Last Updated on September 13, 2021 by John Moretti
Nespresso is one of the most popular brands for capsule coffee, and its VertuoLine machines are some of the most beloved in the entire market. Being a big fan of capsule coffee, and especially Nespresso, I have selected the best Nespresso Vertuo pods:
- Best Overall: Stormio
- Best Light Flavor: Starbucks Veranda
- Best Dark Coffee: Diavolitto
- Best For Espresso: Espresso Roast
- Best For That Sweet Tooth: Caramel Cookie
- Best For Your Early Morning Jolt: Intenso
- Best Decaf: Intenso Espresso
- Best For Iced Coffee: Hazelino
- Best for complexity: Altissio
- Best for mild taste: Solelio
Best Overall: Stormio
What I like: It is very unique because it comes with aromas and flavors that are strong yet so complex. Gives you exotic vibes due to the woodsy and spicy flavors.
What I don’t like: Can be a bit difficult to find. Might be a bit too exotic for some.
If you enjoy a strong cup of coffee that’s perfect for a lot of different occasions, then you would love the Nespresso Stormio pods. This coffee variety is made from a unique blend of Guatemalan and Nicaraguan coffee beans roasted perfectly to give you a dark cup with flavors that dance in your taste buds.
What we like the most about Stormio and why we believe it is the best overall cup of coffee is how exotically unique it is. You will instantly get different woodsy and spicy flavors in your taste buds with a sip of this cup, and that is what gives it the versatility that would allow it to blend well with different other flavors. But, of course, its aroma alone is enough to uplift your spirit.
Stormio has a perfect intensity rating of 8, which is just right for those who enjoy a good cup of coffee that can wake you up in the morning but still keep you functional without all of those jitters and palpitations from the more intense coffee pods. This makes it quite versatile.
Best Light Flavor: Starbucks Veranda
What I like: Comes with light flavors that pair well with almost any kind of afternoon-break snack. Best for those who prefer the subtle roasted coffee flavor that doesn’t hit you with intense flavors all at once.
What I don’t like: Won’t be the best for those with high caffeine tolerances as this isn’t the most intense coffee out there.
Not all people are fans of strong and intense flavors when it comes to coffee. This is where Starbucks Veranda comes in to provide you with Virtuo pods that are on the lighter side of things in terms of flavor and intensity.
Starbucks Veranda is a medium-roast coffee but is closer to light in terms of its overall flavor profile. It feels light and smooth on your tongue but still comes hints of roasted nuts and cocoa behind your taste buds.
As such, you cannot help but love the fact that Starbucks Veranda works great for those who want a good sip of coffee to feel relaxed and at peace during a light afternoon break. It might not be the type of coffee that would wake you up with a jolt of energy, but it’s a smooth and lovely experience that any coffee lover would want to enjoy
Best Dark Coffee: Diavollito
What I like: Great dark flavors that marry that dark-roast taste with an intense kick. Good for early-morning cups of coffee that could wake you up.
What I don’t like: Small serving. Best for mixing with water or milk due to its smaller serving size.
Diavollito is one of the best in terms of that dark-roast flavor because it comes with that amazing, intense taste that you would want from coffee that has been roasted for an extended period of time. It makes a good cup of espresso early in your day and works well with water or milk for that americano or that latte.
If you also like intense flavors capable of tantalizing your taste buds, Diavollito gives you what you want as it allows you to have that energy for those daily tasks or for that quick workout. And that’s because it isn’t only intense in its taste but also its caffeine level.
So, if you want a dark coffee that isn’t the most intense but still comes with intense dark flavors and a pretty high caffeine level, Diavollito should give you your dark coffee wishes, especially if you want the energy to take on the day.
Best For Espresso: Nespresso Espresso Roast
What I like: Great for that shot of espresso. Can also be amazing when mixed with water and milk. Gives you plenty of energy.
What I don’t like: Not ideal for those who can’t handle intense coffee.
What you are going to love about Espresso Roast is that it gives you hints of caramel behind that dark shot of espresso early in the day. And we emphasize that you drink this early in the day because it comes with a pretty high intensity of 11, which should be enough to wake you up from your grogginess.
Of course, you can also do whatever you want with your shot of espresso, such as mixing it with all kinds of different ingredients to concoct your own drink. But, if you really prefer a quick shot of espresso to wake your senses up, then this Vertuo pod should do the trick.
Best For Sweet Tooth: Caramel Cookie
What I like: Great for that sweet tooth because of how sweet it is. Amazing for that sweet cup of iced coffee.
What I don’t like: Lacks the bitterness that you may want in a good shot of espresso or americano.
Coffee isn’t only for those who prefer dark and bitter drinks because Caramel Cookie actually gives those who have a sweet tooth a chance to savor the sweet notes hidden behind this Nespresso Vertuo pod. This pod is perfect for those who want a sweet cup of coffee due to its notes of almonds, cookies, and coconut.
If you want to enjoy your cup of coffee with a bit of sugar and milk, you can never disregard Caramel Cookie due to how it really is sweeter than your usual coffee. That’s why it makes for a perfect afternoon break because of how mild its taste and effects are compared to other coffee pods.
Of course, if you want to enjoy your coffee over ice and with some sweetness, this should be your best bet, as Caramel Cookie has the best flavors when you mix it with sugar or caramel and with a bit of milk.
Best For Your Early Morning Jolt: Intenso
What I like: Amazing intensity that is great at waking you up early in the morning. Good for those who prefer their coffee to be dark and strong.
What I don’t like: Might be too intense for some people. The taste can be a bit too dark.
Dark coffee isn’t just strong and intense because the Nespresso Intenso Vertuo pod can give you plenty of complex flavors behind its intense and dark taste. So, in a sense, the capsule packs a lot of punch both in its taste and its effects.
For those who want to wake up to a good start early in the day but aren’t free enough to brew a good cup of espresso, you will love Intenso since it gives you an intense cup of dark coffee that is not only delicious and complex but is also quite strong. So you might want to take on the day with a cup of Intenso or go straight to the gym after a dose of this pod.
However, Intenso is best for those who prefer dark coffee rather than light or medium roasts. That’s because the dark bitter flavors and notes of cocoa are more prominent with this Nespresso pod.
Best Decaf: Intenso Espresso
What I like: Intense flavor but decaffeinated. Gives you that amazing dark flavor without the jittery caffeine.
What I don’t like: Not as flavorful as caffeinated Intenso.
The Intenso line also comes with a decaf version that is great for those who like drinking coffee simply for the taste. So, in that case, Intenso Espresso comes with the kind of intense flavor you want to have in a good cup of espresso but without the caffeine that could keep you up.
In that case, Intenso Espresso is for those who want to drink coffee in the middle of the late afternoon or during the evening as it doesn’t have any caffeine whatsoever. It may be true that you won’t be able to drink this cup if you want to have a quick jolt early in the morning, but it works as a great substitute for those who still love the taste of coffee but don’t want to stay up all night.
All that said, even if coffee is for those who love caffeine, there are still those who like the intense flavor of a good cup of coffee regardless of whether or not the cup is caffeinated or not. And that is where Intenso Espresso comes in.
Best For Iced Coffee: Hazelino
What I like: Comes with that hazelnut flavor that works well with iced coffee. Gives that nutty flavor that you should love in a good cup of iced or hot coffee.
What I don’t like: Not for coffee purists. Can be a bit too sweet.
The hazelnut movement finds life in the Hazelino Nespresso Virtuo pod. This coffee pod is great for those who prefer their coffee iced and sweet because of how sweet and nutty Hazelino is. Of course, it also works well in a warm cup of coffee, but this might be better off for those who like their coffee over ice and with a splash of milk.
One of the things you will like about Hazelino is how sweet and nutty it is, yet it still comes with those subtle hints of bitterness that any good cup of coffee should have. This is why it is such a complex pod that blends sweetness and bitterness in one nutty flavor.
Hazelino is best for those who want to enjoy a good afternoon cup of coffee together with sweets to complement its sweet flavor. It isn’t that intense, and that works well for those who like drinking coffee during the afternoon.
Best For Complexity: Altissio
What I like: Very innovative and complex because of how it combines amazing flavors that you don’t get in other coffee pods.
What I don’t like: Might be a bit too bold for some who like their coffee light.
You will truly enjoy the boldness that comes with a good cup of Nespresso VirtuoLine Altissio because of how this pod is as complex as it can get. A simple sip will give you an idea of how varied and unique this pod is because of how it comes with amazing flavors that you don’t always get from other cups of coffee.
What we truly enjoy about Altissio is how different its taste is, but it still comes with that amazing traditional aroma that is smooth and complex. It comes mixed with notes of cereal and creamy hints of cocoa.
Because of how creamy and complex its flavors are, it might be a good idea to whip up a cup of latte or cappuccino with this pod, as you will only be enhancing its creaminess and complexity. You can also pour it over ice while you’re at it.
Best For Mild Taste: Solelio
What I like: Fruity and fun for your taste buds, Solelio is great for those who like the light taste of coffee without all of that bitterness.
What I don’t like: Might be a bit too light. Lacks the bold kick you might want from your coffee.
When it comes to coffee that doesn’t come with all of that boldness yet still doesn’t lack flavor, Solelio stands out. It has a taste that is on the lighter side because of how mild and subdued its overall flavor profile is. However, you will instantly notice notes of fruitiness behind its light taste.
Instead of the usual cocoa flavor that you get from your medium or dark roast, Solelio has a fruity flavor that stands out on its own. It is also light and bright enough to gently pass through your taste buds smoothly.
So, if you don’t like the bitterness that most cups of coffee come with, Solelio should be a good addition to your collection. But, then again, it isn’t the most intense cup of coffee out there, and that should be great for those who don’t want that caffeine rush late in the day.
What to look for when buying Nespresso Vertuo Pods
When it comes to different Nespresso Vertuo pods, you should know that these varieties vary depending on how intense they are. Most Vertuo pods come with numbered intensity levels, with 1 being the lowest and 12 or 13 being the highest. That said, it is up to you what kind of coffee pod you want, depending on your desired intensity. The more intense the coffee is, the higher its caffeine is, and you should know that Nespresso Vertuo pods are usually somewhere between 5 and 11.
The type of roast is also usually directly proportional to the intensity of the Vertuo pod. Most of the more intense coffee pods are on, the darker side of the roast level due largely to how caffeine levels are more concentrated in dark roasts. Meanwhile, dark roasts are also more bitter compared to light and medium roasts. On the other hand, light roasts are fruitier and more acidic, while medium roasts tend to balance the complex tastes of most coffee pods.
Different Nespresso Vertuo coffee pods also have different flavors. Some of these pods have flavors that depend on the origin of their beans, while some have flavors that are added to make the pod more interesting. For example, some pods have caramel or hazelnut flavors that add sweetness and complexity to the overall taste profile to give you that barista effect in your coffee when you add milk or cream to it.
Are Vertuo pods high in caffeine?
Most Nespresso Virtuo pods tend to be on the more intense side of the caffeine intensity level. That’s why Virtuo pods tend to have somewhere between 60 and 150 milligrams of caffeine, depending on the roast and intensity level of the pod. So, if you are someone who likes your coffee strong and intense, you might want to go for Vertuo pods instead of other types of coffee pods. Vertuo pods are also great for espresso.
Are Nespresso Vertuo pods sustainable?
If you care about the environment, Nespresso Vertuo pods are amazing choices because of how they are recyclable and sustainably sourced. The coffee that fills the pod is sourced from sustainable coffee farms. Meanwhile, the pods themselves are recyclable as most of them are made using aluminum, which can easily be reused later for soda cans, car engines, or bicycles.
Can you use OriginalLine capsules on your Vertuo machine?
Unfortunately, even though VertuoLine and OriginalLine are both from Nespresso, you can only go for one or the other. That means that you cannot use your Vertuo pods on an OriginalLine machine or vice versa. So, if you have a Vertuo machine, you should only use Vertuo pods on it as it is not compatible with Original pods.