The 12 Best Capsule Coffee Brands | Best Brands Coffee Pods

Because not many people have a lot of time on their hands when it comes to preparing a freshly brewed cup of coffee, capsule coffee has become quite popular because of how easy it is to prepare. But, considering that there are plenty of different capsule coffee brands today, which ones are the best out of all of them?

Nespresso

nespresso

Nespresso, which is owned by the Nestle group of companies, is one of the most popular brands of capsule coffee in the entire world due to how there are plenty of different advantages when it comes to this brand. That is why we regard it as the best capsule coffee brand available today. Still, let’s look at the pros and cons of Nespresso so that you will learn if this is for you.

Pros

  • Nespresso has coffee flavors that are as close to authentic as possible. While Nespresso capsule coffee is still not the same as real espresso, it still has a good flavor that makes you think that you are actually drinking legit espresso.
  • As of this writing, Nespresso almost exclusively focuses on coffee and does not cover other drinks that some brands actually cover. As such, you can be sure that Nespresso capsule coffees are made specifically for coffee lovers and not just for those who want to drink coffee for any other reason.
  • Nespresso machines are capable of producing foam on their coffee. That’s why, when you want to use Nespresso capsule coffees, you can create a frothy and foamy cup of coffee.
  • A lot of different coffee capsules are actually compatible with Nespresso machines. That’s why, when it comes to an overall versatility, you can go for other brands of capsules if you want to use a Nespresso machine.
  • If you are someone who wants to stay loyal to the Nespresso brand, the good news about Nespresso coffee capsules is that they are recyclable. This is something that not all brands can boast.

Cons

  • Nespresso coffee capsules are quite expensive compared to other capsules. That means that the machine is also a bit more expensive than the other machines on the market.
  • Another factor that makes Nespresso coffee capsules more expensive is the fact that most Nespresso capsules can only produce 110 ml of coffee.
  • Most Nespresso coffee capsules are only available for purchase online as there aren’t plenty of Nespresso capsules available in physical stores. 

Lavazza

lavazza

Lavazza is another amazing brand that is very popular among coffee lovers. The good news is that Lavazza comes with a line of capsule coffee machines that are just as amazing or even better than other brands out there. Let’s look at the pros and cons of Lavazza.

Pros

  • Lavazza machines are capable of producing froth. The good news is that the machine does it all as you don’t need to do anything to produce froth on your coffee. 
  • These machines are very easy to use as Lavazza coffee machines only require you to put the capsule inside and it does everything for you. As such, you will be able to save up a ton of time.
  • You can use milk instead of water when you are using Lavazza machines. This allows you to create a milky cup of latte or macchiato instead of a plain cup.
  • You have a wide array of different choices when it comes to how long you want to extract the coffee from the capsule. This isn’t something that you can do with other machines.
  • Lavazza coffee capsules are some of the cheapest in the market, and that is good news for those who don’t want to end up spending a ton of money on their capsule coffee.

Cons

  • Lavazza machines are fully automated. While that can be good to some extent, there are some capsule coffee machines that will allow you to put your own input.
  • Lavazza coffee capsules aren’t available in a lot of stores and are mostly available only in their online store.
  • Not a lot of other brands actually fit Lavazza coffee capsule machines. As such, if you can’t find brands that don’t fit the Lavazza machine, you would have to buy coffee capsules exclusively from Lavazza.

Dolce Gusto

dolce gusto

Dolce Gusto is another brand that comes from Nestle as it operates under Nescafe, which is the main coffee brand of the Nestle group of companies. As such, you can be sure that Dolce Gusto comes with amazing capsule coffee machines and capsules. Here are the pros and cons of this brand:

Pros

  • Dolce Gusto capsules are incredibly affordable and are much more affordable than Nespresso capsules. 
  • One Dolce Gusto capsule is already enough to fill a big cup of coffee. That’s why only one pod is all you need to have your cup of morning coffee.
  • Dolce Gusto machines offer you plenty of different options for brewing. As such, you will be able to have plenty of ways to brew your coffee instead of being restricted to only a few options.
  • There are plenty of different Dolce Gusto flavors that appeal to different long coffee lovers. That’s why Dolce Gusto is the best for those who specifically want to drink amazing coffee flavors.
  • Dolce Gusto capsules are available in other flavors and not just coffee. That’s why you can get hot chocolate and tea from Dolce Gusto capsules.

Cons

  • Dolce Gusto doesn’t come with specialty coffee flavors despite the fact that there are plenty of different flavors coming from this brand.
  • Dolce Gusto machines will require you to take out the old capsule whenever you use them because they don’t come with a capsule reservoir.
  • You won’t like the lack of intensity of Dolce Gusto capsules because they focus more on taste rather than on coffee intensity.

Keurig

keurig

Keurig is also one of the most well-known brands when it comes to capsule coffee. There are plenty of different capsule coffee lovers who use Keurig. So, let’s look at the pros and cons of Keurig as a capsule coffee brand.

Pros

  • Keurig coffee capsules come in a lot of different specialty flavors. You could even say that Keurig is right up there at the top when it comes to its array of coffee flavors.
  • There are plenty of different stores where you can get Keurig coffee capsules. As such, it would be very easy for you to buy and restock Keurig capsules.
  • You can get specialty Keurig flavors that actually fit different types of diets such as the keto diet. This means that Keurig coffee capsules cater to a lot of different crowds depending on their diet and personal preferences.
  • Most Keurig flavors don’t have that artificial flavor that you would probably get from other brands. This gives you an authentic coffee experience that you won’t get from other brands out there.

Cons

  • Keurig coffee capsules are non-recyclable. And that means that you will end up increasing your carbon footprint when you use Keurig capsules.
  • You won’t get the best quality of coffee when it comes to Keurig coffee capsules because of how these capsules are made for mass production and not simply for coffee lovers.
  • Not all coffee capsule brands can fit Keurig machines as most Keurig machines will only cater specific capsule sizes. As such, you might end up getting restricted to Keurig coffee capsules.

Illy

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is illy.png

Like most of the other names on this list, Illy is a leader in the coffee industry. Luckily for you, Illy comes with a capsule coffee line that’s perfect for at-home use, especially if you are simply looking to get a good cup of coffee in a hurry. Here are the things that you should know about Illy capsule coffee:

Pros

  • Illy is a well-known brand that produces amazing coffee. That means that you can be sure that the coffee capsules sold by Illy are some of the best you can get in the market.
  • Illy capsule coffee machines are amazing when it comes to extracting the right flavor from their capsules. That means that you will only get the most intense flavors when it comes to Illy machines.
  • You can get Illy capsules that are actually compatible with other brands such as Nespresso. This means that, if you have a Nespresso machine, you can use Illy capsules instead.
  • If you are looking for intense coffee flavors, there aren’t plenty of brands that can stand up to what Illy can offer.

Cons

  • Illy is not as readily available in the market as some other brands are. And that will make it difficult for you to buy them.
  • Most illy coffee capsules are compatible with only Illy and Nespresso machines and not with other machines.

Peet’s

peet's

While Peet’s isn’t the biggest coffee brand in the world, it does do well in terms of its popularity. As such, this brand of coffee has a line of coffee capsules that’s available for Keurig owners out there. So now, let’s look at this brand.

Pros

  • Comes with amazing flavors that different people all over the world trust and love. This is why Peet’s is as popular as it is.
  • Its Major Dickason blend is one of the most popular capsule coffee flavors on the market.
  • Peet’s is well-known for dark roasts that come with hints of chocolate and a kind of intensity that any kind of coffee lover will appreciate.

Cons

  • Can be a bit pricey as its coffee capsules are more expensive than other brands.
  • Peet’s only comes in Keurig cups and are not available for other brands of capsule coffee machines to use.

McCafe

mccafe

Of course, everyone knows McDonald’s, but not everyone knows that this company also serves amazing coffee. McCafe is also a pretty good capsule coffee brand that works with Keurig. So, let’s look at the pros and cons of this brand.

Pros

  • McCafe holds true to its fast-food roots as its coffee capsules are some of the cheapest that you can find in the market.
  • The coffee that McCafe capsules hold tends to be on the lighter and flavorful side, which is great for those who love light coffee.
  • You will get a well-balanced cup of coffee with the McCafe line of coffee capsules. And don’t let the cheap price fool you because these coffee capsules taste really well.

Cons

  • Only works with Keurig machines and not with other machines.
  • The flavors tend to be on the lighter side, which might not appeal to medium and dark roast lovers out there.
  • McCafe capsules are not recyclable.

Caribou

caribou

Like some other names on this list, Caribou doesn’t produce capsule coffee machines and is only available in capsules. However, that doesn’t take away the fact that Caribou is a good brand. So now, let’s look at what we think about Caribou:

Pros

  • Great for the environment and is produced responsibly because of how is Rainforest Alliance-certified.
  • Caribou’s signature blend is pretty popular because of how it comes with amazing notes that only the best coffee lovers will truly appreciate.

Cons

  • Compatible only with Keurig machines.
  • Not the best for those who like a bit of bitterness in their coffee.

Starbucks

starbucks at home

When it comes to coffee, you won’t hear a name that is much more popular than Starbucks. While Starbucks doesn’t have any capsule coffee machines, they are available in any kind of machine. So, let’s look at the pros and cons of Starbucks capsule coffee:

Pros

  • Available for almost all major types of machines such as Nespresso, Keurig, and Dolce Gusto.
  • Very versatile because of how Starbucks offers a wide range of different coffee flavors that are as close to their coffee shop versions as possible.
  • You can get Starbucks pods in a lot of different stores around the world especially in Starbucks stores.

Cons

  • You will be a bit disappointed with how Starbucks coffee capsules aren’t really the same as their coffee shop versions despite how close they may be.
  • Starbucks doesn’t have that signature flavor that most other brands have.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

cbtl

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or simply CBTL is like Starbucks in the sense that it is quite popular. CBTL comes with its own machine and capsules, which mimic CBTL signature flavors as close as possible. With that, here are the pros and cons of CBTL:

Pros

  • Comes with amazing flavors such as their signature French vanilla flavor, which has always been one of CBTL’s best-sellers.
  • There are plenty of CBTL shops where you can get CBTL capsules. That means that the machines and the capsules are readily available.
  • Some CBTL machines come with their own milk frother so that you will have a good cop of frothy coffee.

Cons

  • Only CBTL capsules are compatible with CBTL machines. You won’t be able to use other brands on a CBTL machine.
  • CBTL capsules can be quite expensive as each capsule can cost just as much as a cup of coffee in a CBTL store.

SF Bay

sf bay

When it comes to coffee, SF Bay isn’t the most popular, but you will be surprised to know that this coffee capsule brand has plenty to offer as well. In that regard, let’s look at this San Francisco-based brand:

Pros

  • Comes with the best French vanilla blend that you can find in the market. You will never not like its French vanilla flavor.
  • Its coffee is extremely aromatic, especially when blended with notes of cocoa and vanilla. This makes SF Bay coffee great to wake up to in the morning.
  • SF Bay coffee capsules are made from compostable materials that are perfectly organic.

Cons

  • SF Bay capsules only work with Keurig machines.
  • You will find that SF Bay capsules can be quite expensive and are a bit more expensive than some of the other brands on this list.

Dunkin Donuts

dunkin

Of course, Dunkin Donuts should be on this list as one of the most well-known donut companies in the world is also known for its amazing original blend of coffee. Now, let’s look at how its coffee capsule holds up to the others:

Pros

  • You can never go wrong with the Dunkin Donuts original blend coffee as it tastes just as amazing as the actual coffee you can get in a DD store.
  • Dunkin Donuts coffee, of course, pairs perfectly well with donuts.

Cons

  • Dunkin Donuts is only available for Keurig machines.
  • You will only get one flavor, which is the original blend. While that may be enough for most people, Dunkin Donuts still lacks variety.
  • The coffee capsules tend to be on the expensive side even though Dunkin Donuts coffee isn’t that expensive.