Last Updated on September 13, 2021 by John Moretti
Nespresso capsule machines became amazingly popular over the years. As such, it is best to know that there are plenty of different amazing coffee pods that are compatible with Nespresso machines. That said, here are the best Nespresso compatible pods of my choice:
- Best For Variety: Starbucks Intense Variety Pack
- Best For Value: Cafe La Llave Espresso
- Best Low-Budget: Delicitaly Ristretto
- Best For Espresso: Starbucks Espresso Roast
- Best For Decaf Iced Coffee: Grove Square Cappuccino French Vanilla
- Best For Decaf Espresso: Lavazza Expert Espresso Decaf
- Best For Intensity: Gran Caffè Garibaldi Gusto Intenso
- Best For Flavored: Gourmesso Flavored Espresso Pack
- Best Dark Roast: Peet’s Coffee Crema Scura
- Best Organic: Meseta Bio Organic Pack
Best For Variety: Starbucks Intense Variety Pack
- What I like: Has a lot of different varieties of coffee. Gives you plenty of different choices for your everyday coffee needs. You can change your preferences depending on what you need for the day.
- What I don’t like: Might be too intense for other people.
This Starbucks Intense Variety Pack gives you all of the different intense Starbucks coffee pods that you need to wake yourself up early in the day. You will get five different varieties that vary depending on their flavor profile and intensity levels. As such, you can simply choose the coffee pod that you want, depending on how you want your coffee for that day.
Each of these different varieties has its own unique flavor profile. However, I can be sure that they all taste good, especially if you prefer to drink darker roasts. You can choose the lowest in terms of intensity level, but you will still get that delicious, complex dark flavor. Of course, the more intense varieties are darker and bolder than the other ones.
I also cannot stress that these coffee pods are from Starbucks, which still is the most prominent name in the entire coffee shop industry. As such, you can be sure that the coffee you can get from these pods comes from high-quality beans sourced from different farms all over the world.
Best For Value: Cafe La Llave Espresso
- What I like: Quite affordable as it won’t cost a lot of money per pod. Comes with the right kind of intensity you are looking for in a strong espresso. Tastes really well with its complex and strong flavors.
- What I don’t like: Not the best in terms of overall quality.
Coffee should never be expensive, and while Nespresso coffee pods are usually more expensive than most other brands, this pod by Café La Llave breaks the norms because of how affordable it is compared to all of the other pods on the market. Of course, it isn’t the cheapest but, in terms of its value, it gives you the kind of taste and intensity you should expect from a good coffee pod.
So, in that regard, this espresso by Café La Llave provides you the strong and bold coffee experience you need early in the morning because of how it attacks you with dark flavors from its dark roast. In addition, it is very aromatic to the point that its scent can easily wake you up from your groggy state early in the morning.
Of course, because of its intensity level of 11, you should expect this coffee pod to be fairly strong. In that regard, I found it to be very capable of waking my senses up the moment I finish a shot of this morning’s espresso. That means that you would be able to enjoy this coffee pod early in the morning if you are looking to start your day right.
Best Low-Budget: Delicitaly Ristretto
- What I like: Amazingly affordable. Keeps you within your budget if you are looking for a really affordable coffee that still tastes well enough without affecting your budget.
- What I don’t like: Don’t expect it to be the best in terms of quality. You get what you pay for.
During the days when you really want to have a good cup of coffee, but you don’t want to hurt your budget, then there is no denying the fact that Delicitaly Ristretto should be a good enough coffee pod for your daily coffee needs. It is one of the cheapest Nespresso-compatible pods out there, and that makes it the best choice if you are looking to save money while still enjoying your daily jolt of coffee.
In terms of its overall taste, there is nothing bad about this budget coffee pod, but it shouldn’t be the best. It comes with the standard espresso flavor and effects thanks to how it uses quality African coffee beans prepared in Italy.
The intensity isn’t bad as well. If you want to drink coffee to wake yourself up early in the morning, there is nothing wrong with this choice. You might not be able to savor the overall flavor profile, but it does its job at keeping you awake and making sure you are ready to take on the day.
Best For Espresso: Starbucks Espresso Roast
- What I like: Gives you that flavorful espresso that you need daily. Of course, it’s Starbucks, so you should expect a high-quality coffee pod.
- What I don’t like: Not ideal for those who can’t handle intense coffee.
Starbucks has always been the most recognizable name when it comes to the coffee shop industry. And while Starbucks coffee can be expensive if you buy them in the stores, you can save a lot of money because this Starbucks Espresso won’t be as expensive as the ones you can get in the actual coffee shop.
As such, if you choose to go with this coffee pod, you will enjoy the fact that you are going to get an amazingly flavorful and rich shot of espresso, which is as close to the actual Starbucks espresso as possible. Of course, you are free to make a latte or an americano with this shot if you want. But I prefer it to be taken as it is.
I really like the intensity level of this Nespresso pod because of how it comes with a rating of 11. This means that it simply is right in my backyard in terms of its overall intensity, as it keeps me awake through extended hours during the early part of the day or when I want to log some overtime in the evening.
Best For Decaf Iced Coffee: Grove Square Cappuccino French Vanilla
- What I like: Great for those who want to enjoy a light iced coffee that can be great during any time of the day. Very flavorful in terms of its French vanilla taste.
- What I don’t like: Might be sweet for those who prefer their coffee strong. Not for those who like darker cups of coffee. Decaffeinated.
If you want to savor the taste of coffee without the jittery effects of caffeine and without the bitterness that comes with most decaf coffee pods, you are in for a treat. That’s because Grove Square Cappuccino has this amazing French vanilla flavor that tastes great for iced coffee lovers without all of the bitterness and energy that comes from most cups of coffee.
The moment you take a sip of this cup of coffee, the French vanilla flavor fills your mouth. It feels velvety, somewhat sweet, and very memorable. It gives you the kind of experience you may want if you are looking for that vanilla coffee taste without caffeine. But, of course, it also isn’t as bitter as some of the other pods out there.
So, this should be a good choice for those who simply want that light iced coffee taste during any time of the day. It also isn’t the most expensive type of coffee as it is also good for those who want to save some money.
Best For Decaf Espresso: Lavazza Expert Espresso Decaf
- What I like: Gives you that intense and strong espresso flavor without that caffeine.
- What I don’t like: Probably a bit too bitter for some people.
If you think of a good cup of espresso, the one thing that stands out is its bold and strong flavors. And that is where this Lavazza Expert Espresso Decaf comes in as a great choice for those who really want to drink a good cup of coffee but without the caffeine that can be too much for some people.
This means that if you like the taste of coffee during any time of the day or if you want to fill your belly with anything other than coffee, you may want to take a shot of this espresso. And the best part is that you can drink it in the evening because it doesn’t come with any caffeine whatsoever.
Of course, the flavors are really great because of how it comes with the boldness that you should expect from a good cup of espresso. In addition, it comes with that strong, bitter, and intense flavor without the caffeine that usually goes with such a flavor profile.
Best For Intensity: Gran Caffè Garibaldi Gusto Intenso
- What I like: Very intense with its amazing caffeine level. However, its flavor profile is just as great as its intensity, as it comes with the boldness and strength that you should expect from a good cup of coffee.
- What I don’t like: Might be a bit too intense for those who can’t handle their caffeine.
If you are looking for a good Nespresso-compatible pod that comes with the strength that you need to take the entire world on, then look no further. Gran Caffè Garibaldi Gusto Intenso is an amazingly intense coffee pod that gives you the caffeine that you need to finish all of your tasks efficiently. On top of that, you can even drink this cup before an early-morning workout if you want to keep your senses awake and focused on the task.
As intense and as strong as this coffee with its level 12 intensity, its taste is just as strong and bold as its caffeine level. The one thing that will stand out in terms of its flavor is that it hits your taste buds hard with that dark, bitter, and bold kick that comes with notes of nuttiness behind its flavor. It simply is a great coffee for those who want their coffee dark and strong.
Of course, you are free to do what you want with this pod. If you want to drink it as it is in a shot of espresso, expect a strong kick out of it. However, you can also whip up a good americano or bring down its bold taste by combining it with milk to get a good latte that is strong and flavorful.
Best For Flavored: Gourmesso Flavored Espresso Pack
- What I like: Comes with different flavored espresso pods, which are all uniquely delicious on their own. Climate-friendly. Not very intense.
- What I don’t like: Lacks the right kind of intensity that could keep you awake for extended periods of time.
Coffee isn’t only supposed to be consumed as it is, especially if you know that there are plenty of different coffee mixes that stand out when they are flavored and mixed with other delicious ingredients. That is where the Gourmesso Flavored Espresso Pack comes in to give you five different flavored coffee pods that are all delicious.
The Gourmesso Flavored Espresso Pack comes with deliciously flavored pods such as Caramel, Vanilla, Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Coconut. They are all delicious, no matter what your coffee preference may be. But I did like the coconut flavor, which isn’t something that you would get in most other brands.
So, if you are someone who enjoys a creamy and sweet flavored coffee pod, you are certainly going to love the Gourmesso Flavored Espresso Pack. And the one other thing you will like about it is that it is friendly to the environment, which means that it is organic and responsibly sourced.
Best Dark Roast: Peet’s Coffee Crema Scura
- What I like: Very delicious and creamy even though it’s a dark roast. Comes with the right kind of intensity that isn’t too much but is just right.
- What I don’t like: Might be too bold for some people who don’t like dark coffee.
If you really prefer the taste of dark roast coffee over any other type of roast out there, then you would love Peet’s Coffee Crema Scura, which comes with the right kind of dark and bold flavors that blend really well with one another.
In most cases, dark roasts tend to be too bitter and too strong for some people. However, this coffee pod comes with the right kind of boldness on top of how it comes with a rare creaminess that you don’t get from other types of coffee. That means that it should give you a more complex experience that isn’t something you can get from most other Nespresso-compatible coffee pods.
On top of how it comes with a good and complex dark flavor, it is also fairly intense. With an intensity level of 9, Crema Scura can be good for those who want a capable cup of espresso that could wake them up. The intensity is just within my personal preference as I like my coffee strong and intense. That said, it should be a good cup to take early in the morning if you want to wake your senses up.
Best Organic: Meseta Bio Organic Pack
- What I like: Sourced responsibly and comes with organic packaging. Plenty of different varieties that all taste well.
- What I don’t like: You are essentially sacrificing quality for its low cost.
The Meseta Bio Organic Pack is a good choice if you are looking to keep your carbon footprint down while ensuring that those working in the coffee fields are properly compensated for their work. That’s because this coffee pack is responsibly source and comes with organic packaging that will allow you to throw it away in the biodegradable or compostable bin.
So, essentially, by choosing to go with this coffee pack, you will help save the environment on top of helping those who work hard to provide us the coffee that we need to keep ourselves awake early in the morning. Of course, this coffee pack comes with different variants that are all delicious in their own right.
Then again, because of how affordable these pods are and how the company behind it focuses more on compensating the farmers properly, you may end up sacrificing quality in return for low-priced coffee pods. Still, that shouldn’t bother you if you care more about the environment. That’s because coffee pods have been getting a bad reputation for their lack of sustainability, but that’s not something you should worry about in this coffee pod pack.
What To Look For When Buying Nespresso-Compatible Pods
It is important to look at how intense your Nespresso compatible pods are because you may want to choose different pods with different intensity levels. Nespresso pods are usually numbered based on how intense they are, and the higher the number, the more intense the coffee pod should be. Intense coffee pods have more caffeine, which should be an important factor because you may want to drink a strong cup of coffee, or you may want to go for a lighter cup in case you have a lower caffeine tolerance.
Vertuo or Original
Nespresso-compatible pods are usually only compatible with VertuoLine or the OriginalLine, which are the two lines of machines that Nespresso sells. That means you have to look at which machine you have because Vertuo pods are only compatible with Vertuo machines in the same way that Original pods are only compatible with Original machines. Then again, the coffee pod’s name usually comes labeled as Vertuo or Original.
The type of roast of the coffee beans usually dictates the kind of taste and intensity that you can get from your Nespresso pods. That means that you need to look at the roast level of your coffee pod because of how the roast matters when it comes to the flavor and caffeine level. Lighter roasts tend to be easier and smoother, while darker roasts tend to be bolder and more intense. As such, you need to know your personal preference so that you can easily tell which kind of roast you prefer when you go for a good Nespresso pod.
Are Nespresso Pods High In Caffeine?
It really depends. Nespresso coffee pods are specifically known for specializing in espresso, which means that these pods are generally higher in caffeine. You need to look at the intensity level to have a good idea of how high the caffeine level is. But the general idea is that Nespresso pods usually have higher caffeine levels than other brands.
Are Nespresso Pods Friendly To The Environment?
Most of the Nespresso-compatible pods are actually friendly to the environment. It is either the pods are made from recyclable aluminum or that they are made from organic biodegradable materials. Either way, most Nespresso pods are environmentally friendly and will not affect your carbon footprint much. However, the problem comes if you go for a Nespresso pod that is actually made of plastic.
How Important Is It For Your Pod To Be Compatible With Nespresso?
You need to check whether or not your pod is compatible with Nespresso machines. That’s because different capsule coffee machines have different shapes and sizes that allow them to be compatible with different machines. As such, because Nespresso pods require a specific shape and size, you need to make sure that your pod is Nespresso-compatible.