I get a whole lot of questions about Nespresso pods or capsules, whichever name you choose to call it. Whether you’re about to purchase your first Nespresso machine or already have one, if you have a question about Nespresso’s pods, read the guide below to find your answer.
The Guide is split into two sections, first, I’ll answer questions about pod compatibility, ingredients and caffeine content. The second part is about picking the right Nespresso pods for your taste. You can also check out our previous Nespresso Q&A here.
Nespresso Pod Compatibility, Nutritional Facts, Caffeine and Calorie Content
Do All Nespresso Machines Use Pods?
Yes, Nespresso makes single serve espresso and coffee machines that use pods only. If you’re using an OriginalLine machine, you have the option of using refillable pods which can be filled with your favorite kind of coffee ground. However, results will vary and this is not recommended since these refillable pods are not officially made and some can break your machine.
Do All Nespresso Machines Use the Same Pods?
No, Nespresso has two range of machines:
OriginalLine machines which make espresso, uses smaller pods that are available from Nespresso as well as third-party brands.
Vertuo machines, which can make up to five serving sizes from espresso up to travel mug, use entirely different capsules. These are available from Nespresso only.
Do You Have To Use Nespresso Pods in a Nespresso Machine?
If you buy a Vertuo machine, then yes, Nespresso pods are your only option. But, if you go for an OriginalLine machine, you can choose from any of Nespresso’s OriginalLine pods or pods from compatible brands.
Are All Nespresso Pods the Same?
No, each Nespresso capsule has a different blend of coffee that makes it unique. If you visit the Nespresso website, you’ll see each capsule has a taste profile that gives you an idea of what to expect, from intensity to acidity. You’ll also see the origin of the coffees included in the capsule.
Do All Nespresso Machines Come with Capsules?
Yes, all machine purchases include a sampler pack to get you started, whether you buy your machine from Nespresso or other retailers, as long as it’s a brand new machine. If you purchased a sealed brand-new machine, but it didn’t include a sampler pack, you should get in touch with Nespresso and they will send one your way.
Do Nespresso Pods Expire?
On the package of each Nespresso pods you’ll see an expiration date, just like any other consumable product. However, coffee isn’t the type of food that deteriorates or goes bad, especially if it’s perfectly sealed. Nespresso capsules are airtight, so outside factors like air or temperature in general never contacts the coffee ground, making it safe to consume even after expiration date.
How Many Grams Of Coffee Ground Are in a Nespresso Capsule?
When it comes to Espresso pods, each holds about 5.5g of coffee ground and produces 40ml of coffee. A Lungo capsule holds up to 7g of coffee ground and produces 110ml of coffee.
Do Nespresso Pods Have Any Calories In Them?
They are very low in calories, as in, 2 or less calories per capsule. So that accounts to nothing really.
Do Nespresso Pods Have Sugar?
They do not have any sugar in them, even the flavored blends.
What Are Nespresso Pods Ingredients?
All of Nespresso’s pods include nothing but pure coffee ground.
Do Nespresso Pods Have Milk?
No, current pods do not contain any milk and Nespresso does not offer milk pods. If you want to make a milk based coffee drink, you can use an Aeroccino milk frother (or any other frother of your choice) to heat and froth fresh milk.
Are Nespresso Pods Sweetened?
None of the pods are sweetened. Even if you buy the flavored pods, they contain no sweeteners and they don’t taste sweet, instead you’ll enjoy subtle tastes and aromas that are extracted from natural sources. If you want to sweeten your coffee, you can use flavored syrups of your choosing.
How Much Caffeine Do Nespresso Capsules Contain?
The amount of caffeine each capsule contains depends on many factors includes the type of coffee it contains (Arabica, Robusta), the roasting process and the amount of coffee ground per capsule. When it comes to intensity, higher intensities does not correlate to higher caffeine, it only means the coffee will taste stronger. These approximate caffeine content refers to Nespresso’s capsules only, and not other brands. [source]
Espresso 1.35 OZ – 60 to 150 mg
Double Espresso 2.7 OZ – Less than 200 mg
Gran Lungo 5 OZ – 120 to 200 mg
Coffee 8 OZ – 130 to 200 mg
Half Caff 8 OZ – 90 mg
Decaf – 12 mg or less
Does Nespresso Make Tea or Hot Chocolate Pods?
No it does not. However, if you’re using an OriginaLine machine, there are tea and hot chocolate pods from third party brands.
Can Nespresso Capsules Be Bought at a Grocery Store?
VertuoLine capsules can be purchased from Nespresso’s boutiques, online store or from Amazon. OriginalLine capsules by Nespresso, too. As for third-party capsules for OriginalLine, you’ll most likely find them online as well as major grocery stores or supermarkets.
Picking Nespresso Pods to Your Taste
How Do I Choose From Nespresso’s Range of Pods?
Buying capsules before you’ve tried them can be quite tricky. What if you end up not liking them?
If you have a Nespresso boutique nearby, your best choice would be to visit and sample capsules before you buy them. But if you’re like many customers who don’t have a store close by and purchase their capsules online, reading the profile of each capsule will help you a lot in your choices…
First thing you can start with is the Intensity level, which usually goes from 4 and up to 13. As you can imagine, the higher this number gets, the stronger the coffee will taste. If you want your coffee to taste smooth or mild, go for an intensity level between 4 and 7. If you enjoy your coffee strong, you’ll want to go for something with intensity level higher than 7. Keep in mind that higher intensity does not mean more caffeine.
Which Pods Are Best for Latte?
This is a popular question. Technically speaking, any espresso capsule you like can be turned into a nice cup of latte by adding the right amount of milk.
However, Nespresso recommends using their Barista Creations line for making any milk based drinks. These pods have been perfectly blended and roasted to give you the best taste balance when mixed with milk or additional flavors. They’re available in a variety of intensities and flavors and for both OriginalLine and Vertuo machines.
Which Nespresso Pods Taste Like Starbucks?
If you’re a Starbucks fan, then you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to look for capsules that taste like Starbucks, because you can buy Starbucks capsules for your Nespresso machines.
These capsules, which are made by Nespresso, are available for OriginalLine machines as well as Vertuo machines. Just make sure you’re picking up the correct capsules for your machine, you’ll find them clearly labelled.
Which Pod is the Mildest and Which is the Strongest?
In the Vertuoline range, Solelio coffee capsules (7.7oz) is the mildest one available with an intensity level of just 2. This pod contains coffee that has a light and short roast to give it this low intensity and light bodied taste.
In the OriginalLine range, Volluto espresso pod has the mildest blend with an intensity level of 4. For a Lungo, you can try the Ethiopia single-origin pod, which has the same intensity level of 4 or the Buenos Aires Lungo which is made of a blend of Arabia and Robusta coffees but has been lightly roasted to give it an intensity level of 4.