When you buy a Nespresso machine you aren’t just buying the machine, you’re also buying the Nespresso capsule experience.
Before you jump in — or even if you already have! — make sure you get educated:
- Environmental Impact
Welcome to The Coffee Maven’s Complete Buyer’s Guide.
Table of Contents
- 1 Nespresso OriginalLine vs VertuoLine Capsules
- 2 Cost of Pods
- 3 Where to Buy Nespresso Pods
- 4 Alternatives to Nespresso Brand Capsules
- 5 Save Money on Nespresso Pods
- 6 Nespresso Pods & the Environment
- 7 Comments or Questions?
Nespresso OriginalLine vs VertuoLine Capsules
Nespresso makes two lines of coffee machines:
- OriginalLine: brews espresso only
- VertuoLine: brews espresso and coffee
Each line requires different capsules, which look like this:
What’s the difference between Nespresso VertuoLine and OriginalLine machines?
- VertuoLine brews up to 17 oz coffees
- VertuoLine incorporates capsule scanning technology
- VertuoLine capsules cost more and you can’t find 3rd party alternatives
- VertuoLine uses Centrifusion (rapid spinning) to extract your coffee; no pump
- VertuoLine uses lower temperature water to extract
That’s the quick summary.
For more detail, check out our complete Nespresso VertuoLine vs Original comparison.
Cost of Pods
Generally, you don’t choose to go with a pod coffee system to be more cost effective. Most other forms of brewing coffee — drip coffee makers, french press, Aeropress or standard pump espresso machines like those by Krups — will save you the most money in the long run.
Still, pod coffee systems will save you money compared to buying a beverage at the coffee shop every day.
The table below shows the average annual savings for Nespresso and Keurig coffee pods compared to a daily $4 coffee at your local coffee shop.
|Capsule or Pod||Cost, 1 Serving||Cost, 365 Servings||Savings Over Coffee Shop|
Allow me to extract (pun intended) the most salient points:
- You can save $0.20-$0.40 per pod with an OriginalLine vs VertuoLine machine
- With either machine you’ll save around $1,000 per year compared to a daily $4 coffee
- Keurig K-Cups are cheaper than either Nespresso pod type but don’t brew espresso
- Keurig’s Rivo series brewer is an espresso machine but is now discontinued
Where to Buy Nespresso Pods
Nespresso pods are available in multiple locations:
- Nespresso Club via Nespresso.com
- Brick and mortar Nespresso boutiques
- Select brick and mortar retailers
- Other online retailers
Nespresso Club Via Nespresso.com
Marketed as “the ultimate coffee experience” the Nespresso Club is a community of customers united by Nespresso ownership. The Club comes with several perks:
- Personalized customer care
- Convenient ordering via web, mobile app or phone
- Various pick-up and delivery options
- Repair, tips and tricks for registered machines
- Special offers and invitations
- Latest news
- Nespresso Magazine, a bi-annual publication dedicated to coffee
What Is a Nespresso Boutique?
If Keurig brewers are about convenience, Nespresso machines are about refinement.
To that end Nespresso has developed their concept of “boutiques” where customers can browse and sample Nespresso’s wide array of available pods and buy capsules, machines and accessories.
According to Nestle there are over 300 Nespresso boutiques around the world, and the company has 44 locations across the United States as of this writing.
Some are full retail locations, some have cafes and still some are just kiosks. Use Nespresso’s boutique locator to find the one nearest you.
In addition to the brick and mortar boutiques, you can buy Nespresso pods through authorized partner retailers. There are thousands of locations around the country, which you can find here. Retailers include these fine companies:
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Best Buy
- Bon Ton
- Crosell & Co
- Kitchen Kaboodle
- Roland Products
- Sur La Table
There are plenty of places online to buy Nespresso pods, but the best deals available are on Amazon. The items below are currently the best selling pods on the web’s biggest retailer with one each listed for OriginalLine and VertuoLine machines:
Best Selling OriginalLine Capsules
- NOT Compatible with VERTUOLINE machine
- Quantity: 50 Capsules (10 Ristretto, 10 Roma, 10 Arpeggio, 10 Livanto and 10 Capriccio)
- Intensity: Ristretto 10, Roma 8, Arpeggio 9, Livanto 6, Capriccio 5
- Size of cup: 0.85 oz, 1.35 oz
Best Selling VertuoLine Capsules
- 1 sleeve of Stormio intensity 8, containing 10 capsules
- 1 sleeve of Odacio intensity 7, containing 10 capsules
- 1 sleeve of Melozio intensity 6, containing 10 capsules
- A total of 30 capsules
- Capsules are only compatible with the Nespresso Vertuoline machine and will not work with previous models
Alternatives to Nespresso Brand Capsules
Nespresso brand capsules aren’t the only game in town. You can save upwards of $0.40 per serving by choosing a third party pod such as those from the following retailers.
Click on the companies in the table below to be taken to another page with more detailed information.
|Brand||OriginalLine||VertuoLine||Varieties Available||Cost Per Pod|
|1. Tayst||4||$0.70||Explore Tayst pod varieties|
|2. HiLine||19||$0.50||Explore HiLine pod varieties|
|3. Lavica||7||$0.50||Explore Lavica pod varieties|
|4. Gourmesso||27||$0.50||Explore Gourmesso pod varieties|
|5. Jones Brothers||5||$0.45||Explore Jones Brothers pod varieties|
|6. Caffesso||13||$0.35||Explore Caffesso pod varieties|
Save Money on Nespresso Pods
Even if you go with the non-Nespresso capsule manufacturers above, there’s still no cost-saving substitute to using your own ground coffee. Keurig offers the My K-Cup, where users can refill a pod with their own home ground or pre-ground coffee for a fraction of the price.
Nespresso machines offer similar alternatives.
Cheap Reusable Pods
The closest comparison to Keurig’s My K-Cup are the reusable, refillable Nespresso capsules available on Amazon.
Once again, these capsules are only compatible with Nespresso OriginalLine machines, and they have their pros and cons:
- Choose whatever coffee you like, either whole bean or pre-ground
- Reusable to keep costs down
- Comes with a scooper designed to function as a tamper as well
- Post-extraction cleanup is tedious trying to get all of the wet grounds out of the pod
- Adding insult to injury, the included brush is low quality and has weak bristles
- By design the capsule has to be smaller than a single-use capsule, so it holds less coffee
You weigh out the good and bad for yourself, but I’d suggest giving them a try.
- EASY & ECONOMICAL - Now you will be able to easily make your favorite Espresso, Cappucino, Latte or Americana and will never be limited to a brands single use coffee blends, enjoy your favorite coffee with the Nespresso Machine you Love!
- PERFECT ALTERNATIVE THAT SAVES YOU MONEY - The best choice to costly pods and to brew in seconds. Easily pack 5 to 6 grams of your favorite fine ground espresso to the rim, using the included scoop, lightly tamp grounds and snap on lid. After only a few trial brews you will be making multiple cups of Nespresso hassle free.
- PRECISELY COMPATIBLE - with all Nespresso Original Line Models - Essenza, U, Milk, Citiz, Citiz- Milk, Gran Maestra, Maestria, Pixie, Lattissima, Lattissima +, Concept, Le Cube, & Inissia. Stainless steel micro mesh filter allow the refillable Nespresso capsules to be washed in the dishwasher multiple times with no wear and tear and be refillable time after time
- GREAT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT - Ideal eco-friendly alternative way to enjoy Nespresso Machines - This product is BPA free and 100% non-toxic. Reduces your carbon footprint!
- EXTENDED LIFETIME & 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - We stand by our customers making them our top priority. Made from durable food grade BPA free material that allows for extended lifetime of pods. Nespresso is a Registered Trademark of Nestlé Nespresso SA. Alchemy Bar Goods is not affiliated with Nespresso or its brands. Machine or coffee not included
Premium Resealable Pods
Identical in concept to the cheap resealable pods above, you can also try a premium product: Sealpod’s Stainless Steel reusable pod for OriginalLine machines.
You only get 2 stainless steel pods for a ~$40 investment, but it’s a better performing product for sure. They also offer a 5-pod package for a heftier price tag but a lower per-pod investment.
The package also comes with 100 foil lids to reseal the stainless steel pods, and you can buy more for about $0.12 per foil.
- Reusable, refillable Nespresso pods compatible with most Nespresso OriginalLine machines. Capsules are stainless steel.
- Sealpod Espresso Lids are foil seals that enable pressure to build in the capsule during brewing, resulting in great crema, just like your disposable Nespresso capsules!
- Environmentally-friendly stainless steel Nespresso capsules will last a lifetime. Our food-grade sticker lids are recyclable. Now you can enjoy your Nespresso machine without feeling guilty about the environmental impact of disposable Nespresso capsules. And you'll still enjoy the convenience of your Nespresso machine.
- Safe for your body: Dont brew espresso through hot plastic! User safe, stainless steel capsules. Our lids are made of foil or paper. Sealpod refillable capsules will not absorb the taste or color of different espresso blends.
- Patented design is perfectly safe to use with your Nespresso machine when used as directed.. Tested on Nespresso OriginalLine machines: Citiz, Citiz-Milk, Concept, Essenza, Essenza Krups, Gran Maestria, Inissia, KitchenAid, Latissima+, Latissima, Le Cube, Maestria, Pixie, U, and Umilk.
Resealable Foil Lids
VertuoLine machine owners — there’s hope!
My-Cap is a company that makes VertuoLine compatible reusable filters and foils for pods you have already used.
That’s right. This isn’t a reusable pod that you fill with your choice of coffee. It requires you already to have used a VertuoLine capsule, which you then refill and reseal for multiple uses. And the company suggests immediate use, so don’t refill and store for future use.
These capsules really do work, and they have the reviews to prove it.
If you’re a VertuoLine user looking to cut back on cost — and at over $1.00 per capsule that’s understandable — this is pretty much your only option. Thankfully, it’s a good one.
- Includes: 1 reusable cap, 20 filters, and instructions
- Designed to be used immediately. This product is not designed to allow you to make capsule in advance and be stored.
- Fits all standard Nespresso VertuoLine machines
- Create capsules with your favorite coffee and save money
- BPA free
Nespresso Pods & the Environment
Single serve coffee has been a boon to coffee drinkers seeking convenience but has had significantly negative impacts to the environment. In fact, an article by The Atlantic makes the following startling claim:
[bctt tweet=”@TheAtlantic writes that used Keurig pods buried in 2014 would circle the Earth 12 times” username=”realcoffeemaven”]
And that’s just for Keurig pods.
Bad press and a push by consumers have single serve coffee manufacturers searching for answers. In that same article by The Atlantic they state Keurig will be ready to unveil a recyclable single serve pod by 2020. While great, that doesn’t solve the problem now.
How to Solve the Problem
The best solution is to avoid buying single serve pods or capsules and to instead purchase the reusable pods above. The benefits?
- Better for environment
- Cheaper daily use
- You get to control exactly which coffee (and how much) you want to use
Why don’t more people do it?
PEOPLE ARE LAZY.
Don’t be a lazy person. Jump in with reusable pods from Day 1.
Of course, if you do want to be lazy — or maybe if you’ve just found that oh-so-perfect pod that makes your day that much better (who am I to judge?) — you can sleep well knowing Nespresso is a leader in single serve recycling efforts.
Nespresso’s Ecolaboration Program
Nespresso has possibly the best pod recycling program in existence with the stated goal of recycling 75% of all capsules sold. They allow customers to collect all spent capsules in specially designed recycling bags, which can be returned to any Nespresso boutique for collection.
The actual recycling process takes place in Canada, but Nespresso offers support for their US customers as well. According to Nespresso, capsules can be returned to any of the following locations:
- Collection points in Nespresso boutiques
- TerraCycle collection points in retail partner locations around the US
- Via UPS through Nespresso’s mail-back program in the continental 48 states
Compatible retail partners include Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma. You can click here to find a participating location near you.
Comments or Questions?
Ask away below, or chime in with your Nespresso capsule experience!