Last Updated on September 13, 2021 by John Moretti
There is nothing better than a good cup of latte or cappuccino to balance out the bitterness and boldness of coffee with a bit of milk. That said, there are plenty of different Nespresso capsules that are perfect for that latte or cappuccino if you prefer your milk with coffee. As such, here are my favorite Nespresso capsules for latte and cappuccino:
- Best Overall: Nespresso Barista Scuro
- Best For Intense Latte: Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Palermo Kazaar
- Best For Light Latte: Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Ristreto
- Best Intense Cappuccino: Starbucks Espresso Roast
- Best For Light Cappuccino: Nespresso Chiaro
Best Overall: Nespresso Barista Scuro
- What I like: The flavors lean more towards the coffee flavor, which allows the beans to truly give your cup some life. Blends well with milk without getting overpowered by its creaminess. Light roast with the right intensity.
- What I don’t like: Better for latte than of cappuccino but still works for the latter.
Lattes and cappuccinos are supposed to be enjoyed in a way where the overall flavor of the coffee beans doesn’t get overpowered by the milkiness and creaminess of the milk. That is where Nespresso Barista Scuro stands out as this is the type of coffee pod that is actually going to lean more towards its coffee flavor while allowing the milk to complement its overall complexity.
The one thing that I really like about this capsule is that it doesn’t tend to give you that overpowering milkiness to the point that you are probably better off drinking milk instead. Instead, it simply gives you an overall amazing flavor profile that still allows the coffee beans to stand out, all while the milk adds a creamy and sweet hint that tantalizes the senses.
In that regard, you will love Nespresso Barista Scuro for its light-roast flavors as it keeps the coffee the star of the show even though it is actually going to do well with milk. And you don’t have to worry about its intensity because it is actually intense enough to make you feel awake in the morning. But don’t expect it to truly shock your senses if you feel groggy.
Best For Intense Latte: Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Palermo Kazaar
- What I like: Gives you intense dark flavors that don’t allow the milkiness of your latte to hide the darkness and complexity of the beans. Great if you prefer your coffee to have that intense effect.
- What I don’t like: Can be a bit too intense for those who can’t handle their caffeine well enough.
If you prefer your latte to be on the darker side of things, there is nothing darker than the Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Palermo Kazaar, which will give you an amazing kick of dark roasted coffee that tantalizes the taste buds without overpowering the milk too much. Instead, the milk simply adds another layer of flavor on top of the dark taste that your Kazaar comes with.
This Kazaar coffee pod is popular among Nespresso owners because it comes with a bold kick in its flavor when consumed as an espresso. However, even when you do make a latte out of it, this pod can still give you that amazing boldness that can get you going. I find it hard not to resist the hints of dark cocoa riding behind the flavors of this complex pod.
Of course, with an intensity level of 12, you shouldn’t underestimate the caffeine kick that you would get out of Kazaar. As such, it has always been one of my go-to coffee pods when I want a good and strong latte early in the morning, especially when I feel like I’m in for a heavy and hectic day.
Best For Light Latte: Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Ristreto
- What I like: Lighter on the taste buds but still quite intense. Gives you a good hint of coffee acidity that mingles well with milk.
- What I don’t like: Can be surprisingly intense even though it is a light roast.
For those who want lighter on the taste buds and does not come with the same boldness that some dark roasts come with, Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Ristretto should be one of the best coffee pods for a light latte. It is a light roast coffee that isn’t too hard on your taste buds but still comes with the same amazing coffee flavor that gives you a good coffee experience.
I really like this coffee pod because it has the same kind of intensity that some of the other roasts, even though it is light. Its lightness is something that I really love because of how when mixed with milk. It gives a velvety flavor that goes well with the creaminess and sweetness of the milk. Simply put, its light flavor gives your coffee a bit more balance.
Then again, don’t let that light roast flavor fool you because Ristretto is still very much quite intense. Of course, it isn’t as intense as Kazaar, but it still is just as intense as most other dark roasts out there because it has an intensity level of 10, which is right up my alley if I want something that can keep me awake in the morning.
Best Intense Cappuccino: Starbucks Espresso Roast
- What I like: Gives you those hints of sweetness that complements the creaminess of a good cappuccino. Good coffee shop-quality coffee that you will truly enjoy.
- What I don’t like: More intense than its flavor would suggest.
There is no doubt that Starbucks is one of the premier names in the coffee shop industry because let’s face it, the company does have good-tasting coffee beans. While a lot about Starbucks is due to branding, you still cannot deny that coffee pods such as its Espresso Roasts are amazing when you whip up a good cappuccino early in the day.
If you want an intense dark coffee roast, Espresso Roast should be a good idea for your cappuccino because the dark roast isn’t too intense but is just right enough to complement the milkiness of your cup. But, of course, what I really like is the fact that this pod comes with a hidden hint of sweetness from its caramelized sugar notes, which blends well with milk.
But the most surprising part is that this is a pretty intense cup, even though its sweetness might not give that away. It has an intensity level of 11, which should be good enough for most strong coffee lovers. That’s why I found Starbucks Espresso Roast to be a good choice for that early-morning cup of coffee.
Best For Light Cappuccino: Nespresso Chiaro
- What I like: Very smooth and creamy when mixed together with milk. Has a lot of natural sweetness in its coffee beans.
- What I don’t like: Too mild to wake you up early in the morning.
If you really want something that is actually quite mild in both its effects and taste, then Nespresso Chiaro should be right up your alley. This coffee pod was specifically designed for those who want their cappuccino to be on the milder and sweeter side of the spectrum as it perfectly blends with milk to give you that creamy and sweet experience.
Chiaro comes with a natural sweetness that is already profound enough even without adding sugar to it. So that’s why you can drink this together with milk without even adding sugar. But, of course, the layer of milk froth adds more sweetness to the drink to give you that amazing sweet cappuccino that still comes with that standout coffee flavor.
Because of how mild Chiaro is, it should be a good choice if you want a quick afternoon coffee break. It would give you enough energy to finish the day and go on with your evening duties at home without keeping you awake late at night.
What To Look For When Buying A Nespresso Capsule For Latte And Cappuccino
Different Nespresso capsules for latte and cappuccino are actually compatible with different machines. So, if you are already familiar with Nespresso, you should know that it comes with Vertuo and Original lines of machines. And the pods you use for either of those machines are not compatible with one another.
That said, if you are looking for a good Nespresso capsule for your machine, you should first look at what machine you have so that you will know if you can use that capsule for it. Otherwise, you will end up with capsules that may be delicious for lattes and cappuccinos but are not compatible with the machine that you have.
The thing you need to understand about lattes and cappuccinos is that their intensity levels are not as easily noticeable as the intensity levels of espressos or americanos precisely because of how the milk layer adds a hint of sweetness. However, the intensity level matters in terms of how strong you want your coffee’s caffeine kick should be because even a milky latte or cappuccino needs to wake you up early in the morning or allow you to have a good afternoon coffee break. Therefore, the higher the number is on the label of the pods, the more intense they are in terms of their caffeine content.
The roast level of your coffee affects the overall flavor that it will have, even if it is mixed with milk for your latte or cappuccino. If your coffee has a higher roast level, that means that it will give you a bolder and stronger coffee flavor that tends to overpower the milkiness of your latte or cappuccino. Meanwhile, if you prefer your coffee to be on the subtler side of things, such as when you want your latte or cappuccino to have a milkier taste, then you might want to go for lighter roasts. On the other hand, medium roasts perfectly balance out the boldness of coffee with the creamy sweetness of the milk.
What Are The Differences Between Latte And Cappuccino?
Many people tend to get confused between lattes and cappuccinos because of how they are very similar in terms of their construction. Basically speaking, both lattes and cappuccinos are made using a shot of espresso and milk. However, how you use the milk makes the difference when it comes to these two drinks.
Lattes use one shot of espresso but are made to be dominated with a layer of milk that is almost double the espresso layer. On top of the layer of milk is a layer of milk foam that is about an inch thick in most cups. As such, lattes tend to be on the creamier side when compared to cappuccinos because of how the layer of milk is thicker.
Meanwhile, cappuccinos are made using the same ingredients but are equally distributed in terms of their layers. The one shot of espresso should be equal in terms of composition to the milk layer and the milk foam layer. Because milk foam is sweet, some cappuccinos are usually sweeter than some lattes. And some tweak their cappuccinos by adding a dash of chocolate powder on top to add that bittersweet flavor.
Should I Add Sugar To My Latte Or Cappuccino?
The conventional way of preparing latte or cappuccino doesn’t require you to add sugar to your coffee. However, if you feel like the coffee still lacks the sweetness you prefer, you can add sugar. Still, in most cases, the presence of milk should already add enough sweetness to the cup of coffee unless you really want your cup to be sweet because of how intense the coffee flavors are.
Is Chocolate Required For A Cappuccino?
The basic construction of a cappuccino doesn’t require you to add a layer of chocolate powder on top. This is merely a way for other baristas to tweak their cappuccino. But the basic composition of a cappuccino is merely equal layers of espresso, milk, and milk foam. Think of the chocolate powder as the icing on top of a cake.
Are All Nespresso Pods Good For Latte And Cappuccino?
If you are merely talking about Nespresso pods that produce unflavored espresso, then there should be nothing that would stop you from whipping up a latte or cappuccino using that shot. Of course, all plain and unflavored Nespresso pods can be used to make latte or cappuccino, but some just stand out more than the others, especially when the beans and the roast of these beans perfectly go well with the creaminess and sweetness of the milk.
Is It Important For You To Have A Milk Frother When Preparing Latte Or Espresso?
Ideally, you should have a milk frother when you want to construct a traditional latte or espresso. That’s because the traditional construction of these drinks requires you to add a layer of milk froth. If you don’t add milk froth to your espresso, then you would just end up with a macchiato or a flat white.