The 17 Best Nespresso Pods in 2022 [Tried & Tested]

best nespresso pods

This is a definitive guide on best Nespresso Pods.

Of course, you can go to your dainty java shop or grind your beans at home. But if you want to save some bucks or don’t have time for manual espresso equipment, a Nespresso machine is a no-brainer.

It’s not as time-consuming as a pour-over or French press. To create espresso and normal brewed coffee, it employs capsules/pods containing ground coffee. There are two kinds of Nespresso machines, as well as two kinds of capsules for those machines.

If you need help in cherry-picking your ideal Nespresso machine, check out our article, on best Nespresso Machines.

After that comes the exciting part: choosing your ideal zest and savor of coffee capsules. Discovering a coffee mix that meets your preferences is a game-changer. We’ve picked up some of the 17 best Nespresso pods for every type of coffee fan.

Probably you want to know what info you’ll get from this article? Well, I’m steering for the:

  • Best Nespresso capsules for OriginalLine coffee makers.
  • Best Nespresso capsules for VertuoLine coffee makers.
  • Best compatible pods by non-Nespresso brands.

That isn’t all, though! I’ll juxtapose the costs and caffeine content of each pod and propose some of my favorite capsules for ristretto, mochas, cappuccinos, and others. 

Scroll below and have a look at our picked Nespresso pods!

Product Name

Product Image

Product Line

Intensity

Rating

Buy

Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Ristretto

OriginalLine

10

4.6

Nespresso Cocoa Truffle 

OriginalLine

6

4.4

Nespresso Ispirazione Palermo Kazaar

OriginalLine

12

4.2

Nespresso Ispirazione Arpeggio Firenzi

OriginalLine

9

4.3

Nespresso Volluto

OriginalLine

4

4.7

Nespresso Tokyo Vivalto Lungo

OriginalLine

6

4.2

Nespresso Cape Town Envivo Lungo

OriginalLine

10

4.1

Nespresso Roma Intenso

OriginalLine

8

4.6

Nespresso Master Origin Columbia

OriginalLine

6

4.5

Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Napoli

OriginalLine

13

4.7

Nespresso Double Espresso Scuro

VertuoLine

8

4.8

Nespresso Fortado Gran Lungo

VertuoLine

8

4.2

Nespresso Iced Forte

VertuoLine

6

4.5

Nespresso Mexico

VertuoLine

7

4.3

Nespresso Voltesso

VertuoLine

4

4.7

Nespresso Stormio

VertuoLine

8

4.4

Nespresso Intenso

VertuoLine

9

4.6

Before buying Nespresso Capsules, note down these attributes about them. If you lay perfectly on these metrics, then grab it for yourself. 

  • VertuoLine or OriginalLine
  • Intensity
  • Tasting notes
  • Roast
  • Caffeine
  • Flavors

Nespresso OriginalLine vs VertuoLine Capsules

Nespresso comes with two exceptional trademarks: OriginalLine and VertuoLine machines. Both machines differentiate on various grounds. If you want to know more, check out our guide on Nespresso VertuoLine vs Original Line.

When it comes to pods, OriginalLine brews espresso. Whereas, VertuoLine brews espresso and coffee. 

Both machine capsules work differently. For instance, VertuoLine machines use capsule-scanning technology, which operates with Nespresso brand capsules.  In OriginalLine machines, capsule scanning does not take place. That’s where non-Nespresso brands take part. 

Nespresso’s Intensity

Nespresso defines intensity as a coffee’s degree of roasting, body, and bitterness. In addition, the intensity is due to the coffee’s concentration. It has nothing to do with the amount of caffeine in the coffee. 

The intensity level of Nespresso ranges from 1 to 13. The majority types of Nespresso pods

are found in the 4 to 10-intensity range. 

1-4: The flavor of coffee is delicate and slightly full-bodied.

5-7: Coffee is flavorful and well-balanced.

8–10: Strong scents and a full-bodied flavor characterize this coffee.

Tasting Notes

Like wines, coffee beans have many professional descriptors that determine how a bean or blend will taste.

If you’re from North America, you’re familiar with Colombian coffees, which have a medium body and rich caramel sweetness and nuttiness. However, Brazilian coffees feature a peanutty flavor, a hint of cocoa, and a lingering finish.

All of those characteristics are still rather basic, but Ethiopian coffees can have distinctly floral flavors such as jasmine or nettles, and they are more reminiscent of teas. Ethiopian coffees are also often natural or unwashed and have a stronger strength that leaves their mark on the tongue.

Nespresso’s Roasts

Nespresso capsules are not all made with the same coffee roast; different pods use different roasting procedures. Light Roast, Medium Roast, and Dark Roast capsules are available from Nespresso, catering to wide strata of coffee consumers. 

Caffeine Content in Nespresso Pods

Caffeine levels in OriginalLines and VertuoLine pods are usually in the medium range, ranging from 60 to 90mg.

The amount of caffeine in the capsule is determined in part by the amount of coffee used in the preparation and the type of green coffee used in the capsule.

The Robusta origin has an average caffeine content of 2.4%, while Arabica sources have an average caffeine content of 1.2%. The caffeine content in decaf pills is less than 0.1%.

Nespresso Flavors

While the majority of the capsules on this list aren’t flavored, Nespresso does offer flavored pods for both its OriginalLine and VertuoLine machines. The best Nespresso pods flavors include Chocolate Fudge, Coconut, Caramel, Hazelnut, Vanilla, and others for individuals who like something different.

Code on the capsule

Each capsule in a Nespresso VertuoLine machine is tagged and includes a different amount of beans ground at different coarseness and fineness levels.

You can’t just buy any pod and brew espresso, coffee, or lungo – the pod or capsule must specifically state so on the code.

TypesSizeAttributes
Ristretto 0.85ozMore concentrated espresso short with a finer grind
Espresso1.35ozIntense shot 
Lungo3.7ozBrewed using the same amount of grounds but with twice the amount of water
Gran Lungo5ozIt is a combo of Lungo & Coffee, parallel with Americano 
Coffee8ozA delicious cup of smooth beverage
Alto Xl14ozThis cup has a double caffeine kick
ArabicaHigh-quality bean which is more acidic and less bitter
RobustaA hardier sort of bean that is more bitter and contains more caffeine 

At a Glance: Nespresso OriginalLine Capsules

To make single-serve espresso, Nespresso OriginalLine machines only utilize OriginalLine capsules (shaped like a hat top). Depending on your machine, OriginalLine capsules can brew the following beverages:

  • 1.35oz espresso
  • 0.85oz ristretto
  • Lungo 3.7oz

Nespresso currently offers six distinct sorts of OriginalLine capsules, each designed for a unique espresso-drinking experience:

Type

Brew Sizes

Intensity

The Bottom Line

Get Them

Intenso

Ristretto, Espresso, Lungo

8-13

They are the boldest capsules of Nespresso. Some of the capsules have Arabica (Arpeggio & Dhadkan), and some capsules have Robust and Arabica (Kazaar & Roma). I love Kazaar, which has a bold combination of Robustas from Brazil and Guatemala and roasted Arabica from South America.

Master Origin

Espresso, Lungo

3-10

This highlights the ubiquitous origin of each region. It features Ethiopia, Columbia, India, etc. It varies from red berries to vegetal-grassy notes. My favorite is Columbia (intensity:6), and it has a washed processed Colombian Arabica with acidic and bursts of winey red fruit aromas.

Espresso

Espresso

4-5

These traditional capsules have low-end intensity. The best Nespresso espresso pods include Capriccio (intensity:5), Volluto (Intensity:4), Volluto Decaffeinato (intensity:4), and Cosi (intensity:4). My favorite one is Volluto which has a light fruit and sweet biscuit taste with a combo of Brazilian & Colombian Arabicas.

Lungo

Espresso, Lungo

4-10

For an extended pleasure of espresso, go for the best Nespresso lungo pods like Envivo (Intensity: 10) or Vivalto (Intensity: 6). Lungo Nespresso brews more volume without watering-down flavor. My favorite is Envivo which has a dynamic duo of Indian Arabica and Robusta with a woodsy aroma and punchy bitterness.

Decaffeinato

Espresso, Lungo

4-9

This beverage has the same attributes but without caffeine, such as Volluto, Frenzi Arpeggio, and Ristretto Italiano. My favorite is Frenzi Arpeggio (intensity:9) is a blend of decaffeinated Latin American Arabicas with dense, creamy, and cocoa notes.

For Milk drinks

Ristretto, Espresso

4-6

These capsules withstand the addition of milk to your favorite specialty drinks. It includes Caramel, chocolate, coconut flavor over ice, Vanilla, Corto, Scuro, and much more. I personally love Cocoa Truffle (intensity:6) is a blend of Vibrant dark cocoa on a base of malted cereal.

Note: you can make your beverage from any of the best-tasting Nespresso pods according to your preferences.

10 Best Nespresso Original pods

Check out our best Original Nespresso pods:

1. Ispirazione Italiana Ristretto

Ristretto captures the essence of Italy’s legendary coffee tradition in a single sip. It contains a 100% Arabica blend of South American and East African coffees with a dash of high-quality Robusta from South India added for flavor. 

Features

RoastMedium-dark roast
Intensity10/13
Caffeine Medium (75mg)
Type of coffeeRobusta + Arabica
UndertonesIntensely roasted, Berry

Pros

Cons

???? Offer the best intensity in a cappuccino. 

???? Not so smooth texture.

???? It tastes good whether hot or cold.

???? Make delicious ristretto and espresso only, not lungo.

2. Cocoa Truffle

In Cocoa Truffle, dark and bitter cocoa meets the malted cereal note and creates a deep flavor. It originates from the South American Arabicas, including sweet Bourbon beans from Brazil and washed Colombian beans.

Features

Roast Lightly roasted 
Intensity6/13
Caffeine 62mg
Type of CoffeeArabica + Robusta 
UndertonesCocoa flavor + Almond sweetness + Hint of vanilla

Pros

Cons

???? Tastes great whether warm or chilled.

???? Expensive

???? Best light roast Nespresso pods that offer a smooth and creamy texture

???? For some users, the roasting is a bit high

3. Palermo Kazaar

Overview

Kazaar is high in caffeine (more than others); thus, it’s ideal for those days when you need a lift. Drinks produced with milk, such as lattes and cappuccinos, bring out the rich flavor. It has a lingering smoky note.

Features

Roast Dark roast
Intensity12/13
Caffeine120mg (Very High)
Type of coffeeRobusta
UndertonesIntense, Spicy, Woody

Pros

Cons

???? Gives you a caffeine kick

???? Not for mild drinkers as it’s bitter

???? Dark, buttery notes with no bright acidity

???? Costly

4. Firenze Arpeggio

Overview

Arpeggio is unquestionably a crowd favorite and gets the top slot because it is a clear winner for so many. It’s rich and creamy but not too bitter, and it’s ideal for preparing lattes, flat whites, and cappuccinos, among other espresso drinks.

Features

RoastDark roast
Intensity9/13
Caffeine63mg
Type of coffeeArabica
UndertonesIntensely roasted, Creamy, Cocoa

Pros

Cons

???? Thick crema and aromatic.

???? Expensive

???? Create recipes with /without milk.

???? Not compatible with VertuoLine.

5. Volluto

Volluto counts among the best espresso pods for Nespresso. It has a pure Arabica from South America with sweet and biscuit flavors and a hint of acidity + fruity accent.

Features

RoastMild roast
Intensity4/13
Caffeine72mg
Type of coffeeArabica 
Undertonesfruity, biscuity, cereal

Pros

Cons

???? Tastes good with ice and warm milk.

???? A milder espresso may not like by intenso lovers.

???? Pods are hard to read

6. Tokyo Vivalto Lungo 

Tokyo Vivalto Lungo has a rich flavor with delicate floral and fruity undertones thanks to a blend of Ethiopian and washed Mexican Arabicas. A milder roast preserves the acidity and subtle floral notes of Ethiopian coffee beans. 

Features

RoastLighter roast
Intensity6/13
Caffeine82mg
Type of coffeeArabica
UndertonesFlowery, fruity, intense

Pros

Cons

???? Intense and creamier espresso

???? Expensive

???? Not bitter

7. Cape town Envivo Lungo

In a cup, you’ll find the soul of Cape Town. This Lungo has a genuinely robust, full-bodied taste with a woodsy scent and snappy bitterness cherished by local Capetonians thanks to a powerful pair of Indian Arabica and Robusta.

Features

RoastMedium-dark. roast
Intensity10/13
Caffeine70mg
Type of coffeeArabica + Robusta
UndertonesIntense, Roasted, Woody

Pros

Cons

???? Tastes good with or without milk.

???? Expensive

???? Fully recyclable

???? Not compatible with VertuoLine

8. Roma Intenso

Iced drinks, like Iced Caramel Macchiato, are extremely popular with Roma. If you like Indonesia, you’ll probably enjoy Roma because their flavor profiles are comparable. 

Features

RoastLight Roast
Intensity8/13
Caffeine63mg
Type of coffeeArabica + Robusta
UndertonesBalanced, Woody

Pros

Cons

???? Popular for making Iced macchiato.

???? Expensive

???? Recyclable

???? Some users dislike its smoky flavor as it makes it taste like burnt coffee.

9. Columbia

Only high-grown, washed-process Colombian Arabica is used in this Nespresso coffee, resulting in a flavor with vibrant acidity and bursts of winey red fruit notes.

Features

RoastLight Roast
Intensity6/13
Caffeine72mg
Type of coffeeArabica 
UndertonesFruity, Vibrant, Berry

Pros

Cons

???? Perfect to make Americano.

???? Not as smooth as its counterparts

???? Creamy

???? Not everyone like the berry taste

10. Napoli

Many people adore Napoli, which has an intensity rating of 13 out of 13. It creates excellent lattes since the coffee flavor is retained even after adding milk. It’s strong but not bitter, and it’s delicious hot or iced.

Features

RoastDark Roast
Intensity13/13
Caffeine109 mg
Type of coffeeArabica + Robusta 
UndertonesIntensely roasted, Creamy, Cocoa

Pros

Cons

???? Intense without being bitter

???? Not for everyone as it’s a bit too dark

???? Best for lattes

???? Expensive

At a Glance: Nespresso VertuoLine Capsules

Only VertuoLine capsules are used in Nespresso VertuoLine machines. The machine uses the barcode around the rim of VertuoLine capsules for two purposes:

  • Identify the capsule you’re using and brew it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 
  • Non-Nespresso capsules must be locked away.

VertuoLine applies centrifusion or fast capsule spinning. As a result, the crema in the beverage is thicker and foamier. I prefer the espresso from OriginalLine machines, but everyone has their preferences.

Nespresso currently offers eight distinct sorts of VertuoLine capsules, each designed for a unique drinking experience:

Type

Brew Sizes

Intensity

The Bottom Line

Get Them

Espresso

1.35 oz

4-11

In the VertuoLine espresso capsules range, there are just Central and South American blends. Instead of having a separate category for decaf capsules, the Decaffeinato Intenso is available. I love Voltesso (with intensity 4) because of its South American Arabica coffee beans. Its biscuity undertones and sweet scent are the best.

Double Espresso

2.70 oz

6-8

These double espresso capsules double your happiness as well. These are purely Central and South American mixes. I love Scuro with intensity 8, as it is a Central American combination of Arabica and Robusta coffees with undertones of sweet chocolate and vanilla, with a smokey character.

Gran lungo

5 oz

4-8

Gran Lungo capsules have a mild-to-medium intensity that provides an extended espresso shot. Gran Lungo capsules incorporate African and Indonesian coffee. I love Fortado (intensity:8). Its Indian Robusta hits you full power, while the Colombian Arabicas offer cocoa and oak wood aromas.

Coffee

7.8 oz

2-9

For a longer experience than Gran Lungo, try the best Nespresso coffee pods that include, Stormio boost, Odacio, Solelio, and more. I love Stormio (intensity:8), which is a well-roasted Nicaragua and Guatemala Arabica coffee that provides a variety of spicy woody and cereal notes.

Alto Xl

14 oz

4-7

If coffee isn’t adequate for you, then go for Alto Xl capsules. I love intenso (intensity:9) because of its dark roast with a lingering aftertaste that includes hints of brown sugar and highly toasted attributes.

Master Crafted Single Origins

7.8 oz

5-7

These capsules withstand the addition of milk to your favorite specialty drinks. It includes Caramel, chocolate, coconut flavor over ice, Vanilla, Corto, Scuro, and much more. I personally love Cocoa Truffle (intensity:6) is a blend of Vibrant dark cocoa on a base of malted cereal.

Crafted for milk

2.7 oz, 7.8 oz

Intensity not listed

These capsules cut through the thick milkiness of specialized beverages. I love iced forte (intensity:6) because of its refreshing and strong taste. South American Arabicas combined with Indonesian Arabicas provide a powerful scent.

Nespresso Exclusives

1.35 oz, 5 oz, 7.8 oz

5-8

These Nespresso Exclusives are only available for a limited time. I love Aged Sumatra (intensity: 5) as it is the only cinnamon-flavored capsule with low acidity and light in the body. It's one of the best-flavored Nespresso pods.

7 Best Nespresso Vertuoline Capsules

Check out our best pods for Nespresso machines (VertuoLine):

1. Scuro

Double Espresso Scuro is a darkly roasted combination of Robusta and Arabica beans from Central America. Its dark, smokey flavor enhances by cocoa and vanilla undertones.

Features

RoastHigh roasted
Intensity8/13
Caffeine55 – 65mg
Type of coffeeRobusta + Arabica
UndertonesIntense, Cocoa, Vanilla

Pros

Cons

???? Brew espresso to Alto.

???? Not compatible with OriginalLine machines.

???? Offers pour-over iced lattes

???? Not suitable for mild/lighter intensity lovers.

2. Fortado Gran Lungo

This Nespresso coffee has a bitter cocoa powder taste and oak wood overtones that contribute to the coffee’s richness, thanks to a blend of Indian Robusta and South and Central American Arabicas.

Features

RoastHigh roasted
Intensity8/13
Caffeine200mg
Type of coffeeRobusta + Arabica
UndertonesRoasted, Woody

Pros

Cons

???? Its taste is strong and tasty both with and without milk.

???? Some users find its flavor a little harsh.

???? Recyclable.

???? Expensive.

3. Iced Forte

Ice Forte by Barista Creations has South American Arabicas that combine with Indonesian Arabica to create a powerful fragrant experience. Cereal, woody, and peppery aromas weave their way through the cup for a full-bodied iced coffee experience.

Features

RoastHigh roasted
Intensity6/13
Caffeine170 – 200mg
Type of coffeeArabica
UndertonesDry cereal, woody & peppery

Pros

Cons

???? Strong but not intense.

???? A bit light, therefore not for dark rost lovers.

???? Among the best cheap Nespresso pods.

4. Mexico

When you learn that Master Origins Mexico is twice-washed, you will do a double-take. In a double wash, all of the intensity of Robusta purifies, leaving you with spicy flavors and a rich, thick body.

Features

RoastHigh roasted
Intensity7/13
Caffeine170 – 200mg
Type of coffeeRobusta
UndertonesWoody & Earthy

Pros

Cons

???? Love the boldness & smoothness.

???? Pricey

???? Extremely well balanced.

5. Voltesso

Voltesso is a South American Arabica bean and is softly roasted and balanced, revealing biscuity overtones and a characteristic sweet scent. To make a beautifully smooth Espresso, blend it with milk.

Features

RoastLight roasted
Intensity4/13
Caffeine85mg
Type of coffeeArabica
UndertonesBiscuit 

Pros

Cons

???? Blend with milk for a delicious new take.

???? Some users might find it a bit costly

???? No milk and allergens component

6. Stormio

The fragrances of this Nespresso coffee come from highly roasted Nicaragua and Guatemala Arabica coffee, which conjure spicy woody and cereal undertones. 

Features

RoastDark roasted
Intensity8/13
Caffeine165 mg
Type of coffeeArabica
UndertonesSpicy, woody, cereal

Pros

Cons

???? Provide you with a 7.8 oz coffee serve, ideal for a longer sipping experience.

???? Not brew 14oz cup

???? Recyclable

7. Intenso

This dark-roasted Nespresso coffee is unusually thick and deep, with a lingering aftertaste that includes hints of brown sugar and highly toasted characteristics. It is a mix of Guatemalan Robusta and Mexican and Latin American Arabicas that enhance their brown sugar and bitter notes.

Features

RoastDark roasted
Intensity9/13
Caffeine165 mg
Type of coffeeArabica + Robusta 
UndertonesBrown sugar, Intense

Pros

Cons

???? Rich in cream.

???? Taste best with milk.

???? Taste best with milk.

Best Nespresso Compatible Third-Party Capsules for OriginalLine Machines

Nespresso OriginalLine models are compatible with OriginalLine Nespresso capsules and not the VertuoLine. I tried all of the best non-Nespresso compatible capsules for OriginalLine machines. In terms of quality, price, and reliability, I chose these six brands. 

Want a cheaper alternative?

It offers compatibility with non-Nespresso coffee pod brands like L’OR, Starbucks, Meseta, Cafe La Llave, Lavazza, or Peet’s (all mentioned brands are budget-friendly as they come in a variety pack). 

For more information about buying Nespresso OriginalLine Pods, read our guide on where to buy Nespresso Pods

The Bottom Line

The ideal Nespresso pod or capsule depends entirely on your needs at the time. If you’re feeling brave, try Giornio and see how you react to the coffee + floral notes.

Melozia from the VertuoLine conjures up images of delicious coffee, and it’s my personal favorite. Range packs can help you try a variety of new coffees. 

Further, if you want to get more info regarding the best capsules to brew iced coffee (apart from the above-mentioned capsules), check out our guide on best Nespresso Pods for Iced Coffee

But it’ll all be worth it when you find the right flavor according to your taste buds.

FAQs

Can Nespresso machines accommodate reusable capsules?

Nespresso capsules are not reusable. However, refilling is possible. Some individuals re-run their pods to recycle them. Some people recycle their pods by running them again. For all Nespresso machines, there are safe to use reusable pods made of steel or plastic.

Can Nespresso capsules be recycled?

Yes, Nespresso Aluminum capsules ensure 100% recyclability. You don’t need to do it yourself because of its recycling program. Simply get free recycling bags, and after emptying the capsules, either ship them back to Nespresso recycling facilities or drop them off at a local Nespresso boutique.

Do Nespresso capsules expire?

Technically they don’t, but it simply loses their aroma, optimal freshness, and flavor. Nespresso guarantees the capsules’ freshness for a minimum of 4 months from the date of purchase.

What does capsule intensity mean? 

Nespresso defines intensity as a coffee’s degree of roasting, body, and bitterness. In addition, the coffee’s concentration contributes to the intensity. The amount of caffeine in the coffee has nothing to do with it.

How are Starbucks pods different from other companies’ pods?

Unlike pods from other brands such as Peet’s Coffee, Starbucks worked with Nespresso to manufacture the Starbucks pods. This means that you can recycle Starbucks capsules into Nespresso bags. This recycling part can not happen with Peet coffee as it isn’t a partner of Nespresso.

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