Nespresso is the referring brand name of Nestlé Nespresso S.A based in Switzerland known for single serve espresso machines and coffee related products. These machines use ground coffee seal-packed in containers we commonly know as capsules or pods. So, when you are getting a machine home, you are along bringing the Nespresso Capsule experience.
In this Buyer Guide, we will tell you most of the things about the capsules one should know and care about.We will talk about the variations, flavors, where we can buy these and some great ways to save money. Below is the quick navigation to help you jump straight to the desired section if you are short on time and want to skip few!
- Types of Nespresso Capsules
- Cost of Capsules
- Where to Buy Nespresso Pods
- How to Save Money on Nespresso Pods
- Nespresso Original Line Flavors
- Vertuoline Flavors
- Best Capsule Holders
- How Much Caffeine In Each Capsule
- Environmental Affect
- Disposing The Capsules
Pods are basically coffee containers filled with pre-decided amount of coffee grounds and are sealed pack to keep the things inside fresh for brewing. These pods are than used by Nespresso machines to brew a cup of espresso. Pods come in various flavors strengths that can create confusion for a new user. Once you get used to it, it will get a hold.
Types – Nespresso OriginalLine Vs VertuoLine
Nespresso makes two different lines of machines:
- Original Line – Brews Espresso only;
- Vertuoline – Makes Espresso as well as Regular Drip coffee also
Below are the more detailed differences between both –
- OriginalLine only brews espresso whereas the Vertuoline brews regular coffee as well as espresso.
- The former uses pump pressure brewing as in most of the espresso machines whereas the latter uses Centrifusion (Rapid Spinning) technology.
- The Vertuoline machines uses an expensive line of capsules and there are no 3rd party capsules available as with the OriginalLine.
- Vertuoline machines are usually expensive than those of OriginalLine.
How Much Does Nespresso Capsules Cost?
Generally, the cost of OriginalLine pod is between $.75 to $.85 and the Vertuoline pod is around $.95 to $1.20. This apparatus is costly when compared to that of regular drip brewers or an espresso machine but it’s often opted because of its simplicity and ease of use.
On the other way, if you use a coffee shop for your daily dose of espresso, a Nespresso setup at home will do save you some money and time, and there is no doubt about that.
So, if one drinks 3 cups of espresso a day, around $2.4 will be the expense of each day, that means $72 a month and $864 a year. I guess it’s not bad for the comfort we are getting!
Where to Buy Nespresso Capsules?
Now that you are somewhat familiar with the concept by Nespresso, you might be thinking as places to buy these at best prices – so let’s discover the best places to have them that saves some money on the long run. If you are just starting up, try to buy variety packs first as it will bring you closer to what each flavor tastes like. After that, when you have already tasted the best flavors, buy them in larger quantities to save some bucks.
Shop From Nespressso.com or Nespresso Club
Often the first choice among new buyers of a Nespresso machine is the brands own site, Nespresso.com. People often opt this because they are confident that they are getting a genuine thing without any infringements. Sooner, one discovers their program called Nespresso Club giving the benefits mentioned below:
- Welcome Accessory for a new member
- Extended warranty for your machine from 2 to 3 years
- Special offers along with discounted prices
- Dedicated customer support for ordering or troubleshoot
- Nespresso Magazine subscription published 2 times in a year
- Easy placement of orders via web, app or call
Buy At Nespresso Boutique
The Boutique is a concept that brings to experience everything from the brand under one roof with an ambience that especially caters the mood.
One can discover all the varieties of Grand Crus coffee with a pleasing Tasting Area especially made for this. Specialty coffee experts are always there to help you with their personalized advice and guidance.
If you are interested, you can locate any store through the Nespresso Store Locator.
Shop At Amazon
One can also find these capsules at Amazon where you are not locked into a minimum quantity of 50. We can also see some limited edition packs with the quantity of 10 or 20. To have a taste of numerous flavors, variety packs are also available allowing getting familiar with different flavors.
Many people prefer to buy from here as there are no bounds for anything and things are transparent. Most of the people purchasing capsules from here also have coupons to get some more price cut-offs.
Moreover, buying larger quantity pack cuts the price by 30-50%, so consider picking larger packs if you are familiar with the flavors and know what you are buying. Amazon Prime customers get extra discount and free delivery on making regular purchases.
The other online stores like Walmart and Target also sell assortments, but still Amazon offers the best variety and assortments.
Here are some best assortments by Amazon that one should try:
This is a bigger one that includes 2 boxes of 100 capsules each:
Here is the Decaf assortment if you are looking for something like that:
Now, below are few of the VertuoLine assortments:
Still not satisfied, here are some more assortments.
Shop from Partner Retailers
Nespresso has tied up with many partner retailers that operate in chain stores and it’s likely you might already be shopping from one of the store near you. Below are some of the Brick and Mortar partner retailers that sell Nespresso Grand Crus, or simply the pods.
- Bed Bath and Beyond
- Sur La Table
- Best Buy
- Crate & Barrel
How to Save Money on Nespresso Capsules
In a long run, if you continue to buy the pods from Nespresso, you are sure to spend a descent amount. Each unit costs around $.70 and if two members of your home drink 3 cups of coffee a day, the whole month is going to cost at least $120.
However, there are options and tricks both to save some bucks in a long run. You can use either compatible capsules that can cost around $0.40 per unit or use reusable options which can be re-filled with fresh grounds. There is another marvelous trick – reusing the old containers and seal pack them. Below is the detailed description about all options we said.
Nespresso Compatible Pods | Buy Alternates
People have been producing knock-offs of Nespresso capsule for years now. There are many brands that sell alternative and cost much less than the original brand products.
Some consumers feel that none of these compatible capsules really measures up to the quality of the original, while others are able to find brands that taste as good as (or even better) and cost significantly less. I personally feel like trying and testing the other pods will surely help you find the best alternative.
Use Permanent Reusable Capsules
If you never want to buy disposable pods again, you can try a reusable capsule that you can empty and refill each time you use it. One of the most popular choices is Sealpod. Made of stainless steel, the only disposable element of this system is the foil seal that goes on top of the capsule.
To use, you simply fill with coffee using the scoop that comes with your purchase, seal it, and drop it in the machine. CM seals seem to work just as well as Sealpod’s own seals in this system.
Therefore in order to avoid your machine’s needles, the Sealpod is slightly smaller to a regular coffee pod by Nespresso. This may be an issue when you’re trying to brew a lungo shot, but most customers are very happy with Sealpod overall.
Sealpod capsules are sold in packages of two and five for about 40 and 70 dollars, so they will quickly pay for themselves when you use the ground coffee of your choice.
Another option is to go for Recaps, again a trusted option in this category. This brand also has been serving from long and makes quality product that is trusted and used by many coffee lovers.
Reusing Old Nespresso Pods
What do you do with the old pods after you brew your coffee? One way to save money is to refill old ones and brew them again. It also helps nature from environmental hazards.
The process of reusing them is quite simple –
- Remove the seal using a small pen-knife to cut away the foil, dump the old coffee grounds and rinse.
- Add about 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of coffee (ground as for espresso) and tamp lightly with a spoon.
- Cut a square of ordinary kitchen foil to cover the top, and press it around the rim of the pod to seal it.
You can probably get about 3 more uses out of each used capsule through this method. For perfect use of old pods, we can also use perfect seals specifically made for this purpose by brands like Sealpod and My-cap Foils.
To get a better seal when reusing old pods, try a product like Sealpod or CM espresso lids. These are seals that are cut to exactly the right shape and size and attach with an adhesive. Some people say the quality of the adhesive is better with Sealpod, but CM is much cheaper.
Again, as a result, you will be able to use an old unit about 3 more times before it is too full of holes to be used again. These seals also come with a coffee scoop that is the right shape for tamping.
In addition to get more uses out of your old pods, try drawing a line on them so that you always orient it in the machine the same way. The holes will line up better and you may be able to use the them more often.
There is one more option we just recently discovered. It’s My-Cap Foils having self-adhesive aluminum lids that come in pack of 10 or even 100. The materials used are all food grade and come with SGS certification. What’s more, you can buy Sealpod reusable capsules stated above with these IreVoor foils that will last longer.
Nespresso Original Line Flavors
A lot of fancy variants are available in both the capsule types. The best way to learn about them is to taste it and to taste, start by ordering an assortment pack.
The Original Line coffee capsules are divided into 6 major categories which are further subdivided into 24 flavors varying in intensity, aroma and cup size too. Following is the classification that will give you a better understanding of the flavors.
Espresso Series – The Best Nespresso Capsules
The very basic form of espresso that makes short or standard shots most people prefer and that’s why I said them as the Best. The intensity varies from normal to strong and most of the coffees used in these are blended origins. Under Espresso, there are 4 variants:
- Capriccio: Lightly roasted blend of Arabica and some Robusta from South America that is slightly acidic, balanced and cereal notes. Intensity 5.
- Volluto: Blend of light roasted Colombian and Brazilian Arabicas with sweet and fruity notes. Intensity 4.
- Livanto: A medium roast blend from Central and South American Arabicas with a very balanced flavor and caramelized cereal notes. Intensity 6.
- Cosi: Lightly roasted blend of Central, South America, and East Africa with balanced flavor and cereal fruity notes. Intensity 4.
These are the same espresso capsules with increased intensity and bold flavors. Most of these are again blended in origins.
- Kazaar: This one is for strong coffee lovers with exceptional bitterness, pepper notes, balanced and creamy texture. This is a blend of Robusta from Brazil and Guatemala with a mix of Arabica from South America. Intensity 12.
- Arpeggio: A blend of Central and South Americas roasted for long resulting in full-bodied, creamy and cocoa notes. Intensity 9
- Dharkan: A blend of washed Arabicas from Latin America and Asia long roasted to give velvety, silky and pleasant bitterness. Intensity 11
- Ristretto: Best Arabicas from Colombia and Brazil roasted with a technique of slow split giving powerful, chocolate notes. It also has some a touch of Robusta from East Africa for some zing. Intensity 10.
- Roma: A very balanced blend South American and Central Arabicas combined with a hint of Robustas giving woody notes. Intensity 8.
Pure Origin Series
As the name suggests, these capsules or pods are of single origin and not blended. All of these will have a unique taste or flavor.
- Indriya from India: A perfectly balanced Arabica and Robusta beans from South India roasted quickly to balance its strong character giving spicy clove and coca notes. Intensity 10.
- Rosabaya-de-Colombia: It’s a collection of Colombian Arabica grown in small plantations. It uses separate roasting giving fruity notes of black currents and cranberries with some acidity. Intensity 6.
- Dulsao-do-Brasil: As the name says, the origin of beans is Brazil which is delicately roasted to give a subtle and balanced taste with notes of lightly toasted grains. Intensity 4.
- Bukeela-ka-Ethiopia: The origin is the home of Coffee and has very distinct characteristics. It has floral notes of jasmine, white lily, and notes of wood. Intensity 3.
It is basically a longer cup of espresso that carries more water plus strong coffee to bring out more complex and subtle flavors without compromising the intensity of coffee, hence strong in taste.
- Envivo Lungo: Highly intense dark roasted blend of Arabica from India and Robusta from Mexico. It has potent character, full body, caramelized notes of gingerbread and woody scent. Intensity 9.
- Fortissio Lungo: West Indian Malabar beans are blended with Latin American Arabicas resulting in an intense and full-bodied cup. It has sweet cereal and malty toasted notes.Intensity 8.
- Linizio Lungo: Arabicas from Brazil and Colombia are blended with split roasting technique resulting in a mild and smooth cup with notes of malty cereal. Intensity 4.
- Vivalto Lungo: High Altitude Arabicas from Brazil and East Africa are blended with split roasting resulting in a complex and balanced cup with floral notes. Intensity 4.
Many people prefer to avoid caffeine and there is a lot of debate about it. Hence the brand has a section of decaf capsules that doesn’t contains naturally occurring caffeine. Below are the available flavors in this category –
- Ristretto Decaffeinato: The Ristretto in a decaffeinated way with the same intensity of 10.
- Arpeggio Decaffeinato: Decaffeinated Arpeggio roasted long and an intensity of 9.
- Volluto Decaffeinato: An espresso for decaffeinated lovers. Intensity 4.
- Vivalto Decaffeinato Lungo: A decaffeinated lungo for long cup lovers. Fruity notes and Intensity 4.
Variation – Other flavors or tastes that are left off are placed under this section. Most of the Espresso capsules are added with some contrasting flavors to give a little addition to the taste.
- Vanilio: As the name says it all, it is an explored base of Livanto having rich and velvety aromas with notes of vanilla. Intensity 6.
- Ciocattino: Again this is a version of Livanto with bitter chocolate notes. Intensity 6.
- Caramelito: A blend of South and Central America with caramelized notes. Intensity 6.
Nespresso Vertuoline Pods
The patented Centrifusion technology of Vertuoline offers 2 major variations of Grand Cru or capsules known as Coffee Range and Espresso Range. Coffee Range means regular drip coffee whereas espresso means Espresso!
Below are the 8 flavors available in Coffee Range:
- Stromio – Rich and Strong with an intensity of 8 out of 11.
- Odacio – Strong and Lively with an intensity of 7 out of 11.
- Melozio – Smooth and Balanced with an intensity of 6 out of 11.
- Elvazio – Delicate and fruity, especially for fruit loving people with an intensity of 4 out of 11.
- Hazelino – It’s simply the Hazelnut flavor many people love with an intensity of 6.
- Vanizio – Vanilla, an always loved flavor by most. Intensity 6.
- Decaffeinato – For decaf lovers, round and malty, intensity lies at 6.
- Half Caffeinato – Sweet and Velvety taste with intensity of 5.
Now below are the 4 unique flavors in the Espresso Range –
- Diavolitto – Highly Intense and powerful punch with an intensity of 11 out of 11.
- Altissio – Full bodied and creamy flavor with an intensity of 9.
- Voltesso – Sweet and light flavor with low intensity of 4.
- Decaffeinato Intenso – Dense and harmonious flavor with a mid-intensity of 7.
Capsule Holders for Nespresso
We hope you don’t like making a mess in the kitchen with not arranged pods. After buying a quantity of these, a problem arises about storing them in an arranged way so to have access to each flavor easily. To come over this, many brands are producing pod holders or drawers which range from $15 to $100. These are both convenient, help to reduce mess and don’t cost to burn your pocket.
The first one that we liked is DecoBros Crystal Tampered Glass Vertuoline capsule holder. It an store up to 40 units easily and can even store normal pods in a quantity of 20.
Another option is by Mind Reader that can hold up to 50 OriginalLine units or 24 Vertuoline units. It’s very basic form of storage liked by everyone and is convenient to use.
How much Caffeine is in Each Coffee Capsule?
People often have this question in mind about caffeine content. There are actually two series of these coffee containers – Original Line and Vertuo Line. The OriginalLine is again subdivided into 2 cup sizes – Espresso(40 ml) and Lungo(110 ml). Lungo is the large form of espresso and hence has more caffeine. In an espresso shot, caffeine ranges from 55-65 mg whereas in Lungo, 77-89 mg. The Kazaar blend is an exception with caffeine content of around 125 mg.
In Vertuoline series, the espresso group has caffeine content averaging 110 mg whereas the coffee group has caffeine of around 165 mg. There are half capsules as well containing caffeine of about 70 mg. (Source: Caffineinformer)
Let’s now discover some of the coolest and feasible options to have best of these. We are recommending the options on the basis of our personal findings and ratings depicting the best options. First of all, let’s understand the flavors by Nespresso.
Due to simplicity and fast brewing process, single serve machines have become the favorite of many homes and even offices. However, have you ever thought about where does the used pod go?
The pods themselves are supposedly recyclable but Nestlé has not been transparent about how successful their recycling efforts have been. There is enough concern about the environmental impact of pod coffee.
We can tackle this problem by using the reusable capsules. This will, if opted at large will help reduce the environmental affect.
Disposing the Pods for Complete Recycling
Nespresso has started a project that does proper recycling of these coffee containers. The reports speak that 70% of pods are recycled from the total sold quantity which is a huge figure. The original recycling plant is established in Canada but the service is offered in US as well.
In this process, the consumers are provided with special recycling bags at no cost for collecting the used capsules. One can order these bags online or can get from any boutique. These bags then can be returned to any of the collection centers which can be among the following:
- Nespresso Boutiques
- Terracycle Collection Points
- Via UPS through Nespresso’s mail-back program
Wrapping It Up
But some people just don’t want to buy their coffee the same way they buy printer ink. Coffee is a traditional product that people have been drinking for centuries; being locked into buying from one supply chain because of the kind of machine you own is a business model that many of us rebel against.
It has also brought Nestlé into conflict with antitrust regulations in some countries. Is there a way to enjoy the benefits that a Nespresso has to offer without being locked into using it on the company’s terms only?
The market is now available with many other options of Nespresso Coffee Capsules that are 100 % compatible with Nespresso machines and they are now playing quite well in the market. Many people have even stopped using their favorite espresso machines due to the simplicity of this pod king.