Best Nespresso Capsules: The DEFINITIVE Guide To Nespresso’s Capsule Universe (Types, Top Picks, Alternatives, Caffeine Content & More)

Best Nespresso Capsules: The DEFINITIVE Guide To Nespresso’s Capsule Universe (Types, Top Picks, Alternatives, Caffeine Content & More)

Nespresso lovers rejoice!

You’ve finally landed on the best Nespresso capsule guide on the Internet.

This article will cover everything you need to know about Nespresso capsules:

  • Best capsules for OriginalLine machines
  • Best capsules for VertuoLine machines
  • Best Nespresso compatible capsules by third-party roasters
  • Reusable capsule options for those who want to grind their own beans

But that isn’t all.

  • We’ll compare costs
  • We’ll compare caffeine content per capsule
  • We’ll recommend capsules for lattes, cappuccinos, and other specialty beverages

Let’s dive right in.

Why You Can Trust The Coffee Maven

Quick Picks
Best Nespresso Pods

What's best for us may not be best for you. Let's expand upon the Top Picks above and highlight a few more of the Best Nespresso Capsules by category:

Not sure which is right for you? The next section should help...

3 Tips When Buying

Before we get to the individual Best Nespresso Capsules reviews, let's take a look at the rankings.

Overall
93
Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine)

Ethiopia (Intensity: 4) highlights the country’s bright, fruity coffees by featuring wet-processed 100% Arabica single-origin coffee. This capsule is light, jammy, delicately complex, and one of our favorites.
Overall
92
HiLine Coffee

HiLine Coffee

HiLine Coffee

HiLine Coffee

HiLine Coffee is an artisan roaster in New York, NY specializing in creative alternatives to Nespresso and Keurig brand pods. Bored with your everyday pods or want an affordable alternative? Take a look at HiLine.
Overall
92
Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Aflorazio (Gran Lungo, Intensity: 4) is an aromatic Arabica blend with washed East African coffee for a bright, floral long espresso with notes of blueberry and jasmine.
Overall
91
Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Voltesso (Espresso, Intensity: 4) is a light and sweet blend of Brazilian and Colombian Arabica beans that stands out from the other espresso capsules for its less intense profile.
Overall
91
Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Odacio (Coffee, Intensity: 7) is bolder than the typical light and fruity single-origin African roasts we usually prefer, but it does have a blend of Nicaraguan and Ethiopian coffees for a complex profile.
Overall
90
Lavazza Coffee

Lavazza Coffee

Lavazza Coffee

Lavazza Coffee

An industry-leader in espresso, Lavazza offers a wide selection of rich, Italian-style roasts including whole bean, ground, and capsule coffee for Nespresso OriginalLine machines.
Overall
90
Nespresso Volluto Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Volluto Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Volluto Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Volluto Capsules (OriginalLine)

Volluto (Intensity: 4) is a sweet and light capsule with a blend of Central and South American 100% Arabica coffees. We think it’s the most balanced espresso capsule with a light body, some toasted notes, and a sweet finish.
Overall
90
Nespresso Ristretto Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Ristretto Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Ristretto Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Ristretto Capsules (OriginalLine)

Ristretto (Intensity: 10) is a 100% Arabica blend with coffees from both South America and East Africa. African coffee tends to be brighter with citrus notes, which we absolutely love.
Overall
89
Nespresso Volluto Decaffeinato Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Volluto Decaffeinato Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Volluto Decaffeinato Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Volluto Decaffeinato Capsules (OriginalLine)

Volluto Decaffeinato (Intensity: 4) is the decaffeinated version of our favorite espresso capsule. It delivers the sweet yet rich flavor of Volluto's low-intensity, balanced roast without the jitters.
Overall
89
Nespresso Vanilio Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Vanilio Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Vanilio Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Vanilio Capsules (OriginalLine)

Vanilio (Intensity: 6) is a light, vanilla-flavored capsule that’s great for vanilla mocha beverages. It's a little one-dimensional with the vanilla flavor dominating, but that's why you're enjoying this capsules.
Overall
89
Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine)

Scuro (Double Espresso, Intensity: 8) is a blend of Arabica and Robusta coffees from Central America and features a smoky profile with hints of sweet chocolate and vanilla.
Overall
88
Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Alto Intenso (Alto, Intensity: 7) features a blend of Costa Rican coffee with a washed Robusta bean from Guatemala, which you won’t find in any other Nespresso capsule, for a bold, woody flavor with hints of caramel.
Overall
87
Nespresso Envivo Lungo Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Envivo Lungo Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Envivo Lungo Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Envivo Lungo Capsules (OriginalLine)

Envivo Lungo (Intensity: 9) is the only lungo capsule blended with Robusta, giving this capsule a little extra caffeine kick (99 mg vs an average of 77 for all Nespresso capsules).
Overall
84
Jones Brothers Coffee

Jones Brothers Coffee

Jones Brothers Coffee

Jones Brothers Coffee

Based in Amsterdam, Jones Brothers Coffee offers whole bean, ground, and capsulized coffee for Nespresso OriginalLine machines. They're middle of the road in terms of quality and cost, making them a solid bargain brand.
Overall
83
Caffesso Coffee

Caffesso Coffee

Caffesso Coffee

Caffesso Coffee

A UK-based roaster, Caffesso is a bargain brand. Their Nespresso-compatible capsules are among the cheapest you'll find, and that means your coffee isn't the highest quality. If you want to cut costs, go Caffesso.
Overall
82
Gourmesso Coffee

Gourmesso Coffee

Gourmesso Coffee

Gourmesso Coffee

Gourmesso isn't the best alternative to Nespresso or Keurig brand pods, but they are more affordable. That's Gourmesso's niche and they hit it hard. If you're looking to save on your daily habit, check out Gourmesso.
Overall
Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Arondio (Gran Lungo, Intensity 6) is a medium-strength blend created from a blend of Colombian Arabicas and a touch of Guatemalan Robusta for a medium roast blend with cereal notes.

Is This Guide For You?

Our editors have rated and ranked each option. Without further ado, here are our official reviews in this all-encompassing buying guide.

Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine)
Overall Rating
93
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
95
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
94
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
93
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Ethiopia (Intensity: 4) highlights the country’s bright, fruity coffees by featuring wet-processed 100% Arabica single-origin coffee. This capsule is light, jammy, delicately complex, and one of our favorites.

Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine) Pros

Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine) Cons

Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine) Pros

Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine) Cons

Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine) Features & Specifications

HiLine Coffee
Overall Rating
92
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
93
Freshness (20%)
92
Balance & Acidity (10%)
90
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
90
Roaster Reputation (10%)
90
The Bottom Line
HiLine Coffee is an artisan roaster in New York, NY specializing in creative alternatives to Nespresso and Keurig brand pods. Bored with your everyday pods or want an affordable alternative? Take a look at HiLine.

HiLine Coffee Pros

  • Small artisan roaster based in New York, NY
  • Wide selection of coffee for Nespresso and Keurig coffee makers
  • Also sell whole bean coffee, ground coffee, and cold brew packs
  • Coffee is roasted fresh right before shipping

HiLine Coffee Cons

  • Nespresso capsules not compatible with VertuoLine machines
  • Hard to find information on each roast, such as where it's sourced
  • Capsule packaging made from plastic

HiLine Coffee Features & Specifications

  • Nespresso-Compatible Capsules: Yes, OriginalLine machines only (not VertuoLine)
  • Keurig-Compatible Pods: Yes, for all Keurig coffee makers
  • Whole Bean Coffee: Yes
  • Ground Coffee: Yes
  • Other: Cold brew packs, coffee accessories
  • Coffee Source: High-altitude, small-lot farms in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia

HiLine Coffee Pros

  • Small artisan roaster based in New York, NY
  • Wide selection of coffee for Nespresso and Keurig coffee makers
  • Also sell whole bean coffee, ground coffee, and cold brew packs
  • Coffee is roasted fresh right before shipping

HiLine Coffee Cons

  • Nespresso capsules not compatible with VertuoLine machines
  • Hard to find information on each roast, such as where it's sourced
  • Capsule packaging made from plastic

HiLine Coffee Features & Specifications

  • Nespresso-Compatible Capsules: Yes, OriginalLine machines only (not VertuoLine)
  • Keurig-Compatible Pods: Yes, for all Keurig coffee makers
  • Whole Bean Coffee: Yes
  • Ground Coffee: Yes
  • Other: Cold brew packs, coffee accessories
  • Coffee Source: High-altitude, small-lot farms in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia
Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine)
Overall Rating
92
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
93
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
90
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
92
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Aflorazio (Gran Lungo, Intensity: 4) is an aromatic Arabica blend with washed East African coffee for a bright, floral long espresso with notes of blueberry and jasmine.

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine)
Overall Rating
91
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
92
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
88
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
90
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Voltesso (Espresso, Intensity: 4) is a light and sweet blend of Brazilian and Colombian Arabica beans that stands out from the other espresso capsules for its less intense profile.

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine)
Overall Rating
91
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
91
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
91
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
91
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Odacio (Coffee, Intensity: 7) is bolder than the typical light and fruity single-origin African roasts we usually prefer, but it does have a blend of Nicaraguan and Ethiopian coffees for a complex profile.

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Lavazza Coffee
Overall Rating
90
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
92
Freshness (20%)
95
Balance & Acidity (10%)
88
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
92
Roaster Reputation (10%)
90
The Bottom Line
An industry-leader in espresso, Lavazza offers a wide selection of rich, Italian-style roasts including whole bean, ground, and capsule coffee for Nespresso OriginalLine machines.

Lavazza Coffee Pros

Lavazza Coffee Cons

Lavazza Coffee Features & Specifications

Lavazza Coffee Pros

Lavazza Coffee Cons

Lavazza Coffee Features & Specifications

Nespresso Volluto Capsules (OriginalLine)
Overall Rating
90
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
91
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
93
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
88
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Volluto (Intensity: 4) is a sweet and light capsule with a blend of Central and South American 100% Arabica coffees. We think it’s the most balanced espresso capsule with a light body, some toasted notes, and a sweet finish.

Nespresso Volluto Capsules (OriginalLine) Pros

Nespresso Volluto Capsules (OriginalLine) Cons

Nespresso Volluto Capsules (OriginalLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Volluto Capsules (OriginalLine) Pros

Nespresso Volluto Capsules (OriginalLine) Cons

Nespresso Volluto Capsules (OriginalLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Ristretto Capsules (OriginalLine)
Overall Rating
90
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
90
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
92
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
90
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Ristretto (Intensity: 10) is a 100% Arabica blend with coffees from both South America and East Africa. African coffee tends to be brighter with citrus notes, which we absolutely love.

Nespresso Ristretto Capsules (OriginalLine) Pros

Nespresso Ristretto Capsules (OriginalLine) Cons

Nespresso Ristretto Capsules (OriginalLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Ristretto Capsules (OriginalLine) Pros

Nespresso Ristretto Capsules (OriginalLine) Cons

Nespresso Ristretto Capsules (OriginalLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Volluto Decaffeinato Capsules (OriginalLine)
Overall Rating
89
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
90
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
90
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
86
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Volluto Decaffeinato (Intensity: 4) is the decaffeinated version of our favorite espresso capsule. It delivers the sweet yet rich flavor of Volluto's low-intensity, balanced roast without the jitters.

Nespresso Volluto Decaffeinato Capsules (OriginalLine) Pros

Nespresso Volluto Decaffeinato Capsules (OriginalLine) Cons

Nespresso Volluto Decaffeinato Capsules (OriginalLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Volluto Decaffeinato Capsules (OriginalLine) Pros

Nespresso Volluto Decaffeinato Capsules (OriginalLine) Cons

Nespresso Volluto Decaffeinato Capsules (OriginalLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Vanilio Capsules (OriginalLine)
Overall Rating
89
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
90
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
85
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
87
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Vanilio (Intensity: 6) is a light, vanilla-flavored capsule that’s great for vanilla mocha beverages. It's a little one-dimensional with the vanilla flavor dominating, but that's why you're enjoying this capsules.

Nespresso Vanilio Capsules (OriginalLine) Pros

Nespresso Vanilio Capsules (OriginalLine) Cons

Nespresso Vanilio Capsules (OriginalLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Vanilio Capsules (OriginalLine) Pros

Nespresso Vanilio Capsules (OriginalLine) Cons

Nespresso Vanilio Capsules (OriginalLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine)
Overall Rating
89
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
90
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
86
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
90
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Scuro (Double Espresso, Intensity: 8) is a blend of Arabica and Robusta coffees from Central America and features a smoky profile with hints of sweet chocolate and vanilla.

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine)
Overall Rating
88
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
87
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
86
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
88
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Alto Intenso (Alto, Intensity: 7) features a blend of Costa Rican coffee with a washed Robusta bean from Guatemala, which you won’t find in any other Nespresso capsule, for a bold, woody flavor with hints of caramel.

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Envivo Lungo Capsules (OriginalLine)
Overall Rating
87
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
85
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
88
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
92
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Envivo Lungo (Intensity: 9) is the only lungo capsule blended with Robusta, giving this capsule a little extra caffeine kick (99 mg vs an average of 77 for all Nespresso capsules).

Nespresso Envivo Lungo Capsules (OriginalLine) Pros

Nespresso Envivo Lungo Capsules (OriginalLine) Cons

Nespresso Envivo Lungo Capsules (OriginalLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Envivo Lungo Capsules (OriginalLine) Pros

Nespresso Envivo Lungo Capsules (OriginalLine) Cons

Nespresso Envivo Lungo Capsules (OriginalLine) Features & Specifications

Jones Brothers Coffee
Overall Rating
84
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
85
Freshness (20%)
83
Balance & Acidity (10%)
85
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
83
Roaster Reputation (10%)
83
The Bottom Line
Based in Amsterdam, Jones Brothers Coffee offers whole bean, ground, and capsulized coffee for Nespresso OriginalLine machines. They're middle of the road in terms of quality and cost, making them a solid bargain brand.

Jones Brothers Coffee Pros

Jones Brothers Coffee Cons

Jones Brothers Coffee Features & Specifications

Jones Brothers Coffee Pros

Jones Brothers Coffee Cons

Jones Brothers Coffee Features & Specifications

Caffesso Coffee
Overall Rating
83
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
83
Freshness (20%)
83
Balance & Acidity (10%)
85
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
83
Roaster Reputation (10%)
83
The Bottom Line
A UK-based roaster, Caffesso is a bargain brand. Their Nespresso-compatible capsules are among the cheapest you'll find, and that means your coffee isn't the highest quality. If you want to cut costs, go Caffesso.

Caffesso Coffee Pros

Caffesso Coffee Cons

Caffesso Coffee Features & Specifications

Caffesso Coffee Pros

Caffesso Coffee Cons

Caffesso Coffee Features & Specifications

Gourmesso Coffee
Overall Rating
82
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
83
Freshness (20%)
80
Balance & Acidity (10%)
85
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
80
Roaster Reputation (10%)
82
The Bottom Line
Gourmesso isn't the best alternative to Nespresso or Keurig brand pods, but they are more affordable. That's Gourmesso's niche and they hit it hard. If you're looking to save on your daily habit, check out Gourmesso.

Gourmesso Coffee Pros

  • Cost per capsule often less than $0.50 (33% less than Nespresso brand)
  • Good variety of Nespresso espresso capsules
  • Also sell tea capsules

Gourmesso Coffee Cons

  • Only available for OriginalLine machines
  • Not as fresh as Nespresso capsules or other industry-leading 3rd-party alternatives
  • Capsules made of plastic and can be tough for machines to puncture

Gourmesso Coffee Features & Specifications

  • Nespresso-Compatible Capsules: Yes, OriginalLine machines only (not VertuoLine)
  • Keurig-Compatible Pods: Yes
  • Whole Bean Coffee: No
  • Ground Coffee: No
  • Other: Cold brew packs, coffee accessories
  • Coffee Source: Latin America, South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia

Gourmesso Coffee Pros

  • Cost per capsule often less than $0.50 (33% less than Nespresso brand)
  • Good variety of Nespresso espresso capsules
  • Also sell tea capsules

Gourmesso Coffee Cons

  • Only available for OriginalLine machines
  • Not as fresh as Nespresso capsules or other industry-leading 3rd-party alternatives
  • Capsules made of plastic and can be tough for machines to puncture

Gourmesso Coffee Features & Specifications

  • Nespresso-Compatible Capsules: Yes, OriginalLine machines only (not VertuoLine)
  • Keurig-Compatible Pods: Yes
  • Whole Bean Coffee: No
  • Ground Coffee: No
  • Other: Cold brew packs, coffee accessories
  • Coffee Source: Latin America, South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia
Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine)
Overall Rating
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
Freshness (20%)
Balance & Acidity (10%)
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
Roaster Reputation (10%)
The Bottom Line
Arondio (Gran Lungo, Intensity 6) is a medium-strength blend created from a blend of Colombian Arabicas and a touch of Guatemalan Robusta for a medium roast blend with cereal notes.

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso OriginalLine vs VertuoLine Capsules

There are two types of Nespresso machines: OriginalLine and VertuoLine.

  • OriginalLine machines brew espresso pods
  • VertuoLine machines brew both espresso and standard coffee pods

There are other differences to know, so check out our OriginalLine vs VertuoLine guide if you’re unfamiliar with each type.

We also have a Complete Comparison Guide To EVERY Nespresso Machine (both OriginalLine & VertuoLine) if you want to see the differences between each machine.

Another Major Difference: VertuoLine machines incorporate capsule-scanning technology, meaning these machines only work with Nespresso brand capsules. OriginalLine machines don’t scan capsules. This is important when talking about third-party roasters.

Nespresso OriginalLine Capsules

Nespresso OriginalLine machines only use OriginalLine capsules–they’re the boxier looking ones–to brew single-serve espresso. Depending on the machine you have, OriginalLine capsules can be used to brew the following:

  • 0.85 oz ristretto
  • 1.35 oz espresso
  • 3.70 oz lungo

At this time, Nespresso offers 6 different “types” of OriginalLine capsules, each designed for a different espresso-sipping experience:

OverviewExceptional Coffee Designed For Milk
Our FavoriteVanilio (Intensity: 6) is a light, vanilla-flavored capsule that’s great for vanilla mocha beverages.
More InfoCrafted For Milk capsules are designed to stand up to added milk for your favorite specialty beverages. This is where you find Nespresso’s vanilla, caramel, and chocolate capsules, though the spicy Corto capsule (Intensity: 11) is an intriguing combination of flavors.
Get Them!View Vanilio Capsules on Amazon →

Here's how each compares.

1. Intenso Capsules

The Ultimate Neopolitan Cups

Intenso capsules are Nespresso’s boldest. They’re all multi-origin blends and mostly 100% Arabica, though the Roma capsule (Intensity: 8) is blended with Robusta. All of these capsules will be strong with intense roasted notes and a lot of deep cocoa. Only the Roma capsule and Ristretto capsule have lighter notes to it.

2. Espresso Capsules

Traditional Is Best

Designed to be smooth and easy-drinking, espresso capsules are on the low-end of the intensity spectrum. They’re all 100% Arabica Central and South American blends with the exception of the Cosi capsule (Intensity: 4), which also has East African coffee blended in. Espresso capsules are specifically designed for 1.35 oz espressos and are not intended to be used for 0.85 oz ristretto or 3.70 oz lungo.

3. Master Origin Capsules

Mastered By Craftsmen, Inspired By The Land

The Master Origin series is really interesting. Each capsule is designed to highlight a unique processing step that defines each region–for example, the Ethiopia capsule above. The end results are impressive, even by non-capsule coffee standards. Processes highlighted include wet-processing (Ethiopia), wet-hulling (Indonesia), and late–harvesting (Colombia).

4. Lungo Capsules

Extended Pleasure Of An Espresso

Lungo capsules are designed for larger 3.70 oz pulls. It’s important to note that the capsules don’t have any more caffeine than ristretto or espresso capsules. They’re just designed to brew more volume without watered-down flavor. Whether you prefer intense or smoother espresso, there’s a lungo capsule for you.

5. Decaffeinato Capsules

Same Character Without Caffeine

Decaffeinato capsules deliver the Nespresso flavor you love without the jitters. They’re designed to be brewed at any volume, and there’s an intensity level for any type of espresso drinker.

6. Crafted For Milk Capsules

Exceptional Coffee Designed For Milk

Crafted For Milk capsules are designed to stand up to added milk for your favorite specialty beverages. This is where you find Nespresso’s vanilla, caramel, and chocolate capsules, though the spicy Corto capsule (Intensity: 11) is an intriguing combination of flavors.

Nespresso VertuoLine Capsules

Nespresso VertuoLine machines only use VeruoLine capsules. VertuoLine capsules feature a barcode around the rim, which the machine uses for two purposes:

  • Identify the capsule you’re using and brew with optimal parameters*
  • Lock out non-Nespresso capsules

*These parameters include volume, temperature, rotational speed, flow rate, and water contact time.

VertuoLine machines also have the ability to brew standard-sized long coffees in addition to espresso. This means they don’t top out at the 3.70 oz lungo, instead ranging all the way up to 17 oz.

Unsurprisingly, this means there are more different types of VertuoLine capsules.

Note About VertuoLine Machines: While both conventional espresso machines and Nespresso OriginalLine machines use a pump to extract espresso, VertuoLines operate differently. They use Centrifusion–or rapid capsule spinning–to apply pressure. The result is a slightly more whipped beverage with a thicker, foamier crema. I’m partial to the espresso from OriginalLine machines, but to each their own.

At this time, Nespresso offers 8 types of VertuoLine capsules.

TypeVolumeIntensity
Espresso1.35 oz4-11
Double Espresso2.70 oz6-8
Gran Lungo5 oz4-8
Coffee7.8 oz2-9
Alto XL14 oz4-7
Master Crafted Single Origins7.8 oz5-7
Crafted For Milk2.7 oz, 7.8 ozNot Listed
Nespresso Exclusives1.35 oz, 5 oz, 7.8 oz5-8

1. Espresso Capsules

Traditional Is Best

All of the VertuoLine espresso capsules are blends from Central and South America–there are no African or Asian beans here. And instead of having a separate category for decaf capsules, you can find the Decaffeinato Intenso (Intensity: 7) here.

2. Double Espresso Capsules

Twice Your Espresso

Nespresso offers only a couple of double espresso capsules, and they’re only medium intensity (6-8). Like the espresso capsules above, these are only Central and South American blends with no African or Asian coffees.

3. Gran Lungo Capsules

Extend The Pleasure Of An Espresso

Gran Lungo capsules are in the mild-to-medium intensity range and give you a little more espresso than a lungo shot. Unlike the espresso and double espresso capsules above, there are several Gran Lungo capsules that feature African and Indonesian coffee. There’s also a decaf Gran Lungo capsule available.

4. Coffee Capsules

Coffee For A Longer Experience

Step aside, Keurig. Nespresso is now in the long coffee game. Most people who own a VertuoLine machine got it because of its ability to brew 7.8 and 14 oz coffee and Alto XL pods. As such, there are a ton of coffee capsules to choose from. There’s certain to be something for your palate.

5. Alto XL Capsules

Get Going With The Largest Cup Size

If a 7.8 oz coffee isn’t enough for you (it isn’t enough for me) then Nespresso has you covered with their Alto XL capsules. There isn’t the same variety as the standard coffee capsules above–at this time there are just two Alto XL capsules available–but still, it’s still another option for coffee lovers.

6. Master Crafted Single Origin Capsules

Mastered By Craftsmen, Inspired By The Land

Just like the OriginalLine version of these capsules, Nespresso wants to highlight regions and processes in these single-origin roasts. At the time of this writing, they are featuring Mexico’s double washed Robusta bean and Colombia’s (Intensity: 5) “tweaked” high-altitude washed Arabica.

7. Crafted For Milk Capsules

Exceptional Coffee Designed For Milk

Crafted For Milk capsules are designed to punch through the thick milkiness of specialty beverages. The Bianco Forte capsule (Intensity: Not Listed) is designed for a Reverso while the Bianco Leggero capsule is designed for a robust double cappuccino.

8. Nespresso Exclusives

Limited Releases With Unlimited Flavor

Nespresso Exclusives won’t be here forever, so try them now while you can. These capsules can brew a variety of different coffee sizes (depending on the capsule you choose) and mostly sit in the medium intensity range. Several of these capsules are on the sweet/dessert end of the coffee spectrum.

Reusable Capsules for Nespresso OriginalLine Machines

If you prefer to grind your own coffee beans at home, you can still use a Nespresso machine. For those in the OriginalLine universe, you’ll need a reusable capsule system like the following from SealPod (my favorite).

Reusable Capsules for Nespresso VertuoLine Machines

VertuoLine users can’t buy third-party capsules, leaving them stuck with the higher cost of daily use–usually over $1.00 per VertuoLine capsule. However, there is a (less than elegant) solution: recapping used VertuoLine pods.

To do this, you’ll need to buy these resealable lids from MyCaps.

How much caffeine does a Nespresso capsule have?

To answer this question, I had to go through Nespresso’s Taiwan site, which actually lists caffeine content by capsule (something their US site doesn’t do).

Unfortunately, they only seem to offer OriginalLine machines and capsules in Taiwan, so I don’t have any caffeine information on VertuoLine capsules.

Caffeine (mg) for Nespresso OriginalLine capsules (Source: Nespresso Taiwan)

And that wraps up the best Nespresso capsule guide on the Internet. Hope you enjoyed!

Best Nespresso Capsules

The Coffee Maven's Top Pick

Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine)

Nespresso Ethiopia Capsules (OriginalLine)

Ethiopia (Intensity: 4) highlights the country’s bright, fruity coffees by featuring wet-processed 100% Arabica single-origin coffee. This capsule is light, jammy, delicately complex, and one of our favorites.

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About The Coffee Maven
bryan de luca
Bryan De Luca

I'm Bryan but most people know me as The Coffee Maven. I grew up outside Boston, Massachusetts and received my Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Providence College. My first introduction to coffee was during my college days, when I used it as a source of caffeine to fuel late-night study sessions, but soon I became obsessed with the chemistry of coffee. How did changes to water temperature or contact time affect its taste? Why do beans from Africa taste fruity while beans from Indonesia taste spicy? I launched The Coffee Maven in February 2017 to explore these questions and help others brew their perfect cup. Welcome to my site, and thanks for reading!