed Bath and Beyond, and other online stores.
The Bottom Line
Nespresso Ethiopia Coffee has been a New York favorite since 2014. For a good reason, customers and coffee lovers have gone nuts for these coffee capsules. All of Nespresso’s coffee goes through a rigorous selection process to ensure the highest quality—and its Ethiopia coffee is no different. With the aromas of wild and musky jasmine, white lily, bergamot, orange blossoms, and the sweetness of milk chocolate and caramel, these Ethiopian capsules balance the brightness of a light and medium dark roast. Nespresso’s barista-worthy coffee that you can take anywhere if you have a Nespresso machine (insert the capsule in your machine, grab your travel mug, and hit the road) and make delicious coffee any time.
Undoubtedly, great taste and convenience come at a cost, as Nespresso’s Ethiopia Coffee makes one of the priciest coffee blends on the market. Still, it’s one of many customers, and coffee lovers will find it worth it for such a delicious jolt of coffee.
When we wanted to compare the Ethiopia capsule to its Nespresso cousins, we brewed four identical cups from Napoli, Kazaar, Indonesia, and Ethiopia. Napoli and Kazaar were so intense that we didn’t like it; maybe we weren’t in the mood for dark roasts or intense coffee then. But we enjoyed Indonesia a lot. The Indonesian flavor was similar to Envivo Lungu but not the same as the Ethiopia capsule, so we put Ethiopia in the first tier and Indonesia in the second tier.
It was one of the best Nespresso pods When we brewed two identical cups from split-roasted Ethiopia and Colombia, we felt Colombia had a fruity and vibrant light roast taste. We put Colombia in the third tier compared to Ethiopia because it’s good as an Americano or with a splash of cream, while Ethiopia is good on its own.
Napoli is one of the best espresso blends and is loved by many, so we planned to taste it. When we brewed two identical cups from Napoli and Ethiopia, the first had intensity at 13 out of 13 while the second had 4. But when we added milk and the coffee came through, it made great lattes and was strong without being bitter unlike lighter roasts. Napoli is equally good hot or iced, though; we put it in the fourth tier compared to Ethiopia.
Many also love Nicaragua, so we brewed three identical cups from India, Nicaragua, and Ethiopia. The first couldn’t impress us; the second impressed us a lot but not as Ethiopia, so we put it in the fifth tier compared to Ethiopia.
The Bottom Line
Regarding the lungos, we tested Cape Town Envivo Lungo, – Genova Livanto, – Vienna – Linizio Lungo, – Stockholm Fortissio Lungo, and Tokyo Vivalto Lungo with and without milk. Envivo Lungo, we found the best out of all the Lungos. It is one we love over the others, and we drink it daily.
The Bottom Line
When we wanted to enjoy the original line of decaffeinated pods, we made five equal cups of them:
The Decaffeinato Intenso did not amuse us at all.
Decaffeinato Vivalto Lungo was somewhat tasty but did not meet our taste standards.
Decaffeinato Ristretto Italiano: It inspires us with its fruity notes of berry and a hint of acidity, Intensely roasted coffee beans.
Decaffeinato Firenze Arpeggio: It impressed us with its Arabica coffee from Central and South America and cocoa and woody hints with grilled notes.
Decaffeinato Volluto: We love this decaf espresso due to its floral notes with roasted woody cereals.
The Bottom Line
Dominated by vanilla flavor, with intensity 6, 55 – 65 mg of caffeine content Nespresso Vanilio espresso pods greatly impressed our taste buds.
The Bottom Line
With a round and very balanced bouquet, medium roast Ciocattino is a blend of Arabica beans from South and Central America. It is my favorite Nespresso capsule.
17. Cocoa Truffle
The Bottom Line
When we started testing Nespresso capsules to make our iced coffee, we chose the Nespresso Barista Creation capsules. We tested nine capsules in this range. medium roast Corto’s turn came first, but its sweetness, bitterness, and 11 intensity didn’t impress us much, so we moved on.
Our second choice was Scuro and Chiaro. I had previously tested Nespresso Vertuoline Double Espresso Scuro and Double Espresso Chiaro Vertuo and had fallen in love with them. I thought the original line Scuro and Chiaro would give me the same fun. But my honest review is that both of them let me down. I recommend you try the Scuro Nespresso Vertuo pod and Vertuo Chiaro if you have a Nespresso Vertuoline machine.
After tasting Scuro and Chiaro, we brewed Freddo Delicato and Freddo Intenso. These two Freddo brothers from Nespresso did not disappoint our taste buds. The juicy and fruity flavors of Freddo Delicato were impressive. Similarly, Freddo Intenso’s rich dark roast, classic bitter taste, and woody notes were enough to impress us. Maybe we didn’t go ahead, but we were looking for something higher, so we went further.
Now our focus was on Nespresso’s four popular Barista Creation cousins: Caramel Creme Brulee, – Vanilla Eclair, and Cocoa Truffle. These four capsules won us over and cured our grudges with the Original Scuro and Chiaro.
Vanilla Eclair: Originating in Latin America, this Espresso coffee made a splash in our mouths with its sweet almond flavor. It was a pretty good value with 55-65ml of caffeine and 5 intensity, but we decided to try the Caramel Creme Brûlée.
Caramel Crème Brûlée: Brazilian and Colombian Arabica beans with 6 intensity and 55-65 ml of caffeine gave us a balanced taste of caramel and malted searls. But we went a little further and brewed the Cocoa Truffle.
Cacao Truffle: With 6 Intensity and 55-65 ml of caffeine, we enjoyed this espresso drink when we tasted it. We frothed the milk using our Nespresso milk frother and crushed three cold brew ice cubes in a blender. Then we mixed these crushed ice cubes, frothed milk, and Cocoa Truffle in a large coffee glass. The fun was beyond measure. The Cocoa Truffle was giving me bitter cocoa and dark chocolate flavors. And my tasting buds kept falling for it.
When we brewed this espresso blend, Forest Fruit Flavor, the sweet pastry, light, and overwhelmingly cherry-leaning flavor gave us a rich and complex aroma experience. Its fruit, floral, cola, and dessert complement our taste buds.
For More Information: Read its full Review | Read its full Recipe
The Bottom Line
We’re a sophisticated fan of Starbucks coffee, and a weekly visit to their coffee shop is our habit. So when we started tasting Starbucks By Nespresso coffee pods, we were not sure which Starbucks Nespresso capsules were the best. So we got the Starbucks variety pack to sample them all, and when we opened this pack, Starbucks Caffè Verona by Nespresso was my first choice. With an intensity of 10, 69 mg of caffeine, it is a dark roasted coffee with roasty sweet burnt sugar and dark cocoa notes. These are Original pods, and they worked well with my OriginalLine machine. We thought the Starbucks Verona was the best Starbucks Nespresso pod until we came across the Starbucks Blonde Roast Nespresso Pod.
20. Starbucks By Nespresso Blonde Roast
The Bottom Line
When we brewed this Starbucks classic espresso coffee, Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast, with an intensity of 6 out of 13 and 65 mg of caffeine, it proved itself the clear winner out of all the Starbucks Nespresso pods. Since then, I have made all my homemade Starbucks copycat recipes at home with this blend. It is the lightest roasted Starbucks coffee with notes of toasted malt and baking chocolate; moreover, it is perfect for making classic espresso drinks in your home comfort because it is extra smooth without a roasty edge.
How Can You Use Pods Not Made By Nespresso?
Nespresso third-party capsules are similar in size and texture to original Nespresso pods, and you can easily use them in all original line machines. Using these third-party capsules does not break the machine, nor does the machine need to be cleaned more. But unfortunately, there is a disadvantage to using these pods, which is that the taste quality of these capsules is not at par with the Nespresso brand capsules, which is probably why people are allergic to them. But if you are tired of using Nespresso branded capsules and want to try something new, feel free to try Starbucks, Lavazza, Ile, Highline, and Gormiso as the third-party original Nespresso capsules flavors from these brands are your example.
How Can You Use Ground Coffee in Your Nespresso Machine?
It is not difficult if you have a good grinder and want to brew your whole coffee beans with a Nespresso machine. Buy reusable Nespresso plastic or stainless steel pods online and fill them with your hand-ground coffee beans or store-bought pre-ground coffee. Seal them and put them in your Pixie or Original Nespresso machine. The machine will brew this capsule the same way it brews the Original Nespresso brand pods.
Danger: Use reusable plastic Nespresso capsules. Because using stainless steel reusable pods, there is a risk of the machine breaking.
What Kind Of Pod Should You Use With Your Nespresso Machine?
The simple answer is that you will use the same line of Nespresso capsules that are compatible with your Nespresso machine. Original Line Capsules for Original Line Machines and Vertuoline Capsules for Nespresso VertuoLine Machines. Capsules from one line cannot be used in another line. So you should buy capsules of the same line as your machine.
How Can We Explain Intensity?
The strength of Nespresso capsules, their bitterness, body, and roasting level are measured by their intensity. Nespresso has scaled the intensity of its OriginalLine capsules from 1-13. The higher the intensity of the capsule, the stronger, full-bodied, and more bitter the capsule will be. But the intensity of Nespresso capsules has nothing to do with their caffeine content.
How Much Caffeine Contains Each Cup Of Nespresso Coffee?
The amount of caffeine in coffee cups made from Nespresso capsules depends on the amount and type of coffee beans in the capsule. Most OriginalLine capsules contain 55-80 ml of caffeine because they contain 5 grams of ground coffee. In contrast, Nespresso Vertuoline coffee capsules contain 7 to 9 grams of ground coffee, with a caffeine content of 130 to 200 grams.
Original Kazaar has the highest caffeine content (129 mg) among the Original Line capsules because the Kazaar is made from Robusta beans.
Similarly, Dolce XL and Intensive XL have the highest caffeine content (200-300 mg) in the Vertuoline range.
What Are The Difference Between Starbucks Pods And Pods From Other Companies?
The biggest difference between Starbucks Pods and other companies is that Starbucks is a partner of Nespresso. Unlike Starbucks, you won’t find Vertuo Pods from companies other than Nespresso. Starbucks makes both Original and Vertuo pods, so you can easily use Starbucks by Nespresso Vertuo pods in Nespresso Vertuo machines. The taste and quality of Starbucks’ Vertuo and Original pods are inferior to Nespresso. In contrast, other third-party pods do not have the same high quality as Nespresso. You can recycle Nespresso capsules and Starbucks Vertuo and Original pods into Nespresso bags because that is a Nespresso partner, but you can’t do that with pods from Illy, Lavazza, Peet’s Coffee, Highline, and Gourmesso.