After 46 hours of research evaluating 164 products, we picked Nespresso OriginalLine Arpeggio as our top choice.
For some people, coffee conjures images of tiny cups of espresso while standing at the coffee shop in Italy. Others think of coffee plantations in South America and Africa.
But many of us simply rely on a good cup of coffee (or three) to simply work through the morning. Whether it's an old-fashioned brew or delicious Nespresso pods, coffee brings plenty of benefits, including:
On top of that:
It provides essential nutrients… and tastes so good. But it doesn’t mean you just want any cup of coffee.
They are delicious and fast, all within a tiny little pod. If you're looking for the best Nespresso Machine, we have you covered.
And, if you’re interested, we’ve got the best Nespresso pods that won’t wreck your machine or your budget. You gotta love that.
Despite its mild intensity, this brings on the flavor and reminds you why you went Nespresso in the first place. It’s meant for full cups of coffee, not espressos, which makes it a good morning drink.
Apart from a few damaged pods (a shipping issue) – and the price, nothing at all.
The 100% Arabica beans are grown in Ethiopia and Kenya – some of the finest coffee growing regions in the world. And they’re split-roasted to intensify the flavor without adding too much intensity.
Nespresso calls this a breakfast blend – and they also believe the intensity is around the middle mark. We’d say that it’s on the higher end of the low spectrum. And it is supposed to make roughly 8 ounces of coffee. You’ll taste some sweet floral notes and just a touch of acidity.
It’s $12 for a 10-pack of these Vertuo pods and that’s really not cheap. Still, the flavor profile is spot on and if that matters to you, there’s a good chance you’ll pay the asking price here.
If you’re not into super strong coffee, this has an awesome, addictive single origin blend. There is a slight acidity but with a crema that you’re likely to fall for.
Apart from a few damaged pods (due to occasional shipping issues), nothing at all.
This is one of Nespresso’s pure origin capsules – this means that they know exactly where these beans come from and how they were grown. In this case, it’s a handful of small farms in the highest regions of Columbia. Arabica beans are handpicked and are split-roasted.
The flavor here might be a little surprising for some coffee drinkers as you’ll find some red currants and cranberry flavors in the mix. And, it’s super, super aromatic, but you’ll smell that gorgeous fresh coffee smell, not the fruit.
It’s about $10 for a 10-pack, but it is a true Nespresso product. What we can say is that’s cheaper than heading to your local coffee house, but just as delicious.
Not everyone needs the serious jolt that comes with a super intense espresso. And sometimes, you just want a longer coffee that still has a richness to it.
This is an awesome blend that has a bit of natural berry sweetness. If you add a bit of sugar to your coffee, you can accentuate that flavor. The same goes for a little milk to go with the incredible crema you find using these pods.
As a single origin brew, you can bet this company knows who is growing the beans, where, and how. And that makes a difference to taste (and, of course, the price).
Better still is the aroma that comes with this. It’s super rich which may have to do with the wet method used to protect and enhance the aroma before the beans are dried.
If the description startles you a little, we dare you to give it a go; you’re going to flip; most people do.
Pod type: Nespresso OriginalLine
This lungo Nespresso pod is surprisingly versatile, holding up well across different pulls. The flavor is strong, but definitely accessible to most coffee drinkers.
Apart from a few damaged pods (due to shipping issues) – and the price – nothing at all.
This lungo has a mix of Central and South American Arabicas with a touch of Robusta beans in the mix. It’s intensely roasted and the process is split which really intensifies the taste.
You can definitely taste the serious roasting in every drop. Along with that, you’ve got the woodiness of the Arabica with the Robusta adding cereal to the mix. It’s really quite bold while staying smooth.
It’s about $10.30 for a 10-pack. At just over $1 per pod we know it’s not cheap. But, we love the flavor to the point where we’re tempted to say we’d pay just a bit more if we had to. We’re just grateful we don’t need to.
This is a strong, bold coffee with a serious intensity. The price is right and the crema and bitterness are even better.
Apart from a few damaged pods (due to shipping issues), nothing at all.
You need a really robust coffee when you want to layer; it’s not a surprise that this coffee is a mix of Central and South America Robusta beans with Brazilian Arabica accented by a strong roast. The result exceeds the Nespresso intensity scale.
Expect a full, full flavored cup that can be a little cutting. That said, the crema is something that you’ll start craving the minute you pull this dark blue capsule from the pack.
At $9.50 for a pack of 10, you might be tempted to call them expensive, but we’re actually quite pleased with the value for money when you consider the intensity and the ability of the flavor to rise above anything it’s mixed with. That said, it’s not cheap.
It’s not every coffee that goes well in a mixed coffee drink. You can’t just grab any old filter coffee and expect it to hold up its end of the deal when thrown together with plenty of milk or ice or syrup or however you take it.
If that’s something you’re after, you need a strong, intense coffee with a little bitterness and this one delivers with serious style. It’s the sort of brew that’s probably too strong for most people if taken as an as espresso – even as a lungo or an even longer Americano.
Sounds good so far, right?
And, it gets better; this creates a beautiful crema and foam that keeps it from being too sharp and pointy and keeps it on the full, rounded side.
Pod type: Nespresso VertuoLine
Expect plenty of coffee flavor with perfectly balanced chocolate notes. Shipping is fast and a quality flavored brew.
Coming from Columbia and Costa Rica, it’s a rich, full-flavored roast with plenty of chocolate block notes.
Do we really need to explain this? Probably not, but we would like to mention that the balance of chocolate is quite perfect with the full coffee taste - and you’ll also get some malt and cereal flavors, without too much bitter or sweet.
These come with the price tag you’d expect from a Nespresso product – just shy of 80 cents a pod. Yep; average. But, they do come with Prime shipping.
It’s amazingly full-flavored given that it’s decaf and that it’s described as a mild roast. Plus, the price is right.
The Gourmesso brand describes this as mild, but it’s the 100% organic, single-origin Peruvian Arabica beans are gently decaffeinated to retain the flavor you never expected in a decaf.
For a decaf, it’s surprisingly rich and full-bodied. What more could you ask for?
At just over $30 for a pack of 50, this is one of the more reasonably-priced capsules on the list. To be fair, it’s not an original Nespresso product, but at just over 60 cents a pop, we’re happy with it. Our runner-up is a Nespresso product and is roughly 20 cents more per coffee – and while it is more intense, we don’t think the overall experience is enough to give it top spot at that price.
This is super strong and yet wonderfully balanced; the price isn’t bad at all and we love the fast shipping.
Apart from a few damaged pods (due to shipping issues), nothing at all.
Full-bodied Arabica (a mix of East African and South American) with robusta zing – cool, right? It’s one of Nespresso’s Intenso line and it’s quite amazing. And, have you seen that intensity? Yep, it carries all the way through the roast.
While you will definitely get that chocolaty taste, there’s a vanilla creaminess behind it. It’s somehow strong and slightly acidic, but still really, really balanced and smooth. One reviewer hit the nail on the head in saying that it’s a “strong and robust European-tasting coffee.”
At $38 for a 50 pod box, it’s not a bad price for a true Nespresso product; it works out to 76 cents per capsule. More than that, you get fast, Prime shipping which actually makes this a decent price for such a strong brew.
In addition to the great price, this is a delicious, rich blend with a wonderful foam.
If you’re serious about coffee, this may not cut it for you.
It’s an intense medium to dark Arabica lungo blend with a solid intensity.
There’s a punch behind the smoothness of this coffee and there are definite floral notes, but it has a very rounded flavor and is really quite satisfying. Oh, and the aroma? It’s one of the best – and the packaging keeps it locked in until you open the individual pack and finish the last drop.
At $35 for a box of 50, it’s about 70 cents per pod which is reasonable for anything compatible with a Nespresso machine. Sure, you’ll find cheaper varieties, but not with this same, high-level of taste and quality. Yep, we think it’s worth it.
The price, the price, the price. Oh, and the flavor is pretty darn good too.
These just aren’t for serious coffee drinkers; they’re for people that need coffee at a good price.
It’s a blend of Arabicas from Latin America and Robustas from Africa and it’s surprisingly flavorful. Interestingly, the coffee is made in Italy before shipping it over here; but what's a few more continents before reaching it's final destination?
While the manufacturer sells this as a rich blend, we’d say it’s very close to that. It’s not nearly as aromatic as some of the others on this list, but it definitely has a convincing coffee flavor.
At 25 cents a pod, these are a real score – and by all accounts, the flavor isn’t bad either. If you’re looking to spend less on your daily brew, while making the most of your Nespresso machine, this is absolutely the way to do it. Whether you want to bump it up on the weekends, or not, is totally up to you.
This has all the bitter flavor that serious coffee drinkers love and it makes an almost perfect espresso. It’s the most intense the brand has to offer.
Apart from a few damaged pods (due to shipping issues) – and the price, nothing at all.
This ultra-dark roast is a combination of Guatemalan and Brazilian Robustas and the mix is amazingly intense. Might we go so far as to say in.cred.i.ble.
Okay, okay, this isn’t for the faint-hearted, casual coffee drinker – not at all. The flavor is super rich and quite bitter. As one reviewer states, "the extreme bitterness hits you right away, and it doesn't fade. But it's not bitter for its own sake." If you’re after that, along with the peppery notes that come with it, you’re in for a treat.
At $11.50 for a pack of 10, these are the most expensive Nespresso pods on the list. But, if you’re after serious intensity, you should also expect to pay a little more. And, there’s a big part of us that’s tempted to just call it value for money; we’ll let you decide.
Gives you a large assortment of flavors.
Pods aren't useable if they get dented in the delivery.
These Nespresso OriginalLine pods are intense medium to dark blend with a solid intensity.
This variety pack offers excellent aroma with intensity levels varying from 5 to 10.
At $35 for 50 pods, it is one of the most affordable option
This makes a darn good espresso, but also does an amazing job with cappuccinos and the like. You can expect speedy delivery along with the amazing, bold brew.
It’s a beautiful blend of Costa Rican Arabica and South America Robusta coffees. And the short but intense roasting process develops the mix into a full-bodied cup.
The robust coffee and cereal blend makes it a little tricky to place the exact flavor. That said, one reviewer actually did a pretty good job: "very robust, smoky flavor with a thick nut finish." Wow, you know you want to get into that right? And, it smells just as good.
It’s $9.50 for a 10-pack (and you probably don’t need us to work out the price per coffee capsule for you there). While it does come with Prime shipping, we’re not going to pretend that these are either the cheapest or most expensive option on our list.
Flavor is everything with this full-bodied coffee. The aroma will definitely wow you on your first and every subsequent cup.
Apart from a few damaged pods (due to shipping issues), nothing at all.
The beans are a combination of Central and South American Arabica, this coffee gets its intense flavor from intense roasting and very finely ground beans. The taste is definitely full-bodied and rich, but with that creaminess you crave and not a hint of bitterness or acidity.
While you’ll definitely taste the cocoa notes in this full-bodied coffee, it’s much deeper than that with woody notes and a serious “coffee robustness." And, the aroma is seriously addictive for anyone that can’t get enough of that quality coffee smell.
You’ll pay $38 for a pack of 50 Arpeggio Nespresso pods which works out to 76 cents per pod. And, they’re available with Prime shipping which makes these one of the more reasonably priced Nespresso-branded capsules. You gotta love that.
The Nespresso OriginalLine and VertuoLine series of coffee pods satisfy specific indulgences to broaden the Nespresso experience. We've divided them into categories which Nespresso itself uses to classify the flavors and blends.
ORIGINAL LINE PODS
The OriginalLine machines make espresso by puncturing the pod's aluminum seal, then extracting the flavor with hot water and up to 19 bars of pressure. The pods from this line make 25 mL ristretto, 40 mL espresso, or 110 mL lungo.
As the name suggests, these are the strongest, most intense pods you can buy. The capsules in this group are of blended origin and ideal for people who prefer a robust, full-bodied brew.
Kazaar: A short espresso with an intense flavor. It's highly recommended for those who like their coffee strong and stimulating.
Dharkan: Hints of nuts and cocoa give it a delightfully smooth texture. It’s an excellent choice for a strong morning coffee without the full kick of Kazaar.
Ristretto: The most popular Nespresso pod for its subtle qualities of liveliness, strength, and bitterness. It’s best for lattes and cappuccino.
Roma: A light roast with less intensity than the other pods in this group with a refined taste that lingers on the palate.
Arpeggio: A well-rounded espresso with a strong, malty taste and a hint of chocolate. It uses South and Central American Arabicas to deliver a full-bodied flavor.
Just slightly less robust than the blends in the Intenso category, each pod still holds considerable potency to produce powerful, gratifying shots of espresso. Blends from various coffee-producing regions present a great variation of intensity and flavor–from smooth and light to strong and flavorful.
Capriccio: It has moderate intensity with an aromatic cereal presence. The blend is mildly roasted to create a lightly acidic, well-matured flavor.
Volluto: A mild and flavorful espresso with a distinctly sweet, nutty taste. Lightly roasted Colombian and Brazilian Arabicas produce its rich aroma.
Livanto: A combination of Arabicas from Colombia and Costa Rica gives this pod its smooth, malted flavor. It exudes a delicate caramel aroma with a tinge of cereal.
Cosi: A light-bodied, citrusy espresso from Kenyan and Costa Rican Arabicas. It’s superb as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon drink.
This collection replaces the discontinued Pure Origin line of pods. Unlike the Intenso and Espresso pods, which are created from blends, each capsule in this collection uses beans from a single country of origin. The brews from this category run the gamut of tastes, so there is a pod for every preference within this selection.
Colombia: Arabicas from the Colombian Andes confer a distinct and smooth wine-like flavor. This blend is also available for VertuoLine machines.
Ethiopia: It's characterized by a sweet, citrus taste. Lightly roasted African Arabicas impart its jam and orange blossom aroma.
India: Its exceptional intensity and salty aftertaste won't disappoint espresso fanatics. Robustas and Arabicas from India provide a spicy, woodsy character.
Indonesia: Wet-hulled Arabicas from northern Sumatra gift this pod with an earthy, tobacco-like flavor and aroma. It has a distinctive, exotic taste for the more adventurous palate.
Nicaragua: It has a black honey and cereal essence from split-roasted western Nicaraguan Arabicas.
Pods in this group are crafted to make a longer brew. Each capsule makes a 110 mL cup. It’s perfect for people who prefer a less intense cup of coffee without compromising flavor and aroma.
Envivo: A blend of split-roasted green Arabicas from India and Robustas from Mexico produces a caramel and brown sugar flavor with a woodsy essence.
Fortissio: A strong lungo with a full-bodied, slightly bitter flavor. Central and South American Arabicas release a smoky, woodsy aroma.
Vivalto: A well-balanced brew from a blend of separately roasted Brazilian and Ethiopian Arabicas. It’s rich and complex, with a faint floral aroma and sweet cereal taste.
Linizio: Handpicked, split-roasted Arabicas from Brazil and Colombia give this pod a creamy flavor with a touch of wheat and barley.
These decaffeinated pods provide a great way to enjoy outstanding coffee for people that can’t have–or don't want–caffeine for whatever reason. The capsules in this division are decaf versions of existing flavors such as Arpeggio, Vivalto, and Volluto, plus one all-new blend:
Decaffeinato Intenso: Dense, dark, and full-bodied with a dash of roasted cereal and cocoa–minus the caffeine.
Inspired by the Livanto blend, these pods contain an espresso base enhanced with a particular flavor. These flavors offer a fun addition to the Nespresso roster of pods.
Caramelito: A flavorful espresso with a rich and creamy toffee flavor.
Vanilio: A light, mild coffee with a velvety vanilla infusion.
Ciocattino: A combination of dense, smooth espresso, and dark chocolate.
VERTUO LINE PODS
The VertuoLine machines, introduced in 2014, are designed to generate larger servings of coffee. These machines employ brewing technologies that aren't found in the OriginalLine machines. VertuoLine machines use a combination of centrifugal force and infusion, which spins the pod at up to 7,000 rpm to blend ground coffee and water. Also, the pods have barcodes which the machine can read to automatically control rotational speed, temperature, infusion time, volume, and water flow. Because of the difference in size and brewing method, OriginalLine and VertuoLine pods are machine-specific and non-interchangeable.
These pods make the largest servings (14 ounces) for a taller, longer-lasting brew.
Intenso: A bold, dark, and extremely robust blend with a dense, thick froth.
Dolce: It has a mild cereal and sugar cane flavor with hints of caramel and toast.
While the name is uninspired, the blends in this category are anything but. These pods represent a wide range of concoctions: from Master Origin and Decaffeinato pods to specialty flavored capsules.
Colombia: It has the exact same flavor profile of the OriginalLine Master Origin Colombia pod, in a 7.77-ounce serving.
Mexico: From the VertuoLine Master Origin series, this medium roast has an intense and spicy essence.
Intenso: All the goodness of Alto XL Intenso in a smaller serving.
Stormio: Heavily roasted Arabicas from Nicaragua and Guatemala make for an intense and flavorful cup.
Odacio: It carries a full-bodied taste that’s heightened by a cereal and fruit aroma from a fusion of Ethiopian and Nicaraguan Arabicas.
Melozio: Lightly roasted Brazilian Bourbon and Central American Arabicas combine to create a perfectly balanced coffee.
Elvazio: A fragrant blend of Colombian and Brazilian Bourbon with layers of fruit, caramel, and cereal.
Giornio: A flavor-packed light roast that doesn’t overwhelm the palate. It gets its rich, nutty flavor from Kenyan and Ethiopian Arabicas.
Solelio: Kenyan and Colombian Arabicas yield a fresh, fruity extract that’s light, bright, and pleasantly mellow.
Hazelino: A hazelnut-infused blend of slightly roasted Brazilian and Central American Arabicas. It has a sweet, creamy flavor with a distinct praline essence.
Caramelizio: Although caramel, vanilla, and nuts characterize this pod’s flavor, its medium roast recipe doesn’t overpower the taste buds.
Vanizio: Its ultra-smooth and a velvety layer of vanilla balance the intensity of medium roast Arabicas from Brazil and Central America to produce a well-rounded brew.
Half Caffeinato: A half-caffeinated espresso that holds a smooth and creamy texture. It has a caramel and hazelnut flavor with a trace of biscuit.
Decaffeinato: A caffeine-free, full-bodied medium roast with a fruity, nutty flavor, and a rich, malty consistency.
This category of pods makes taller, 5-ounce espresso for people who prefer an extended coffee break.
Fortado: Intense, rich, and full-bodied with an unmistakable touch of bitter cocoa and oak wood.
Arondio: A mix of medium roast Colombian Arabicas and Guatemalan Robusta provides a mild cereal flavor.
Aflorazio: Split-roasted East African Arabicas give this pod a delicate floral and berry essence with a layer of musk.
Decaffeinato Ontuoso: Possesses a light and malty taste from decaffeinated, split-roasted Brazilian and Colombian Arabicas.
These pods provide an intense double shot of espresso for that extra kick of caffeine. They’re terrific for quick morning pick-me-ups.
Scuro: A highly roasted brew with a cocoa and vanilla aroma that tempers its dark, extra-rich profile.
Chiaro: A dense and creamy consistency with a faint caramel flavor that's enhanced by an earthy, woodsy aroma.
The pods in this class are traditional, authentic espresso with bold and lively blends.
Diavolitto: Immensely intense and potent with an oak and leather essence, this pod invigorates.
Altissio: A rich and full-flavored presence with layers of flavor to tantalize the palate.
Voltesso: Mild and sweet with the taste and aroma of hazelnut, brown sugar, and a tinge of biscuit.
Decaffeinato Intenso: The only thing that this aromatic, rich, and flavor-packed espresso lacks is caffeine.
CRAFTED FOR MILK
Inspired by baristas from Brooklyn and Melbourne, these pods are formulated to harmonize splendidly with milk.
Bianco Leggero: A long, sweet brew with a toffee and biscuit flavor.
Bianco Forte: Its roasted flavor complements the creaminess and sweetness of the milk.